Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner in a Small Space

Any holiday gathering can be a challenge if you’re hosting in a small space, but Thanksgiving has got to be the biggest logistical puzzle to solve. How will you cook all that food, and once you do, where will everyone sit to eat it? Will everyone feel at home and cozy rather than cramped? Do you need more furniture? Never fear: you can throw a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner, no matter how small your living space is.

Ask For Specific Help

Ask people to bring dishes if you’d like, but tell them what kind! Otherwise, you might end up eating nothing but potatoes or pie. Plan it, and you’ll have just enough.

Don’t Hesitate to Rearrange or Remove Furniture

For a big dinner party of any kind, the table is the focus. Swap furniture around, even from room to room, to make this happen. Shove unneeded furniture against the wall, or into a bedroom just for a night to maximize space. It’s not livable, but it doesn’t have to be for a single night.

Don’t Hesitate to Rent Furniture

On the other hand, if more is what you need, go for it! Start the holiday season fresh by renting a dining set that fits your space so can stop worrying about what you’re missing.

Go Casual

You don’t have to have a sit down, formal dinner at all if you don’t want to or can’t. Guests can sit on sofas, easy chairs, and wherever they can with plates from a buffet style set up. Get cheap TV trays if you like this idea.

Keep It Simple

Unless you are truly a rival for Top Chef (and maybe even if you are), keep it simple. Choose your four best homemade dishes and stop there. Especially if one’s a turkey, that’s what a small apartment can accommodate.

Prep Ingredients and Make Things Ahead

Break down ingredients as soon as you get them home to lose excess packaging; store fruits and veggies in ziplock bags, for example. Prepare in advance any dishes that you can. Cranberry sauce is good for days, and so are most kinds of pie. Do all of your chopping, slicing, and other prep at least one day before you cook.

Draft Your Ironing Board

Need extra counter space? Set that ironing board up. It can handle hot dishes and gives you a few extra feet of cooling space.

Think Outside the Oven

Put your slow cooker to use keeping dishes warm, and heat casserole dishes in your toaster oven.

Your Kitchen, the Buffet

Even a tiny kitchen is a great place for guests to serve themselves. You never even have to take things off the stovetop to make this work.

Hide the Mess

Cleaning as you go is ideal, but often doesn’t work on Thanksgiving. To prevent your kitchen from overflowing gather all the hide dirty dishes and place them in the dishwasher. Even if they’re not dishwasher safe you can take them out and hand wash them after the festivities. None of your guests need a bath, and you don’t need your kitchen overflowing.

Thrown Together

Find yourself short one large table? Push your kitchen table, desk, coffee table, and dresser together to make one big surface. It’s okay if it’s uneven; it’s eclectic modern dining. Or place a long, flat mirror on nightstands for a long table.

Accept Less Than Perfect, and Enjoy

Remember, you are throwing this party because it’s a holiday, and because you care about your guests. It’s okay that everything isn’t perfect! Enjoy yourself and have a great time, and your guests will too.

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Decorating Hacks for Renters

A living space that feels generic and cold is no fun. How can you dress up a rented apartment and decorate without risking your security deposit? It’s easier than you think with these decorating hacks for renters.

Decorating Hacks for Renters by ignitevisibility

 

Decorate with Plants in Interesting Ways

Plants give your place a homey feel and a lively look. Add visual interest by hanging them in unusual containers, anything from painted watering cans to used food cans covered in contact paper to colored bottles. Use a variety of plants, including very small ones like air plants you can suspend without even planting them.

 

Paint Furniture Instead of Walls

You might not be able to paint a colorful accent wall, but you can certainly paint a piece of accent furniture, or lots of them, if that’s your style. You can use regular paint and a brush, or even spray paint. Just remember to clean the furniture first, and if it’s wood, sand and prime it before painting. Always clear coat your work afterwards.

 

Use Cloth Tapestry Style

If you can’t paint a wall, you can still cover it with cloth that you love for a tapestry look and a softer, more comfy feel. Either cover the wall or just use a panel for a pop of color and visual interest.

 

Add Unique Pieces of Furniture

You don’t have to break the bank to get gorgeous, interesting furniture in your place. You can rent a set you love, or just a signature piece that holds the room together. Shop estate sales and vintage stores for a few unusual pieces and accessories to give your place the look you want while keeping the rest of your things on budget.

 

Use Wallpaper, Contact Paper, and Cloth Creatively

Repurpose crates, wire baskets, and/or boxes into modular displays and bookshelves by placing them on their sides with cloth, contact paper, or wallpaper inside them and voila! You’ve got an appealing way to store things in style. You can also cover appliances, and most kinds of furniture.

 

Use Removable Hangers for Art

Command strips and velcro are your friends if you don’t want any nail holes in your wall. You may need to patch up paint spots when you move if you use them, but you won’t need spackle and putty. They’re also really versatile; you can attach them to frames to hand art and pictures or you can attach them to things like office clips and clothespins to swap out posters and photos regularly. You can also hang art from crown molding, lean it on shelves, mantles, or easels, or use decorative washi tape to affix small pieces.

 

Hang Curtains with a Tension Rod

Made to go in a shower, tension rods can also help your closet if you need an extra row of hanging space or your window if you need to cover it. Just add inexpensive tabbed curtains and you’re good to go.

 

Rented Chic

Just because your place is rented doesn’t mean it can’t look awesome. Remember these decorating hacks for renters and you can make sure your place is perfect for you without endangering your deposit.

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Space Saving Tips for Your New Apartment

No matter how small the space, it feels wonderful to live in your own home. That said, moving into that new studio apartment can be a challenge, especially once you realize just how much you need to cram into that space. Here are some great space-saving tips that don’t involve blasting into your walls or a million-dollar budget.

 

Create Separate “Rooms” with Curtains

If you’re in a one room space, you can “wall off” your sleeping space with curtains, creating some privacy with the ability to keep the room open when you want. Or as an alternative, use a bookcase to “create” that sleeping area, adding some storage along with the privacy.

 

Nightstand/Desk 2.0

Nightstands and desks take up a lot of space. Mount your nightstand on the wall and open up space underneath for a shoe caddy, a bookshelf, whatever. Mount a light over it on the wall, so you have more surface space. Are you a laptop user? You don’t need a full-sized desk; try a shelf and mounted light.

 

Double Duty Furniture

If you’re looking to save space, nothing is as useful as furniture than can pull double duty—and thanks to the tiny home trend, there’s a lot of it out there. For example, a sofa that converts into a bunk bed gives you a place to sit and entertain and a place for two people to sleep. Or, you can choose a sofa and murphy bed combo and get a larger bed. How about an ottoman that can also be a coffee table or a bed? Or maybe a coffee table that opens up into a storage cabinet and flattens into a dining table.

 

Use Wasted Space

Is there space above your doors? Put shelves there. A corner behind the door? You’ve got room for a small corner unit, or if not that, a tension rod with hanging baskets. Go up and down the walls all the way with shelves, magnetic bars for knives and kitchen tools, and other storage solutions. If you can’t drill into the walls, no problem; try command strips and other non-damaging fasteners.

 

Loft Bed

By choosing a loft bed, you can use the same square feet for sleeping and creating a study or work space. In this case, you’re not getting furniture that does double duty, but instead furniture that lets the space do twice as much based on its configuration. Perfect for a small room!

 

Hang Things From the Ceiling

In the kitchen, you can hang pots and pans with a hanging pot rack; add hooks to suspend utensils, too. In the bathroom, you can suspend storage baskets. In your office or study space, you can hang organizing trays.

 

Organize Under Your Bed

Even if you don’t have a loft bed, you can make that space under your bed work for you. Keep it organized with plastic totes, baskets, or crates, on casters if it’s a big enough bed to make things tough to move when they’re way in the back.

 

Saving Space in Style

Sometimes the best way to save space is to keep it simple. Instead of culling together odds and ends yourself or trying to make your older furniture work, you can rent furniture sets made to fit into certain spaces, including studio apartments and other tight spaces. Reach out to the pros at Fashion Furniture to find out how much space you can save with a coordinated set of furniture for your space.

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Essential Items for Your New Home

When you’ve made the move into your first home or apartment, and you’re ready to get comfortable and nest a little, you’ll probably remember to get the major items like a bed or a sofa. But where do you start with the rest of it? There are so many little things that might not come to mind immediately. This checklist of essential items for your new home will get you started and settled easily.

 

Keys and Locks

First thing’s first: change or re-key your locks. Family, friends, neighbors, and who knows who else probably had copies of the keys thanks to the previous owners, so change them right away. Deadbolts cost more but are undeniably safer.

 

Kitchen

The kitchen is typically the nerve center of the house, so don’t neglect it. You’ll need a table and chairs, dishes, cutlery, glasses, and cups. Cookware and other tools including saucepans, a frying pan, a baking dish, potholders, a spatula, a ladle, a colander, serving bowls, a cutting board, a set of knives, a vegetable peeler, and salt and pepper shakers. Assuming the larger appliances are already in place, you may still need a blender, a toaster, and a microwave oven. And don’t forget the garbage can, sponges, dish towels, dish soap, cleaning supplies, and a fire extinguisher. If you need to get your hands on a complete set of housewares fast, you can rent them in sets.

 

Bedroom

The bedroom is probably the room you’ll want to set up first. There you’ll need a bed and pillows, and linens including sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and a comforter or bedspread. You’ll also want a nightstand, a lamp, and possibly a mirror. For your clothes, you’ll need hangers, a hamper, and a chest of drawers. Remember to keep your bedroom private with blinds or curtains.

 

Bathrooms

Most of the key elements of your bathroom will already be there, but you’ll still need to bring a shower curtain and rings, a bath mat, a rug for the floor, a waste basket, plenty of towels and a rack for hanging them. Don’t forget to purchase cleaning supplies, and possibly first aid supplies (they need to go somewhere, and the bathroom is the logical choice in most homes).

 

Living Room

In the main gathering area your first priority is ample seating for everyone, so you’ll need a sofa, chairs, love seats, and coffee and side tables to go with them. You’ll also need lighting, possibly stands for a television or other electronics, and blinds or curtains for the windows. Finish the room with throw rugs, decorative pillows and wall hangings.

 

Laundry and Utility Room

Hopefully, your home already has a washer and dryer, but if not, your laundry room won’t be functional without them. Other essentials include a hamper, detergent, fabric softener, bleach, an ironing board, and any other laundry supplies you need. This room is also a good place to keep basic tools and supplies including a hammer, nails, hooks and other hardware, flat head and Phillips screwdrivers, pliers, a tape measure, a broom and dustpan, extra light bulbs, duct tape, batteries, a flashlight, and candles.

 

Outdoors

Outside you’ll need at least one garden hose, and possibly sprinklers or sprayer head attachments. Depending on what your yard is like, you may also need a lawnmower, a weed-whacker, a rake, a hoe, a watering can, a trowel, a push broom, a wheelbarrow, and a shovel for working on projects and cleaning up. If you plan on entertaining in your outdoor space, you’ll also want lawn chairs, a barbecue grill (even just a small charcoal grill is a great place to start), and patio furniture with an umbrella.

 

Keeping it Together

The simple act of moving is itself very stressful. No wonder it’s so easy to forget about so many different details! Fortunately, there are ways to make the process easier. It’s possible to rent a complete home package that’s both stylish and thoroughly planned, down to the last detail. Contact Fashion Furniture for more information about making your transition into your new home easier and less stressful.

Eco-Friendly Moving Tips

By making a few basic changes and planning ahead, you can make your upcoming move green and eco-friendly.

Eco-Friendly Moving Tips

Recycle

Before you pack, recycle, sell, donate, or throw away everything you don’t need. You’ll use less packing material and save money on your move.

 

Pack in your containers

Before you opt for boxes, pack in your own containers:

  • Suitcases
  • Laundry baskets
  • Keep drawers full

 

Green boxes

  • Buy only as many boxes as you need; plan ahead by taking an inventory of your things.
  • Move in shifts so you can reuse boxes.
  • Look behind retailers, shopping malls, office supply stores, and grocery stores for boxes to reuse.
  • In some cities you can also rent plastic bins instead of using cardboard boxes.
  • Check out https://www.usedcardboardboxes.com/ which takes rejected boxes with slight flaws like errors in logos and sells them for use in moving.

 

Eco-friendly packing materials

There are many ways to ensure your packing materials are more eco-friendly:

  • Recycle used magazines and newspaper instead of buying packing paper
  • Use blankets and towels instead of bubble wrap
  • Use biodegradable packing materials if you need to buy them

 

Green trucks

  • Some moving companies use biodiesel fuel
  • You can often share a truck with another mover to save fuel

 

Green cleaning products

Cleaning is part of moving, so use green, eco-friendly cleaning products:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Ammonia

 

Recycle materials after the move

When you’ve unpacked, recycle your boxes or reuse them:

  • You can post an ad on Craigslist offering free moving boxes
  • You can bring your boxes to a recycling center
  • You can donate boxes to charities like Goodwill

 

Rent or buy gently used furniture

Renting furniture or buying it used is the most eco-friendly way to furnish your new home, because it upcycles materials that already exist, creates less waste, and prevents the demand for additional raw materials like wood and foam.

It’s easy to reduce your carbon footprint as you move if you follow these eco-friendly moving tips. Enjoy your greener move!

 

 

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How to Create the Ultimate Study Zone

It’s back to school time once again, and that means it’s time to hit the books and make time for studying. Creating the ultimate study zone will help you reach maximum productivity and stay accountable all year long. You don’t need a huge space to make your optimal study zone work. All you need are some creativity, the right tools, and some inspiration.

 

Dedicate a space

Finding the ideal study spot means knowing what you’re working with and understanding your personal learning style. Whether it’s your dorm, your parents’ house, or your apartment, these two factors will control what works best for you. If you get distracted easily, a common area of the house isn’t a good choice; look for a quiet space without too much coming and going.

 

Minimize distractions

Close Facebook and Snapchat. Give your phone a rest. Think how much fun you’ll have when you meet up again! And don’t try to build your study haven right next to the television or stereo. Use headphones or a white noise generator if you need to, but prepare yourself in advance by eliminating distractions from the start.

 

Get the right furniture

Find a good table or desk, and an ergonomic chair. You’ll be spending a lot of time there, so consider renting nicer models if you can’t afford what you need to be comfortable, yet focused and alert. Your table or desk should rest between your ribcage and waist as you sit at it. You should be able to rest both feet flat on the ground, and both elbows on the work surface, without hunching your back or straining your neck.

 

Create a schedule

At the beginning of the semester, create a study schedule and calendar all of your class times, study sessions, pop quizzes, test dates, and other important dates. Your schedule will help you stay on task and accountable. Make sure your friends, roommates, parents, and everyone else knows that you’re not available during your study hours.

 

Good lighting

If your study area is too dark, it’s too easy to fall asleep, it can hurt your eyes, give you a headache, and otherwise stunt your studying. Avoid harsh lighting, including fluorescent light, and opt for warmer lights instead.

 

 

Gather your supplies

Keep everything you might need right there in your space so you don’t waste time looking for things each time you need to study. Include something to write with, your laptop charger, a USB flash drive, and a highlighter if you’re using a hard copy text—but not your phone.

 

Go digital as needed

Especially if you’re sharing space in a dorm or apartment, it may not always be the ultimate study zone. Don’t worry about it. Take your study session digital, and know where you’ll go in advance by doing reconnaissance. Whether you choose the library or the park, find your spot and head there with a laptop in a bag, a notebook and pen, and headphones.

 

The perfect space

Creating the ultimate study zone will ensure you are ready and able to do the work school throws at you week after week, all semester long. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Fashion Furniture Rental to see what ergonomic, stylish options are out there. From there, all you need to do is nail down your top choice for uninterrupted concentration!

 

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Tips to Save Money on Moving

So, you’re moving! You found a great new place, and now you’re trying to get from point A to point B—along with everything you own. Moving can be a potential money suck, but it’s a lot less stressful when your budget is low and you’re having no trouble sticking to it. Here are our best tips to save money on moving, so you can stick to worrying about what color to paint the bathroom in your amazing new home instead of your budget.

 

Pack everything yourself

 

  • Find free moving boxes in unusual places, like the grocery store and other retail places and around the office.
  • Use magazines and newspapers instead of bubble wrap and packing peanuts—just watch out for ink!

 

Purge your stuff

 

  • Donate old clothes that don’t fit, excess canned goods to charity, and claim a tax deduction.
  • Have a yard sale and make a few dollars on things you don’t use as much or need anymore.
  • Measure carefully; don’t move anything that won’t fit.

 

Review your utilities

 

  • Make sure you’re getting the best deal in your new place.
  • Buy a digital services bundle.
  • Opt for a peak hour energy plan.

 

Choose the right movers

 

  • Compare moving companies, and select reputable but affordable movers.
  • Rent the truck yourself.
  • Ask for a fixed price.
  • Move during the week, not over a weekend, and during the middle of the month. Look for cancellations if you’re flexible.
  • Watch for hidden fees.
  • Bring your own blankets for packing.
  • Don’t burn the time of the movers waiting for you to uninstall wall fixtures and things like that; be ready or come back and do those things later, if possible.

 

Lower move in costs

 

  • Revise your list of things you need in the new house based on what you truly need, not just things you want.
  • Rent furniture instead of buying to keep that list affordable.
  • Choose your shut-off dates wisely; don’t pay for extra time.
  • Sell boxes after you’re done with them.

 

Evaluate appliances carefully

 

  • Consider the age, color, size, and performance of your appliances before you move them.
  • Calculate the cost of moving them based on your moving rates and their size and weight; make sure it’s worth it.

 

Track your expenses

 

  • Keep a record of any money you spend that might be considered a home improvement expense so you can claim it as a deduction.
  • The same is true of charitable donations.
  • See if your homeowners’ insurance covers any expenses.

 

Insurance

  • Find out what moving perks you might have from your homeowners’ insurance, and make sure it applies to your new location
  • If it doesn’t, make sure your new coverage will be in place in time for seamless coverage.

 

Original packaging

  • If you kept the packaging for your computer equipment, stereo components, speakers, or other electronics, use it to protect your things during the move.
  • Sometimes you can find close proxies for your original packaging behind big box electronics stores.

 

Storage

  • If you need to find storage for some of your things, shop for deals in advance.
  • Look for moving/storage deals and combos.
  • Ask your real estate agent about deals and combos if you have one.
  • Check the paper and online for coupons.

 

Advance prep

  • If possible, get the new house ready before the move.
  • Paint the walls, make small repairs, lay shelf paper, and otherwise be ready before your stuff gets there so movers will waste less time (and money) on moving day.

 

Hit the dollar store

  • Stock up on your cleaning supplies for the move.
  • Look for basic items like sponges, brooms, blankets, and rags you might need in the move.

 

Ask for help

  • If you have friends and family who can help, ask!
  • Friends and family might be able to save you time packing, or watch your kids or pets during the move to save time and money.
  • If someone in your inner circle is handy, you might have a great resource you can tap into for making small repairs in both the new house and the old place instead of hiring a handyman.

 

Final thoughts

We hope some of these tips for saving money on moving are helpful to you. At Fashion, we’ve seen many customers through the moving process over the years, and we love it when we can help make the whole event easier! Reach out anytime with questions about saving money and getting a beautiful new look by renting furniture in your new home.

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Tips for Moving with Pets

If you think moving is stressful for humans, imagine what it’s like for pets. At least you know what’s happening and where you’re going! For pets, it just feels like a crisis.

Whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, there are some great ways to make that move easier on your pet—not to mention your movers and yourself. Here are some of our best tips for moving with pets.

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Tips for Keeping Your Rental Furniture Clean

If you’ve rented a great looking piece of furniture, you’ve probably made that decision in part to save money; that’s why you didn’t buy it outright. However, if you don’t take care of that furniture, you can find yourself keeping it anyway—and not in the wonderful condition you got it! Keeping your rental furniture looking amazing has to be a high priority, and with a little care, you can easily make it happen.. Here are our best tips for keeping your rental furniture in tip-top shape.

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Moving Facts and Statistics

Check out these facts and figures about moving [Infographic]

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