Sunday, July 7, 2013

Keep Your Stuff From Getting Stolen Over Summer Break

One thing about college that we can all agree is a major downer, is the lack of privacy: privacy from our friends, our roommates and even authority figures, like our RAs. The truth is, hardly anything is private for a college student. In addition, anything remotely embarrassing or incriminating isn’t simply found and then laughed off, but most likely but online for all to see. You aren’t just protecting you and your stuff from your two roommates down the hall, but also from millions of people in the online community. So yes, you need some serious security measures. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.

Keep your valuables safe. We’ve got plenty of dorm safes, dorm trunks and laptop safes at www.secureoncampus.com. However, just having a safe doesn’t necessarily mean you’re protected. You’ll want to place it somewhere that isn’t going to tempt everyone that walks by your room. Nothing says “I dare you to try and steal me” quite like a safe sitting in plain few in an open room. Use your head. At least put it somewhere that won’t tempt the drunk idiot that got lost between the 2nd and 3rd floor and is just looking for something stupid to do.

Set an alarm. Trust us, at some point or another, no matter how much you trust your roomie, someone will try to get into your room. It’s not the first time you should be worried about though. The first time they usually just need to borrow a pencil, or take back that calculator you borrowed from the night before. It’s later that they start borrowing clothes (or stealing clothes, depending on how well you both get along) and using your computer. In the course of three very short, stress inducing months, everything you own could literally be fair game.

An alarm lets people know when they’ve reached a limit. Honestly, not everyone means to snoop; it’s just slippery slope of confusing which side of the room is your own; a “what’s mine is yours” kind of syndrome. They don’t have to know the alarm is yours; let them believe it’s the school’s alarm that goes off when you try to force a locked door. That’ll show em’.

Stay updated. Ever heard of the Law of Entropy? It’s the theory that things left unattended will eventually move in the direction of chaos. Stacks of books will eventually fall over and photos will eventually fall off of your walls and onto the floor. You can’t just leave everything and expect it to be in the same condition as when you return. So have someone you trust check in from time to time. An RA perhaps, that already has your room key anyway. This will also deter people from thinking your place is completely deserted.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Monday, July 1, 2013 Thursday, June 27, 2013 Sunday, June 23, 2013

How to Pack for a Move

Moving can be a lot more exciting than people give it credit for. A new house, a new job; whatever the reason, there are plenty of new things to look forward to! Packing up everything you own, however, is not nearly as enjoyable. We completely understand the feeling. Nonetheless, just because you hate packing doesn’t mean you should do a poor. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with more frustration when you can’t find anything you need and end up making more than one trip for stuff you really should’ve gotten rid of years ago. So here’s a few tips to making the process as painless as possible:

1.) Clean out the junk. Be stern with yourself in this part of the process. Do you really need? Have you used it within the past year? If you already have one waffle iron that you constantly use, why do you need the other two? For that once in a lifetime occasion when 50 people come over all demanding waffles at the same time? No, that doesn’t count. Toss the other two.

2.) Scrub what you have left. This is simple; you’re moving to a brand new location that has probably been scrubbed top to bottom, so why would you unpack a bunch of dusty items as soon as you take one step into the door? Trust us; it’ll be worth it to unpack clean, dust-free items in your new home. You’re going to need to clean them at some point, why not do it now when you’re scrubbing the rest of your home as well?

3.) Wrap your delicates. It might seem like a waste of time, especially if you’re just moving down the street, but it’s best to be a bit more careful when it comes to your more fragile items. If it’s truly something irreplaceable, you might want to consider not packing it at all, and letting it travel with you to your new destination.

4.) Label everything.And we mean everything. There’s nothing more frustrated than trying to find a single coffee much amidst what feels like 1,000 boxes all labeled “kitchen”. Give every box a label and a number, that way if one is missing you exactly what items are missing and what you will need to replace.

5.) Leave it to the experts. Sometimes it’s worth it to let the experts take care of the larger, more expensive or difficult to move items. That big screen television of yours might be worth the extra charge to the movers if they can guarantee safe transport. Other items, like your piano or extra large, awkward furniture should always be left to the professionals.

www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pet Proof Your Home

Our pets are our family, so we decided to do a little article highlighting their safety as well. Of course we want our homes to be a safe place for them, but that can be a bit easier said than done. It’s hard to know what’s dangerous for our animals when we aren’t even sure what they’re capable of getting into. We might think we have everything in a safe location only to be surprised by a poisoned pet and a shocking vet bill. Here are a few ways to keep your home safe for all your family members, even the ones with four legs.

1.) Choose the right plants. While many plants are beautiful, not all of them belong in a home with pets. Your cats may love your lilies, but they shouldn’t be eating them, and almost all lilies are toxic to cats. Make sure you are either very aware of what plants are in your home, or at least have them moved to a safer location to avoid any issues.

2.) Secure your toiletries. Your lotions and soaps might be safe for skin contact, but they could be incredibly harmful when ingested. Plus, it’s not likely that your pet would only eat a portion. Many pets eat these things because they have a sweet, sugary taste, meaning they might eat an entire bottle if they get ahold of it. Make sure to keep them off accessible countertops and keep cabinets closed and secure.

3.) Set boundaries. Sometimes there’s just no way for you to make a room completely pet proof. Maybe you have a woodshop with an abundant supply of electric tools, or maybe you’ve got an art room with countless paints and glues. In either case, it might be a great idea to put up a gate to keep your pets out of these rooms completely. Just be sure to install the right kind of gate; a pressure mounted gate at the top of the stairs will keep it from toppling over should your pet decide to lean up against it.

4.) Beware of wires. Pets are notorious for chewing on anything they can find, and wires make perfect chewtoys. Your pets, however, have no idea just how dangerous they can be. Besides the threat of electrocution, your furry family members might panic in a pile of cords and could even result in strangling themselves. So when you hook up your new big screen television, make sure to tuck away all the wires first. Your pets will thank you for it.

5.) Size matters. Any knick-knacks or toys that would dangerous to a baby are also dangerous to your pets for the same reason: they’re a choking hazard. Keep your floors clear of anything small enough for your pet to swallow on accident. Especially puppies, since they don’t have the jaw strength to chew up larger items.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 Thursday, June 6, 2013

3 Home Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away

There are countless times during the year when you might have to leave your home for an extended period of time. Perhaps you’re heading home to help out with a family issue, you need to head out of town for a job interview or maybe you just got lucky and happen to be going on an epic (and probably very well deserved) vacation. Regardless of the reason, if you don’t have roommates (or your roommates are also taking a leave of absence at the same time), there are a few home maintenance tasks you need to take care of before you walk out the door.

1.) Take care of perishable foods. There aren’t many worse things than arriving home after a couple weeks only to walk into a kitchen filled with rotting, diseased food. Not only will your house reek, but you’ll also be attracting various pests, such as mice, cockroaches and fruit flies. So before you take off, make sure your perishable foods are kept to a minimum. Clean out everything in the refrigerator and make sure no fresh fruit or vegetables are left out on the counter. No need to throw it all out; you can have a house-sitter take whatever they would like or have a dinner party the night before you go. On the menu: anything that won’t make it until you return home.

2.) Minimize your energy use. If you’re not going to be home there’s no point in running energy to half the things you own. Unplug everything that isn’t necessary for your home’s maintenance while you’re away. Alarm clocks, lamps, blow dryers, exercise equipment, and make sure all the lights are off in rooms you won’t be using. Even if something is switched off, there is still energy running to it until it’s unplugged. Along with cutting down on your energy bill, unplugging everything will also help prevent electrical fires in your absence.

Keep any safety lights on, however. You’ll want any motion activated lights to be up and running. If you have any alarms or security cameras of course you should keep them plugged in.

3.) Set your heat to the right temp. If you’ve taken care of the perishable food and have no plants or animals to worry about, you won’t necessarily need to worry about keeping it cool. However, if you let it cool down too much, you could be in a world of hurt. Even though the summer months are known for warmer weather, you’ll want to make sure your thermostat is set to at least 60 degrees to prevent frozen pipes of any kind. 

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Sunday, June 2, 2013 Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Condense Your Belongings

For most of us, we have some sort of room that is often devoted to just storage. And not only does that room tend to get more and more stuffed with items as time wears on, but we also avoid any opportunities to clean it out. We know what we have to do, but we just don’t want to do it.

But then we move into a new home and the thought of moving boxes of stuff we just don’t need brings us new motivation. So if you’re moving into a new home, want the use of that spare bedroom back or are simply just sick and tired at looking at a closet full of clothes you never wear, here are a few ways to get rid of the clutter:

1.) Categorize. Your first step should be to divide things into piles. Your first piles should be pretty basic and will typically fall into these five categories: Keep, Store, Sell, Donate and Trash. A good rule of thumb for keeping things it that it has to serve at least two purposes; a top that can be worn with a number of bottoms or a kitchen gadget that is constantly being used. A garlic press, for example, shouldn’t be in the “keep” section. It takes up room, has one very specific purpose, and a knife and cutting board can be used for the exact same purpose. Throw it in another pile.

One more tip: be overly cautious about what is trash. Someone you consider trash could be just what someone else is looking for. If you don’t think you can sell it at least donate it and let the people at your local shelter make the final decision.

2.) Get rid of duplicates. Chances are, you probably have more than one of one specific thing. Maybe you found three different waffle irons while going through your kitchen, or maybe you’ve come across 2 or 3 of the same movie in your collection. Either way, pick the best of all your duplicates and resort the remaining things to your Sell or Donate groups.

3.) Sell, Donate or Trash. After you’ve got the groups set up, get busy disposing of them! And if you’re like me, do it quick before you can go through them again and start changing your mind! First, drop off all the donation stuff and toss out the trash pile. That should give you a feeling of accomplishment and allow you to focus on selling what’s left. Consider if you want to sell your things online, by yard sale or even by consignment. 

4.) Organize. After you’ve gotten rid of your Donate and Trash groups and made arrangements for your Sell group, take a look at what you have left in your Keep and Store groups. Now’s the time to get organized. That fan that you found that you swear you’ll always use? Put it someone with easy access to using it! Those clothes you’ve narrowed down your closet to? Arrange them by color or by season. Getting rid of all that excess clutter won’t do you any good if whatever you have left is simply shoved in that same corner where you originally found it. 

www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com

Do you guys have any tips for condensing your stuff?

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Secret Storage Space You’re Forgetting About

Storage? For a safety blog?

One of the biggest safety concerns is whether or not you can store your stuff in a private place. If you were to ask 1,000 people that lived in a small space what their #1 wish would be, the vast majority of them would probably tell you they would like more storage. And in college, more storage becomes more important than ever. You’re slowly growing a collection of your own things, but you also probably have endless boxes of childhood knick-knacks sitting at your parents’ house as well. And let’s face it, between your nosy roommates and snooping RAs, it can be tough to find a bit of privacy in your own room. However, after you’ve already packed your closets as full as they can get an crowded every junk drawer in your home, you start looking for other options. So where’s the one place you can hide your stuff without someone else finding it?

The stairs.

Sound crazy? Probably. Of all the places in the home you’d like to keep clear of clutter, the stairway is probably priority #1. But we’re talking about a sneakier version of storage than just stacking things along your stairway. We’re talking about reinventing the idea of storage and applying it to a wasted space in your home. Read on.

1.) As individual drawers. It doesn’t take much to turn each step into a drawer, and you’ll never even notice the change. When all the drawers are closed your staircase will look exactly as before, plus it gives you the chance to do something with one of the most awkward spaces I your house.

2.) As shelves. There is no need for the sides of your stairway to be a blank wall or empty space. Adding some edges or shelves will give you space to put some of your smaller items. Just make sure the shelves and items are arranged in a uniform way to prevent the look of extra clutter.

3.) Reconfigure storage bins as stairs. Pretty much anything can work as a stairway if it gradually raises in elevation, one step at a time. So don’t limit yourself to the traditional look. Creating steps out of wooden storage crates can provide an interesting look and still get the job done.

4.) Slide-under storage units. There are plenty of storage units that come with wheels on the bottom. Simply order a couple of units measuring the same width as your staircase but varying in height and store them underneath your stairway. You’ll have all your things organized and easily accessible.

5.) Lift tops. Much like the drawer idea, turning the top of each step into a lift-able lid will also provide you with plenty of extra storage space. And no one will ever know, except for the face that the rest of your house will be incredibly less cluttered since a great deal of your belongings have been moved to their new secret storage area.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Thoughts?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

How to Confront a Bad Roommate

Ah, bad roommates. At some point in our lives, we will probably all have a bad roommate. It will either be our friend that we never imagined was so messy, the relative that has an unbelievable disregard for privacy or the stranger that moved in when we were completely desperate. Either way, every roommate cannot be perfect, so when things get to be too unlivable, it becomes necessary to confront the other person. Of course there is a right and a wrong way to do this, and the wrong way can make things much, much worse (if that’s even possible), so here are some tips to make this more of a friendly discussion than a confrontation:

1.) Pick the right place and time. Don’t bombard your roommate at 2:00 in the morning just as they walk in the door from an all-night study session during finals week. Instead, schedule a time in the future to talk about the issues. And don’t worry about keeping it all secretive; chances are your roommate knows you both need to talk too. A good idea is to schedule it for a time when the both of you can relax, like Friday night after you both get home from work. That’ll give you the chance to talk things through and then even go out for a beer afterward.

2.) Say what you need to say. There is no point in having this discussion if you just casually browse over your points. If you’re upset about something, you need to address it. Otherwise, they might not even know it’s a problem, will keep doing it, and this meeting will have been completely useless. If you need to make a list, do that; just so long as you find a way to say what you need to say.

3.) Listen. Every story has too sides. Maybe they never load the dishwasher because they have no idea how a dishwasher works. No matter how silly it may sound, you have no idea what their backstory may be. Allow them a chance to explain their behavior, and then don’t get defensive if they have a few problems with your behavior as well. You’re not perfect either, you know.

4.) Be ready to compromise. Living with another person means you aren’t always going to get your way. However, you both can meet in the middle, so be ready to give a little bit in one area in order to get a little in another.

5.) Plan something for after. Some talks are better ended when each person goes their separate way for a night (which is completely understandable) and some conversations are best ended when each roommate goes out for a beer and gets over the whole thing. Planning for something to do will give you a way out either way, you just have to choose whether or not to invite them after your talk.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 Monday, April 22, 2013 Thursday, April 18, 2013

3 Ways to Protect Your Home from Theft

Did you know roughly 1.6 million residential burglaries occur in the US every year? Of course we’re not saying that to scare you, we’re telling you that so you’ll be aware of the risks. Home theft does happen, and even if you always hope it doesn’t happen to you, the truth it is at some point in time someone will most likely look at your home as a potential target. In those cases, here the top three ways of protecting yourself and your belongings from outside intruders:

1.) Give a “lived in” feel. A “lived in” feel means it looks like someone is home at all times. Things like keeping the mail from building up on the front porch or having your neighbor park their car in your driveway when you’re gone for the weekend give the impression that someone is home. And for longer periods of time, making sure your yard is maintained and is also a simple tip to make it look like your home isn’t completely abandoned.

Another great tactic is to use light to your advantage. Motion lights outside your home are an easy way to spook anyone that might be scoping your place out. Even if you aren’t home, it still shines some light on them for other people in the area to see. In addition, set your lights and television to times that come on and off at various times. A potential burglar is much more likely to go for the dark and quite home at 9:00 at night rather than the one with lights and an active television.

2.) Protect your valuables. Leaving your laptop on the dining room table right next the front window can often be just asking for trouble. Instead, make your home appear less tempting. Purchase an entertainment cabinet with doors that close over your television when you’re done watching it and have your valuables in a well-hidden area that isn’t the cookie jar, under your mattress or the freezer. A great trick is to have an empty safe in plain view while you keep your valuables in a much more hidden safe. Thieves tend to take the safe and run, thinking they’ve already hit the jackpot, when really they’ve only gotten away with a free safe.

3.) Get to know your neighbors. By having a good relationship with the people around you, they will better be able to tell when someone isn’t right at your home. The better they know you, the better they know the people around you. They know what your friends and family all drive and they know when a strange car is lurking around your place. It can be very comforting knowing someone is looking out for your home when you have to leave town for a few days.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Forgotten Questions for Screening Potential Roommates

So it looks like you need a roommate. Maybe you like the idea of paying less in rent and utilities every month or maybe you’re just sick of making funny jokes every night and having no one around to laugh at them. Either way, you’ve started searching for a roommate. Luckily, you’ve probably found a few potentials.

However, even though you’ll probably ask them the basic questions (do you have pets, are you a smoker, etc.), there are a few additional questions you need to ask before you truly decide to live with this person.

1.) Do you use any drugs? Asking “Are you a smoker?” covers the basics, but it’s leaving out quite a bit of other things. Marijuana is technically a drug, and even if you’re cool with it, if your roommate admits to using it that means they’re going to be keeping some of it in your house. Marijuana is still very illegal in many states, which means if it’s in your house you are also at risk.

2.) Are you okay with my pet? You might be okay with their pet hamster, but will they be okay with your 16 pound cat that has a tendency for ripping lids off of cages? Just as they have to be forthcoming, you have to be forthcoming as well. Otherwise you could have some serious issues on move-in day.

live lavish

3.) Why did you leave your last residence? This question is essential. Of course you are going to do a background check with every applicant (you are, right?), so this question will not only let the explain themselves if something unsavory were to come up, but it will also prove whether they are honest or not in the first place. And don’t let them get away with a vague, “Oh I don’t know, I just had to leave.” You have every right to know the details. Plus, you need to be aware of badmouthing; this is just like a job interview, and badmouthing previous employers is never a good sign.

4.) What are your other expenses? This might sound nosy, but the question is absolutely necessary. Your rent may be quite low for the area, but if they’re paying thousands of dollars off in student loans and credit card debt, your measly $300 a month might be the one thing they plan on skimping on every month.

5.) How do you like to spend your free time? This should give you an idea of what kind of noise/activity level you’re going to be dealing with. If they say they love to cuddle up with a good book and a cup of tea on their days off, that’s much different than the roommate that says they like to “have a good time” on the weekends.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!