Renting After Eviction: 10 Tips to Help You Find a New Apartment

Renting after an eviction is more difficult but when you’re prepared it’s a lot easier

Renting after eviction may seem daunting, but it’s not impossible. Yes, getting evicted is a terrible experience to deal with and a frustrating process to handle afterward. It’s something everyone fears and when it happens, you’re left wondering what the process of renting after an eviction is like.

While starting to find a new apartment after getting an eviction notice is a daunting process, it’s not impossible. With the right knowledge and preparedness, renting after eviction will be much easier. Don’t let an eviction weigh you down — we’ve got you covered with useful information so you’ll be renting after an eviction in no time.

renting after eviction.

Things to do if you’ve been evicted

If you’ve been evicted and are now ready to begin searching for a new space to rent, there are some things you should consider that will help make the process easier. Here are 10 tips for renting after an eviction.

1. Work on your credit score before renting after eviction

Your credit and legal history are two separate records, but when applying for a new place to rent, they become intertwined. An eviction won’t show up on a credit report itself but it will show up on a background check. Almost all landlords or apartment complexes will require a background check as part of the rental application process. So, if you have a past eviction, the landlord will almost certainly see it on your background check.

So how does that impact your credit score? We mentioned an eviction won’t show up on the credit report, but, if a previous landlord sent unpaid rent information to a collection agency or if your landlord sued you in court and won, this will all negatively impact your credit score. If you’ve been evicted, you need to work to improve your credit score so you can use a high score to advocate for yourself when going to rent a new property.

Start by paying off outstanding debts and paying future bills on time. A good credit score can make or break your ability to rent an apartment in the future.

renting after eviction

2. Be honest

When people say “honesty is the best policy,” they mean it. It’s always best to share upfront with a possible future landlord about your past eviction notice — honesty is the best policy. Renting after an eviction is already hard enough and you don’t want to make it harder by having your future landlord find out you lied or withheld the truth. If they ask about your previous eviction you can simply explain the situation that led to your eviction.

Sometimes, the landlord will be more willing to work with you after hearing your side of the story.

3. Look at renting from a private party

Renting from a private owner as opposed to an apartment complex is always an option for those with eviction notices on their records. Because they’re renting the space privately they don’t have to work within the guidelines and restrictions that a regular apartment complex does. Because of this, they might be more willing to work with you and your situation. As mentioned above, be as open and honest with them as possible so they can fully understand your situation.

renting after eviction

4. Pay more upfront

There are two ways to really get a person to help you out — buy them food or give them money. When looking for a place to rent, try and offer more money upfront. If you have the means, offer to pay a higher security deposit or two months’ rent upfront. This way the landlord knows you’re serious about renting and paying on time.

5. Get a co-signer

Getting a co-signer is another idea to explore while trying to rent after an eviction. If you know someone who is willing to and has good credit, ask if they’ll co-sign. Doing this might make the landlord more inclined to rent to you. But, keep in mind that if you don’t pay, your co-signer will have to.

6. Try and clear your record

An eviction stays on your record for seven years. That being said, there are some ways to clear your record sooner. If you’ve paid off any outstanding rent debts, reach out to your previous landlord and ask them to remove the eviction from your record.

If you haven’t yet been able to pay off an outstanding rent debt, still talk to your previous landlord. Ask them if you are able to pay off your rent if they’ll consider removing your eviction.

Apartment searching.

7. Refine your search renting after eviction

When searching for an apartment, refine your search and filter for apartments that either don’t do background checks or that accept applicants with previous evictions. By doing this you won’t waste your time looking at places guaranteed to turn you down.

8. Find the right references

Because renting after eviction is a tough road, you should have a lot of references ready before applying to rent an apartment. Because evictions are sometimes seen as a character flaw, you’ll want a reference to point out your good character traits.

Get friends, employers or colleagues to write letters speaking to your character and what a great tenant you’ll make. Submit these letters along with your rental application so that the landlord can read them and get a better sense of who you are and how you’ll be as a potential tenant.

9. Get a letter of credit when renting after eviction

Your goal when renting after an eviction is to get the landlord to understand what happened and still rent to you. Writing a letter of credit is a great start on this process. Write up your previous credit history and how you’ve changed. Tell them if you’ve gotten a new job or how you’re planning on doing things differently this time around.

Landlord and tenants.

10. Make a good first impression

First impressions last for a long time. When meeting with the landlord, dress nice and wear something that says you’re a reliable renter. Be polite and positively engage with them whilst speaking. You want to leave with them thinking you’re the best person to rent to. By doing this, they might be more willing to work with you and your situation.

Home sweet home

Being evicted is an extremely difficult moment to go through. And then on top of that, renting after eviction is a hard task. It takes time, effort and energy, but fear not it can be done. Using the knowledge and tips listed above you’ll be able to better prepare yourself for this daunting task.

Make sure to gather all the appropriate documents and references with you when going to meet with your potential new landlord. Tell them your story and appeal to their hearts. While it may seem like your past is still haunting you, there is hope that you’ll be able to find a new place to call home.

Source: rent.com

Apartment Application Fees: Why You Pay Them and What They Cover

Apartment application fees are a one-time charge that covers the cost of things like the background check, credit check and other processing fees.

Moving into a new place is always an exciting time. You have everything figured out — you’ve found the right apartment, you know exactly how you’ll decorate it and you’ve planned out a budget. But have you thought about the apartment application fee? Do you know what the application fee is? These are all things you should know about before moving into a new apartment. In this article, we’ll go into what the application fees are, what they cover and why or if they’re required.

Application for an apartment.

What is an apartment application fee?

Almost every apartment complex or landlord requires some form of application fees when you move in. When deciding to rent out an apartment, a landlord wants to make sure they have an ideal candidate for renting, therefore, they use application fees to do just this.

Application fees cover costs such as background checks and credit checks and to process the rental application itself. By running credit and background checks, they are able to ensure that you are able to pay your rent on time and make sure that they keep the apartment safe from crime.

In some scenarios, the fees go to covering when the landlord takes the apartment off the market to secure it for you. While it is rare, sometimes there will be a no application fee apartment and the landlord will simply ask you these questions and not make you pay a fee.

How much are apartment application fees?

Fees vary greatly from state to state. Generally speaking, they are usually affordable and cost anywhere between $20 and $50. That being said, there are some that can cost upwards of $100. One of the things you should watch out for is getting scammed with application fees.

In some cases, there are landlords that try to take advantage of new tenants and will charge outrageous application fees. If this is the case it’s probably best to walk away. In some states, there are laws that cap the amount a landlord can charge for application fees. It’s important for you to look into this and know what you can and cannot be charged.

Woman working on a budget.

Is an apartment application fee different from a security deposit?

Security deposits and application fees are two different fees you’ll pay when moving into a new place. As mentioned, the application fees cover the costs of credit and background checks, as well as other paperwork. The security deposit however is a sum of money — typically around the price of the first month’s rent — you give to your landlord when you first move in and they’ll hold onto it until you move out.

Typically, the security deposit covers damage to the apartment that is beyond usual wear and tear, such as ruining a wall or having to replace the carpet. Your landlord will deduct these costs from your security deposit when moving out. If the damage is too bad, they might keep the entire deposit to fix the apartment for the next tenant.

Are apartment application fees refundable?

There are some cases in which you’ll be refunded the application fee but it’s very situational. For instance, if the landlord decided to rent the apartment to another tenant before they processed your application. Sometimes the landlord will refund you if they did all the checks but decided to go another way. However, it’s important to note that this is a rare occurrence.

If the landlord approves and you decide to rent the apartment, most of the time the application fee will go towards your security deposit. Application fees are also a one-time fee, so you won’t get charged this amount monthly.

Family talking with a landlord.

How to find no application fee apartments

Finding no application fee apartments is difficult. Because of the Fair Housing Act, many landlords are wary of not doing an application fee or waving it for certain people but not others.

Depending on where you are and what type of apartment you are looking for will also vary finding no application fee apartments. In some cases, people renting their apartments themselves or subletting won’t charge an application fee. That is one of your best chances of finding a place with no fee, or you could try and discuss fees with your landlord.

Apartment application fees are part of the process

Renting an apartment is exciting and the start of a new journey and you don’t want it ruined by not knowing about certain fees. Before deciding on a place make sure to sit down and figure out a budget that includes all apartment fees. This way when you go to rent you know exactly what you’re in for. Also, check in your state to see if there is an apartment application fee cap so that you don’t get overcharged.

Knowing all this information will save you time and make the moving process much more fun.

Source: rent.com

The Best Apartments for Rent in Las Vegas in 2021

Las Vegas has always been a popular vacation destination, but it’s now becoming a sought-after living destination. With more affordable housing prices than surrounding states, Nevada is attracting new residents every day. These are the best apartments in Las Vegas.

And while many are flocking to the desert city of Las Vegas, commonly known for casinos, lights and shows, those moving to the city have very different preferences when it comes to apartments.

Avion.
Photo source: Avion at Sunrise Mountain / Rent.com

Right at the base of Sunrise Mountain on the northeast side of the Las Vegas metro area, Avion at Sunrise Mountain has the best view of the city you can get. Furthermore, it boasts not one, but two pools, a 24-hour fitness center and a business center.

Resident can choose from apartment plans with up to three bedrooms, with furnished units available for those that would like them.

Trend in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Trend! / Rent.com

Living up to its name, Trend! is a contemporary apartment community with amenities galore—on-site dry cleaning, electric vehicle charging stations, a heated pool and water bottle and towel services are only a handful of the many.

These luxury apartments have one-, two- and three-bedroom plans to choose from and are in the mellow Silverado Ranch neighborhood.

Tamarus Park in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Tamarus Park at Heritage Square / Rent.com

Tamarus Park at Heritage Square lies within walking distance of UNLV and only a few minutes away from the Strip by car. There are studio, one and two-bedroom units giving the perfect space for anyone at any stage of life, whether a student, young professional, or growing family.

The added benefits of a pool, hot tub and fitness center, not to mention on-site patrol make it a safe environment to live and relax without needing to leave the community.

La Villa Estates in Las Vegas.
Photo source: La Villa Estates / Rent.com

La Villa Estates is in the coveted Summerlin neighborhood, with trendy boutiques and cafes and views of the mountains across the city.

There are one, two and three-bedroom options, along with access to a business center, hot tub, pool and even racquetball courts. Safety is a priority at La Villa Estates, with gated community access, controlled access to each building and on-site patrol.

Wynn Palms in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Wynn Palms / Rent.com

On just the other side of the freeway from the Strip, you’ll find the Wynn Palms. Living here will put you within walking distance from many high-end restaurants, casinos and other entertainment options.

A business center, playground and pool come with these one-and two-bedroom apartments. There is also on-site patrol to give further privacy and protection to Wynn Palms residents.

Maverick in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Maverick & Hidden Village / Rent.com

Minutes away from downtown Las Vegas, Maverick & Hidden Village is comfortably settled within the Arts District and Orleans Square, putting great food and art right at your doorstep.

These one- and two- bedroom units allow for short-term rentals to accommodate any time period for which you might need an apartment. There’s also the option of renting a furnished apartment, so you only need to bring your clothes and personal items.

20 Fifty One in Las Vegas.
Photo source: 20 Fifty One / Rent.com

Offering units with up to three bedrooms, 20 Fifty One is truly a family-friendly community. It includes a shared barbeque area with a children’s playground, a clubhouse for indoor gatherings and multiple safety measures put in place, including on-site patrol and controlled access to each building.

Not only does 20 Fifty One allow for up to two pets (dogs and/or cats), but it’s located near a pet park where residents can easily take their furry friends to get some fresh air and let out their energy. You will want to see this complex because it’s one of the best apartments in Las Vegas.

Park at Spring Valley in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Park at Spring Valley / Rent.com

Park at Spring Valley is in the desirable Rancho Manor neighborhood, which is near the popular Fremont Street and connects directly to the central freeways of Las Vegas. It offers various layouts, ranging from large 3-bedroom layouts to smaller studio options.

Amenities include tennis courts and two pools, along with a private park for residents—all patrolled for safety.

Buena Vida on Palms in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Buena Vida on Palms / Rent.com

Located just outside of the main city action, Buena Vida on Palms is in a fairly quiet area, but still within close driving distance from downtown. Residents can choose layouts with one or two bedrooms and have a swimming pool and gated community access.

While Buena Vida on Palms may not have as many luxury amenities, the location paired with the price makes it a solid option for those wanting to live in a relaxed area without being too far from the city buzz.

Summerhill Pointe in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Summerhill Pointe / Rent.com

Summerhill Point is in a convenient location right on Saraha Avenue, making it easy to get to other parts of the city when needed. It’s perfect for dog owners with its own gated dog run and no breed restrictions, so whatever type of dog you have is welcome! It’s one of the best apartments in Las Vegas.

These one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments have private patios and additional storage lockers. The property also boasts of three resort-style pools and two spas for taking it easy after a long day.

Eagle Trace in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Eagle Trace / Rent.com

For those who like being in more secluded areas, Eagle Trace is as far from the city center as you can get, just outside of Nellis Air Force Base. Its one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are great for any individual or family accommodations.

Eagle Trace is a fitness fan’s paradise, with multiple swimming pools and hot tubs, along with basketball and tennis courts, all lighted for day and evening use.

2one5 in Las Vegas.
Photo source: 2one5 / Rent.com

2one5 apartments are luxurious and hi-tech. It offers more amenities than most apartments you’ll find, including smart home technology, a sunbathing pool, a fitness center with classes, a dog park with a washing area, electric vehicle charging stations—and the list goes on.

It offers floor plans with up to three bedrooms, all of which have high-end finishings and appliances.

Town Villas in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Town Villas / Rent.com

Family-friendly Town Villas offers two- and three-bedroom floor plans and a safe community for residents. Gated access provides additional safety from the bustling streets of central Las Vegas.

The complex is near hiking and biking trails and a pet park. There’s also a business center for tenants to use and a playground for the younger kids to run around and have fun.

Tiffany Place in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Tiffany Place / Rent.com

Offering plenty of amenities for an affordable price, Tiffany Place has tanning beds, indoor and outdoor pools, sports courts, an indoor fitness center and a car wash area.

It has one- to three-bedroom units with the option to have an additional garage with storage outside of the apartment for extra belongings.

Sonoma Hills in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Sonoma Hills / Rent.com

Sonoma Hills is in a fantastic location—while it’s not near the center of Las Vegas, it is close to plenty of stores and the base of the mountains and hiking trails. Its one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments have some units with extra storage space in case it’s needed.

Additional benefits are on-site patrol and a list of amenities, like tennis and basketball courts, a pool, a clubhouse and a fitness center.

Capri.
Photo source: Capri / Rent.com

The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments of Capri offer high-end living. Renovated interiors include a fireplace, stainless steel appliances and large closets. It also boasts a swimming pool, hot tub, tennis courts and a fitness center.

It’s close to McCarran International Airport for those with the travel bug, as well as shopping and plenty of great restaurants.

Silver Stream in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Silver Stream / Rent.com

On the edge of the quiet Spring Valley suburb, just east of the Strip is Silver Stream. Here you’ll find updated apartments with high-end stainless steel appliances, large balconies, and amenities such as a business center, pool and fitness studio.

Additionally, There are layouts containing up to three bedrooms and a patrolled parking lot, making it safe for all ages and perfect for all family sizes.

outside in Vegas.
Photo source: Park Arms / Rent.com

Within walking distance of the Strip and monorail, you’ll find spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at Park Arms. For such an exciting and convenient location, the price is far below the state average of $1,709—in fact, it’s less than half, starting at $720.

There’s also a pool and gated access to the complex, leaving it as a safe, relaxing community among the buzz of the Strip.

stairs to an apartment
Photo source: Rosewood Park / Rent.com

Rosewood Park is part of a quieter area and offers floorplans for studio, one-, two- and three-bedrooms, all of which have renovated interiors with vinyl flooring and resurfaced countertops.

Along with nearby parks, the complex contains its own basketball courts, pool, hot tub and fitness center. Plus, there’s extra storage on the property for those belongings that don’t fit into your apartment!

211.
Photo source: The 211 / Rent.com

The 211 is right at the center of all the city hustle and bustle! In one of the most convenient spots in the middle of downtown Las Vegas, it has a 24-hour gym on the property, an 800-square-foot hot tub and a rooftop patio with views of the city. Plus, you’re also getting a gated entry with controlled access to the building for extra safety.

There are one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at this exciting complex to accommodate everyone, whether you’re an individual living on your own or a family.

Montecito Pointe in Las Vegas.
Photo source: Montecito Pointe / Rent.com

On the furthest, northwestern corner of the city lie Montecito Pointe apartments, where safety is a top priority. While it’s already in a quiet, safe area, the additional benefits of a gated access and on-site patrol makes Montecito Point one of the safest complexes you’ll find.

Furthermore, these one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments have endless amenities and perks—extra storage space, a pool, fitness center, and access to trails for hiking and biking.

Not close to downtown or many shopping areas, but it’s right off the freeway, so you can quickly hop on and get anywhere in the city.

palm trees outside.
Photo source: Wyandotte / Rent.com

Nestled on the outskirts of the Strip, Wyandotte has large, newly-renovated, affordable apartments with up to 4 bedrooms. For someone interested in the night life and the Arts District, this apartment complex is perfect. Plus, you have a business center, playground and pool at the ready.

green kitchen
Photo source: Viridian / Rent.com

Being only minutes away from the Strip, Viridian is a surprisingly affordable apartment community close to all the action and shopping of Las Vegas. With being so close to the Strip, you’ll also get to enjoy the view of the cityscape right from your living room.

Choose between anything from a studio to three-bedroom layouts and enjoy a dip in the pool after playing on one of Viridian’s sports courts—all starting at $685 per unit.

Apartment.
Photo source: Cooper Creek / Rent.com

While Copper Creek is further from downtown, it’s in a relatively new part of Las Vegas—much quieter and more mellow. Its oversized closets, high ceilings and other high-end finishings make these luxury apartments appealing to most.

There are additional perks to these one-,two- and three-bedroom apartments, such as a resort-style pool, spa and fitness center.

Apartment.
Photo source: San Michele / Rent.com

Settled between up-and-coming North Las Vegas and trendy Summerlin, San Michele is northwest of the downtown area. Being in a quieter area, right by an elementary school, it boasts proximity to both the boutique shops. In Summerlin, there is also exciting nightlife of downtown.

It offers newly renovated one- and two-bedroom apartment layouts with a clubhouse, pool and children’s play area.

Check out the best apartments in Las Vegas

No matter what your preferences are, there are plenty of apartment options in Las Vegas. Whether you’re after luxury living or a great location near the lights of downtown, each apartment community has a unique combination of offerings for every taste. You can find apartments for rent in Las Vegas to match your preferences.

We looked at all available multifamily rental property inventory from January to June 2021 on Rent.com to determine which properties with a Las Vegas mailing address are most viewed by organic internet searches. The information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein does not constitute financial advice, availability or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

How to Find Felon-Friendly Apartments After Getting Out of Jail

Yes, you can rent an apartment as a felon — just do your research.

Do you have a felony on your record and happen to need a new place to rent? Well, it may seem daunting to try and find a place that won’t require a background check but it is possible to find felon-friendly apartments.

No background check apartments are rarer but they do exist and are a great option for renters with a not-so-appealing stain on their background. Let’s dive into how to find felon-friendly apartments if you have a record.

Can I rent an apartment if I have a felony record?

Apartment for rent sign.

The short answer is yes, you can rent an apartment with a felony record. However, renting an apartment with a felony record is tricky because almost every landlord or apartment complex runs background checks on future tenants.

They’ll often check everything from your credit score to your criminal history, so it’s best to share with the landlord that you have a felony — it will definitely show up. Unfortunately, landlords can reject your application on the spot if they see a felony.

While some may do this, there are some landlords that will look past it.

How to find apartments that accept felons

Starting the search for apartments that accept felons is overwhelming. It’s difficult to know where to look, what to put on your application, what to leave out of your application and how much to disclose.

The best thing to do is to educate yourself and know where to start looking and how to best prepare for the application process. Here are four tips for finding felon friendly apartments:

1. Search for no background check apartments

Criminal background check.

A great place to start is by searching for apartments that don’t run a background check. While many apartments include a background check as part of the standard application process, not all do. This is great news for you as you’ll be able to apply for the rental without having to worry about your felony appearing on the background check portion of the application process.

You can also take the time to search for “second chance rentals.” Here, you’ll be able to find listings that don’t typically ask for background checks and are often felon-friendly apartments. Everyone needs a place to live and there are landlords who are willing to give felons that second chance they need to get back on their feet, find stable housing and have a place to call home.

2. Find an individual landlord

Another way to go about finding apartments that have no background check is to search for individual landlords or private renters as opposed to apartment complexes.

By having an individual landlord, you’ll be able to take the time to discuss your situation one-on-one. Be honest and upfront about your background check. By doing this, they may look past your felony as they get to know you personally and not purely based on your background check.

A realtor is also a good way to find places to rent. They have different resources and may already know where to look for you. Using a realtor may cost money compared to looking on your own, but, you’ll likely be able to find a place to rent more quickly and get settled into a new home right away.

3. Use local and national resources

There are many local and national resources that help those who have felonies get housing. Start by looking into your local non-profits and see if there are any programs that help people with felonies get back on their feet.

A great place to get help is with The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development aka HUD. They offer low-income housing to those in need and also have a list specifically for felon-friendly apartments.

Another place to seek help is with The Lion Heart Foundation. Their goal is to help give people the tools to restart their lives. On their website, they have a list of felon-friendly apartments in every state. Again, by starting your search with places that’ll work for you right away, you’ll save time and stress in the house-hunting process.

4. Be prepared for a more challenging application process

Handshaking over a contract.

Being prepared for the application process is crucial in finding apartments that accept felons. Here are some ways you can better prepare yourself:

  • Write a letter: Handwritten letters are personal and convey a sense of caring. Take the time to write the landlord your story. This way they can start to feel a personal connection. Also, telling your story about your felony and how you’ve changed might make it so they don’t reject your application right off the bat.
  • Have a character witness: Landlords want to make sure they’re renting to good tenants who pay on time and don’t cause trouble. Having someone else vouch for you and your good character is very helpful in convincing a landlord to rent to you.
  • Offer to pay more: Whether it’s a higher security deposit or maybe two months’ rent upfront, paying more might help you to rent an apartment. This also shows that you are serious about renting and can pay on time.

Finding a home

While finding a felon-friendly apartment is difficult, it’s not impossible. There are several different resources and tools to use when searching for a new home.

Having the knowledge of where to start and who to ask for help is the best place to start. By knowing what you’re getting into, the experience will be less stressful and daunting. Like anything, it might seem overwhelming but you can do it!

Source: rent.com

25 Home Gym Decor Ideas for Your Apartment

Who needs a gym? Save some money with these apartment workout space ideas.

Working out in an apartment is tricky. While some complexes have shared fitness centers, you may not always want to leave the house to do your fitness routine. And on the other hand, trying to have some form of a gym inside your apartment is difficult and limiting when you’re renting. However, there are still plenty of home gym decor ideas that will make your workout space both beautiful and functional — even in an apartment.

Here are some ideas you can incorporate into your home gym decor.

1. Dual-function loft

home gym decor ideas

Photo source: Fitness Design Group

When you’ve got only one large space to work with rather than separate rooms, you may not want to dedicate it only to either a sitting room or a gym. Here, Fitness Design Group made sure there could be both by making a distinct separation between the function of each area.

2. Spin office

home gym decor ideas

Photo source: Love to Know

There’s no need to choose between having a home gym or an office — put them in the same space! You can even create a small separation between the two like Love to Know shares — placing a mat underneath your office area and a separate one for your workout area divides the room based on function.

3. Work(out) from home

working out from home.

Due to the recent pandemic, many people are working (and working out) from home. Working from home brings its own set of challenges, but avoiding the gym doesn’t need to become a hassle. A little side gym, connected to a home office, creates a seamless transition from work to workout at any point in the day, making your home office a functional place before, during and after work.

4. Bright and airy home gym

home gym decor ideas

Photo source: On Design Interiors

No matter the location or size of your home gym, there’s no reason for it to feel dark and dingy. These bright floors and light walls, brought to life by On Design Interiors, make this small space feel large and spacious. Not to mention how simple and chic the design is — it’s not over-the-top and creates a calming environment for exercising after a long, stressful day.

5. Mirrored weight room

home gym decor ideas

This simple, yet effective, basement setup shows just what you can do in a small space. This weight room isn’t very big, but a full wall of mirrors gives the illusion that it’s double the size. Even if you’re in a studio apartment, simply adding a large mirror on the wall near where you practice yoga or do a small-space workout routine will help it feel bigger.

6. Home office with modern wall designs

home gym decor ideas

Gyms don’t need to look boring, especially if it’s part of the place where you live. And it doesn’t take a lot to make your home gym look modern and appealing! Simple wall tiles or decals can quickly upgrade your gym without compromising its functionality. Even in a rental like an apartment, you can use peel-and-stick tiles and wall decor that can easily be removed without damaging the walls.

7. Jungle gym

home gym decor ideas

Photo source: Devon Grace Interiors

Adults aren’t the only ones that need to get their exercise in! Kids living in an apartment may feel a little limited at times without a full private yard to play in, so Devon Grace Interiors added a place for the kids to get their energy out.

The light-colored wood of the jungle gym doesn’t draw too much attention and keeps things muted, while still being a fun place for kids to play.

8. Sleek modern luxury home gym

home gym decor ideas

Making your home gym feel luxurious and modern is a simple matter of color and lighting. Adding a couple of backlit mirrors and incorporating metallics are what the Infinity Design Studio recommends.

9. Traditional CrossFit

home gym decor ideas

Photo source: DNLUD

This home gym by DNLUD is about as close as you can get to a typical CrossFit gym. For some, feeling like they’re at a gym rather than at home helps them get their minds into their workout. The mirrors are black gym mat flooring really gives it an out-of-home feeling.

10. Modern rustic home gym

home gym decor ideas

Photo source: Gambrick

Gambrick didn’t want to detract too much from the natural landscape and kept this in mind when they designed this gym for a modern rustic cabin-stile home in the mountains of Colorado. The deep oranges give just enough color while maintaining the integrity of the outdoors—no matter where you live, your apartment doesn’t have to feel separated from its surroundings.

11. DIY basement upgrade

home gym decor ideas

There are easy ways that anyone can upgrade their basement into a functioning gym. A little peel-and-stick wallpaper, mirrors and foam puzzle flooring turned a dark basement into a bright little workout space that can easily be removed if needed.

12. Spare bedroom fitness renovation

home gym decor ideas

An extra bedroom is already a luxury that not everyone has and instead of turning it into a seldom-used guest room, put it to better use. Light flooring and white walls with natural wood hanging hooks to keep equipment off the floor keep this room looking chic and clean—great for when you’re in a small apartment with not much room to spare.

13. Disguised cycle home gym

home gym decor ideas

You may only need one piece of equipment to get a full-body workout in. A stationary bike is perfect for requiring only a small corner—and that corner might be right in your kitchen! One Instagrammer disguised her bike in her kitchen area by placing a pretty painting and plants around it to blend it into the area.

14. Space-saving yoga grid

home gym decor ideas

When you don’t have room for a full yoga studio, a wall might be all you have. Higashi Fushimi recommends that it’s time to make your storage grid look good—like it’s an intentional part of your apartment’s design, with blended metal rods that both look good and function like any other storage.

15. Vertical storage in your home gym

home gym decor ideas

Choosing equipment and storage racks that work vertically rather than horizontally can keep your gym equipment from taking up too much space in your apartment. Lela of Organized-ish utilizes pegboards for small equipment storage and choose a multi-function vertical workout setup that only takes up a few feet of space in the corner.

16. Aesthetically-pleasing home gym equipment

home gym decor ideas

No need for your gym equipment existing as an eyesore. In fact, it is a beautiful addition to the main area of your apartment. See how Sunny Circle Studio chose wooden multi-use wall bars to provide function and design for a high-end vibe.

17. Upgraded garage

home gym decor ideas

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a garage, you can turn it into a chic and stylish workout room. Celebrity trainer Erin Oprea has even done it herself — add some peel-and-stick wallpaper and affordable vinyl flooring that mimics wood, and you’ve pretty much given yourself a whole new space!

18. Dual-function, hidden equipment home gym

home gym decor ideas

A coffee table that converts into a bench press, a lamp that doubles as a dumbbell and even a foam roller vase that looks and works both like exercise equipment and living room items. Swedish storage company 24Storage invented pieces of workout equipment that aren’t stored in the traditional manner — they’re functioning pieces of your living room! See what fits best in your living room.

19. Balcony home gym

home gym decor ideas

Get some fresh air by exercising on your balcony. Put your bike, treadmill or other machines outside so it doesn’t take up your indoor space. See how Merrick’s Art did with their balcony.

20. Home yoga studio

home gym decor ideas

Turn any open floor space into a yoga area. Keep storage baskets, like Manduka suggests, for your mat and other equipment nearby so when it’s not in use, you can keep your items out of the way.

21. Funky and fun home gym

home gym decor ideas

Don’t just hide your home gym — turn it into the main attraction! Decorilla emphasizes that having fun patterns and colors can both give you energy and help you relax — which is what your workout space should do.

22. Black on black home gym

home gym decor ideas

Having an all-black gym may not feel as light and airy as one with brighter colors, but it can change your mood when you workout. It may help you get more serious, which is beneficial when you’re doing a heavyweight routine or really want to push your limits — which is why Vogue highlights it in a luxury spread.

23. Walking desk as a home gym

home gym decor ideas

Make your work time (and space) the same as your workout! MyMove shows that a treadmill or stationary bike that allows you to use your computer at the same time will save you both time and space as a home workout alternative.

24. Bright home gym yoga space

home gym decor ideas

Use bright colors and neutrals for a calming yoga session. Stick with natural tones and materials, as LDA Architecture & Interiors recommends, and you’ll be feeling calm and serene every time you practice.

25. Neon home gym

home gym decor ideas

Give your workout space an edge with neon lighting. You can either do it all around the room and frame certain pieces, such as mirrors, with neon lights. Or you can add a motivational quote in the form of a neon sign to keep yourself going!

Functional and tasteful

Your home gym doesn’t have to look run-down or ugly. And you don’t need to get rid of it altogether, either! Using these home gym decor ideas, you can create a space that’s both beautiful and functional.

Source: rent.com

How to Survive the Rent When Your Roommate Moves Out

You don’t have to be married to face some of the drama that comes with a messy divorce. Whether you have a roommate who’s been casually dropping hints that you should be looking for a new roommate or they’re downright spelling it out, the prospect of that person leaving can feel like you’re about to lose everything the two of you worked so hard to maintain.

Even if you intend to stay, your landlord could annul the lease entirely if your roommate decides to unceremoniously break the lease. However, a good landlord will likely let you attempt to survive paying the lease on your own or give you time to secure rental assistance.

Ready to get to work?

Check out these tips for giving yourself a fighting chance of surviving a lease when a roommate gets cold feet and abandons the lease.

1. Find Someone New

Like dating, finding someone new can do wonders for getting you back on your feet after a roommate breaks the lease. You’d probably still have a bit of a rough patch during the transition, but looking for a roommate to sublet the apartment from your previous roommate can completely resolve the problem.

Remember: Sharing a space with a roommate isn’t about being best friends, though it’s nice when your best friend happens to be a great person to split living costs with. It’s more important to live with someone you can coexist with and rely on. If you’ve just learned this the hard way, we apologize for any salt that accidentally dusted that wound.

Be sure to ask some critical questions. Can they reliably pay the rent? Do they smoke or drink? How do they feel about guests? Make sure you’ll be compatible as roommates.

2. Get a Side Hustle Earning up to $69/Hour

It’s that feeling of not knowing where the other half of your rent will come from that makes it unnerving just to hear your roommate hint at leaving early. It’s a puzzle you’ll have to solve quickly to avoid giving your landlord a good reason to evict you and still charge you the balance of your remaining rent.

Along with looking for a roommate, make things easier on yourself by searching for a side hustle before your roommate makes their departure official. Even if you manage to convince them to stay, whatever factors urging them to bail in the first place could suddenly re-emerge — embarrassment could inspire them to slip away without warning.

If you’re looking for a flexible side hustle that could turn into your primary source of income, look into bookkeeping. It’s the No. 1 most profitable business, according to an article in Inc. And you can earn up to $69 an hour, reports Intuit, the creator of QuickBooks.

You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to start your own bookkeeping business, either. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeepers.com will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it’ll even give you the first three classes for free.

3. Stop Paying Your Credit Card Company

Without a roommate and the rent savings that person provided, you might lose interest in paying anything more than the monthly minimum on your credit cards. But if those credit cards bear gaudy interest rates, you might not be making the best use of your dollars.

A free website called AmOne wants to help. AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.

The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.

AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online.

4. Have a Safety Net

While consolidating your debt can help free up room in your budget, you may not want to cut up your cards afterward — especially if your emergency savings are in critical condition. That credit line could protect you from those first few late fees, which could cascade into a stream of other fees and penalties if they hit you at the wrong time.

Even if your credit score needs work first, there’s no better time than the present to start improving your score. And you’ll find that the measures you take to improve your credit are good for your finances in general.

Your credit score is like your financial fingerprint. Everyone’s is different — and for different reasons. That means everyone’s strategy to improve their credit score will look different… but how in the world are you supposed to know where to start?

Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what you need to do to improve your score.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Renters Rights Privileges You Can Expect as a Tenant

Renting an apartment, condo or even a house entitles you to certain rights. While some specifics will vary by state, there are key rules in place that govern everything from your living space to the property manager’s responsibilities.

Combined into a series of federal, state and local laws, your specific renter’s rights get dictated by where you live. They’re in place to prevent things like housing discrimination and rent gouging. These basic rights ensure you have a safe, clean place to live as well as detailed courses of action when things are going wrong.

Landlord-tenant law helps you live peacefully in your rental. Do you know your tenant’s rights?

Fair housing

renters rights

Before even taking a tour of a potential apartment, it’s your right to have fair access to housing. This means your rental application will not get rejected based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Family status
  • Mental or physical disabilities

Your renter’s rights in this case receive protection at the federal level by the Fair Housing Act. State and local laws may reinforce the Fair Housing Act and even add more categories to this list to ensure everyone has equal access to apply for housing.

Not only can your rental application not get refused based on these factors, but, if you have a disability, landlord-tenant law requires they make reasonable accommodations for you to access the apartment. This could mean installing ramps or making a unit on a lower floor available.

Legal documentation

renters rights

Another piece to your renter’s rights is the lease. It’s the responsibility of the property manager to give you a legal rental contract to sign that abides by all laws.

In addition to specifics about the property, and breakdowns for processes like requesting repairs, using common areas and more, a lease must clearly indicate the leasing period and your monthly rent. It should also have your name, and any roommates, on the document.

The lease should also include a series of general disclosures. The law requires these, although it varies by state which specific ones must get listed. A few common disclosures you may see in your lease if they’re applicable to the rental unit, include:

  • Notice of mold
  • Lead-based paint disclosure
  • Notice of sex offenders, recent deaths and any potential health or safety hazards

Living space

renters rights

A variety of rules govern your living space when you’re a renter. This ensures you have somewhere to live that’s actually livable. Tenants’ rights, when it comes to your actual apartment get pretty involved, so make sure you know the highlights.

Habitable housing

It’s not enough for a property manager to provide you with an apartment; the apartment must be safe for you to live in it. This means more than a lack of dangerous conditions. Your renter’s rights entitle you to a home with usable utilities, including heat, electricity and water.

This area of your renter’s rights also means you have a home that’s safe and livable in other ways. Specifics within these guidelines require an apartment to have functioning locks on doors and windows, smoke detectors and a dedicated way to escape in case of fire.

Repairs

This area of landlord-tenant law requires action on both sides. To ensure you have a habitable home, it’s up to you to report any maintenance issues using the process that’s outlined in your lease. Find out the best way to report issues like this to your landlord (such as through email or an online portal).

On the management side, their responsibility is to complete repairs in a timely manner. Your lease will define what this means, but different repairs rank higher in priority. For example, failure to repair a heater in winter can quickly lead to an uninhabitable living space for safety reasons, whereas a garbage broken disposal doesn’t create that serious of an impact.

If your property manager fails to make repairs in a timely manner, you have additional rights. Check with state and local laws about what’s within your rights.

Privacy

Although you’re only renting a home, and someone else owns it, your rights as a tenant mean a certain level of privacy. Once your rental agreement is in place, a property manager cannot come into your home without proper notice.

Notice is also required for more than just repairs. If you’re getting ready to move, and the property manager wants to start showing your unit to prospective tenants, for example, they must give you notice each time.

Security deposit refund

renters rights

Each state usually handles security deposits differently as far as how much you’re required to put down. It’s normal for you to pay a security deposit though since that protects the property manager from having to pay out-of-pocket for any damages you may cause while living in your rental.

As far a payment goes, some states set caps on how much a property manager can ask for. They also can’t impose a higher deposit for your rental, when compared to other units in the building, without a specific reason, like having a pet.

It’s also within your renter’s rights to get the security deposit back, in a timely manner, if it’s not covering any damages. Most state laws set the time frame at 30 days, and you’ll not only receive your security deposit back but any interest that accrued as well.

If any of your deposit is withheld, you can ask for written documentation of the damages it’s paying for, and the property manager must comply.

Eviction

renters rights

The situations where your property manager has the right to evict needs clear stating within your lease. Make sure to review them before you sign it.

Standard landlord-tenant law states that you can get evicted if you break your lease in specific ways, such as:

  • Failing to pay rent
  • Allowing prohibited animals to live with you
  • Having roommates that aren’t on your lease
  • Committing a crime on the premises

As a renter, your tenant rights enable you to address evictable issues within a specified time frame before an eviction can take place. You will receive notice of a pending eviction from your property manager. If you fail to fix the issue, they can then file an eviction with the courts resulting in legal removal from your rental.

State-specific renter’s rights

Although you’ll find many standard regulations associated with renting if you move between states, expect additional laws everywhere you go. Since renter’s rights get regulated on both the state and local level, if you’re relocating to a different part of the country — familiarize yourself with local tenant laws.

Some unique landlord-tenant laws include:

  • In Hawaii, security deposits with no deductions must get returned within 14 days
  • A property manager must give 48 hours notice before entering your apartment in Delaware
  • West Virginia has no minimum notice required for a rent increase on month-to-month rentals
  • In North Carolina, two month’s rent is the required minimum for a security deposit on a one-year lease
  • A lease can get terminated once rent is only five days late in Arkansas

As you can see, some states have pretty extreme rules. Being aware of them can help you maintain a positive relationship with your property manager while also protecting your own rights as a renter.

Know your renter’s rights

No matter how great, or rocky, your relationship is with a property manager, you should always follow the law as it pertains to your situation. This not only protects you, but it ensures your property manager gets held accountable when anything isn’t up to par.

Familiarize yourself with state and local landlord-tenant laws, read your lease thoroughly before signing and do your research when faced with a potential issue. Protect yourself by knowing your tenant’s rights.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional legal or financial advice as they may deem it necessary.

Source: rent.com

11 Furniture Donation Pickup Methods

Furniture donations are a large source of income for many nonprofit organizations. With this in mind, donating furniture is a great way to get rid of clutter while giving back to the community.

Are you downsizing, moving or doing a major decor change in your home but don’t know what to do with your old furniture? Well, you’re in luck because many local nonprofit organizations make moving easy by offering free furniture donation pick up.

Donating furniture to your favorite charities is a chance to get rid of extra furniture and household items for free while giving back to your community. Here is how to get started in the process.

Where to donate furniture

When looking for furniture donation pickup, there can be so many options it’s hard to know where to start. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with our detailed list summarizing nonprofit organizations, who your donation will help, items they accept and how to schedule your pickup.

The best part is that every organization in our guide is completely free of charge for their furniture removal services and your donations go to a great cause.

Steps for furniture donation pick up

1. Salvation Army

When people start thinking about donating furniture, The Salvation Army is usually one of the first places to come to mind. The Salvation Army is an international organization that operates in over 7,000 U.S. towns and cities and assists 23 million Americans annually.

Their services help provide disaster aid, support the LGBTQ+ community, fight food insecurity, combat addiction, assist those living in poverty and more. With the number of people Salvation Army helps each year, you can feel confident that you are doing good by donating to this organization.

  • Who your donation helps: Your items are either brought directly to those in need or sold at one of their Salvation Army stores. The proceeds from their stores are used to fund their Adult Rehabilitation Centers that provide housing, food, counseling, community and employment for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol dependency.
  • Items they accept: The Salvation Army will accept furniture, vehicles, clothing, household items, electronics, mattresses, books, exercise equipment and more.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: You can schedule an appointment for furniture pickup at The Salvation Army website or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK. Salvation Army pick-up hours can vary depending on your location, but they are typically 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They make the transition even easier by allowing you to leave items outside your home for them to pick up without you even needing to be home.

2. Goodwill

Goodwill is an organization that supports communities through job training and employment services. They also provide support services, language training, education assistance, access to transportation and child care to help people in their communities achieve success.

In 2020, Goodwill served nearly 22 million individuals worldwide and provided career support to 126,000 people. Items brought to one of Goodwill’s stores are sold at a discounted price and the money raised goes to their various programs and initiatives.

  • Who your donation helps: Donation funds go to their job training or community-based programs. Some of their community-based programs include classes for people with disabilities, senior resources and helping convicts reclaim their lives after prison.
  • Items they accept: Goodwill accepts furniture, toys, electronics, clothing, media items, electronics, vehicles, exercise equipment, dishware and tools. Something to note is that Goodwill will accept boats, cars, campers and RVs even if they aren’t in working condition.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: Goodwill stores provide a donation center to give easy drop-off access for donations you’re able to bring in yourself. Most stores also offer a free pick-up service for larger furniture items, making it perfect for those who are downsizing. You can schedule your free Goodwill pickup online on their website locator, but keep in mind that store hours will vary based on their location.

3. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit that provides safe and affordable housing to families in need. Their initiative also assists older adults to improve their homes, puts efforts towards neighborhood revitalization projects, provides shelter during natural disasters and teaches classes focused on financial education. This organization has been in operation since 1976 and works in all 50 U.S. states as well as 70 countries.

  • Who your donation helps: Habitat for Humanity sells donated furniture, building supplies and appliances at their resale store called ReStores. Proceeds from sales go to home restoring and building projects for families in need of affordable housing.
  • Items they accept: Habitat for Humanity will accept furniture, building materials, appliances, vehicles and farm equipment.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: To schedule a free furniture donation pick up with Habitat for Humanity, visit their website and enter your ZIP code to see which stores are near you. Next, you can contact your closest store directly to schedule your appointment.

Moving boxes in a new apartment

4. Green Drop

GreenDrop is a program on the East Coast that raises funds for popular charities by picking up used furniture, clothes and appliances to sell at thrift stores. Their proceeds go back to charities that help those in need. Some of the charities they support include the American Red Cross, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the National Federation of the Blind.

  • Who your donation helps: In 2018, GreenDrop raised $3.1 million for the charitable organizations listed above.
  • Items they accept: GreenDrop accepts various items, including furniture under 50 pounds, clothing, household items, electronics, tools and toys.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: Start by packing up all of your belongings in plastic boxes or bins. Next, decide if you want to make an in-person donation or if you can schedule a furniture pick-up online. After they receive a donation, they’ll provide you with a tax receipt.

5. The Arc

The Arc is the largest organization devoted to helping individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It provides a wide variety of services, supports and advocacy for people with disabilities and their families. The organization has over 700 chapters and one of their key sources of fundraising comes from their thrift stores, which they stock with donated goods.

  • Who your donation helps: Their services vary based on each chapter and the unique needs of their community. Once your donation sells, it goes towards public policy advocacy, vocational programs, residential assistance, education services, financial planning and recreational activities for people with disabilities.
  • Items they accept: The Arc accepts furniture, clothing, electronics, toys, vehicles, books, decorations, kitchen items and more, depending on the chapter.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: You can also schedule via phone by calling The Arc at 1-800-283-2721. Another option is to head to their website to find your local chapter and schedule your pick-up.

Happy couple moving a couch into a new apartment after a furniture donation pick up

6. AMVETS

AMVETS is an organization that represents the interests of 20 million veterans across the United States. This group helps veterans obtain their entitled benefits. They also work to improve the quality of life for veterans, their families and the communities where they live through leadership, advocacy and services.

  • Who your donation helps: AMVETS supports U.S. veterans, those who have been honorably discharged and active duty servicemen and women. They will sell your furniture in one of their thrift stores to raise money for their cause.
  • Items they accept: AMVETS accepts small furniture, clothing, toys, bedding, games, bikes, electronics, lamps, curtains, exercise equipment and kitchenware. AMVET requires donations to be 5-years old or less but is also open to accepting other items that are not on their list.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: Send an email through the AMVET site or call to schedule a furniture donation pick-up between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. It’s important to check with this organization ahead of time to see if their services are available near you. AMVETS has branches across the United States, but only has free furniture pick up available in certain states.

7. Donation Town

This site is perfect for anyone feeling overwhelmed trying to find charities that provide furniture pickup in their community. Donation Town works with local charities all over the country to help put individuals in touch with nonprofits that will provide this service for free. Simply enter your ZIP code and they’ll give you a list of charities to choose from.

  • Who your donation helps: Your donation will help the charity of your choice. They currently have over 400 charities of all sizes in their directory and are adding more all the time.
  • Items they accept: Items they accept depend on each charity’s guidelines.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: Visit Donation Town’s website to plan your pick-up with your selected charity.

8. Furniture Banks

If you donate your items to Furniture Banks, then you’ll be playing an important part in helping vulnerable families get back on their feet. The furniture donation pick up organization encourages people to donate gently used furniture and transfer the items to those struggling financially to furnish their own homes. Furniture Banks operates in 36 states, so check their website to see if they are in your area.

  • Who your donation helps: The families served by this organization include the previously homeless, unemployed, victims of crime, battered women and children in retreat, immigrants, individuals with disabilities and victims of natural disasters.
  • Items they accept: Furniture Banks accepts good condition furniture of all sizes. They also provide a towing service to pick up cars and recreational vehicles.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: To schedule a pick-up with this organization simply schedule an appointment on the Furniture Banks website.

Two moving men bringing boxes to a moving truck for a furniture donation pick up

9. Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)

The Vietnam Veterans of America are working to change negative beliefs towards Vietnam veterans and provides individual assistance in a variety of ways. This includes creating outreach programs for veterans experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration and more. The VVA furniture removal program operates through a program called Pickup Please.

  • Who your donation helps: The Vietnam Veterans of America promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans and work to change public perception of Vietnam veterans.
  • Items they accept: The Pickup Please program accepts small furniture items, sports equipment, toys, kitchenware, electronics and lightly used household goods. Pick Up Please says that they will pick up “almost anything” in good condition, but the piece of furniture must be light enough for one person to carry.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: VVA operates in most states and they make it super easy to schedule a donation pickup online. You can also get to VVA by way of their Pick Up Please site.

10. Out of the Closet thrift stores

The Out of the Closet thrift stores chain is owned and operated by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). This organization provides medical, preventive and educational resources for patients. AHF is the nation’s largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare, research, prevention and education provider. The proceeds from Out of the Closet thrift stores directly benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

  • Who your donation helps: Donations and financial contributions to this organization fund AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs, free HIV testing and housing programs.
  • Items they accept: Out of the Closet Thrift Stores accept furniture, kitchenware, electronics, musical instruments, tools, books, vehicles, artwork and home decor.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: You can schedule your pickup by filling out your address and items in a form on their website. Something to note is that you must have at least two furniture items for them to complete a free pick-up. You can also deliver any pieces of furniture to their local stores.

11. PickUpMyDonation.com

PickUpMyDonation.com is an organization that works with independent non-profit thrift stores in their communities. They’re focused on making large item donations simple by getting your furniture request to a local charity in minutes. Although they are not a charity themselves, they put you in touch with smaller charitable chapters that support the area you live in.

  • Who your donation helps: Your donation will support the charitable cause of the thrift store you are put in contact with.
  • Items they accept: PickUpMyDonation.com accepts large furniture, large appliances, vehicles, tools, recyclable materials, outdoor recreation items and artwork.
  • How to schedule a pick-up: To schedule a pick-up, visit pickupmydonation.com to make a furniture removal request and fill out a form describing the items you want to donate. Next, they’ll put you in contact with the closest thrift store, and if they’re interested in your furniture, they will schedule a furniture removal pickup.

moving boxes in empty room

Tips for furniture donation pick up

Donating your furniture is a great way to get rid of furniture you don’t use anymore while also helping your community. Follow these tips for a seamless furniture pickup experience.

  • Schedule your donation pick-up in advance: Many charities’ free donation pickup spots fill up quickly, so it’s important not to wait until the last minute to make an appointment. Schedule as far in advance as possible to ensure you get the date and time that works for you.
  • Research different organizations: Instead of just picking the first charity on the list, make sure to do some research to make sure their values and methods align with your own. All of the charities listed do great things for their communities, but each has its own way of making an impact.
  • Prepare your furniture: Each charity will have individual guidelines for how they want your furniture packaged and prepared for pickup. Leave furniture uncovered to be inspected but make sure it is cleaned and houseware is boxed correctly.
  • Write off your furniture donation: Did you know you can write off your furniture donation on your taxes? Simply ask the charity picking up your furniture for a tax receipt or paperwork to file and you’ll be saving money this upcoming tax season.
  • Coordinate with neighbors: While many nonprofits allow you to simply leave furniture outside your home for them to retrieve, others might require you to be there. If this is the case, then it’s best to coordinate with a neighbor or friend to stop by when they’re scheduled to arrive.

If you follow these tips, you should have an easy transition and donation pickup day. Also, make sure to always check to see if the organization of your choice has any additional requirements.

Declutter with furniture donation pick up services

Finding a new apartment has never been easier with Rent.com’s finder tool. Start your move off on the right foot by using a free furniture removal service to declutter your place and take care of any worries prior to moving into your new home.

Source: rent.com

McCormick’s Director of Taco Relations is a Dream Job for Taco Lovers

There’s a new job out there paying $100,000 to taste tacos, research tacos, film tacos, celebrate tacos, Tweet tacos and talk tacos. And not just on Taco Tuesday. Every day for four months.

Yeah, this sounds like a classic Homer Simpson dream bubble, but it’s actually legit. McCormick, the spice company, is hiring its first Director of Taco Relations. The gig pays $25,000 a month for up to 20 hours of work a week during September, October, November and December. That figures out to $312.50 an hour. (Picture the dollar signs in Homer’s glazed eyes.)

No previous taco experience required, but you must be passionate about that fabulous folded food group. Expertise in producing social media content is also a plus. You must apply by 11:59 p.m. July 20 and submit a video no more than two minutes long.

McCormick suggests including some of the following info in your video:

  • Your go-to and out-of-the-box taco recipes, taco tips and tricks, and insights gleaned as a taco connoisseur
  • Your favorite taco-themed trivia and fun facts
  • Are you team hard shell or team soft shell and why?
  • Your applicable taco experiences, qualifications and skill sets
  • Your feelings on the perfect taco toppings
  • Most importantly, you should be able to answer the question: Why is being McCormick’s Director of Taco Relations your dream gig?

The Tasks of Director of Taco Relations

If your typical day includes eating a taco with one hand while trolling TikTok with the other, then you’ve already been training for this dream job. Spotting taco trends and posting content other taco devotees will appreciate are key tasks. Other duties include:

  • Working with the McCormick kitchens team to develop innovative taco recipes
  • Sharing easy taco recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Helping taco fans and followers execute these recipes at home
  • Collaborating with McCormick’s creative and social teams for celebrating National Taco Day, National Margarita Day and Taco Tuesday
  • Making taco lovers aware of ways to use McCormick’s taco seasoning beyond the traditional taco
  • Minimal travel to McCormick’s headquarters in Hunt Valley, Md., and other taco travel required

Click here for more specifics on the job and video format.

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. 

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Catering Side Gigs May Be the Best Hustle of 2021

The 2021 wedding season is projected to be among the busiest in a decade with an estimated 2.77 million weddings, which is over half a million more than usual.

This is great news for catering companies, whose income evaporated during 2020, and it can be great news for your wallet if you explore this lucrative yet under-appreciated side hustle.

I first discovered catering in graduate school, when a friend who worked for a catering staffing company offered me a job. I had an hour-long training from the staffing company. On my first shift, a wedding at a historic estate with ocean views, I dropped a tray of champagne flutes.

Despite my non-illustrious start, I stuck with catering. The money is consistent and the perks, if you work for the right caterer, add up. As I write this, I’ve been eating catering leftovers all week.

Find out how to get started in catering, how much money you can make catering, plus what skills caterers need right now.

How to Find Local Catering Jobs

Event caterers are everywhere: big cities, college towns, and rural areas cashing in on the rustic wedding trend. Wherever you go, you’ll find a local catering company. If you find yourself in between jobs, catering income can give you a buffer until you land something else.

Plus, the jobs are often on Friday nights or weekends anytime, a bonus for a Monday-through-Friday worker looking to bring in more money.

Given the part-time, seasonal nature of the industry, workers tend to come and go. As a result, catering companies are often hiring. Many caterers love working with college students who are home for the summer or teachers looking for extra money on their summers off.

During the wedding season, the best catering companies will have two to three weddings on the same day and you’ll be able to work every weekend if you want. 

In many markets, the catering season extends beyond summer weddings. University towns have receptions, graduations, and college reunions. Individuals have private parties for milestone events.

Companies host holiday parties, summer picnics, and other employee engagement events, although Jackie Spigener, who owns Silver Sycamore Events Resort, a wedding and event venue in Pasadena, Texas, says corporate events haven’t yet returned fully.

There will always be more opportunities if you live in a bigger city, simply because catering will serve multiple markets, but even in my part of upstate New York, I could get a shift every single weekend from May to October if I wanted.

server holding champagne glasses at outdoor wedding
Getty Images

Jobs in Catering

Catering jobs include bartender, server, and cook. Bartender and cook jobs tend to go to people with previous experience in that role.

A typical catering shift lasts anywhere from 7 to 10 hours and you may need to travel to the location (I’ve gone as far as two hours, but been paid for travel time). The work is physical, the hours are long, and you’ll be on your feet the entire time.

There are perks. You’ll be a fly on the wall at events held in beautiful locations. If you’re the sort who gets bored easily, you’ll appreciate having different work environments, since  many caterers travel to several event venues in the region.

“Catering is an extremely fun job as every event is different, and you can see a lot of really cool venues and be a part of some amazing events,” says Daniel Wolfe, owner of Wolfe and Wine Catering in Houston.

Eating on the Job

You’ll be fed on your shift; this might be the same food guests are eating or a separate, simple meal. Food that was not served to the guests and would otherwise be wasted is typically up for grabs at the end of the night. I’ve also taken home wedding decor, bouquets, and opened bottles of wine.

While it helps if you have previous experience, this is absolutely not necessary.

“All of the catering/food serving skills can be trained if the work ethic and personality for customer/guest service is there,” says Spigener.

Catering Side Gig Jobs

Depending on how big the event is, the caterer could need dozens of people. Some will need high-level culinary skills but that’s not what you will probably be doing. Think of your as the muscle and if you’re dealing with guests, a server with a good attitude.

There are positions for people of all skill levels. For example:

Jobs for New Hires

  • Refill water glasses
  • Clean up during cocktail hour
  • Clean up after event

Jobs for Experienced Workers

  • Pass appetizers
  • Tend the bar
  • Serve people sitting at head table

While I started with a catering staffing company, I wouldn’t recommend doing this. I was basically a temp sent to bolster catering agency staff, who earned more than I did.

The agency agreement prohibited temps from being hired on by any caterer we’d temped for, which kept us corralled in lower-wage, disposable work.

Approaching companies directly is the better option. While catering companies are typically looking to hire in spring, this year’s labor shortage means that many are understaffed. You can find local caterers who are looking to hire on Craigslist or by searching for event venues and catering companies in your market and reaching out directly.

If you know someone who works for a restaurant or hotel that has a banquet facility, they may be able to refer you.

server setting the table at formal event
Getty Images

How Much Money Can You Make Catering?

Restaurant workers in most American markets receive a well-below-minimum-wage shift payment and make most of their money in tips. Catering workers tend to be paid competitive hourly wages, plus tips.

Thanks to the hospitality industry labor shortage, it’s a worker’s market. Employers all need to staff up at the same time, so companies have to compete on wages. Reach out to several companies at the same time, then take your pick of one or more that pay the most.

The Hourly Wage

Wolfe currently pays $12-$15 per hour for servers and $15 per hour for cooks. Bartenders earn $10 per hour with a tip jar visible or $25 per hour with no tip jar. Wolfe says he pays based on the cost of living and would probably pay 20 to 30 percent more if he were located in a market like California or New York.

Private party shifts tend to be shorter — a skeleton crew will be working in (or outside) someone’s home for a dinner service or cocktail party — but the odds of a direct cash tip at the end of the night increase significantly.

Spigener says she currently starts catering staff at $10 per hour.

LaSonya Holmes-Boulware, who owns My Girls Catering and Food Truck in Greensboro, North Carolina, starts catering servers at $10 per hour and cooks at $15 per hour. Experienced workers can be paid more for working elite events.

What the Bosses are looking For

When hiring, Spigener looks for personality (“courteous and mannered well”) and a willingness to pitch in. Wolfe values punctuality (because “an upset client is a lost client”) and flexibility, since it’s difficult to predict when shifts will end.

Attention to detail, a good work ethic, and a positive attitude are his top desired skills. Holmes-Boulware seeks out people who are willing to work flexible schedules, like Wolfe, and prefers those who have prior experience with events.

I’ve worked in restaurants and for caterers. Catering has always paid me more per hour, in every market I’ve worked. The seasonal nature of the job makes it an ideal side gig. If you can get in with a top-notch caterer now, when the need is high, you can secure a lucrative side hustle for as long as you need or want one.

The Penny Hoarder contributor Lindsey Danis is a Hudson Valley-based writer who specializes in food, freelancing advice, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, NextAdvisor, Greatist, and more. 

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com