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Sometimes, you just don’t want to clean your place. Whether you’ve gotten off from a big day at work or you’ve been swamped studying, daily cleaning can get lost in the busy fray. However, taking care of these 7 weekly cleaning tasks makes your monthly cleaning that much easier.  Your cleaning can be easily split up throughout the week to help you tackle all those pesky tasks. After all, no one wants to live in an apartment that does not look and smell clean.

If you create a weekly cleaning list and stick to doing one or two items a day, not only will you be able to stay on top of all your cleaning, but you’ll also maintain a perfectly nice place to invite friends to drop by any time.

1. Vacuum Carpet or Sweep Floors

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

While some people may choose to do this chore daily, whether you have carpet, tile, or wooden floors, you should be cleaning them, especially if you have pets. Choose a day of the week to vacuum all the carpet in your home or sweep your floor, and you won’t have to worry about pesky build-up.

2. Wash and Change Sheets

Photo by Anastasia Dulgier on Unsplash

Changing your sheets certainly doesn’t need to happen daily, but it does need to be on your weekly cleaning list. A tip? Get more than one pair of sheets to prevent wear and tear from washing. Plus, you’ll be able to immediately make your bed after throwing the dirty set into the laundry.

3. Bathroom Surfaces

Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

While countertops in your kitchen should be cleaned daily since you prepare food in that space, cleaning your bathroom surfaces can be done weekly (but a quick daily clean never hurts). Don’t put this chore off, though. Items in your bathroom get harder to clean as time goes on, and no one wants to be scrubbing away mold.

4. Laundry

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Whether you head to a laundromat, have machines in your building, or are lucky enough to have them in your own place, laundry is a task that can build up quickly. Doing all your laundry weekly, including sheets, towels, and clothing, will help you make sure you’re never scrambling for something clean to wear. Plus, it’s also a chore that allows for multi-tasking (if you’ve got machines in your building or own place). While your clothes dry or wash, clean that bathroom or dust those shelves.

5. Dust Furniture

Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash

Dusting is the perfect example of a chore that, if left too long, really builds up. You should be taking care of dust (and fur if you have pets) weekly to prevent it from building and building until you’re basically having an allergy attack in your apartment. Save yourself the runny nose, and dust weekly.

6. Clean Your Shower + Toilet

If there’s a weekly chore you should never avoid, it’s this one. Your shower and toilet will only become more and more difficult to clean as time goes on. No one wants to scrub groat from their shower for hours in order to remove mold, and uh, no wants to clean and exceptionally dirty toilet. Do this weekly, and you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

7. Clean Out Your Fridge

Photo by Squared.one on Unsplash

Here’s thing about your fridge. Your entire apartment can be clean, but since you can’t see into your fridge all the time, it’s easy to forget about. Don’t do that. Every week, go through your fridge and find the food that has gone bad, the take-out leftovers you won’t eat, and place the food that only has a little time left near the front. No one likes a smelly fridge, after all.

If you stil to these 7 weekly cleaning items, your apartment could just be one of the cleanest on the block.

The post 7 Weekly Cleaning Activities You Should Be Doing appeared first on My First Apartment.

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Finding the perfect apartment quickly can seem like an extra challenge, but it can be done in one (active, busy) day or weekend with a few different visits! These tips are perfect for someone who doesn’t have a ton of free time to wander around the city or for someone trying to find their perfect apartment in a new city on one visit. By keeping organized and thinking ahead, it’s more than possible to set out to find your perfect apartment and sign the lease that day!

Do your homework

Now, you won’t get your apartment settled in one day if you hadn’t done your homework! Use apartment finder websites and Google searches to identify apartment buildings and complexes with open units in your area. On rental websites most apartments will showcase photos and floorplans.  Also, take time to research the area surrounding the apartment to ensure it’s safe and close to work or friends!

Once you’ve done this homework, you should have a few perfect apartment options that you’d like to visit.

Narrow down your must-haves

Before stepping foot on your first tour, make a list of all of your “must-haves,” then go through and narrow to your top few items. Maybe your must-have is a pet-friendly apartment but you’d prefer a second-story. Or, you must-have two bedrooms for your and your roommate and would prefer an updated kitchen. Your list of must-haves should be small – just a few key items – then have your preferences in your back pocket as well.

Get solid on your budget

Again, before you step foot in any of the apartments you love online, get very clear on your budget. Check out this resource to calculate your target spend and look through your bank statements and payment information. Once you’re comfortable with what to spend on rent and utilities, make a note of the top of your budget for the apartment all-in (i.e. rent, internet and cable, utilities) and recognize that you should aim for rent / utilities lower than the top of your budget.

Get your paperwork ready

A prospective landlord will want to know that you are a responsible tenant, so you should have your paperwork ready to show that. In the minimum, he’ll want to see couple of years of tax returns, plus 2-3 months of bank statements and pay stubs that show how you will afford your rent. Have this information ready in a folder as you get ready for touring apartments.

Schedule apartment tours and optimize your route

Now that you’ve narrowed down your apartment list, choose an open day and schedule those tours! Start with an early morning and plan your route, something like this:

  • 8:30am – Travel to Apartment 1
  • 9am – Tour Apartment 1
  • Allow time here! Even if you make an appointment, sometimes landlords are busy or running late. Plus, give yourself time to speak with them to answer questions and to take notes in transit to the next place.
  • 11am – Travel to Apartment 2
  • 11:15am – Tour Apartment 2
  • 1pm – Grab quick lunch!
  • 1:30pm – Travel to Apartment 3
  • 2pm – Tour Apartment 3
  • 4pm – Find a quiet place to think through your lists and decide which apartment works best for YOU!
  • If you love one of the apartments, this gives you time to make it back to sign your lease before the leasing office closes that day!
Plan in sustenance

No lies here – this is a long day! Plan in time for a quick lunch, pack snacks or water in your bag, and come prepared to move quickly!

Reap the rewards!

Now that you’ve toured and selected your perfect apartment, reap the rewards! Ask the landlord if they offer any deals for signing that day or what options they may have available. Remember, it can never hurt to ask!

The post Find the Perfect Apartment in One Day appeared first on My First Apartment.

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Are you gearing up to find housing after graduation or for the Summer or Fall semester but don’t know where to turn? We explored the top five apartment rental websites and ranked them in terms of user-friendly access, comprehensive scope of search, and more! Find out below how Zillow, ApartmentFinder, Craigslist, Zumper, and Rent Jungle did on our rankings!

1. ApartmentFinder

The  top position on our list goes to ApartmentFinder.  The landing page of ApartmentFinder contains no frills and allows the user to input basic information like city, how many bedrooms desired, and the target price point. It is immediately clear that ApartmentFinder’s sole purpose is to connect users easily to the apartment of their dreams. The site has a brightly colored map that highlights apartments available within the given budget and projected location allowing for ease of visibility and a clear ranking structure. One special feature included in the ApartmentFinder platform is the “Deal” feature that displays all the offering discounts, promotions or slashed prices due to availability. This is a minimalist platform where you won’t find many bells and whistles but it’s perfect for a serious apartment hunter ready to discover deals and steals and sign a lease.

2. Zillow

Founded in 2006, Zillow is an online veteran real estate database that allows the user to buy, sell, and rent real estate ranging from apartments to townhomes and more.  The online platform at Zillow is easy-to-use and has every detail covered. Whether you want to minimize housing costs or add specific keywords like “pool” or “pet grooming” that you must have in your home or apartment, Zillow has these customizable options for you on its website. One downside to Zillow is it can sometimes feel a bit chaotic with the amount of platform space dedicated for homeowners or those seeking home loans peppered throughout the web page. If a rental apartment hunter can look past these small inconveniences, Zillow is a fantastic platform that offers ease-of-use, customizable options, and an automatic save search feature. If you have special requirements for your rental,  Zillow is the site for you.

3. Zumper

Zumper, a similar platform in scope and usability to Zillow was formed in 2011, and is a subsidiary of PadMapper, another useful apartment hunting site.  Zumper has pretty much all the features of Zillow, and, as an extra perk, even has a section where you can input exactly which neighborhood you would like to rent in. This feature allows the user to pinpoint the optimal geographic location. Zumper’s platform is fast, user-friendly, and even lets the apartment renter to contact the leasing agent/office directly with a custom message that will not require employment or salary information. Zumper is a direct, reliable option containing all the filters an apartment hunter needs in order to score the apartment of their dreams!

4. Craigslist

Craigslist is the granddaddy of apartment hunting sites, although it is technically a classified advertisement website, with sections also highlighting many other categories from jobs, services, discussion forums and more. Craigslist is a space that allows users to browse apartments and homes, in addition to contacting individuals who may desire to rent a room or who are looking for a roommate. This contact feature can be found under the “rooms/shared”, “rooms wanted” and “sublets/temporary” tabs on the Craigslist platform. Another perk that sets Craigslist apart is that many of the individuals renting or selling real estate photograph their respective units allowing for a level of authenticity and transparency that is not regularly shown on the larger platforms like Zillow or ApartmentFinder. Though Craigslist may not have the largest selection of apartment rental options compared to the other featured sites, Craigslist is absolutely a wonderful option if you are an apartment hunter seeking visual transparency and you are also looking to snag a roommate all in one go!

5. Rent Jungle

The fifth apartment rental website on our list is Rent Jungle. It is a platform specifically geared for apartment hunters who want to a lot of customization to find the perfect apartment rental spot for them and even their furry friend. Though Rent Jungle is an accessible platform there are some areas of the user experience that could be improved. Photos of the available units appear on the bottom of the search listing creating a kind of  “hunt and peck”  scenario that the user must go through to match the photo to the available unit. On the plus side, the platform allows the user to view all available transportation options specifically tailored to the location of the unit, like ride sharing and even scooter sharing!

As you start your rental apartment search, take all of these sites for a “test drive” and see which one is best for your needs. Happy hunting!

Our contributor, Faith Krech, is an avid apartment-hunter and writer of all things intriguing. When not eating copious amount of chocolate or writing in her many notebooks you can find her exploring the mountains of Denver, Colorado where she currently resides.

The post The Top 5 Apartment Rental Websites Ranked! appeared first on My First Apartment.

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Sponsored Post

By Alejandro Herrera

When it comes time to move into your new home, it can be very easy to get lost in all the excitement and overlook the little things, like checking the weather forecast. Living in a state like Florida, where a quick rainstorm can surprise anyone during an afternoon, and some days are filled with heavy rain for hours, it is always important to check the weather when planning an important event. Unfortunately, some events, like moving days, just can’t be rescheduled. If you’re unlucky with the weather on your moving day, here are 10 tips I have learned living in Florida that have helped me handle any rainy moves into a Miami home like a pro.

  • Pack and Seal Your Boxes Indoors

If you have some important documents or electronic items that can’t afford to get wet, make sure you’ve not only packed your boxes indoors, but you should seal and cover them, as well. While it may prolong the unboxing process, it sure beats having to buy a new TV or get another copy of a birth certificate.

  • Invest in Some Shrink Wrap

Another important factor to remember is that blanket pads will not keep your things dry, so make sure you have plenty of shrink wrap on hand to cover the blankets up. That way you can still have some secure padding, but don’t have to worry about your furniture sitting in a soaking wet blanket for hours.

  • Get Creative with Your Cover

It’s ideal when you can back up your truck right up to the garage, but if that’s not an option, get creative to give yourself as much coverage as possible. Set up a small awning, or simply hang up a tarp or two. This won’t give you full coverage, but it’s better than getting directly drenched during the loading/unloading process.

  • Wait to Move In

When you move in the rain, it’s important to remember that you’re just trying to get all your stuff off the truck and into the house ASAP. Save yourself some time and put as many things in the closest (or biggest) rooms as possible. Wait to really settle in after you have everything off the truck and you don’t have to walk in and out of the house. This will not only save you time, but it helps to prevent injuries from slipping on wet floors.

  • Cover Up Carpets

If you have carpeted floors, you won’t want to dirty them up on the first day! If you don’t have moving mats handy, you can always break down cardboard boxes and lay them down in the entryways. Just stick to the path and your carpets will stay clean, even if you have muddy shoes.

  • Wipe as You Go

If you have a few friends or relatives helping you move in and you had an especially wet packing experience, break open a box of towels and have someone on drying duty as the boxes are offloaded from the truck. A quick wipe down will definitely save you some grief if you want to keep your new house sparkling clean.

  • Scout Your Route

When it comes time to move in your larger items such as dressers, washers, tables, and beds, the SF Gate recommends you take the time to scout the best possible route between the truck and its final destination. Make a plan to avoid potential trouble spots, and make sure your path ensures as smooth of a delivery as possible.

  • Take Your Time

While it is definitely important to get your things into your home quickly, nothing is more important than staying safe throughout the process. If you’re worried about your hands slipping, you can always pick up some gloves from Home Depot or a similar hardware store. Also, if you aren’t sure about a step or need to take a breather before something slips out of your hand, listen to your body and stop. Moving is already an activity prone to injury, but that is especially true when rain is added to the mix.

  • Wait It Out

Of course, a very viable option is to wait out the storm altogether, if it’s just a passing summer shower. If this is the case, be sure to remember that the sidewalks and streets will be slippery once you’ve opened up the truck, so be cautious when driving and when unloading your heavier items.

  • Hire Professionals

Finally, if it’s in your budget, hiring professional movers can make the moving process a lot easier, especially in the rain. Not only will they be able to safely transport your heavier pieces of furniture, but if you’re trekking boxes back and forth from your old home to your new one, it may even make sense financially to have all your belongings moved in one trip rather than seven or eight carloads. The quicker this process is, the less potential there is for your things to be damaged.

While moving in the rain is never enjoyable, it is particularly ironic when you live in The Sunshine State. All joking aside, moving in the rain presents a great deal of challenges, particularly if you’ve decided to handle a move on your own. Make sure you take the time to inspect your surroundings, pack your items with diligence and care, and load and unload your truck with extra caution. Hopefully, these tips will help you throughout your moving process so you can enjoy every second in your new home, rain or shine!

Alejandro Herrera is an online copywriter and SEO specialist working for beycome.com working to provide readers with helpful information and tips for their everyday needs. 

The post 10 Tips for Handling a Rainy Day Move appeared first on My First Apartment.

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When you’re moving into your first apartment, it unlikely that you’re going to be blessed with a two bedroom, two bath townhouse. If you were so lucky, congratulations. However, for those in larger (and more expensive) cities, square footage is money, but don’t worry, there are ways to make your small space feel bigger. Whether you’re in a studio apartment or a one bedroom, tips and tricks are out there to make sure that you get the most spacious bang for your buck.

What are some ways to make your small space feel bigger?

1. Peel-Off Wallpaper

Paper Triangles $48, Walls Need Love

Using light colors on the walls can help to make spaces seem larger, but you may not be able to paint in your new place. That’s where peel-off wallpaper comes in. Simply add it to your walls, make your space seem larger, then peel it off once you leave.

2. Hidden Storage

Alcott Hill Oakford Upholstered Storage Bench, $95.99, Wayfair

The more items, especially big furniture pieces in a room, the more cluttered and small it will look. Use furniture that contains storage in order to minimize the items in your place in an effort to make it look larger.

3. Use Rugs

Project 62 Black Geometric Woven Accent Rugs, $23.74, Target

By placing different rugs in different areas of a room, you break up space. What does this mean? It means that your studio apartment looks like it has different areas instead of just one big room making it larger than it is.

4. Mirrors

Placing a mirror across from a window is one of the ultimate tricks of the eye in terms of making a space look larger. Plus, the reflecting light will add brightness to your place.

5. Hang Curtains

No. 918 Emily Sheer Voile Rod Pocket Curtain Panel, $5.29-$7.49, Target

Another way to make a space seem bigger is by adding height by hanging ceiling to floor curtains. Not only will they add a bit of coziness to your space, but they’ll also add the illusion of height.

If you’re looking for a way to make your small apartment seem larger, use these tricks to get started.

The post 5 Tricks To Make Your Small Space Feel Bigger appeared first on My First Apartment.

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Sponsored Post

By Christopher Carney

Before you start organizing your housewarming party, one of the first things you should do in your new apartment is get a smart security system.

An apartment that’s truly secure, modern, and feels like your own needs smart security. The good news is that despite their impressive capabilities, smart security devices are now very affordable, easy to use, and can be self-installed in no time thanks to their clear instructions. And once you purchase your kit, there should be no contracts and no monthly fees.

Let’s take a look at five common apartment security issues … and how smart tech can help.

1. You worry about apartment security when you are not home.

We often worry about security issues most when we leave our homes, whether it’s for our daily trip to work or a long vacation. But smart tech lets you keep an eye on your apartment from afar by linking to an app on your phone. This means you can keep track of the status of your apartment at any time, from anywhere. You can get alerts about security issues directly to your phone, and you can remotely activate devices if you need to.

2. You left a door or window open.

We’ve all been there, it’s a beautiful day so you crack a window open and forget to shut it before you leave. With door & window sensors, you can get alerts right to your phone that you’ve left something open for a certain amount of time so you can run home quickly and shut it or be aware that any motion picked up by your system could mean trouble.

3. Your lights say a lot about your home.

One way you can take action if you get an alert about an open window is to remotely switch on lights. An open window and no lights could be an invitation to an intruder, but they’ll likely be put off by a fully illuminated apartment. You could even program your system to automatically turn lights on at certain times of day or in specific situations, such as when an open window being detected when you’re not home.

4. You’re not there.

A good smart security system should ideally have at least one motion sensor, a camera, and a door sensor to cover the entryway of your apartment. These devices, along with an HD video feed, let you keep an eye on your apartment from wherever you are.

5. You forgot to set your alarm.

Going out to do something fun can quickly be ruined if you’re preoccupied with worry that you left your apartment unlocked or unsecure. With a smart security system, you can check the status of every device, and even arm the system remotely from your phone. If an alert tells you that you need to secure your apartment, or even if you simply forgot to, you can take care of everything on the app.

We use our phones for so many things, from important tasks to killing time. Surely, checking in on the security of our home is worth a quick tap of an app! Best of all, smart home security devices are usually small and portable, so you can take them with you when you move out and make your new home just as secure.

Christopher Carney is Co-Founder and CEO of abode Systems. Christopher has over 15 years of experience in software and security technology, and developed abode to give consumers peace of mind in a simple home security system.

The post How to Build a Security System for Your First Apartment appeared first on My First Apartment.

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So, your roommate decides she simply must get the puppy she saw at the Humane Society this weekend… or, the guy you’re planning on moving in with just mentioned he has a cat. This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, and it also doesn’t mean YOU are getting a pet! Most of us have known someone (or was the person!) who ended up totally responsible for their roommate’s pet…but it doesn’t have to be this way!

The key to not becoming responsible for your roommate’s pet? Great communication between you and your roommate up front.

Before bringing the pet home or moving in with one… 1. Verify your landlord’s pet policy, even if you roommate claims to have already done so.

One of the worst-case scenarios is for your roommate to bring a pet into your apartment that’s not allowed by your landlord! That can lead to hefty fees in addition to your roommate needing to either move out or find a new home for the pet. Be sure you are clear on the landlord’s policy, including breeds that may be banned, even if your roommate says everything is fine. Your apartment is also your responsibility!

2. Confirm (and reconfirm) the split of monthly bills.

You roommate needs to be responsible for any pet fees or pet security deposits and any ongoing pet care costs. On the off-chance that your roommate’s pet needs additional care one month and he is hit with vet bills, your roommate is still financially responsible for their portion of monthly bills! The split of bills should be set in stone before you move in, and this is especially important for roommates that may have unexpected expenses pop up.

3. Review pet care details with your roommate.

Understand your roommate’s schedule, their plan for caring for their pet, and set expectations for how you will (or won’t) play a part in supporting the pet. Be clear on what you are willing to do (i.e. willing to feed the pet when you get home from work, or willing to walk a dog if your roommate is delayed) and what you’re not (could be any of the examples above!).

In this conversation, also decide where the pet should stay in your apartment. Does it stay in your roommate’s room with the door shut? Is the pet in a crate in shared space? Can the pet roam the full apartment? Again, be clear with what you are comfortable with or not. Before you move in is the time to get everything settled, not afterwards when problems are already starting!

Additionally, work out who is responsible for cleaning up after the pet – whether it has an accident in the house, chews or scratches furniture, or breaks landlord’s property. (Hint: This should always be the owner of the pet!!)

4. If living with a pet is a deal-breaker for you, let your roommate know in advance.

Ideally, this should be part of preliminary conversations before you decide to live together in the first place. But, if your future roommate decides to get a pet and you’re not comfortable having one in your apartment, let them know immediately so you both can make new arrangements for housing.

Having a pet in your apartment can be a ton of fun if you’re an animal-lover. Being open with communication before moving in with the pet will ensure a smooth experience for all of you!

The post Are YOU Responsible For Your Roommate’s Pet? appeared first on My First Apartment.

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Sheamus asks:

“Hello I am autistic and I am looking to get a place of my own. I am on a fixed income and I was wondering how I can budget that?”

Hi Sheamus,

We are excited to hear that you are about to move to your own place. It’s a big step for all young adults and even bigger for someone with autism or other special needs.

We don’t know how much monthly income you receive, but here are the typical expenses you need to be able to cover when you are living on your own:

Essential Expenses: 1.) Housing. This includes your rent and your basic utilities.

Rent. Try not spend more than a third of your allowance on rent.
Electric. Typically, you pay your own electric bill. In a small apartment that may run about $60 a month. The landlord should be able to give you an estimate. It could easily run twice that in the summer, if you must use air conditioning.
Water, heat, garbage service. These are often included in your rent, especially in an apartment building. Be careful if you have to pay for these separately, because heating can get expensive in the North and water could be costly in the South.

Here at MFA, based on our surveys, we use 20% of rent as a rough estimate for all utilities, so if your rent is $500, your utilities would average $100, for a total housing cost of $600.

2.) Groceries and food.

Laundry & cleaning supplies: detergents, toilet paper, paper towel, etc.
Basic pantry items: coffee, tea, sugar, salt, a few spices, flour, cooking oil, canned foods (soup, beans, etc.). Most of these are not monthly expenses but last longer.
Fresh foods: dairy (milk, eggs, butter, yogurt, etc.), vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, etc.), fruit (bananas, apples, etc.), fresh meat and fish (hamburger meat, chicken, salmon, etc.)

We estimate that about $10 a day or $300 a month should be enough to keep you well-fed and your place clean, if you know some basic cooking.

3.) Transportation

Depending on the size of your community and if you go to work or activities, you need to budget for a way to get around. It may be a bike, a monthly transit pass, or a car, so the costs will vary.  Just remember to include transportation in your budget, unless you are entitled to a free car service.

4.) Discretionary spending

– This category will include clothing, entertainment (dinner out with friends, Netflix, etc.)
Phone/Internet – It’s debatable if this expense should be part of your housing or discretionary. We keep it here because you may have places (libraries or street internet boxes) for free internet and could use Skype and WhatsApp to make calls.

Typically, we like to see at least $300 a month left to this category after housing, groceries/food and transportation, but depending on how much outside activities you have, you may need less.

5.) Savings

We recommend that you should have 3 times your initial rent in savings before you move, to cover first month’s rent, security deposit, moving expenses and basic furniture (bed, chair, table). Because of your special needs you may be entitled to extra housing assistance for these expenses, so find out from your social services contact person.

It would also be nice if you would be able to save a little money on an ongoing basis for special treats. It could be as simple as to put all your change into a jar every time you come home from being out and about.

We are really excited for you as you plan this big move. Good luck!

The post MFA IRL: How Should Sheamus Budget for Rent and Living Expenses on His Fixed Income? appeared first on My First Apartment.

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Before a move, it’s absolutely crucial to be prepared for the big day! By taking some time to prepare, you can enjoy a simplified moving experience that ensures you have fewer headaches. While moving into your first apartment or between apartments isn’t always the most fun activity, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are three quick and easy tips to help you prepare before your big move!

1. Start packing early

The best advice for moving is to begin packing early! Once you make the decision to move into your first apartment or move between apartments, start to organize and pack so you don’t feel overwhelmed on the last few days of your lease.

Purchase or borrow moving boxes and start to fill them with with non-essentials. Think about off-season clothing, decorative items and wall hangings, and kitchen items you rarely use. As your moving date looms closer, continue packing more and more. This process does not have to be special time you designate out from your day! Keep boxes handy and as you stumble upon non-essentials and items that you do not use daily, take a few minutes to pack them up. Instead of having to rush to pack up your whole place in a couple days, this strategy lets you make progress slowly over time and leaves you less to worry about last minute!

2. Give away or throw away items you don’t need

Getting rid of old items is a huge way to simplify your move! When you locate items you forgot you had, or haven’t used in six months, get rid of them instead of packing them up.  Set up a large donations box next to your packing area and when in doubt, add items in.

There is great freedom in cutting down on the items you own, and by giving things away or throwing things away before the move, you miss the huge hassle of packing, moving, and unpacking items you don’t need.

3. Choose one moving day

While packing should be an ongoing process, moving doesn’t have to be! Choose one day to move (instead of selecting a full weekend) and knock it all out. Not only does that help you source someone to help you (who will be more likely to help for one day than two or three!!), but also will motivate you to stay focused on the move and get things done quickly. Moving isn’t fun for anyone, and stretching the process out just makes it more frustrating.

As for the actual day, try picking a date that’s a day or two from your final day of your current lease. That way, you can spend one day moving all of your items out, and stop by the next day to finalize the cleaning necessary in your lease so you’ll get your security deposit back without any hassles. Giving yourself a cushion day before you must be out will limit your stress and ensure you have time to get all moving tasks done well.

The post 3 Tips to Simplify Your Moving Experience appeared first on My First Apartment.

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Trends come and go, but with a little effort, you can make your space look like one in a beautiful, trendy apartment Instagram post! Check out these latest trends (that you can create on a budget!) to add some modern touches to your space.

Set up a coffee bar

Are you always stopping at the newest coffee shop for your favorite brew? You may need a Coffee Bar in your own apartment!

Find a small corner for your coffee pot or Keurig, a couple cute mugs, and keep your coffee supplies in arms reach! Dress up the area with fun signage or attach couple of Command hooks on the wall above your coffee maker to hang your favorite coffee mugs.

Throw down a colorful rug

Photo credit: Wayfair

Do you actually prefer to spend time at home with your latest Netflix binge or a great book? Invest in a rug that makes you smile! Choose a fun color (that won’t be too bright!) and search thrifty sites like Wayfair or Target to find one in your budget.

This is a great way to “dress up” your apartment and cover up any yucky carpet that might be lingering. Be sure you make arrangements to be home when the package arrives… rug boxes are huge!

Plants… everywhere

Nothing says tranquility like greenery! There are tons of houseplant options, or you could choose to create a serene water garden in your place. Taking care of houseplants is pretty easy, especially with the tips in the posts above, and can be a ton of fun!

Wander through your local plant store or home improvement store and grab a few that you like. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either! They do best near sunlight, so choose your brighter areas to display your new plants.

Add bling with metallics

Photo credit: Amazon

Metallics are super in right now! There are tons of small decor items that can add metallic flair to your space. Look for lamps or other small items like candles or candle holders, bathroom accessories, sofa pillows, wall-art, or mirrors to bring the metallic trend inside.

Make healthy snacking easy

Almost bigger than any of these is the trend of making healthy choices! This one will not only make your apartment more trendy, but can have health benefits too. Grab a big fruit bowl for your fresh produce (keep a close eye for bugs!) or order a big water pitcher to fill with lemons or cucumber for fancy, fresh water in your fridge.

The post 5 Trendy Apartment Ideas appeared first on My First Apartment.

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