Is there a bright side to the global Covid-19 pandemic? Should we even think about looking for a bright side? The answer is absolutely “yes”. The downside of this situation can feel overwhelming and desperately sad. There is no shortage of bad news, but there are many reasons and benefits to remaining hopeful now and moving forward.
All over the world people found ways to connect during social distancing. From the Italians who sang arias from their balconies to neighborhoods in the US who met on their streets for dance offs. We learned to use new technology such as Zoom or Facetime for virtual happy hours and dinners. From a safe 6 feet apart, you can go for walks with friends and family. Have balcony fun and get to know your neighbors that live in your apartment building. My daughter has befriended a senior lady on the second floor of her apartment building. This daily interaction reduces isolation especially for her and creates smiles.
Do you feel the silence? During snowstorms when plane traffic is halted, silence feels like a warm blanket. Now the birds are in their element with less cars and planes in the air. With more time in our lives to explore new interests, bird watching as a hobby is on the increase. They are much easier to hear and spot when we do not need to filter through all the man-made noise. We can rediscover nature.
We can see clearly now and breath better in many cities all over the world. The media shows us photography of blue skies in Los Angeles. NASA says that the atmosphere is significantly cleaner. With the reduction of non-essential travel, the drop in pollution has been significant worldwide. Cleaner air promotes better health for people suffering from asthma and other respiratory related illnesses. This year with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are seeing many places with the best air quality in decades.
Did you catch up on all the projects that you thought that you never had time to do before? I have cleaned and organized everything from my attic to the linen closets and the food pantry. I thought that I had plenty of canned goods only to find that a can of green beans expired in 2018. My hurricane provisions from 2019 had expired too. Knowing exactly where I stood with non-perishables will help me be ready for hurricane season 2020. Catching up on my “to do list” had given me a feeling of accomplishment and control during a time when we have no control over a global pandemic. It was a more positive way to spend my time than binge watching news and obsessing about the pandemic. Trust me I spent too much time going from streaming news to local news providers. (Source: Bright Side)
To find the bright side of the any bad situation, it is best to try to have a positive attitude. It will not be an easy thing to do. Even if it is only for a few minutes a day, looking for the bright side can help you not to go down into a rabbit hole of despair. There are so many health benefits with a positive outlook. Can you chat with a senior shut in? Could you donate to a non-profit or support local shops and restaurants? Can we find ways to sustain clean air and continue to commit to a healthier global environment? That remains to be seen. I know that some good will result from Covid-19 pandemic. But it will be up to each of us as we find the new norm to be positive. I’m betting on us to win!
Among the many side effects of physical offices closing during the coronavirus crisis is the massive increase in people working from home.
As of this summer, a whopping 42 percent of everyone in the workforce is telecommuting full time. And both for those who have been working in a home office for a long time and those for whom this is a brand new experience, making your home office a place for productivity is a challenge.
With all the distractions — both physical and emotional — of working from your living room or home office, what better way to make your space your own than creating your own soundtrack to work to. But what’s the best music for working from home? Why is listening to music beneficial to your WFH life, and what genres best promote continued quality work?
The benefits of music while working
Why should you listen to music while working from home? Because music can help you be more productive, more creative or just happier. A silent room can be just as distracting as an over-stimulated environment. It can also drown out the sounds of your partner working in the other room, a cranky baby, a needy puppy, noisy neighbors or the sounds of the city.
Creates positive emotions
A happy worker is a productive worker. For many people, working from home is a new phenomenon and can cause worry about being distanced from co-workers and friends and falling into a poor mood which will affect the work.
It should be no surprise that the right music can make you happy. We all have that one song or one band that puts us in a good mood. And studies predictably confirm that happy employees are more productive and more efficient. In fact, more research shows that people who listen to music are happier than those who don’t. And who doesn’t want to be happy at work, even at home?
Brings the upbeat vibes
Music can also bounce out that 2:30 feeling, those times during the workday where you need a pick me up. In a normal world, that may have been a trip over to the office kitchen for a snack and/or gossip and a few moments away from your desk.
But when working from home, that midday lull can be alleviated with some upbeat tunes to kickstart yourself. Happy, uplifting music can also assuage the boredom of a particularly mundane or repetitive task and turn that project you were dreading into something much more appealing.
Drowns out distracting noises
The most practical use of music for working from home is lessening distractions. Back in the office, you were surrounded by people holding too-loud conversations, clacking away on keyboards or drowning you in the sounds of cold and flu season. Tossing on the earbuds took you away to a different place to concentrate on your tasks at hand.
At home, it’s the same thing, just different distractions. From barking dogs to kids in Zoom school to your neighbors running the vacuum way too often, a solid work-from-home playlist will keep you focused and on task.
Improves memory and cognition
It’s not just productivity that music heightens, but your memory and actual work performance. Sure, a great work-from-home playlist will get you excited and moving on that new project, but music can actually make your work better.
Recent studies have shown that listening to background music enhances episodic memory and improves your cognitive performance. Just imagine what the right background music can do to the quality of your work with better memory and optimizing your executive functions.
The best music for working from home
There are a lot of choices of music to listen to. Spotify alone defines nearly 2,500 different genres. But not every one of them is the perfect music for working from home for every person. You may be into melodic metalcore or Canadian indie or LGBT hip hop, but some genres promote productivity, creativity and concentration more than others.
Here are some of the best musical genres for working from home and keeping your day up and running between your morning coffee and your end of the day wrap up. And for each, we’ve provided some great work from home playlists to get you started.
Talk about staying power. Classical music dates back 500 years but remains popular today. Upwards of 35 percent of adults listen to classical, making it the fourth-most-popular genre — and the perfect background noise for your work from home. Classical music is many things at once: uplifting, moody, aural, familiar, mellow, inspiring — sometimes all within the confines of one piece or movement. And it’s a great WFH soundtrack.
The “Mozart Effect” theory says classical music makes you smarter, that it’s good for test-taking, studying and working, particularly creative work. Other studies have shown that classical music can boost your mood, increase productivity and even improve the quality of your work.
But classical music is a very broad genre spanning some 50 decades, so where to begin? One survey found that the Baroque period — think Bach, Vivaldi and Handel — fostered an increase in positive disposition and concentration.
Classical work-from-home playlists
2. Epic and anthemic music
Soaring. Moving. Epic. Anthemic music is a style that crosses genres from the biggest arena rock bands and ’90s modern rockers to country storytellers and jock jams. It’s music that gets you on your feet, powerful celebratory songs with memorable choruses that project triumph.
It’s music that makes you feel like you can take on the world and accomplish anything. Even finishing that spreadsheet or submitting that HR project right on time.
Anthemic or epic music can inspire grandiosity and motivate you to get through that tough assignment or meet that goal. It’s sports anthems like “We Will Rock You” or “Takin’ Care of Business.” Soaring contemporary classical pieces like “Fanfare For The Common Man.” Inspiring heart-pumpers like “The Rising” or “Born This Way.” Or genre-defining hip-hop like “Fight The Power” and “It Was a Good Day.”
Like athletes getting off the bus, focused and Beats headphones on, anthemic music makes you feel uplifted, empowered and ready for game time. Is it music you should spend all day listening to while you work? Probably not. But if you’re feeling tired, beaten or simply unmotivated, high-powered anthems might just be the answer to sitting up straight and showing your boss who is boss.
Epic and anthemic work-from-home playlists
3. Ambient music
Ambient music may have a reputation as just elevator music or random soundscapes, but it’s so much more. It could be a colorful house or techno playlist. World music or indie shoegaze. Synths or space rock. But no matter what the subgenre, ambient music makes for a distraction-free backdrop to your workday.
The pioneer of ambient music and the iconic artist-producer Brian Eno, who created the ambient music masterwork “Music for Airports,” described the genre as, “able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular, as ignorable as it is interesting.” Music that won’t steal your attention yet fills the silence while you’re working may be the genre for you.
There are as many exciting artists as there are classifications of ambient music. Sample the spacey sounds of Enya and Enigma, electronica of Aphex Twin, old school prog Pink Floyd and Moody Blues, ambient pop of Talk Talk or Nick Cave, downtempo chillwave of Kygo or Toro y Moi or atmospheric dream pop of Dizzy and The XX.
Ambient work-from-home playlists
4. Feel-good music
Ever walked into a dentist’s office and the local hot adult contemporary station is playing over the intercom? Of course. Because feel-good music makes you… feel good. No one loves the dentist’s office, but maybe you’ll feel a little better if Hall & Oates or Britney Spears is playing. Songs that bring a smile to your face and make you move your feet a little (but not too much).
Pop music designed to make you feel happy even while you’re toiling away at work is perfect for working from home. It’s possible your old office even had this pumping through the hallways or in the kitchen. Because feel-good pop can make the day go by a little faster.
As you’re rushing towards deadlines or unburying yourself from an email avalanche – or even if the boss has just been on your tail all day — sometimes you need to do a little walking on sunshine to bring your motivation back. None of this is meant to be deep and thought-provoking. Feel good music is supposed to be like a snack break or a candy bar, to stimulate the happiness centers of your brain and release that hit of dopamine to get you onto the next task.
But take care to avoid songs with narrative lyrics or story songs, as music that tells a linear story has been shown to be distracting to cognitive work. So, blast the Pharrell or Barenaked Ladies, but stay away from the Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapin.
Feel-good work-from-home playlists
5. Chill vibes music
Not every work situation calls for music that makes you move. Reading heavy text or concentrating on a difficult task might take something to ease the nerves and keep you relaxed. Some chill music — folk rock, smooth country or just good old classic acoustic rock — might be just what you need certain times during the day.
Acoustic or muted guitar, smooth vocals, light instrumentation and an uncomplicated beat is just the soundtrack for a stressful job or project. Cue up indie-folk jammers like Hozier, Dan Mangan, Phoebe Bridgers or Vance Joy, chill crooners including Ed Sheeran, Ingrid Michaelson or John Mayer, acoustic old-schoolers such as James Taylor, Cat Stevens or Rickie Lee Jones or just a great album of acoustic hits like Arkells’ “Campfire Chords” or something moody like “Folklore” from Taylor Swift.
But be wary of playlists heavy with your favorite songs. A study has shown listening to tracks with lyrics you know by heart, or “familiar vocal music,” can decrease your performance through distraction while you fight the urge to sing along, even in your head. Sounds like the perfect time to catch up on some new music you aren’t familiar with.
Chill vibes work-from-home playlists
6. Video game soundtracks
If you’re over a certain age, this category is going to make very little sense. But one of the best choices for music for working at home are video game songs. We’re not talking about 8-bit Atari beebop or Nintendo chiptunes. This is thematic, pointed and often soaring music specifically designed to enhance the video game experience.
Video game music is a marketing tool, designed to enhance your gaming experience. If you’re winding your way through a fantasy landscape or dodging enemy fire as you infiltrate enemy hordes, video game music can help you focus, keep your energy levels up or even just keep you playing. The same can be done with those soundtracks while you work alone in the living room.
These are compositions to encourage you to reach for that next level, whether it be in your first-person shooter, your epic fantasy adventure or your latest work project. It can help you avoid obstacles and collaborate with your friends, in the game or in the work huddle. This is the strategic music you’ll find in games like Bastion, SimCity, Thumper, Doom, Final Fantasy, Journey and Legend of Zelda.
Video game work-from-home playlists
7. Instrumental music
A study by two researchers at Middle Tennessee State University found students who listened to instrumental music scored higher on tests than those that listened to lyrical music. Logically, it makes sense. For some, a song with lyrics is akin to someone standing behind you talking while you’re working. In fact, an NIH paper showed that music needs to be lyric-free for it to promote productivity.
The great thing about instrumental music is it can literally be any music devoid of lyrics or words. Instrumentals exist in every single genre (well, maybe not a cappella or barbershop). No matter what music you enjoy, you can type away and crunch those numbers with soothing or inspiring music-only tracks bereft of those pesky words. Country, indie, classical, power ballads, skiffle, trip-hop — every genre has perfect instrumental music to fit your needs.
Instrumental work-from-home playlists
8. Nature and real-world sounds
Sometimes the soundtrack to your day doesn’t even have to be music. Filling your living room or home office with the sounds of nature can put you in a variety of moods, from motivated and amped to relaxed and attentive. The choices are endless and only limited by your tastes. Choose from classics like waterfalls, an afternoon thunderstorm, rustling leaves, a crashing surf, morning birds chirping or a crackling campfire.
The most useful noises don’t even have to be of the natural variety. Try something out of the box like rain hitting the roof of a car, an oscillating fan, a clacking train or a running washing machine. Are you really missing the office? Why not fill the silence with the actual background sounds of an office.
Is this still too disruptive? Help block out distractions with the neutral sounds of white noise. Just ask your smart speaker to play some.
Nature work-from-home playlists
Picking the right music for you
No one genre or music type is going to be exactly what you need every minute of the day. Take a cue from a music therapy concept called the Iso Principle. This technique calls for starting with music that mirrors your current mood and gradually ramping up to songs that match the mood you want to be in.
Start the morning with something slow that can ease you into your day without forcing you to be productive. Then, transition into some power jams that will increase your performance and get you pumped for finishing that big project or the day’s task.
Looking for a sweet spot to feed your day? One research report concluded that music clocking in at about 121 beats per minute was optimal for productivity. Think songs like “December” by Collective Soul, The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” or “My People” from Missy Elliott.
But no matter what genre you decide on, the only goal is to find what’s best for you. Studies show that while listening to music does aid in completing tasks quicker and improving cognitive thinking, how much it actually helps you concentrate depends on how much you actually like the music being played. So, find your jam, and get it done.
With less than 100 days until Election Day, multiple polls show that President Donald Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in key swing states, including Wisconsin. Another way to figure out if a candidate is performing, in addition to polling data, is by looking at his/her fundraising effort.
Each quarter we at RentHop review the fundraising data released by the FEC with the hope of providing insights to voters. Our study for Q4 2019 for key cities such as Des Moines and Las Vegas shows that a city’s contributions might align with the outcome of the caucuses and primaries, and we believe that it would also shed light on the general election.
Our key findings this quarter in Wisconsin include:
Trump leads in Wisconsin by unique donor count – the President has garnered support from 5,947 unique donors, whereas former Vice President Joe Biden has received donations from 2,393 unique donors as of June 30, 2020.
Of all 680 zip codes included in this study, 36.0% of them, or 245, are blue zip codes, including 53711 (Dane County), 53211 (Milwaukee County), 54601 (La Crosse County). [Unique Donor Map]
Meanwhile, 45.1%, or 307, are red zip codes, which consist of 54066 (Washington County), 53217 (Milwaukee County), and 53072 (Waukesha County). 18.8% of the zip codes, or 128, are purple, which means that neither parties have more than 55% of unique donors.
In Milwaukee County, Biden saw a big surge in the number of unique donors since February 2020. The number went from 99 to 473 by the end of June.
In Dane County, Biden surpassed Trump by end of March 2020, and has attracted 448 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, 106% more than what Trump has.
Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?
The interactive map below highlights Wisconsin and its zip codes. More detailed, the map shows where each zip code stands, politically, and which presidential candidate is leading in each zip code. You can click on the zip code polygons or select from the drop-down menu to learn more. For a more detailed analysis of how candidates are doing in the same zip code, view the corresponding interactive line graph above the map.
Blue zip codes are zip codes where the aggregated number of unique donors of all Democratic candidates (including past candidates) is higher than the number of unique donors received by Republican candidates (including Trump, Sanford, Walsh, and Weld), and red zip codes are areas where the Republican candidates attracted more unique donors than all Democratic candidates combined.
Looking at the map and the chart above, we can tell that President Donald Trump has been the fundraising front runner in Wisconsin. As of June 30, 2020, Trump has accumulated 5,947 unique donors. On the Democratic side, while support was split among candidates, more donors have turned to Mr. Biden’s campaign as he seized primary victories in other states and positioned himself as the presumptive party nominee. As of Q2, 2020, the Biden campaign amassed 2,393 unique donors in Wisconsin.
In Milwaukee, the largest county in the state by population, Vice President Joe Biden saw a big surge in the number of unique donors since February 2020. The number went from 99 to 473 by the end of June. In Dane County, Biden surpassed Trump by end of March 2020, and has attracted 448 unique donors as of June 30, 2020, 106% more than what Trump has. Meanwhile, Trump comfortably leads the fundraising game in counties such as Waukesha, Brown, and Racine.
Top 5 Zip Codes in Milwaukee County by Donor Count
Zip Code 53211: Biden’s 81 unique donors vs. Trump’s 25 unique donors
Zip Code 53217: Biden’s 89 unique donors vs. Trump’s 72 unique donors
Zip Code 53202: Biden’s 58 unique donors vs. Trump’s 27 unique donors
Zip Code 53207: Biden’s 12 unique donors vs. Trump’s 22 unique donors
Zip Code 53092: Biden’s 31 unique donors vs. Trump’s 69 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Dane County by Donor Count
Zip Code 53711: Biden’s 117 unique donors vs. Trump’s 37 unique donors
Zip Code 53705: Biden’s 136 unique donors vs. Trump’s 14 unique donors
Zip Code 53703: Biden’s 55 unique donors vs. Trump’s 8 unique donors
Zip Code 53704: Biden’s 54 unique donors vs. Trump’s 29 unique donors
Zip Code 53562: Biden’s 61 unique donors vs. Trump’s 46 unique donors
Top 5 Zip Codes in Waukesha County by Donor Count
Zip Code 53045: Biden’s 14 unique donors vs. Trump’s 68 unique donors
Zip Code 53072: Biden’s 15 unique donors vs. Trump’s 70 unique donors
Zip Code 53188: Biden’s 17 unique donors vs. Trump’s 49 unique donors
Zip Code 53186: Biden’s 16 unique donors vs. Trump’s 41 unique donors
Zip Code 53189: Biden’s 8 unique donors vs. Trump’s 40 unique donors
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Biden
Below are the top 10 zip codes where Biden received the most support.
The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC covering all individual contributions dated between Jan 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. For President Donald Trump, the following committees are included: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (C00580100), Trump Make America Great Again Committee (C00618371), and Trump Victory (C00618389). For former Vice President Joe Biden, the following committees are included: Biden for President (C00703975), Biden Victory Fund (C00744946), and Biden Action Fund (C00746651). The state, county, and zip code shapefiles were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and candidates. We adopted 5-digit zip codes for this report as not all candidates collect 9-digit zip codes. People who have changed their names or moved in between donations could artificially inflate these numbers. Unique donor shares are calculated using the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Trump’s campaign and the aggregated number of unique donors contributed to Biden’s campaign. Past Democratic/Republican candidates are excluded from the calculation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies
1. Why would Trump be leading in a Blue Zip Code?
This is related to the primaries. As we all know, there were as many as 31 Democratic candidates competing for the nomination, and so the support was divided among them. Meanwhile, while the Republican Party had 3 candidates running, all the support gravitated towards Trump, and therefore he alone could receive support from more unique donors than any single Democratic candidate. Now that Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, we should start seeing some changes.
2. Why should we care about unique donors?
While the dollar amount raised is important for candidates, we believe that it is more crucial to understand how many unique donors each candidate has attracted, as each unique donor potentially means one vote, and by measuring donor counts, it gives us a better idea of how many people support each candidate.
3. How is the party majority calculated?
The party majority is calculated using the aggregated unique donor count of a party and the aggregated unique donor count from Jan 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. For instance, if Democratic candidates attracted a total of 200 unique donors, and the total number of unique donors within a city is 500, the Democratic share would be 40%. In terms of the color shades, purple areas are whether neither the Democratic candidates combined nor Trump has more than 55% of the donors. Light blue and light red represent zip codes where the party has 55% to 70% of the donors, and blue or red represents a majority of 70% and more.
Moving is expensive. And at a time when you’re likely going out of pocket for everything, you’re doing everything you can to cut costs. Where do you skimp and where do you spend? And most importantly, where are the best places to get moving boxes without spending a dime?
14 places to get moving boxes without paying
It’s not just the cost that can make buying moving boxes a less attractive option. It can be wasteful unless you know you’re going to move again soon. Then, you can break down the boxes so they’re flat and store them away until the next time. But if you know this will be your last move for a while, finding some good quality boxes for free is worth the effort.
So, where’s the best place to get free moving boxes? As long as you’re willing to put in a little effort, you have lots of great options.
1. Ask Uncle Sam
If you’re planning a move on your own and don’t have too much stuff, the answer is only as far as your nearest post office.
Of the many services provided by the U.S. Postal Service, one is their ability to provide free packaging to customers. Those “If It Fits, It Ships” boxes are available for free to customers who then pay for the boxes when shipped.
The boxes aren’t very big, but as long as you can work within those dimensions, you’ll not only get them for free, but you can have them delivered to your front door.
This isn’t technically stealing, but if you’re not planning on using the boxes after your move, consider paying it forward and offering them for free to the next person. Or, keep the boxes and use them to eBay off all your old stuff.
2. Re-use from U-Haul
If you’re attempting a move on the cheap, odds are you’re going to rent a truck. And even if you’re not, check with your local moving truck rental company. They sell shipping and moving supplies, and oftentimes, people returning the trucks will have plenty of free boxes, tape, styrofoam packing peanuts, etc., that they don’t need anymore.
U-Haul Customer Connect is the moving company’s own social networking platform, specifically designed to connect people just starting their move with people who are just wrapping up theirs.
3. Big box stores are big on boxes
Big box stores like Walmart, Lowe’s or Costco will also have tons of boxes they’re happy to give away. Costco specifically is known to give boxes away to customers who ask. Many times, there will even be a giant pallet of boxes for customers (or anyone else) to use, free of charge. Some stores won’t let you in if you’re not a member, so ask one of your friends if you can tag along with them on their next Costco run.
4. Check the dumpster around back
Your local supermarket or retail store are also great places to look. Cardboard boxes, crates and even egg cartons are usually stacked up or broken down and flattened for easy storage or disposal. If you ask nicely, work quickly and only take what you can use, most businesses are happy to share their old boxes with you.
5. Come for the six pack, leave with stacks of cardboard
The neighborhood liquor store is a great place to find boxes for free. The boxes you’ll find here are sturdier and more durable because they have to carry heavy glass bottles. They’ll hold up better to water and dampness also, just in case it’s an issue later.
And just like any other business owner, if you ask the manager and don’t make a mess, they won’t mind if you leave with as many boxes as you can carry. And while you’re there, pick up some beers for the friends that are going to help you move. You are going to pay them in pizza and beer, right?
6. Get in the zone
Your local auto supply store should have plenty of huge boxes they give you for your move. All the spare parts they order for inventory and car repairs come in big sturdy boxes weighty enough to survive the trip from the warehouse to the garage. So they should suit your needs perfectly.
7. Good boys and even better boxes
Ever been to the pet supply store and seen those massive 50-pound bags of dog food? Or those huge crates or fish tanks. Well, the only thing bigger than that stuff are the boxes they’re shipped in. Take a drive over to your pet supply store, and they should have a massive supply of free boxes for your move just waiting for you.
8. Hey Siri, find me used boxes
OK, maybe it’s not quite that easy, but it’s pretty close. Checking the Free section on Craigslist will yield tons of results. Many of those people also surfed the web for free supplies and they’ll be relieved they can pay it forward.
And then there’s Freecycle. This social networking site connects people within the community to link up and exchange old appliances, furniture, clothes and other stuff for free. Snap a few photos of all your usable boxes and packing supplies and pay it forward to the next person who needs them.
9. There’s an app for that
Check around apps like letgo and the Facebook Marketplace. Online consignment shops and social media yard sales let users sell their old stuff, but you can also find freebies from people who need to clear up the clutter quickly.
10. Howdy neighbor!
If you’re trying to scale back the amount of time you spend on social media (and many of us are), ask your new neighbors or others in your community who are on the other side of their move.
These folks will also be able to give you an idea of what you can expect with your upcoming move. How stressful was it? What unexpected expenses came up? What kind of stuff did they need and forget to buy? Tape guns? Plastic wrap? Ask them what mover they used and shop around for quotes. You never know, you could find new ways to save even more money!
11. Swing by the office
Your office probably has tons of boxes. Reams of paper, office supplies and other equipment all come through an office setting everyday. Go talk to the people in your mailroom and see what they have available.
12. Go straight to the source
Schedule a trip to your neighborhood recycling center. All of the boxes from liquor stores and book stores and supermarkets will eventually wind up here — unless someone snaps them up first!
By the time the boxes make it here, they’ve already been broken down and flattened. But as long as the boxes and flaps are still intact and not torn off, a little bit of tape (which you should already have) will make them like new in no time.
13. Head back to school
If you go at the right time of year, college and university campuses will have tons of boxes. Between the campus bookstore stocking up on textbooks for the next semester and move-in day at the freshman dorms, you’ll find more free boxes there than undecided liberal arts majors.
14. Stacks on stacks on stacks … of boxes
Your neighborhood copy shop also probably does a lot of shipping. That means shipping supplies. If the shop gets in new shipments of paper, shipping labels and printer ink every single day, those high quality and durable boxes are just sitting there, waiting for a new life. Ask the manager if there are any boxes to spare and take what you need.
If you must buy, do it right
If you do have to spend money on boxes, make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Companies like ULINE are known for their commercial quality cardboard boxes, packing tape and shipping supplies and accessories. But if you need cheap, cheap moving boxes, why not try cheapcheapmovingboxes.com? Should be easy enough to remember.
You can pick up 20 good-sized moving boxes, tape and a marker for less than $50. And any boxes you order and don’t use can be returned to the company for a complete refund.
The best places to get moving boxes
Like anything else, don’t just take a box because it’s free. Make sure it’s strong enough and large enough to suit your needs and hold your stuff. Nothing will make a move harder than subpar boxes that fall apart when you pick them up. But with just a little bit of work, you should be able to find all the free boxes you need for your big move.
Pro tip: Flatten the boxes once you get them home so they take up less space in your apartment before you start packing up all your stuff.
As I stare down the barrel of facilitating online kindergarten (lawd help me), my mind is wandering to any and all escapes. While I sadly cannot exit our current reality, I can dream about a far-flung destination. At some point during a mindless scrolling session, idyllic images of a beautiful sun-soaked location kept cropping up in my feed and I had to know more.
These incredible pictures are of a townhouse nestled in the village of Sóller on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Designed by Berrow Projects, the Canoneta Townhouse was built in 1910 by Parisian architects and Berrow has painstakingly updated the property to meld beautiful old-world bones with contemporary details and finishes that make this home feel both timeless and contemporary. All I know is that I’m totally smitten.
Every detail of this island home is picture perfect. This custom kitchen features cement floors with radiant heating and a beautiful mix of custom oak cabinetry and honed stone countertops. The views out of those french doors have me swooning. I can see myself enjoying a morning matcha at that island right now.
The house’s dining room offers a perfect indoor/outdoor feel with those large picture window french doors and oodles of natural light. I spy built-in bench seating at the end of the space. And I’m always a sucker for built-in shelving too.
This townhouse has six bedrooms and six bathrooms! A main bedroom features a cast concrete soaking tub and a beautiful mix of concrete and geometric tiles to mimic carpeting. The continued use of warm oak softens the space. And again the views! What a dream.
I love the cross hatch caning on the custom wardrobe cabinets.
The bathroom is a beautiful, smooth homage to minimalism. I love the single basin for the double sink.
But let’s talk about this home’s incredibly garden. It features a lap pool and spa, sunken seating area and covered outdoor dining table along with an expanse of yard and established orchards of orange, lemon and other fruit trees. The townhouse gets its name, Canoneta, from the native orange variety that grows here and brought prosperity to the region in the late 19th century.
I think I could stomach homeschooling and a really uncertain future if I was sitting next to that pool, a Spritz in hand.
How about you?? Did I mention this house is for sale?!!! I have officially found my exit strategy.
With its walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, renowned multicultural dining scene, clusters of hops-heavy breweries, hip bars, urban green areas and endless options for shopping and entertainment, Portland packs big-city amenities and comforts into a quirky, small-town package.
Sitting on the banks of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, hemmed in by forested hills and rolling valleys, Portland‘s diverse neighborhoods offer something for every type of personality, from chic, trend-driven careerists to chill artists and creatives who love the laid-back lifestyle and everyone in between.
The most popular Portland neighborhoods for renters
So, hop on your bike (or rent one from the fast-and-easy bicycle rental places around town) and hit the streets to learn about the best areas of the city, and then take our Portland neighborhoods quiz to find which one is right for you!
Full of history and culture, Downtown Portland offers the perfect blend of work and fun, contemporary and historic. Walk from your office in the business district to home, passing local landmarks like Pioneer Place along the way.
For a taste of the outdoors, go for a stroll in the riverfront park or head to the verdant hills of Washington Park. With ample shopping and dining options to boot, downtown is the best of all worlds.
A one-bedroom apartment will cost you about $1,700 on average in this neighborhood.
This revitalized district on the southwestern bank of the Willamette River is easily Portland’s most up-and-coming neighborhood, with sleek condos and apartment buildings, trendy eateries and manicured riverfront parks and outdoor areas populated by joggers and cyclists.
Affluent and innovative, South Waterfront is perfect for the career-oriented, with its fast-and-easy access to the nearby Oregon Health & Sciences University, the downtown area and public transit.
Be prepared to spend about $1,750 on average for a one-bedroom apartment in South Waterfront.
Once the site of train yards and warehouses, the Pearl is now one of Portland’s most happening districts, perfect for those who like to live at the heart of things.
With endless restaurants, bars and breweries, cobblestone streets and red-brick buildings that have been renovated into upscale dining, retail, living and gallery spaces (the Pearl is one of the best places for art in Portland), you’re never more than a few feet from the action.
Pearl is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, and rent prices reflect that. A one-bedroom apartment here averages about $2,320 a month.
Goose Hollow’s hidden charm offers fantastic value and location. For sports fans, there’s nowhere better, thanks to being the home of the Providence Park stadium, and nature lovers will enjoy being close to Washington Park, the Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.
With all the attractions of downtown and Nob Hill at your fingertips, Goose Hollow offers a leisurely respite from the hustle and bustle at the heart of the city.
You’ll spend an average of $1,830 for a one-bedroom apartment in Goose Hollow.
For a taste of classic Portland, Nob Hill is among the best. Located on the northwestern banks of the Willamette, not far from the Pearl and downtown, this sunny neighborhood is full of beautiful Craftsman and Victorian homes, as well as some of the best dining in the city.
Stroll from your house or apartment up to 23rd Street (or “Trendy Third”) to shop at cool boutiques or relax with a local craft brew.
An average one-bedroom apartment here will set you back about $2,030 a month.
Bring on the brews and good eats: Buckman serves up some of the best in town! This east-bank neighborhood is hopping with cool breweries, as well as many of Portland’s top restaurants like Tusk and Canard.
Coffee lovers will also enjoy the wide variety of roasters and coffee houses. Easily walkable, vibrant and funky, this blended-area of old-school Portland houses and contemporary outfits is always exciting.
You’ll spend about $1,900 for an average one-bedroom apartment in Buckman.
For a taste of small-town life, St. Johns in North Portland enclave of tree-lined streets, local stores and unique restaurants and bars hits the spot.
Discover vintage Portland homes, while away afternoons in Cathedral Park, have a pint with friends at favorite haunts like Occidental Brewing and enjoy the great outdoors at the nearby Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. Best of all, one of Portland’s most famous icons, the St. Johns Bridge, is your next-door neighbor here.
If you want to live close to the action but with a bit of breathing room, this quiet, established district is just what the doctor ordered. East Portland is chock-full of charming homes, affordable apartments and neighborhood parks.
Each area, like Hazelwood or Powellhurst-Gilbert, also has plenty in the way of local and national retail and dining. And all the thrills of downtown are just a short drive away.
You’re a little further away from downtown, so it’s most affordable in East Portland. An average one-bedroom apartment is only $1,100 a month.
Find the best Portland neighborhood for you
Still not sure which Portland neighborhood is perfect to call your home? Simply answer a few questions and we’ll tell you!
Who’s coming with you?
Which one neighborhood characteristic can you not live without?
What’s your idea of quality downtime?
Which of these best describes your current life stage?
Your personal style could be best described as:
Which of the following is most important to you in choosing a home?
Which Portland Neighborhood Should You Call Home?
Full of history and culture, downtown Portland offers the perfect blend of work and fun, contemporary and historic. Walk from your office in the business district to home, passing local landmarks like Pioneer Place along the way.For a taste of the outdoors, go for a stroll in the riverfront park or head to the verdant hills of Washington Park. With ample shopping and dining options to boot, downtown is the best of all worlds. Find Apartments in Downtown Portland
This revitalized district on the southwestern bank of the Willamette River is easily Portland’s most up-and-coming neighborhood, with sleek condos and apartment buildings, trendy eateries and manicured riverfront parks and outdoor areas populated by joggers and cyclists.Affluent and innovative, this area is perfect for the career-oriented, with its fast-and-easy access to the nearby Oregon Health & Sciences University, the downtown area and public transit. Find Apartments in South Waterfront
For a taste of small-town life, this North Portland enclave of tree-lined streets, local stores and unique restaurants and bars hits the spot. Discover vintage Portland homes, while away afternoons in Cathedral Park, have a pint with friends at favorite haunts like Occidental Brewing and enjoy the great outdoors at the nearby Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. Best of all, one of Portland’s most famous icons, the St. John’s Bridge, is your next-door neighbor here. Find Apartments in St. Johns
Once the site of train yards and warehouses, the Pearl is now one of Portland’s most happening districts, perfect for those who like to live at the heart of things. With endless restaurants, bars and breweries, cobblestone streets and red-brick buildings that have been renovated into upscale dining, retail, living and gallery spaces (the Pearl is one of the best places for art in Portland), you’re never more than a few feet from the action. Find Apartments in Pearl
For a taste of classic Portland, Nob Hill is among the best. Located on the northwestern banks of the Willamette, not far from the Pearl and downtown, this sunny neighborhood is full of beautiful Craftsman and Victorian homes, as well as some of the best dining in the city.Stroll from your house or apartment up to 23rd Street (or “Trendy Third”) to shop at cool boutiques or relax with a local craft brew. Find Apartments in Nob Hill
Goose Hollow’s hidden charm offers fantastic value and location. For sports fans, there’s nowhere better, thanks to being the home of the Providence Park stadium, and nature lovers will enjoy being close to Washington Park, the Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden.With all the attractions of downtown and Nob Hill at your fingertips, Goose Hollow offers a leisurely respite from the hustle and bustle at the heart of the city. Find Apartments in Goose Hollow
If you want to live close to the action but with a bit of breathing room, this quiet, established district is just what the doctor ordered. East Portland is chock-full of charming homes, affordable apartments and neighborhood parks.Each area, like Hazelwood or Powellhurst-Gilbert, also has plenty in the way of local and national retail and dining. And all the thrills of downtown are just a short drive away. Find Apartments in East Portland
Bring on the brews and good eats: Buckman serves up some of the best in town! This east-bank neighborhood is hopping with cool breweries, as well as many of Portland’s top restaurants like Tusk and Canard. Coffee lovers will also enjoy the wide variety of roasters and coffee houses. Easily walkable, vibrant and funky, this blended-area of old-school Portland houses and contemporary outfits is always exciting. Find Apartments in Buckman
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in August 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
Do you have a hard time picking what to wear and often find yourself impatiently rummaging through your clothes to choose the right outfit? A messy wardrobe can add unnecessary stress to your day, especially if your apartment is small without many options for storage. Decluttering and organizing your closet will help speed up the process of picking your next outfit. Save time choosing an outfit and enjoy the clothes you own by following these five helpful closet-organizing tips.
1. Declutter by category
Get rid of unnecessary clothes by following the advice of famed organization expert Marie Kondo. Kondo believes the best way to declutter is to focus on items that “spark joy.” From Kondo’s perspective, joy links to personal and intimate reasons – the “small details” of an item should make you smile.
Kondo’s tidying technique, called the KonMari Closet Method, emphasizes sorting through your clothes by categories such as pants, tops, or dresses. First, empty your closet. Gather all of your clothes from one group in front of you so it’s easier to keep your loved clothes and eliminate other items. After organizing one category, go through the rest of the groups until you sorted through each one. Discard unwanted clothes in a bag for donation or sell them to a consignment store.
2. Clean and wash your empty closet
After your closet is empty from sorting everything, make sure to clean it. Sweep, scrub or vacuum your closet, and air it out for deep cleaning. If you have storage bins, clean them too. If you want, you can listen to some calming or uplifting music while you clean to make the process go by faster.
3. Organize your storage space with organizers or bins
Use your vertical storage space to your advantage. Use a hanging shoe organizer to store more clothes. Storage bins on built-in shelves will maximize storage for – and organize – one of your item categories.
Hanging hooks on your wall to organize your jewelry, belts, and scarves can also be useful when you have limited space. If you have extra space for a shoe organizer, rolling dresser, or a small armoire, add it to your closet to store small accessories.
4. Store your clothes and accessories by category
As previously mentioned, you should organize similar items together. Clothes and accessories in each category – pants, shirts, socks – should be with each other.
Hang formal and structured clothes to prevent wrinkles. Save hanging space by folding thick garments such as jeans and sweaters. To get ready quickly, organize each category in the order you get dressed. If you’re a visual person, go the extra mile to color-code your closet.
Marie Kondo suggests two tips to make your wardrobe look aesthetically pleasing. Hang your clothes to face the same direction, and keep longer items on the left and shorter pieces on the right to create an upward sloping line.
5. Follow the “one in, one out” rule
These organization tips helped you clean your closet, but now what? Keep your closet clean and tidy by not hoarding new clothes (doing so also decreases the need for another massive wardrobe clean-out). Maintain your organized, spacious closet by always removing an item after purchasing a new one.
With an organized closet, you can spend less time getting ready. Plus, a clean closet helps you maximize your wardrobe through different aesthetic and storage techniques, so you’ll feel happier with your apartment too.
In May we reported a record spike in new NYC sublet listings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on RentHop’s apartment listing data running through the end of June, we can now confirm that June’s total sublet listings broke the previous record set one month prior in May.
This sudden spike in sublet listings may be considered early evidence the city is witnessing an outflow of residents to the suburbs or other metropolitan areas, likely as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased ability to work from home.
In this report, we’ll analyze the recent uptrend in new sublet listings on RentHop and highlight their outsized distribution in wealthy neighborhoods, particularly those in Manhattan1.
Sublet Listings Break Records, again, in June
As previously reported, the total sublet listings in May 2020 increased a whopping 110% as compared to the total sublet listings of the previous month (April 2020). This was the greatest acceleration in new sublet listings we have ever recorded on RentHop. While May was a record-setting month, June 2020 saw 3% more sublet listings than May 2020, and 114% more sublet listings than the average for the first four months of 2020.
This enormous uptick cannot be explained by seasonality. June 2019 saw a mere 0.3% increase in total sublet listings as compared to the average for the first four months of 2019. Even controlling for seasonality, June 2020 stands as the greatest single month of new sublet listings ever recorded in RentHop’s 11-year history.
Wealthy Neighborhoods Seeing the Largest Spike in Sublet Listings
In June 2020, wealthy neighborhoods, particularly those in Manhattan, saw a steeper upward deviation from their 2020 sublet average than neighborhoods in the outer boroughs.
1. As used in this study, “sublet listings” are listings created by apartment renters seeking to find a new tenant to take over the remainder of their apartment lease. In NYC, finding a subletter is widely considered the most effective way to get out from under a lease without paying the steep contractual penalties triggered by an outright lease break. ↩
The NYC housing market continues to suffer in Q2 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Given the unprecedented health, economic, and social disruptions inflicted upon the city, it should come as no surprise that NYC apartment hunters are changing their preferences as to where to live and landlords are forced to adapt by reducing rents.
According to the RentHop Rental Report this quarter:
Median 1BR rent fell 5% year-over-year in Manhattan as demand plunged. Some luxury neighborhoods saw the most drastic decline in demand, including Murray Hill (YoY demand -72%), Chelsea (-67%), and Tribeca (-67%).
The impacts of the pandemic on the housing market were less severe in outer boroughs, specifically in Brooklyn and Queens. Both boroughs saw only 8% dip in terms of lead volume, with some neighborhoods experiencing growing demand such as Forest Hills (40%), Crown Heights (26%), and Astoria (10%).
As COVID-19 becomes part of the normal life, outdoor space is now the hottest amenity in New York City, replacing doorman and gym. Interest for private outdoor space grew 59.3% year-over-year.
Manhattan Market Softened, with Median 1BR Rent Lowered by 5% Year-over-Year
The coronavirus pandemic has had severe impacts on the New York City housing market. Many neighborhoods across the five boroughs experienced price reduction due to reduced demand. Specifically, in Manhattan, one of the most expensive real estate markets in the nation, rent dropped in most luxury neighborhoods, including Chelsea, Flatiron, and NoMad. The borough saw a 5% decrease in median 1BR rent, and some premium neighborhoods saw even more drastic cuts, as landlords increased concessions to attract renters. The weak demand will likely continue as the pandemic remains a threat and companies extend their remote-working policies.
Renter Interest Shifted to Outer Boroughs
Meanwhile, rental demand seemed less affected by COVID-19 in outer boroughs. In Brooklyn, specifically, searches were only down by 8.1% year-over-year, and some neighborhoods farther away from the city center even saw spikes in inquiries, including Ocean Hill (+70.1%), Central Slope (+40.5%), Crown Heights (+26.1%), and East Flatbush (+15.8%). In Queens, similarly, demand was slightly affected by the pandemic, pushing the searches down by 7.8% year-over-year. Demand, however, soared in affordable neighborhoods including Steinway (+48.2%), Forest Hill (+39.6%), and Astoria (+10.5%).
Private Outdoor Space Became the Hot Amenity, Replacing Doorman and Gym
Doorman and gyms had long been key features driving the rental rates in New York City until COVID-19 hit. Now, people tend to avoid large residential rental buildings to minimize the risk of catching the coronavirus. According to our renter search data from April 17 to July 16, 25% of the searches involving private or common outdoor space, while only 14.6% of the searches included doorman and 11.2% gym. While elevator remained one of the more popular features, the demand fell by 6.2% when adjusting to listing and lead volumes.
Released on a quarterly basis, the RentHop Rental Report analyzes the NYC rental market using the platform’s rental listings and traffic data. The lead volume, most inquired apartment type, and year-over-year changes are determined based on inquiries sent by renters visiting the RentHop site. The median asking rent is calculated using all listings created between April 17, 2020 and July 16, 2020, across all apartment types, whereas median 1BR rent is calculated using only one-bedroom listings created during the same time period. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a detailed report covering all NYC neighborhoods. Note that unlike other RentHop studies that analyze and summarize data using the Neighborhood Tabulation Areas, the RentHop Rental Report adopts a more granular neighborhood shapefile for the analysis, which is consistent with the listing search criteria on the consumer side.