• Gardening Without a Garden: 4 Ideas for Your Own Apartment Garden

    Mar 28, 2017

    Spring is just around the corner! If you’ve ever wanted to get into gardening but thought you didn’t have the space, we have some tips on gardening without a garden. 

     

    iStock-532303411Windowsill Garden

    A Windowsill Garden is an easy way to add a lot of life to your apartment. All you need are a few containers, some living herbs or flowers, and a few minutes of your time to transfer them into the containers. Be sure to keep your curtains open for good light exposure.

    Mason Jar Herb Garden

    A Mason Jar Herb Garden is an incredibly easy space saving gardening option -- and it will make your apartment smell amazing! All you need is soil, some easy-to-care-for living herbs, and a few large mason jars.

    Shoe Organizer Planter

    This one is super easy. Simply repurpose (or purchase) a hanging shoe organizer to create a hanging garden. This garden project will also help keep your cats from messing with your plants. Find detailed instructions here.

    Tiered Herb Garden

    Create your very own Tiered Herb Garden using galvanized containers stacked in order of size. They work together -- drill a hole a few inches from the bottom of one container and the water will trickle to the next one below, and so on. Leave the bottom container intact.

    Timbercreek hopes these ideas help you give a green-thumbs-up to gardening this season.

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • 5 Ways to Get the Minimalist Living Room

    Mar 27, 2017

    Simply put, minimalism is about doing more with less. Minimalist design and decor in your home can open up a room and make if feel more spacious by using clean lines, and carefully selected colours and pieces. Timbercreek Communities has 5 ways to get the minimalist living room you want.

    Limit Your Choices

    Minimalism doesn’t mean stark white and sterile. Choose a base colour and a few accent colours. Stick to this palette when choosing paint, furniture and decor for your space. If you choose neutral colours for walls and furniture, choose some warmer colours for pillows, rugs and decorations to soften the feeling of the room.

    Create Focal Points

    A well designed minimalist living room will offer an open, relaxing and calm atmosphere. You don’t want things to feel scattered or cluttered. Choose focal points to make the room feel centered and balanced. Place items such as rugs, pillows and carefully selected decorations together around big furniture. Also, limit the pieces of furniture to only what you need to feel comfortable. Place all your picture frames on a single table or shelf, rather than on any and all surfaces. If the room is feeling sparse, use single pieces of art or fabric on the walls to create and airy balance.

    iStock-504527246Balance

    Minimalist design needs balance. This can mean arranging selected items symmetrically,   or asymmetrically. For example, you can flank a sofa with lamps and end tables on both sides, or guide the eye by placing items to one side, to lead the eye along and connect the room. It’s all about filling the space with care. 

    Behind Closed Doors

    Your living room will feel calmer when there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Everything that you don’t love looking at should be hidden cleanly away inside cabinets or behind closet doors, in drawers or inside other storage space.

    Clear Out the Clutter

    When embarking on a minimalist lifestyle, it's a good idea to go through your possessions and decide what you really want to own. Clutter is the enemy of clean, minimalist design. Items that are out in the open should be arranged intentionally. For example, try to place books in order of size or colour -- this will create a harmonious feel throughout your space.

    For information on Timbercreek Communities throughout Canada, please see our website.

  • Do You Commute? Maximize It by Doing Something Productive!

    Mar 21, 2017

    Do you commute? Maximize it by doing something productive! Timbercreek Communities has a few suggestions to help get you started.

    iStock-617357346Learn Something New

    You can use your commute to expand your general knowledge base, learn a new language or upgrade your skills. There are variety of informative podcasts, audiobooks and courses you can download to your phone and listen to in your car, on the train, or anywhere else. The Great Courses is an excellent resource available in both audio and video formats. Obviously, do not choose video courses for driving.

    Reach out

    Commuting in your car with a hands free device, can be the perfect time to connect with a friend, make a private phone call, or get that service call out of the way. You may not mind spending all that time on hold, if you can’t go anywhere anyway. When was the last time you called your parents?

    Plot and Plan

    Use this time to plan out what you want to accomplish. This can mean creating a to-do list for the day, or maybe a strategy for how to advance in your current job. Maybe you’ve been thinking of starting your own business -- use this time to come up with a business plan. If you are driving, use a voice memo app instead of taking notes.

    Exercise

    One of the best ways to make your commute more productive is to move instead of sit. As a society we sit way too much. It’s actually shortening our lifespan! If you are located close enough to the office or school to walk or bike, you should. Whether that means biking to the subway or all the way to your destination, it will do your body good. If you don’t own a bike and are on a budget, check out Canadian Tire -- they have a great selection of durable and stylish budget bikes.

    Meditate

    Meditation is something everyone can benefit from, but few make time for. If you’re going to sit for an extended amount of time in your daily commute, close your eyes, breathe deep and put your travel time to good use with meditation. We know what you’re thinking but you can meditate almost anywhere, even a busy subway car. This article will introduce you to the basics of meditation, so you can get started today.

    Timbercreek Communities wishes you a more productive and more satisfying commute.

    For information on Timbercreek Communities throughout Canada - please see our website.

  • How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

    Mar 20, 2017

    An effective way to simplify your life is to start with your closet by building a capsule wardrobe. It’s not a physical structure -- you won’t need any tools, other than some organizational skills and the ability to let go. Building a capsule wardrobe is a way of living and dressing with less. Getting rid of everything that you don’t need can help you see what you actually do need. Timbercreek Communities is here to guide you as you build a capsule wardrobe.

    iStock-531071598Take Inventory

    Before you can simplify and reorganize your wardrobe into a streamlined capsule, you’ll have to take stock of what you have. This means everything -- clothing, shoes, jewellery and accessories.  It may get a little messy, or a lot messy, but don’t worry, this is only step one. Place all of it on your bed, pile it up, if it’s all on your bed you will be motivated to get through it and when it’s all over, it's over. Really look at all of it, all that you have spent and acquired.

    Sorting

    The next step is to sort everything you have into categories. It may feel overwhelming but you’ll feel better once it’s done. Go through everything, piece by piece, and place it into one of four categories: love; maybe; donate and trash. The love pile is for items that fit you well and you wear frequently, because you love them! Maybe is for items you want to hold onto, even if you don’t know why. Donate is for items that you don’t wear -- they don’t fit you or your life. Trash is for items that are in poor condition and have simply run their course.

    Second glance

    After you have bagged up the ‘donate’ and ‘trash’ piles, it’s time to take a second pass. Go through the ‘love’ and ‘maybe’ piles again, and try on some of the remaining items. Have you worn any of these items in the last six months? Can you see yourself wearing any of them in the next 6 months? Would you buy this item today? If the answer is “no”, add these items to your ‘donate’ bag.

    Choose your capsule

    It’s time to choose the 30 items or so that will make it into your capsule (33 if you want to follow the Project 333 protocol). You can make a capsule for each season, and some of your favourite items may overlap across several of your seasonal capsules. Use this collection of your favourite go-to items to mix and match all season long and seriously declutter your closet. Box up the remaining items that you have decided to keep until it’s time to create the capsule for next season.

    For information on Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Things Most People Don't Do When They Travel

    Mar 14, 2017

    Going somewhere that have never been means that you are forced to break your routine and live a little more in the present. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you make the most of these precious and special times. Here are a few things most people don’t do when they travel (but you should)!

    Plan Not to Overplan

    Many travellers have a list of the things they need to see and do during their stay and wind up with a rigid, jam-packed schedule that keeps them as busy on vacation as they are back at home. A trip should be relaxing, so keep your plans light and leave room for discovery. You may even want to plan a whole day with no plans. Let yourself slow down, look around and really explore where you are.

    Talk to the Locals

    If you only see the major tourist spots when you travel, you aren’t going to get a feel for what the destination is really like. The way to truly discover what your destination has to offer is to talk to people who live there and see if they have any recommendations. If you aren’t comfortable talking to strangers, do some online research before you leave and while you’re there. You’re bound to find some local secrets.

    iStock-517349086Use Public Transportation or Walk

    If your destination has a solid public transportation system, use it. Resist the urge to hop in a cab everywhere you go. If you do use a taxi remember that the driver is also a local resident, so ask them some questions about the area. Using public transportation is a great way to experience your destination like the locals do. If the place you’re in is walkable, that’s even better.

    Keep a Journal

    A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it’s still worth jotting down a few of those words in a travel journal. At the end of the day, each day, write down a few highlights and how they made you feel. A travel log can be so much more meaningful and personal than pictures alone.

    Do Something That Scares You

    Travelling is your chance to step outside of your comfort zone and try something you may not try at home. This does not mean taking unnecessary or dangerous risks. Even a small risk can be exhilarating, not to mention teach you something about yourself and what you are capable of.

    Happy (and safe) travels from Timbercreek Communities. We hope you have a great adventure.

    To find your home in one of the many Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please see our website.

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