Advice for Moving From a House to an Apartment No matter the reason for the move, going from a house to an apartment can be a difficult transition. There are limitations to space, storage, and even something as car storage can be an issue. It is important to keep many things in mind when it […]
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4 Ways to Save Energy and MoneySaving energy can translate into big savings in your wallet. Here are 4 easy, cost-effective ways to save energy and money.
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Remember the food pyramid? That's out. The United States Department of Agriculture created a new visualization for the healthiest way to eat. It's called MyPlate. Many reasons are cited for this change. One is the pyramid itself doesn't exactly tell you what a typical plate conducive to a healthy lifestyle might look like. That's really where MyPlate comes from. It shows you healthy portions in relation to a plate: thus the name. Offered, also, are suggestions for a healthier lifestyle. We've listed some highlights for you. All Choices Are Important Your focus, when selecting foods and making dinner, should be to select healthy choices within each food category: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. This means, first of all, to include each group in your food choices. Next, it means to be selective about choosing what to get from each group. For instance, whole grain bread is better for you than enriched bread. Most of all, remember what you eat and drink matters, every time you eat and drink. Lower Saturated Fats, Sodium, and Added Sugars One of the easiest ways to improve your diet is to not fill that table salt shaker. Salt is an essential part of making food: for its taste. But don't overdo it. Don't add more than recommended in the recipe and don't sprinkle salt on that steak right before you eat it. The same is true of sugar. Just leave it in the jar. After you wean yourself off both, your taste buds will adjust. And pretty soon you'll have an aversion to added salt and sugar. It'll be worth it in the long run. Set Small Goals Setting up big, nearly unreachable goals from the beginning is just setting yourself up to fail. It's discouraging to not reach a goal. And having …
Think about What You Can't Change The most important thing to remember before signing a lease is you can't change some things. This just means that some things you should be certain that you'll be okay with before you sign the lease. If not, you may end up upset, with eight months left on your lease. Put yourself in the best situation by remembering the following things when exploring your rental options. Property Manager You cannot change your property manager. Of course, your property manager might change while you're a resident, especially if you are a long-term resident. But you need be sure that your personality will mesh with your property manager's personality and communication style. That's not to say you'll have to be the same person or you'll need to be friends, but just that you can understand where they're coming from. Neighbors Your neighbors will change. But some neighbors may stay at the apartment property longer than you. Before you sign the lease, it's a good idea to attend a community event the apartment community is involved in. Or, even, hold one yourself. Have a cookout, or set one up with the property management staff, for the community. Seasons Like most people, you'll probably visit different apartment communities during the spring and summer seasons. But a good air conditioner in the summer doesn't equal a good furnace in the winter. Ask neighbors about how the apartments change with the seasons. Lease You must read your lease. You can't change it once you sign it. It'll tell you the responsibilities of your property manager and your own obligations while you're a resident. This will be your guide for certain policies as well. Most of all, if you find something unacceptable in your lease, talk with the property manager about …
Property managers are like community organizers. They plan visits, fill vacancies, submit and follow-up on maintenance issues, resolve tenant complaints, and much more. They work to ensure their apartment community works like it should. Contacting your property manager shouldn't be your number one option for settling certain issues. On the other hand, you definitely shouldn't hesitate if one of the following occurs. Emergency If your air conditioning goes out in the middle of summer, it's reason to contact your property manager. Do so quickly, so maintenance can put you on their task list (because they probably have a list of jobs to do). Priority is obviously given to emergencies, so the sooner you report your issue to the property manager the sooner your home will be back to normal. But if you contact your manager for an emergency, make sure it's an emergency. For instance, an inoperative cabinet door may seem like an emergency when you're hosting a dinner party. But you should simply submit a repair request to the property staff instead of the manager in that situation (and others like it). But, to be safe, if you don't know if your issue is an emergency or could be considered one, submit it straight to the property manager. They'll know how to classify your request. Concerns If you have questions or concerns regarding property rules you should contact your property manager. From parking issues to pool policies, the rules are in place for reasons your property manager can give to you for clarification. Safety concerns should be brought up with your property manager as well. When common area doors are either jammed or broken, it's important to get those fixed. If there is broken glass in the parking lot, for instance, it's in the interest of the community to …
When you think about it, the average apartment unit size per family size is probably smaller than the average house size per family size. This, at the outset, gives an advantage to renters: with a smaller area, you'll use less energy to provide heating or cooling to satisfy the same amount of people. But some statistics, provided by the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario in 2012, may surprise you. It turns out that renting is significantly greener than owning. Statistics[i] APARTMENTS ARE GREENER THAN SINGLE FAMILY HOMES 65% less energy use per household 40% less water per capita 60% less waste 10 km shorter commute distance to work RENTERS ARE GREENER THAN OWNERS 50% less energy used per household 8.4 km shorter commute each day 32% less likely to use a car 150% more likely to take transit 175% more likely to walk This is good news. Not only is the rental market booming in the United States, but other green initiatives are combing to create a market climate better for the environment and better for our wallets. Could there be a better time to rent? [i]Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario. (2012, February 08). Apartment Living Is Green. Retrieved August 23, 2016, from frpo.org, http://web.archive.org/web/20140208064830/http://www.frpo.org/documents/2012%20Apartment%20Living%20is%20Green.pdf The post How Renting is Greener than Owning appeared first on Apartments For Us.
The summer is the perfect time to get in shape. Trips to the beach, vacations, and yard work in the hot sun call for sleeveless tees and beach attire. If you live in an apartment community, now you won't have to leave your home, or break your budget, to get in shape. Gym Want to run in air conditioning? Most apartments with gyms have treadmills if nothing else. And for casual strength trainers, do a few cable-based exercises to compliment the run. Apartments with gyms are fantastic for procrastinators because all the excuses for skipping—the drive, the cost—are eliminated. And you most likely won't need a spotter for your lifts, because most apartments will have cable-based equipment only. Pool Swimming in the pool is a great way to burn calories and relax at the same time. When you run, you'll sweat. Do you ever remember sweating while swimming? Also, who doesn't like floating? Buy a small pool hoop and basketball to compliment the swim. Work on your dunk game while exercising. You can also swim laps and see how close you can get to a Michael Phelps time (given, you probably won't have an Olympic size pool). The pool is a great way to exercise while also enjoying yourself. Bark Park Have an energetic dog? Maybe it doesn't get enough exercise. Jog with your pet to the dog park, then teach it some tricks. Many bark parks have agility training equipment. With a bag of treats in hand and some determination, you'll be surprised how much discipline a dog can acquire with a few weeks training. And if there is no equipment, at least you'll have some open room to play fetch with your dog. Attaining your fitness goals can be a breeze when you live in an apartment community. …
Labor Day is here. For most of us, that means a day off work, the beginning of school, or a bid adieu to summer. But how did the first Monday of every September become a holiday? From its murky origins to its present day vacation placeholder, the history of Labor Day is a long one. George Pullman and the Railroad Sleeping Car Company Outside the melting pot of 1880s urban Chicago, businessman George Pullman founded a “worker's paradise.” Visionary in its ideals, the company town of Pullman, Illinois, was the largest and earliest of its kind. Some 6,000 company employees bought from company-owned markets, lived in company-owned rentals, and learned and dined at company-owned churches, libraries, and entertainment venues.[i] This idea of a company town was not new. It was a common practice among mining companies to establish these towns to minimize payout to employees. With upcharges for everything, a miner's take-home check diminished to the point of nonexistence, and at times a miner could owe debts to their companies. Some executies established company towns to maximize profits. But Pullman's idea was radical. Outside the lure of a frenetic Chicago, a town of peace, order, and prosperity would exist on the foundation of labor rights. According to Pullman, a company-owned town could be good for workers because the company controls value of goods. And since the company also determines paychecks, the worker, in theory, would require less compensation for a high-quality life. The company town would provide a prosperity to its workers unattainable in other towns. The Pullman Strike[ii] During the Pullman Strike of 1894, the first meat Train leaving Chicago Stock Yards was escorted by United States Cavalry, July 10, 1894.For about 14 years the town instituted Pullman's ideas, and they worked. Then the economic panic of 1893 befell …
Money in the future isn't a matter of relying on every paycheck coming in exactly as expected. If you save up, the future looks a lot different. You can plan trips and large purchases ahead of time. It'll take all the stress out of spending, and it'll take a lot of stress out of living. Here are some tips to get you started. Establish Goals Why do you make money? To pay bills? What else? Do you want to fund a hobby, go on a trip, plan for a future child's schooling? If you create goals, you'll be able to reach them with financial plans—estimate how much you need, how much you make, and how much time you'll have, then the rest is easy. These considerations are the foundations for any budget. Basic Budgeting Some people hate this word. But budgeting is the only way to get your money to work for you. Of course, you work to earn money, but have you thought about the ways in which you can, now, become more independent from your earnings? That's what making your money work for you means. When you're hanging out with friends, or that new video game is released, it's easy to blow the latest paycheck. In these situations, it can seem like your always chasing that next payday. Create an expense sheet. List all your monthly expenses—estimate if you need to, for your food and gas costs, for instance. Then add all your income per month together. Now subtract your expenses from your income. The money left over is free for you to save or assign to different goals or wants for the rest of the month. It's a good policy, however, to try to save at least ten percent of what you make monthly in a savings …
It's a renter's worst nightmare. Loud, thumping noises from the ceiling at night. Booming music from across the hall. What can be done? Chances are, you'll be seeing your neighbors for a while, especially if you just signed a lease. Here are some tips for resolving noise issues with your neighbor in a courteous way. The Right Place The easiest way to deal with a loud neighbor is to avoid one altogether. When you visit your next apartment community, talk with the office staff about your schedule to determine with them the best place for you to stay. Are there sections of the apartment community that stay home all day? That leave for work early? Come up with some questions that'll help you determine an area perfect for your own routine. Securing an upper floor apartment is also an easy way to eliminate a possible source of noise: the ceiling. With an upper floor room, you won't have to worry about running children, jumping pets, and falling objects. Communication and Empathy Some unexpected noise is to be expected when you live in a community. So it's good to be understanding, especially if it's a first offense or a holiday, maybe even a move-in day. When you haven't heard loud noises from your neighbor before, trying to think about the situation from your neighbor's point of view is helpful. If occurrences are frequent, or even if they aren't, talk with your neighbor. Maybe they don't know how loud they are. Sometimes walls can seem thicker than they are. Or maybe they just haven't lived in an apartment community before. Whatever it is, the noise can be an honest mistake. But if talking with the offender doesn't work, and giving them the benefit of the doubt doesn't either, write a note, and …
Mosquito bites shouldn't ruin the summer for you. Open the windows and curtains and enjoy the weather from the inside of your home. Keep the mosquitoes away from your apartment this summer with these tips. Screens Most modern windows come with screens. But some don't. You can purchase a low-cost screen to fit any window size at most hardware stores. Lighten things up with some sunshine. Enjoy the breeze and air out your apartment with a window screen. Seal Windows and Doors As time goes by, wood splits and houses settle. Basically what this means is sometimes your windows and doors allow a bit of air (and therefore bugs) to get by. Insects crawl through the smallest cracks. You can prevent most bugs from entering your home by purchasing door sweeps and weather strips. Either will take about five minutes or less to apply. It's worth the peace of mind. Then you'll also be prepared for winter! Outdoor Water and Plants If you have a patio or balcony attached to your apartment, be sure no standing water is sitting in plants, bowls, or chairs. Mosquitoes are notorious for breeding in standing water. Females prefer to lay eggs here. So it'll also attract males. If you don't have plants on your patio, get some. Certain types of plants actually repel mosquitoes. You'll also add to your balcony's beauty. What's the downside? With plants, you'll get fresh air and, with certain types, a mosquito-free patio or balcony. Repelling mosquitoes is actually pretty simple. Ensure they don't ruin your summer by taking simple steps. And if all else fails, use mosquito repellent spray. Enjoy yourself this summer by preventing mosquito bites. The post Prevent Mosquitoes at Your Apartment appeared first on Apartments For Us.
Everyone knows the slogan: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” But not everywhere you go or everywhere you live will have established recycling practices. This can be tough for environmentally conscious people. But, in our day, it's not the final word on whether you recycle. If you find yourself in an apartment community that doesn't recycle, here are some tips for getting on track. Website for Locating Recycling Centers Near You The first step to recycling is finding a place to recycle. Earth911.Com lists recycling centers near you. You can even search for centers by material type. It's one of North America's largest recycling databases, containing over 350 materials and 100,000+ listings. You're bound to find a recycling center near you. Establish a Recycling System It's easiest to recycle when you purchase separate bins or trash cans for different material types. Unless you can find a recycling center that will take most, if not everything, you will recycle at your home, you'll need more than one bin. Labeling bins will be helpful to your guests and will prevent mixing materials that can't be recycled together. Ask Your Neighbors Your neighbors might be interested in joining your recycling endeavor. Ask around. Maybe you can set up a system that works for your neighbors too. This will definitely cut costs: purchase a community bin and carpool to the recycling center. Create a rotating schedule so that nobody has to take trips to the recycling center often. Reduce and Reuse Don't forget the rest of the slogan. Recycling, though a very important part of going green, is only one step in the process. A more mindful approach involves reducing consumption and reusing what you can. Plastic water bottles and gas station coffee cups are a few of the easiest products to reduce your consumption of. Simply …
Maybe you need to do simple maintenance. Maybe you want to tackle a small home project, like hanging a series of shelves. Whatever it is, you'll probably need some tools. Here are the tools you'll need to complete common projects and simple maintenance tasks at your apartment. Screwdrivers and Hammer Need to take something apart? Remove it from the wall? You'll probably need a screwdriver or hammer. Whether electronic or manual, screwdrivers are a basic requirement for almost any project. Screws are used to hold most things together. Hammers are good for the same reasons: nails are everywhere. Extras: For those shelves you'll be hanging, you'll probably also need a drill. To hang on drywall you'll need anchors. But if you'll be hanging directly on wood, you'll need a drill so the wood doesn't split when you put screws in it. Vise Grips Vise grips are your all-in-one tool. They lock, so they can be used for clamps. They extend, so they can be used like wrenches. They also grip, so they can be used like pliers. Get a pair of vice grips, and you're probably set for most projects or issues that'll arise. Utility Knife We've covered tools you'll need to put things together, hang things up, or take things apart. One last thing you'll need: a tool to cut things. That's where a utility knife comes in. Most utility knives will enable you to cleanly cut anything from cardboard to carpet, from plastic to drywall. Extras: Whenever you cut, you'll probably need to glue. So keep some glue handy. You don't really need many tools when you live in an apartment. That's because a perk of apartment living is having access to a maintenance team. They'll take care of all major maintenance issues you might come across. But …
Summer is a great time to plan vacations, socialize with friends, and, most of all, go outside. Days are prolonged and hot. And, as a result, electricity and utility bills increase. The following are tips to save money this summer. Fans A/C units can drive up electricity bills significantly. Fans are an easy way to counteract that. If you must use an A/C, have a fan on at the same time to spread the cool air quickly. Then turn off the A/C unit when the house is cool. Even if you leave the fan on at this point, you'll be using much less electricity with the A/C off. Electricity Spikes When you are using electricity—by running your A/C or dishwasher—think about what time of day it is. At peak use times, the cost of electricity is more than at low use times. Try running that dishwasher as you sleep, for instance, that way it's not competing electricity at peak use time. Go Outside It's a nice day. You're hungry. Don't turn on the oven. Fire up the grill! Save on gas or electricity by grilling during the summer. But you don't have to fire up anything, really. When you're hungry, eat in-season fruits or vegetables. Just fix a salad and enjoy! Most of all, enjoy the summer. Power Strip Your smart television uses electricity even when it's off if it's plugged in. So does your toaster, coffee maker, and iPhone when it has 100% battery! Get a few power strips and connect all irregular use items to it. That way you can switch them all off at once when they're not in use. Save money this summer by taking advantage of the season and taking steps to preserve electricity use. There are many more ways to save money. Let us …
You know the type of situation. Your roommate's garbage lines the countertop. The follow-up awkward conversation. Or your sister uses all the clean glasses in the house to drink the gallon of chocolate milk before you can get to it. And they sit in the sink. You don't want to be mean, although you might be annoyed. The best way tackle this type of situation is to plan for it. Of course, everyone is responsible for their own personal messes: laundry, bathroom, etc. But the problem comes when a public space needs cleaning. Who should clean it? You both use it. And you both, probably, don't clean up after yourselves as much as you should. A Chore Wheel ApartmentGuide.com has a very good suggestion. Create a chore wheel. Add all the tasks you'll need to complete to clean common areas. Have a vote to determine the two worst areas. Place those two areas at opposite ends of the wheel. That way one of you will always have one of the “bad” areas, while one of you will never have both “bad” areas. Having a plan beforehand can prevent tension in the house. It can also make cleaning the common areas much easier: both of you are responsible for all of it, although individually you'll only be responsible for half of it at any given time. That way, next time you forget to cover your bowl in the microwave, you might be more likely to clean the mess immediately, to save time later. A chore wheel can work for any living arrangement. Whether you live with a roommate, family member, or significant other, a chore wheel is a good way to divvy up work unbiasedly. View the ApartmentGuide.Com chore wheel below. Create a wheel that'll work for all members of the …
Budgeting allows you to buy the things you need now while saving for the future. It's important that the habits you develop on the go don't break your budget. Identifying whether you have these habits may save your money and your budget. Savings If there is a single reason to budget, it's probably to save for the future. Having a savings account is a crucial step in this process. And, with some banks, you can link your savings to your debit card to protect you from overdraft fees and charges. But more importantly, the purpose of savings is to save your money. So transferring money from your savings too often is a budget breaking habit. One way to ditch this habit is to exclude the money in your savings from your monthly planning. Don't even consider it as a backup, in case you need more money for the month. Just let it sit in savings, indefinitely, collecting interest. Smaller Purchases A Starbucks coffee. A lunch from that restaurant at work. A video game. Another coffee from Starbucks. A shirt. Dinner from Little Caesars. These purchases add up. Pretty soon you could spend $50 to $100 in a day without noticing. Purchasing on the go without accounting for it in your budget is a budget breaking habit. When you're creating your budget, apportion money, weekly or daily, for small, miscellaneous purchases. This should allow some wiggle room for coffees and, maybe once in a while, a pizza. But whatever you do, don't buy something if you haven't accounted for it in your budget. That way, you'll always be safe. Conclusion Creating a budget is an important step toward creating a better future for yourself. It's an easy way to plan ahead and save. It's also a stress-free way of enjoying yourself …
A pool at the apartment complex is a huge luxury during hot summer days. But when the poolside is packed with people, after hour cleaning and maintenance can be difficult to keep up with. Do your part to keep the poolside as good as you found it by practicing good pool etiquette. No Glass Breakables, especially glass, should not be brought to the poolside. The poolside is one of the only public places people walk around without shoes. Broken glass at the poolside can close the pool for a few days for cleanup, and, worse, someone could get injured. Keep your fancy glassware inside when you go for a swim. Clean Up Sure, it's nice to relax in the sun, eat some Cheetos, and take a quick swim. But you wouldn't want to swim with that Cheetos bag floating in the water, would you? What about a somewhat empty McDonald's shake? Probably not. Be sure you leave the poolside with everything you bring with you. Limit Guests It's fun to swim with friends. But apartment pools are made specifically for the hundreds of residents that already live at the property. It's okay to bring friends every once in a while, of course. But be courteous to your neighbors by limiting your guests. Limit Noise What do you think of when you think of relaxing at the poolside? You probably don't think of people screaming “Marco!” “Polo!” in the pool. Or a loud country song that probably shouldn't see the light of day in the first place. All this is to say, when you're at the pool, try to limit your noise so people who are trying to relax in the open can do so. Practicing good pool etiquette is an easy way to help keep the pool open all summer …
Many apartments require tenants to use the property Wi-Fi provided service. Others let tenants choose their own service. Either way, many people have the capability of creating Wi-Fi hotspots with their mobile devices. Wi-Fi networks are virtually everywhere. A good Wi-Fi network name is an easy way to protect your network without spending money. Many people will just connect to any Wi-Fi network that's not password protected. Obviously, the first step in securing your network is requiring password authentication. This is standard on many routers already. But one important step to deterring likely unwanted connections is to name your network something unappealing, intimidating, or unfamiliar. Variations of “Malware” and “Virus” are good choices, as they resemble the names of unwanted software typically used to hack computers. Another way to go at this is to type a random string of characters as if the name is computer generated as in, “13d;j43fadoi.” This will give the appearance of a non-human element, making people think the network is a dubious one. “The Johnson Family” is way too nice of a name. It'll attract attention and most people will think, “Oh, these people don't really understand what they're doing. I'll just steal off their network.” A sure-fire way to protect your network from strangers is to just make it “hidden.” That way, only people who actually know the name of the Wi-Fi network can find it. Whatever you do, take precautions. The cost of your Wi-Fi network is usually determined by how much you use it. And when you have strangers using your Wi-Fi, it can lead to many unwanted fees. The post How to Create a Good Wi-Fi Network Name appeared first on Apartments For Us.
You don't really know people until you live with them. These five topics will help you determine, beforehand, whether a potential roommate will be a good fit for you. Cleaning Many people are okay, and sometimes don't even notice, living in a mess they've made themselves. Dishes could be stacked to the ceiling, the floors unswept for days. But you won't notice at all if you're never home or if you play video games constantly. Living with another person can really open your eyes to some of your messiest habits. Ask your potential roommate what he/she thinks a clean home looks like. Allergies Do you spread peanut butter all over your countertop by using it as a plate for your peanut butter sandwich? Do you have cats? Now is the time to understand if your potential roommate has allergies and what kinds of changes in lifestyle it might entail for you. Typical Schedule If you work early hours, you probably won't enjoy the company of a roommate who parties all night with Call of Duty. You probably won't like his nightly guitar practices, either. Ask about your potential roommate's typical week and weekend. You might be surprised. And, if you're not, so much the better. Visitors Whether you are introverted and remain aloof for large portions of the day, or extroverted and enjoy the company of many people, the type of people you enjoy hanging out with might not be the type of people your potential roommate socializes with. Ask your potential roommate how often guests will stop by. Sharing Will you split the food bill? Will your Ramen be his Ramen? These are things you should decide beforehand. If you don't want to share your things with your roommate, let that be known. But don't wait until move-in day. …
When you're apartment searching, don't schedule visits without preparing some questions first. Here are five general questions to get you ready for your next visit. Fees Ask what costs are included in rent and what aren't. Are utilities included? Water? What about a recycling option? It's also useful to know how often rent increases and by what percentage. Some apartment complexes increase rent by a certain percentage every year. How will you access the internet? Does the property provide it or are there local options? Guests Is there a limitation to the amount of guests that can visit at once? Where can they park? Will they need parking permits? Friends and family are important. Get to know the policies so you won't be in the dark when they visit. Pets What kind of pets are allowed? Are there limitations on breed or restrictions on weight? Must they be house trained before they're allowed on the premises? Many properties won't allow untrained pets. So it's good to have an idea before you decide to go out and buy a puppy. Repairs How often are repairs taken care of? What is the normal procedure for submitting a repair request? How do you follow through on repair requests? Maybe once a year you might need to submit a repair request. You'll rest easy knowing what that looks like. Parking You'll have to park somewhere. Ask about whether the parking lot is generally full, when it's the busiest, and if you'll need a parking permit. That way, if the parking is scarce, you can plan ahead. These questions should give you a general idea of whether the apartment is a good fit for you. But if any specific questions come to mind, don't be afraid to ask. That's what property managers are there for! …
Everyone wants to get the most back from their deposit. That's what making the most of Move-out Day means. It means cleaning those areas you usually wouldn't and doing maintenance on spots you'd usually let go. The following will help you get the most back from your deposit. Carpet This is a huge part of preparing your apartment for move-out. If you've ever lived on a laminate or hardwood floor, you know how much dirt you can track around your house. But when you have carpets, sometimes the dirt is hidden, especially if the carpet is thick. If you haven't used a carpet cleaner on your carpet yet, now is the time. You might be surprised how much dirt your carpet hides. Damage Light switch covers, doors knobs, drawer handles, door stops, blinds: all are commonly used or commonly damaged items in your apartment. If you wouldn't like the state any of these are in when you move into your new apartment, then it's probably a good idea for you to replace or fix them. Small holes If you don't use adhesive strips to hang your pictures and posters, chances are your apartment is riddled with small nail holes. But this is an easy fix. Simply purchase a putty knife and spackle or wall joint compound. Spread the spackle or wall joint compound over the hole(s). When it dries, sand it to match the depth of the wall. Repeat if necessary. The post Move-out Day Cleaning appeared first on Apartments For Us.
Preparing your apartment for a new dog is a lot like preparing it for a child. You'll have to rethink how you organize, store, and use everyday products. Here are common ways people adjust their lifestyle for the new furry family member. Locks Lock all base cabinet doors: in the bathroom and the kitchen. Dogs are notorious for learning how to open cabinets. Everything you'd be horrified to see the new dog eat, expect it. It's a good idea to put your trash in a closet or large pantry, according to the same reasoning. As long as it's locked, you'll have no need to worry. Cords Don't be afraid to rearrange your furniture for the new family member. Placing couches and tables in front of outlets, at this point, isn't a terrible idea. Although it's less practical, it's only temporary. Dogs can be anxious in new environments, causing them to do things they normally wouldn't. Once you know your dog's personality better, you'll be able to move your things back how you like them. The most important thing, though, is giving your pet the chance to adjust to the new home. Crates The effectiveness of house training techniques varies from dog to dog. If you plan to use crates to train your dog, use it early and often. Most dogs respond better to training with crates when you begin immediately. Don't let your dog sleep on the couch or bed and then use a crate. Then you'll just irritate your dog. When used early, however, they are one of the best ways to deter dogs from using your lamp posts as fire hydrants. The post Dog-Proof Your Apartment appeared first on Apartments For Us.
Who doesn't like seeing old and new friends gathered in the same place? Sometimes, this gathering may seem impossible because your lawn isn't large enough, or your living room seems fit only for three or four people: not seven or eight. But there are ways to get around this mental, and sometimes physical, barrier. Here are some tips for having a get-together without leaving your small space. Arrangement We place couches, televisions, and tables around the living room based on how we usually want to live. For instance, the couch might be placed in front and center of the TV, because we want all attention on that new Netflix series. And the coffee table is placed directly in front of the couch, to hold our food and phones. That pretty much fills most of the open area in the average living room. But think of a get-together as operating by different rules. The arrangement of your living room furniture should be different as well. Instead of arranging it based on your daily routine, open up the space. Maybe move that old recliner to your bedroom to open up the area. Just move it back after the party. And place that coffee table along the wall. Then you can use it to create a small buffet area. Use Windows Any gathering of people can make a small space hot. A cheap way to lower the room temperature without breaking the bank is by opening the windows. The cross breeze can easily cool the room without using electricity. Also, the added sunlight can brighten the party naturally, without the use of a million different lighting fixtures. Kitchen Sink Cooler Will there be a variety of drinks? Don't worry about shoving them in the fridge you haven't cleaned since last year. Prepare ice …
When you think of the 4th, you think of fireworks. Firework explosions in the sky. A ridiculous amount of different colors. But you also think of the people you experience it with. Here are some ideas for having all the colors and lights, without the explosions. Holiday Lights Replace your sparklers and fireworks with holiday lights! This way, you'll have all the colors without any of the noise. It also makes for a good setting to host people. And you won't have to shout to talk. Color-Coded Food A fun way to bring in the red, white, and blue is to separate food offerings according to color. For instance, cut-up watermelons and strawberries are great for summer parties. And they look reddish. Marshmallows, sour cream and onion dip are white colored foods. Use blue tortilla chips and blueberries to represent blue. But there are plenty of other foods to use, at a low cost. Mix it up! USA Clothing That's right. Wear the USA flag inspired T-shirt. And don't forget the matching pants. Why not? Invite Your Neighbors This is a great way to get to know everyone! You don't even have to throw the party in your apartment. Maybe there's a grilling station, pergola, or community clubhouse your property managers might let the community use for this occasion. Whatever you do, do it with other people. And celebrate! The post Celebrate the 4th at Your Apartment appeared first on Apartments For Us.
Renters insurance may seem like another unneeded expense. But it actually covers more than many people realize. And its benefits far outweigh its cost. Cost The average renter's insurance is about $15-$30 a month. That's as much as buying a Starbucks coffee four times a month. That's it. It's about a dollar per day or less. Coverage Your landlord's insurance doesn't cover everything, like your own possessions. Renter's insurance typically covers your property when it's stolen by thieves or damaged by disasters. Be sure to photograph your possessions and take inventory of everything you'd want replaced if the unexpected happened. This will speed up the process should anything occur. Plus it'll give you peace of mind. In a time of misfortune, the last thing you'll want to do is count up all the things you lost. Protection It may protect you if somebody gets hurt at your property. Accidents happen, especially in the winter months when ice accumulates. If you are legally responsible for a guest's injury, renters insurance may help pay the bills. But it doesn't only cover injuries and possessions. A dead tree limb can significantly damage your roof. If your house is uninhabitable due to damage, renters insurance could pick up the bill for your living expenses during repair time. Make sure you're covered. The post The Benefits of Renters Insurance appeared first on Apartments For Us.
Not much is worse than living next to a neighbor you don't want to socialize with. The typical neighborly gift is food. But many people have food allergies. Get off on the right foot with these gift ideas for new neighbors. Introduce to Local Places Your new neighbor may also be new to the community. Gift cards to local restaurants and coupons to local stores should warm them up. Sharing your favorite places in the community, and giving tips on where to shop for the best deals, is a good way to start the conversation on your interests. Cleaning Supplies Cleaning is a universal activity for renters and homeowners. Who doesn't need more cleaning supplies? Gift your favorite brands, or create your favorite home-made cleaners, and put them in a ribbon-tied basket. It'll save your new neighbor money and it's a gift they can use. Show how pragmatic you are with a bundle of cleaning supplies. Plants Don't overdo this one. Especially don't buy a high-maintenance plant. There's no need to make your neighbor do work they don't have to. But everyone can appreciate cleaner air. And the plant could contribute to decorating the new apartment. A gift for a new neighbor will show your friendly side. And, who knows, maybe you'll find another person to talk to about Netflix. The post Gift Ideas for New Neighbors appeared first on Apartments For Us.
It doesn't happen often, but when it does, you want to be prepared. Yes, even today, with all the gadgets you could ever want, you can still get locked out of your apartment. Here are 3 ideas for having your spare key handy when you need it most. Car floor mat A great place to store your spare apartment key is right in your car. Just place it under your floor mat and forget about it. And when that faithful day comes, you won't have to worry about paying a locksmith or contacting your property manager. Simply open the door of your car. And it'll go anywhere you go. That means you won't have to worry about thieves finding it. Phone case Cell phones are a basic part of modern life. They are everywhere. What better place to store your spare key than with the phone you have in your pocket 24-7? Just slip it in the back of your cell phone case. Then you'll always have the spare handy. A friend Another good option is to lend the key to a friend. But, as Seinfeld taught us, this is a big step in a friendship. Make sure you absolutely trust the person you are giving the key to. Remember, they will have access to your house anytime, any day. Of course, you can always get back to your cat by contacting a property manager. But this could take some time. And storing your spare key at a strategic location or with a friend could be the difference between feeding Oliver on time and opening the door to a wrecked apartment from a hungry cat. The post Don't Lock Yourself Out appeared first on Apartments For Us.
Moving is always an exciting experience. It can be stressful, however, if you don't prepare. These three tips will help you put your best foot forward on move day. Packing Begin packing for your move a few weeks in advance. Pack clothes you won't wear soon first, a few weeks ahead of the move. Then follow up with rare-use items. Those candles you haven't lit since last year? Wrap them in your extra towels. Leave day-to-day stuff for the final week before the move. Preparing for your move early ensures a less stressful move-day experience. Donate or Sell Unwanted Items When you begin packing, you'll notice some things you would rather leave behind. This is why it's important to get a head start. Take all the unwanted stuff to Goodwill or make a few bucks hosting a yard sale. Whatever you do, it's a good idea to lighten your load. Fewer boxes mean fewer things to move. And it also means more space for new stuff in your new home! Label Boxes and Pair Items As you look around at all the glassware you own, don't worry about getting newspapers or bubble wrap to pack with. Use things you already have handy and need to store anyway. For instance, clean sheets, blankets, towels, and clothes work just as well to create layers of separation between glassware. There's no need to get fancy. And while you're putting that all-purpose cleaner and dish detergent into boxes, be sure to label them appropriately. Then you won't have your friends asking every few seconds, “Where does this go?” The less you need to explain when you get to your new home the less time it will take to setup your living room and watch Netflix. The post Tips for an Effortless Move appeared first …
Saving energy can translate into big savings in your wallet. Here are 4 easy, cost-effective ways to save energy and money. Use Power Strips Yes, your phone charger does consume electricity, even if you aren't using it. And your television. And your lamp. This “phantom load,” according to the EPA, can cost the average home about $100. Try to plug all these objects into the same power strip. Then you can just switch it on and off without unplugging any cords. Change Lightbulbs Lighting represents about 11% of your home's energy bill. By replacing incandescent, old lightbulbs with CFLs or LEDs, you can save up to 75% on your annual lighting bill. You could save that money up for a new fuel efficient car. Change Shower head The typical shower head flow rate is about 4 gallons per minute (if your home is older than 1980, it could be above 5 gallons per minute). For a ten minute shower, that amounts to 40 gallons of water! However, by installing a low-flow shower head, the flow rate could drop from 2.5 gallons per minute to as low as .75 gallons. That's about 25 gallons of water compared to 40 gallons per ten-minute shower. Toilet Tank Hack Toilets use anywhere from 3.6 gallons of water per flush to 1.6 gallons. A quick, cost-effective way to reduce toilet water consumption is by filling up an old 2-liter bottle, or one-gallon jug, with gravel or sand and placing it in the toilet tank. That'll save you at least a gallon of water per flush. Think about how many times the toilet is flushed per day. Saving energy doesn't have to break your bank. In fact, it can put more money in your pocket. Try out these energy-saving tips and let us know other ways …
Moving can be tedious. It can also be fun: when someone else does all the work. If you're considering hiring movers, it is important to stay informed on their moving policies and practices. Are they liable if your box of fragile glassware arrives in pieces? It's also important to know about the business itself. ApartmentHomeLiving.Com provides helpful questions that ensure you or your stuff won't be left in the dark. Staying informed can be a chore. An estimate from a professional moving business requires, at times, complicated variables. What must be considered, and what you should ask about, is how long it will take to move your possessions and how they will be handled. Ask about previous experience, and what sort of challenges come with each move. Before you pack up your stuff, you may want to visualize how you will arrange your things before you arrive. Don't set unrealistic expectations for your movers. If your new home is a thousand miles away, don't expect a rush, next-day delivery. And if you do get that rush delivery, you may have moved too fast. Photo credit: Thad Zajdowicz via Foter.com / CC BY The post Tips for Hiring Movers appeared first on Apartments For Us.
The decision to search for a new apartment brings feelings of hope and, sometimes, stress. Of course, there are many factors that determine where you will end up. For example, an apartment's website rank on Google could rule out otherwise viable options. Most people don't search more than two or three-page results. But an otherwise important element to apartment searching, yet often ignored, is timing. ApartmentHomeLiving.Com recommends that if you are looking for a new apartment, be aware of special deals for rental prices. Most deals are time-sensitive. It might not be such a bad idea to move in the winter, in the off-season of the apartment hunt. Some complexes may just need to fill one more vacancy to meet their goals. Alternatively, the summer may provide more apartments to choose from, as more people apartment search. According to Rent.com, the best time to search for apartments, if you want the most options, is from May to September. This is the time span in which most people move. Thus, more vacancies. But if you're looking to save money, the best time to search for apartments is from October to April. With fewer people on the move during this period, vacant units are in lower demand. This drives prices down. If you are looking for a quick way to save on rent, the timing of your search may perhaps be the most underrated factor. If you know where you'd like to move, it's better if you plan ahead of time. That way, you'll enjoy more options and save more money. Photo credit: GotCredit via Foter.com / CC BY The post The Best Time to Apartment Search appeared first on Apartments For Us.
Deciding between renting an apartment and buying a house? Of course, buying a home gives the stability of a mortgage. And renting a house or apartment allows for tremendous flexibility of location and residency duration. But there must be more, right? Is flexibility the only reason to rent? Many pro-and-con lists are created for this type of decision. Realtor.Com has a convincing video for the pros of renting. For example, if you rent, you may have access to amenities that, as a homeowner, would not typically be in your reach. Similarly, renters often do not make home repairs. Rather, property managers and landlords take care of them. What renters lack in ownership they gain in freedom. If you don't like your neighborhood, feel an itch to move, or want to explore the world, renting is a good option for flexible people. Leases aren't mortgages. With renting, you aren't locked in for 30 years. The Khan Academy has published a video on the difference, mathematically, between renting and buying. They challenge the notion that “buying is always better than renting.” Many people have also challenged the claim. If you haven't heard, renting is on the up-and-up. According to Appfolio.Com, “2 million new renter-occupied households were added in 2014, while the number of owner-occupied households decreased by more than 350,000.” Renting has many appeals, from communal living to practically maintenance-free appliances. And renters don't need to acquire realtors. Many apartment complexes have their own websites. If websites are the “For Rent” signs of the internet, you no longer need to drive milest Utilizing the tool ApartmentsForUs.Com proves the many advantages renters have over traditional home buyers because of the rise of digital marketing. Amenities are an often overlooked but important aspect of renting a unit in an apartment complex. If you buy …
Not everything is black and white. Take newspapers for example. They get such a bad rap. Renters, though, are of a more defined class. There are those that know what they want, know what they will miss if they don't have it, and know what they can live without. And then there are those that don't know a deductible from a deposit, let-alone the amount of stress added by a rental without dishwashers and in-unit laundry attachments. The first class of renter is the Grandmaster, whereas the second class is the Novice. The Novice's problem is simple. It is a problem of noticing how living arrangements determine the way you live. In every apartment visited, the Novice envisions ways of utilizing space and coming to terms with no-too-obvious flaws without much effort. It's not until after move-in the Novice realizes that ways of living are determined by the tools one has at one's disposal. The water pressure happened to be different, for instance, and the Novice didn't think to ask about that. Amenities like air-conditioning were also ignored. Don't be a Novice. Know what you need to live the way you want. That's how you'll put your best foot forward when choosing a new home. That's how to be a renting Grandmaster. Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi via Foter.com / CC BY-SA The post 2 Types of Renters appeared first on Apartments For Us.
Cat-lovers have taken over the Internet—aren't they just toxoplasma zombies anyway? And many apartment units are feeling the love, allowing cats only: no dogs. A common misconception is that cats keep to themselves, are generally low-maintenance. But many have found even cats can be destructive to property. When it comes to cats, let's just say property destruction is inversely related to physical activity. When the yarn ball isn't around, or the toy mouse doesn't squirm around the floor, your cat is going to need some attention. Whether you play with your cat or not, it needs to burn energy somehow. That may translate into plucked couches or torn curtains. This is an easy issue to fix. Consider purchasing a laser for it to chase. If your cat has claws, get a scratch post for them to use. Sometimes it is best to have a scratch post for each room. You can also purchase anti-scratch tape that cats dislike to touch. Whatever you do, make sure Oliver has an outlet for all that feline energy. And don't forget, give that cat a treat! Photo credit: JamesCohen via Foter.com / CC BY The post How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture appeared first on Apartments For Us.
If you haven't heard, renting is on the up-and-up. According to Appfolio.Com, “2 million new renter-occupied households were added in 2014, while the number of owner-occupied households decreased by more than 350,000.” But why? The decision to rent or buy forces a common gridlock, “If I rent, I can move when the lease is over. But if I buy, then I can probably pay lower monthly payments.” But both renting and buying you next home is more than monthly payments and lease dates. For example, homeowners have the privilege of ownership. But with great privilege comes great responsibility. Maintenance is the homeowner's responsibility, on top of home insurance, property taxes, and other home owner fees. Sure, the monthly mortgage payments may be low, but you'll have many unexpected and inbuilt fees. On the other hand, if you rent, you may have access to amenities that, as a homeowner, you would not. You could have access to a 24 hour gym, bark park, and pool. Similarly, you won't have to repair leaky faucets or clogged drains. Apartment complexes take care of maintenance. Another key advantage to renting is location. Most large cities don't have room for houses. An apartment building fits the same lot space but, with tall, multi-unit designs, houses more people. Renting has many appeals, from communal living to basically maintenance-free living. It is not accidental that rental properties are thriving: the numbers don't lie. Our amenities guarantee the value of your dollar is best placed in our apartments. Contact us today! The post Why You Should Rent appeared first on Apartments For Us.