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Summer is an expensive time for everyone. Kids are out of school, so they need to be fed and entertained. Not to mention the electric bills that bring tears to your eyes every month. If a little research is done, you’ll find that there are plenty of free things to do in your area.

Below, we’ve given you four free things to do in Dallas this summer, because who doesn’t love free things?

Thanksgiving Square
Nestled in the heart of downtown Dallas, Thanksgiving Square is an excellent place to take your kids. The square is free and offers beautiful stained-glass architecture with an even more beautiful meaning. Thanksgiving Square – if you couldn’t already tell by the name – pays tribute to the act of giving thanks across the country and across the world. So if you’re up for some gorgeous artwork and teaching your kids a valuable lesson in being grateful, then you should give Thanksgiving Square a try – it’s free!

Museums
There are more than 30 museums in Dallas alone – each of them specializing in a specific part of history or art. For children, there is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Kids under the age of 2 get in free there.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Delaney Plaza
This museum, although it should fall within the “museums” category, stands out enough to be mentioned on its own. The Sixth Floor Museum and Delaney Plaza gives information and history of the John F. Kennedy assassination that occurred in Delaney Plaza. The story told about the incident is informative as well as interesting. Adults need a ticket, but children under 5 get in free. I would recommend this exhibit for guests of most age groups and varying interests. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

North Park
Window shopping is always free! Head over North Park Mall and roam. There are plenty of stores to keep someone of all ages occupied, and the mall has works of art placed throughout the property to enlighten curious guests.

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There is a reason that San Antonio has the third largest population growth, according to the latest census. With a city as vibrant as San Antonio, there’s no surprise to hear about the increase of people moving to the Alamo City. Here are four things San Antonio renters love in an apartment community!

Close Proximity to Attractions
San Antonio is a city with many attractions that cater to all. From the creative Southtown Arts District to the Pearl Brewery area, you are sure to find an area of San Antonio that fits your lifestyle. Find the apartment community that provides you with the best San Antonio experience.

Spacious Kitchens
With all of the culinary vibes throughout San Antonio, one is sure to feel inspired to recreate some favorites at home. A large, open kitchen is a must when apartment hunting. There isn’t a lack of apartments in the San Antonio area that offer updated kitchens with amenities such as granite countertops, stainless appliances and open floor plans.

Outdoor Entertainment
San Antonio residents love spending time outdoors. When looking for an apartment to rent, outdoor living amenities like resort style pools, grilling spots and outdoor lounging areas are sure to impress. Whether it’s cheering on the Spurs or beating the SA heat, a great outdoor space is a major plus for those living in SA.

Pet Friendly
Last but not least – what’s the fun of hanging outside if your dog can’t join you? An increasing amount of San Antonio apartments have become pet-friendly to better accommodate man’s best friend. Many apartments even have on-site doggie parks to create the best living space for all of its residents. San Antonio is a city with many outdoor attractions many of which are dog-friendly. Check out this adorable Instagram we found that is full of pictures of dogs at the Pearl! @pupsatpearl

Need help finding a new apartment for rent in San Antonio? Contact Move For Free to get started today.

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Let’s face it. Taking a dog outside to poop is always going to be awkward, and cats are always going to scratch the furniture. Seasoned cat owners are perfectly aware of their pet’s scratching tendencies, while new owners are pulling their hair out at the sight of their new cat scratching the side of the leather couch. Unfortunately, the scratching is not going to stop. However, there are some ways to prevent the furniture in your apartment for rent from being torn to shreds.

Why do cats scratch?

First, it’s important to know that cats don’t scratch your things “just because.” Scratching is essential for a cat’s mental and physical health. When cats scratch, they’re able to stretch their back and shoulder muscles, which relieves stress. If your cat is in a stressful situation – like if you have several guests over – you will notice that they scratch more. This not only helps them let off some steam but is also your cat’s way of marking territory. Cats have scent glands in their little paws that release pheromones on whatever they scratch.

Because of this, there is not a way to keep your cat from scratching. There are some ways, however, to preserve your furniture against their scratchy ways.

Cap your cat’s claws

This is what I do for my cats and what I highly recommend to other cat owners. Stores like Petco or PetSmart sell little plastic caps that are shaped like cat claws. They come in a bunch of different colors and are relatively simple to put on. These caps allow your cat to do whatever they normally would with their claws, but the caps dull the tips of them. This keeps from having scratches and snags in the furniture. Not to mention, your cat will look *~fabulous~*.

Scratch deterrent spray

Pet stores also sell different sprays specifically for scratchy cats. You’re supposed to spray your furniture with the solution, and it’s supposed to keep your cats from scratching it. I’m not sure how effective this method is, but if the claw caps seem like too much work, then this may be a solid alternative.

Scratching post

This takes the most time and dedication, but could pay off in the long run. Buy your cat a sturdy scratching post – not a dinky cardboard one for $10 – and train them to scratch it instead of the furniture. You do this by showing your cat how to scratch the post by scratching it yourself. After they begin using the post, any time they start scratching the furniture, spray them with a spritz of water and take them over to the post. (See where the time and dedication come into play?) Over time, your cat will learn to only use the post and avoid the furniture altogether.

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Decorating a small space has its challenges. But that doesn’t mean you should leave your new apartment looking bland and dull. There are plenty of amazing decorating ideas that will leave you feeling inspired each and every day. Take a note from our team and bring a little ingenuity to your unique abode with the three best decorating ideas to try in 2019 for your apartment!


#1. Hygge Home
We can probably guess that you’ve never seen the word hygge and know much less about how to pronounce it. Hygge (hoo-gah) is a Scandinavian decor trend that fosters coziness while promoting companionship, simplicity and relaxation.

Living rooms should be spacious enough to move around so that guests and housemates alike have easy access to interact. Consider buying furniture in sets to enhance and maximize use of space in an area. Choose an online furniture store with lots of soft and cozy sofa options to make outfitting your apartment more affordable.

Have comfy blankets, throws and accent pillows in your favorite prints to add a flair of originality. The best colors to transition from winter to spring include calming earth tones like blue, green or gray.

Fill your home with pieces you love to spark contentment and joy from your personal surroundings. As long as your decor speaks to you, you can’t go wrong in your hygge home.

#2. Bohemian or Bust
Embrace your eclectic side by going boho with your apartment decor. Bohemian vibes provide a sense of worldliness and sophistication even if you have never crossed over to another continent.

Build out your style by focusing on rustic finishes, vintage statement pieces or cultural accents. Mix colors and patterns with helpless abandon to stimulate the senses and promote creativity. Use tapestries with exotic looks and swap out furniture for more abstract seating like floor pillows and poufs.

Quick lighting fixes can also make a big difference when bringing boho to your apartment. Use candles and incense to add ambiance at night or change out curtains to something with a lighter fabric to flood your space with natural light during the day.

#3. Space Sustainability
Sustainable home style requires a little more thought and finesse when it comes to decorating your space. Be mindful of the types of accessories and accents you add and you can’t go wrong. Going green in your apartment is also another option to consider when improving sustainability.

Feature geometric qualities throughout living rooms. Purchase side/coffee tables and floor lamps that are simplistic in design while still being conscious of the material they are made of. Bamboo, metal or even concrete textures allow minimalism while still holding true to sustainable values.

As for accessories, combine aesthetics with usefulness. Biophilia, or an affinity for living things, is a great way to incorporate renewable ideals. Houseplants and herb gardens nurtures biophilia while also adding a pop of color. Other accessories to think about are agate accents like bookends or clocks or himalayan salt lamps.

No matter which style you decide to try, stay true to your individuality to really make your space the best it can be!

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Just because you live in apartment for rent doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice outdoor living. There are plenty of ways to spruce up that patio. Here are some balcony ideas for small apartment decorating. Which of these can help take your patio to the next level?

Greenery
No matter how far up you are from the ground, there are plenty of ideas to bring nature into your small space. Succulents are modern, easy to care for and they bring life to any desert-like patio. Having plants to care for will keep you using your patio regularly, rather than having an empty, sparse area that you never use. Bonus: you can plant them in anything, like chipped coffee mugs or a collection of shot glasses.

Lights
Lights are a cheap and easy way to jazz up a patio. There are infinite lighting options – it is the perfect way to set the mood you want for a small patio. Want soft lighting? Opt for lanterns. Want to keep electricity down? Try solar charging lights. Pull out that tangled box of Christmas lights and wrap them around the patio railing for a dreamy feel. The possibilities are endless – and cheap.

Seating
Try a corner bench that can be used as storage. This will maximize your space and give your patio a comfortable and unique feel. Covered cushions and pillows can be tailored to your taste, and you can comfortably enjoy the great outdoors…of your apartment.

Cubbies
In a small space, extra storage is basically gold. Along with the corner bench, you can add in some cubbies for even more storage. IKEA offers affordable and easy to assemble options that are clean, simple and won’t turn your patio into a catch all for a bunch of unused junk. You can use the shelving for all that grill equipment that you don’t use very often.

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Hiring and using an apartment locator is only half the battle when deciding on a new place. While figuring out which complex has the best square footage or amenities may be taken care of,  there is more work to be done even after moving in. Once in your new apartment, it is up to you to create the home and space that you want to call home. Apartment decor can be exciting but is not always easy. Most apartments have lease agreements and rules against major modifications to the property – meaning you will have to find an alternative to drilling or hammering to help make your new, off-beige walls look better.

Accent Pieces
If you are hesitant to hang anything on the wall, consider investing in some accent pieces. A tall statue can take space in a corner or small tables can help shift the focus in the room. Vases, candles and table decorations can help fill empty space and tie a room together. Use free-standing shelves to cover walls with a display of books or a collection of knick knacks.

Tapestry
If your goal is to cover completely cover a wall, a tapestry is an easy solution. You can find the perfect piece for the amount of coverage you are wanting. While many tapestries are usually seen with a mandala, there are many other designs and customizable options online. A tapestry can also be used as a good alternative to curtains since the fabric is light enough to tack to the wall. This trick can even make a window seem to vanish if you get one large enough to cover the whole wall.

Lighting
Proper lighting in a room can do wonders. Take advantage of natural lighting and use window film to alter the light entering through your windows. Much like wallpaper, there are endless colors and designs you could use. Purchase a large, standing lamp to fill a corner or smaller lamps to top corner tables and empty surfaces. A simple adjustment to light fixtures, shades or types of bulbs used can also change the tone in a room.

Command Strips
Command strips are the secret weapon when it comes to apartment decor. Leaving little to almost no damage, these tiny little things can work wonders. Rather than hammering up a curtain, use command hooks to hold the rod instead. Accent piece for the wall? Picture frames? Command strips. Keeping the weight limit in mind, use multiple strips to hang almost anything.

Need help finding the right apartment for these decorations? Let the professional apartment locators at Move For Free help! We can assist in your search for apartments in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. Contact us today to get started.

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In the world of apartment living, there is an array of options. There are apartments for rent that can fit a family, ones that exude a life of luxury or ones that make things a little tight between you and a friend. One option you often see in apartment communities is a studio apartment. Studios are definitely not for everyone, but it can be a fantastic option for certain types of renters.

The Basics
Basically, a studio apartment is an apartment that has one single room where you eat, sleep and live. Obviously, there are sections of the room, like a kitchen area and a living area. There are also going to be closets and a bathroom. But the single, main room will be where you sleep, where you entertain yourself and where you feed yourself.

The Price
Since you will likely be living in a studio apartment by yourself, and I feel very bad for you if you don’t, a studio is likely to be cheaper than a standard apartment. Because of its compact nature, it also has a smaller floor space compared to other apartments. (That’s another reason why a studio apartment will probably be cheaper.) This is a common reason why people end up going with a studio apartment. However, there is another reason why people live in studios…

The Lifestyle
Do not under-estimate the lure of the lifestyle of a studio apartment. It is the living arrangement of artists, of people in the struggle, of people who are comfortable with themselves or want to be. Everyone has a “safe place” in wherever they live, whether it’s a bedroom, or a guest room, or the kitchen – basically a place where you are most comfortable. Well in a studio, your entire place of living becomes your safe place. Everything is open, and you can find out things about yourself you never knew. What is a studio apartment, really? Well, it is a place where you live, by yourself, and come into the greatest knowledge a person can have: who you are.

Want to find the perfect studio apartment? Let the professional apartment locators at Move For Free do the hard work!

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Ever watch the professional chefs and wonder how on earth they can cook with such ease? Chefs understand the importance of an organized kitchen. When everything you need is within reach, your cooking experience will go much smoother. Having an organized kitchen is not hard to do, but most homeowners just throw things in cabinets and drawers. Working with limited space can make organization difficult, but it forces you to color outside the lines. With just a bit of work, you can take your space from amateur to expert.

First things first, go through your items and throw away the old, expired and unwanted food/appliances/gadgets in your kitchen. Pull out your most regularly used machines to the front for ease and quick grabbing.

Think “up”

When you don’t have much horizontal space, consider organizing “up.” Use your wall space to hang knife sets. Not only does it look sleek, but it also makes it easy to grab and chop with the comfort of a single hand motion. Hang pots and pans from an attractive hanging rack to save you space in your cabinets.

Keep Counters Empty

When you keep things off your counters, it allows for a larger prep station. You may want a few decorations, but remember – less is more. Add floating shelves for extra space to place your spices and herbs. Keep as much of your bulk food in the pantry or on extra shelf space if needed.

Containers

Take a trip to the container store, and get miscellaneous shapes and sized containers to hold your cereal, spices, flour, grains, etc. Label the contents, and stack them in cabinet, pantry or on wall shelving. This takes dingy boxes, shredded bags and an array of labels to something pleasant and uniform looking. This will also help make grocery shopping easier by being able to see what you need more of without opening a box.

Instead of just taking advantage of professional’s recipes and meal prep information, organize your kitchen like they do. You will find the sleek, efficient and controlled nature of being a chef. And if you want an apartment for rent with a great kitchen, let Move For Free help you find it!

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If animals are part of your family, it may be difficult to find a place where you can all live happily ever after. Many landlords do not allow pets in their apartment communities, and there is usually a reason for that decision. Persuading them to allow your furry friend to stay with you takes effort. Let’s take a look at the things you can do to ease your landlord’s mind about your pets and how to find pet friendly apartments.

First and foremost, you will most likely run into a few restrictions. The three most common restrictions are breed, weight and number of animals per home.

  • Breed: When it comes to breed restrictions, most landlords have a “non-aggressive breed” policy. This usually means breeds like pit bulls, German shepherds and Rottweilers are not allowed.
  • Weight: Animals that weigh over 60 pounds are typically not allowed, or require additional fees, for apartment dwellers. If your pet is on the heavier side, you might want to contact a real estate agent to help you find a rental home for you and your furry friend.
  • Number: Although the numbers differentiate between properties, the majority of pet friendly apartments allow 2-3 total pets per home.

Second, it’s likely that if you do find an apartment that welcomes pets, you’re going to have to pay for the luxury. Most landlords require a security deposit, a pet fee and a monthly pet rent. The breakdown of fees can be expensive – typically ranging from $500-$600 for deposits and fees alone. Pet rent will also vary depending on the complex.

Here’s what to do

When it comes down to picking the home for you and your four-legged friends, there are a few things you can do to ease your landlord’s mind and persuade them to let your pets stay with you.

  1. Paint a picture See if your potential landlord is willing to meet your pet. Let them know the good things about your pet, like if they’re potty-trained, vaccinated and clean. Put together a “resume” for your pet that includes pictures, health records, grooming records and training certifications. All of these things can change your landlord’s mind on allowing your pet to stay.
  2. Get insurance Nobody wants to be held liable for something they did not do – especially your landlord. Having an insurance plan that accommodates your pets can make an even more compelling argument. Your landlord will feel more secure if they know your pet and your apartment are insured.

If you need help finding a pet-friendly apartment, contact the experts at Move For Free! Our professional apartment locator service will help narrow down your search to find the perfect apartment home for your entire family – even those with four legs.

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Small space? No problem! A common misconception apartment-dwellers have is that a small(er) space can’t be fashionable. This is completely untrue. Decorating an apartment is all about finding the balance between creativity and placement. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you take your apartment space to the next level.

Decor
Use mirrors to create the illusion of more space. Placing a mirror in a certain spot in your small apartment – i.e. across from a window – can visually expand the room and reflect light to make your home look bigger than it actually is – and there are a number of ways to do it! Curtains can also have an elongating effect on the look of a small apartment. Using a rounded curtain rod can create the illusion of a bigger window. Long curtains placed right below the ceiling create height. And draped windows make your walls look bigger. But size is not the only thing mirrors and curtains can alter or make appear different. Fabric curtains and antique mirrors can add a luxurious look to any apartment.

Furniture
Think scale. Purchasing furniture for a small apartment can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. A small space with a smaller piece of furniture is going to be visually interesting and create more space for the eyes to wander. When shopping for furniture, look for versatility. Modular sofas that can be left- or right-handed, chairs that fold or storage ottomans are all versatile pieces that can be used even when you move to a bigger place. Placement of your small space furniture is vital when decorating to make your home look larger or more chic. Placing tables or other small furnishings away from walls creates extra space and makes a room look more open.

Color
White or grey. Think neutral when contemplating paint for a small apartment. The lighter the paint scheme the better. Bright, neutral colors can open up any room and make it appear bigger. Use home decor and furniture to add pops of color to your small apartment. Neutrals mixed properly with bursts of color here and there will look high-end and fashionable.

Decorating a small apartment can be a challenge, but use this advice and you can easily take your small space from drab to fab and stay on budget, as well!

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