What can I do with our oddly-placed extra room?

While we've lived with a roommate, the extra room has been used as our office, but once he's out, we're relocating our office to the second bedroom, for maximum privacy and minimal cat hair! Our problem now is what to do with what used to be our office space — the "in-between" room you need to walk through to get to the master. It's not really feasible as a guest room because of the lack of privacy. Any ideas what to do with this overblown hallway space?


Home buying: What if what's right for our budget isn't right for us?

My boyfriend and I decided to buy our own house. We knew it was going to be difficult but we didn't think it would be this difficult. We had found the perfect house, but with costly repairs needed. Suddenly my boyfriend wants a townhome, or a small house as a starter home, or even a condo. Sharing walls is not the long-term solution, but is it the short term solution? Should I be more worried about what's right for us, than what's right for my wallet? Or would what's right for my wallet eventually be what's right for us?


How to keep your personal information private

If you have utility, internet, or cable bills in your name, they will lead to your home address. If you file a police report or go to court as either a plaintiff or defendant, you may get calls from ambulance-chasing lawyers; those records are public. If you own your residence in your own name, anyone can search property records to discover where you live. Most of you will never face the level of harassment I have received, but taking basic privacy measures can also deter marketers, identity thieves, and other people you don't want to meet. Here's how…


Are there creative alternative uses for a yearly diary?

I recently received a beautiful page-a-day type diary as a gift. My problem is that I no longer need a physical diary to keep track of my schedule; Google calendar and my phone take care of this. I'd love to see what creative ideas can you Offbeat Homies come up with as alternatives uses for a yearly diary.


Wills and Trusts: What are your plans?

Call me morbid, but since age six, I've had a living will or last will and testament of sorts. I've changed it over the years (pretty sure Husband wouldn't want my Moondancer My Little Pony and would instead want to know what to do with my 401k), and now know to make it a legally binding document. I am by no means a legal expert, but here are points I've deemed as important to include in my will…


Use a notebook and a pencil to keep your car running smoothly

Left to my own devices, I'm not the best at keeping up with regular car maintenance. Since most automotive repairs are timed in mileage, it's easy to let a deadline zoom right past. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a mental alarm that goes off when I hit 3,000 miles, so I'm going to share my Baskets! system for keeping my car on the road.


What are your life hacks for drinking more water?

I have a problem: I don't like the taste of water, but I know I need it… you know… to survive as a human being on the planet Earth. So I finally came up with a few life hacks in order to trick myself into consuming more water. Here are a few of my tricks, then I want to hear yours.