Apps Every Apartment Renter Needs

Just about anything can be done on our mobile devices these days. Technology is one of the most powerful tools we have, and if you know where to look, you can find just about anything. As an apartment renter, we highly recommend utilizing apps.

Listed below is an outline of the most useful renter apps that will help you with keep budgets and finances organized, find properties, and allow you to apply for new leases.

Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a free app for iOS and Android. This social networking app is used only for people in your neighborhood. It allows you to get to know who is living around you, pets that are missing, local events, items listed for sale, and upcoming meetings. Get to know your neighborhood quicker with the Nextdoor app.

Zumper

Zumper is another excellent app. You can access a snapshot of exactly where you want to live and navigate nearby landmarks. There is an option to filter your exact rental needs such as weather, parks, stores, food, and culture.

When you download the Zumper app, there is a feature on it to submit rental applications without going through the hassle of calling property managers.

Sortly

Once you have found your rental apartment, Sortly is the app to use for your moving process. The app allows you to create a packing list and inventory to keep you organized. One of the best features on Sortly is you can upload to premium for only $4.99/month and sync your items and documents with your family.

Canary

The easiest home security app out today is Canary. This app is a security camera that lets renters stream live video from their apartment remotely. The camera can detect all movement and will notify you via the Canary app.

This app is a must for those who are looking for good security without paying for an expensive alarm system. The best part about Canary is it makes it possible to take your security camera anywhere with you.

Padmapper

Padmapper is another apartment hunting app. It is available on both iOS and Android and is free of cost. You can use this app to make your apartment hunt experience more fun and relevant to you. Beneficial features such as the search filter, favorite properties, and checklist feature will make the apartment process simple.

If you need help finding the right apartment with spacious floor plans, balcony space, a gym, heated pool, and more explore our website or give us a call (806) 793-3434.

Study Tips for College Students

Creating good study habits in college can be a challenge, but we are here to help give you study tips that make your life easier and keep your grades up.

As a college student, you are expected to make school your number one priority. Tests will get harder and make up a more substantial portion of your overall grade in each class, so it is important to set more time aside to study.

If you want to be more successful and not overwhelmed with your workload, keep reading to find what study tips you can do.

Set A Study Schedule

The first and foremost study tip we recommend is making a schedule and sticking to it. Maintaining proper time management skills is key to your success in college. There can be many distractions with your social life, but you must stay grounded and be strict with yourself.

As overwhelming as you may think your schedule is, there is time to study. After you receive your class schedule, set specific times between or after classes for studying.  

Find Your Study Environment

The campus library is the most common study environment for college students, but it may not be the same for you. Find a quiet place you can concentrate at with few distractions. This will allow your brain to know you are there with a purpose and get your work done.

Studies have shown that using noise-canceling headphones can help significantly. If you are someone that enjoys listening to music while studying, find a coffee shop or cafe.

Utilize Campus Tutoring

Almost every campus should offer campus tutoring or study groups. These tools are there to help you succeed and achieve your goals. You can find more information on the campus website or by asking your academic advisor.

If you feel you are getting behind in a class and are struggling with grasping some of the class material, find a tutor who can assist you.

Finding friends in your classes can also help your studying. You can make study groups, study outlines, and help each other through hard times.

Take Breaks

This tip is essential to your mental health. Studies show that our brain is most productive in the first hour of studying. You must remember to study in bursts and don’t cram. When you cram your studying, you are over exerting your brain and just making yourself more fatigue.

If you plan to study for two hours every day, take at least a 30-minute break in-between each hour. You can go outside and get some fresh air, eat a snack, take your dog for a walk, etc.

Sleep

You may not realize this, but your sleep affects everything you do. Developing good sleeping habits will make you sharper and will decrease your stress levels.

If you are not getting the proper amount of sleep each night, then your brain will become more fatigued, and you will no longer be able to retain information. It is expected to feel overwhelmed in college, but when you get rest, you will see your stress levels go down.

If you need help finding the right apartment to start your day, to study in, or provide a get away from school explore our website or give us a call (806) 793-3434.

Tips for Living with Roommates

Many benefits come with having a roommate. Whether you are still in college or working, you will have a much better living experience at Portofino if you follow these basic tips for living with roommates.

Set Basic Rules

The very first thing you should do when you have a roommate is to establish basic rules. Some things you may want to consider is how you are going to divide up bills, who’s in charge of paying what, guest policies, cleaning policies, and more. Below are some rules you can follow to get started.   

Ask Before You Borrow

In other words, don’t go snooping through your roommate’s closet without permission. Even if your roommate is your best friend, you should always be considerate of their personal belongings and ask before using.

Clean up After Yourself

You’ve only heard this from your mom countless times, “Always remember to clean up after yourself.” No one wants to pick up someone else’s mess. If you eat or cook a meal, clean it up as soon as you’re done.  

Be Considerate

Remember to be mindful of your roommates sleeping schedule. If you know your roommate has a big day tomorrow, don’t stay up all night partying with friends or blaring the TV.    

Pet Policy

If you have a pet, it is your responsibility. Not your roommates. Do not depend on them to feed or walk your dog. If your roommate is willing to help take care of your pet that’s fine but that does not make it their responsibility.   

Safety and Privacy

Remember that your safety is also your roommate’s safety. Make it a habit to lock all the doors before leaving, make sure the oven and stove are off, and to turn off lights that are not being used.   

Honesty is the Best Policy

When in doubt, talk it out. If an issue arises, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Communication is vital in any relationship, and you want to make sure you’re an honest communicator.  

Follow the Golden Rule

“Treat your Roommate as you would want them to Treat You.” Treat your roommate and their things with the respect you would want from them.   

Have Fun

Last but not least, have fun! Whether you are in college, graduated, or working remember to have fun with your roommate. You can watch movies together, play games, bake, and much more.   

If you need help finding the right apartment for you and your roommate(s), explore our website or give us a call (806) 793-3434.

2019 Wellness Trends

2019 is the year of making healthy choices, working out and creating a solid skincare routine. The year is still new, and it is not too late to jump in and try out some of the wellness trends that are surfacing this year. Straying from the regular routine is beneficial if that means you are making better steps of improving your health and wellness.  

Making mental health a priority

Today, possibilities are endless, and there is no limit to what you can do to help yourself. Having good mental health is something that you should not push to the side. Take time for yourself, practice your craft, take a yoga class, go out and experience nature, or relax and take it easy. Do not let the stress of your day take over too much thought, make time for you. Maintain relationships and talk to your loved ones, keep them in the loop on everything that is going on, and you should start seeing a change in your overall self.   

Meal prepping

You might have heard about this trend for the last little bit, but it is starting to become big, and you will want to jump on it. Meal prepping is perfect for people living in apartments because it saves you from having to clean up after cooking dinner every night while being time efficient. Sundays are the best time for gathering ingredients and making your favorite meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The internet has many recipes out there that will help you get started on your meal prepping. You can make overnight oats for breakfast and make a spinach salad with chicken for lunch. You will be ecstatic at how much extra time you’ll have during the week if you stick to your Sunday meal prepping schedule.  

Turn your phone off

These days, technology is practically everywhere, you cannot get away from it. However, even just turning off your phone could be a way of destressing from your day. We are on our phones more and more these days, and the time we spend doing that could be spent doing other things. Getting away from a hard day’s work, relationships and just life, in general, can make you breathe easier and focus more on yourself.

Taking care of yourself

Life gets busy, things get hectic, but you cannot neglect to fuel your body and give it what it needs. A well-balanced body comes from a well-balanced life. Getting enough rest and actually setting aside time to eat a balanced breakfast, and maybe even the dreadful task of making your bed in the morning. These things will set you up for success and put you on your way of being a better and healthier you further beyond 2019.

Minimalism 101

Describing someone as being a minimalist does not mean that they live in a tiny house, or only use a bike for transportation, being a minimalist can mean many different things to different people. Minimalism can be a fearful thing for some, and a sense of freedom for another. It is all about finding that balance on what makes you feel less stressed or overwhelmed. Let’s try to find common ground for a healthy version of this lifestyle.

Finding out what frees you

Minimalism can be a suitable lifestyle for many reasons, the main one being that it is freeing. There is something special about finding what frees you; whether that is downsizing your closet clutter or trying to minimize your carbon footprint. Don’t get me wrong, owning personal possessions is not a bad thing, sometimes people may need certain things that others do not, however, it makes any person feel freer getting rid of things that they may not need anymore. Freeing yourself from your possessions could make more time for your health, exercise, proper food intake or just making more time for yourself.  

Putting minimalism into practice  

Once you have made the choice of channeling your focus more on life itself rather than the things that you own, you will start seeing a change within yourself – and a good change at that. Everyone wants to be a happier version of themselves, and there are always things that can be done to better our emotional selves. This step is where you decide what is essential and what is not, so you can make more room for traveling with friends or enjoying nature.  

Once you’re ready, minimalism can help you:

  • Bring out your creative side  
  • Take back your time.
  • Live in the moment.  
  • Grow more as a person

A little goes a long way, literally

If you have been pondering about making some of these changes for a while, or this advice is new to you, you should know that this lifestyle change cannot happen overnight. Do not exhaust yourself by trying to make large steps of changing your way of life. Just by taking small steps by doing things that make you feel free, can benefit you in more ways than one. Overall, it is just about putting more of your focus toward life experiences instead of consumption of unnecessary things.

Try to figure out what works well for you and run with it. Take that chance at finding a lifetime of happiness and freedom.

Getting Your Closet Ready For Spring

Spring brings many new things, like rain and green grass, it can even bring a new wardrobe and an organized closet. However, before any of these things can happen, you should go through and filter through your winter sweaters and jackets so you can make room for your warmer clothes that have been in hiding for almost a year.  

Tossing out the excess

Whatever you have not worn in a while or things that you don’t even remember why you bought, need to either be sold or donated. Think of this as a positive thing; someone might like that sweater you bought on sale a few months ago that still have the tags on it. Doing away with at least a few items will be beneficial to you when next season rolls around when you have to do the same thing again.  

Getting rid of the bulk

Fall and winter clothes take up a significant amount of space in your closet, so much so that you can hardly see all the other clothes you have. Storing these bulky items in bins that can store under your bed, or your coat closet will give you much more room for other things. Since Lubbock weather is unpredictable, you probably shouldn’t store away all your jackets and sweaters yet but keeping a select few readily available would be a good idea.  

Parting with your boots, at least for a little while

Another thing that takes up an absurd amount of room in your closet is your winter boots, booties, and your Uggs. It’s about time to put them into hibernation until you need them again next fall. There is a way to store them smartly though. You can start by stuffing your taller boots with newspaper or boot forms to keep them in shape, then laying them down flat in a container. Then the rest can just fit in the open areas.  

Organization is key

Once you have your things stored and put away, you can now organize your clothes into categories. Doing this is helpful when you need an outfit for work, going out with friends or just going to the store; having clothes organized by type will allow you to find what you need quickly and efficiently. If you’re like me, you can even arrange the categories further and separate them by color. That last suggestion is optional; the organization mainly depends on the individual and whatever works best for them.

Spring is a beautiful time, personally my favorite season, and is also a perfect time to make these small adjustments within your closet. Parting ways with a few pieces and storing your bulky items away can make you and your wardrobe much happier.

Getting The Most Space Out Of Your Kitchen Cabinets

Keeping your kitchen cabinets organized is not an easy task for most everyone. Putting things back where they belong and being efficient with cabinet space is almost impossible. If this describes you, then these helpful tips on making the most out of your cabinets will give you the confidence in knowing where everything is in your kitchen. So, let’s get organized!  

Step One: Declutter  

You know your kitchen better than anyone, so you know what you use and what you don’t. If you do not see a future need for a certain thing, then the best thing you can do is to part with it. Some of the things that you decide that you don’t need anymore can either be donated or thrown away. I would make rounds to every cabinet and take out everything and sift through it. You will be surprised at the amounts of stuff you do not use!  

Step Two: Space saver tools  

Many things can be added to the inside of your cabinets to provide you with more room on the bottom to store larger items. Durable hooks are not just for hanging wall décor; they can be stuck on the inside of your cabinets to hold your measuring cups and spoons.  

Another thing that can be useful to you is getting a wire rack to store cookie sheets and cooling racks. When these trays on top of each other, it makes it hard to find what you need.  

These days people invent all kinds of different things that people can use to their advantage in the kitchen. There is even now a pan organizer; this helps you find the right size pan you need, without having to remove all the other containers on top to get to it.  

Everyone knows that organizing Tupperware can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t always have to be. Something simple that you can do is purchase a wall mount file holder to place your Tupperware lids in to save you that headache of not being able to find the lid to something.  

Step Three: Labeling and storing  

The last step in the equation for having more organized cabinets is finding jars and containers and labeling them so you can know which item you’ll need for your next cooking project. I would start by getting a few larger jars for things like flour, sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar, and things like baking soda and baking powder.  

As for storing dishes and cups, you can find wire plate racks and regular wire racks on Amazon. These will help separate your cups from your plates, and that way you wouldn’t have to stack plates or cups on top of each other.

Step Four: Admire your work

Congratulations! You finished your kitchen cabinet transformation! Now the inside of your cabinets will not be an eyesore to look at anymore. After making these small adjustments and tweaks, you and your guests will be able to find the things that were once disguised under a mountain of clutter now with ease.

Best Places To Find Affordable Artwork For Any Style

Whether you’re wanting a different aesthetic or just moved into your apartment, finding affordable art that’s also pleasing to the eye could be a challenge. Art completes a space; it puts life into a room.  

Picture walking into your friend’s apartment and seeing absolutely nothing hanging on the walls other than a TV, how uninteresting. This guide will be good use to you no matter if you’re shopping online or at a physical store.   

Shopping for affordable art locally

Most people in Lubbock tend to do most of their shopping online, but do not let that discourage you from looking around town. You can find most of what you are looking for! Just recently, this town has added the holy grail of all home décor shopping: HomeGoods. I would start here. HomeGoods is one of my favorite places to look for home design pieces and affordable art. What’s great about this specific retailer is that they have many different styles of art to buy, whether you’re into pictures of flowers or photo pictures with inspirational quotes to add to your gallery wall, they have it all and more.  

Another place that has a wider variety of art to look through is At Home. At Home has more generic staple pieces and necessities for space. Their artwork is usually at a grander scale and can be placed on a large wall. Do not go there if you are in a hurry and need something fast, because just sifting through their artwork could take some time. Both Homegoods and At Home are practical in both convenience and cost, and you will be sure to find something that will impress all your friends.  

Shopping for affordable art online

If shipping costs aren’t an issue, then buying online for art could be a fun, but tedious task. Depending on what style of art you are looking for, some websites can be pricey, especially places like Etsy where artists are selling their work. I would stay away from websites like that due to high prices and long wait times. Some places that I would investigate for buying affordable art would be well-known and trusted retailers or sites.

If you have a more of an eclectic style, then Tiny Showcase would be a fun place to look for quirky pieces. A good thing about them is that they have deals every Tuesday. Tiny Showcase releases limited-edition art to the market and lets the buyer choose which charity they want to give a percentage of their purchase to at checkout. After browsing their website, they have more than just artwork; they have stationary and posters as well. Most of their artwork is cheap and is in categories by year. Tiny Showcase’s goal is to make you feel good about buying art.

A website with a copious amount of art to choose from is Wayfair. This website offers all types of pieces no matter your style, they have anything from abstract, to a farmhouse, to coastal. On top of that, Wayfair even has color categories to narrow your search further. You will be able to find most of anything that you are looking for just by going to Wayfair.  

Embracing A Green Thumb While Living In An Apartment

Living in an apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t have plants or flowers; you must know how to take care of them while putting them in places that fit their needs. This guide will help you keep your plant friend’s alive, whether you’re low or high maintenance.

How much are you willing to take care of your plants?

How busy are you? Plants usually do not require maximum effort, nor do they take much time to grow. However, if you put in a little love for them, they will grow and make your apartment happy and inviting.  

Succulents, flowers, or both?

First, it is good to do some research on plants to know which are easy and which are difficult to kill. That way if you’re a beginner, you will be able to keep your plants alive while knowing how to care for them. If being a beginner describes you, then you should start with something easy, like a succulent or a type of cactus.  

If you are not a beginner and would like a more challenging gardening project, then I would tackle a miniature rose plant or a moth orchid.

Find a plant that shares your personality and matches the maintenance you are willing to give it.

Choosing the correct pot for your plant

Depending on which plants you choose, finding the right pot for your plant is vital in the health of it. If you want to go the easy route, succulents do not need a container that has holes at the bottom for draining, since these plants tend to prefer holding moisture. If you prefer a plant that produces flowers, a pot that has holes for draining is necessary. If you are worried about the potential mess, then you could make sure you don’t overwater it or put something underneath to keep dirt off the floor.  

You can find most pots or things that could be a substitute for a plant holder at most stores. For any plants that don’t require much water can be potted in practically anything, get creative!

Keeping up with your plants  

After going through all the hard stuff like research and finding the right pot, you always need to remember to water and take care of it properly. That might not be the case for a cactus or succulent, because those only need water about once a month, but for a plant that needs frequent watering, make sure to only water it when it needs it! Observe its habits and if it needs to be in the shade or the sun, act accordingly. Sometimes the plant can grow so large that it overgrows its pot, so if that happens, be sure to move it to a bigger home.

Growing plants in your apartment are no challenge, but by putting in some extra time and commitment, you can get just what you want out of embracing your green thumb.

Once you get into a rhythm, your plants will be sure to thank you by sprouting flowers, growing leaves and becoming too big for its pot.

Hosting A Galentine’s Party For You And Your Girls

For some, Valentine’s Day is a day full of spending time with that special someone and showing others how much you care. For others, Valentine’s Day could be a drag; it could be uneventful or just downright brutal. This year, maybe you could celebrate this holiday a little bit differently, by hosting your very own Galentine’s Day party for you and your girls. This short guide will be sure to offer the best pointers and tips for an active party.  

Tip #1: Sprucing up your apartment

When most people think of Valentine’s Day, they think of candy. So why not decorate with it?

Getting a bag of Valentine’s Day colored M&Ms or heart sprinkles to decorate clear vases with will be sure to excite your guests and get them into the Galentine’s Day spirit. You can start by getting a clear vase and putting a candle inside and filling it halfway with M&Ms, or your favorite colored Valentine’s Day candy.  

Another thing that is a must is a themed banner wall. Having this will encourage everyone to take pictures, and it is great for the aesthetic. If you have never made one before, start by getting red, pink, and white paper streamers and placing them one after the other on a blank wall. At the top of the streamers, you should put a banner with a fun slogan. It could either be, “Galentine’s Day,” or “XOXOXO.” You can find these at many local retailers like Walmart, Target, or Party City.

Tip #2: Sweet treats and drinks

You cannot have a Galentine’s Day party without sweets. They are essential.  

Anything from chocolate covered strawberries, extra fudgy brownies or red velvet cookies, will be sure to go well with any wine spritzer. Do not be afraid to get creative with this. You can use pretty, pink frosting and don’t forget to go crazy with the heart sprinkles!  

It would not be a proper Galentine’s Day party without wine. Having a designated place for a wine bar with different kinds of wine would be a fun way to cater to your guests. Not everyone likes red or white, but by having a few different blends available will make a great impression.

Tip #3: Give them something to take home  

This is almost the same as getting party favors when you were a child, but different, more adult.  

As the hostess, you could give various things as a memento of the fun night you and your squad had, like mini champagne bottles, Sugarfina mini gummy bears, or pink bath bombs. The more personal you make it, the more meaningful it will be. This part of the puzzle is essential since this holiday is about showing others how much you love them, and what better people to do that with than your favorite girls.