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The average American moves about 11 times during his or her lifetime. In many cases, the first and most momentous of these moves is leaving for college. For a lot of young adults, the day they move into their college dorm or apartment is the first time they have lived anywhere other than their parents’ home. It’s a big day for countless reasons, and one of the most important steps a young person can take toward becoming an independent adult.

Along with all of the obvious items college students need when setting out on their own — remembering to pack more than one bath towel, for example — there are many other details that are just as important but not as obvious. One of the most commonly forgotten tasks students should do when moving to college is changing their permanent address. For some students, the fact that they will continue to have mail delivered to their parents’ home isn’t that big of a deal, but it can be much more convenient for them to change their address. This is especially true when going to a college far from home or out-of-state.

Going through the process of making an address change official is important for college students, but there may be some confusion about how exactly this is accomplished. In addition to alerting the U.S. Postal Service, there are numerous other parties that need to be made aware of the address change. For example, failing to notify the Internal Revenue Service can result in delays when receiving important tax documents or a refund check. If students have credit cards, failing to notify their providers of an address change might mean they won’t receive their statements in time to pay their balances, which can severely affect their credit scores.

To help students successfully navigate the process of changing their permanent address, the following guide from University Moving and Storage illustrates all of the necessary tasks they need to complete. Moving to college is one of the biggest steps a young person can take on his or her way to becoming a responsible adult, and that includes handling even the smallest details of the move.

Image by University Moving and Storage

This article was contributed by University Moving and Storage.

Moving out of the dorm and into an off-campus apartment can be a complicated choice. Dorms offer the comfort of convenience and simplicity. However, there’s a big world outside of your dorm room, residential hall and college campus. That big world includes off-campus housing that could change the way you live as a college student. Although moving off campus can be a complex decision, it offers some major advantages that can make the choice easier. These advantages include: getting more living space, saving money, gaining life experience, setting your own rules and gaining access to a wide array of amenities. So, if you’re looking for a room for rent and you’re unsure if off-campus living is right for you, these advantages could help make up your mind.

Gives You More Living Space

Dorm rooms are notoriously small and sharing one with a roommate can make it cramped. They’re barely large enough to be called a “living space.” Although it may be cool to live in such a cramped space when you’re a freshman, such conditions could simply become unsuitable as you mature. Off-campus apartments for rent are much larger. Even a room for rent is typically much larger than dorm rooms. Besides that, off campus housing offers real living space. Apartments usually come with a real kitchen, private bedroom, living room and storage. Additionally, a larger, more adultlike space is easier to share with a roommate. It’ll also be more fun to hang out with your friends as well as easier to throw parties.

Helps You Gain Some Life Experience

New responsibility is something that most people don’t want, but it’s something that many young college students need to help them mature. Living off campus basically gives you a gentle push into adulthood. It gives you lots of new responsibilities, including:

  • Budgeting for rent, bills and other expenses
  • Cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking and performing basic maintenance on your living space
  • Troubleshooting problems in your apartment or arranging repairs
  • Understanding and signing contracts
  • Communicating and developing relationships with professionals that provide a service to you, such as the property manager, landlord and maintenance crew

Renting an off-campus apartment is also the first stone in your rental history. If you’re a good tenant, it’ll show in your rental history, which will make finding another apartment easier.

Living Off Campus Can Save Money

Unbelievably, many off-campus apartments are more cost-effective than on-campus housing options. But, you must be willing to look around to find the best deals. For example, renting in a popular neighbourhood will be much more expensive than staying in the dorms or renting elsewhere. Remember to do some research and choose an area that’s close to your university, yet affordable.

However, if you choose an apartment community like Residence on First you won’t have to worry about affordability or proximity to your university and amenities. This community offers affordable student accommodation with access to amenities in and around the apartment complex. Not to mention, all their rentals are inclusive, so you won’t have to pay any utility bills. Sharing the rent, bills and general cost of living with a roommate can make living off campus even more affordable. This is a luxury you can’t get with dorm living; because, although you live with a roommate, they don’t share half of your expenses.

Allows You to Set Your Own Rules

Dorms are full of rules, from curfews to restrictions on overnight guests. They also have a Resident Advisor (RA) who polices the students and enforces these rules. On the other hand, you set the rules at your own apartment. But, keep in mind that apartment buildings have general rules about pets, noise levels, amenity usage and occupancy. These general rules, however, aren’t nearly as restrictive as those found in dorms. In your own apartment, you can leave or come back when you want, party as much as you want, have as many guests as you want and basically do whatever you want (as long as it’s legal and non-destructive).

Gives You Access to Many Amenities

One of the greatest things about living in an off-campus apartment is having access to, or being close to amenities. Most complexes, like Residence on First, offer a multitude of amenities. For example, they offer free Wi-Fi, a study lounge, a ping pong table, a gym, a state-of-the-art theatre and so much more. Residences like this not only offer amenities, they also put you closer to them. Restaurants, supermarkets, shops, parks and more will be within walking distance. This will allow you to explore and experience more.


Making the move off campus may be a complex decision, but the reasons for doing so are simple. You’ll save money, have more room, be able to set your own rules, have access to cool amenities and gain some valuable life experience. Staying on campus may be convenient, but it can’t really prepare you for adulthood and living in the “real world.” In the end, living off campus has so many benefits that it can enhance your college experience and improve your quality of living.

 This article was contributed by guest author Madelene Pelchat.

Photo by Sylwia Pietruszka on Unsplash

For many of us going to college, dorms are even better than having your own apartment. It’s a place where you’re going to meet a lot of new friends and attend amazing parties. There you have complete freedom – no one can tell you what to do and when to do it – and that can be seen with one glance at your schedule. With parties and classes to attend, it will be packed. The only problem with this is that it leaves very little time to keep your room clean and organized. You’ll often find yourself entering your room just to find your bed. If you don’t want to break your neck in search of that bed, follow these easy steps to get that mess under control.

Turn the cleaning into an activity

When you live in a dorm, you probably have at least one roommate. If you join forces, you’ll be able to keep the mess under control. It doesn’t sound like fun, but the cleaning process can be turned into a painless activity if you do it together, especially if you and your roommate have different classes and hang out with different friends – this could be your quality time together. But it’s not enough just to make this decision – you need a schedule. Create your cleaning schedule at the beginning of every semester and stick to it. You should get used to it pretty quickly and it will become a part of the routine.

Set up a collective budget

One of the problems when it comes to cleaning your room in a dorm is the lack of cleaning equipment. Most students would rather die than spend their money on something they hate to use. But you can even start with just a pack of wipes to wipe down things you come into contact with every day. Their disinfecting ability will lessen the probability of you catching a disease. But of course, this isn’t enough. What about all that dust that’s been accumulating for who knows how long? Face it – you need a decent vacuum cleaner. But so does every other student in the dorm, so why not set up a collective budget? Just get everyone on your floor to give a couple of bucks and buy one vacuum cleaner that you will share. It’s not like there will be a line for it, as long as you stick to your cleaning day on the schedule. And one more thing – remember to change the bag.

Free the space (you already don’t have)

Rooms in dorms are usually very small, so why they are so hard to keep clean and organized? Probably because of all that clutter you somehow managed to fit in there. We all tend to keep various things we don’t need because they have some sentimental value for us. It’s normal that in dorms people have even more of those things, especially if you’re far away from home. But in these small places, those sentiments can make you break your neck. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to some of them and your only closet is already full, you can always choose one of the various Supereasy storage options that will allow you to keep them all close to your heart and out of sight. But that doesn’t mean you can just store everything and there will be no more need for cleaning. Unfortunately, dust and germs cannot be stored, but they can be kept under control if you stick to your schedule. We all know that college life can be like a tornado, but your room is not supposed to be hit by one.

This article was contributed by guest author Sasha Duncan.

Photo by Tatiana Lapina on Unsplash

There comes a point in everyone’s childhood when we’re made aware that reading in an unsatisfactory light would damage our eyes. Nevertheless, most doctors acknowledge that there is no sufficient evidence to say that having poor lighting while reading and studying might ruin your vision.

But, what they do believe is that having proper and sufficient light might lessen the short-term effects of reading like eye strain and headaches, and it will make your reading more comfortable and satisfying. Your study environment is one of the critical factors to successfully retaining and learning information – and being able to put it into use in your assessments.

Discovering the best lighting for your study area is not always easy. For a little help, here are the five best lighting ideas you should use for reading and studying.

Table Lamps and Desk Lamps

A stylish and fun table lamp can fit any of your specifications for both function and fashion.  Whether monochromatic and sleek or vibrant and interesting, you’ll find many options for lamps that will allow you to incorporate your personality and taste.

Lamps have plenty of uses other than just looking great. If you find yourself getting sleepy when sitting at your desk, consider adding LED lamps on your desk to brighten things up. You can even buy these online from reputable sites like BlackMango.

Desk lamps are also adjustable, allowing you to move the neck or head in various angles to illuminate a particular area of your desk. They help you illuminate your workspace without brightening the whole room, which is a great plan when you want to study late at night.

Wall Mounted Lamps

If you love reading magazines and books in your bed, a wall mounted lamp is excellent for you – especially if you have a small room that doesn’t leave you space for a bedside table. Or if you need your bedside table for water, books, a clock, etc.

A space-saving alternative is a mounted lamp. You can install it on either the headboard or the wall (depending on your dorm requirements). This type of fixture is adjustable to target light in the direction of your magazine or book.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is another option for direct lighting – but only if you have an electrician on hand, and if it’s in your own house, as dorms won’t allow this. LED MR16s are a brilliant option for light bulbs, as they will discharge a targeted spotlight with an optimal beam angle.

Recessed ceiling lights have evolved into a trendy way of adding light to bedrooms. These lights are best for implementing general and ambient lighting. They can also be placed to emphasize particular features or areas of your bedroom. These lights can be regulated by dimmer switches, allowing you to take full control over how soft or bright you wish the light would be.

Natural Light

Natural lighting is the best type of light for your study room – and it’s free! Natural light has a positive impact on your mood, and especially on your eyes. It helps minimize the stress on your eyes while reading or writing. If you have a window in your room or dorm, try to position your desk near it. The only downfall with natural light is if you’re a night owl, you’ll need another source of light to supplement it.

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting is becoming popular because of its flexibility and its contemporary aesthetic. It gives you direct light and is sturdy as it’s fastened to the ceiling.

Pendant fixtures add a fabulous design feature to your room, and they save space on your nightstand for that pile of books you have wanted to read.


It’s nearly impossible to focus your attention on your studies while suffering from reading in dim lighting. As a result, you can have eye strain and headaches. Appropriate and adequate lighting is essential to study successfully.

This article was contributed by guest author Janis Walker.

Photo by Christopher Jolly on Unsplash

You’re finally going to college, and your school is far away from home. The thought of living independently, away from your parents, excites you. But while it is indeed exciting, there are some challenges you’ll need to deal with along the way when embarking on your journey to college life.

There will be a new culture to adapt to, and a new bunch of people to meet. Accompanying this mix of excitement and worry is the inevitable pain of dorm living – learning to share space with strangers and give up your most precious privacy. And with your family far from you, you may feel homesick and lonely.

As a result, you may have sleepless nights that could have an adverse impact on your academic performance. In fact, various studies point to lack of sleep as one of the leading causes of a student’s faring poorly in school.

Without sufficient sleep, your learning ability, memory, and concentration drop to a low. Getting quality sleep should be a top priority for all students, especially those living in dorms. Here are eight must-haves to bring to your dorm that should help you sleep better.

Lightweight Bedding Sets

Cramped dorms are usually hot. Covering yourself in thick and heavy blankets is an awful idea to start your dorm life. You may also ditch the idea of using bed sheets, blankets, and pillow cases made of synthetic materials because they trap body heat and cause you discomfort when you are sleeping.

Ideal beds and bedding sets to have in your dorm room, which you can get from reputable sites such as Focus on Furniture, are lightweight and made of breathable materials such as cotton, linen, or wool because they don’t trap body heat and can give you a good night’s sleep easily.

Comfortable Pillows

When choosing pillows, you must choose those that can provide you with the ultimate comfort. Make sure your pillow can comfortably support your head, neck, and shoulders, so you will feel energized and ready when you go to school the next day.

For pillows, there are three different thicknesses to consider – plush, mid-plush, and firm. You can choose the thickness of your preference. There are also memory foam pillows that can provide ample support by molding to the shape of your head.

Cozy Mattress Toppers

Most dorms already have mattresses, so bringing one of your own in your temporary abode may not be a suitable idea. But if you find the mattress in your dorm room to be inferior or too stiff, you can add a layer of comfort by laying a mattress topper on top of it.

A mattress topper can add a significant layer of cushioning and support for your body that can contribute to a better sleep.

Mattress toppers nowadays come in a variety of materials, densities, and thicknesses for you to be able to find your ideal level of comfort and softness. For example, if you want extra support for your back and limbs, latex and memory foam mattress toppers are excellent options.

Electric Fan

According to studies, the suggested room temperature when sleeping is between 60 to 67 degrees. Our body temperature decreases when we try to snooze and these room temperatures can help facilitate sleep.

Although most dorms nowadays have a ceiling fan or air-conditioner in every room, bringing your desk fan or stand fan is still advisable for practical purposes. For one, using an electric fan keeps your room well-ventilated, and secondly, it will create white noise to muffle the sound of vehicles outside and any other unwelcome noises.

Blackout Curtains or Blinds

Harsh light can ruin your sleep by repressing the production of melatonin – the hormone responsible for preparing your body to sleep.

For an optimal sleep, drape your room with blackout curtains or blinds to prevent street lights from getting in through your windows.

Eye Mask

Wearing an eye mask to bed is a prudent option if you want to get better sleep, especially when you have a roommate who likes to keep the lights on late.

For optimum comfort, choose an eye mask that is lightweight, fits comfortably around your nose, is made of breathable cotton, and one that blocks light totally, so you will get your much-needed sleep.

Ear Plugs

Unnecessary sounds and loud noises can hinder us from having our desired sleep. Studies have shown that for a room to be an ideal environment for sleeping it should have less than the standard 30 decibels of sound.

If you go past that point, your mind gets disturbed, which will prevent you from sleeping. Hence, to fight unnecessary noises, consider wearing earplugs made of soft foam to shut out unwanted sounds from your roommate’s snore or loud music.

Air-Purifying Plants

It is certainly difficult to sleep when air pollutants such as mold, pollen, and bacteria pervade your room space. If you want a solution to this problem, consider bringing some air-cleaning houseplants to your room.

Air-purifying plants such as aloe vera and Chinese evergreen absorb air pollutants which cause coughing and sneezing. They are also easy to care for because they can grow in low light and don’t need a lot of watering.


It is important that you prepare yourself before going to college. Remember, your dorm will be a far different environment from the one you live in with your parents. It is essential that you learn these must-haves to bring to your dorm if you want to get a quality sleep!

This article was contributed by guest author Janis Walker.

The unnerving truth is that pests are a common thing in dorm rooms. You’ve got a lot of young people starting to live on their own for the first time, and without the supervision of their parents, this is where cleanliness often becomes an issue. So you can come across anything, from ladybugs and flies, to the more problematic cockroaches and mice. A lot of students inadvertently bring pests onto campus along with them. Here are 6 habits that can help you prevent pests in your dorm room.

Wash and dry the dishes

When it comes to dishes, even the people who are generally pretty careful about cleanliness tend to leave dirty dishes in the sink. Some think that rinsing the dishes off and leaving the washing for the next morning is good enough. The truth is that dirty dishes have pieces of food on them, be it small or big, and these leftovers are an invitation for various pests. This includes ants, mice, and a bunch of other crawlers.

Seal and put away your food

Pests are obviously attracted to food, so it’s no good leaving leftovers around for them. You need to put away food as soon as you’re done with it, and the best way to do it is to seal it properly. A simple plastic wrap won’t cut it. The fact is that you need to think about the food that isn’t cooked as well. For example, mice eat cereal, pretzels, and noodles. Store these things in containers that have tight lids, and keep them up on high shelves.

Vacuum and dust

Regular vacuuming and dusting are a necessity. It takes care of all the crumbs and little bits that might attract pests, and it also takes care of webs, insect eggs, and other things that pests need to survive and multiply. Dusting is important, because some insects, such as the hearty cockroach, eat dust and dirt. Keeping your room clean makes it easy to spot pests on time.


Students often get lazy about decluttering their room, because there is no one there to remind them to do it. You may think that all those stacks of paper on your desk and junk in the corner is not much of a problem. The fact is that critters and bugs just love clutter. Spiders pretty quickly spin their webs in piles of papers. Rodents love to find their home in piles of clothes or paper. So, in order to keep your room pest-free, make sure it’s tidy.

Empty the garbage

Emptying the garbage regularly not only takes care of the smell, but also makes sure that any leftovers are out of your dorm room and no longer an attraction for pests. You should have a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid. You shouldn’t just empty it on a daily basis, but clean it often as well.

Get rid of standing water and moisture

Standing water is what attracts a lot of bugs and rodents, and warmth and darkness are perfect for cockroaches. Silverfish are attracted to moisture in places that are 21.1 to 26.7 degrees Celsius. Wet spots are also an invitation for gnats and flies. Mice and rats are always on the lookout for food, water, and shelter. According to the experts at Pest Works, pest and termite inspections are necessary in severe cases of pest infestation. So, in order to prevent these pests, mop up spilled water, make sure there are no leaky faucets, and throw out pet water at night.


Pests can be a real problem for your life in the dorm. But if you stick to these practices and keep your room clean, you shouldn’t have any issues. Remember to remove anything that might attract pests into your living quarters.

This article was contributed by guest author Hannah Thomas.

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Moving your things to college is not an easy feat. Understandably enough, it’s the last thing anyone has in mind before the final week at home rolls in. You have to make sure you’ve brought everything you’ll need for yourself, and it’s hard to be detailed and careful when you’ve hit panic mode. Parents usually aren’t helpful in these situations either. In order to avoid hectic packing, here are some tips for moving your things to your new college home.

Start with the essentials
Once the move-in day has come, both you and your parents should be prepared well enough to avoid any possibility of panic. The goal is to start with the most important items so, if you need to rush it near the end, you won’t be missing anything essential. These are the items you’ll need on a daily basis and ones you can’t function without on college campuses. Additionally, we are talking about items that are, if you forget them, too expensive to buy once again. Start off with your computer and phone, your ID and other crucial documentation, as well as some basic clothes you’ll require based on the climate in the area of the college.

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Size of your suitcases and saving space
Of course, you can’t bring everything you own along with you. Limit the number of shoes and boots you’ll carry with you since they can take up a lot of space. Make a careful assessment of how much you can carry based on the number and size of your suitcases. As far as jackets and coats go – they are bulky pieces of clothing that take up a lot of space, so bring only one of each along with you. Once you’ve finished packing, see if there is still enough space to add the extra jacket. Likewise, you can cut down on the items you can afford and buy once you arrive at the campus.

About hygiene
You’ve probably been responsible for the cleanliness of your room in the family house. Be that as it may, moving into a dorm room with a roommate will double your cleaning requirements. Make sure to bring cleaning supplies along with you, and pack them well in several layers of plastic bags to avoid leaking. The last thing you need is your clothes drenched in a tile-cleaning chemical. There’s also a big probability you’ll have to utilize your cleaning skills as soon as you arrive. It’s not rare to discover your new room is left dirty. Use paper towels and chemicals you’ve packed to clean all the surfaces thoroughly.

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As far as shipping goes
Once you get into your designated dorm room, you’ll need some essentials that will make your life easier. First of all, you’ll need sheets, pillows, blankets and even some furnishing. Obviously, you can’t just pack all these items and bring them along with you in a car or a minivan that will probably be filled to the brim with your suitcases. Instead, you should ship these “large scale” items via a transportation agency. There are some great choices for companies specializing in removals like Brisbane removals that offer fast, safe and efficient services for an affordable price, so you shouldn’t lose sleep over this part of moving.

Once you arrive
If you organize yourself well enough, your packages will be already waiting for you when you arrive to college. Once you’ve finally settled in, do another run through and check if you’ve got everything you need for a solid start to the semester. If you’ve followed the above tips, you should have most of what you need with you, and if you’ve forgotten something, it probably won’t be a crucial item nor something unaffordable.

Moving in the dorm room on your first day of college is an important activity for the entire family. However, even though your parents will relish this moment, always remember this is your time to shine and start functioning as an adult, independent human being. Learning organizational skills and how to determine priorities begins with packing for college, and it only gets more exciting from there.

This article was contributed by guest author Lana Hawkins.

Are you feeling unproductive and unmotivated when in your dorm room? Even for people who have never heard of feng shui, the idea that a person’s state of mind is reflected in their living space (or vice versa) seems pretty intuitive. So, studying in a clean and organized room will surely make you feel more competent. Wherever you live, you can improve your life and increase your happiness by rearranging the objects in your home and creating a warm, welcoming living space.

In Chinese, “feng” means wind and “shui” means water. These two elements are symbols for creating chi flow. Chi is the vital energy that inhabits and flows through all living things. Even though everyone and everything possesses chi, it’s possible for chi to become blocked or misdirected. This can cause distress, bad luck, and inner turmoil. Following the principles of feng shui allows you to harness good chi and avoid bad energy (sha). If your college dorm room and your life could use a burst of positive energy, follow these tips in order to make your everyday life more productive and happy:

The important aspects of feng shui

  • First and foremost, get rid of clutter in your living space. Keeping your room clean and organized promotes productivity, happiness, and improves chi flow. Get rid of anything you don’t need in your dorm, such as old books and clothes. When packing for college, only bring the essentials. Eliminating old, unused objects from your room will free your mind and open you up to new ideas and experiences.
  • In feng shui, there are nine areas of the room or house that are associated with growth in specific parts of your life. Focus on these areas with the right colors and decor to boost everything from creativity to romance.
  • Be careful with furniture placement. While a small dorm room can make it a little difficult to rearrange, try your best to make sure that your bed is facing the direction of the doorway, but is not directly in line with it. That way, energy from the outside world is let in, but will not come in so strong as to disrupt your chi flow.


Placing just the foot of the bed in the right direction isn’t enough, though. To have best rest energy and flow you will have to work a little harder. Keep your computer away from your bed, and if that’s not possible, at least turn it off and cover it when it’s time for sleeping. Place your bed so that it is not directly under or next to a window. If your bed must be in this position, keep a heavy curtain over the window at night or install blockout blinds. Books facing in the direction of your head while sleeping, mirrors near the bed and plants in the close vicinity to the bed are energy stealers, so try to keep them in other positions.


Your desk is your shrine. You need to focus your energy and intellect in order to prepare for exams, so it is an important aspect of your room and good placement according to feng shui can help you focus better. If possible, put it in a northeast corner, also known as the area of knowledge. Keep your desk organized to stay focused and relaxed as you study. When sitting at your desk, face the door, and if that’s not possible, put a mirror in front of you so you can see the door.


While arranging your furniture for the best flow of chi is important, decoration can also help make most of the positive energy. Mirrors, flowers, and plants are all good for your energy. You can paint your room various colors that promote different aspirations, however if you aren’t allowed to do that, you can instead decorate it with posters. Pictures of nature or nature elements are soothing.


A good chi flow can increase your energy level and improve your overall life. However, keep in mind that feng shui is a very deep and complex philosophy and by reading this you’ve barely scraped the surface. Nonetheless, a simplified version of it can surely help for a simple dorm room.

This article was contributed by guest author Helen Bradford.

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Spring cleaning is something that needs to be done. Some people love it, some hate it, but it’s inevitable, and the sooner you get the hang of it, the sooner your home will be neat and clean.

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

Drain unclogging

The water in your sink doesn’t drain fast enough and it’s driving you crazy? Luckily there’s a really easy solution for this problem.

Pour half a cup of vinegar mixed with half cup of baking soda into the drain. Cover it with a wet cloth and leave it for a few minutes. If you have a long wire, string or not too thick cable, use it to poke the drain a bit. Once you’re done, flush the drain with hot water. If this didn’t help, you may have to try it few times, depending how clogged your drain is.

Bathroom and kitchen floor maintenance

Those tiles and reflective surfaces can really show dirt and smudges when they are not properly cleaned. In order to clean these surfaces properly, follow these steps.

First, sweep or vacuum the tiled floors daily to prevent dirt accumulating in the grout or in hard-to-access areas. Always do this before mopping or cleaning it. Next, clean the floors with a cleanser, or warm water with a few drops of vinegar. After this, dry the floors to achieve maximum brightness, and to prevent dirt from sticking right after you’ve just finished cleaning.

Pet fur removal

All pet owners know how furry everything gets when spring starts. If you have a pet in your household, you probably already have your own tricks for removal of those hairs from the furniture and clothing.

One quick fix is to dampen a cloth and stroke the surfaces covered in fur. The fur will get moist and will tangle into a hairball, making it easier to pick up. You could also use a rubber or latex glove the same way, with or without dampening it, and most of the fur will stick to it because of the static electricity created when stroking.

Unpleasant smells

There can be a lot of bad odor sources in the household. Wet towels and sheets, refrigerators, microwave ovens – the list goes on. There’s a seemingly endless sea of products to use in such occasions, but there are some less-costly tricks too.

Cut a lemon in pieces, place it in a cup of water, and heat it up in the microwave. Let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes, then easily wipe the insides of the microwave. This helps with both stain and odor removal. You can also place baking soda or medicinal charcoal by your towels and sheets to absorb the bad smells from their surroundings.

Carpet Stains

Carpet cleaning Perth experts say there are a lot of ways you can remove the stains from your carpets. It’s always best to leave this to the professionals, if the stains are too hard to remove, or if the carpet is really valuable, but you can try some of the tricks on your own.

One interesting way to clean lighter carpets is using a combination of lukewarm water, vinegar and salt. Dampen a cloth in this mix and tap it into the stain repeatedly. You can also make a mixture of 1 cup of borax, 2 cups of cornmeal and ½ a cup of baking soda. Spread this mix over the stained area to stop bad smells coming from it.

TV and Computer Monitors

When dusting and cleaning, bear in mind that TV and computer monitors are not like other surfaces. They are very sensitive and it’s not smart to clean them with microfiber or even worse – with a wet cloth.

One great tip for cleaning these sensitive surfaces is to use coffee filters. They are made of really thin and delicate materials and they are great for cleaning without leaving any scratches or markings on the surface.

General Tricks

When you have finished with all the big tasks and you have only those smaller tasks to complete, like cleaning your jewelry box or smaller appliances, these tricks might come in handy.

Let’s say you want to clean your coffee grinder. There are always those bits of coffee you just can’t get out. Just take a handful of rice grains and add it to the empty grinder. Run it through for some time, and throw away the rice once you’re finished, wipe the grinder off and there you have it – as good as new. For small tasks like jewelry untangling, use baby powder as a way to ‘grease up’ that old necklace and get it done.

This article was contributed by guest author Ian Pearson.

Image by Carl Heyerdahl,

Your college finals are almost here and you will probably have to pull several all-nighters in order to survive the semester. However, even though you might be desperate, you shouldn’t study in a poorly lit room. Designate a room for your studying sessions, but remember to let the light inside. Lighting in your study room is essential, because it can greatly affect your productivity. Productivity and the hours you are able to spend in there will depend on how tired your eyes are, and they get tired faster in weak light. Therefore, make sure to incorporate several layers of lighting so you will be able to pull off many hours of studying. Here’s what you should consider.

Embrace natural light
Moms always say you shouldn’t read in the dark, and they are right. Even though you think you see well, you don’t know how much effort your eyes are actually making in order to read what’s in front of you. If there’s not enough light, your eyes will try to sharpen the image and you will end up with eye strain and fatigue. One of the best ways to prevent this is by letting natural daylight into your study room. Rely on big windows or install a skylight if possible. Also, try and place your desk beside the windows so you receive as much light as possible. However, if you prefer studying during the night or evening, you will need some other lighting solutions.

General lighting
Besides the natural light, it is also important to have general lighting. General lighting will illuminate the entire room, and it is glare-free. For this purpose you can rely on ceiling and wall lights, as well as spotlights. When picking general lighting, you should focus on finding warm white light with a high proportion of indirect light, which will reduce the stress in your eyes. Another option is cold white light which will help improve your performance, focus and productivity while studying. However, some of these general lights might warm up the room too much during summer. If you want to combine quality illumination with some cooling, you can opt for ceiling fans with lights. These are great for illumination, and will create a much cozier environment so you can literally stay cool. Plus, the soft humming will relax you and enable you to focus on your work.

Task lighting
While general lights are great for overall atmosphere, you will need some more help if you plan on pulling all-nighters. Set up a task light on your desk or station for your projects. Task lighting will reduce glare and shadows that are caused by your computer. Use a desk lamp with adjustable lights to easily set the mood you need depending on how much you use your laptop. If you have a station for doing your projects, consider a bigger lamp, some pendant lighting fixtures, or wall-mounted lights that can hang above and illuminate your work. Just make sure to find the right angle in order to avoid those troubling shadows that hinder your productivity.

Illuminate your shelves and cabinets
Lighting in your study isn’t only beneficial for reducing eye strain. It can also set the right atmosphere for studying, which will make the whole process less painful. Add some light to your shelves and cabinets. You can even accentuate certain objects or points for a dramatic effect. Plus, by lighting up these areas, it will be easier to find your books and workbooks, and you will be less stressed when you realize the book you were looking for is not forever lost after all.

Take your mother’s advice and don’t read in a poorly lit room. A well-lit study room is important, because it can affect you in many ways. Your eyes won’t get tired as easily, you will create a relaxing atmosphere and you might even enjoy studying for your finals.

This article was contributed by guest Lana Hawkins.