Spring Cleaning 2019

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Whether or not it ‘sparks joy’ for you - the time has come. Spring cleaning 2019 is here! It’s time to say goodbye to those jeans you never wear, time to maybe narrow down your collection of striped shirts (really, twelve is probably too many.) Below are some tips we suggest to not just do some spring cleaning as well Marie Kondo-ing! Enjoy!

  1. Clothes

    Marie suggests you lay out every item of clothes you have onto your bed, and one by one see which ones ‘spark joy'.’ The ones you still wear and make you happy get re-folded and put away, but the others that don’t quite make the cut should be bagged up and donated. Make sure to take your time with this step - Marie even suggests ‘thanking’ each item of clothing as you decide to part with it.

  2. Kitchen

    Start by putting everything away in an organized fashion, and try as hard as you can to keep all the tools and food you have visible. This way you know what you already have, and don’t accidentally buy another jar of peanut butter. Once this is complete, give your kitchen a good clean - this includes all your kitchen gadgets, counter surfaces, stove/oven and refrigerator.

  3. Bathroom

    Similar to the kitchen, make sure all your tools are visible (if you have a hair drier, curling iron, cleaning materials, etc.) make sure they are all easy to find. Marie even suggest removing everything from your counter to keep it clean.

  4. Misc.

    Once those three main rooms are done, it is much easier to go through the rest of your belongings. De-cluttering is an amazing stress reliever, and makes your home feel more peaceful.

How to Stand Out on Rental Applications

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OMG, it’s finally happening! You’re one step closer to your new place! The only thing left is to get through the application process, which is super fun! (Said no one, ever.) Thankfully, there are few ways to ensure you stand out on your rental application so you can get started on moving in and the fun parts - like re-decorating!

Fill out an application form like you would fill out a job application. It is the best way for landlords to get a sense of who you are, so include the most relevant information in it whether it be an online application, or one written by hand. Here are some of the basics:

  • Your current job position, salary and contact information for your current employer

  • Rental history and contact information for your former landlords

  • Pets (if any)

  • Move-in date

  • Credit report

  • Background report

  • Renters insurance 

  • Roommates (if any)

  • Cover letter.

Landlords will always be more likely to approve a rental application with references. Ask your former landlord and the current employer to recommend you as a responsible tenant and a good employee with a stable income. If you’re moving out of your parents house for the first time this can be tricky - we suggest asking your employer or a teacher to write a letter of reference.

Good luck!!


I Found a ROOM8, What do I do Now?

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Congrats! You’ve found a roommate and/or a new apartment to call your own! The last step now is to close your account with ROOM8. We’re of course sad to see you go, but we are so pleased that you chose us for your journey. If you have a minute to get in touch with our Customer Happiness Team, we’d love to learn more about your experience and hear your feedback.

To deactivate your account please follow these steps:

  1. Go to My Profile

  2. Select ‘Settings’ (Gear Icon on the top left)

  3. Select ‘Deactivate Account’ - This alerts our team to deactivate your account within the next business day. And don’t worry, we never hold onto any of your personal information.

Yes, You Should Update Your Info Regularly While on ROOM8.

Here’s why:

 
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Why? Because similar to dating apps, ROOM8 relies on you to present yourself as accurately and as fun as possible. Often, setting up an online profile is a tough process. You overthink every choice: which photos make your life look adventurous but also responsible? How do you answer questions in a way that shows you'd be a good roommate? That you’re someone who is trustworthy, dependable, but also witty and fun?

And when you’re done, usually you forget about the profile. Who wants to go through that process again? Literally no one. But there are pros to keep your profile fresh and up to date. Maintaining a fresh profile keeps you active and more visible on ROOM8. You might even capture the attention of someone who might have taken a pass on you the first time around.

So what should you update? At the minimum we suggest updating your photos and your ‘About Me’ section. To do so simply go to your profile and select ‘Edit’ on the top right. From there you can change your profile picture - choose from either your photo library or open your camera to take a brand new photo!

 
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By selecting ‘Edit My Profile’ you can update your hobbies, employer, move in date, neighborhoods, your ‘About Me’ and more! We suggest channeling your most fun and outgoing self - we have quite a few people on the app, make sure you get noticed!

Once you’re all set it’s time to reach out! Much like a dating app, using ROOM8 will give you as much as you put into it.

How to Find and Be a Good Roommate

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We’ve all heard the horror stories… Heck, even Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a tough time finding a roommate in college. But the important thing is she eventually found one (shout out to Willow!) - There are few easy things you can do to both find a good roommate, and more importantly be a good roommate.

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How to Find a Good Roommate

  1. Be open minded and flexible

  2. Ask the important questions up front - and be willing and open to compromise. Here are a few topics we suggest discussing in person to see if you’d be a good fit.

    Why Are You Looking for a New Place?

    What Are Your Biggest Roommate Pet Peeves?

    Pets? Allergies?

    What Is Your Idea of Clean?

    Are We Going to Be A “Labels On EVERYTHING'“ Household? Or Are We Sharing?

    How Often Will We Host Friends? Overnight Guests?

  3. Keep an open flow of communication - we suggest reaching out to at least five people a day to increase your chances of finding a roommate quicker.

How to Be a Good Roommate

  1. Say ‘thank you’

    This may sound like a given, but being appreciative of the person you share your space with can go a long way.

  2. Do your share

    This might also seem like a given, but if you expect your roommate to do all of the cleaning, pay all of the bills, etc. you’ll quickly discover that simply won’t work.

  3. Be mindful of your space

    This includes your belongings - try to keep the common areas clean. Just as important, be aware of the noise you make and how that can affect those around you. While we totally understand that watching re-runs of Buffy is often therapeutic - make sure to keep the volume down and not disturb your roommate’s sleep schedule.

  4. Exercise empathy

    We all experience the occasional blues or a tough day at work. Try to be kind and cut them some slack when needed. If they’re super stressed doing their dishes or leaving a nice note will go a long way. But if being busy is more of a lifestyle and a “hectic week” turns into a reoccurring excuse, this rule no longer applies. 

  5. Respect their space and belongings

    Again, seems like a no brainer. But we cannot stress this enough - treat people how you want to be treated, and don’t mess with people’s stuff!!!

  6. Split costs and responsibilities

    Using tools like Splitwise and Venmo will help keep track of your expenses as well as ensure that the bills are being paid fairly. Set agreements on who does what (and when!) and it should be smooth sailing.

Zero Waste Living

Check out our 4 tips on zero waste living tricks.

1. Shop with reusable containers and bags: Glass jars, metal containers, cloth bags, etc.  

2. Hit the Bulk Aisle: You can buy almost everything in bulk. Flour, cereal, snacks, even coffee.

3. Ditch the disposables: Stop buying anything that lives in a plastic case. Pick up cloth coated in beeswax as a replacement for plastic wrap. Say goodbye to paper towels and start re-using old teeshirts for cleaning.

4. Compost: The foods you didn't eat and went bad you can compost, it might be kind of icky but it helps the environment by sucking carbon out of the air.

Taco Tuesday with ROOM8

We at ROOM8 believe we should live everyday like its Taco Tuesday.

Check out some of our favorite taco recipes below and have a taco night with your roomies!

Pork Verde Tacos cooked in the crock pot and served with a drizzle of amazing jalapeño sauce! 
Author: Jen Nikolaus 
Recipe type: Dinner 
Serves: 15 servings+ 

Ingredients 
Verde Sauce: 
1 onion 
3 stalks celery 
3 cloves garlic 
½ - 1 cup water, (enough to thin down and blend) 1 tsp. chili powder 
½ tsp. ground coriander ½ tsp. cayenne (or less if preferred) ½ tsp. Mexican oregano 1 tsp. cumin 
2 jalapeños, seeded 
1 tsp. salt 
¾ tsp. pepper 2 (4-oz) cans diced green chilies 
2 (7-oz) cans salsa verde (I used Herdez brand) 
5 lb. Smithfield Prime Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin 
Jalapeno Sauce: 
½ cup Greek fat-free plain yogurt ½ cup light mayonnaise 1 clove garlic 
½ bunch of cilantro ¾ Tbsp. vinegar ¾ Tbsp. water, or more if needed to thin down ¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper 1-2 jalapeños, seeded 
Juice from ¼ of a lime 

Instructions
In a blender, combine onion, celery, garlic, water, chili powder, coriander, cayenne, oregano, cumin, jalapeños, salt and pepper. Blend until consistency desired (much like a salsa thickness). Fold in 2 cans of green chilies. 
In a pan, heat a bit of oil and brown the pork on all sides. Place in crock pot and pour verde sauce on top of the pork. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or until the pork is tender and shreds easily. 
Take pork out of crock pot and shred. Drain about ½ the liquid from the crock pot and place shredded meat back inside the crock pot. Add in the 2 cans of salsa verde and stir. Let heat through. 
Make jalapeño sauce by blending together the yogurt, mayo, garlic, cilantro, vinegar, water, salt, pepper, jalapeños and lime juice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. 
When ready to serve, place shredded pork on taco shell and drizzle jalapeño sauce over the top. Also very good with sliced avocado, red onion, cilantro and cotija cheese. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch by Carlsbad Cravings

1 Recipe Buffalo Chicken 
4-6 flour taco size tortillas or 6-8 corn tortillas 
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, more or less 
Corn Avocado Topping 
1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped 
Corn from 1 ear of sweet corn 
1 cup Matchstick carrots 
4 sticks sticks celery, chopped 
1 avocado, chopped 
1 tablespoon lime juice 
Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch 
1/2 cup real mayonnaise 
1/2 cup sour cream (may sub Greek yogurt) 
3 tablespoons Blue cheese crumbles 
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems 
2 teaspoons dried parsley 
1 teaspoon dried chives 
1/2 teaspoons dried dill 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
Milk as needed 
Garnish 
Blue cheese crumbles 
lime juice 

Instructions 
Buffalo Chicken: Prepare Buffalo Chicken according to directions. 
Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch: While your chicken is marinating, add all of the dressing ingredients to your blender and chop then liquefy until smooth, scraping sides down as needed and adding milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Chill until ready to use. 
Corn Avocado Topping: Add all of the corn Avocado Toppings to a large bowl except avocados and toss until evenly combined. Add avocados and gently toss. 
To assemble, melt cheese on tortillas in the microwave or stovetop then top with desired amount of Buffalo Chicken, Corn Avocado Topping and drizzle with Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch. Garnish with additional blue cheese and lime if desired.

Chicken Ranch Tacos by Dinner at the Zoo

Ingredients 
8 small flour tortillas 
3 cups warm cooked chicken , cut into bite sized pieces 
1 cup diced tomatoes 
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce 
3/4 cup cooked crumbled bacon 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
3/4 cup of sour cream 
1-2 tablespoons of ranch powder (start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste)

Instructions 
Mix together the sour cream and ranch powder, set aside. Alternatively you can use prepared ranch dressing. 
Warm the tortillas. 
Divide the lettuce and tomatoes evenly among the tortillas. Place the chicken on top of each tortilla. 
Divide the bacon and cheese evenly among the tortillas. Drizzle with ranch sauce (or prepared ranch dressing) and serve.

Asian Chicken Tacos with a Mango Slaw by Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Ingredients 
Sriracha Sauce 
Scant 1/2 cup mayo 
2 large limes 
3 teaspoons Sriracha 
1 teaspoon white sugar 
Mango Avocado Slaw 
1 large mango 
2 cups chopped green cabbage 
1 cup chopped cilantro 
1/2 large red onion 
1 cup shredded carrots 
Tacos 
Protein: See Notes 
10-12 mini flour or corn tortillas 
Additional limes and cilantro for serving 
Avocado optional 
Get Ingredients Powered by Chicory

Instructions 
Prepare the Sriracha sauce. 
Zest part of 1 lime to get about 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and then juice 2 limes to get about 3-4 tablespoons lime juice. 
Combine the mayo, lime juice, lime zest, Sriracha, and white sugar in a bowl. Add some salt + pepper to taste. Stir well and then taste (add additional lime or Sriracha to personal preference). 
Prepare the slaw.
Chop a mango and add to a bowl. Chop some green cabbage and then pack 2 cups full of the cabbage. Add to bowl. 
Coarsely chop the cilantro and loosely measure to get 1 cup. Add to bowl. 
Very thinly slice 1/2 a red onion and add. 
Add in the shredded carrots. Mix to combine. 
Toss the cooked protein of choice (see notes) with 2-3 tablespoons of the prepared sauce or until coated. 
To prepare the tacos: top each tortilla with protein of choice, a generous heap of the slaw, and a generous amount of the sauce. Add additional cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice to each taco. Add avocado if desired. 

Recipe Notes 
For the protein use about 3/4ths a pound of what you like best: grilled shrimp or fish would work great. We used a prepared and shredded rotisserie chicken (super quick prep!) and also have tried cutting up the chicken breast into small pieces and cooking it in a skillet with vegetable oil. Alternatively grilled chicken would be delicious. Whatever you like best!

Decorating With Your First Roommate

When I turned 10 years old, I finally got my own room. Having my own space away from my sisters gave me the chance to express myself through organization and posters. When I turned 21, I decided to move out and find a place in San Francisco. Little did I know, EVERYTHING in San Francisco is expensive, so I needed to find a roommate.

Decorating with my current roommate ending up being easier than I thought. We are two very similar girls living very similar lives, but at first, I was nervous to share decorating responsibilities with someone else.

What if she didn’t like my 2014 World Series Champions Giants poster? We both started looking at rooms on Pinterest to figure out what styles we shared and honestly, that was my favorite part. What person doesn’t love spending all day pinning lamps, tapestries and desks on a shared board?

We then took trips to Homegoods, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond. For some reason, we only ended up with bath mats and a sign that says “Happy Hallowine.” If that doesn’t describe my relationship with my roommate, I don’t know what else would. Finding a roommate with similar interests and personality is key when it comes to decorating. Thankfully, I found the perfect roommate.

Roommate Date Night Ideas

If you find yourself staying at home with your roommates with nothing to do, here are a few things I love to do whenever I get the chance to hang out with my roommates.

Try a new restaurant/cafe 
My roomies and I are all foodies so it’s only natural that we try a new restaurant whenever we can. It’s a great way to experience the many different cuisines that the city has to offer. 

Karaoke 
What’s more fun than singing your hearts out and making a fool out of yourselves? Grab your roommates and a few drinks and you’re set for a very interesting night, to say the least.

Beach 
If you’re more of an outdoors person, opt for a bonfire at Ocean beach and roast some marshmallows. This is a great way to catch up with your roommates after a long week of work/school while enjoying a tasty treat!

Spa night 
Too tired from a long day at work? Have a spa night with your roommates at your favorite spa or stay home and do face masks together if you’re on a budget. 

Movie night 
And if you’re just too lazy to do any of these things, pop some popcorn and have a movie night at home.

ROOM8 + Lugg

Moving sucks, but it doesn't have to.

ROOM8 is pairing up with Lugg to bring users $20 off their services. Lugg specializes in small moves, store delivery, storage moves, junk removal and donations.

Every Lugg comes with 2 strong professional luggers who are vetted for a 5-star experience. They will do the impossible to load, haul and deliver your items safely. There are a variety of trucks available for use to fit your needs.

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 You can schedule your Lugg ahead of time up to 30 days in advance or request on-demand and we’ll arrive in as little as 30 minutes.

See your ROOM8 inbox for details and Happy Moving!

Planning the Perfect Friendsgiving with Your Roommates

With November soon approaching, people everywhere are starting to plan one of the most popular twists on Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving. Here are some ways you and your roommate can throw the best Friendsgiving ever that you and your friends will remember for years!

Plan Ahead 
With so many people throwing parties or dinners for Thanksgiving, it’s hard to have a good turnout if you send out your invitations too late. Also, if you rush your Friendsgiving, you may find yourself in hot water the day off the event if you didn’t plan ahead and didn’t buy enough food for you and your guests!

Have activities planned 
Even though Thanksgiving revolves around the dinner portion, don’t forget to have some activities planned for you and guests, especially if you have invited guests that might not know each other yet. Whether it be Charades or simply putting on a good movie, you should always have something planned so that your guests will constantly be engaged!

Menu Management 
For those who are planning to do a potluck style dinner, remember to keep track of what people bring because no one wants to go to a Friendsgiving with six different types of pie and no gravy! By creating an Excel sheet or utilizing Facebook event tools, you can easily prevent an excess of green beans.

With these tips under your belt, you and your roommate are sure to be prepared to throw a legendary Friendsgiving!

Midterms: ROOM8 Edition

Midterms. Every school has them, but dealing with the stress from them can be a complete nightmare. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to not just surviving midterms with your roommate, but thriving.

Trick number one, do a quick 30 minute yoga session. Put on calming music, focus on your breathing and begin stretching. It doesn't have to be any fancy yogi guru stretching but just focus on clearing your mind. This can alleviate headaches and help you sleep better.

Trick number two, take a break from studying and put on face masks with you and your roommate. You can go further and have a mini spa moment and do each others nails too! This one is great because it helps you relax while clearing your skin when we all know stress is extremely toxic for our pores.

Trick number three, make a game out of studying with your roommate. For example, every time you get a notecard right, you get a candy. Quizzing each other can make it a fun game and turn studying into a more positive and lighthearted situation rather than a stressful mess.

And finally trick number four, when you're really stressed and starting to feel overwhelmed, put everything down and go for a walk outside with your roommate. Fresh air and good company can do wonders for the brain especially during midterms. Not only will this help your body feel rejuvenated but also having lighthearted conversations with your roommate will help your mind focus on what's happening in front of you instead of your long to do list for studying this week.

We hope you've enjoyed some of these helpful tips and tricks for midterms with the help of your roommate! I know we have used all of these and not only did my body and mental health thank me but our roommates and I became closer than ever!

Exercises You Can Do At Home With Your Roommate

Going to the gym can be terrifying, time consuming, or maybe it’s on the other side of campus and your bed is just too comfortable. Whatever your reason is, it shouldn’t deter you from wanting to get active, even if it’s in the comfort of your own room. Working out in your room is not only more convenient, but it can be a great way for you and your roommate to destress, feel good, and most importantly, have fun together! Here are three tips to help you and your roommate start sweating!

Invest in a pack of resistance bands 
Resistance bands are one of the most versatile, inexpensive, and portable pieces of exercise equipment you can find. These bands can be used for solo arm and leg exercises, as well as duo arm and leg exercises. One example is the resistance band chest press. One partner stands behind the other, holding one end of the two bands used in this exercise firmly, ensuring that there is tension in the bands. The other partner bends their elbows at 90 degrees and begins to extend their arms outwards, keeping the core tight.

Yoga mats aren’t just for yoga 
When doing a dorm room workout, space is most likely your biggest concern. Exercises that can be done in a limited area are your best friend. There are countless workouts you and your roommate can try out that only require a yoga mat or a towel (no one is stopping you from simply laying on the ground either, no judgement, it’s your room). One of my personal favorite workouts is when one partner lays down on the mat and raises both their legs 90 degrees so that their body looks like an “L.” The other partner stands behind the other partner’s head and pushes their legs to the floor. The partner laying down will have to raise their legs, without bending them, back to the 90 degree angle. This works out the abdominals, hip flexors, thigh muscles, and back muscles.

Get creative with your weights 
We’re all on a budget, nobody wants to spend their money on weights. Using items you can find in your dining hall, grocery market, or dorm will up your workout game without breaking the bank. For 1-pounders, use bean or soup cans, or dressing. For 2-pounders, use a milk carton, or a bag of rice. For 3-pounders, use bags of fruit. For 4-pounders, use ketchup or a bag of dog food. For 5-pounders, use a bag of flour, or a bag of potatoes. For heavier weights, ranging from 8-10 pounds, use laundry detergent or a gallon of water.

ROOM8's Foodie Favorites

If you’re a foodie like me, Instagram accounts like @infatuationsf, don’t help with our obsessions. As a Bay Area native, I’ve had my fair share of native noms, so here is a list of places to help curve your San Francisco cravings.

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Time for Some Chinese: San Tung & Shanghai Dumpling King

If you like authentic Chinese food, head over to Irving or Balboa St. to eat at either of these delicious locations. San Tung is best known for its chicken wings (the secret is in the sauce… literally), and Shanghai Dumpling King does soup dumplings like no other.

Sushi, Sushi, Sushi: Sushiritto
You can find ridiculous food fusions all around the City such as the cruffin from Mr. Holmes BakeHouse, and you can guess that Sushiritto found in the Financial District is no exception. Sushiritto marries two of the best foods in the world - sushi and burritos - and boom! A gigantic yet convenient hand roll / sushi burrito baby is born.

Acai Bowls: Judalicious
Make your way to the Outer Sunset to get your hands on one of these yummy bowls. Judalicious is a popular vegan / vegetarian-friendly locale with a knack for smoothies and super food recipes, and with it only being a few blocks from Ocean Beach, you can grab an ace bowl with a view!

I Scream For Ice Cream: Mitchell’s, Bi-Rite Creamery, The Garden Creamery
Mitchell’s Ice Cream is a spot that all San Francisco natives praise. It’s an old-school, traditional ice cream parlor, and it’s just as good as it’s newer counterparts like Bi-Rite Creamery or The Garden Creamery. You’ll find more exotic flavors such as honey lavender or roasted matcha at the later two, but I’ve been dying to try the chimney cone (or the churro cone) at Garden Creamery - the pictures look too good!

More Sweets: Mission Pie, Dandelion Chocolate, and San Francisco Cheesecake Company
If you have a sweet tooth like me, you’ll need to make a stop at these delicious spots. Mission Pie serves up unforgettable peach cobbler while you’ll find artisan hot chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate not too far away on Valencia St.

ROOM8’s foodie favorites list goes on and on, but we hope that we’ve given you a few ideas for your next foodie adventure! Happy eating!

Are You Ready for Some Football? ROOM8 Activities for College Football Season

It’s that time of year again - time for college football! What’s better than kicking off the season with your roommate?! We love college football here at ROOM8, so we’ve brainstormed a few activities that you and your roommate can do together to show some of your Game Day love and team spirit!

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Shop for Game Day Gear
Are you really ready for Game Day if you aren’t representing the home team? Grab your roommate and head to your campus store to check out the jerseys for this season and other school apparel. If you don’t find anything that you like, get creative! Students at my university (Go Bruins!) get cheerleading skirts from Amazon or Hype & Vice, or they buy T-shirts from the campus stores which they then cut and style themselves. Shopping can turn into crafting and even more roommate fun!

Get Ready for the Game
If you get ready with each other for class, why should football games be any different? Break out some face paint and flash tattoos to get in the Game Day mood - nothing is going to prepare you more for a W than getting some last minute outfit advice or some extra hands when you can’t find your prized visor.

Tailgate
A roommate makes the perfect tailgate buddy, so head down to the stadium together and start barbecuing. Tailgating the football game gives you and your roommate a chance to share a hamburger and introduce one another to friends. Take pictures with each other (with which you can decorate your apartment of course!) and mingle with friends who you can invite to your apartment during the year.

Host a Viewing Party
Don’t let an away game stop you and your roommate from enjoying the football season. Host a viewing party and invite your friends over for some food before the game. Go grocery shopping together so that you can make some football themed snacks, and clean your family room before decorating it with some football swag. Hey, with a party like yours, streaming the game is just as good if not better than the real thing!

Fall is supposed to be about friends, fun, and football, so we hope you and your roommate are able to take advantage of all the opportunities to bond and to enjoy the football season!

Moving for College Students: What Should You Bring?

Packing for college is not an easy task, and believe it or not, it doesn’t get much easier as time goes on. As you transition back into the school year and as you prepare to move into a new place, you may forget the items that you use in your day-to-day routine. You don’t want to pack up your entire life, but you also don’t want to pack too little, so how do you figure out which items are absolutely essential? To help you with the pains of packing, ROOM8 has composed a checklist of things that you will need in college.

*These are the items that I use frequently or that have been very helpful to have.

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For School: Moms of middle school kids aren’t the only people who need to buy back-to-school items.

  • *Binder paper

  • *Planner

  • *Post-it Notes

  • Pens / pencils

  • Notebooks / binders / folders

  • Calculator (scientific & basic)

  • USB

  • Stapler

  • Glue sticks

  • Hole punch

  • Paper or whiteboard calendar

  • Backpack

For Your Room: Your room (specifically your bed) should be your sanctuary! Make sure you’re sleeping in style and comfort.

  • *Mattress protector (protects against bed bugs)

  • Sheets

  • Comforter / duvet

  • Pillowcases

  • Pillows

  • Mattress pad

For Your Bathroom: Getting ready for your day should be a breeze.

  • *Shower caddy

  • Shampoo / conditioner / body wash / loofa

  • Towels / washcloths

  • Mirror

  • Shower curtain

  • Hair dryer

For Your Kitchen: Make sure you have these essentials to become your very own Food Network Star.

  • *Trash bags

  • *Ziplock bags

  • Dishes (plates, bowls, cups)

  • Utensils (Forks, spoons, knives)

  • Cutting board & knives

  • Dish towels

  • Dish Soap

  • Pots & Pans

  • Baking Sheet

  • Measuring cups/spoons

  • Mixing Bowl

  • Foil & Plastic wrap

  • Tupperware

For Laundry & Cleaning: Don’t let your stress make you a mess!

  • Washing detergent / fabric softener / dryer sheets

  • Drying rack for clothes

  • Hamper

  • Windex / clorox wipes

For Sharing: Make sure that you discuss with your roommate what each person is bringing because you can cut costs by sharing a few items.

  • *Printer (+ the paper and ink)

  • *First aid kit

  • *Vacuum or broom

  • *Coffee machine / electric water kettle

  • *Brita water filter

  • TV (+ TV subscriptions if no one has them yet)

  • Common area furniture

  • Microwave

  • Iron & ironing board

Happy packing from the ROOM8 Team!

The List of Lists: Staying Organized During the School Year

With the start of college football season last week and the herd of parents flocking to Target and Office Depot, we know that fall has begun and that the back-to-school season will soon be in full swing. We would rather continue to binge watch How I Met Your Mother, but getting organized before the start of the school year is imperative for your future success.

Everyone has a different way of keeping track of things, but I have found that making lists is the best way to keep me organized. Nothing beats the satisfaction of cross something off of my list and keeping track my productivity and success. Staying organized is no easy task, so I’ve created a list of the lists that you should keep in order to start the new school year strong.

*Note: I suggest putting your lists in a planner (I used a Passion Planner this year, and it was perfect!), but if you decide to make lists on spare pieces of paper, make sure that you remember where you put them!

1) Goals for the Year

A new year means a new and improved you! Take advantage of this time of transition to challenge yourself and to hold yourself accountable in all aspects of your life. Think about what you want to accomplish in terms of academics and your career, your health and physical fitness, and your personal well being.

During your time at college, many external motivators can change or disappear, so personal growth and the desire to better yourself must come from you alone. Create a physical list of your goals and keep it somewhere that you can see to help remind you of your long-term vision.

Here’s an example list of a few of my goals:

  • Get A’s In My Major Classes (go to office hours 2x a week, don’t look at my phone during lecture)

  • Remember The Little Things (drink more water during the day, start your day from a place of gratitude)

  • Get Healthier (run 3x a week, opt for a salad at dinner)

  • Strike a Balance (take a 5 minute phone break for every hour of homework done, watch an episode or two of a TV show after a long night of studying)

2) Daily, Weekly, and Monthly To Do’s

Lists are about breaking things down, so I create lists of tasks that I want to accomplish for the day, the week, and the upcoming month. Keeping track of deadlines is of the utmost importance, so creating a visual record of jobs that categorizes them by due date has proved to be very helpful. Highlights tasks that must be done ASAP, and copy/cross reference this information with your planner if you choose to get one.

Especially for the weekly and monthly lists, break things down further and separate tasks into categories such as assignments for different classes, on-campus errands, off-campus errands, and things that you have to do for your family.

A few major dates that I write down are:

  • Tests & Projects (midterms, research papers, finals)

  • Financial Aid Due Dates (when FAFSA is due, when financial aid awards are disbursed)

  • Information Sessions (study abroad, summer internships, networking nights)

3) Friends That You Miss

Making lists can be stressful because you can see all of your goals and tasks that need to be done, but this list can help you destress! I tend to keep a list of people whom I miss and to whom I want to reach out.

Usually, I run into people at dining halls or on the way to class, but it’s hard to spend time with everyone because of my crazy schedule. Keeping tabs on the people whom I want to see and setting aside time during the week to touch base with these people help me relax. College can be exhausting, and spending time with people who make you happy will rejuvenate you and in turn make you more productive!

When I want to catch up with someone, we usually:

  • Get a meal together

  • Have a study date in the library

  • Have a Girl’s Night Out

  • Watch movies at my apartment

As a college student, you will always have something more to do, so if you can accomplish 80% of the things that you set out to achieve each day, you should be content. Be okay with not getting to everything, but make sure that you’re prioritizing the tasks that are time sensitive and have due dates. If making lists isn’t for you, that’s okay because this may not work for everyone, but if you remember to stay organized, you’re going to have a successful year.

A San Francisco Summer

We’re almost two weeks into August, and the City still has so many summer activities to offer! Make sure you experience a true San Francisco summer and check off these must-do activities from your vacation bucket list.

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  1. Grab Dinner at Off the Grid 
    The food truck craze has swept the Nation, and San Francisco’s Off the Grid street food vendors throw their events with style. From Senor Sisig’s Filipino food to Johnny Doughnuts, you can always find something yummy that will make your tummy happy. The most popular location is at Fort Mason, but the different Bay Area markets are open every other day of the week. Grab some friends, and get ready for some good local eats!

  2. Picnic in Crissy Fields 
    We haven’t seen Karl the Fog (San Francisco’s Fog - follow him on instagram @karlthefog) too much recently, so enjoy the sun and head over to Crissy Fields for a beautiful picnic. Crissy Fields is a grassy recreational space which is a five minute drive from Chestnut Street, a trendy city location with great restaurants and coffee shops. If you want to eat a burger from Super Duper with a breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Fields is where you should be.

  3. Spend A Night Out at Church of 8 Wheels 
    Abandoned in 2003, the old Sacred Heart church now serves as a funky roller disco on Fell and Fillmore. Be prepared for a night filled with bumping tunes and party lights! The church welcomes both rollerskating novices and experts, and whether you dress in 70’s garb or an everyday outfit, you’re bound to have a good time. Church of 8 Wheels only accepts cash, so bring $15 and grab your boogie shoes!

  4. Have Breakfast at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse 
    As one of the most instagramable breakfast spots in the City, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse not only looks good but tastes good too. This delicious pastry shop is known for their cruffin, or croissant muffin, and their “I Got Baked in San Francisco” sign. You won’t get your hands on (or pictures of) any of Mr. Holmes’ baked goodies if you don’t get in line before 9am. Don’t worry - Mr. Holmes has coffee for you early birds in addition to savory pastries, cream-filled doughnuts, and chocolate chip cookies. Check out their instagram for the weekly flavors of their cruffins and doughnuts, and get ready for breakfast heaven.

  5. Visit Battery Spencer 
    The Golden Gate Bridge is San Francisco’s biggest tourist attraction, but not many tourists know about the viewing spot at Battery Spencer. After a short ride across the bridge, you can make your way up to the Marin Headlands where Battery Spencer is located. This 19th-century concrete battery is the closest place where you can view the Bridge, but the parking is a bit tough, so taking an Uber, Lyft, or bus to the location is a good idea. Bring a jacket and a brush to fix your hair because it gets windy!

  6. Eat Burritos in Mission Dolores Park 
    Want to eat the best burrito in town? Head to La Taqueria, an authentic Mexican restaurant in the Mission. Order to-go so that you can enjoy their rice-less burritos in Mission Dolores Park (trust in their no-rice rule). On any sunny day, the park will be packed with people having lunch and walking their dogs, and if you’re still not full after your burrito, cross the street to Bi-Rite Creamery, another famous SF locale that is known for their funky ice cream flavors. The salted caramel is a fan favorite!

  7. Attend a Giants Game at AT&T Park 
    Join Lou Seal at AT&T Park to cheer on your home team! With tickets for home games starting at $5, attending a Giants’ game is a no brainer. Enjoy some garlic fries or a Ghiradelli sundae as you wait in line for the Coca Cola slide, and cheer on your favorite players at either a day or night game. Make sure to dress in orange and black because the entire stadium is covered in its home colors, and grab a souvenir after the Giants secure another W!

  8. Warm Up With A Bread Bowl at Pier 39 
    If you live in the Bay Area, you know that you can’t go to the City without wearing a few layers, and sometimes, even that can’t keep you cozy! What’s better than a bread bowl from Boudin’s to help warm you up? Fun fact: the foggy and cool climate of San Francisco gives Boudin’s bread its unique taste and texture, so stop by the location at Pier 39 with cold hands and an empty stomach.

  9. Thrift Shop in The Haight 
    Channel your inner Macklemore, and catch a ride to Haight & Ashbury for some thrift shop finds. Popular stores include Crossroads Trading Co., Buffalo Exchange, and Wastelands, but pop into shops such as X Generation to discover bohemian and dressy pieces too. Remember to be patient, and enjoy the process of thrifting: looking for deals on cool pieces is half of the fun!

  10. Rock Out at Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park 
    The epitome of a San Francisco summer is attending Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park. OL is not like any other music festival: you can find an equal number of 20 year-olds and families enjoying the scene. The laid-back music and expansive event space provide concert-goers with a relaxing environment and a shared sense of community. After being surrounded by local art and spaces such as Chocolate and Wine Lands, no one leaves Outside Lands disappointed!

The ROOM8 team members are still savoring our summer, and we hope that you will too!