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Tips Tag

Man Moving an Old CouchMany people who move out of an existing apartment end up moving into a new one. If that’s you, congratulations on your new place! Now, how do you get all your stuff from one apartment to the other efficiently and inexpensively?

Don’t Pay for Boxes

Lots of moving stores offer boxes for cheap — but why get boxes for cheap when you could get them for free? Check these 10 places for free moving boxes, plus the bins behind your local liquor store, deli, and self-storage units. In most municipalities, well-constructed, barely-used boxes are plentiful. Just get a roll of quality packing tape, and don’t go box-hunting if there’s been a heavy rainfall. (Soggy moving boxes are a big mistake.)

Apartment Keys Given to a CoupleIf you’re looking for an apartment without a job, then you’re probably running into some trouble. The unfortunate fact about apartment-hunting is that if you don’t have an immediately obvious, reliable source of income, your chance of being approved for an apartment is significantly lower. These rigid rental guidelines can make it difficult to find an apartment if you have an unusual source of income — such as being a freelancer or making your money online — and impossible if you have nothing you can call a ‘job’ at all. Fortunately, landlords are people too, so it is possible to find one who is willing to deal with you; you just have to be ready to make a few gestures to show good faith.

Offer a Deposit

One of the ways you can prove that you’ll get money is by showing that you have money. If you put two months’ rent down — above and beyond your security deposit — you can often convince a landlord to sign you up, knowing that you’ve got, at the minimum, a couple of months to get your income in line. Just be willing to show him where you got the money; some landlords are very leery of too much cash coming from someone with no visible job because it makes them think you might be into some kind of illegal activity.

Puppy with Broken Plant PotIt is a truth universally acknowledged that a puppy left alone in an apartment must be in want of a chew toy. And without one, anything nearby is fair game: chair legs, HDMI cable, new shoes, XBOX 360… you name it, your puppy will see it as a plaything. That’s why preparing an apartment for a puppy is a necessity both for you and for your new pal. Use these tips to keep your puppy safe and your possessions unscathed.

Keep Cables and Cords Out of Reach

Take a look around your apartment from a puppy’s point of view. You may be surprised by the number of cords and cables dangling from sockets and electronics onto the floor. To prep for your pup, situate the cords so they are well out of reach of inquisitive paws and jaws.

Invest in Good Chew Toys…

To keep your dog entertained while you’re away from your apartment (or simply in the other room), buy some toys to keep him occupied. Whether it squishes, squeaks, bounces, or speaks, keeping your puppy entertained is important. This is especially key if your puppy is still teething, which occurs within the first 3-8 weeks of a dog’s life.

New York City on MapLooking for an apartment is difficult enough when you live in the area; there are a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of options to research. Add in the complexities of living a few hundred (or thousand!) miles away, and trying to find an apartment you can live with seems like a monumental challenge. To find the right apartment in a new city, you need a solid game plan. Here are three steps to follow to get you going in the right direction:

Step 1: List Your Needs

Get a piece of paper, and write down everything you like and dislike about your current living arrangement. Then write down everything you MUST have in a new place, and everything that would be a deal breaker. Just brainstorm for now—you can always cross things off later (and you will). Give the most thought to location. Is the apartment close enough to the places you’ll want to go to the most? It doesn’t matter how amazing your digs are if you are located forty-five minutes from the place(s) you need to be every day; you’ll never get those hour-and-a-half commutes back.

To those who have spent their lives driving compact cars and sedans, driving a moving truck looks about as easy as flying the Space Shuttle. If you’ve got enough stuff to move, however, finding a moving truck and hitting the road will definitely be on your apartment moving checklist. But don’t worry! Check out our beginner’s guide to driving a moving truck and you’ll get from Apartment A to Apartment B with far less stress.

Choose the Right Truck Size

If you’ve never driven a moving truck-sized vehicle before, you’ll want to keep your truck square-footage to a minimum. (Plus the smaller the truck, the lower the rental price.) If you’re moving locally and can make multiple moving trips, do so. You’ll save some cash and save yourself the stress of driving an enormous truck rather than a more manageable one. To figure out what kind of truck you need, start by making a home moving inventory and calculating how much space you’ll need for your belongings.

Know Your Route

Staring at a map and driving 14-foot moving truck are two things that should never mix. Familiarize yourself with your route before you leave so you can keep your eyes on the road. If you are directionally-challenged, invest in a GPS, drive with a friend, or use a smartphone app that voices turn-by-turn directions. Even if you’re just driving across town, it will pay to keep your attention on the truck’s handling rather than craning your neck to see street names.

Tips for Driving a Moving Truck

Ready to go? Before you start the engine, review these tips so you have a smoother drive.

ApartmentSearch_Kids-RoomIt’s an equation many parents are all too familiar with: siblings + hot tempers + small spaces = timeouts. Sibling squabbles are bound to happen even when kids don’t share a bedroom; but add a small, shared apartment room to the equation, and there is enormous potential for chaos. Whether you are moving into an apartment and already have children, or have one with a baby on the way, you’ll need to come up with some creative solutions that let your kids coexist peacefully. Here are a few things to think about as you find an apartment that’s right for kids if they’re sharing a bedroom.

Find an apartment that’s kid-friendly.

A kid-friendly apartment doesn’t have to have 2 rooms or even have a totally symmetrical single room, but the right potential for configuration is imperative. When you tour prospective apartments, think about the kinds of furniture that will fit in the bedroom and whether it is the right space for your children. If you are planning on staying in the apartment for a long time, also consider how you will be able to change the space as the kids grow.

Divide the room.

ApartmentSearch_Kid-AprtmentWhether you’re expecting a baby or are in need of a redesign now that your infant is growing older, there are plenty of things you can do to make your apartment more kid-friendly. From furniture changes to finding a whole new apartment, think about these things as you start to redesign a family-friendly apartment.

Start with the floors.

After all, this is where your baby will be spending the most time—and consequently, so will you. Invest in a good, easy-to-use vacuum if you don’t have one already; get comfy, stain-resistant rugs for the living room and bedroom; and consider putting a few floor pillows down for your own comfort when it’s time to play.

Think outside the apartment.

Since many apartments don’t have a private yard or patio, you can always take advantage of your apartment’s playground or other communal area.

a dark tornado zooming across a fieldTornado Season is Underway

Spring and summer often bring about severe thunderstorms, which can often lead to tornadoes. Tornadoes can occur without warning and cause large amounts of damage to apartments and homes. At their worst, tornadoes can reach speeds of more than 300 mph. People who reside in apartments should have a storm plan laid out to avoid injury or death, reports the National Weather Service.

ApartmentSearch_Dirty-SinkHave you forgotten what the bottom of your sink looks like? Have you taken to using plastic forks because you can’t find your cutlery? Do you hold your breath when you open your (smelly) fridge? Do you avoid opening your kitchen cabinets for fear of a Tupperware avalanche?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be in need of an apartment kitchen intervention. The good news is that there’s hope for any apartment kitchen, no matter how messy it may be. The bad news is that you’ll have roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty to put things right. So go on: grab some gloves and consult this list for some handy kitchen rehab tips.

One Step at a Time

Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Tackle one area at a time, my friend, and soon you’ll be on your way to kitchen rehabilitation and a better apartment life.
Start with your refrigerator and freezer. If your foods and beverages are all jumbled together, it can be hard to locate the right ingredient when you want it… or locate the source of that unusual smell. Empty your fridge of everything expired, give the shelves a good scrub, assign each food group a section in the fridge, then rearrange your food so everything is visible. While you’re at it, follow these useful tidbits:

ApartmentSearch_GrillingWith the official start of summer on June 21, apartment residents all over the country are looking for ways to stay cool. Fortunately for them, apartment communities offer so many different options for having fun and staying cool in the summer heat – much more than are typically available to homeowners.

Here are the top ways you can cool off this summer:

1. Most apartment communities have swimming pools. You can literally spend all day relaxing by the pool while your kids burn off some of that pent-up energy from being indoors. Children love pools! Plus, many communities offer special events such as “dive-in movies” and summer parties at the pool. This is a great way to cool off AND have a great time.

2. Another advantage that apartment residents have over homeowners is staying cool without breaking the bank. Apartment utility costs are lower than homes, even during the hottest months of the year. You can enjoy spending time in your air-conditioned apartment without worrying about the cost getting too high.