21
May 18

Would You Ever "Rent Blindly?" I Have—4 Times!

In the past seven years, my family and I have been through seven moves. That may seem like a lot, but as a former military spouse and sailor, I can tell you it’s normal for families like mine. You don’t just move—you move quickly: You only get 10 days after you transfer to a new duty station to find a house and move into it. Yeesh!

Most of the time, families spend those first days in a hotel (which, thankfully, the military pays for), but I was rarely interested in this option. For me, finding a home before I moved has always been my number one priority. So I always tried to sign a lease before I even arrived. Yes, I’ve “rented blind.” Four times, in fact.

I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds. Yes, it is can be stressful at times, but I’ve found it’s been a huge advantage (and completely worth it) to have a permanent address when I arrived to my new city.

As any realtor might tell you, this isn’t recommended, but, in certain situations, it’s the best option. While you might not be in the military, you could be relocating for a new job or starting school and need to secure a place to live before you get there. I can say with confidence that if you stay focused and optimistic, you’ll always end up right where you need to be.

Here are some of the best tips that have helped me successfully “rent blind”:

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21
May 18

Here's Why You Should Never, Ever Leave a Plastic Water Bottle in Your Car

If you’re guilty of leaving water bottles in your car, whether it be clutter or a backup source of hydration, then it’s time to quit the habit. Firefighters are warning drivers about the hazard that clear water bottles pose.

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21
May 18

A D.C. Home Inspired by Family, Photography and Frida Kahlo — House Tour

Name: Gina Martin
Location: Washington, D.C.
Size: 870 square feet
Years lived in: 16 years, owned

Gina knows exactly where everything is in her 870 square foot Washington, D.C. condo. She’s impeccably organized, and fiercely loves every item in her space. She’s custom designed this home to house all her treasures.

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21
May 18

The Steel Magnolias House is a Bed and Breakfast—And You Can Stay There

Clairee, Ouiser, M’Lynn, Annelle, Shelby. If these are names of women who are as dear to your heart as any real-life girlfriends, then pack your bags for a trip to the real-life Chinquapin Parish—known to locals as Natchitoches, Louisiana. Where the Eatenton home from Steel Magnolias is now an actual bed and breakfast, with bookings available.

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21
May 18

7 Big IKEA Home Hacks That Make Huge Wall Statements

Some IKEA hacks are small. A little paint here, some new hardware there—they get the job done. And then there are the IKEA hacks that are so big and so dramatic, they make the room. If you have a wall to fill, or a problem to solve, check out some of these genius solutions.

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20
May 18

A First-Time Homeowner Aims for "Minimalist Hygge" — House Call

Name: Lauren White
Location: Sacramento, California
Size: 1,100 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months, owned

This is the first home I’ve ever owned. I’m single, and have a full-time job as well as owning my own photography business, so when looking for a home to purchase, I wanted something that was new and wouldn’t require any flipping or renovation. I found this new development with the perfect 1,100 square foot condo for me!

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20
May 18

The Quote That Finally Changed My Mind on Minimalism

I’ve always had sort of a personal gripe with the minimalist movement. It’s a complicated cluster of feelings, but I can boil down my difficulty with minimalism into three words: I like stuff.

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20
May 18

A Brief But Fascinating History of the Refrigerator

Once my friend Chad came to see me. Upon entering the house, the first thing he did was go to the refrigerator, open the door, and stick his head inside to check out the contents. “I want to see how you live,” he said. This may not be the accepted protocol for visiting a friend in their home, but I think Chad was on to something. What’s in our refrigerators says a lot about us. If we are what we eat, then the refrigerator has become a huge part of who we are. It’s become so common that we may not give it a great deal of thought, but this one appliance has had a tremendous influence on the way we live at home. And yet, less than 100 years ago, people didn’t have refrigerators at all.

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20
May 18

This Sustainable "Earthship" Home Cost Less Than $10k to Build — House Tour

Name: Taylor and Steph
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Size: 560 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

Some people dream of living off the land, going off grid, building a home by hand — getting closer to nature and being more sustainable. Taylor and Steph (Find them on Instagram: @nomadic.roots) have done just that. Their dedication to used and found building materials (not to mention a lot of hard, dirty work) resulted in a cozy 560 square foot home…that cost less than $10,000 to build.

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20
May 18

Use Keurig K Cups or Coffee Pods? This Storage Hack's For You

Use Keurig K cups or Nespresso coffee pods? If yours live in one of those bulky carousels on your counter, or take up an entire drawer, they are using precious kitchen real estate. Here’s a great quick (and temporary) way to up your storage game with an affordable, DIY solution that frees up space, and lets you easily see and grab the flavor you want. Best of all, it only takes minutes and just a couple of bucks.

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