Creative Organic Green ~ Mini Tech Detox

OUR BODIES PHYSIOLOGICALLY DEPEND ON ELECTRICAL CURRENTS—our nervous and cardiac systems being the core systems of course that rely on tiny electrical impulses. Even though you can’t feel it, our modern world is increasingly exposing us to larger and larger volumes of electromagnetic fields (EMF), emitted through the use of electricity and particularly from increasing dependency on “wireless” technology (not only are we dependent in terms of modern-day conveniences, but our entertainment often revolves around it too). The advent of smart, connected homes, the use of wireless routers in every home, or simply the simple act of plugging things into an electrical outlet, even things like lamps, means that our exposure is 24-7.

In 2011, the WHO classified cellphones as a possible carcinogen and have launched an International EMF program—after years of research, the results are still inconclusive but there is enough cause for concern that limits on exposure have been suggested. We know that EMF affects our body, placing stress on our systems as the electrical “flow” within our bodies becomes agitated and disturbed. The trouble is that technology has evolved faster than the research, and we don’t truly know what the long-term effects of exposure are. But we suspect… and it’s not very encouraging. Chronic conditions such as fatigue, headaches, adrenal fatigue or sympathetic system hyper-drive (fight or flight stress response) are rampant, and tumors located in the vicinity of where people hold their cell phones have increased. And nearly everyone I know experiences sleep problems—a physiological function that seems to be heavily affected by EMF—and sleep is when your body does most of its regenerative work.

In my own life, I have found that as I remove toxins of all kinds from my life I become more sensitive to them as my body has lowered it’s ‘tolerance’ levels. It’s a positive thing as I can detect pollutants in my immediate environment really easily, but EMF has been a form of pollution I had not yet tackled until now. It’s a tricky field, as it operates on a level we cannot directly feel, and the symptoms can be attributed to any number of things. A quick internet search of EMF-blocking products yields results that can feel, shall we say, dubious. It’s left me questioning how best to deal with the issue, and the easiest most immediate solution has been to make massive efforts to reduce my personal exposure by changing my habits (and I say massive because I truly think we’re addicted to our devices and modern conveniences—it’s taken a lot of conscious effort to leave mine alone).

The following are some super quick, very simple changes you can make in your own home to reduce how much EMF you’re exposing yourself to (and your kids too, whose delicate systems have shown to be even more sensitive).

  1. Replace your cordless phone with an old-school plug-in. The reason this is important is because cordless phones, like cell phones, are constantly emitting a signal to the “home base” within the confines of your own home. A bonus is that you’ll never have to hunt for the handset in the couch cushions again.
  2. Make calls from a landline whenever possible (such as when you are at home or at work).
  3. Don’t charge your phone (or keep any wireless electronics) in your bedroom, and DON’T use your phone as an alarm clock—get a battery-operated one (and then use rechargeable!).
  4. Don’t keep your cell phone on your body all day long (especially in your pocket).
  5. Create a “drop spot” in your home, where you automatically place your phone (and maybe keys, etc.) when you get home. Make a conscious effort to leave it there and resist the urge to check it for messages or updates too frequently.
  6. Don’t use your laptop on your lap, and even avoid if you can using an iPad resting against your body for too long.
  7. Use hard-wired internet connections for desktop computers at home and at work.
  8. Turn your devices off at night.
  9. Unplug your modem/wifi at night. If this sounds too inconvenient for you, you can purchase power bars with built-in timers so that they will shut off and turn back on automatically at the time of your choosing, say 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  10. Don’t make checking your device and browsing Facebook etc. the first thing you do in the morning. Give your body time to wake up and use the time for something different instead (family time, meditation, breathwork, yoga, etc.).

Creative Organic Green ~ Detox For Your Home

Summer is the time of year that we start eating lighter and detoxing. It’s time for summer cleaning of body, mind, and home! While there is a lot of focus on what we eat, often not enough attention is paid to how we clean our homes… Making sure that all of your household cleaning products are naturally-derived is extremely important – especially if you have children. The products we use every day may give off toxins that we then breathe in or absorb through our skin. They may also pollute the air in our environment. Studies have shown that environmental toxicity is a contributor to many conditions such as autoimmune disease, heart disease and even cancer(1). The chemicals found in many common household cleaners are carcinogens which mean that they can cause cancer. Bleach and ammonia are highly toxic and, when mixed together, they are a lethal combination(2).  Other chemicals which are hormone and endocrine disruptors are glycol ethers and phthalates (3) so it’s important to be able to identify every ingredient on a label that you are using in your home. If you can’t identify it, don’t use it. With just a few simple ingredients, including some wonderfully fragrant essential oils, you can disinfect and clean, as well as rid your home of bacteria, mold, viruses, unpleasant odors, and dust mites.

As a caution, when you buy essential oils you should beware of anything that says “fragrance added.” If it does not say “100% (pure) essential oils” then the ingredient is synthetic. Most of the fragrance used in household cleaning products and deodorizers are synthetic. There is nothing natural about them and they are harmful to your health. Essential oils are great for the home since they are non-toxic and they possess many therapeutic properties that will benefit you for a clean healthy home. They are antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal – and of course, they smell great.

These are some recipes I created to get you through all your spring cleaning. I use sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) in all three recipes so you don’t have to go out and buy too many essential oils; however, I am also giving you a list of essential oils you can substitute.The citrus oils are all antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal so you can replace orange oil with lemon (Citrus limon), grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) or lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oil.

It’s also fun to experiment and mix scents that you like. It might even make you enjoy cleaning!

General All-purpose Cleaner

Lemon (Citrus limon)

Lemon is one of the most popular citrus fruits in the world. It is extracted from the rind of the fruit. It is antiseptic, a disinfectant, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, making it a great all-purpose household cleaner. It was even used during World War I as a disinfectant in hospitals. Lemon essential oil is calming but it is also refreshing to the mind, as it helps lift negative emotions. It is believed that inhaling lemon essential oil helps to increase concentration and alertness; therefore, it can be a great room freshener in offices.

 

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

Orange Sweet is a citrus essential oil that is extracted from the rind of the orange. It is antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It is also very uplifting for your mood, making it a good scent to have in any home. Sweet orange essential oil is an excellent degreaser and cleaner due to an ingredient called, d-Limonene. A study conducted by The University of Arkansas and Colorado State University found that Valencia orange (Citrus sinensis var. valencia) essential oil inhibited E. Coli and Salmonella during the refrigeration process of beef(3). It also inhibited Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is a deadly staph infection(4).

 

Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the leaves of a herb. It is a hybrid of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica). It is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and antiseptic. Bugs tend not to like it, so it is a good choice to add to an all-purpose aromatherapy blend around the house.

 

White Distilled Vinegar

White Distilled Vinegar is one of the best cleaning ingredients for the home since it is a natural disinfectant. It can help to kill mold, bacteria, and viruses. In addition, it is very inexpensive.

 

Directions for Use:

You will need a sixteen-ounce size spray bottle.

 

Essential Oils:

20 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

30 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

15 drops Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

White Distilled Vinegar*

Distilled Water*

*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water.  I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent, from time to time you can substitute with lime, grapefruit, eucalyptus (Eucaplyptusspp.), clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

You can use this blend as a general cleaner for your kitchen, especially for the counter tops, refrigerator, cabinets and even wood surfaces.

Window Cleaner

I like using an eight-ounce size bottle since it’s smaller and easier to handle and it will fit in any cabinet. If you want to make a sixteen-ounce bottle, just double up the recipe.

 

Essential Oils:

3 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

3 drops Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

White Distilled Vinegar*

Distilled Water*

*Fill the remaining bottle with a 50/50 combination of white vinegar and distilled water. I prefer distilled water but if you don’t have distilled water, you can use filtered water. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use because the essential oils and water will separate. If you want to change the scent from time to time, you can substitute lemon with lime, grapefruit or orange.

Bath and Sink Scrub

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

Clove essential oil is extracted from the buds of the clove plant. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, antiseptic and antiviral, making it a great choice for cleaning tubs and sinks.

 

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

 

Pure Liquid Castile Soap

Make sure that your soap is pure Castile. I use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap because for over 150 years it has been a family-run business and the quality of the product is never comprised for profit. The soap is pure and organic, with no dyes, whiteners or synthetic fragrances. The bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic so you are doing something good for the environment. They are available in different scents such as orange, sweet almond (Prunis Dulcis), eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and lemon, and the soap blends perfectly with essential oils. You should have this product in your home as it has so many uses and can replace many products. I also use it as a hand and body wash, and shampoo – and you can even wash floors and clothes with it.

 

Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)

Baking soda is right up there with vinegar as a cleaning superstar! It is non-toxic, absorbs odor, and it is great for sinks and tubs due to its abrasive texture. It has many uses in the home – from brushing your teeth to shining silver. I never use toxic oven cleaners. Instead, I mix baking soda and water to get rid of spills in my oven. You can rub it on with a soft cloth or leave some on the spills overnight and then wash it the next day.

Use a twelve-ounce glass jar with an airtight clamp lid or a screw top.

 

Essential Oils:

5 drops Clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum)

5 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

½ cup Pure Liquid Castile Soap*

½ cup Baking Soda*

*I mix equal parts of baking soda and castile soap to make a paste. If you want to make a bigger batch just double-up the recipe. Add the baking soda and castile soap to the jar, then add the essential oils. Once you have all of the ingredients in the jar, mix it together with a spoon or spatula. You can apply a small amount to a cloth or sponge to clean.

As the seasons change, or you just want to try a different aroma, you can use ten drops of any of the following essential oils, or just mix two essential oils together. They all have antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

 

• Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

• Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus globulus)

• Rosemary ct. cineole (Rosmarinus officinalis)

• Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

• Lemon (Citrus limon)

• Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

 

Wood Cleaner

Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

Olive Oil (Olea europaea)

Olive oil moisturizes dry wood and gives it a shine.

White Distilled Vinegar

See above description under General All-purpose Cleaner

You will need a two-ounce flip top bottle.

 

Essential Oil:

15 drops Orange Sweet (Citrus sinensis)

½ ounce of White Distilled Vinegar

Olive Oil (Olea europaea)*

*Fill the remaining bottle with olive oil. Once you have all of the ingredients in the bottle, shake it prior to every use. Put about a tablespoon on a soft cloth and wipe down the wood. Apply more as needed.

Creative Organic Green Household Helpers

Ever wonder if those commercial cleaning products and indoor pesticides you use might do more harm than good? You’re not alone. Natural home-care products {many of which contain herbs} are growing in popularity as more homemakers become aware of indoor toxins. The use of certain cleaning products has been linked to higher rates of asthma, inducing the condition in some people, as well as aggravating the condition in those who already have this chronic inflammatory disease. And although you can buy many excellent nontoxic products for your home, it’s easy and fun to make your own. Just remember that even plant products can be toxic under some circumstances, and the same cautions given for other herbal uses also apply here.

SIMPLY CLEAN SOLUTIONS

With just a few basic ingredients, you can make safer “green” cleaning products for a fraction of the cost of the commercial products and without the scary ingredients. Distilled white vinegar {which contains acetic acid} has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties and can eliminate mineral deposits from sink and bathroom fixtures, as well as cookware. Acidic lemon juice kills germs on countertops, cutting boards, and more. Baking soda deodorizes and dissolves grease and dirt. Mixed with other ingredients, it makes a gentle but effective scrub. All-natural castile soap made for centuries with olive oil, not only washes dirt and grease from your body, but also from household surfaces and laundry.

Many herbs have potent disinfectant properties, too. Basil, bay, cardamom, clove, coriander, eucalyptus, ginger, hyssop, lavender, lemongrass, oregano, peppermint, rose geranium, rosemary, sage, spearmint, and thyme are cleaning powerhouses. All contain a multitude of plant chemicals that possess antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral actions. By adding a few drops of these essential oils to your homemade cleaning products, you can boost their cleaning power and impart a delightful fragrance that makes cleaning more pleasurable.

Because essential oils break down plastic over time, it’s best to store your homemade cleaning products in labeled, dark glass containers. Plastic spray bottles are fine for short-term storage of smaller quantities. Also, remember to store all cleaning products, even those made with natural ingredients, in a cool, dark location where children and pets cannot reach them.

KITCHEN COUNTER-TOP SPRAY

Use this fragrant solution to disinfect countertops, refrigerator shelves, and painted surfaces, including walls and wood trim. Feel free to experiment with other antibacterial essential oils, such as basil, thyme, or lemon.

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup water

10-12 drops rose geranium essential oil

In a small, dark glass jar, combine the vinegar, water, and oil. Stir. Pour small amounts into a spray bottle as necessary.

GENTLE SPEARMINT SCRUBBER

This non-scratching, chlorine-free paste is perfect for cleaning cookware, countertops, and porcelain sinks and tubs. Lemon and lemon verbena essential oils also work well in place of the spearmint.

1 cup baking soda

1 tablespoon liquid castile soap

10-12 drops spearmint essential oil

Warm water {90 to 110 degrees F}

In a small, dark glass jar, combine the baking soda, soap, and enough water to form a thick but pourable paste. Stir in the essential oil. Apply to surfaces, wait for 5 minutes or more, then scrub with a sponge. Rinse off the residue with water.

What Is a Studio Apartment? The Pros and Cons of Studio Life

Whether it’s called a studio apartment, bachelor apartment, efficiency apartment, or studio flat, the answer to the question “What is a studio apartment?” remains the same: It’s a self-contained living unit with the bedroom, living room, and kitchen all in a single open space.

That’s right — a studio apartment allows (or requires) you to do all your living, eating, and sleeping in one room with no barrier walls. But you don’t have to do absolutely everything in the same room. A studio should have a separate room with a door for the bathroom. If it doesn’t, it might be illegal to rent in some states.

To people following the tiny-house movement, the virtues of studio apartments are many and obvious. But for those with a ton of possessions who are used to having more room to stretch out, studio life might be a little tight.

The advantages of studio apartments

“Moving into a studio apartment can be a great way to save money on rent without getting a roommate or settling for a less-than-desirable neighborhood,” says Niccole Schreck, a rental experience expert. “You could save on your monthly rent as much as $924 in Denver, $867 in New York City, $500 in Los Angeles, and $427 in Minneapolis by choosing a studio over a one-bedroom apartment.”

That’s a lot of cheddar. Another financial advantage of the studio apartment?Utility bills will likely be lower. A small space is cheaper to heat and cool, and the entire unit could be illuminated with a single light placed in a strategic location. Also, there’s not a lot of room for a bunch of gadgets to sit around sucking up energy.

And cleaning the place is a snap, according to many studio apartment dwellers. Since there’s little room for clutter, it’s a lot easier to clean and maintain. Of course, you will need to find a place to stash the few cleaning products you’ll need.

The challenges of studio apartments

But there are a few drawbacks as well.

“Living in a studio while I was a proud, single cat lady was so much fun. It was super easy to keep clean. I didn’t have to spend a fortune to decorate it well, and the rent and utilities were affordable,” says Erica D. House, a lifestyle expert, and blogger. “Once I got married, I couldn’t fathom living with my husband in less than 500 square feet! We both like our alone time to veg out and do what we’d like to on our own, and that would have been impossible while living in a studio.”

When House moved into a studio apartment, she had to get rid of at least 50% of her possessions — plus, she had to think twice about her purchases. Would there be room in the closet for that shirt? Room on the shelf for that book? She considered the constraint a mixed blessing.

Some studio apartment dwellers get around the lack of storage space by renting a storage unit — although the cost of storage might mitigate the financial benefits of renting a studio apartment in the first place.

But for those who are willing to streamline their lives and spend less time and money maintaining their living space, the studio apartment could be just the thing! They don’t call them efficiency apartments for anything.

Windowsill Gardening

As long as you have enough sun streaming in through your window or can provide artificial light suspended directly over your plants {for when the sun’s angle is low, in winter, or if the window is on a northern wall}, you can successfully grow herbs. You’ll have to pay attention to the sun-pattern, noticing when the light is direct and indirect. More than 2 to 3 hours of direct sunlight on the herbs daily will mean that you’ll need to water and feed the plant more often. Without enough light, however, your herbs will become leggy and their growth will be soft and lax. Believe it or not, the biggest mistake people make with windowsill growing is neglect.

In a very sunny window, you can experiment with setting pots of herbs in a tray filled with stones and adding water to the tray. {The stones prevent the water from soaking directly into the pots, so take care that the water level doesn’t reach the pots themselves.} This technique provides some humidity, which cuts down the dramatic effects of direct sunlight. Check your pots morning and evening, and let them dry out before watering, but don’t allow the plants to wilt.

Try growing thyme. basil, oregano, rosemary for the first time “windowsill gardeners”!

Budgeting for Your First Apartment {Free Budget Worksheet}

Are you thinking about moving into your first apartment? Well, congrats! Although renting an apartment is more affordable than buying a home, there are other expenses besides rent and utilities that you should make sure you can afford before you make the leap. The following is a general breakdown, (percentage-wise) of your expenses, as provided by Quicken:

  • 30% Housing
  • 10% (Utilities and other housing expenditures (including renters insurance)
  • 15% Food (at home and away)
  • 10% Transportation (including car loan)
  • 10% Debt repayment (student loans and credit cards)
  • 10% Savings
  • 5% Clothing
  • 5% Entertainment
  • 5% Car insurance and miscellaneous personal expenses

It’s worth noting that these expenses will vary according to the individual. For example, some renters won’t have any debt, while others might have to make debt repayment more of a priority.

How Much Should You Save before Moving Out

Budgeting should start long before you move out. It’s best to start saving 25-30 percent of your paycheck for rent while you’re still living at home. Also, it’s a good idea to have three month’s rent saved in your account before you move. This will help cover deposits, moving expenses and other miscellaneous items.

Ways to Save Money

Once you’ve moved, budgeting should still be a priority. This doesn’t mean you have to starve while you sit at home doing nothing, there are easy ways to save money so you can still enjoy being on your own.

  • Save around $80+ a month by cutting cable. Instead, purchase subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu which are $8-$10 a month each.
  • Eat in instead of eating out. You can save $25 or more a week by packing your lunch with leftovers from last night’s dinner.
  • Invite a few friends over for movie night at your apartment instead of going out. Grab a new release at Redbox and a couple bags of microwave popcorn and save $20+
  • Save money on utilities by turning off lights when you leave a room and invest in energy efficient lighting
  • Consider a roommate to share expenses on rent and utilities.
  • Carpooling, walk or ride your bike to save money on gas
  • Refer your friends and family. Most apartment communities have referral programs for residents. An easy way to make some money and surround yourself with friends in the neighborhood.
  • Download this to help create a budget plan. Enter your incoming and outgoing expenses to help you stay on track.

apartment-budget-worksheet

Your first apartment on your own should be a fun adventure. If you haven’t already found your new apartment here’s some more resources you may want to check out:

5 Things to Look for When Renting an Apartment

What’s Renter’s Insurance and Why do I Need It?

Top Places to Find Free Moving Boxes

5 Things to Look for When Renting Apartments in Price, Utah

Like any major decision, choosing your apartment should not be taken lightly. After all, your home is your castle. You want it to be comfortable, safe and affordable, among other things. Here are five considerations to keep in mind when you’re looking at apartments in Price, Utah

1) Location

The location is everything. Look for an apartment that is close to the places you go the most – work, school, local hangouts. Also, make sure that you don’t have to drive far for shopping and entertainment. Is it easily accessible

2) Price

Make a budget and stick to it. Most experts agree housing should cost no more than a third of one’s salary. You don’t want to live beyond your means; however, safety should not be sacrificed for the sake of saving.

3) Space

The size of your family and amount of belongings will dictate how much space you need – a studio apartment or one or two bedroom apartment? Obviously, a single person living alone will require less space than a family of three. If budget allows, you might opt for an apartment with an extra room to use as a guest room or office.

4) Parking

Is a lot available or is on-street parking the norm? Ask about any fees upfront. It’s also a good idea to inquire about how guest parking is handled.

5) Pets

If you have a furry friend in your life, your apartment search might be limited. Ask about any policies, restrictions, or deposits.

6) Amenities

Sometimes little things can go a long way. Does the apartment community offer on-site laundry, patios,or storage? What appliances do they supply?

7) Apartment Style

If the apartment community has multiple floors, you might consider this variable. Will you be able to get your furniture up the stairs when moving into your apartment? Making several trips up and down the stairs to bring in groceries could become a chore, especially if you’re living above the second floor.

You can never be too prepared!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions when searching for an apartment in Fort Wayne. This will ensure you find the right apartment for your needs. Not every apartment is one-size-fits-all. Our friendly team at AJB Property Management would love to help make this process a little easier. Give us a call today: {435}-637-7368

Why Should You Have Renters Insurance?

According to J.D. Power, 46 percent of renters do not have insurance. Other surveys have indicated that renters under the age of 25 are even less likely to have renters insurance.

Why do so many renters not have renters insurance? When asked that question, many respondents said that they felt that their apartment community had good security or that they thought renters insurance would be too expensive. However, having a good policy could mean the difference between peace of mind and disaster.

What many renters don’t know is that their leasing agent’s insurance does not cover their personal property or legal liabilities. Events such as tornadoes, floods, and fire, as well as break-ins and lawsuits can happen at any time and your personal belongings may not be covered by the apartment community’s policy.

The leasing agents insurance policy is in place to cover their property such as the apartment as well as protecting the apartment community from liability in the case of an accident on the property or in the case of a personal injury lawsuit.

What should a good renters policy cover? First, make sure the policy covers the renter for liability such as if a guest gets injured in the house or apartment. This is very important as the apartment community’s policy may only cover their liability. Next, ensure that personal items are covered. Most common personal items can be covered at replacement value. However, if items of extra value are to be covered, such as jewelry, artwork, or non-replaceable items, make sure the insurance company is aware of these items as there may be a special rider on the policy.

Keep in mind that insurance is not to make you wealthy in the case of a disaster. Insurance is there to replace the items that were lost during a disaster. Therefore, to avoid being insurance poor, work with your insurance agent to cover only what you need at a cost that you can afford. Most insurance companies will offer multiple payment plans such as monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. If you can afford annual payments, there may be discounts available.

Proper renters insurance will not only provide good protection against disaster but will also provide peace of mind.

If you need help finding an insurance agency that offers renter’s insurance, talk to the leasing agents for your apartment. Chances are, they will be able to refer you to an agency that other renters have used in the past.

Top Places To Find Free Moving Boxes

So, you’re getting ready to make the move?

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving in from out of town, or just across town, you’ve got the same problem. You have to move all of your stuff somehow, and just throwing it all in the back seat or trunk of the car isn’t going to cut it.

You need boxes. You need lots of boxes!

You don’t need them forever, just long enough to load your stuff, and transport it to your new apartment. So, why should you have to buy a box that you only need for a few days? And who wants to spend all that cash on boxes anyway, not when people throw away tons of boxes every day that would work perfectly fine for your move?

Having moved a few times, trust me, getting rid of boxes is just as annoying as finding them. So somewhere near you is a person with a room full of empty moving boxes he would love to get rid of. So what does he do? He puts them up on Craigslist. Sure, Craigslist can often attract some strange users, but remember, there’s no money being exchanged here, just free moving boxes. Freecycle is another site similar to Craigslist.

The problem you’ll have on Craigslist is that by the time you contact the post about the free moving boxes, someone will have already taken them. So you need some other sources. What about local stores? Merchandise comes in boxes, the boxes aren’t needed and are tossed out, right? Well, sort of. I remember many years ago just going behind stores and checking around near the dumpsters and finding all kinds of great boxes. Then, along came something called a box cutter, and all I could find were a lot of pieces of cardboard that used to be great boxes but were now all cut up.

The answer to this is to get to the store manager before they cut up the boxes. Some managers might be happy to help you, others just don’t care, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. The best stores to check are liquor stores, book store’s, and grocery stores. Another great moving box is the one McDonalds uses to deliver French fries to their stores. Since the fries are delivered frozen, the box is basically clean when you get it, Another store that gets good boxes is Starbucks, but they only get shipments once or twice a week.

Another great resource is social media! Post on facebook that you are looking for free moving boxes. One of your friends may have just purchased a new computer or other large item and has a few boxes to give. Or, they may know someone who has recently moved and has some boxes they need to get rid of!

I’ve purchased a lot of moving boxes from U-Haul. Now I discover they have a free box exchange on their website. On a recent check, I didn’t find boxes available in the Fort Wayne area, but you just never know. You can also post that you need boxes, as well as that you have boxes you want to get rid of.

The fact is, free boxes abound in our world, so there’s no need to waste money on buying them. Use those dollars instead to fix up your new apartment. And after you move in, pass those empty boxes on to someone else.

Of course, you could ask Diana about free boxes. She has a few tucked away for you to use.