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Decorating Your Apartment On A Budget

August 10, 2015 4:21 pm

If you’ve just moved into your first apartment, you’re probably on a tight budget with little free money to spend on lavish furnishings and apartment décor. By being resourceful and creative, you’ll discover you don’t need a lot of money to create a tasteful apartment dwelling. Here are some ideas for inexpensive apartment decorating:

Buy smart

 

If you’re decorating your apartment on a budget, forget heading to high priced furniture and art stores. Instead, discover the amazing world of estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores. Pick up a copy of the Friday paper and make a listing of estate, garage, and yard sales in your area. Visit these sales as early as possible on Saturday morning for the best selection. You’ll be amazed at what’s offered and how inexpensively it’s priced. If you see an item you’d like but can’t afford, check back towards the end of the sale. If it’s still there, the owners will most likely be ready to do a significant mark down. Check local thrift stores in your area for bargains on dishes, glassware, and kitchen supplies. You can usually find gently used items in beautiful condition at an excellent price.

 

Find new uses for common items

 

Think creatively a bit about how you can use common, inexpensive items to create functional art. Buy a set of inexpensive wine glasses and some tiny glass pebbles at your craft store. Fill the wine glasses half way with glass pebbles and use them to anchor a votive candle. You can also use sand or small beads to fill the wine glass. Need a cheap table? Place a clear, round piece of glass on top of a large, sturdy ceramic vase. Create a completely new piece of functional art by gluing interesting bowls to plates or gluing the bottoms of two bowl together to serve as the base for a centerpiece. The possibilities for transforming common objects into cheap art are endless.

 

Frame it

 

It’s easy to find quality picture frames cheap at yard sales and estate sales. Buy as many as you need to decorate your apartment. Find creative ways to fill those frames. Get out your camera and take your own nature photos or photos of local landmarks in your area. Buy old vintage books at the same estate sales and frame some of the more unusual prints. Enclose some beautiful fabric or handmade paper in a frame. Create your own artwork with paint and a little elbow grease. Budget artwork can instantly transform an apartment and make it look homey.

 

As you can see lack of money doesn’t have to compromise your sense of style and good taste. Creative apartment decorating can liberate your creativity and your bank account.

Top Ten Tips For Better Apartment Living!

June 3, 2015 6:24 am

Our friends at LifeHacker put together a great list on how you can live more harmoniously in a community living space.

One of our favorite tips is how to save money on your energy bills!

Like upgrading your fixtures, some energy-saving measures are more difficult to pull off in an apartment, but you can still do a lot. For example, you can still install window shades, install a programmable thermostat, use energy efficient light bulbs, and more. In fact, most of our best energy-saving tips should be applicable to apartment living—just make sure you check with your landlord before you start tearing anything apart or sealing up doors and windows.

Check out the rest of the article here!

 

 

Art-A-Whirl Is Coming!

April 29, 2015 8:27 pm

One of our favorite activities in Minneapolis is coming up on May 15 – 17! Don’t miss out on all of the fun in NorthEast Minneapolis…

http://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl

 

Sign Up For Our Tenant Portal

April 8, 2015 2:23 pm

Did you know that we offer  tenant conveniences all online and via email.

 

We need your email address to include you in our new and improved communications.

Please email info@selainvestments.com to enter the contest.

Submission Instructions:

  • Enter “Email Address” in the subject line
  • Include the following in the body of the email:
    Name, Phone Number, Email Address, Building, Unit Number

Cleaning Out Your Closet

March 18, 2015 7:02 am

It is all too easy for closet clutter to take over your life. What starts off as a small amount of clutter can quickly escalate as you buy new outfits and create new looks. Before you realize it, you cannot even get into your closet, and finding your favorite outfit seems like an insurmountable tasks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to clear out the clutter and take back your closet space, you can use these tips to get started.

 

Organize Your Clothes by Type

Many ready-made closet organization systems employ this method, but you do not have to spend all that money to keep your closet neat and clean. Keeping your skirts in one part of the closet, your jackets in another and dresses in a third makes it easy to find something to wear. This method also makes is easier to create different looks instead of relying on the same old pairings.

 

Or By Color

If organizing clothes by type is not your thing, consider sorting them by color instead. Arranging your dresses, suits and blazers by color can make choosing the perfect outfit easier and spark your creativity.

 

Clean Out Your Closet with the Hanger Trick

You probably have lots of clothes you never wear, but determining which outfits to ditch can be difficult. One of the best ways to reduce the clutter and focus on your favorite clothes is the hanger trick. At the beginning of every season, turn all of your hangers around. Turn the hanger around the other way when you pull off a garment. By the end of the season you will be able to see at a glance what you can remove from your wardrobe.

 

Use Tax Season as Your Inspiration

You can help those in need and help yourself to a tax deduction by donating the unwanted parts of your wardrobe to charity. If you need extra inspiration to clear away the clutter, let tax time be your inspiration. Be sure to get a receipt for your donation so that the amount you report to the IRS is correct.

Spring Is Here! Freshen Up Your Apartment!

March 11, 2015 4:06 pm

The coming of spring is a great time of year to spruce up your home and give yourself a change of scene. Now is the time of year to leave the gloom of the winter behind and get ready for the warmer weather. If you are looking for some inspiration this spring, try the following ways to spruce up your home.

 

Clean Your Apartment

 

We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, but the truth is, many of us don’t get around to it. Few people actually like cleaning, so it can be difficult to get motivated. Instead, think about the rewards and spend a morning cleaning your house from top to bottom. If possible, make it into a family activity in which everyone in the family gets involved. Put away things like old winter clothes and anything else that you’re not going to be needing for the time being.

 

 Change Some Colors

 

Spring is a good time to do a bit of redecorating in your home, particularly if a change of scene is long overdue. Painting an average sized room need not take very long, particularly if there is no preparation work to do. Lighter colours are ideal for the warmer times of year and they can make your home feel a lot airier and more cheerful than the warmer, darker colors that make us feel cosier during the winter. Painting a room shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, though applying a second coat the next day will usually be necessary.

 

 

Get Some Plants

 

As soon the plants start blooming, it is time to bring the outside into your home. Plants can help your home to feel green and cheerful. Think out of the box! You can include larger pot plants and very ornamental plants such as palms and miniature orange trees.

 

 

Get Outdoor Furniture Ready

 

If you have outdoor furniture, spring is the time to get it back out of storage. You should keep wooden furniture in particular under cover through the winter, since it will greatly extend its life. When the first warm days of spring come, however, it is time to take it out of storage and prepare it for the summer. Wooden furniture should ideally be restored every year or two with a new coat of wood stain. Not only will this make it look much better; it will also help to protect it against the elements.

 

 

Rearrange Your Apartment Furniture

 

You’ve cleaned your apartment and given it a bit of a facelift, but how about rearranging some things? Some ideas include getting some new furniture, new decorations or simply rearranging some of your furniture. If you have a home office, for example, then perhaps you should consider relocating it to the sunniest room in your house and the one with the nicest view. If you have thick and heavy curtains on the windows, you may want to consider replacing them with lighter curtains until next winter. The possibilities are endless, but rearranging your home all counts towards giving it a facelift for the spring and beyond

Decorating In Small Spaces

February 26, 2015 6:28 pm

Decorating a small space is always a tricky proposition.  With the right touch a small room can look quite cozy, but without that special touch it may just look cluttered.  Making the most of small spaces and tiny rooms is an art form in itself, and one that can be quite difficult to master.

Fortunately for those with big dreams but limited space there are some ways to make the most of the room you do have.  Some proven ways to make a small room, small apartment or small home feel cozy and charming include:

 

  • Employ plenty of creative storage solutions.  Storage is always a problem in a small space, but there are ways to maximize the limited space you do have.  From closet organizers to colorful storage cubes and shelving units, there are plenty of ways to keep your valuable possessions close at hand without increasing clutter.
  • Make the most of your vertical space.  A small room may be limited in terms of horizontal space, but chances are there is plenty of unused vertical space available.  Adding some tall shelving units is a great way to make use of that wasted space.
  • If your kitchen is particularly tiny, consider replacing full size appliances with smaller units.  Small compact refrigerators are especially good for apartment living, but they can make sense in small homes as well.  Buying a stove with a built in microwave can eliminate the need for an additional appliance and additional storage space.
  • Choose a compact vacuum cleaner that can be easily stowed away when not in use.  There are many great compact vacuums on the market, many with all the attachments you would expect in a full size model.  You may even want to consider one of those small robotic vacuum cleaners.  Besides doing the housework for you, these handy gadgets are designed to return to their charging station when they are done cleaning the room.

Think carefully about your lighting options.  Lighting can provide a dramatic effect and give the illusion of a more open space

Winter Fun: Ice Skating In Rice Park

February 20, 2015 8:28 am

We’re always looking for an inexpensive way to get some exercise during the winter. One of our favorite activities is the FREE ice skating in Rice Park – and it is only $4 if you need to borrow a pair of skates (or FREE if you are a Wells Fargo customer).  The rink is open seven days a week! Why not bring your friends and family and make a day of it?

Get more details here!

 

 

Spring in Winter? Add An Herb Garden!

February 11, 2015 8:32 am

There is nothing nicer than fresh herbs when you are cooking. Unfortunately, they just don’t last long in the refrigerator and a herb garden isn’t a practical solution if you don’t live somewhere with your own front yard

The perfect solution is an herbal window garden. If you have a kitchen window, you can grow your own fresh herbs right where you cook! Imagine just snipping a fresh branch of rosemary or parsley to toss in the soup pot or a bit of mint to add to your chocolate flan.

 

To get started, all you need are some containers, soil, and some herb plants or seeds. Seedlings are recommended since some herbs are difficult to start from scratch. Your local nursery will have seedlings for sale. You can buy a small bag of soil while you are at the nursery as well. Potting soil is perfect for your new plants.

 

As for containers, which ones you choose depends on the size of your window. You can get nice plastic or wooden planters at the dollar store or any large craft store if you want to plant everything together. Or you could go with smaller, individual planters. Add a couple of hanging ones in the corners of the window for extra herb-growing space!

 

Once you have your supplies, all you need to do is transplant your seedlings from their little cups to the planters. Put a layer of stones or gravel at the bottom of each plant pot to aid drainage and fill to within two inches of the top with potting soil. Now make a hole for your new plant.

 

Seedlings are delicate, so don’t be yanking them out of their cups. Instead, put your hand over the cup, allowing the seedling to stick up between your fingers so you can support the stem. Turn the whole thing upside down and use your other hand to gently loosen the cup from the plant. Many seedlings will be somewhat root bound, so it might be difficult to get the cup off. As long as you are supporting the fragile plant, you can shake the cup a bit to get it off.

 

Now, turn your plant over and stick it in the hole you made in the planter soil. Gently tamp fresh soil down around the roots and give it a bit of water. Being transplanted can be a trauma to a small plant, so make sure it has enough water to recuperate.

 

Your new plants won’t need much care. As long as they get daylight in the window and you keep the soil moist (not wet), they should thrive. Once they have reached about five inches in height, you can start snipping. The frequent cuttings will stunt their growth and make the herbs bushier, perfect for indoor growing conditions!

Good Neighbor Tips: Laundry Room Etiquette

February 2, 2015 8:39 am

Sharing a laundry room with other people requires that everyone cooperate and act courteously towards one another in making sure that everyone has a chance to get their laundry done.

Here are some tips on how to be a good laundry neighbor:

  • Know your laundry facilities –  Learn the time each machine takes to avoid leaving clothes abandoned for long periods of time. A typical washer operates for about 30 minutes on average, while a dryer can take between 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Never stop another resident’s laundry in mid-wash or dry to use it. It’s not only rude, but you never know what is inside the machine, whether it’s regular clothes or a heavy duty blanket.
  • Never insert another resident’s wet clothes into a dryer. Every person has their own specific way of drying clothes and their are some items that shouldn’t ever be placed in the dryer.
  • Avoid using heavily scented washer detergent. It can leave a residue and smell behind for other users of the same machine.
  • If there’s a limited amount of washers and dryers available and another person’s clothes have been in there for a long time, please be considerate.  Place their clothes on a clean plastic or garbage bag on a counter. Each resident is responsible for their own laundry, but it is also a two-way street way of using shared laundry facilities.
  • Always clean out lint trays and any spills you may have made before leaving the area.
  • If you have time available during off peak hours (after work or weekends), it can be a good time to get your laundry done quickly and without waiting!

These few little things can make sharing a laundry facility with others a much easier thing and keep the building nice and clean!

Entertaining Out Of Towners During Winter

January 21, 2015 8:44 am

It is cold out by the standards of those not native to Minnesota. If you would like to show your guests a good time, City Pages has put together a great top ten list of places you can have a lot of fun! One is even outdoors!

Check out the list!

 

Winter DIY – Creating Wall Decor

January 6, 2015 4:42 pm

If you don’t have the money to buy that original Picasso, there are still ways you can low cost art to adorn the walls of your home and apartment. It’s just a question of using a little creativity and elbow grease. Cheap original artwork can be had for a fraction of the cost of what you’d buy at an antique store or art gallery. Here are some ideas for creating your own low cost art:

Decorate your walls with vintage LPs

 

You can buy old LPs from estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores for pennies on the dollar. Nail old LPs to your wall to give a room a touch of musical nostalgia. You can also attach favorite album covers to your walls from such artists as Elvis Presley or the Beatles.

 

Create a nature collage.

 

Go outside on a crisp fall day and collect some of the handiwork of Mother Nature. Select the best examples of fall leaves, pine cones, and seeds to take home for your collage. Once you return home, arrange your nature finds on a matt board background. Once you’re pleased with the arrangement, use a hot glue gun to permanently attach your pieces to the board. Mount it to the walls and your have a one of a kind piece of low cost art. You can also explore other nature themes such as a beach collage using seashells collected on your seashore explorations.

 

Hang a series of flags.

 

Hang flags from your favorite countries on the wall in a pleasing fashion. Do you have interesting travel photos from these countries? If so why not intersperse them among the flags? You can also frame vintage maps from around the world to complete the travel theme.

 

Hang book dust jackets.

 

Are you an avid reader? What way to have cheap original artwork is to frame the dust jackets of your favorite books and display them on your walls. If you have a separate room that houses your personal library, framed dust jackets would be perfect.

 

Use your camera.

 

If you any skill with using a camera, you have instant low cost art for your walls. Simply grab your camera and photograph scenes that interest and intrigue you. How about photographing some of the local architecture in your city or animals at the zoo? Nature is always a good target for the camera’s eye. Once you have your photos, take them to a print shop and have them printed out professionally. Pick up some frames at a local thrift store or garage sale and you have cheap, original artwork for almost nothing. Who knows? You may discover that you love photography.

 

Frame vintage postcards.

 

Interesting vintage postcards can be found quite inexpensively at local antique shops. Choose some interesting ones and frame them for your walls. You’ll be surprised at how much interest and beauty this can add to your walls.

 

There are so many more wonderful things you can frame to use as low cost art. Old restaurant menus, botanical prints, fabrics, lace, old concert tickets, letters, magazine covers, and much more can serve as cheap, original artwork. Use your imagination and you’ll have beautiful walls without spending a fortune.

Twin Cities Fall Fun

October 18, 2014 7:13 pm

There is so many options for having fun in the Twin Cities as the leaves start to fall! Be sure to check out this events calendar to keep abreast of all the good stuff going on in your own neighborhoods!

Like the Our Mighty Mississippi this weekend!

 

Find more events here!

Apartment Etiquette: Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

September 25, 2014 8:58 am

Everyone loves a good night’s sleep. As someone living with neighbors there are some very simple things you can do to be a good night time neighbor and make sure everyone gets their time with the Sandman!

  1. Be considerate of your neighbors
  2. Avoid Yelling & Loud Talking
  3. Keep Conversations INSIDE Your Apartment (not outside your neighbors door or neighbors windows, not out in the parking lot, people live next to the parking lot).
  4. If you live upstairs, try to avoid the squeaky area or stomping, please don’t put speakers on the floor . If you are a large person, try to get a downstairs apartment.
  5. We know that you have great taste in Music, but EASY ON THE “BASS” (BASS frequencies pass thru walls more than any other frequencies, Turn Down The Bass Please). Better yet . . .
  6. GET SOME HEADPHONES for your Stereo. Headphones sound better. You can cook while wearing them. You can dance while wearing them. You can do Yoga while wearing them
  7. You can get a “Y” cord or split adapter from Radio Shack so you can plug in 2 sets of Headphones at the same time. They also have long extensions for headphones.
  8. Most TV’s now have sound plugs so you can plug the TV sound into the Stereo and watch TV using your Headphones
  9. Portable CD Players or iPods are real cool… Music can really make your day or night
  10. CAR STEREO?  Please don’t play it in the parking lot!
  11. Kids need a place to have fun. Kids are people too, find more peaceful activities for kids or think about bringing them to a park where they can let off steam.
  12. If you encounter anyone making LOTS OF NOISE, try to be understanding, in a friendly manner, and try to explain calmly that you are trying to sleep. We have all been noisy people in the past, so being friendly is the best way to call attention to the problem.