Home Furnishing and Lifestyle Tips

Here are some great tips, nifty ideas and interesting news tidbits about "Living The Good Life" with RTO. For starters, check out this informative article from MSNBC on RTO Consumer Tips.

Fall is here so prepare your house for the weather changes

Fall season home tips.

Get your home ready for the Fall season.

Fall is here! So here’s some Shop RTO Fall weather preparation, leaves a-fallin’ then get-ready for Winter tips for your home.

Make sure your windows and doors are sealed properly. That’s where the most energy and money is wasted so check. It can be as easy as waving your hand closely across all door and window borders checking for a draft. Do so when it is cooler so you can notice the difference of temperatures.

Check tree branches! Every Winter brings drastically colder temperatures and storms that are destined to remove branches that could fall on your home, fence, car, etc. Use the fall season to remove those dead or fragile branches overhanging in areas that could cause damage. AND, check the branches overhanging or near power lines.

Make sure gutters are clean because the leaves are about to clog them up even further. While you’re checking the gutters, view your roof closely. You don’t know what kind of debris could be up there and many times there are areas you can only see on a ladder.

Check leaky faucets now so when Winter comes and freezes an older or broken pipe, the frigid weather doesn’t magnify it’s damage and expense.

Clean out the fireplace and make sure all fireplace tools are there and that you have a fireplace screen that is sturdy. Also, get some firewood now as it will most likely be cheaper. It’s called supply and demand. When the first cold front hits, firewood will cost more than now.

Look at your water heater. Make sure it’s not rusty or falling apart. And check the furnace for any leaks. Find an AC/Heater company to come do an inspection.

Get ready to store or go ahead and store your outdoor furniture. If you live in the South, it’s going to be the time to use the outdoor furniture. If you live North, then it’s time to store. If you used rent to own to rent your Summer outdoor furniture, tell them to come and get ’em. That’s part of their deal.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.


It’s football season! The essentials to building your man cave

Rent to own HD TV

It’s football time!

Hello?! It’s football season which means it’s ‘man cave’ season. If you have not created your testosterone-topia yet or need to update then here are the basics.

1. Ultra HD TV Set. If you haven’t made the leap then now may be the time. The price of 4K Ultra HD TVs are becoming affordable. Programming is still catching up but more and more programs are being broadcast in 4K now. So, go man cave-ing for a new 4K TV.

2. More HD TV sets. Use that old HD TV you just replaced as your secondary TV in the man cave. You can watch the big game on 4K then have the other TV on the other games so as not to waste any precious time changing channels. Go the extra man cave extreme and have one TV dedicated to the Internet to monitor your fantasy football players and matches without having to waste energy moving your head to a computer screen.

3. Comfy Couch and Recliner. Again, you may need more than just one of each as you invite your fellow knuckle-dragging pack over to scream at the TV with you. Make sure you test the furniture out first. Remember, these are the items you will be passing out on so make sure it’s the best.

4. Sturdy coffee tables and end tables. You’ll be putting a lot of beer pressure on those and will be the TV remote pedestal. Smart man cavers specifically get coffee tables a different color than the remotes. Again, it’s all about not wasting time moving your neck away from the TV screen. An easily findable remote lessens those precious moments and muscle moving during the game. It also needs to be sturdy to withstand fists slamming into it after your team throws an interception.

5. Refrigerator. One of those mini sized ones are fine but, come on, let’s get real. With a full size, you can stock up on all kinds of beers and wine. Yes. I said it – wine. Wine and football can go together. Even Cro-magnons can have an elevated sense of taste. The rest of the space inside the refrigerator, if there is any, is up to your imagination. And, I will not mention vegetables. I drew the line at wine. It’s still a man cave, dagnabbit!

6. Microwave. Gotta pop some popcorn or microwave some pizza bites. Those are kind of amateur, though. What you really need is a grill where you do it right with burgers, sausage wraps and barbecue.

7. Xbox, PS3 or Wii. Gotta do something when your team has a bye week.  Duh. There’s also the other season known as “off season” where you can fill in by playing a little John Madden football.

8. Soundbar. You gonna want to hear their bones breaking and helmets crashing. Again, if you’re a true man caver then a surround sound system is the way to go.

8. Laptop/tablet/smart phone. Fantasy football updates or, better yet, skyping your friends who couldn’t cave with you because they live in a different town or are married.

9. Lamps. What?!!! You’re kidding, right. It’s called a cave for a reason.

Here are some extras for the man-cave snob.

10. An oven. It’s called Chilli. Gotta have burners to cook that dish.

11. Pool table. That’s for the twitchy guy who can’t just sit down and relax during the game.

I think that’s it. Remember, your local rent to own store fits every man cave item you need. Rent TVs just for football season or for ‘that game’. With rent to own you can try before you buy to make sure that couch is the ‘one’ couch to rule them all. Remember rent to own means rent first then, if you choose, buy so you’re never obligated to buy or make the next payment and no penalty for calling them to come pick it up

Oh! And they deliver. Man caving is about creating a kingdom. With RTO, you have servants. If any of your digital-kabobs are on the fritz during your rental, they’ll come out and fix it or give you a loaner while fixing it for free.

If you want to outright purchase but can’t afford some of these items, you can find the best used deals at rent to own stores. Most men don’t care if things are used or new. They just care they work. Or rent to own them but make sure you use the early purchase option, 90 days same as cash and rent for the least amount of time. The less payments, the less cost. And, again, your credit is never in jeopardy nor debt ever extended. Man cave and RTO can go knuckle in knuckle.

But, whatever you do. DO NOT FORGET that NFL’s opening day is on Thursday night. Not Sunday. Enough said, I’m going to check my fantasy draft rankings.

Just another great ShopRTO Home Decorating tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips even for the primitive apes known as ‘men’.

Here’s some tips to buying the purr-fect couch

Inspect your couch before buying.

Picking the right couch is important.

Buying a couch is a big deal. It’s what you, your family and your pets sit on for a long time. So make sure you get the right one that will last and withstand the abuse your bodies will put to it for all of those sports games and family movies. So use these Shop RTO buying a couch tip before heading to the furniture store.

First thing to ask is who’s going to use it and for what. Some couches sit in a formal living room that is used two to three times a year when guests are over. Others are the focal point of relaxation and family time.  For this article, let’s focus on the ones that get used a lot.

Those that are used throughout the day then the obvious question is it’s durability. So you need to check that factor out from the get go.

Pick the couch up at the corner. At about six inches off the ground the corresponding leg should lift up as well. In other words not sagging thus staying on the ground. Then shake it to see if or how much it wobbles. That will give a big indicator of it’s structural integrity.

Find out what type of wood is it made of. You want solid wood like oak, ash or beech. Stay away from pine, particle board and plastic. See how the legs are attached to the couch. The legs being a part of the frame is the best. The next is attached with screws and glue. But, if it’s glue only then not good.

Check the cushions to see how durable they are. Well, actually, to see how comfortable they are is the first obvious. But, it’s durability will test it’s comfort over time. The denser the cushions, the more durable thus longer lasting. Cheaper furniture will have polyeurothane foam. Higher quality will have poly-down or spring-down cushions. Make sure to ask. And when you sit on them when testing, bounce your butt up and down on them as a good test.

You also need to figure out how many will be using it. That will help determine size. Size will also be determined on where you want to fit it or can. You want a somewhat neutral color in case you keep it for a decade thus through several fashion cycles. Change the pillows throughout the years to keep up with the design times.

Other factors include quality of the fabric. Cotton and linen are good just make sure there aren’t any loose threads that can get caught or tangled. Synthetic fibers can be good as they are durable and have some stain resistance. Remember to feel the fabric with your hand and push down. How’s it going to feel sitting on it in shorts? That’s an important factor.

Take these tips to your furniture store when shopping for that couch you plan to spend hours on for the next decade or so.

Just another Shop RTO home furniture tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Back to school time – Is your room ready?


Prepare your home for school

Get ready for school!

It’s back to school time. Whether your preparing for kindergarten or your college dorm room, get it ready for the school year. Here are some Shop RTO tips for doing so.

First, the obvious. Clean it up. When you’re on the go, it’s more difficult to spend a lot of time at once. That’s why clean it up now and make sure each day you clean whatever you messed up that day so all of sudden you’re not in some paper stacked, laundry filled jungle.

Wash everything! Sheets, pillow cases and clothes. Start the school year with everything clean and ready.

Make your study area nice. Get new furniture if need be. Buy some plants. Decorate with paintings, photos or posters. Anything to not make it look like a prison cell.

Studies constantly show your environment shapes your mood. Typically a sterile environment emanates a cold, dark presence that you don’t want to be in. You don’t want to associate studying or homework with a broom closet. Liven it up to your taste. If you have a window, use that as your basis for your room arrangement. It’s a feng shui approach.

Make sure you have plenty of light and the proper type of lighting. Typically, a room needs three tiers of lighting. But in a small bedroom or dorm room, you many only need one lamp then the overhead.

Make sure your computer, laptop and/or tablet is ready. Think about upgrading and getting a new one. Computers are now key in learning so you don’t want to be at a disadvantage from the get-go. Try rent to own stores if you can’t afford one or want the latest for a small rental price. Make sure your programs are installed correctly or updated to the most recent version.

If you need any of these home furnishings and can’t buy it outright or don’t want to own them due to a uncertain future of living arrangements as can be when in College then everything you need to make your room ready for school can happen through your local rent to own store. Rent the furniture for the semester or rent to own it with affordable payments. The rent to own store is responsible for delivery and pick up if you don’t want it anymore or are finished renting.

And, you’re never obligated to own it and can return it at any time for any reason. Who knows? Your aunt may come in and buy you a brand new bed so that bed you just rented can go back to the store and you’re not penalized one bit. And, they’ll come and get it for you.

Just another Shop RTO Home Decorating tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Back to school time – consider renting or renting to own computers

back to school computers

Rent or rent to own computers for school.

Are you or your kids on the wrong side of the digital divide? If so, consider rent to own computers, laptops and tablets. They’re affordable on a rental basis and either rent to own them as quickly as possible or rent them at the lowest price with a one-year replacement in mind.

Knowing that computer technology goes light speed, you can have a pure rental strategy to keep you on the cutting edge of the technology. Upgrade your laptop or tablet in one year increments and you’ll never be left behind. Just remember to back up your information on a portable hard drive or in the cloud so when you do upgrade, you don’t lose any programs or data.

If you can’t afford the outright expenditure, go to a rent to own store and find the best one for the best payment price. Many tablets are in the price range of paying it off in a year that will keep the payments manageable while the end price being mild.

Make sure you shop your local rent to own stores for the best one that knows their stuff to ensure all apps, programs and data is properly stored and installed. Each rent to own store or company have different levels of technological knowledge so do your research.

Through rent to own, you’re not obligated to make the next payment and can upgrade at anytime. Rent to own transactions are not leases that legally mandate a certain rental time and obligation.

That’s what makes rent to own stores so attractive regarding computers, laptops and tablets. The rent to own stores are also responsible for that computer to work. If your computer goes on the blitz, it’s their responsibility to fix it which is another great bonus.

But, do not let that prevent you from always backing up your information. There are many times not even Gandalf can bring back your information.

It’s back to school time which means getting ready to learn. The ability to keep up with today’s learning environment mandates having a computer. So take a serious look at your local rent to own store for the upcoming school season.

Just another Shop RTO Lifestyle and Computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Some Labor Day tips and trivia

Celebrate working with a day of fun.

Celebrate working with a day of fun.

Labor day weekend is upon us and many of us have a 3-day holiday weekend to take full advantage. So here are some random tips and trivia to take into account.

Many of us are driving to a destination so be prepared. Check your tires, fluids, brakes and all of that stuff. In other words, this is the perfect time to get your oil changed and have them check everything for you. You want your car to be safe and ready.

Speaking of being safe, make sure you have a car emergency kit with jumper cables, flashlight, duct tape, large towels that are meant to get dirty and an emergency stop sign or marker. AND, make sure your spare tire is completely full of air and that all of your tire-changing equipment is there. Make sure you have a first aid kit that is full. Then always have a bottle or two of water, some granola or energy bars, blankets that are not meant to get dirty and a roll of paper towels.

Have your phone charged. Don’t forget your phone charger. Map out your route and have it bookmarked on your I phone and printed out. And if you have a portable audio player and/or speakers, do not forget those as well. You want to have music for your holiday.

Make a list of all of these and save it as a permanent list on your computer and phone. This way every road trip you take, you have the master travel check list and use it to make sure you’re good to go each time.

How about your meals? Gotta make them all Amercian. That means getting the grill out for barbecuing hamburgers, steaks, dogs (hotdogs, that is), chicken, sausage, ribs, k-bobs, etc. Whatever needs flame to cook and symbolizes us working Americans. Bust out with some fresh lemonade. Homemade lemonade is really easy. Squeeze a bunch of lemons, throw in some sugar, water, stir, chill then swill.

Check out some Shop RTO meat tips, barbecue and summer party tips. BUT, prepare for the day using the weekend prior so labor day doesn’t become a tiring and laborious day for you. Prepare your meat patties the night before. Grab all the menu items on Saturday. Make sure the beer is deep in the refrigerator the night before and know who’s coming over so you have enough.

Labor day is the tribute to the American worker. Yeah. To all of us working schmucks. Created as a national holiday in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland after a failed attempt to break up a railroad strike. The holiday was a culmination of years of harsh working conditions for the employees who toiled 12 hour days, seven days a week and employing 8-year olds.

Cleveland deemed the first Monday of September as Labor Day that symbolizes the long efforts to give workers their due respect. A century later the holiday still pay tributes to the American worker but also transcends as an American holiday with parades, picnics, celebrations and the beginning of College Football. OK. Maybe not that one but we all know secretly it does.

At any rate, pay tribute to your hard working hours by having a fun and safe Labor Day weekend.

Just another ShopRTO Holiday tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Back to school time – prepare healthy meals in advance


Back to school meal tips

Make fresh meals to take to school.

Preparing all three meals during the school season can be difficult with working parents and busy school days. Therefore it’s important to prepare in advance to make sure your kiddos get healthy meals. School breakfasts and lunches are getting more healthy but the cost over time can get expensive. Try some of these Shop RTO tips and recipe ideas to make meals fresher, easier and more affordable.

Spend Sundays or whichever free day you have to prepare large quantities of quality cooked meals to refrigerate or freeze for the following weeks. Try to avoid store bought frozen foods.

When cooking, make sure to involve your children as much as possible so they learn how to prepare for their own dishes as well. And, you’ll be certain to cook them the way they like it. Hopefully you’ll get to a point when all family members cook thus meals will always be prepared.

You also need to be prepared to store them. Buy a set of washable, plastic containers that can be used over and over again. Make sure they’re big enough for a meal serving and in the size that is good for transporting in your bag. If your meal will be in a hot bag for more than two hours, buy re-freezable ice packs. If the meal is going to be at room temperature for a couple of hours then you should be fine.

Easy takes are raisins, apples, berries, granola, dry cereal, apple chips and crackers. Throw them in as part of the meal and done.

As far as prepared dishes, soups, pizza, spaghetti, beans and chilli are great choices and can be easy. Pizza crusts can be bought at the store. Tomato sauce is easy to prepare then store bought cheese and vegetables. Cook that pizza(s) for 20 minutes let cool then slice up for easy transport.

Spaghetti or pasta can host a variety of vegetables. People think spaghetti can only have meatballs and tomato sauce but far from true. Chop up and cook the vegetables into the tomato sauce for flavor or flavor them on the side then throw into the sauce. If you want to fool your children while providing fresh vegetables, zip up a variety of vegetables in a food blender to fine bits or pulp so they don’t know it’s there while getting the vitamins.

If they’re really anti-veg, make sure they don’t see you blending the vegetables because if the child associates veggies as bad, they will automatically associate that dish as bad. That trick can be done with chilli, soup and sauces. And it works well. I’ve seen dozens of my nieces, nephews, their friends and my child eat these dishes free of vegetables (so they think) while getting all of the veggie vitamins they need.

Chilli and soups can be filled with all sorts of vegetables and is easy to freeze for later uses. With soups and chilli, you can cook in a large pot to store and/or freeze many batches. Lasagna is a good dish to prepare as one batch can provide many meals. The only problem with lasagna, it can take longer to prepare than other meals.

Home made pinto or black beans are great for protein and can also host a variety of fresh vegetables. Beans can be blended to create beans for burritos, chalupas and nachos for easy, quick and fresh dinners as well. Each of these dishes are traditionally garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions and peppers. If you cook a big pot of beans then use a several cups to put into a batch of chilli to further make the chilli fresh.

Sandwiches are also quick and easy. Cook some chicken breast in advance and flavor according to the taste of the child which is why your kids should be in there helping out. The fresh chicken has way less nitrates than the sliced chicken in the bag at the store and chicken is an easy dish to prepare. Sandwiches are also great to be stacked with fresh pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and peppers. Try using fresh spinach to replace lettuce. It tastes the same and is waaay more nutritious.

Try not to use mustard, mayonnaise or any spread as they are just full of calories with little or no nutritional value. And, spoil more easily. That’s why it is important to cook flavorful chicken from the get go.

These are just a few tips but the point is to think of dishes you can make in large quantity, full of vitamins and easy to prepare for any meal. And! Make sure your children are involved in the cooking. They get what they like. They learn a valuable skill. Help the family out and create a family experience.

Just another ShopRTO be safe and home lifestyle tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Summer to-do list for the home exterior

A summer to-do list

Use the summer weather to paint the house.

Each season brings in a new set of chores specifically designed for those months. With summer, those months represent dryer conditions, warmer temperatures and longer days. That means it’s perfect for the outdoor duties. So here’s some of the most popular things to put on your summer to-do list.

Paint the outside of your home. Maybe it’s just touching up areas or painting the whole thing. But, temperatures are usually warm enough to be agreeable for outdoor paint. Experts say that ambient temperatures should be above 50 degrees. With today’s paint technology, some will allow down to 40 but make sure.

Make sure the wood is dry. If it rained, wait at least a day before painting.

Fix rotten wood. Summer are usually dryer and warmer providing perfect conditions to fix that rotting wood. Much of the time you can do it yourself by using epoxy wood filler. Grind out all of the rotten wood then apply the filler then sculpt, scrape and sand to fit the mold. The epoxy wood filler is good for smaller areas. Larger ones need replacement or more professional help.

Clean the gutters. It’s warm, sunny and dryer conditions so gives you those conditions to clean them out from those spring rains. Much wood rots because of clogged up gutters so always remember that ugly chore.

Trim the trees. Now that all of the leaves are on, you’ll be able to see perfectly which branches are dead or dying. You will also be able to see which branches are or going to be hurting your roof, fence or parts of the house. Get rid of them so the tree looks good, your house doesn’t get damaged and water is not wasted on branches that ultimately will fall off in the near future.

Clean out sheds or the garage. Check out our get rid of the clutter for some extra tips. It might take several days to bring everything outside to thoroughly clean out these storage spaces. Summer days can make that happen by giving you better weather or that longer day to make that painful chore happen.

Another ShopRTO home lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living, decorating, DIY tips and when rent to own can make your daily life better.

How to create the best sleepover for the kids

Parents need sleepover tips.

Yay! A sleepover.

It’s summer time so parents get ready for the repeating of “can Maple spend the night?”. So be prepared and read some of these sleepover tips to make those spend-a-nights as memorable as possible.

Many parents wonder at what age is appropriate to have a sleepover or go to one. Many suggest 7 years is a good age if you know the child and parents well. Others feel 9-10, if you don’t know the kid or the parents.

Start small then go from there. Have one child at a time for the first few sleepovers then if you and your kiddo are comfortable then add some more. Remember, group dynamics are vastly different than one on one. If you have more than one for that slumber party, make sure there’s no “ganging up” going on. Monitor them and make sure.

Make sure you honor their parent’s wishes. If their little one is cranky the next day due to the lack of sleep then make sure they go to bed early and enforce it. The older they are, the less that factors in. Respect any dietary requests. If their parents don’t want their kids having sugar then no sneaking a skittle or two to earn brownie points. (Pun intended.)

Make sure they have everything they need prior so they’re comfortable at your house. Whether it’s their grappie pillow or fluffy blanket, make sure it’s with them. And make sure they have the essentials such as toothbrush and PJs.

Have games and activities ready and available but not expected nor mandated. If they want them then they’re there and ready.

Be prepared to feed them. They’re guests so feed them and do so on a timely manner and in a healthy manner. And have a nice dessert or treat for them afterwards. As long as parents say OK. But do it after dinner. No sugar one hour before bed time.

And make sure to feed them a good breakfast. You don’t want the parent picking up a hungry child. That’s kind of rude.

Pick a pick up time for the next morning so both sets of parents know how to schedule. Usually 10 or 11 AM is a good time.

Make sure to have their parents cell phones programmed in case the child gets homesick or sick. And communicate that to the parents so both know and have contact information.

Sleepovers are indelible memories for the kids so make sure you make the best of them. Sacrificing some of your sanity, space, time and effort is well worth it especially when you hear them talk about those nights when they’re home for the holidays with their children (your grandchildren) talking about those nights.

Just another ShopRTO Home Lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and when rent to own makes your Superbowl party, the party.

Here’s some outdoor party tips for the summer

Some outdoor party tips

Throw a great outdoor party this Summer.

Now that it’s summer, school’s out and you haven’t seen your friends or family in awhile means you need to have a party. And, this time, let’s go outside. Here’s some outdoor party tips to help make the ultimate party.

Get a good handle on the number of people. There are all sorts of apps and web software to create invitations and manage the preparation for the party. These programs can tell you how and who to expect. You can customize the invites. Send out updates. Sign up lists if you need help or if it’s a potluck.

Food. Make sure you have plenty is the obvious tip. You can go two ways on this one. Use the cooking of the food as the centerpiece. For the most part, that means outdoor grilling. Have people bring their own grilling delicacies and cook it for them or swap off. The smell of good outdoor cooking can make for nice ambience. OR, have everything ready prior and spend time just refilling or replacing. Recruit help to monitor empty trays.

Drinks. Know your audience is the best advice. This way you know how much and what kind to have. Even add that to the online invite to help. Or, many times, and is fine in an outdoor setting like this is to BYOB – bring your own beverages. Just make sure there are enough space in your refrigerator and coolers throughout the yard. Designate one cooler for the kid’s drinks. Make sure you have enough cups and napkins.

Make sure it’s kid friendly if it’s open to families. Have a dedicated room playing movies or video games. Especially those games that make them move like “Just Dance”. Have sprinklers, blowing bubbles, beach balls, squirt guns but make sure there’s something that keeps the kids happy and wanting to be there.

Make sure there’s enough seating. While many people will be standing and mingling, you want to make sure there are enough seats to sit and tables or stands to place drinks.

Music! Set up a minimum of a 2 hour playlist of the best and classics. From One Direction to Chuck Berry and everything in between. Make sure to mix it up. Don’t play one artist, genre or in the same decade more than 2 songs in a row. Unless it’s a themed party of course. You don’t want that person groaning twice who happens to not like that song or genre.

You want to tell guest that ‘don’t worry’ if you don’t like this song, you’ll like the next as they range all over decades and genres. Make sure they’re upbeat and make sure they’re popular. Parties are not the time to play esoteric music. You want people to smile and have fun and using songs to touch off good conversation.

Set the speakers high so they’re not blaring in people’s ears. Try to get four spread out. The high quality of wireless and small speakers are incredible and affordable these days so having good background music is not the monumental feat it once was.

Prepare for the clean-up now. If you’re worried about stains then make sure you have  plenty of paper napkins available. Make sure there are trash cans readily available but somewhat hidden so there are no eyesores. Designate your recyclable cans. And monitor them regularly to bag up when full and replace. You don’t want overflowing garbage. A good tip for readily available trash bags is to put a stack on the bottom of the trash can so when you lift the full one, empty ones are ready right there.

Make sure there’s enough light. If your party goes into the night time then you need to have proper lighting. String lights give off a good glow. Not too bright but enough to see well and for ambience. Use those string Christmas lights in your basement if they’re not too obviously Christmasy. String lights are also cheap. Another suggestion are those solar lamps and lights. They have a unique feel and look but can be a bit costly on the front end but they don’t cost any electricity from then on.

Make sure extension cords are secure. Use all of those extra wire hangers and cut them into U shape pieces to firmly plant the cord into the grass. For pavement, use heavy duty duck tape. You do not want guests kicking around or stumbling on the loose cord especially after a couple of drinks. Duck tape is now being offered in many different colors so you can still be festive as well as safe.

Create a slide show. Putting together a pictorial slide show on your computer and/or to your TV is fairly easy and can be loads of fun for the guests especially if they’re in them. Use one of the many slide show programs out there which many are free.

Keep mosquitos away and stay cool at the same time. Set up some fans. Get rid of standing water. Get some cintronella candles and have some spray or wipes readily available.

Rent it if you don’t have it. Go to your local rent-to-own store if you’re looking for furniture, sound systems, refrigerators or computers for that week or if you want to replace some of your old ones. Find your local party rental place for the specialty party items you’ll need. But, shop around! Many party rental places are expensive.

Just another ShopRTO Home Lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and when rent to own makes your Superbowl party, the party.

Virtual reality headsets are hitting the market hard?

Virtual Reality headsets prices are coming down

                                        Virtual Reality headsets are on!

Virtual reality headsets are now the rage especially since prices have come way down to consumer level as well as quality. Before you head out though, here’s some quick glances at the world of today’s VR headsets. And here’s

First, let’s talk the most important – prices. Prices vary from $17 to $3000. But for the sake of this article and our readership, the highest we’ll talk about is around $800. That’s coming from the HTC Vive and then the Oculus Rift. You have to remember, though, that you need to make sure you have the latest PC to be able to process the latest 3D world.

You also have to take a leap of faith as, at this moment, you can only get them via mail. They’re rolling out retail locations for try before you buy in 2016 but it isn’t happening fast enough.

As far as a $17 headset, just download an app on your smartphone, push it into a cardboard headset and you’re good to go. No. Seriously. That’s Google’s version and many consumers are able to experience virtual reality for virtually nothing. If you get the right apps that display the gyroscopic sensors then all you need is something to hold it in place so Google provides you with one that is made of cardboard. What’s it called? Oh – Google Cardboard.

If you don’t want to sweat your cardboard set to pieces too soon then bump up to the $80 Freefly or the $130 Zeiss where it is a headset for your smart phone but not made of cardboard.

Playstation VR is another contender in the mix. Their $400 headset is set to be released in October 2016. Early reviews tend to be mixed saying quality is not as good as the Vive or Rift but $200 cheaper. And game console stores are abound so you will have better opportunities to test them out.

Remember about accessories, computer speed and availability of games. Make those important factors in your decision. The above prices are for the headsets only and do not reflect the other factors that are hugely important.

Other factors include becoming dizzy in a 3D world. For some, they do. So, again, it’s better to test them out. Here’s a good article on how virtual reality sets work.

Just another Shop RTO computer games tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Consumers want “180 days” rent to own payment plan for home furnishings

rent to own furniture payments

Payment of ‘180 days same as cash’ appeals to consumers.

When consumers in a national study asked if “180 days same as cash” payment plan option would fit in their budget when shopping rent to own home furnishings, the answer was a resounding ‘yes’.

Almost all rent to own stores or RTO stores offer 90 days same as cash payment plan. Some go to 120 days and even others go up to 180 days. If customers have the ability to create a rent to own payment plan within 180 days that gives them the same competitive retail price then they were ready to own.

You get to buy the item at a retail price but never having the legal debt or obligation as long as you pay the amount within the 180 days. That is significantly difference than a 6 month loan or extending credit for a six month period.

With rent to own, the customer is not legally obligated to purchase the product as in a credit sale. There’s no legal debt. No legal contract to make the next payment and you can return the product at any time for any reason at no penalty.

If you can’t make the total payments then you’re put on a traditional rent to own payment plan in which you will pay more in the long run if you choose to continue payments. But, rent to own stores offer early purchase options where you pay 1/2 the remaining balance and own it in one fell swoop.

Some respondents thought 90 days may be too tough to make the proper payments. 120 days seemed better but if given 180 days to pay off that bedroom set they were excited with that payment plan.

Now the question is if your local rent to own stores offer 180 days same as cash. Make sure to check around and ask for all of the details regarding their “same days as cash” option.

Just another Shop RTO rent to own and personal finance tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living, finance tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Color schemes in your home have meaning

Color schemes are important for home decorating

Use the right color schemes for your home.

Before painting your home or picking out your furniture and appliances, you might want to understand the subconscious meanings behind the colors you choose. While many psychologists make sure to indicate that reaction to colors can be affected by prior experiences, there are general impacts to colors that affect the mood of a room.

Green is the safest color as it symbolizes nature and has a calming feel. These are good for the bedrooms or reading rooms. Dark green can have a masculine feel associated with wealth.

Yellow is the most cheerful and attention getting but can be overpowering. Babies will cry more in brightly yellow rooms for pete’s sake! So, be prudent with the yellow colors.

Purple is a regal color reflecting wealth and prosperity and a feminine and romantic color. It can also be construed as artificial as it is the rarest color in nature.

Brown is one of the most common color as it’s abundance on earth. Too much brown can connote a sad feel though.

Blue is also a common color as it reflects water and the sky. It is also like green in the fact it has a calming effect.

Red is the most emotionally intense color. Reflecting love and attention. Be careful with red and make sure to use it as an accent color.

White reflects innocence and purity. It reflects light the best and is easy in decorating as it goes with everything. Too much white shows sterility which is why hospitals and staff mostly wear white. White is also the easiest to show wear and tear and dirt. It is best to be an accent as well.

Black reflects power and authority. That’s why many authority figures dress in black clothes. Black can also connote villains so be careful unless you’re a bank robber or something.

Too much of one color can be overpowering even if it’s the calming ones such as blue and green. Make sure to balance or accentuate properly. With these themes in mind, look at the rooms of your house and ask yourself what do you want that room to emanate. Begin with that premise then pick the proper colors for your home decorating.

Just another Shop RTO home decorating tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.


Negotiate your cable/internet/phone bill and save money

Best prices for cable.

Haggle your internet bills for the best deal.

Most people are uncomfortable or do not realize the power you have negotiating your cable, internet and telephone bill and package services. Save money and make the effort. You have nothing to lose and secondly, it costs the provider much more money signing a new customer than keeping a current one.

Here are some Shop RTO tips on the best way to negotiate a cheaper bill and/or better package service.

1. Find out when your contract is expiring and prepare your homework prior to calling them. Call three months prior to contract expiration to maximize savings and/or benefits and negotiating power.

2. Call customer service and ask them about your current package and if it matches current services offered. Telephone/cable/internet companies are always upgrading their basic services but fail to tell current customers that they have so you’re missing out on what you should get for what you’re paying. This is important because they may use that in their negotiations when you should be receiving those upgrades in the first place.

3. Determine what you want because they’ll usually offer several options – lower rates at the same service, same rates but with better service such as faster Internet speed, more free minutes, upgraded movie packages, etc. So know your priorities prior to know what direction to haggle.

3. Collect all of those mailers you get from their competitors on the great deals they are offering. Or, go to their website and get their offered specials there. You will need those in the negotiations.

4. Some say to go to customer service to start the negotiation but from our experience, go straight to cancellation department. They have the most incentive and power to negotiate. Remember, it costs them much less money to keep you than recruiting a new customer.

5. Be sincere and nice. It really helps. Tell them that their competition is bending over backwards to offer you a package that is too good to turn down. (Which they are but usually only for 3 months to a year.) That’s when the negotiations start.

6. Negotiate your deal on the priorities you set in step 3 until you’re satisfied. And, only agree to the terms for one year. Very important. That gives you next year to continue to negotiate the good deal you have or an even better one. When you get a good deal usually it’s only for one year and then they raise rates or take away added services.

7. Be prepared to leave. As you are well aware from the number of specials you receive in the mail or on advertisements, there are always great deals out there. Yes, it’s a pain switching services but it’s the only way to keep these companies in check providing the best package for the money. And, most of the time, they will not let you leave without offering you something.

8. If you hit a brick wall, don’t hesitate to talk to their boss. The higher up the ranks. the more they have to lose if they lose your business.

9. Don’t take their first offer. Push another time to see. Who knows how much rope they really have to let loose.

These companies know by research that us customers don’t want to spend the time changing providers so won’t try. And, in the meantime, your bill continues to rise. Or, they know you’re too uncomfortable in negotiating so they keep raising their rates. In this regard, the squeaky wheel gets oiled and you’re a paying customer so you have all of that working to your advantage.

We all need and/or enjoy these services but not necessarily at the rates they charge and continue to increase so do your due diligence and negotiate at the end of every contract term.

Just another Shop RTO lifestyle tip and money savings tips to save you some coin.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Tax season is here, know the basics before you file

TaxtimeDepending on your situation, tax season can either be like an extra holiday — complete with a check from the government, or like going to the dentist — complete with an outstanding balance owed to the government.

In either case staying on top of current tax codes and tax lingo is key to filing accurate returns.

Key terms:

Familiarize yourself with the following key terms and what they mean. These words are sprinkled throughout your tax return. Knowing exactly what they mean is critical.

Earned income – Salaries, wages, tips and professional fees, including taxable scholarships and fellowship grants.

Unearned income – Investment-type income like interest on your savings account, dividends and capital gains, as well as unemployment compensation. 
Gross income – All income you received in the form of money, goods, property and services that is not exempt from taxes.

Exemptions – A predetermined amount of money you can deduct from your taxable income for basic living expenses. You, as an individual, may be an exemption, and dependent children (which you probably are to your parents) qualify as exemptions.

Standard deduction – A set amount of money that the federal government gives you if you meet certain stipulations. It differs according to marital status.

Itemized deductions – There are six main categories of expenses that can be deducted: medical and dental, taxes, interest, charitable contributions, and casualty and theft losses. Itemized deductions reduce the amount of tax you owe. 
W-2 Forms – Wage-income forms that you receive from employers in order to prepare your taxes.
Filing status – Whether you are single, married or head of household. There are several sub-categories within each of these as well.

Deciding Whether (and What) to File

Depending on your gross income, you may or may not be required to file. For example, in 2008, all single individuals under 65 with a minimum gross income of $8,950 were required to file. Even if your parents (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, you may be required to file if you meet certain income conditions.

When determining your income, be sure to include all taxable income you receive. If your scholarships are not taxable, you need not include them in your income. (Non-taxable scholarships carry no service requirements and are used to cover education-related expenses).

Choosing a Form

To file your taxes, you need to fill out one of three basic forms:

There are a number of different types of income tax returns. You must use the tax form that corresponds with your particular situation and allows you to claim the income, deductions, credits, etc. that apply to you. The most common types of income tax returns include the following:

Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) (a.k.a. “the long form)
Form 1040A (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) (a.k.a. “the short form)
Form 1040EZ (Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents)
Form 1040NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return)
Form 1040NR-EZ (U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents)

IRS Tax Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return)

Form 1040 is the standard federal income tax form used to report an individual’s income. It is also known as “the long form” because it is more extensive than the shorter 1040A and 1040EZ Tax Forms.

More here

Before filling out your 1040 or visiting your local tax preparation expert, be sure and have the following documents on hand:

Proof of identification

Filing status and residency status

Social Security Numbers for you, your spouse, and any dependents

Dates of birth for you, your spouse, and any dependents

A copy of your past tax return

Statements of wages earned (e.g., W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, etc.)

Statements of interest/dividends from banks, brokerages, etc.

Proof of any tax credits, tax deductions, or tax exclusions

Your bank account number and routing number (for Direct Deposit)

Income The IRS defines “income” as any money that you receive during the given tax year. Most people can simply review their W-2s (Wage and Tax Statements) to determine their annual income. Taxable income, generally speaking, is the gross income of an individual or corporation, less any allowable tax deductions. It’s important to realize that taxable income can encompass more than just your annual salary.

Taxable income can include profits from stocks or real estate sales, as well as winnings from the lottery, betting on horse races, or any casino (domestic or abroad). Even the cash value of bartered items is considered taxable income. Income that may be part of your gross income but is not identified as “taxable income” would include: child support, proceeds from life insurance policies, inheritances, Workers Compensation payments, Welfare benefits, compensation awarded as a result of physical injury, education scholarships or grants, and income paid to your retirement account (either a 401k or IRA, up to a certain amount).

Overall, taxable income is that portion of your gross income which is subject to taxation by the governing authority, minus any allowable itemized or standardized deductions.

Your taxable income is basically the amount of your income that is subject to income tax. [What qualifies as “taxable income” is defined in Section 63 of the Internal Revenue Code, and “gross income” is defined in Section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code.]

Adjusted Gross Income

Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is defined as your gross income from all taxable sources, minus certain allowable tax deductions. These “allowable deductions” (also known as “above-the-line deductions”) may include unreimbursed business expenses, medical expenses, alimony, moving expenses, or deductible retirement plan contributions.

Your AGI is important when determining your overall tax liability because it can affect your tax bracket, how much you can contribute to qualified retirement accounts, and which tax credits you may qualify for.

On the other hand, “gross income” refers to all income that you received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. This can include any income from sources outside of the United States, as well as income from the sale of your home.

Knowing the difference between deductions and credits — such as the Earned Income Credit (EIC) or Child Tax Credit will make a big difference in your final tax bill or refund so make sure you understand these thoroughly and if not, find someone who does.

Do It Yourself or Pay an Expert?

Filing on one’s own can be intimidating the first time out, but there are plenty of resources provided by the IRS to walk you through the process. If this is outside your comfort zone or you are not finding the answers to your questions, do not hesitate to consult a tax preparer.

Many can be found this time of year locally but rates and fees may differ so shop around. In either case be sure and ask for references and make sure the operation will still be open after filing season in case you or the IRS has any follow up questions.

More detailed information here

Just another ShopRTO personal finance tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

DIY Easter Baskets

Decorative Easter baskets

How to build a one-of-a-kind Easter basket.

Easter Sunday is approaching and if you know or have any children who are hyped about the annual Easter egg hunt, consider gifting them an Easter basket this holiday. When I was kid I always looked forward to receiving a basket, going through all the fillers and then eagerly waiting for the green light for the much anticipated Easter egg hunt.

If you plan on gifting an Easter basket you have two options – you can purchase a pre-made basket or you can make one yourself. Creating your very own Easter basket provides you with the opportunity to personalize the gift, making it extra special. Another great part of making your own Easter basket is that it lets you determine how much money you want to spend. So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive gift, this is it.

Here are some tips on how to make a one-of-a-kind Easter basket:

First, you’ll need a basket. You can find a variety of baskets out there and it’s likely that most stores are stocked with baskets this time of year. Try your local craft store for inexpensive finds. If you want to go a different route than the traditional basket with handle, try a canvas tote. Kids might be able to hold a tote better over their shoulder than a basket. Using a tote will allow the recipient to use it for more than just an Easter egg hunt too!

Next you’ll need some fun fillers. Think about what the recipient may be interested in at the moment – a certain Disney princess, cartoon character, snack, movie, etc. You can even go as far as making it a themed basket. This will also give you the chance to introduce something new to the recipient. Maybe there was a movie from your childhood that you adored and want to share it with them, include that DVD so you can it enjoy together.

Easter baskets don’t have to be filled with candy, get creative and maybe toss a toothbrush with their favorite character on it instead. Or instead of chocolate bars try a package of cookie mix with a cookie cutter in the shape of a bunny or chick that allows the child to interact with an adult and have some fun. Fruit can also be a fun and healthy filler.

Once you have all of your fillers, place them in the basket and see how much room you have. Remove items and fill the basket with Easter grass that can also be found at your craft store. Lay it along the bottom and arrange your fillers so they’re well presented. You can go the extra mile and wrap the entire basket with Easter themed cellophane or tie a ribbon bow to the handle.

Whatever you decide to do, any child would be thrilled to receive a basket this year so don’t hold back and get started!

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle and Holiday Tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

How to get a streak free mirror

How to clean your mirrors.

Try our approach to a streak free mirror.

Whether we use mirrors as decor or for the reflection of our everyday selves, they have become pivotal in our daily routines so keeping them clean is of the essence. Here is our approach to a streak free mirror.

You will need a microfiber cloth, white vinegar and water.

The key to this technique is the microfiber material of the cloth. It is lent free and has enough texture that doesn’t require too much elbow grease. It is also delicate enough for the most fragile of mirrors such as antique pieces. If your mirror has some gunky areas, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to break it up and remove them, one by one, before starting the entire wipe down.

Create a cleaning solution by combining equal parts vinegar and water.

Mist the solution onto the mirror avoiding its frame. Try not to over spray the mirror. You want a light thin layer.

Start at the top left corner and drag horizontally across to the right side. Repeat directly beneath the row you just cleaned and drag the cloth back across to the left side. Continue the “S” zig-zag pattern, using dry areas of the cloth as you go, until you get to the bottom.

That should do it! Our quick and easy approach to a spick and span mirror.

Just another ShopRTO Home Lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and when rent to own makes your Superbowl party, the party.

4 Easy ways to welcome Spring into your home

Transition Winter to Spring decor.

Liven up your home this Spring.

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this Groundhog Day and that means we should expect Spring to come early this year. Depending on where you live, you might have already noticed warmer weather and much more sunlight so, dive in and welcome Spring into your home.

Here are 4 easy ways to transition your home from Winter to Spring.

Add a pop of color. Whether you want to take on a painting project or simply swap out Winter décor for lively colorful Spring décor, a pop of color can really transform a room. Something as small as colorful throw pillows or fruit baskets atop kitchen counters as a centerpiece is really all it takes. Here is this years Spring color palette to help get some inspiration flowing.

Showcase natural light in your home. Now that Winter is out the door, replace your heavy drapes with lighter curtains and let the sunlight fill up your home. Replacing heavier curtains with translucent curtains doesn’t necessarily mean your energy costs will go up. Look for sheer curtains that let light shine through while also providing insulation which will in turn help you save on energy costs.

Bring some of that Spring outdoor greenery inside with an indoor plant or two. Plants are an easy way to add some color into your home and the good news is, you don’t have to have a green thumb to keep an indoor plant thriving. Today Home has a great list of The 15 easiest indoor house plants that won’t die on you.

Toss the smell of Winter, literally. Store or get rid of candles and fragrances that are reminiscent of colder months such as: pine, cinnamon, pumpkin, sugar cookies, you get it. Bring in some floral or light scents like lavender, floral or citrus. If you want to go the extra mile, showcase fresh flowers. Not only will they smell wonderfully but they’ll double as a pop of color in your home.

Go on and transform the interior of your home to match all of the vibrancy that Spring has to offer.

Just another ShopRTO lifestyle and home decorating tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

DIY this Valentine’s Day

DIY Valentines Day gift ideas

Simple and thoughtful gifts for your Valentine.

Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, are you ready? If not, no worries! We have got you covered with some very easy and thoughtful D.I.Y ideas. Trust us, even if you’re not the craftiest person we’re sure you’ll find something suitable for your skills and your valentine.

Put it in a mason jar.
By now we have all witnessed the mason jar trend – water glasses at dinner, the salad-in-a-jar your coworker brought for lunch and now a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day gift! We love the four different takes Paper + Craft Pantry take with providing a mason jar gift for your bestie, your guy, your furbaby and yourself. We also love that the mason jar gift can be applied to any occasion and might even inspire the receiver to create one themselves.

Handwritten Valentines.
This takes me back to kindergarten where we’d sit around with scissors, construction paper, markers and glitter to design our very own valentine but really, when was the last time you made one? Don’t worry, I did preface this list with saying the ideas were “easy” so if creating your own valentine is intimidating to you, head over to Better Homes and Gardens for some free printable valentines. They have a wonderful selection from the classic accordion-style valentines to witty illustrations.

A Pill box.
Yes, a Monday through Friday pill box. The type that flips up and has space for vitamins, pills or in this case candy! The Dating Divas came up with a really cute idea for a Valentine’s Day gift with their “Seven Days of Love” pillbox. Each day is filled with candy and a message. The Dating Divas also provide you with a free printable download of the messages so all you have to do is print, snip and place.

Put a ring on it.
Not that kind of ring, a binder ring! The Thinking Closet and Everything Sunny Always created two different styles of affectionate mini-books. The Thinking Closet has a “12 Months of Pre-planned Dates” that also comes along with a free printable template while Everything Sunny Always uses a deck of cards for a mini-book to illustrate “52 Reasons I love You”. Both mini-books are fastened by binder rings you can pick up at any craft store, online or you can also use ribbon or twine as an alternative.

The Beatles were right, we do get by with a little help from our friends… our crafty, blog friends.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle and Holiday Tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Untraditional Valentine’s Day ideas

Untraditional Valentine's Day ideas

Do something nice for someone this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year and what better way to enjoy it than sharing love with those around you. Albeit, the holiday boasts romantic sentiments for couples but who says you can’t dedicate the day to simply exuding love and compassion to everyone or everything around you?

Here are some untraditional ways to spend this Valentine’s Day.

Volunteer your time.
Whether it’s at a homeless shelter, serving up lunch or dinner plates at a soup kitchen, nursing home or at an animal shelter volunteers are always needed. Drop into a local nonprofit and lend a hand and a warm smile. Not only will those being helped that day appreciate it but the full-time staff as well.

Thank volunteers.
If you’re not able to volunteer your time, thank those who do. Send a “thank you” valentine or flowers to a local shelter or fire department. Get creative and make a Valentine’s Day donation in lieu of volunteer time and express your gratitude that way.

Be a friend.
Valentine’s Day isn’t dubbed “Singles Awareness Day” for nothing. There might be a few people going through hardships and experiencing a heavier heart than usual this time of year. Reach out and propose an outing or at the very least let them know they are on your mind. When is the last time you visited with your grandparents? Give them a call, help them run an errand or just have a sweet visit. Einstein said, “The best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up.” He was a smart guy.

Take some time to bring that love back to yourself. Go for a run, a hike or take a yoga class. Spreading any kind of love starts with you so treat your body to a good workout and get those endorphins on the rise.

Make extras.
If you’re preparing baked goods, treat bags or valentines for the office, your son’s and/or daughter’s classmates or your friends – make extra. Have them on hand and give them to strangers throughout the day. Although you might feel crazy, the smallest of acts such as these can bring the biggest smile to their faces.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about sharing love to one person. Everyone deserves to feel special so give back in any way you can. At the end of the day you’ll be surprised on how much cheer you really gained.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle and untraditional Holiday Tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Make a special Valentine’s Day at home

Home lifestyle tips for Valentine's day

Make a special Valentine’s day at home.

As long as you make Valentine’s day special then it doesn’t matter where you spend it. So why not make it special at home?

No waits, crowds or loud noises. And it might be different than the traditional going out thus making a home Valentine’s day the special one.

If you’re going to stay home and don’t want to look cheap or lazy then you better make it special so use these tips to guide you.

Start off with breakfast in bed. Breakfast in bed is being treated like royalty. But, make sure you use the good china, have a pretty flower and cloth napkins. Placing a nice or cute photo of you two or the family on the tray is always a sweet and personal touch.

Have a fireside picnic. Move the coffee table or small table close to the fireplace. Place a nice table cloth over and serve as fine dining. If you don’t have a fireplace then use candles and be smart with the design with different sizes or types. Scented candles are nice too. Utilize roses of course.

Rose pedals. Sprinkle rose pedals on the table or on the pathway to the bedroom or bathroom for the nice bath. Rose pedals on top of a nice, hot bath that you prepare makes a special gesture. There are many creative ways to use rose pedals and represents the perfect touch for the day.

Music. Make sure you turn all TVs off and play some music. Make a special playlist on the IPod that represent the music you two love along with some good ole fashioned love songs.

Have conversation. And not about the upcoming basketball game that your spouse cares nothing about. Re-live wonderful memories or talk about future ones such as planning a fun vacation. The key to a special conversation is to plan it. You obviously cannot script it but you can always plan the themes that will dictate an intimate conversation.

Make it personal. It’s one thing to have all of the Valentine Day icons but making it personal means it’s really special. One way is to create or find the photo album and have it laying on coffee table, couch or some place strategic. Take a walk down memory lane and watch the return on investment you’ll get that will way outweigh any flowers bought.

These are just a few tips to spending a wonderful Valentine’s day at home. Just remember that the real key is to make it personal and put the right amount of effort to demonstrate that your loved one is truly special to you.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle and Holiday Tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

USDA advises food safety on Super Bowl Sunday

USDA issues super bowl food safety

Practice safe cooking this weekend

The United Sates Department of Agriculture issued a press release highlighting the importance of food safety this Sunday. Nothing goes better with the big game than food so take a look and keep your guests in mind this weekend.

Avoid a Food Safety Penalty This Super Bowl Sunday

En Español

Congressional and Public Affairs
Media Inquiries (202) 720-9113
Consumer Inquiries 1-888-674-6854

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2016 – The Super Bowl is already the most-watched television program in the United States, and this year’s 50th game is sure to take the experience to a whole new level. The game (or the ads) may be the main event, but the food usually steals the show. With more than 1.3 billon chicken wings and 4 million pizzas expected to be eaten during the big game, there are plenty of opportunities for a food safety penalty to occur.

“This Super Bowl Sunday, sports fans across the U.S. will have a great time watching the game with friends and family, while sharing some of our favorite foods that we are fortunate in this country to enjoy,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza. “A long game and a big crowd means more opportunities for food poisoning, but some easy precautions can go far in preventing illness.”

To keep you and your guests’ food safe this Super Bowl, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has pulled together the following key food safety plays.

  • To escape a delay of game, use effective clock management with your food. Perishable foods should not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours. Switch out these items during half time to prevent the same foods from sitting out the whole game.
  • Avoid a holding call by keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. Food should remain at a safe temperature and out of the “Danger Zone.” The Danger Zone is the temperature range between 40 °F and 140 °F where bacteria multiply rapidly.
  • Avoid a false start by using a food thermometer to ensure that meat and poultry are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
    • Raw beef, pork, lamb and veal should be cooked to 145°F with a three minute rest time.
    • Raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal should be cooked to 160 °F.
    • All cuts of poultry should reach at least 165 °F.
  • Many cooks think they can finish their cooking play in the kitchen by checking the color and texture of meat or poultry. The only way to safely know if cooking is over and food is ready to eat is by using a food thermometer.
  • Prevent an illegal use of the hands by making sure to thoroughly wash your hands before starting to prepare food, after handling any raw meat or poultry and trash, and after finishing cooking. Thoroughly wash hands by using hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds. “Splashing and dashing” doesn’t count.

Don’t let foodborne illness intercept your plans for the biggest Super Bowl ever celebrated.

Learn more about key food safety practices at foodsafety.gov and on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety. Consumers with questions about food safety, can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov, available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle and Holiday tip. Yes, we are designating Superbowl Sunday as a holiday.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and when rent to own makes your Superbowl party, the party.

Simple tips on a great Super Bowl party

Make your super bowl party special

Easy party planning tips!

Having friends over for the Cam vs Peyton Super Bowl slugfest? Well we hope it’s a slug fest. And we hope you’re ready. Here are some really simple tips to help feed and drink your guests for the evening spectacle.

Ask friends to bring dishes. That’s real easy. And make sure they’re all heavy appetizers. Make’s it easy, fun and with lots to choose if you have guests with varying tastes.

Another good and easy tip is use a crockpot! They’re great for all kinds of meatballs, chill and thick soups. Have your friends bring their crockpots as well. Throw the ingredients in there at noon and by the game they’re ready for the taking. Here’s a good site for all sorts of crockpot recipes.

Get a big plate of cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, fixing with slider rolls. Small, bite-size sandwiches are easy to maneuver, easy to eat and allow room for all of the other nibbles. And, they’re easy to make or have guests make.

Use pillsbury crescent dough to wrap around sausages, bacon, cheese, shrimp, etc. Hey, this article didn’t say healthy tips for a great super bowl party. Here’s a good site for quick appetizers for the party.

Get large disposable cups for drinks. People will be walking around so smaller cups offer more opportunities for those drinks to spill. Larger cups contain much better. And use the cups for those crockpot soups but they have to be thick cups designed for hot liquids. There are bio-degradable cups out there so you get the proper cups but do not hurt the environment.

Have ice chests or buckets to put canned or bottled drinks. If you’re up north, you probably won’t need ice. Just put them outside.

Always have plenty of trash cans and bags ready and monitor them. You’d be amazed how quickly they fill up and how little guests will help or alert you that your trashcan is full. Designate bags or cans for recyclables. Have plenty of to-go bags or containers for guests to take home any left-overs.

Have established games and prizes. The best are wagers. Whoever can predict the final scores or scores by each quarter. Who can predict total points. Have a football squares game going on. Those are the best ways to get those non-football fans to enjoy the game.

To make a really great Super Bowl party rent a really big screen at a rent to own store. They also have furniture and refrigerators if you need any extra of those.

Make sure there are designated drivers or be ready to call cabs for those guests who need them.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle and Holiday tip. Yes, we are designating Superbowl Sunday as a holiday. So shoot us, Okay!

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and when rent to own makes your Superbowl party, the party.

Rent the Super Bowl big screen TV at rent to own stores

Rent an HD for Superbowl Sunday

Are you ready for the Super bowl?

The big game is coming up. The biggest of the year – the Super Bowl. And that means Super Bowl parties and making that party even bigger by renting a big screen HD TV at your local rent to own store.

Most people don’t understand that rent to own can be just a rental with no obligation to own. That’s why rent to own stores are so busy these two weeks. I bet those rent to own stores in Charlotte and Denver are going to be real busy. But it’s the Super Bowl so if you don’t like football, you can watch their famous commercials and Coldplay and Beyonce. I even heard Bruno Mars might show up.

Which means, your Super Bowl party needs an upgrade to a 55″, 60″, 70″ or a 4K Ultra High Definition Smart TV. Most rent to own stores carry those sizes but each store is different so do your homework prior. And, start now. Many are renting them now to make sure they have them on game day. You can rent them by the week, two weeks or the month. Rent for one month and enjoy big screen fun beyond just the Super Bowl.

And rent to own stores make it easy by delivering, setting it up then coming back to take it off your hands. Or keep renting until March madness is over or exercise the early purchase option and make it permanent.

Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 7th at 5:30 PM so make sure you have it delivered it, at least by Friday. This will give you plenty of time in case things go wrong. Saturdays can be really busy for rent to own stores and most aren’t open in Sunday. Besides, the Superbowl hype shows prior to the kick off are good to get fully prepared on the back stories and analysis of the game. In other words, will Peyton leave the NFL on a glorious note or will Cam solidify himself as an NFL elite.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle, Rent to Own and Holiday tip. Yes, we are designating Superbowl Sunday as a holiday. So shoot us, Okay!

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and when rent to own makes your Superbowl party, the party.

How to clean furniture

Tips on how to clean your furniture.

Routine cleaning extends the lifespan of your furniture.

The gloves are on and you’re ready to tackle cleaning house. Although you might want to avoid a deep clean and skip over cleaning furniture altogether, it’s important to remember that keeping your furniture clean will in fact lengthen its lifespan as well as keeping its appearance good as new. Because furniture is made of many different materials and comes in all shapes and sizes one piece may require a different method of cleaning than another and so forth.

Here are some standard methods for cleaning various pieces of furniture:

  • Vacuum. Regardless of what your furniture is made of vacuuming is the easiest way to pick up dirt, dust, crumbs or remnants of things that might have fallen through cushions or spaces. Vacuum furniture cushions thoroughly, remove them and vacuum the foundation or platform beneath them as well. Don’t forget to get any corners or crevices. This will set a good foundation to proceed with solvents.
  • Brush. An alternative to vacuuming is brushing your furniture. Materials such as microfiber is stain resistant due to the fiber density so, brushing actually gets most dirt and debris out. Be cautious of brushing on more delicate materials such as leather or wood as it can leave scratches. Only brush under cushions.
  • Check for a label or furniture tag. Most pieces of furniture have a label indicating the best way to clean or at the very least the name of the brand or manufacturer you can lookup. You can find labels underneath chairs or seat cushions and will likely come across some codes; W, S, WS, X. Each letter represents the type of solvent needed to clean the type of material your piece of furniture is made of. Please keep in mind that it’s always recommended to test solvents on a concealed area prior to cleaning in full to avoid any adverse reactions. Let it dry completely and if all is well, you’re good to go.

Here’s what each code means:

  • W – Water-based solvent. You can make a water-based cleaner at home by combining water, a few drops of liquid dish soap, baking soda and capful of white vinegar into a spray bottle or bowl.
  • S – Water-free product or dry cleaning solvent.
  • WS – Either water-based or water-free will work.
  • X – Call the professionals. These pieces of furniture need professional cleaning and this code should be kept in mind when furniture shopping as they require higher maintenance.

Now that we’ve covered the gist, here’s some more information on how to care for the most common materials used on furniture such as leather and wood.

Leather furniture should be kept out of the sun and at least 2’ away from heat conductors in your home to reduce the chances of cracking. Close blinds and curtains when you’re not in a room and try rotating your furniture pieces if they often receive some kind of natural light from windows. Leather solvent can also be made at home and is comprised of equal parts white vinegar and water and applied with a rag. Be sure to wring out excess water so the rag is damp and rinse often to avoid spreading dirt. Follow-up cleaning with a dry cloth. To nourish leather, use one-part white vinegar to two-parts linseed oil. Shake the mixture and apply with a cloth while buffing with a dry soft cloth as needed.

Water should be avoided as cleaners on wood furniture to avoid warping or cracking. If water is used, it should be very little and wiped dry immediately. Also avoid using feather dusters on wood as the quills may scratch the surface. You can determine which solvent cleaner is most appropriate by determining the finish of the wood; stained, painted, etc. Any tough grimy spots can be broken down with the use of mineral spirits such as paint thinner. Use a rag to clean these areas but also be sure that you are in a well ventilated area.

Roll up your sleeves and give your furniture some TLC. They’ll reward you by sticking around longer.

Just another ShopRTO Home Lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Winter storm tips for the home

winter weather tips

Take precautionary measures for bad weather.

The recent snow storms slamming into the midwest and northeast remind us all to be prepared. So here’s some Shop RTO winter storm tips to make sure you’re ready.

First of all, know the difference between weather advisories and make sure to pay close attention to those as that will dictate your response and time needed.

Winter Storm Outlook: Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 2 to 5 days. Start checking supplies to see if you’re ready and, if not, get those necessary items.

Winter Storm Watch: Winter storm conditions possible for the next three days. Review your travel plans. Make sure you have basic items in case you’re stuck for several days or if power goes out.

Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences. Take actions to be prepared for the worse.

Winter Storm Warning: Severe and life threatening conditions for the next 24 hours. Take precautions immediately.

Follow these check list items and prepare for the worse. And prepare for at least three days.

1. Flashlight with working batteries so make sure they’re tested prior and have extra batteries to spare.

2. Cell phones charged to maximum.

3. Warm clothes, blankets, gloves, hats,scarves, wool socks and WATER PROOF, insulated boots. Stay indoors and go outside only for emergencies.

4. Three days supplies of water, non-perishable foods that are easy to prepare.

5. Make sure your pets have 3 days supplies as well and keep them inside. And use your pets for your warmth. It’s a good excuse to snuggle with your furry ones.

5. Have radio or smart phone apps ready for weather and news updates.

6. Make sure all of your medications are filled. Have a first aid kit ready.

7. Make contact with family and friends regularly to update them so they know or can help if need be. Or register with Redcross.org to let family and friends know about your welfare.

8. Keep faucets dripping to avoid pipes bursting.

9. Make sure your car’s gas tank is full to prevent fuel lines from freezing.

Just another Shop RTO Home Lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Prepare for your Super Bowl TV now

Rent to own TV for Superbowl

It’s all about the TV

Super Bowl 50 is February 7th. Just around the corner so start preparing now. First of all, do you have that Super Bowl TV that will live up to the party and game?

If not, you have several options. New TVs were just introduced at the CES show so you could go with the latest and really upgrade to the latest technology. But, since new TVs are hitting the markets that means the TVs that were yesterday’s hot item are now available at reduced prices. And if you really want to go big but just for the game or the playoffs, rent one at your local rent to own store.

Make sure you talk to your rent to own stores now because you’re not the only one who thinks renting a TV for the Super Bowl is a good idea. This is rent to own’s biggest weekend so prepare now if you go that direction. And, remember, you can use rent to own for all of the above options. ‘Try before you buy’ is one of the biggest advantages to renting to own because you’re never obligated to buy it. Just have them pick it up when you’re done at no penalty.

If you like it that TV you’ve been renting during the playoffs and/or for the game then buy it outright with the early purchase option.

When shopping for the HD TV, it’s important to compare rental prices, rent to own payment options and inventory. Many times, different rent to own stores carry different brands, sizes and types. Don’t assume one company has the same inventory as the others. And, don’t assume each company does short term rentals the same.

If you go rent to own, they’ll deliver and set it up for you which is another reason to prepare in advance. You want that HD TV hooked up correctly especially if you have cable boxes, Apple TV, Play Station and/or Blue Ray players needing to be plugged in. If you’re going to have that big screen HD TV for a couple of weeks or a month, you might as well take full advantage.

And start now because others are as well. Renting the big screen for the big game at RTO stores is becoming more and more popular so be wise to start now.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle, Rent to Own and Holiday tip. Yes, we are designating Superbowl Sunday as a holiday. So shoot us, Okay!

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and how rent to own stores can upgrade your party.

HTC and Under Armour collaborate, debut HealthBox at CES 2016

CES 2016 launches HealthBox

Under Armour introduces the first connected fitness system

HTC and Under Armour have partnered up to bring us the HealthBox, a box filled with fitness tools and just in time to assist with our New Years fitness resolutions. The HealthBox consists of three items: UA Band, UA Scale and UA Heart Rate that are all Andriod and iOS compatible and retails $400. Although the HealthBox is not currently available, you can pre-order on their website as early as today.

Under Armour’s tagline for its HealthBox is “Exercise Smarter. Feel Better. Live Longer” and states that it is the first connected fitness system of its kind. What does that all mean? Essentially it means that all of the tools provided connect with each other to not only measure and monitor all factors but determine what makes you, the user, feel better via UA Record.

The UA Band is a fitness band worn on the wrist that is waterproof and sleek, designed to be worn 24/7 without discomfort. It has a touchscreen with a number of displays to select from such as steps, heart rate, calories, time, music, text and phone call notifications and workouts. It monitors activity and will let you know if you’ve been inactive for too long.

The UA Heart Rate is also a waterproof fitness band built to track your heart rate, heart rate zone and workout intensity. It connects with the UA Band in real-time to show you how hard you can work for the perfect workout.

The UA Scale is WiFi-enabled with auto-recognition for up to 8 users and allows any user to create a profile to set goals, monitor weight, body fat and progress. The UA Scale also supports guests without a UA Record.

By using all of the provided tools your activity will be connected and displayed via UA Record on your phone. Dashboards can be customized per user and records can even be sent to your trainer, friends, social network, fitness community or doctor. The video indicates that by wearing the UA Band while you sleep determines your sleeping patterns. It also not only monitors how many calories you burn but also your intake which can then provide you with an optimal workout based on your diet and goals. I encourage you to watch their promotional video in full, it definitely had me inspired!

Stay with us as we continue to feature products unveiled at this year’s CES tradeshow.

Just another Shop RTO Lifestyle and Computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

What are smart home devices?

Smart home devices for the future.

Samsung promoting their smart refrigerator at the CES show.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is showing off the latest smart home devices. Smart home devices are those home products or systems that can be controlled remotely through your computer or smartphone. Home furnishing, design and builders know they are the future of our home living but for now, we consumers are just beginning to understand their presence and value.

Some smart home devices include refrigerators that will be able to tell you what you need at the grocery store, what food needs to be thrown out and if you have everything you need for tonight’s dinner. You can be at the grocery store, log into your refrigerator through your smart phone app and “talk” to it regarding what sort of groceries you need.

There are broader smart home devices such as home lighting that will follow you through the house and light where necessary while turning off those lights you don’t need. That eliminates waste and saves money. You can program your light system so it knows when you will be leaving and coming home so it knows when it needs to be ready to light the house when you arrive and turn off when you leave.

Home security systems can notify you at work whether they detect something unusual. And these systems can teach themselves to differentiate real irregularities at your home. It can self teach itself that your dog “Ruh-Roh” is a regular member of the household thus poses no risk so will not alert you if you have motion sensors. I wonder if they could alert me if he’s nosing in the trash or on the couch where he’s not supposed to be. That would be a great feature.

It is a part of the learning algorithm application that smart home devices are integrating into their systems and products and that consumers want. These systems will learn your patterns and apply them to their devices to automatically alert you or respond to your actions to eliminate daily programming.

Companies are also trying to integrate a voice automated system as well so you can instruct your home on voice commands. You come home, ask your computer to pre-heat the oven, make sure to coordinate with the refrigerator that you have the right ingredients while you tell it to change the temperature of your house to be more comfortable then ask it to go through your latest e-mails/texts and alert you of anything important sent from your family.

It’s a whole new world that CES introduces us to so we’re passing along the future of your home to you because one day in the near future, these smart home devices will be standard in wherever you live.

Just another Shop RTO home living and decorating tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.


CES gives us a look at the future of our home gadgets

Futuristic TVs

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held every year in Las Vegas is great for consumers to check out today’s new home electronics and what to expect tomorrow. So for the next several articles, ShopRTO.com will give you a quick glimpse of those products that you may want to put in your home or just dazzle you for what the future holds.

This year the buzz will be smart home technology, wireless gadgets, wearable health devices, drones and all sorts of HD TVs – the curved ones, 3D ones and Ultra High Def – which is basically in the 4K technology arena. Different companies from Samsung to LG will promoting each of their versions so the choices out there will boggle your mind.

One of the hottest talked about product was LG’s 98″ 8K television. Yes. A 98″ 8K TV. How’s that for a conversation starter?

So how much does it cost, you ask? Just $133,000. Hopefully that includes delivery and set up. It also may need an 18 wheeler to deliver that mammoth.

We consumers are just now being able to afford 4K TVs while broadcasters are just now making 4K production more common. So, we’re still in the middle of the 4K revolution so the 8K revolution is definitely a peek into the future.

So, yes, it’s basically a publicity stunt to attract stories such as this but, remember, the same thing happened decades ago at a CES show when the show featured the unheard of, breakthrough technology of broadcast and production called HD TV.

So, stay tuned for the future of your home as ShopRTO.com will feature the hottest products being unveiled at this year’s CES show.

Just another Shop RTO home decorating and HD TV tidbit.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.


5 Ways to dispose of your Christmas Tree

5 ways to dispose of your tree

Get crafty with your old Christmas tree.

The scent of fresh pine has permeated every room in your house since the Christmas tree went up and as we approach Christmas day we also get closer to having to take it. Some cities pickup old Christmas trees and recycle them for you but here are some creative alternatives to disposing of them that might be of better use.

Fire wood
After removing all of the ornaments, lights and decoration, old trees can make great firewood. Once the tree is fully dry, cut it into pieces and use as kindling for an outdoor fire pit.

Pine needles make for a great mulch as they retain moisture, dry quickly and decompose slowly. Better yet, if you or someone you know has a wood chipper you could chip the whole tree and use that as mulch. If not, a simpler approach is to use the boughs or branches just as they are and lay atop garden beds. Boughs can keep your plants warm and protect them from snow and frost.

Another way you can use the wood from your tree for a garden is saw the trunk into discs. First remove branches and then slice the trunk into discs of various sizes. You can then use them to line your garden beds or you can even create a walkway out of the bigger sizes, similar to stepping stones.

Along with using trunk discs for gardens and walkways, you can coat the smaller sections with polyurethane and use them as coasters. Another crafty consideration is using tree clippings to make homemade potpourri and extend the duration of that Christmas aroma all year long.

Bird Feeder
Probably one of the easiest things you can do with your old tree is to simply drag it outside and let it stand. Hang some bird feeders instead of ornaments and let them go nuts while you sit back and enjoy bird watching.

Fish habitat
Another easy alternative to dumping an old Christmas tree is toss it into a lake or pond. Christmas trees can provide shelter for fish, offering protection within branches. Just be sure that your tree is chemical free and and get permission from town officials first.

Try not to let your tree end up landfill and get resourceful. It just may be the trick to get you on Santa’s nice list next year!

Just another Shop RTO holiday and lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.


Arranging furniture for entertaining

Arrange your furniture for entertaining.

Create an inviting space.

The holidays may be the busiest time of year for entertaining guests and if you’ve opened your door to host this season, we have a few tips that will help make the most of your space. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to create an ambiance that is comfortable and stimulates conversation and interaction among your guests.

Creating an open space upon walking into your home is key. It is the first impression your guests have upon arrival so clear the way and remove any extra clutter. If you have a coat closet, encourage guests to leave coats or handbags at the door. If you don’t have a coat closet, consider getting a coat rack, using a bench or designating a room in the house for coats.

If your entry way overlooks the living room, be sure that the back of furniture isn’t facing people as they walk in. Instead, create a walk through or pathway by splitting two seating areas. If you have a large living room, placing couches or sofas back to back. This can also create two different seating areas similar to that of a hotel lobby or lounge. Place smaller furniture around larger pieces, just be sure not to set them too far apart so people can hear each other comfortably.

It’s possible you might not have more than one coffee table or side tables to accommodate the extra seating you’re creating. Sufficient side tables or coffee tables are important for communal seating and eating. Consider using a trunk as a makeshift coffee table or covering a sturdy stool or box with festive linens for additional table tops.

If you’re hosting more guests than you have place settings at your dinner table, consider setting up a buffet instead. Remove chairs and add them to other areas of your home, like the additional seating areas we mentioned earlier. Move your table closer to a wall to open up the space but also providing enough space to walk around so your guests have more access to the buffet. Providing small plates in combination of communal seating are also good ways to keep the commiserating going.

Don’t underestimate your space, get creative and experiment with it. You’d be surprised with how many different ways you can arrange your furniture and the difference it makes when entertaining.

Just another Shop RTO holiday and lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

The right dining table

The right dining table

Rectangle, square, round?

You’re ready for a new dining table and don’t know where to start. You know your taste but maybe not all the factors to consider? We can help you with that.

Number of diners.
How many people typically join you for dinner? Do you entertain often? The number of people that will will be seated is crucial for your table needs as you will want a table big enough to seat everyone comfortably. Some tables allow for removable space known as a table leaf. These pieces are great for accommodating more guests than you usually would and can easily be removed and stored for a later occasion. As a rule of thumb allow for 24″ between chairs for a proper and comfortable dining space.

Know your space.
How big is your space? You will want to be sure that there is ample wall to furniture space, at least 24″, as well as room for diners to get in and out of their seats. If you’re working with a bigger space, a rectangle traditional or square shape will suit your needs. If you have a smaller space, round tables are most efficient, accommodating more while providing an inviting dining experience.

A few things to note:
– Square tables won’t work in a rectangle room due to dimensions. Two sides of the table will be closer to the walls making it more crowded for guests on those ends.
– If you have children around, the corners of square or rectangle tables can pose as safety hazards.
– Round tables, if supported by one center pedestal, can be a tipping hazard. Checkout the weight and distribution capacities along with giving it a good lean on one side for sturdiness.
– The width of tables gets wider as it gets longer. Keep a width of at least 36″ for place settings and serving dishes.

Happy table hunting and know that if you’re feeling uneasy about making a purchase, drop into your local rent to own store and try one out for size before you buy.

Just another ShopRTO lifestyle and home decorating tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Front loading vs top loading washing machines

Front loading vs top loading washer machines

Which washing machine is right for you?

The clothes are piling up and its laundry day. We’re all guilty of putting off laundry but the chore really can be a daunting one if your washing machine is acting up or needs to be replaced altogether. If you’re ready to invest in a new machine the first detail to consider is which type of washer will work best for you; a front loading or a top loading machine?

With so many brands and models to choose from there are plenty factors to consider however the most basic and considerable is the loading style, so let’s cover the pros and cons of both.

Front loading Washer
Front loading machines can be beneficial to you if you’re working with a small space. Oftentimes, these machines are stackable, making efficient use of your laundry space. However, if you chose to have them side by side, they not only require more space but more physical bending than top loading machines. With that said, you can choose to add a pedestal to your front loading machine that will give it a boost and alleviate bending but since pedestals are optional they also run an additional cost. The laundry load capacity on front loading machines is bigger than that of top loading machines allowing for larger loads like a comforter. They also have a higher spin cycle that extracts more moisture from wet laundry and thus requires less drying time which in turn uses less energy per load, saving costs.

That brings us to another significant factor, cost. Front loading machines do tend to be more expensive than top loading machines but nowadays there are so many that it’s likely you can find one within your budget. Front loading machines also don’t provide many options for customizing loads and therefore require more time per load. Another concern is that early models were said to develop mold around the door but since their initial development they have undergone a lot of improvements such as better water drainage to prevent mold altogether.

Top Loading Washer
Unlike front loading machines, top loading machines require far less bending when tossing your laundry in or moving them from washer to dryer. Wash cycles are also customizable and have more options including load size and time allowing for shorter cycle time that in turn uses less energy per load, saving costs.

Although you can save some time and costs on washing, top loading machines have a slower spin cycle that doesn’t extract moisture as well and will in turn require longer drying time. Another thing to consider is space. Top loading machines require more space since they don’t stack. These machines are also said to wash less effectively for full loads as well as utilizing more water per load than a front loading machine due to their design.

It might be a tough choice to make but consider trying both models before making a final decision with rent to own. Find your nearest rent to own store and try the washing machine of your choice without taking the plunge of a final sale and try before you buy.

Just another ShopRTO lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

New Year’s Resolutions. What will yours be?

New Year's Resolutions

What will yours be?

As the days go by and as we approach Christmas it’s hard not to think of the holiday that immediately follows, New Year’s Day. New Year’s marks the first day of the year and over time has taken on the tradition of setting resolutions for the upcoming year. New Year’s resolutions are personal goals we set for ourselves that will, or at least we hope, improve our physical, mental or overall state of health and/or being.

History.com states that we have been celebrating the start of each year for at least four millennia and livescience.com credits western civilization for the creation of New Year’s Resolutions altogether. Although origins of New Year’s Resolutions are said to be developed among religious groups they have become a secular tradition and are practiced by most Americans.

A promise for the betterment of ourselves sounds like a positive way to start the year but some would say that promises are meant to be broken and it turns out that many of us struggle with keeping their resolutions. Time.com created a list of the top 10 broken New Year’s Resolutions that include “Lose Weight and Get Fit” and “Quit Smoking” as the top two, losing weight being the most popular resolution. Statistic Brain Research Institute concluded that 62% of American’s make resolutions (either usually or infrequently) and only 8% achieve their goals.

So, what’s your approach to the New Year, will you make a list or stick to one goal? Either way, keep it simple. Maybe you do want to lose weight and get fit but instead of making a 20lb weight loss by a certain time, decide that you’ll exercise in some form at least 2 times a week. Instead of counting calories or taking on an entirely new diet, choose to eat cleaner and move away from processed foods.

New Year’s Resolutions are about self improvement so at the very least having a goal to start with is a step in the right direction.

Best of luck and happy holidays!

Just another ShopRTO holiday and lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Christmas Ornaments 4 ways

Different ways of using Christmas Ornaments

Make use of extra Christmas ornaments

Christmas cheer is all around and if you’re like most of us you may have a deluge of Christmas ornaments that you have acquired over the years. Since there is only so much space on a Christmas tree, you may find yourself with a good amount leftover. If so, we have a few different ways you can make use of all of the extras to decorate your home.

One of the easiest uses for leftover ornaments is to toss them in a vase or bowl and set them in the center of your dining table, side table or anywhere that could use a festive centerpiece. Try mixing colors and shapes for a unique look.

Wreaths & Garlands
Fasten surplus ornaments to any garland or wreath with floral wire to create your one-of-a-kind front door statement piece. If you don’t already own a wreath or garland for sprucing, you can find them of different sizes and colors along with floral wire at any craft store.

Hung from up top
Another easy way to create a nice focal piece is to string ornaments and hang them from light fixtures or entry ways. You can tie them to directly onto light fixtures or use clear adhesive tape to fasten them to the ceiling, entry way or window frame. Be sure that the tape you’re using securely sticks to the surface as most ornaments are pretty fragile and will most likely shatter if they fall.

Gift wrapping
If you’re willing to part with extra ornaments or want to downsize your collection a great and unique approach to do so is to incorporate them in your gift wrapping. Instead of using the traditional Christmas bow, try a bauble or ornament. The inclusion can easily double as a two-in-one gift making yours extra special.

Now you can fish all the ornaments you might have tucked away and adorn your entire home because if there’s any time to go overboard with festivity it’s now.

Happy Holidays!

Just another ShopRTO home decorating and  holiday tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Avoid debt and budget for Christmas

Avoid debt with Rent to Own

Avoid debt this Christmas

Holiday season is here and with each year we promise ourselves that we will plan ahead and avoid debt as much as possible. We vow that by next Christmas we would have already completed our shopping so when December comes around we don’t break the bank. Well, December has arrived and if you’re like most of us who have experienced whip lash at the mere thought of how quick this year has gone by you might have been caught off guard. Not to worry, Rent to Own can help your budgeting needs.

Before you start scrambling thinking about your options that incur debt such as using credit cards, taking out a loan or even depleting your funds consider Rent to Own. Rent to Own offers consumers many advantages and especially throughout the holiday season with its biggest benefit being the no-debt transaction. Rent to Own transactions don’t require a credit check and will not affect your credit score. Customers are also free to stop payment and return the product at any time making this especially convenience for electronics since newer and better products are always around the corner. With that said, many stores carry a wide range of products such as furniture, appliances, HDTVs, computer gaming systems, computers and much more. Stores also offer flexible payment terms, free delivery, set-up and repairs.

Be sure to shop around as many Rent to Own stores are competitive and offer different prices and payment options. As stated in Shop RTO’s article “Thanksgiving guests? Rent to Own stores can help” be on the look out for ’90 days same as cash’ option. “Some go up to ‘180 days same as cash’. That means if you can make payments within 90 days, the total cost is close to retail and all the time you still get the debt free, no obligation feature that keeps you out of the legal obligation that credit cards put you in.”

It’s likely that Rent to Own is the just thing you need to help you get through the holidays. Now take a seat and draft that list because Christmas will be here in no time.

Just another Shop RTO holiday and lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Should I buy a tablet, laptop or desktop?

Deciding between a tablet, laptop and desktop

Tablet, laptop or desktop?

It seems that everywhere we look these days there is some kind of sale or discount offering. Whether it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday or end of the year blowouts, it’s true that finding a deal this time of year isn’t hard to come by which makes for an opportune time to invest in that gadget you’ve been thinking about. If you’re in the market for a type of computer device then you’ve probably considered a variety of options such as tablets, laptops and desktop computers but with so many options it may be somewhat of a challenge to decide which is best for you.

Here’s what we’ve found that may help with your decision making.

Tablets, or “Tablet Computers”, were introduced in 2010 and have quickly caught the attention of many due to their versatility, compact size and price. Tablets are said to have all of the capabilities of a computer at a fraction of the cost but here’s where they differ. One of the obvious differences is their size. Tablet screens vary in size, ranging anywhere from 6” – 10” depending on model, and very few bigger than 10”. Additionally, tablets don’t usually have an external keyboard but a virtual keyboard that shows up within the devices display screen. However, there is such a thing as 2-in-1 tablets that feature a physical detachable or folding keyboard as well as offering the standard built-in virtual keyboards that act just the same. Beyond the surface, notable differences are a tablets RAM (device memory), storage (how much you can save; documents, photos, music, etc.) and connectivity (ports and external connections) where tablets may fall short.

Although pricier than tablets, Laptops, or “Notebook computers”, offer some features that might have you inclined to dish out the extra cash. Laptops have a built-in keyboard that comes as an advantage to someone who may type a lot. Also, the structure of the device is built to close like a book making it compact for mobile convenience and doubles as screen protection when not in use. The screen size on laptops is significantly bigger offering a more display, ranging anywhere from 11” – 17”. Unlike tablets, laptops offer built-in ports and external connectivity accessibility making it easy to transfer files onto and off the computer or connect to external screens. The biggest difference between a tablet and a laptop is its RAM and storage capacity allowing it to work faster and store more while preforming all that a tablet does and then some.

Desktop Computers
Desktop computers, or “Personal computers”, unlike tablets and laptops are stationary and intended for use in one location. Although bigger in size, Desktop prices are competitive to that of Laptops depending on size and storage capacity. In some cases, desktop monitors can be as big as 30” providing an even larger display area. Furthermore, desktop computers are comprised of modular components making it easy to upgrade certain parts without having to upgrade or replace the entire machine.

Overall, the most important question to ask yourself when evaluating which gadget to purchase is your intention of use. Be it for entertainment or work, your specific needs will weigh heavily on your choice and if you’re looking to try out any devices before making a long-term commitment you can always visit your local rent to own store and weigh out your options.

Just another Shop RTO lifestyle and computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers holiday decorating and home living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Save costs while keeping your home warm

Save on bills

Keeping utilities down this winter.

As the temperatures drop you may notice utility bills rise. Since there is no way to escape the chill we have some cost effective ways to trim your dues without having to freeze through winter.

Last month we covered some tips on how to get your home fall ready that included one of the most important heat retention recommendations, “Seal It.”. In our article, “Is your home Fall ready?” we identified air leaks to be the culprits for heat loss. Now that the cooler weather has arrived it’s possible that you too have noticed where drafts are entering and warmth is escaping, so take some caulk and seal them up.

Another remedy that we covered were window treatments. Heavy curtains or drapes can act as insulation for your windows and in addition to heavy window treatments, double glazing does just the same if not more. Double glazing is defined as “a double or triple glass window panes separated by a vacuum or gas filled space to reduce heat transfer,” which can be pretty expensive administer. For a short term and economical remedy look into DIY Double Glazing Film. It is just as effective and at the fraction of the cost. All that you will need is scissors and a blow dryer to administer. Taking advantage of sunlight when it’s visible by keeping curtains open allow for natural warmth. Area rugs can also be used as additional insulation especially for floors that aren’t insulated.

Whether you have electric, gas or radiator heating you’ll want to shut doors to rooms that aren’t being occupied or used in efforts to contain heat in one area. Secluding rooms in combination of using a heated blanket or space heater can also prove cost efficient when trying to avoid warming your entire home. If you have a radiator be sure to remove any furniture that might be set in front of it as they will absorb the heat and act as an obstacle for dispersion. You can also place a sheet foil behind the radiator to deflect heat from absorbing into the wall as well as placing a shelf a couple of feet above to help channel warmth outward into the room.

Cozy up and keep your home warm with our tips and if you’re in need for a seasonal appliance such as a heater, check out your local rent to own store for cost effective options.

Just another Shop RTO lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Protect your plants from freezing

Frozen plants

Protect your plants this winter.

As the wind chill rolls in don’t forget about your plants. Experienced gardeners and plant owners know how much of a threat frost and freezing temperatures can pose on plants causing damage and in worst cases, killing them. We have some tips on how to protect your plants from winter.

Since temperatures vary all across the country you might question at what temperature exactly is of concern. Plants are classified by “hardiness” that indicates their ability to survive in various adverse conditions and to assist in determining what climate is destructive to them you can use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Tender plants are those are more susceptible to freezing. When a plant freezes, the water inside causes its cells to burst sometimes resulting in irreparable damage.

Here are some tips to take for tender plants during a freeze.

  • Bring any plants in containers or potted plants inside, as well as tender bulbs. Dig those up and store in a cool dry place. If you’re unable to bring plants in, cluster them and place them in a sheltered area close to your home.
  • Water the soil of outdoor plants thoroughly. It might sound counterproductive but water in soil actually acts as insulation, protecting the roots and warming the air above the soil. Keep plants such as succulents that are water sensitive in mind where over watering is detrimental. In these cases, its best to bring them in or keep them as dry as possible.
  • Cover up shrubs, trees and larger plants with fabric such as bed sheets, burlap or plant frost cloths. Stakes should be used to keep material from touching and plastic should be avoided. Covering plants acts the same as blankets do in keeping us warm. Be sure to remove once temperatures rise above freezing.

Even after following our tips it’s possible that your plants may undergo some visible damage but the good news is that plants are surprisingly resilient. They may have lost their bloom for the year but don’t prune or dig them up, hang onto them until spring. They may recover and sprout once temperatures start to warm up.

Just another Shop RTO lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Maximizing space for holiday guests

Tips for maximizing your space

Accommodate guests in any space.

The holidays are fast approaching and chances are you may host some out of town guests. Holiday season calls for warmth and laughter and we can oftentimes agree that during impending celebrations the more really is the merrier. So whether you have enough bedrooms to accommodate everyone or not, we can certainly assist with some tips on maximizing space.

Assuming privacy isn’t a prominent factor, any room in your home can be transformed to sleep more than a couple of people. Most guests crashing for the Holidays are typically content with simply having a soft place to lay their heads at the end of the day.  Sofa beds, day beds, couches or sleeper chairs are good options for transforming a living room into a guest room. They can also create a suite that sleeps a family when adding to a bedroom with an already existing bed.

Do your children have bunkbeds? If so, they too are great for guests and if not, it might be a good time switch out the standard twin for fun and space saving bunkbeds. You can read more about bunkbeds on Buddy’s Home Furnishings article, “Saving Space in Your Kids Room with Bunkbeds”.

Other obvious options are laying out air mattresses. You can use the back of a couch to act as a headboard for an air mattress and you might even consider placing a side table or stack of books to act as a nightstand. Creating a private space out of an open space can make your guests feel welcomed and at home. You can also create multiple personal spaces out of an open room by using a folding screen or setting up a fabric curtain. Setting up an indoor tent can also create a private space and can be fun for kids and adults alike.

Shop RTO offers a rent to own store locator, let us help you find a store that offers affordable options near you so you can clear some space and embrace the holiday cheer.

Just another Shop RTO Holiday tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Easy microwave cleaning

Tips for cleaning microwave

Quick and easy tips for cleaning your microwave

Most of us are all too familiar with the occasional food splatter when heating something up in a microwave and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’ll have plenty of leftovers on our hands that will call for a zap. Eventually the occasional food explosion takes a toll on our microwaves and we have a few tips on how to maintain its cleanliness while preserving its functionality.

If your microwave has been working in high gear and already has a layer of food remnants, then a deep clean is in order. Before you get your scrubbing game face on, have your microwave run a pregame steam to help loosen sediments. Simply take a microwave safe bowl and fill it with a half cup of water, squeeze and toss half a lemon in there to add a fresh aroma and nuke to boiling, about 3 – 5 minutes. Lemons are high in citric acid and are considered to be one of the best natural cleaners due to their low pH and antibacterial properties. Be sure to let the water sit and cool, about 10 minutes to allow the steam to work its magic, before removing or handling, it will be hot.

Now that the steam-clean has run it’s course and the water has cooled, take the remainder and add its equal of white vinegar to create a 50-50 solution. Now dip a washcloth, sponge or cleaning instrument of your choice and wipe the surfaces. White vinegar is also known to be a natural disinfectant so the combination with lemon water will provide you with an active cleaning solution. If you have some stains you are hoping for removal, add a tablespoon of baking soda to the solution. Baking soda is another of one those awesome all natural, nontoxic stain removers.

Your microwave should now be in pristine, nearly good as new condition. Keep up the spotlessness by covering your food to prevent splatters and wipe down the surface after every use. This will also help minimize the frequency of how often you will need to deep clean in the future.

Is it time to replace your microwave altogether? Find your local rent to own store and shop around!

Just another Shop RTO lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Make that RTO holiday list

RTO holiday wish list

A holiday list the family will enjoy

Naughty or nice, everyone is entitled to their very own holiday wish list. With the holidays afoot, chances are you’ve considered a thing or two for yourself. New home owners, freshly moved or settled inhabitants alike might consider a rent to own list.

As mentioned in Shop RTO’s “Thanksgiving guests? Rent to own stores can help” article, RTO stores offer a vast array of renting options. The most popular are furniture, appliances, HDTVs, computer gaming systems, computers and much much more. The benefits of such a list is that you don’t have to invest in any particular items. You can be as outlandish as any one creating a “wish list”  while having your wishes come true.

Dreaming of latest big screen, theater experience living room ambiance but cringe at the thought of the cost? Rent to own is perfect for getting a preview for as long as you want with affordable weekly or monthly payments. Test drive any home appliance, electronics or furniture with convenient options.

In fact, compare all of the options RTO provides in comparison to the other ways acquiring your household goods. You’ll be surprised to see why rent to own is so popular.

So draft up that holiday list and drop into an RTO store or shop online to find the home additions of your dreams.

Just another Shop RTO lifestyle and holiday tip!

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Planning a stress free Thanksgiving

Tips for a stress free Thanksgiving

Start planning your menu now

With Halloween under our belts it’s inevitable we start thinking of our actual belts and maybe adjusting them a notch or two as Thanksgiving is underway. We’re about a month out and if you’re planning to host Thanksgiving in your home it’s the perfect time to outline the holiday.

A month-3 weeks out is generally a wise time to plan your menu. Keeping your guest’s dietary restrictions in mind is pivotal as you’ll want to accommodate everyone. Providing a main course for both carnivores (traditionally turkey) and vegetarians is a safe bet and good place to start when curating a menu. Sides can easily cater to vegetarians by replacing any meat based stocks with vegetable stocks so you’re not doubling your efforts.

Gluten free options are also of importance. It may come as a surprise but a lot of traditional sides are already gluten free such as Broccoli Cheese Casserole, so long as your recipe doesn’t include any breadcrumbs. If you intend to have a potluck style dinner share the main course with your guests along with keeping them in loop on what others are bringing as well. This way you won’t end up for 40lbs of mashed potatoes. With all of that said, don’t forget drinks. With an array of delectable foods, you’ll need libations to wash it all down.

Now that you’ve compiled a game plan, give yourself ample time to shop for the items you’ll need to prepare and host, about 3 weeks before the big day. Walk into your kitchen and take inventory of any cooking items you’re missing. Maybe you’re deep frying a turkey for the first time this year? You’ll likely need to hit a store or the internet to acquire the proper deep fryer. Ask your guests for any additional items that you may not be ready to fully purchase as a money saver too. Chances are that if you’re hosting they’d be happy to oblige.

Take a look at your furniture, will you need more seating? Another money saving tip is renting furniture from your local rent to own store. Read more on Shop RTO’s article “Thanksgiving guests? Rent to own stores can help”.

Two weeks out draft your menu shopping list and clean out your refrigerator. Shop for nonperishables you can store or cook anything that you can freeze; i.e. homemade stocks, pie or bread dough. One week out hit the market for the remainder of your list. If you plan to only make one trip, wait until the one-week marker as perishables will likely, well, perish.

The two-week marker is also a good time to pick up festive décor. Read more on decorating with formal linens on Shop RTO’s article “Get your formal dinner linens ready for the holidays now”.

One week out start to think about your cooking schedule and process. Turkeys take anywhere from a 1 ½ to 3-4 days to thaw depending on the size. A lot of dishes can be made a couple days in advance such as sauces and desserts. Side dishes can be made the day before so you can easily reheat day of. Plan for leftovers by having any disposable containers or bags available for guests.

On Thanksgiving day preheat your oven in the early morning and get your Turkey in (as it takes the longest to cook). After the turkey is ready pop in any side dishes that need reheating and enjoy!

Getting ready for the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful, relax and let us help you out with our tips!

Just another Shop RTO holiday and lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Get your formal dinner linens ready for the holidays now

Tips on how to clean linens

It’s time to dust off the linens

Thanksgiving is November 26th so you have plenty of time to wash your formal table cloths and napkins. But, now is the time. If they’ve been in the drawer since Easter or a special birthday then they’re dusty, wrinkled and probably has that smell that they’ve been in the drawer for too long.

You can always take them out and send them to the dry cleaners. If you do, make sure they specialize in high-end fabrics. Remember, though, dry cleaning for items like these can be expensive. Especially if you have a large table, family and guests sitting down for the meal.

If you’re like most of us, you’ll want to save money and do it yourself. Here are some tips for making your formal dining room table linens ready for the holiday guests.

Take the table cloth off the table or drawer and shake clean. If it’s been on the table, there will be crumbs or even candle wax. Out of the drawer, it’ll be somewhat dusty.

If there is candle wax, peel it off. If you can’t peel it off, use the hottest water the cloth will allow but just on the spot. With linen, warm water is what you use.

Inspect closely for spots. Stretch out the table cloth and napkins to be able to review the entire piece. If you see spots then spot clean with a tooth brush, warm water and a small amount of detergent. One-fourth detergent to a cup of warm water is the formula. If you’re green, use vinegar instead of detergent. Don’t spot clean as it will risk spreading the stain. Gently scrub or wipe just the stain with a toothbrush.

When using the washing machine, the best is to clean the table cloth and corresponding napkins by themselves. Especially if they’re linen. Use warm water and dish soap. Try to dry naturally. If not, be ready as soon as the drying is complete to prevent wrinkling and a potential lengthy ironing chore.

If your table cloth and napkins are not linen. Treat them as regular wash. Make sure you wash with similar colors of other fabric and if they’re white, use a little bleach to brighten them up for the event.

As soon as they’re clean, dried and ironed immediately put on the table or fold nicely. If it’s the table cloth, keep the fold loose. If it’s the napkins, keep the fold tight.

Ultimately, though, the point of this article is to remind you that cleaning your formal tablecloths and napkins need to be done in the next two weeks so you can have that chore done to spend on the dozen of other chores to prepare for the holiday guests.

Just another Shop RTO holiday and lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Thanksgiving guests? Rent to own stores can help

Rent furniture for holiday guests

Rent to own stores can help prepare for holiday guests

Have family and friends coming over for Thanksgiving or staying at your home? If so, the time to start thinking about their accommodations is now. If you need extra furniture, new furniture or something just for those days you’ll be hosting your guests, think about rent to own stores.

Remember the first word in rent to own is rent. Most Americans don’t realize that rent to own stores rent furniture, appliances, HDTVs, computer gaming systems, computers and much more. You rent them for the time you need then the rent to own guys come by and take them away.

Regarding just rentals, some good ideas are computer gaming systems and an extra HDTV. Especially when you have a group of kids that need to be entertained and occupied while the adults catch up on their lives or re-live those old memories. Another quick rental would be bunk beds for extra guests. Or stand alone freezers if you have too many turkeys.

Then there’s the ‘try before you buy’ option rent to own offers. If you were looking to upgrade your dining room table, couch or recliner. Try it out with the guests in town. You’ll be able to make the house and guests more comfortable with new furniture. If you end up liking them, then keep them. If not, then have the rent to own store pick them up.

Buy new home furnishings for the guests. Sometimes it takes a get together to finally push yourself to buying new home furniture, appliances and HDTVs. With rent to own, like said before, you can try before you buy but if ownership is what you’re looking for then calculate payments in the best possible strategy. The less payments, the less the total cost.

And use their ’90 days same as cash’ option. Some go up to ‘180 days same as cash’. That means if you can make payments within 90 days, the total cost is close to retail and all the time you still get the debt free, no obligation feature that keeps you out of the legal obligation that credit cards put you in.

Remember, the rent to own stores will deliver and set up everything you rent or rent to own so that is a great feature. They will always fix the item beyond the warranty if you’re on the ownership track.

The rent to own transaction has so many benefits that most people don’t realize. And when they do, they’re always surprised that fits in their budget and lifestyle. Always shop around with the many rent to own stores in your neighborhood. Each store has different specialties or sales so make sure you do your homework prior.

Just another Shop RTO holiday, rent to own and lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Smart toys. Are you familiar?

smart toys

Edwin is no ordinary duck

With phones, cars, computers, tablets and many other everyday products having built-in “intelligent personal assistants” providing you with answers, directions or delegations of your requests it was only a matter of time before the same kind of technology dove into toys, smart toys.

What is a “Smart Toy” exactly? Wikipedia defines it as, “a toy which effectively has its own intelligence by virtue of on-board electronics. These enable it to learn, behave according to pattern, and alter its actions depending upon environmental stimuli. Typically, it can adjust to the abilities of the player.” While Brainy Child, a website dedicated to child brain development, further defines it by specific functionalities: “Toys that use technology to enhance play by interacting with the child either through (1) initiation of “open-ended” play suggestions, or (2) responding to the child’s actions in a way that sparks the child’s creativity.”

So basically what we’re working with here is a toy that essentially interacts with children based on their actions and responses making the experience unique to the user and thus having vast opportunities for educational impact. Most of which function via applications and are iOS compatible allowing you to navigate its software by use of phone, tablet or computers. Smart toys can learn, follow behavioral patterns and even change their action.

One smart toy that is gaining a lot of recognition is “Edwin the Duck”. Edwin appears to be like any rubber ducky that we’ve all become familiar with, the kind that oftentimes accompany children at bath time. But, as it’s tagline states, “he’s no ordinary duck”. Like his predecessors, Edwin is in fact waterproof, floats and enjoys bath time just as much as the others but he steps it up by also providing water temperature and music. Moreover, he is said to make learning fun by way of app enhancement that allows for story time, play time, song time and sleepy time. The Edwin App is in constant development and will grow with children “coming to life with original stories, songs and games.”

Smart toys have quickly caught the attention of many parents as they combine fun with education. Some advantages are said to improve hand-eye coordination, verbal and written communication, patience as well as listening and following directions.

Times for toys are certainly changing, what will they come up with next?

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Tips to cleaning your mattress

Mattress cleaning tips

Cleaning your mattress means keeping your mattress as long as possible.

Getting a good night’s sleep can all depend on the mattress you sleep on. So make sure your mattress is nice and clean. They can also be very expensive so you want to make sure you get your money’s out of it. So here’s some Shop RTO tips on cleaning your mattresses or keeping your mattress clean.

First suggestion is pretty easy and common sense. Buy a cover. There are many different kinds. Whether it’s one that lies on top that is cotton, pillow top, blends. But there are also casings that wrap around the mattress. Plastic casings that zip tight to protect against liquids. And, uh, hate to say but bed bugs as well.

Flip it. Spin it. Turn your mattress over and spin it on a regular basis. Helps shift the weight put upon the mattress through the months. Use daylight savings time as the reminder as it splits the year up in six months and makes for a good reminder.

Use extra blankets or towels for extra guests. As in your dog or cat. Hate to say it but let’s get real. Millions of spoiled dogs and cats enjoy the nestling with their masters on the bed. Or, is it the other way around and they allow us to sleep in their bed? At any rate, don’t let them spoil your mattress. Most pets enjoy their regular spot on the bed so strategically place an extra blanket or towel to protect from muddy paws and make it easier to clean the fur.

Clean up spills quickly and efficiently. Use a damp cloth with warm water and make sure the cloth isn’t soaking or dripping. That’ll just make the problem worse. If it’s urine or blood, add some baking soda to the warm water. Add some dish soap as well. If it’s a tough stain, use a soft brush and only treat the area that’s affected and be gentle. Try to dry it quickly with a blow dryer or a fan directly on it.

Americans sleep on an average of 7-8 hours a day and count on them to provide the comfort and relaxation after a long day. Make sure you pick the right mattress and keep it fresh and clean as long as you can.

Just another Shop RTO bedroom furniture and lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

We want to hear from you!

Share your RTO experience

Share your experience, holiday or home decorating tips with us!

ShopRTO.com is dedicated to affordable lifestyle and home decorating tips. As we live in this ever changing world, we need help in keeping up with the latest home gadgets, lifestyle upgrades and decorating trends.

So take the time and send us your tips, experiences and suggestions on how we can make our lives better on a budget. Especially if you use the rent to own option in your daily life.

Most people don’t know all of the benefits when you use the rent to own transaction. So take a look and be pleasantly surprised.

We invite you to share your holiday experiences or home decorating tips with us. Whether it’s during the holidays when you’re busy preparing for family and guests. Or finding out about the latest technology that put’s you in the 21st century. And most of all, lifestyle and home decorating tips that fit in your budget or save you money.

So send us your photos, stories and tips – we’d love to hear from you!

Share now

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Take the living room outside this Halloween

Rent to own outdoor furniture

Catch a glimpse of every costume on the block!

Are you ready for Halloween? It’s never too early to start preparing. Or, at least, thinking about preparing. Because it’s that special evening when your streets are flooded with trick or treating super hero’s, princesses, gypsies and monsters that make for quite the show.

Over the year’s people have spent countless hours and days, even planned an entire year in advance for the unveiling of their Halloween costume so what better to way to commend their efforts than to act as the audience to their stage? Go on and take the living room outside for the day because Halloween just might be best time to people watch.

Create a fun Halloween atmosphere with outdoor furniture. Set up a comfortable seating area on your front porch, patio or front yard by arranging some chairs – bringing some outside from in or using outdoor patio furniture. If you don’t have any or discover you’re in a shortage of seating, check out your local rent to own stores to help you out for the big day. Bring out an ice chest with plenty of drinks and pass out candy from the comfort of your own lawn and enjoy the show.

Just another ShopRTO Home Decorating and Holiday Tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Feeling under the weather? Drink some water, you might be dehydrated.

avoiding dehydration

Are you on top of your water game?

Oftentimes we relate dehydration with Summer and warmer weather but we’re actually at higher risk of dehydration in the cooler months. The air is dryer and our lungs have to work harder to humidify and warm the air we breathe. Thus the more our bodies work, the more water we need. Ideally we should replace all fluids lost on a daily basis but with our bodies being predominately water it’s easy to lose track of just how much water intake is needed.

Hydration is crucial to our bodies functionality and performance. Our immune system works best when it’s hydrated, making you less prone to Winter colds and the flu. Most would think that a dry palate is the first sign of dehydration however your body is in need of replenishment far before it flags you down with dry mouth.

Here are some common indications that you may need to add more water to your daily intake:

  • Irritability, headache, fatigue
  • Weakness, dizziness, nausea
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Thirst
  • Dry skin
  • Reduction of urine volume
    • Dark or saturated color of urine

The rule of thumb when calculating how much water intake you need on a daily basis is to drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces; i.e. 200lbs/2 = 100oz a day. Keep in mind that if you’re exercising, the amount of water you need greatly increases. So if you’re planning some aerobic activity and want to get a more accurate reading, head over to the CamelBak website and use their handy Hydration Calculator. It will take your sweat levels, urine density, activity intensity and climate into account when providing you with a water calculation.

Drinking water at room temperature keeps your internal temperature optimal. Cold water absorbs quicker so hydrating with room temperature or warmer water is advised. Minimizing sodium and diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol will also help in maintaining hydration but should you choose to indulge in either, just be sure to balance it out with water or caffeine free tea. In addition to water consumption, water based foods such as fruits, vegetables and soups also work as hydration aids.

As the cooler weather rolls in and you feel the internal chill with every breath remember to nourish your body with ample fluids and stay ahead of the game this Winter because dehydration doesn’t only happen in the Summertime.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle Tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers holiday decorating and home living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Consider rent to own stores for computer rentals

rent to own computers

Computer rentals give you flexibility for payments, upgrades and try before you buy.

It seems that computers are outdated the day after you purchase them. That’s why many are renting them so they can upgrade as the technology advances. So if you are going the computer rental direction, be sure to look at your local rent to own stores.

At rent to own stores, you can return the product at any time without penalty which helps in several ways. Rent the item for the year and when the next upgrade comes, return your computer for the next upgrade so you’re always on the cutting edge of today’s computer technology. Each computer maker comes out with significant advances on a yearly basis so yearly rentals seem to fit most consumers. Most rent to own stores will transfer software and personalized information as part of their service but be sure prior to doing business with them.

With rent to own stores, you’re not obligated to ever own the product so you can try before you buy. If you end up liking your computer rental, then exercise the early purchase option to buy.

Also, with the varying needs of a desktop, lap top, tablet and smart phone, rentals allow the flexibility and not being legally bound to purchase the product. What if, after you’ve been renting a tablet and lap top, you feel the tablet can do everything you need. If you’re renting each then return the lap top then buy the tablet outright. Or vice versa.

Everyone’s computer needs are different and with the rental option you can try each option. Find the right one and return the rest worry free. Only rent to own stores give you that flexibility but make sure you shop the right rent to own store. Some RTO stores have better computer selections, are better at computer support and service and have more flexibility with payment options. Each rent to own store has a different level of specialty but the popularity of computer rentals and the every-day necessity of tablets, smart phones, lap tops and desk tops are forcing all stores to be proficient in computer technology.

Just another Shop RTO rent to own and computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for your computers.

Is your home Fall ready?

Fall and Winter home maintenance

Prepping your home for Fall

Fall is here and with the changing of seasons come the lush warm hues of leaves, seasonal décor and a reminder of the impending Winter chill. Days are shorter, temps are lower and its due time to prep our homes for the change of weather. Here are some tips to get your home ready for the next six months.

Feel the warmth.

Or at least be sure that you will when the freeze is knocking at your door. Conduct an inspection on your heating system. Your furnace, chimney, fireplace or central heating unit may require an HVAC professional to test for leaks, heating efficiency and carbon monoxide air safety. And since A/C may remain dormant throughout the next couple of seasons it’s best it goes into hibernation altogether. Window units should be removed and stored in a dry and neutral place. Central A/C units should be shut off including safety switches and from your home’s main electrical breaker panel. It is also recommended to partially cover your central A/C unit to protect it from moisture and debris. Try using a tarp and bungee cords. Setting programmable thermostats to lower automatically at night will also greatly save on energy costs.

Seal it.

Air leaks are culprits for chills and higher energy bills and you’ll want to be sure that they’re sealed (caulked) before the temperatures truly drop. If you’ve lived in your home for some time you’re probably familiar as to where you might find some drafts. If not, here are some common places air leaks: entryway door frames, window frames, wiring holes (TV, phones, electrical outlets) and dryer or bathroom vents. After you’ve sealed up all of your drafty areas an additional easy way to retain heat within your home is with window treatments such as shades, drapes or curtains.

Secure the perimeter.

Take a walk around your home and keep an eye out for any cracks or holes that may need repair. Keep in mind that we’re not the only ones wanting to stay warm. Animals and critters will also find any way to get into your home so you’ll want to seal those entryways to keep them at bay.

Try and inspect your roof by looking up or using some binoculars to spot any missing, damaged or loose shingles that may also need repair. Additionally, you’ll want to take this opportunity to prune any trees that may bring additional moisture to your roof or prevent damage during high winds.

Another area that may need some clearing are gutters. Clean out any built up leaves, debris or nests along with checking for leaks. Be sure that downspouts are also cleared of obstructions. Extensions are recommended for the colder months so water is redirected away from the foundation of your home, walkways or driveways.

If you have a pathway, take a walk up and down checking for any cracks along the way that need to be filled. Cracks may fill with water and freeze in cold temperatures and can increase in size causing a bigger crack to deal with later. Sprinkler or irrigation systems and hoses should be drained to prevent from freezing. Disconnect hoses from outside faucets as well as shutting off water valves and store hoses in a dry place until Spring.

Preparing your home for Fall and Winter may call for some professional assistance but when you’re soaking up the heat instead of the cold it will all be well worth it.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle Tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers holiday decorating and home living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Halloween home decor? Just add pumpkins.

Halloween pumpkin ideas

There are many ways to skin a pumpkin.

Pumpkins are the icon of the Halloween. So use them. There are so many ways to carve, draw or set them to make great decorations for the home. Here’s some quick ideas for this year’s Halloween home decor.

If you want a more complicated Halloween face, use the many stencils out there to outline more intricate designs.

Try stacking them vertically. The designs are limitless. One example is to create a body and face. You can go in all sorts of directions with that arrangement. From buttons, belly button, bikini, bowtie, etc. for the bottom then the face as the top pumpkin. And each idea can either be cut for the design to be lit or drawn or using the actual items.

Drill them. Use a drill or something similar to drill holes that act as the outline. Creates a different design while still being dramatic with the flame or light shining through.

Use a linear design. Place pumpkins next to each other and design from there. Such as the first pumpkin carved like Pac Man and smaller pumpkins as the dots proceeding.

Use letters. Carve in one letter per pumpkin and place them accordingly. Have three pumpkins for the word “boo” for instance.

Accessorize. Use outside elements to add some flare. Use a hat, cigar, stick hands, arrow, etc.

Carving pumpkins are now taking the shape of designing pumpkins and can be cheap and easy. Try a different design this year and use some other Halloween Shop RTO tips to make your Halloween as festive as possible.

Just another Shop RTO Home Decorating and Holiday Tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers holiday decorating and home living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.



Football: Creating the Perfect Space

football, gameday, watching football, decorating tips for football party

Football: Creating the perfect space

Whether you’re a football fanatic, a supportive partner or a pigskin naysayer feeling the buzz of the season is nearly impossible to circumvent. With game days outweighing non-game days and multiple games simultaneously aired on end the social gatherings that have cultivated around the sport come as no surprise. Whether you’re in it for the title of “Ultimate Champion” of your Fantasy Football League, to exemplify the culinary art of grilling or for the mere allure to the sport and all its traditions it’s true that finding the best place to hangout is crucial but creating one can be easy too.

Here’s our lineup for making your space game-day headquarters.

The Big Screen.

While a TV is fundamental for any game day space, having a main area of focus is as important with so many games going on at once. With that said, multiple screens in your space will truly make your guests feel like royalty upon crossing the threshold of your entryway. Having a variety of viewing options doesn’t always have to break the bank, keep in mind that streaming or syncing computer screens or tablets work just as well.

The Fridge.

Watching action packed sports definitely works up an appetite. Be sure to have a fully stocked fridge with plenty of room for drinks and snacks that your party goers are surely to bring along. If you’re into draft beer, and let’s be honest, who isn’t? There’s a plethora of knowledge on how to build your very own kegerator out of a mini-fridge with just a few key strokes on the web.

The Kickback.

Have your guests escape the realm of reality the second their tails hit the bench with accommodating and comfy seating. Whether you have a sectional couch, recliners, tufted stools or beanbag chairs we can all agree that having a cozy place to kickback and relax is essential to these, oftentimes, all day events.

The Parlor Games.

Although football takes center stage providing guests with alternative entertainment makes for a lively shindig. Darts, beer pong, poker, pool, etc. are all party favorites and allow for a good stretch of the limbs or some healthy competitive release.

Football enthusiasts and social butterflies will consider your place destination game day. And keep in mind, if you’re preparing for the real big game and want to bring in the big guns, go to your local rent to own store and pickup what you need for the grand event.

Now grab something to nosh or imbibe because it’s game time and there’s no escaping it.

Just another Shop RTO Home Decorating tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Amazon’s Echo takes voice recognition for your home one step further

Amazon Echo helps you at home

Home voice recognition systems are becoming useful and affordable.

Voice recognition for the car, Iwatch, smart phones have always been a cool idea but its usage and effectiveness has been equally frustrating at the least and wanting to rip its cords out and attach it to a bomb at the most.

Amazon’s Echo for the home claims to resolve those issues and at an affordable price. At a $180 even critics are giving it try.

Reviews are coming in saying that its “Alexa” voice is much more pleasing than SIRI. Maybe not like Scarlett Johansson in the movie Her but much more soothing than what has been out there.

Set up is easy and it’s black, tubular design makes it fit most anywhere. Most are putting it their kitchen and have it ready to answer questions about weather forecasts, recipes, schedules, road conditions and adding items to the grocery list as soon as you think of them.

It’s a speaker so you can tell it to play your favorite Pandora station. Although some reviews say there are better sounding speakers out there, the Echo does just fine for a room and, again, has the appeal and ability of becoming your home companion.

There are so many areas where Google, Apple and Amazon compete and some are saying that the Amazon Echo is the one that’s leading the pack regarding home voice automated systems.

Just another Shop RTO home audio and computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Get money rebates for replacing home appliances

Go to rent to own stores for kitchen renovation

Save money. Update your kitchen.

If you think you need new appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators and dish washers then make sure you take advantage of the rebates being offered.

Old appliances waste a lot of money and energy. That waste hurts both your pocketbook, your local power grid and further pollutes the air. As such, the government and our society would benefit if you would upgrade to energy saving appliances.

Through their energy star program, you can find out what products are eligible and what type of incentives are offered. Most common are rebates. You mail in the proper paperwork and get a check back.

Depending on the size and cost, the amounts can range from $25 to $100. If you’re talking about a new AC unit the rebate can be  in the thousands. No matter what, any rebate is worth the postage or labor sending in.

You’re going to have to deal with the old appliances. If they’re still good, try to sell them. If not, you may have to pay a recycle fee or a fee to get rid of them. Depends on where you live.

Some appliance companies will do it for you. Rent to own stores will because that’s what they do. They’re in the service business so take advantage of their services that are a part of their fee.

And if you do go rent to own appliances then they’ll set it up for you. Again, part of their service. Try the product before you buy it. You’re not obligated to make the next payment and it’s a legal debt-free transaction so you won’t get in any trouble.

And, make sure you exercise the 90 or 180 days same as cash option. Gives you the flexibility of payments over the months and still with no legal, financial obligations. Again, it’s a part of their service. And, best of all, going with “same as cash option” saves you a lot of money while getting those services that retailers don’t offer. And, remember, when you buy it and get the receipt send it in to get your energy saving rebate!

Just another Shop RTO home finance tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

July 4th safety tips for the kids

July 4th safety tips

Make July 4th safe for the kids.

July 4th is one of the few days where fireworks are OK to play. And can be the funnest time for the kids. And the adults who are kids in adult bodies. So if you’re having a July 4th party with some fireworks fun, make sure you play it safe. Use these Shop RTO tips for the upcoming July 4th festivities.

Have a talk before the fireworks fun begins. Look the kids in their eyes and lay out these tips so they know and will be ready to respond if necessary.

Be ready to put out a fire. July 4th has the highest percentages of fires for the obvious reasons so keep a fire extinguisher available, the water hose nearby and some buckets of water at hand.

Make sure when the fireworks are done to extinguish them thoroughly before throwing them away.

Be prepared for the potential of skin burns. Have some cool, not cold, water at hand and some aloe vera lotion or gel handy. And, if the worst happens, and your clothes light on fire. Do not run. Stop, drop and roll.

Many July 4th parties have adult beverages so make sure they’re away from the kids and they understand they are for adults.

Use the fireworks away from the decorations, paper plates and all other combustible items. Make sure the area is free of leaves, branches, bushes and anything that can set off a fire. Rope off a safe area clear of all of these elements so everyone knows where the potential danger zone is.

You may want to consider wearing long sleeves, gloves and glasses but just as long as they don’t make you more clumsy with the fireworks.

These are necessary precautions that everyone needs to make sure before having some, good ‘ole fashioned fireworks fun on America’s birthday.

Just another Shop RTO Holiday tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Rent to own: It’s not a credit sale?

Rent to own for beds, couches and lamps.

Shoppers are beginning to understand rent-to-own.

Most Americans think the rent to own transaction is a sale according to a recent national study. And when participants realized that it is not a credit sale, they scratched their heads and took notice.

Shoppers don’t realize there are four separate transactions in the marketplace especially for the home such as washer/dryers, HD TVs, couches, smart phones and many other items. Rent to own separates itself as a “terminable lease”.

Basically that means the consumer never has to make the next payment and can’t get in legal trouble for not doing so. As long as they return the product which means asking the local rent to own store to come pick it up. Easy. Other dynamics to the transaction is that there is no legal debt. These rent to own nuances make it completely different than a credit card purchase.

That is if you want to purchase the item through the rent to own store. You may be using rent to own to try the product before buying it. Or with computers and smart phones, you may want to keep it on the rental plan because then you’re able to upgrade without penalty or extra fees.

If you are using the rent to purchase option, their “90 days same as cash” and even “180 days same as cash” is the way to go. At least that’s how the shoppers in the study proclaimed. So next time you see an ad promoting rent to own, remember its best benefit is that you’re not locked into buying it over a long period of payments. You’re in full control of the payments and its final cost.

Just another Shop RTO rent to own and finance tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home lifestyle and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Renting to own tough to understand respondents say

rent to own stores

Compare rent to own to cash, credit and used.

Renting to own appliances, HDTVs, furniture, computers and other household furnishings is a concept that is difficult to understand or is just misunderstood from the get-go say focus group respondents throughout the country. The rent to own national trade association traveled throughout the country to find what the average American knows about the renting to own. And the results turned out interesting and surprising.

A majority of respondents thought the rent to own transaction is financial obligation like a credit sale but more expensive. That frustrates those who work in the rent to own industry as that is, they say, the cornerstone of the industry and transaction. That the rent to own transaction is not a credit sale but a rental with the option to own.

When you rent to own, you can return the product at any time for any reason with penalty. There is no legal debt. And you’re never obligated to make the next payment.

Another interesting discovery from the research is how rent to own is perceived when compared to credit, cash and used. After witnessing how the respondent’s light bulbs went off, marketing researchers called the comparison chart a “game changer”.

Those not familiar were not aware of the many aspects of the rent to own transaction such as trying before buying. Upgrade to the latest technology. Pick your payments. Return without penalty. New products. Won’t hurt credit. No debt, free delivery and repairs.

Another aspect was rent to own stores offering “90 days same as cash” and, even more so, “180 days same as cash”. The fact that the customer has the benefits of the no obligation transaction but if paid off in 90 days or 180 days same as cash then you can own the product at comparative retail value.

Rent to own store owners and employees look at this recent study to help in their efforts to better explain this widely unknown and misunderstood transaction. Because as the research does show, once consumers understand fully the rent to own transaction they are much more likely to consider it as an option.

Just another Shop RTO finance tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Make your home safe through security cameras

Feel safe when you leave home.

Feel safe when you leave home.

According to the FBI, Americans lose more than $4 billion each year through burglaries. Most of them are home burglaries when you’re not home especially on vacation. That’s why it’s important to take these very important steps to help keep your home safe and be as burglar-proof as possible.

Use on-line technology to give you a whole new advantage. On-line security systems and services can vary in cost but video surveillance gives you great advantages in preventing, catching and identifying thieves.

Burglars will think twice when they see a camera pointing at the door or in the house especially if you make it prominently known. Several things you will want to know if you want to save money and do it yourself.

Make sure the camera has a quality picture. Even high resolution cameras are coming down in price. The higher the resolution, the more you will be able to identify the perps. Make sure it has night vision and be sure you have enough hard drive space to store the footage.

A 75 GB hard drive can store up to 40-60 days. For a small home system, you’ll probably not going to need that much. And some systems can be motion detectors thus only turning on and recording only when something moves in its crosshairs.

Some say color is not that much of an advantage but, again, prices are dropping on high res, color cameras it may not be a real factor. Consider cameras both inside and outside. That’s where you may have to factor picture quality over more cameras. You can get an 8 black & white camera set for around $200 or a 3 HD camera set for $200.

You’ll want to be able to watch it real time through an app on your smart phone and tablet. This way when you’re on vacation, you can log in and view how things are going back home.

Home security cameras have really come to the individual consumer level. Add to the fact that you can log on real time to view is another great benefit. Now you can find out what your pets do when you’re gone. Sounds like a YouTube video is in the works.

Your home is your castle so you may want to seriously consider these on-line home security cameras to keep your castle intact.

Just some more Shop RTO Home Lifestyle tips.

Shop RTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.


Tips for cleaning windows

spring cleaning tips

Spring Cleaning means cleaning windows.

Shop RTO is on a cleaning kick so here’s our next target. Cleaning windows. Now that it’s spring then Summer, you’ll want to look at your green lawn and full trees through crisp and clean windows, don’t you?

So, here’s some quick window cleaning tips. Get a bucket and suds it up. There are all types of window cleaning detergents but many experts say use dishwashing liquid with cold water. It’s the best and most affordable. If you’re green then use water and vinegar.

Get an old towel and scrub away. Some even say do it when it’s cloudy or in the evening as the sun will evaporate it quickly leaving streaks. That’s a little too into it if you ask me but that’s what we’re here for.

To wipe away and avoid streaking, experts say get a squeegee and a good one not like at the gas pumps. Dry a 1″ line on the top or side of the window with a dry cloth. This means you will start the squeegee-ing process on a dry surface. Then swipe from there. Start on the side or top as the water will drip that you will catch with the next swipe. When done, have a dry cloth to wipe dry and clean all of the fallen water.

If there’s mildew on the window frames, add some laundry detergent and bleach into water to clean it. Make sure you wear rubber gloves when cleaning then rinse with cold water. Then dry.

Remember, your outside window sills will get dirtier quicker as it is in the elements. Here’s an interesting tip. Apply a coat of clear floor wax on it. Cleaning windows is not the easiest of tasks but it’s also not rocket science especially with these helpful tips.

Just some more Shop RTO Home Lifestyle tips.

Shop RTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.


Summer cleaning – phase 3

How to clean your garage.

It’s time to clean out the garage!

Shop RTO is on a cleaning rampage with a series of spring cleaning articles. Phase one was about purging unwanted items to donate to charity. Phase two was about deep cleaning of your rooms and kitchen. This one is about your garage and/or storage shed.

The first and one of the hardest thing you have to do is remove everything and put them outside. That serves two purposes. Forces you to consider the need of the items thus whether to throw them away and allows you to clean the floor.

Clean the floor and begin to organize and purge.

When it comes to organization think shelves and hooks. The ability to store and hang items is an incredible and efficient way to use space. So if you don’t have adequate shelving then get some. Make sure they’re sturdy and durable.

The metal ones that allow you to stack as many as need can be the most efficient. They allow you to customize the shelving according to your space. When stacking just make sure you put the lightest and least used items at top and go down from there on the heaviest and most used.

When installing hooks on the ceiling to hang bicycles, yard equipment, seasonal items make sure you screw them into the beams to secure them properly and safely. You may want to have a professional do so if you go with the hooks.

The garage and storage sheds tend to be for those seasonal items or archives. If they are paper archives, go through them and if they’re seven years or older then throw them away. If they are photos or archives you need, consider scanning them and having them in your computer.

Make sure you have them backed up on a different hard drive though and in the cloud. You need to have them in three separate digital locations. You might have to hire your child or a kid in the hood to do so as that can be a time consuming but well worth the effort.

For those items you didn’t donate in phase one of spring cleaning then use the 1-2 year system. This does not include tools. But if you haven’t used items in the past 1-2 years then throw them away. Many times they are large items which means you’ll have to find a friend with a truck or hire one. Or if you’re city has a bulk item day, coordinate your garage cleaning around that day.

When you’re ready to start putting back the items in your newly cleaned garage that will be the real test of whether to keep the items or not. It’s a pain but is the best keeper test you can conduct.

You may also consider having a garage sale if you have items that are still of use but you don’t need them and want to make some extra change.

Cleaning the garage is a day long or weekend long chore but well worth the effort. It frees up room and removes the stigma of being one of those hoarders.

Just another Shop RTO lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers lifestyle tips and when rent to own fits your home decorating needs.

Summer cleaning the home – phase 2

spring cleaning tips

It’s that spring cleaning time!

Thorough spring and summer cleaning comes in phases. This article represents phase 2 in the god awful but necessary summer cleaning for the home. This is the second article on the art of cleaning.

Phase one is about using the summer cleaning purge to donate those gently used or unused items to charity. This one is about spring cleaning the home.

Phase one hopefully helped get rid of clothes for some more room. Now, the mission is to clean and purge.

Throw away those items that are no longer wearable and worn down. Especially those socks that lost their twin years ago. Give up on finding them. If they are clothes that are unusable, you may consider tearing them up to use as wash cloths.

When you’re going through your drawers to donate the clothes or throw them away, take them out to clean and dust the bottom. In the closet, use this time to dust the bottom of the closet.

Same thing as the kitchen cabinets. Take the items out and clean the bottom of the drawers. For those items you haven’t used but are dusty, throw them in the dishwasher if you have enough items. Remember to consider being green and using vinegar to clean for certain items.

This is the time where you dust those items like bookshelves or tall dressers. In other words, those places that people don’t see but still need cleaning. Too much dust can be a fire hazard. Take off any items, dust those then dust the area.

These summer cleaning items will take all day so rest, have a cool drink and rest up for phase 3 – the garage and/or shed.

Just another Shop RTO home lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides affordable home lifestyle, interior decorating and shopping tips.

Summer cleaning means it’s time to donate

Find gently used clothes.

Donate your gently used items.

It’s summer cleaning time which means it’s time to donate all of those items you don’t use but are still in great shape. It’s that semi-yearly or yearly time to go through your home with fine tooth donating comb. And it’s always time to help those families who would be more than happy to use those gently used items.

Go through each room on the quest to donate. You can also use the time do a little cleaning as well.

In the bedroom, go through each drawer and each item in the closet. Find those clothing items you just don’t use and put it in a box dedicated to clothes. After purging dust the floors of your closets and wipe down each drawer. You’re taking clothes out so use the time to clean those spots.

If you have kids then it’s definitely time. Kids grow up and out of toys and clothes. And less fortunate kids who are younger need them. Go through their closets, drawers and under the bed to find all of those dusty but still very usable toys that will get played with. The toys and children will appreciate it. Think “Toy Story” and you’ll be motivated to do so.

The kitchen is a little trickier. Look at those items you just don’t use and many times it will be because their duplicate items. Put those items in another donation box.

Go through your garage for one purpose. To donate. What you’ll probably find are boxes ready to donate that you placed them prior.

Books. It’s time to donate all of those books that you have read. You’ve read them already so let someone else who may not have the extra money to spend on books but still needs to activate the mind through a good book.

Many families count on donated items to keep their budgets in check and their lives and homes fulfilled. So, no waiting, and do some donating now.

Just some more Shop RTO home lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Give your home some new flare at little cost

cheap home decorating ideas

New flare for little cost.

It’s important to change things up in your home on a regular basis. A new flare for the home can be simple and inexpensive and help keep things fresh. So here’s some tips.

The easiest is greenery. Get a new plant. They’re cheap, easy and healthy for you.

Use knick-knacks. Go to any flea market, garage sale or trinket shop and find some eclectic accessories to place on shelves, desks and counters. Get creative and subtle and watch how they will catch the eye and a smile from your guests. A Jack Skellington figurine sitting on the kitchen window sill is a good example.

How about a frame job. Find something unique and frame it. Especially if it’s personal. Get that favorite rock t-shirt and stretch it over a canvass. Get the pre-made canvasses at Hobby Lobby. They’re cheap and easy and frame it. Or use a burlap sack and paint upon it or have your kids paint on it to personalize further.

Use some wallpaper. It’s in vogue and is cheap especially if you use it as a discreet background of some of your enclosed shelves.

Skirt a table. There are all sorts of possibilities in what patterns and textures you can find then place it over you end tables and it’s a whole new look.

Wrap it up. Take a vase, lamp post, chair legs, etc. and wrap it with some yarn, rope, paper or anything that looks nice and is durable.

Stairway to haven. Add some paint or prints to your stairs and it’s instant and stylish.

Check out wall decals. Just slap them on and it’s instant art and very different.

And for the bathroom? Get a new shower curtain. That is sooo easy but makes all the difference.

These are just a few great and cheap ideas to spruce up the home on the cheap and to keep your home from getting style stale.

Just some more Shop RTO home decorating tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.


Some furniture and decorating trends

2015 furniture trends

Painted oak furniture is trending in 2015.

If there is a word for today’s furniture and decorating trends it would be “crazy fun”. Gone are the uniformity of design, color and theme on both furniture and decorating.

Take the latest trend of mix and match furniture.

Matching furniture is so yesterday. Some experts say it’s a matter of the Y gens being handed down furniture or not being able to buy all at once so made mix-match furniture hip and cool out of necessity.

Nonetheless, matching furniture has been the norm so long that it’s time for something new. To add to the mix-match trend going on, there’s also the contrasting wall trend. It’s where your ceiling contrasts with the corresponding walls that then contrast with the floor below.

The natural look is getting a paint job. Painted wooden tables, dressers and armoires are replacing the natural wood finish. The most popular type is oak.

Blue is the color today. Any shade.

Wallpaper is back. And with wallpaper, there are all kinds of directions you can go with patterns, colors and shapes. The most popular are the bold, ornate, textured and like said before, blue.

So you combine the bold patterns of wall paper that contrasts with the adjacent wall of a different pattern that surrounds an array of mix and match furniture with a thematic blue then you get that “crazy fun” decorating trend that’s going on. So, go crazy and have fun and turn your house upside down with today’s hip trends.

Just another Shop RTO home decorating tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Keep a clutter free home with a “launch pad”

Tips for a clutter free home

Keep your house organized as soon as you come home.

Your doorway is the first place you enter and exit your home so maximize its space. And minimize clutter.

The first obvious is the door mat. Duh. Don’t want muddy paws, both yours and your pet’s, ruining your nice entryway.

Second is coat and key rack. Whatever, it’s the spot where you can immediately grab your coat going out or hang it coming in. Grab your keys going out or hang them coming in. That’s where you also hang your hat, umbrella, dog leash and whatever daily items you use.

Next is have a small trash or recycling container right there at the entryway. Make sure it’s small and nice looking so you don’t have a big ugly blue recycling container.  You grab your mail and all of those ads that you immediately see and don’t want, you just toss them in the container and it’s already out of your way.

Another mail organizing tip for the front way is to create two spots for the other mail. Use a shelf or a small/thin accent table or drawer cabinet next to your door.

One spot or stack is for the very important such as bills. That’s if you’re still paying bills through the mail. The other spot or stack is for ‘you’re going to read’ just right now. Like the furniture catalogs or magazines you subscribe. Again, that’s if you still do those in paper form.

Have a mirror right there. Oh, the vanity but you need to make sure you’re presentable on your way out and in.

A lanch pad creates a set mechanism for a clutter free home mindset and design to immediately place things in order and out of the way as soon as you leave and return to your home.

Just another Shop RTO home lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Will the Apple Watch push smart watches to popularity?

Smart watch information

Will I Watch capture the attention of consumers

Apple has a history of turning already available products into consumer sensations. They did it with Itunes, I pods, smart phones and tablets so can they do the same magic with smart watches?

Apple will be competing with already available smart watches from Cookoo, LG, Martian, Metawatch and the most popular today, Samsung. The smart watches are basically tied to your smart phone for connectivity purposes. Which is why experts are saying that the Apple Watch will have a competitive advantage as it has it’s own wi fi capability so won’t have to rely on the closeness of your smartphone.

They are also touting that it will have Apple Pay option to make purchases quicker and easier. It will also have home interfaces from unlocking your doors, opening your garage to programming your Apple TV. These type of features, they say, will further distance themselves from the competition. The Apple smart watch will also be more expensive which will distinguish itself from others in a potentially negative way.

Right now smart watches seem the most popular for fitness apps, music and communication alerts from phone calls, texts and social media updates. Oh, and it tells time as well. The Apple Watch claims to push those boundaries to greater heights which will then push the competition as well.

As the smart phones evolve so do the apps being built for them so what we see today’s functionality is just a smidgen of what will be available in a year from now.

So what does the upcoming release of the highly anticipated Apple Watch mean? One, it will bump up the consumer awareness of smart watches available and its rapidly advancing technology. So shoppers will begin to seriously ponder whether its worth getting one. Then the real question is not that consumers need today’s smart watches but will they want them enough to shell out several hundred dollars for them. Only, time will tell.

Just another Shop RTO lifestyle and computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Some Easter decorating ideas

Easter egg decorations

Some Easter decorating tips.

The Easter bunny is hopping down your bunny trail so time to get festive. When it comes to Easter home decorations, you have the themes of rabbits, eggs, flowers, pastels with a fun and lively flare.

Let’s start with eggs. There are so many different ways to decorate them. If you don’t like to dye then go sparkles. Mix the glue with the sparkles then brush on. Some people use permanent markers. Then there’s cloth patterns you can glue on. Use the Japanese Washi tape that have all sorts of designs. Cut them in different angles and stick them on.

Then there’s the traditional dyeing. That means all bets are off in so many different directions. Go the reliable and old fashioned way of 8 drops of food coloring in 1 cup of hot water and 1/4 cup of vinegar. Make sure the eggs are fully dry after dyeing before you try the next dye for that egg.

With the left over dye, dye some pages from an old book you’re never going to use and create homemade Easter wreaths. Use the equivalent of a 1/2 page and wrap into cones then paste together to create a ring on a paper plate then elaborate however you see fit. Or cut the pages into vertical strips and glue around the paper plate in whatever design you can imagine. Make sure you cut a hole in the middle of the paper plate or color it or put glitter on it. You can always take those strips of dyed paper and glue or tape them into rings and create an Easter paper chain to hang over the windows, doors or where ever inside. All of these tips are great for the kids to do.

How about an Easter door decoration using an umbrella turned upside down then filling with flowers? Never would have thought of that one. Got that one from Better Homes and Garden. On that note, outside door decorations can be used in so many ways. Use an Easter basket filled with flowers is the most festive and cost effective. Colored yarn is also good to add to Easter decorations.

These are just some ideas to get you started. Just remember to color it up through dyed eggs, flowers, home crafty designs, bunny rabbits and don’t forget the chocolate!

Just another ShopRTO Home Decorating and Holiday Tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Bluetooth speaker systems becoming the hot ticket

Best bluetooth wireless speakers

Check out these tips for bluetooth wireless speakers

The vast improvement in sound quality, amplification, mobility and lowered prices are making bluetooth speakers the hot ticket. Add some unique and sleek designs to their look and they’re easily one of the hottest tickets in electronics today.

And we haven’t even mentioned the bluetooth aspect. As internet waves keep getting stronger and faster the ease and convenience make these portable, wireless speakers very attractive amongst consumers. And battery life has also improved to keep your tunes on the go for longer periods.

2015 brings in a whole new crop of quality bluetooth speakers at affordable prices ranging from $50 – $300. You need to shop around, though, as each offer benefits others don’t and vice versa. Here are some ShopRTO tips to making the best choice.

1. Make sure your iPod or portable device has bluetooth capabilities. Many older models do not.

2. Make sure you have your own radio station. With the ability to customize your own radio stations such as Pandora, your radio is just as good as your own playlist and they will find you new tunes for you already knowing your taste.

3. Do you need weather proof speakers? Because, they have them. If you’re looking for a portable system to broadcast outdoors a lot, look for the more durable, weather-proof and longer battery life models.

4. Some have carry cases, others do not. While that may not be a big deal, it is still a factor to be considered.

5. If it’s all about the bass then shop around. Many of these systems don’t have the thump as others and if it’s a big deal to you then be prepared to spend some extra cash. Again, it’s all about what room or settings you’re looking to jam your tunes.

6. Some allow for additional, wireless speakers. If you’re looking for a smaller home system to place speakers in key spots in your home then look for those with that feature. Many speaker systems do not.

7. Read the reviews on the Internet both from the experts and, especially, consumers. CNet Magazine can be a good source for both. Here’s their recent on 2015 bluetooth sound systems.

If you need to rent to own them to try before you buy or for a debt-free payment plan then shop around as some RTO stores carry them, others do not. If you do go rent to own, then make larger payments over shorter time periods to save you money.

Just another ShopRTO Home Audio tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Clean and organize your freezer

Clean ice maker

Organize your freezer.

Can you see the back of your freezer? If not then you’re like most Americans who use the freezer but not to your best use.

The food items that time forgot need some attention so what’s the best way? Set aside some time and commitment as it won’t take too long and can make your life and meals more efficient and tasty. Make sure you won’t need any ice for the next half day as you’re going to get rid of all ice in your freezer. Or have a bag of ice ready.

First get a cooler where you can store those freezer items you want to keep. Empty and examine the contents of each item. If it’s been in there for one month or longer then ask yourself will you really use it? If it’s been there more than 6 months then toss it.

If you don’t know what it is then toss it. You obviously forgot it was there which prompts the best tip and that is to always label your freezer items with masking tape and a sharpie.

Empty all ice trays and/or buckets into a bowl and put in the cooler. Take off all shelves and let them thaw a bit so they don’t crack when you wash them with warm water and vinegar. That’s two parts water to 1 part vinegar mixture. Or warm water and a 1/2 cup of baking soda. Either will do.

If you have an ice machine with a bucket, completely dismantle and wash. You’ll notice over time how ice has built up at the exit point and if you don’t regularly dismantle, thaw and wash; it will either freeze up the hole or the motor. Either way, you have to go through this exercise. Better spend time than money.

Wipe the inside of the freezer with your warm water mixture. If there are really bad spots, put some water on it and leave it for a moment then wipe away. You may need to find an old toothbrush for those really sticky items. And wipe down the door sealant! Don’t forget that one.

After cleaning the inside and all of the shelves you dismantles. Dry them all with paper towels and put them back.

Organize your freezer with those items you kept and create a calendar of preparing dishes for the freezer and from the freezer in regular rotation.

Just another Shop RTO Home Lifestyle and Refrigerator tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Are you taking advantage of your tax breaks?

Tax credits available

Take advantage of all tax breaks.

The tax code is a complicated formula and changes each year. That’s why accountants have job security. Here’s a few tax breaks many Americans do not take advantage that should.

Charitable contributions. Even if it means baking cookies for the fund raiser or running errands. You can write those off. Write the amount of the ingredients you bought and car mileage can be written off at 14¢ per mile.

You can write off moving expenses for that first job as long as you moved further than 50 miles. You can’t write off the costs of finding that job just the moving expenses. Those write offs can be for 23¢ per mile.

If you’re paying for child care, make sure to claim your child care tax credit. And a tax credit is better than a deduction as it matches the reduction dollar to dollar.

How about the Earned Income Tax Credit? IRS claims 25% of Americans do not take advantage of this credit. It is designed to help lower income families supplement their wages. You have to file a return and can be complicated. To find out if and how much you qualify for, go to the IRS website and follow their questions to see.

There are many areas to get deductions and credit. The above are the most pertinent to the working person. Go to the IRS website to fully delve into the best way to file and the amount you have to pay or are owed.

Just another Shop RTO personal finance tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Rent to own’s early purchase option and reinstatement rights make RTO more attractive

shutterstock_156431330The rent to own transaction has more to it than meets the eye. The most appealing and unknown are the payment reinstatement option and the early purchase option.

The two most misunderstood aspects to the rent to own transaction is you’re obligated to the same payments. And, if you have to return the product, you lose all payment history. Not true. At any time, you can pay off the remaining payments in one swoop at 50%. And, if you cannot make payments on that HD TV or couch and needs to be picked up, the store will keep it for you just in case you want to resume payments.

The 50% off early purchase option is an important factor when budgeting with rent to own. Try saving up a little each week while making those rent to own payments until you can pay off the rest and save a bundle. Using the early purchase option makes renting to own refrigerators, tablets, beds and whatever else for the home more affordable. And much more affordable than minimal payments with a credit card. And, debt nor credit is extended with rent to own.

With payment reinstatement rights, stores will keep the product for a certain amount of time to see if you want to come back and resume payments at the point where you left off. This way, you don’t lose any of your payment history. In many cases, payment reinstatement rights can last a long time even for your lifetime for many companies. Obviously, it won’t be the exact same product but they will make sure it will be similar or better. And since your credit is not effected with rent to own then any payment history being disrupted won’t hurt your credit.

Rent to own home furniture, washer/dryer combos and refrigerators have come a long way. Consumers need to know all the aspects rent to own offers to make the best decision when acquiring home furnishings. It all depends on your financial circumstances and needs at the time.

Payment reinstatement rights and early purchase options are wedging rent to own’s presence in all market areas and with more mainstream companies. And, moreover, rent to own is becoming the fourth transaction option, up there with cash, credit and used.

Be sure to shop your local rent to own stores in your neighborhood. Each RTO company will have different policies regarding payment reinstatement and early purchase options. And play off rent to own competitors against each other to get the best deal for you.

Just another Shop RTO Home Lifestyle and Personal Finance tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Rent that big screen TV for the Superbowl party

HD TV rentals

Watch the Super Bowl in style.

Are you ready for the Superbowl TV watching party? Do you have a big enough TV to accommodate all of those Seahawks and Patriots fans? Did you inflate your kegs and refrigerators to the proper pressure to avoid violating party policies?

If not, call up your local rent to own store and rent that TV today. You get it for a week anyway so rent it today so you’re guaranteed to have it. Your local rent to own stores will deliver and set it up for you and then pick it up next week.

If you like it then keep renting it or just buy it outright. Use the 90-day same as cash and save a bundle. Since you’ve already tried it then you’ll know if you like it. Great aspect of the rent to own transaction is to try before you buy.

If you don’t have enough room in your refrigerator for all of those bottles, cans and party favorites, have them deliver a new fridge as well. Upgrade all in one fell swoop. Then you’ll need a new couch for the guests and a recliner and, heck, an entire new house full of furniture.

OK. Getting a little out of hand here. This is an article reminding Superbowl party hosts they have the option to rent the big screen for the big game from their local rent to own store. Rent to own are rentals first with the ownership option which many people do not realize. So don’t feel obligated when going rent to own. So upgrade your Sunday party in just one phone call and they’ll do the rest.

Just another Shop RTO Home Lifestyle and HD TV tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

More Americans are streaming TV shows

HD TV streaming TV Shows

Streaming TV is the future of TV programming

Streaming TV shows are catching on with Americans. It fits better with their schedules and Americans are latching onto the concept. Especially with the Millennial and Selfie generations.

The ability and popularity of streaming movies has been around for nearly a decade. But only in the past five years has streaming TV shows become popular. Families like to watch it at their own time and pace.

Many like to wait for the weekends and binge watch several shows or a whole season in a marathon sitting. How many friends do you know shared with you their weekend was dedicated to a couple of seasons of Modern Family?

What needs to happen now is the streaming channels and TVs need to catch up. It’s now basically standard for any new HD TV to have built in Internet hook ups. Streaming companies such as Netflix and Dish are already able creating 4K content and able to stream 4K.

Roku Senior vice president, Jim Funk, notes how 4K will be the first format that is driven by Internet streaming.

Networks and content providers are scrambling to catch up with the changing viewing habits and pricey packages by going straight to YouTube, Hulu and Amazon. And Sony, HBO, Playstation and others are going to be offering Internet only packages for those newly dubbed “cord cutters” who watch Internet streaming TV only.

So another reason to look for a brand new TV. Like we need another reason, eh? But you have to admit, it’s pretty cool and fun getting that brand new TV and one that has built-in Internet streaming.

Just another Shop RTO HDTV and Computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

January is the month for home electronics

New HD TVs

January is  home electronics month!

Consumers need to know that January is the month for  home electronics. It’s because that’s when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas rolls out the latest gadgets for families, businesses and individuals.

The CES show is one of the biggest trade shows of the year if not the biggest. It consumes Las Vegas and shows how popular electronics are in our homes and lives. From HD TVs, Ultra HD TVs, 4K TVs, audio systems, computers and robotics.

What does this mean for you? It means all of the latest technology will now be reduced in price to make room for the newer versions. So if you’re looking for a good HD TV, tablet or audio system deal then start in January. On the flip side, if you’re wanting to be on the cutting edge of the newest products on the market, then January is the time to check them out.

If you’re like most of us and are budget conscience then prices are dropping from the low end such as a 32″ HD streaming TV to $180. Or the high end big screen Ultra HD TV that was $4000 two years ago is now under $1000. These price drops are definitely worth looking at.

Rent to own stores eye CES with 4K focus as well. Each year those TVs that were out of reach for consumers to try before they buy or want to use the debt free payment plan will now be in the price range that will fit your budget so if the rent to own transaction is your choice for this year’s electronics, make sure you check out the stores in your area to see what new offers they have.

Just another Shop RTO HDTV and Computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

What are the top five myths about rent to own home furniture

Rent to own HD TVs are popular for Christmas.

Renting to own home furniture and other household items has its advantages.

Market research show continued misunderstanding by the general public regarding rent to own home furniture and other household items.

Affordable home furnishing website, Shop RTO, releases its top five myths regarding rent to own home furniture, computers, appliances and electronics. The myths are documented through on-going research conducted by the industry’s trade association.

Consumer focus groups and telephone polling conducted by The Association of Progressive Rental Organizations (APRO) reveal that most Americans do not know what rent to own stores are and what they do know is incorrect.

The rent to own industry’s consumer facing website, ShopRTO.com, looks to help dispel the myths in hopes that consumers will make rent to own a consideration when shopping for home furnishings.

1. The consumer is legally obligated to own the product. When renting to own, there is no obligation to own, no legal debt incurred and the consumer can return the product at any time for any reason without penalty.

2. Rent to own stores do not offer name brand merchandise. All rent to own stores offer the popular name brands ranging from Sony, Apple, Whirlpool, Ashley furniture and many others.

3. Rent to own stores charge high interest rates. Because there is no legal debt and credit is not extended, interest is not charged.

4. Rent to own contracts are long term and expensive. Industry leaders grapple with this accusation as they say it compares apples to oranges.

Comparing total cash price from retail to renting to own the same merchandise for the maximum number of rental payments, then rent to own owners readily admit that rent to own is more expensive. But, owners say, the rent to own price includes delivery, set up, pick up, maintenance beyond manufacturer warranty. The RTO agreement also includes a free loaner if the product must be fixed off premises. All of those services are added fees on a retail transaction.

Rent to own payments are like credit card payments where the consumer can pick the payments and change at any time. They can also execute the early purchase option and reduce total cost by 50%. The difference between the two is credit cards are legal contracts whereas rent to own agreements are not.

5. The customer can lose all previous payments if they miss a payment. Rent to own stores are governed by law to have payment reinstatement rights. But, most rent to own companies offer ‘lifetime’ reinstatement rights and most companies extend payment reinstatement well beyond what the law requires.

Local rent to own stores have different policies, inventories and payment plans so consumer experts advise rent to own customers shop around between their local rent to own stores to find the one best for their circumstances.

About Shop RTO:
Shop RTO offers holiday tips such as these for Halloween and posts articles that focus on creating the best family home on a budget.

For news release, click here.

20 Unexpected Items You Can Rent That Will Save You Money and Improve Your Credit


Renting items is becoming commonplace as more shoppers are drawn to the ease and flexibility of owing an item for only a few days.

Luxury items such as professional camera equipment and diamond necklaces are no longer reserved only for people who are willing to shell out the extra bucks.

 While renting is not always cheaper than buying the item you have been coveting, it gives you a chance to try out the latest gadget and figure out whether you are a fan of it.

One sign that you should rent before you buy is if you’re not fully committed to the purchase, said Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education for Credit.com. 

“Whether it’s a home in a neighborhood or city where you aren’t sure you will stay put or a ball gown you may only wear once, renting allows you to try something out while you make up your mind about whether that’s what you really want,” she said.

When your credit score is weak or below where you can get a good interest rate, renting can be a good option, she said.

“A poor credit score can lock you into an expensive mortgage that can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan,” Detweiler said. “Although renting may feel like you are ‘throwing away’ money, it can actually end up protecting your credit if it turns out you can’t afford the home, car or other major purchase you’ve made.”

Renting comes with its caveats – If paid off over the longest term available, renting can also add up quickly. The upside is the item can be returned at any time without penalty, even if you just want a different color. Some items make more sense to save up money for to purchase outright. Other items, when convenience or safety is at issue or knowledge of the product is lacking prior to purchase, rent to own can make for a practical solution.

Here is a list of 20 things you can rent to impress your friends, host your next party, stay green, spend your next holiday and still save money by limiting the amount of your purchases.

Professional camera equipment 

Professional camera equipment is expensive and one single lens can easily cost over $1,000. If you are just beginning to try your hand at photography, you may not know if you want a GoPro action camera or which lenses will be the best fit. Lumoid, a San Francisco startup, lets you rent the cameras and lenses for $15 to $25 a day. If you decide to buy the item, you can credit 30% of the rental price from that year for the purchase.

You can even have it shipped to your hotel so you don’t have to worry about it breaking. Another company to check out rent to own. Find a company near you.


You probably have loads of gadgets and electronics at home stored in the back of your closet becoming obsolete. If your reading habits are sporadic, you might not need an e-reader.

Borrow one from your library for a week or two and see if you are actually reading more or like the smaller pages. The library in Dover Town, Mass. is a treasure trove of electronics and you can borrow a Kindle, Nook, iPads and iPod Touches as well as Blu-Ray and DVD players, XBox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3 gaming consoles and games. All you need is proof of residence to receive a library card.


If your data plan does not extend to Europe or other places when you are traveling, several companies rent out smartphones so you can use the apps for maps or restaurant reviews and avoid the data roaming fees. If you have family visiting you in the U.S., they can rent one from Rent-A-Center which does not require a deposit or credit check.

Car parts

If the last thing you want to spend your money on is replacing your dinged up hub caps or wheels, you can improve the look of your car by renting custom ones. You can rent wheels and fancy tires for just a week or by the month from Rent-N-Go.com and they even install them for you.

Home improvement tools and gadgets

As people downsize their homes, storage becomes more of an issue, so it can a good idea to rent things that you seldom use, said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a Washington, D.C. non-profit. Check out your local rent to own store. Many carry a variety of lawn and garden equipment you can rent for as long as you need with no obligation.

Full Story

Just another Shop RTO Lifestyle Tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Chance of home fires rise in winter – some preventative tips

Some fire safety tips.

Winter has the highest probability of house fires.

It’s getting cold which means fire, heaters, wood stoves and ovens. Which also means an increased chance to set your house on fire.

January represents the peak of home fire season starting November. But it’s not the weather to blame but us humans.

Heating equipment is the biggest culprit in house fires and home fire deaths. Due to bad placement of the heaters next to beds, clothes and furniture. Another factor is not properly maintaining and servicing the heaters. In other words, using a heater that should have been replaced years ago.

Make sure to clean your chimney. Have a professional inspector check for cracks, leaks, blockages from debris or nests and creosote build-up that comes from burning wood. Make sure to open the flue and have a sturdy fireplace screen properly placed.

The most common room for home fires is the kitchen. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen and smoke alarms with new batteries in every room. If you’re smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, have them replaced.

Makes sure you have an escape route for each room. There should be two ways out for each room so be cognizant. Always crawl under the smoke and when you get out of the house, do not go back for any reason.

You must be prepared all year long but Winter needs to be the yearly reminder to execute the safety tips to ensure a safe and warm home.

Just another Shop RTO Lifestyle Tip and one to take very seriously.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Have you seen washer and dryers lately?

Check out the new features of washers and dryers

Scratch your old washer/dryer combo.

Washer and dryer combos have made quite the changes lately both in efficiency and style. Their bright colors and sleek designs are making them more part of the home than tucked out of sight in the garage.

Having them closer also makes sense. Because they’re, well, closer. Makes it easier to carry large loads to and from and easier to do wash during daily chores. According to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders, most new homeowners want their washers and dryers in the home. Sound good? Not the question but the washer/dryer combo. Make sure you know the noise levels of that new washer and dryer so it doesn’t drown out your dinner conversation or the game. So, be sure to look up noise levels and reviews.

Then there’s ease and efficiency. Washer and dryers these days have so many more features in regards to adjusting to different size of loads, types of washes, hotter water temperatures, ‘wash now, dry later’, eco-action, eco-cycle, quick dry, delayed cycles and steam-cleaning.

Another direction has been the top loaders and clear glass doors so you can see where the cycle is without opening the door. Smaller and stackable sizes are more popular to fit in smaller spaces.

These features all help to save energy and time and in many instances save the lifetime of clothes. The more features, the more expensive but you’re going to save money in the long run especially with gas prices and electric bills going up and up.

With that in mind, throw the rent-to-own option in the mix as you can get a more efficient model on an affordable payment plan but make sure to be wise with your payment choice. Rent to own payment plans are as flexible as you want them so match the plan with your budget and the quickest way to pay it off if ownership is your goal.

Just another Shop RTO washer/dryer and laundry tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.



Factor in delivery fees when shopping home furniture, electronics and appliances


Rent to own funiture delivery is in the cost.

Research delivery fees when shopping.

Always ask the sales person the delivery fees of that furniture, appliance or stereo system you’re getting for your home. That’s the bottom line of this post. OK, there’s also some other tips you’ll want to know if you’re having home furnishings delivered.

Many stores, such as rent to own stores, offer delivery in their pricing. They also factor in pick ups as well so if you’re through renting then they come to your home and pick it up. Rent to own employees will also set up your electronics and appliances which is an added bonus. And many times have same day delivery. It’s all a part of their pricing and the convenient factor of renting to own.

Other stores also have free delivery but it’s factored in their overall price.

Those stores that do not factor in delivery in the overall costs will charge you extra, sometimes up to $300 for a living room set. So, be watchful of the costs of the item being delivered to your home. You can get quite the surprise when an additional $100 is added at the end.

Other factors are what to do with any old furniture, refrigerators or TVs. Most will take your old appliances but not TVs nor furniture but it never hurts to ask. Make sure the delivery techs don’t have mud or dirt on their shoes and ask about the timing of delivery. Some stores such as Lowes will take several days to deliver so make sure you ask all of these questions before committing.

Just another ShopRTO Home Decorating and Home Furniture Tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Holiday shopping tips to keep you in budget


Using rent to own to shop

Christmas Shopping Tips

The holidays are upon us which means shopping. So make sure you shop wise and within budget. Here’s a few tips to take with you in your shopping cart.

The first one is to plan and don’t wait until the last moment. Start now and watch for the best deals. Try some of the shopping apps that will scan the deals for you.

Make a list, budget and stick with it. That means identifying who gets presents and think of everyone. Count the white elephant presents for work or for the toy charity you donate. This will help relieve any surprises.

If you have to use credit, compare it to rent to own, especially for furniture. Payment plans are going to cost more so you’re going to want to minimize final costs. Compare what your minimum payments would be for a credit card and a rent to own agreement then do the math. You can get stuck with a minimum payment plan for years with a credit card.

Rent to own payment plans max out at two years for most agreements. You’re also not legally committed to the purchase, incur debt or obligated to own.

Cross people off the list and quit shopping. That’s the difficult part. Surveys show that a third of us will overspend by 30% so show some restraint and discipline. Yeah, right.

Just another Shop RTO Holiday and Lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

What exactly is ’90 Days Same As Cash’?

rent to own furniture payment options

Use ’90 Days Same as Cash” option with discipline.

Many retailers and rent to own furniture stores offer ’90 days same as cash’. Each are significantly different so pay attention to the details of the offer. If used wisely, ’90 days same as cash’ is a great way to buy home furnishings.

The premise is if you can pay off the item within 90 days then you are charged no interest or additional fees. Here’s the breakdown, advantages and disadvantages of each.

When shopping for furniture, electronics, appliances and computers most rent to own companies, if not all, offer the ’90 days same as cash’ option. Some even go as far as 180 days. Check each store’s policy before shopping each option. If you can make consecutive payments within the 90 days then you are able to acquire the product for basically the same price as retail. And you avoid the trap of debt or interest because there is no interest nor debt in a rent to own transaction.

If you can’t make the 90, 120 or 180 days then your payment plan is turned into a rental agreement that you choose. If you complete enough of the rental payments then you own the product. The rental payments do not include interest nor debt and can return at any time for any reason without penalty. That’s the clear distinction between the rent to own transaction and a credit transaction.

If you made one or two payments then your rental payments can either be lower payments, lower number of payments or a balance of each. And, you get to choose the amount and number of payments. Remember, the golden rule of any transaction is the less payments, the less total cost. The fact that you already made several payments already guarantees a reasonable final price through rent to own.

Here’s the catch that you need to watch. Make sure the original cash price is fair to the market value. Cash prices can vary widely so shop against rent to own stores in your area to find the best cash price between them. Even bargain against each other. You’re the customer, they want your business so try. Make sure you talk to the manager or owner, though. Many times, they are the only ones with the authority to bargain.

Retail ’90 days same as cash’ is the same premise as rent to own but it is a credit transaction. You have a legal obligation to fulfill the transaction whether 90 days or more if you cannot meet the 90 days obligation. If you cannot make the necessary payments within the 90 days then you’re put on a credit payment plan and interest is charged. Sometimes an outrageous amount up to 20 -24%. Make sure you ask that specific question before entering a retail ’90 days same as cash’ transaction.

The pros of a retail ’90 days same as cash’ is that the retail price is usually a good deal. They’re counting on you to not be able to complete the payments then you get hit with fees, penalties and interest. And you’re legally obligated to finish the payments that now are on a credit basis that you originally agreed prior.

’90 days same as cash’ is also a cash loan transaction. They can be great if the loan is small and you’re in a bind but those can be the most costly if you cannot make the payments in those 90 days. So make sure you corner them on the exact cost, penalties, interest that will happen if you cannot make the payments in 90 days.

The bottom line with the ’90 days same as cash’ offers is they’re great with discipline. If you’re unsure though then be careful especially with cash loans. In regards to ’90 days same as cash’ with home furniture and other home goods, retail vs rent to own have a very distinct difference between being obligated to the debt you legally signed yourself to versus the debt free rent to own transaction.

Just another Shop RTO Home Lifestyle and Personal Finance tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

The green cleaning power of vinegar for the home

Vinegar is an eco friendly cleaner.

Use vinegar solution to clean your home earth-friendly.

Vinegar is an eco friendly, cheap and easy liquid that is the all purpose cleaner for the home.

Think of anything in your house and cleaning with vinegar will be just what you need EXCEPT stonework especially marble. The acid and lemon in the vinegar can permanently stain fancy stonework.

Having said that, check out all of these uses to clean the home with vinegar. You’re going to want to create a mixture of vinegar and water. White vinegar is the most popular. If you want a citrus smell, just add some lemon, lime, orange or a mixture. You typically want 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar as the cleaning solution.

For that nasty grit from hard water in toilet bowl, bath tub, sink, etc. spray the vinegar mixture on it and the acid will start breaking it down immediately. And forget that god awful chlorine smell from bleach when cleaning tile, use vinegar.

Vinegar does have a, well, vinegary smell but goes away within 10 minutes. And, it’s better than that poisonous bleach smell that takes a day to go away.

Helps clean grease as well so can be used on all appliances especially cook tops, ovens and grills. The vinegar mixture helps removes stains from coffee or tea. It’s also great for cleaning both inside and outside of the refrigerator.

Vinegar helps clean and disinfect cutting boards especially those made out of wood. Another good use is to clean the inside of your microwave. Add some vinegar into a bowl of water then microwave for 10-20 seconds then wipe out all of that nasty gook that’s been there way too long.

Use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to clean out clogs and that nasty smell in the kitchen sink. Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda into the drain then pour one cup of vinegar and close the drain tightly. For really bad clogs, repeat it twice.

Use vinegar to clean out carpet stains. Wet the area with warm water then put together a tablespoon to 2 cups of warm water mixture and rub gently. Rinse with warm water then blot dry.

Vinegar is natural and bio degradable so it’s also great to use outdoors when cleaning your car, outdoor windows and patio furniture. Oh, and it’s good for cooking as well.

Just some more Shop RTO Home Lifestyle tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Ready for Black Friday? Some tips and predictions.

Shopping tips for black Friday.

Shop Smart for Black Friday.

Black Friday is getting closer so get prepared for the busiest shopping day of the year with these Shop RTO shopping tips. First, and most importantly, don’t be fooled by the “one day” sale. Black Friday will last a week or more.

Secondly, predictions are that Cyber Monday will kick its butt. So use the Internet specials to force local stores to honor the best deals. Most stores will honor others specials so keep that in mind when shopping for certain deals. Especially with computers and HD TVs. Those two are predicted to be the hottest deals this season.

Even with home furniture and appliances. You can buy everything on the net these days so start there and use those deals to leverage the best ones at your local furniture and appliances stores.

Whether you like it or not, Black Friday will continue to creep into Thanksgiving day for many retailers. So ‘Black Friday’ is beginning to mean Thursday to Tuesday and even beyond.

Look for great deals in laptops, tablets and 60″ TVs. Those are supposedly the hot deals. Ipad Minis for $200 and cheap androids for $25. And, 60″ TVs for $450. If you’re looking for a bigger TV then the upcoming Black Friday might do you just right.

Remember, Black Friday means retail specials which means all retail including rent to own stores. Local rent to own stores need your business as much as the others if not more so use the market to bargain with them. Remember the golden rule of shopping to own. If you’re 100% sure, pay cash.

If not, then try before you buy with rent to own. If you can’t buy cash then compare rent to own with a credit card comparing all the attributes of each transaction. You’d be surprised how rent to own can save you money and the potential legal problems of a credit transaction.

Just another Shop RTO Holiday and Lifestyle tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Use rent to own stores to prepare for holiday guests

rent to own your home furnishings for the holidays

Be prepared for visiting family.

Extra guests means extra seats, tables, beds, couch room and maybe a freezer to keep those big turkeys. It’s that time of year so make sure you’re prepared and local rent to own stores can help in many ways.

Many Americans go to rent to own stores just to rent for the days the guests will be crashing at their place. Rent to own is a rental first so you’re never obligated to make the next payment and they deliver and pick up for you which will help relieve any additional stress that comes with the holidays.

Many families get a bunk bed or two to help with the influx of kids storming into the home and being comfortable through their stay. Thanksgiving does mean a good football game or three so renting an HD TV can be a bonus for the guests.

Then there’s the ownership option with the rent to own transaction. If you rented the home furniture for the guests but ended up really liking ’em, then continue the rental payments to ownership with no legal obligation. That’s what’s the best part of rent to own is you have no legal debt or obligation.

Many Americans use rent to own home furnishing stores to prompt them to upgrade their home with new furniture, appliances and a HD TV or two. Be smart with your payment plan by renting the shortest number of payments and use the early pay off as quickly as possible.

Do not extend yourself too much, make sure you can afford the payments with the early purchase option as your final goal. Use the “90 days same as cash” option if at all possible to really save big.

Make the most out of your home holiday experience and use rent to own stores to your full advantage whether for that holiday week or as a test to see if you want to go the ownership route. Either way, you’re not locked in and they do all of the work for you.

Just another Shop RTO Holiday and Home Decorating tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Measure the correct way when picking the right dining room table for your home

Make sure you have the correnct dining table dimensions.

Pick the right size for your dining room table.

There are several key factors when picking out your new dining room table. The most important is the proper size for your dining room table which means measuring first. And most people use the wrong measurement process so use these.

When you determine the room you’re going to put that dining room table, you need to measure three things going backwards to find out the dimension and type of dining room table.

First measure exit/entrance distance from any walls that you plan to put the table. Ideally, you want at least three feet of room to get in and out of your chair to enter and exit the table. Measure from the back of the chair and back legs to the edge of the wall, bookcase, etc. Some chairs have legs that stretch beyond the top of the chair so make sure you remember that when picking out the chairs that go along with the table.

Secondly you measure the exit/entrance room from chairs pulled out from the table. As if you’re through eating and relaxing in your chair talking to your family and friends. The way you measure that distance is to have your chair pulled out from the table to fully extend your legs.

Then, you can measure your table by your knees. In other words, your knees need to align to the edge of the table when your legs are fully extended. Once, you have gone through steps one through three, you will be able to measure the correct dimensions of your table with the chairs.

Hopefully you will have a sitting chair in your house to base these measurements on and give yourself some wiggle room when shopping. Now you have solid measurements to go into furniture stores that factor in the length from your home wall to your knees fully extended sitting.

Those measurements will basically dictate whether you need a square, rectangle, oblong or round dining room table. Try to go with dining room sets so you don’t have to worry about chair height. But make sure when you’re testing out the dining room chairs to sit at the very edge of the seat and the very back to see if they wobble or tip. You will not be happy with chairs that wobble or tip but most people don’t test to that extent then have those regrets later.

You can avoid buyers remorse through rent to own furniture stores. Test the table out at home for a month and if you like it, execute the early purchase option. Better yet, exercise their 90-days same as cash option and if you like the table after a month testing it out then make those last two monthly payments to really save while not putting yourself in a buyers remorse bind.

And if you don’t like it have them pick it up then choose another. Many ready to own stores will let you replace while keeping previous payments. BUT, make sure first. Every rent to own store have different policies and wiggle room so ask before.

Just another ShopRTO Home Decorating and Home Furniture Tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Know your cooking needs before shopping for ovens and stoves

Cooking FamilyIf it’s time or you’re looking for a new oven and/or stove, the first thing you do is pay close attention of how much you use it and, most of all, on what.  There are so many varieties of stoves and ovens to choose from that can make your cooking more efficient and enjoyable.

Write down your regular cooking menu items. What do  you cook? How often and how much? Whatever your regular cooking menu is, start writing them down. You’ll quickly find out what type of stove and oven you need.

Make sure you consider each season. Families tend to cook indoors and bake more in the Winter. School season tends towards quicker meals. Seasonal changes can be very significant to the cooking needs so when writing down your menus, go through each season to be thorough.

Another good tip is while you’re cooking, what are your most frustrating or helpful elements of your current cooking and baking experience? Most people don’t think about it because they’re so used to their current oven or working around it. If there is something frustrating with current stove, chances are a new one can fix it.

If you bake a lot then consider double wall ovens, dual range or single. An important factor is how big of a dish you cook or how many. If you do a big Turkey for holidays, keep that in mind. If you have some rolls, potatoes and a casserole all for one meal think about multiple ovens as that will simplify the timing process for when dinner’s ready and everything is cooked to perfection.

If you cook on the oven top a lot then look at a five range types. There are those smooth tops that have range or two that accommodate pans with different circumferences and allow for dual ranges for large frying pans. Those help with flexibility and saving energy.

Then there’s the eternal debate of gas vs electric. I won’t go into the many nuances except to say more advanced cooks prefer gas as it gives you more control and an even burn but costs more but saves money on electric bills. Electric ovens are safer and cheaper.

The last but not least tip is to go into the shopping process with a budget in hand. Ovens can range from $600 to $5000. Don’t open yourself to wasted trips or time. Know your budget.

If you can’t buy outright, make sure you compare a credit card vs rent to own. Rent to own stores offer all types of stoves and payment plans. You are never obligated to buy it out right so gives you the flexibility to return it if you don’t like it. On the flip side, you can find a great used deal at rent to own stores to buy it outright and save a bundle. Just be sure to call around as timing is everything when you go that route.

It’s all about the budget of your payments. The more you can afford each payment and less number of payments, the less money you spend overall. And then there’s the legal obligation of a credit card vs no legal obligation with rent to own. Those are two biggest factors on which transaction is better for you.

Just another ShopRTO Home Appliances tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

How to pick the right mattress for you


How to choose the right mattress.

Make sure you pick the right mattress for your back.

You spend half of your life on your mattress so you better spend some time making the right choice when shopping for one. A good night’s sleep depends on many factors – stress levels, room temperature, ambient noise and comfort. Comfort means your pillow, blankets, maybe a cat or dog or two with you but most of all the mattress. So here’s some tips when shopping for your mattress.

First, let’s break down the type of mattresses to choose. There are four basic types – Innerspring coil, Memory Foam, Latex and Air. Each have their pros and cons.

Innerspring coils are the most popular where each coil is individually wrapped. Prices range widely and more expensive does not mean better. They also range from firm to soft. Sleep doctors say to make sure that they have a coil count of, at least 390. And, more coil count doesn’t mean better sleep. Innerspring mattresses can be the safest bet but may not give you the ultimate comfort the others provide.

Memory foam mattresses are those that are made from layers of foam of different types of densities. They mold to the contours of your body throughout the night and help relieve pressure points. If you sleep with a partner then each of you create your own individual imprint so no one has to compromise for the other. Because memory foam molds to your body, it can absorb the body heat and become hot. That’s good for some, bad for others. And some people have said the foam can emanate a chemical smell.

For some, Latex is best as it gives both the firmness and bouncy touch so has the support and comfort. But, if you don’t like firm mattresses then this may not be your choice.

Air mattresses are standard innerspring but use air-filled chambers instead of coils. It’s good for couples who need different types of firmness. The problems can be irregular pocket holes can create an uneven bed or can inflate one side when one sits on the other.

So what does all of this mean? It means your back has a lot of choices so spend the time lying on each. The best way to find your mattress is to go into stores and lie down on them for 10 – 15 minutes. Bring your pillow! Anything to re-create your sleep. I don’t think they’ll let you bring your dog or cat in, though.

Some rent to own stores have many mattresses to choose from and if you rent them and in a couple of months don’t like them then you’re not stuck with an unfriendly mattress. If you do like the mattress then use the early purchase option to save money.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle and Bedroom Furniture tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.


Some cheap and easy Halloween decorating tips

Halloween decoration tips.

Construction paper, scissors and glue is all you need for Halloween decor.

It’s Halloween decorating time! For some, the funnest time of the year especially for the kids. So why not make it special by spooky-ing up the house to get into the festive spirit.

There are hundreds and hundreds of decorations to buy out there but none as fun, cheap and easy as cardboard paper, scissors, markers, glue and tape. It’s a great way for you and the kiddos to be together on a fun project and make it extra special because you made the decorations yourselves.

First things first, get some Halloween decor templates. You can print them straight from the web. Here’s a webpage from Country Living that you can use as an example but there are plenty more.

Print the templates of bats, haunted houses, skulls, ghosts, spiders, etc. Try to print them on hard stock paper but if you don’t have that capability then trace over a piece of construction paper and use that as your master template. Trace the shapes over all sorts of Halloween construction paper colors – orange and black (white for ghosts) – and cut the shapes out.

From there, let the imagination run wild. Cut out holes for eyes or cut out circles from a different color of paper and tape them on. Or just draw them in. Make a ghost cross-eyed to be a little goofy and scary at the same time. Try to use magic markers or larger felt tip pens for a more dramatic look. Or just use crayons. Whatever floats the boat.

We made sure to get a lot of construction paper, right? OK, good. Now look at your windows. They’re most likely rectangle which is the perfect shape for Frankenstein’s head. Cut out large triangle shapes, tape them at the top of the window pointing down and you’re creating his hair. Use enough to cover the top of the window. Stagger them if you want. Or, instead of triangles, use rectangles, fray the bottom and stagger those as his hair. Create the eyes, stitches, mouth or whatever you think of and place accordingly on the window and you have a large monster not made by Dr. Frankenstein but by the family.

Other cheap and easy homemade decorations is use pipe cleaners for spider legs. Tape or glue them to tiny pumpkins or empty soda or water bottles. Tear of any labels and decorate those. Use black tape or blacken some tape to decorate the bottles. Or go big spider and use a milk jug as the body and some pvc pipe covers as the legs.

Buy some glow sticks to light up balloons is another cheap and easy decoration. And then there’s always the standards of sheets for ghosts, cheese cloth for spider webs and, last but not least, the pumpkins!

There’s nothing like making Halloween special with homemade decorations that the whole family participated. So have some fun, be safe and be festive because it’s Halloween season!

Just another Shop RTO Home Decorating and Holiday Tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Gas saving tips for the family budget

Saving gas means saving money.

Try these gas saving tips to help your budget.

It’s called hypermilling. Tactics to help save gas thus money. Some of the tactics are illegal and controversial so we’re not mentioning those but here are some smart ones you need to execute.

Before those tips, we have to mention the obvious. Walk or ride your bike as much as possible whenever you can. Carpool whenever you can. And, find ways to not drive. Many people are asking to work at home or using flex hours to avoid peak driving times and many employers are just fine with it. Heck, if it gets another car off the road then they’re happy too.

But, if and when you drive here are some great fuel saving tips.

1. Get the junk out of the trunk. Any unnecessary and heavy items in your trunk or back seats weighs down the car and wastes gas.

2. Find the quickest way to your most used routes. For most people, it’s to and from work and the grocery store. This may sound obvious but in the world of traffic, it isn’t because the old adage of the “shortest path from A to B is a straight line” isn’t fuel efficient in many ways. Sitting, idling and shuffling the car on a highway is the biggest waste of energy so take some time to look at alternate ways. If it gets you there quicker in real time during peak traffic then switch to that route.

3. Memorize your route through traffic lights and stop signs. Braking your car and accelerating take a toll on your car and gas bill so if you memorize your route, you’ll know where the stop signs are and you’ll begin to know the timing of the stop lights to anticipate stops thus easing your way to those stops.

4. Here’s my favorite. Coast the most. Have you ever notice how many people speed up to stop? They know it’s a red light yet they speed right up to it as if their car will magically turn the light green and even if it did, you’d still have to stop to watch for thru traffic or a car in front of you. It’s a ‘driving mad’ or ‘I’m important cause I’m in a rush’ syndrome. When you see or know it’s a red light or will be a red light, take your foot off the pedal and coast to the stoplight. Your not using any gas nor brakes thus saving in two ways and that’s why it is important to memorize your most used routes, you’ll know when to anticipate the stops. You can also monitor the pedestrian signals that tell you if the light is about to turn yellow or not. Coasting can be the most fuel efficient tactic you can use.

5. Don’t idle. If you’re waiting on your child or date and know they’ll take some time. Turn the car off.

6. Don’t use the air conditioner if you can. If you live in the south and it’s Summer, the air conditioner is mandatory otherwise try not to when you can.

7. Park in a spot that’s easy to get in and out. Trying to get that closest spot causes a lot of idling driving in and out. Park a little further out and you avoid that problem and maybe walk a few calories off.

8. Avoid drive-thrus. Most of the time, it takes longer to get your order. Just park, walk in, order to-go then head on out.

9. Check your tire pressure. Tires need to be properly aired otherwise you will drag your car and your wallet.

There are many other minor tips that can help in tiny ways or, like stated above, can be dangerous so stick with the above recommendations and watch how you’ll save an extra day’s gas and money.

Just another ShopRTO Lifestyle and Family Budget tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Have social robots finally arrived?

The family robot for the home.

The family robot is upon us.

Has WallE arrived? With the recent buzz centering around social robots such as Jibo, the concept of personal robots have been or about to become reality.

According to MIT social robotics wiz, Cynthia Breazeal, she states how people want technology to treat them as a person – “Right now technology treats us as technology, beeping and buzzing at us.”

Treating your computer devices as a person is something we consumers want. That’s why we all try SIRI but anyone who has tried or does SIRI knows how frustrating this technology can be. But anyone who has any observation skills in the past ten years knows how fast the speed of technology goes so just be patient because R2D2 is near reality.

Some say the hardware for such a robot is here and affordable, the real trick is getting the apps programmed and programmed well so the robot works rather than working your nerves. The latest talk centering around Jibo, a sort of mini snowman robot looking gizmo gives some true excitement. Especially when they’re able to add some personality to the robot as Jibo claims.

They market it as a family robot. As part of the family and the home. Check out their promotional video, it’s very intriguing.

Jibo is supposed to be released at the end of next year with full production in 2016. Pre orders are being set up and claim that the starting price in 2016 will be equivalent to a high end tablet. But something as this sophisticated may mean software and apps is where the cost will bite us in the wallet.

It’s still a buzz and looks great in a video demo but the real test is when it sits on your desk and, on its own volition as it monitors you moving around, tells you to get your butt into gear because you might be late to work due to its direct monitoring of the traffic conditions, weather and the propensity for your kids to lollygag on Mondays.

Just another ShopRTO Computer Tips.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Football season and 4K Ultra HD TV are here!

Ultra HD is lowering prices

Are you ready for some football and 4K TV?

College Football has officially started and NFL starts Thursday. Are you ready? Or, I mean, is your HD TV ready or is it time to get a new one?

Football season seems to be one of those times of year when you start thinking of upgrading your HD TV. Whether it’s a bigger one or jumping to the next level, it all depends. But at some point we all have to consider that jump to 4K. Prices have dropped considerably so is it time?

On an average, prices have been reduced $1500 – $2500. That definitely makes a difference.

Before you make the big decision, there are a few things you need to know and Shop RTO is here to help.

To get the full 4K experience, you’re gonna have to get a big one or be ready to move your couch and chair closer to the screen. Ultra HD is a great viewing experience but once you get a certain distance away, the distinction loses its luster.

China is on a rampage to the point where you can buy a lower named brand for $1500 and that’s for a 65″. Though some reviews for the lesser named brand are not as good as Sony, LG or Samsung. Yet those are now around $2000.

This is exciting news. But, one of the big drawbacks, is programming. Many shows and video streaming are not 4K produced or in the 4K format. They’re quickly becoming that way but patience is still a virtue in this arena.

But this article is about football season and this Summer’s World Cup has expedited 4K programming for sports broadcast. And, sports programming is always on the forefront of the latest production formats.

We’re getting at the tipping point for getting that 4K TV into our homes. And, this latest quarter sales of 4K TVs shows just that. Maybe everyone was preparing for the football season. Whatever the reasons, 4K and its format are either here for some or just around the corner for others. Who knows what the prices will be in December or January.

This also may be one of those times where renting to own that 4K TV makes perfect sense. Some RTO stores are carrying them now and with the no obligation payment and can have them pick it back up at no penalty are great features. Maybe, you try that 4K out for football season and if you like it, use the early buy out option to save you money and to make sure you’re satisfied before you make that big decision on what you’ll be watching for next several years.

Just another ShopRTO HD TV tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

A Shop RTO guide to clothes cleaning symbols

Clothes Cleaning symbols

Decipher the laundry codes

The better you care for your clothes, the longer they’ll last and better they’ll continue to look. That’s why clothes makers put hieroglyphics so you can be even more confused when doing your laundry or force you to throw it in a pile to send to the dry cleaners.

Since most of us don’t want to or can’t really afford the dry cleaners, we must empower ourselves to unveil the secret codes to the almighty washer and dryer process. You have two choices, you can either go “Indiana Jones” and wash your way through the death defying journey of interpretation or go with Shop RTO.

Here is a simple table of the most used laundry cleaning symbols and what they mean. We expect you to memorize these quickly for a test coming soon. Or, just bookmark this page and refer to it every time you are wondering what to do when washing and drying a garment you’re not sure of.

Just another Shop RTO Lifestyle and Laundry tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Rent to own stores can offer the best used furniture deals

Find your local rent to own store for used home furniture.

Try rent to own stores when shopping used furniture.

Most people don’t realize that rent to own stores can offer the best used home furniture deals in town.

When shopping used furniture, electronics, appliances and more, most people think of garage sales, craigslist and newspaper ads. What consumers do not realize is local rent to own stores offer some of the best used deals.

According to the rent to own trade association, more than 70% of rent to own customers return the new product within 4 months. Then new customers typically want new products to begin renting overloading their showroom with used products needing to be re-rented or sold.

Many times rent to own stores can be overstocked with used home furniture, refrigerators and HDTVs giving the rent to own stores the incentive to sell them at bargain prices.

As such, Shop RTO offers these tips to obtain the best used products at rent to own stores for the best price.

Identify your local rent to own stores and call each asking if they have the used home furnishing you want. You may have to be patient as each of the store’s inventory is constantly changing.

Each rent to own store or company have different policies on negotiating cash sales on used products so be upfront on your objective from the start. If the store is only interested in re-renting used products then you are wasting time.

Work directly with the manager or owner. It is in their best interest to keep the showroom full of new products thus needing to remove the previously rented items. Many times, store employees are not authorized to negotiate a cash deal on the used products.

Do your homework about the cost of the product both new and used. Ask how long the product been rented prior to returning. And ask why the product was returned and if any repairs needed to be done.

Items on the rent to own showroom floor have to be ready to own so you shouldn’t have any worries regarding its use and for furniture they will have re-touched any damages and have cleaned it recently.

Many times that furniture or washer and dryer was meant to be used for a short time. That is why rent to own stores can be the best for used deals as craigslist and garage sales tend to have items that have been used for years.

Negotiate a cash deal. If the store manager or owner can still make a profit while giving you a great deal, it’s a mutual beneficial deal. Remember, most store owners need to get rid of the used merchandise so will bend more than other choices.

You can rent to own used home furnishings as well. Those payment plans will either be less number of payments or smaller cost of payments.

About Shop RTO:
ShopRTO.com provides consumers home living and decorating tips and rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furniture and more.

Do you own a tablet?

tabletExperts called 2014 the year of the tablet? Apparently so. In the past several months, tablet sales have slowed. Part of the reason is more than 50% of Americans own one.

And why not? They’re easy to use. Easier to carry than a laptop. They’re getting close to being as fast as a lapktop. And they’re much more affordable.

There are still limitations. You can’t upgrade to lightening speed nor have terabytes of storage but with cloud technology even that issue can be answered. Some complain about the strain on the eyes especially when reading articles or books. Or some are just old fashion curmudgeons who pine for old days and refuse to try. Go write a complaint letter on a typewriter, I say. Go green and save a tree.

Even with seniors, the tablets are becoming the most popular. Most seniors just need a computer for internet, video and e-mailing. The ease of large app icons, keyboard and the lightweight make it perfect.

Then on the other end, kids dig ’em. They’re the perfect size for games and videos. You can play them in bed,  on the couch or in the tree house. I used to own an Ipad but for some reason it’s now owned by my 5 year old. Apparently Mom and kid cut a deal on my behalf.

So, what tablet is for you? What brand and size? The three most popular brands are the Ipad (duh), Kindle Fire and Google Nexus. Then there’s size. The mini or the tablet. That’s a huge debate.

At first, the mini was considered DOA as being too small. They called it an Iphone on steroids. But they were wrong. The minis are just as popular. So when shopping, pick up the regular size then the mini. You can usually tell in an instance. That’s why you make sure you hold one first if you have them shipped.

Then there’s price. You get what you pay for in regards to speed, durability and functions. So keep those in mind when shopping.

Another issue is wi-fi. Wi fi plans can be expensive so do you count on hotspots to take care of you or buy the plan to ensure access everywhere within reason. That’s a huge factor regarding your budget and use.

Rent to own stores are realizing the popularity and stocking up on the tablets. You can get a really affordable payment plan with the ready to own option. Own it in a year with small payments and you’re good to go. Especially with the guarantee that RTO stores carry with all of their merchandise.

Just another ShopRTO Home Computer tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Home safety: Are you prepared?

FirstAidKeeping your house safe and sound is simple with this easy to use home safety checklist. Take a quick peek and if you have neglected one of these items you might want to use this DIY list to put your home and family in the safe zone!

Of all the things people think about when turning a house into a home, safety is unfortunately one of them most overlooked. Use these quick safety tips to increase you chances of coming through an emergency with home and health in tact.

Home Safety Tips Fire Extinguisher

Place a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and every other floor of your home. Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher before you need to use it. Check extinguisher gauges often, and occasionally turn it over to make sure the contents don’t become compacted at the bottom.

Smoke Alarms

Install battery-powered smoke alarms to be prepared for early warnings of smoke in your home. Check your local building codes to make sure you have the right kind of smoke detector and enough of them for the size and layout of your home. Place detectors in bedrooms, and also install battery-powered carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home.

Tip: Use daylight savings time as a reminder to change the batteries in you smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

First Aid Kit

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit in a centrally located spot in your home. It should include activated charcoal, adhesive tape, antiseptic ointment, adhesive bandages, blanket, cold pack, disposable gloves, gauze, hand cleaner, plastic bags, scissors, tweezers and a small flashlight with extra batteries.

General Tips

If you have children, or children that visit often, place plastic covers over electrical outlets. Store cleaning products and other chemicals out of reach or within locked cabinets and drawers. Keep the phone number of your local Poison Control Center in an easily accessible, obvious spot, like a household chore list or bulletin board. Install ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electrical outlets in the kitchen, bathroom and around any water source. They can help prevent electrocutions, electric shocks and some electric fires.

Keep electronics away from all sinks, bathtubs and showers. Investigate stains or cracks that appear in ceilings. They could be signs of a water leak, and if not taken care of, the ceiling could weaken. If the problem is serious, call a professional. Take a tour around your home looking in and around everything for potential hazards, like old appliances, fraying wires or overloaded electrical outlets. Fix or add padding to pieces of furniture that have sharp edges.

Before having visitors over, especially young children, think about what kids might get into, especially at their level.

More here.



Whip that yard into shape with these simple tips

TreetrimYour yard is ever growing and changing. And it’s a constant battle with weeds, overhanging branches and unwelcome sprouts. Here’s some tips and areas to keep that yard in tip top shape.

Trees: the shade keeps our summer energy costs down, the swing or hammock makes it the goto Sunday siesta spot and what kid doesn’t love a treehouse.

But for all their benefits, your personal forest does need tending from time to time.

Take those dead hanging limbs for example. Take a good look at those and see which ones need to be cut away, lest mother nature do the job for you. All it takes is a common thunderstorm and a brisk wind gust to break a branch and send it through your roof or windshield (or your neighbors) causing tremendous and costly damage.

Also, while you’re out there, prune any plants that might interfere with your AC condenser and trim bushes that might be too close to the house. They can trap moisture and cultivate rot and insects.

Don’t forget the bushes. If left untrimmed, they can trap moisture and invite termites and other home destroying critters. Keeping bushes trimmed can also eliminate potential hiding places for burglars or other unwanted visitors.

Vines come from the ground and grow on the house. They give your house a special look, but creepy crawlies come from the ground, too, and they can use those vines to get into your house. Vines also trap moisture against the house and they can eat away the mortar in between your bricks, jeopardizing the stability of your exterior walls.

So, while vines might be pretty they are not good for your house and you should trim them back regularly. If you really want to keep the vines hanging around, here’s a tip — install a garden trellis next to your house. They come in a variety of sizes and they keep vines away from your foundation.

More here:


Just another Shop RTO Lifestyle and Outdoor Decorating tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home decorating and living tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.

Buying used furniture? Shop rent to own first


Find your local rent to own store for used home furniture.

Try rent to own stores when shopping used furniture.

When talking about buying used furniture, appliances or electronics, the first places Americans think is garage sales, newspaper ads or craigslist. What most people don’t realize is that rent to own stores can be a treasure trove regarding good used furniture at great prices.

Statistics show that new rent to own home furnishings are returned within the first four months. And the return almost always has nothing to do with the quality of the furniture but personal circumstances.

Add to the fact that most customers want new merchandise so there is an incentive for rent to own stores to get rid of used merchandise quickly. They still make a profit, get rid of used inventory and you get a great deal on furniture that has just a little wear and tear.

So if you’re going the RTO option, follow these tips.

Find out the local rent to own stores in your area then call each to express what you’re looking for. Each rent to own store has different policies regarding selling used furniture and obviously what is available.

Because each have different policies, try to talk to a manager or the owner. It is in their best interest to get rid of inventory and they’ll have the most flexibility to cut a deal.

Find the stores that are eager to work with you and try them first. You want those rent to own stores that have the mentality and business model of wanting used merchandise out of the showroom floor so will have you on their mind. That’s why you work with the manager or owner as it is in their best interest.

If you don’t need the furniture immediately then use patience and shop around or wait.

Research prices of similar furniture to know what you can offer regarding what they can offer. And research through craigslist, newspaper ads and garage sales. Heck, those may offer you a better deal anyway. Always shop around, the consumer is in full control in these retail times.

Never buy before you try. Always visit the store and sit on the furniture before and inspect it closely. Rent to own stores are good because they spend a lot of time refurbishing the product.

Rent to own used furniture. If you’re not sure about the furniture, then rent it for a couple of months to try. If you like it then exercise the early purchase option.

The beauty of renting to own used furniture, you’ll get smaller payments or smaller time periods or both. And if you’re renting to own it, the product is under their warranty during the rental period.

If you’re buying it outright, make sure they deliver it for free. That shouldn’t be a problem as they’re in the business of customer service.

You have four choices when acquiring home furnishings for your abode. Keep them all in mind to make sure you get the best home that your money can buy.

Just another ShopRTO Home Decorating and shopping lifestyle tip.

ShopRTO provides consumers home living and decorating tips and promotes rent to own as a shopping option for affordable home furnishings.