About Steve Harper

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.

Get Help With Moving by Hosting a Party

If you’ve moved even once in your life, you know the stresses that go along with the process. First there’s finding an apartment, which, let’s face it, takes a great deal more time and energy than anything should. Then there’s packing, which is no small task, especially if you’re trying to do it while staying organized. And finally, there’s the move itself– perhaps the most stressful part.

Get Help With Moving by Hosting a Party

Here’s the thing, though: A couple of these parts of the process can be made a little less stressful by inserting some fun into them. How do you possibly make moving fun, you ask? Well, by throwing a party. A moving party is the perfect way to get help from friends, have fun, and let loose a bit while still crossing everything off of your moving checklist. Here’s how to host one:

Decide What Type of Moving Party You’d Prefer

The first thing you need to do when throwing a moving party is decide which aspect of the move you need to get help with. The packing? Moving everything to your new place? This will help you determine when the party should be, who to invite, and all of the other details involved.

Get Help With Moving by Hosting a Party - Decide What Type of Moving Party You'd Prefer

A packing party is a really fun way to spend an evening with friends, and it typically doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting or walking up and down a lot of stairs– that means your friends may be more likely to sign on. A moving party is a fun way to handle the day of the move, but it can be tiring for the people involved.

Pick the Right People

The people you invite will depend highly on the type of moving party you’re planning. If you’re having a packing party, invite people you know you can have fun with (and people who you don’t mind going through your stuff).

Get Help With Moving by Hosting a Party- Pick the Right People

Packing parties are a lot of fun with a group of close friends who can all work together and be silly at the same time. For a moving day party, get help from some of your stronger friends or anyone who doesn’t mind lifting furniture and heavy boxes.

Skip the Decor

Sure, this is a party. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great idea to go all out with streamers, banners, balloons, and other decorations you may be tempted to pick up at the dollar store.

Get Help With Moving by Hosting a Party - Skip the Decor

Decor, while fun, is just one more thing you’ll have to get rid of during the moving process, which means you’ll really be piling on more work for yourself. Besides, your apartment will likely be in a state of disarray anyway, and your friends aren’t likely to care about what your place looks like.

Come Prepared

When your friends come over to help you pack or move, they’ll be ready and raring to get started. Do a little prep work before the party to come up with specific tasks that your friends can help you with– that way nobody is left without something to do.

Get Help With Moving by Hosting a Party - Come Prepared

If you’re having a packing party, create “stations” and have your friends pick whichever one they’d most want to do (i.e. bathroom, closet, kitchen, etc.).

Make it Fun

Be careful not to make your guests feel like they’re in a boot camp, though. Sure, you asked to get help from them, but it’s also supposed to be a fun party. If you’re having a packing party, play music, take breaks, chat, and do whatever else you want to make the evening exciting.

Get Help With Moving by Hosting a Party - Make it Fun

In fact, you may want to plan some fun games you all can do while taking breaks throughout the night– keep a deck of cards or a couple of board games out of boxes. For a moving day party, keep everyone excited with music and hold regular dance breaks during the move.

Provide Sustenance

Bribes aren’t always a bad thing, and in this case, they’re practically required. In exchange for your friends’ help, make sure you have some good food and drinks around to help keep things fun.

Get Help With Moving by Hosting a Party - Provide Sustenance

Order a pizza and open a couple of bottles of wine, or pick up a box of doughnuts and coffees the morning of your moving day. It’s a good idea to buy a few paper or plastic dishes, utensils, and cups (or wineglasses) so that you don’t have to keep your dishes unpacked.

Don’t Take ‘No’ Personally

Packing and moving parties aren’t necessarily everyone’s “thing,” so don’t take it personally if one of your friends declines your invitation. Just move on and enjoy the company of the people who can make it!

No matter how stressed you are about moving to a new apartment (or even a new city or state), moving parties are a great way to get help while letting yourself relax a bit– so send out your invites and have fun!

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Urban Biking: A New (Old) Way to Get Around on City Streets

Urban Biking: A New (Old) Way to Get Around on City StreetsThere’s a new focus on biking in many cities. And you might say the experience is as familiar as, well, riding a bike.

Cities across the nation are embracing green transportation options, and one of those is perhaps the greenest of them all.

Bicycles allow city-dwellers to get around with relative ease, as long as they are energetic and careful – and all without burning fossil fuels.

This tried, true and tested mode of getting around – ok, it’s a little tiring, too — just might revolutionize cityscapes.

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What are Moving Brokers? (Hint: They are Not Movers!)

movingbrokersbox600400Need a little help planning your apartment move?

You might consult the services of a moving broker.

These agents act as go-betweens between you and a moving company, helping to set the details of a move and allowing you to focus on other important matters.

If you choose to work with a moving broker, there are some important details you need to know.

Moving brokers, defined
A moving broker, also called a household goods broker, is kind of like a travel agent for a move. They can provide estimates based on rates quoted by moving companies, for instance, and can actually set up the move for you with that company.

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Mid-year Rent Check: What’s the Going Rate for Apartment Rentals in Metros Nationwide?

It’s the middle of the year: do you know who’s paying more in rent, right now?

Here at Apartment Guide, we thought we’d take a look at our data about apartment rentals and determine just that.

Using information provided by the apartment communities which advertise with us, in July 2014, Apartment Guide calculated the median price for an entry-level apartment unit in about 250 metros areas (CBSAs) nationwide.

Check the interactive map above for the results.

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What You Should Know about Phoenix: Intel from Local Bloggers

What You Should Know about Phoenix: Intel from Local BloggersHere at Apartment Guide, we wanted to get a local sense of life in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, Arizona.

We reached out to three Phoenix area bloggers to get their varied takes on the city. These notable, local Phoenix experts share from their own points of view the details you need to know to understand the city a bit better. How Phoenix is changing, where to visit, how to get around, great spots to eat… it’s all here!

David Bickford is the author and creator of the top-rated blog PHX Rail Food, “devoted to good eating along the light rail line that connects Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa.” David’s is the number one Phoenix food blog as ranked on Urbanspoon.com.

Scott Dunn of VisitPhoenix.com and The Hot Sheet Blog is a former journalist and now Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Gwen Ashley Walters of Pen&Fork.com is a food journalist, professional chef, and award-winning cookbook author. She lives in Scottsdale, a nearby suburb of Phoenix.

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How to Practice Music in Your Apartment (without Disturbing the Peace!)

practice music in an apartment

Not everyone may love your practice time. We share some foolproof (and soundproof) tips for playing music in your apartment without neighborly noise drama.

Do you like to sing or practice music in an apartment setting with neighbors right on the other side of shared walls?

Depending on how much sound you make when you practice, you may find yourself on the receiving end of some neighborly, shall we say, feedback – and it’s probably not as much about your performance abilities as the noise level!

So, what can an apartment musician do to satisfy his talent and keep calm in the neighborhood?

This singer shares some tips that may work for you.

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The Most Popular Words in Apartment Names

apartment namesIn previous articles, we’ve highlighted findings from our data about the highest rent in the nation and the most expensive square feet by metro, among other discoveries.

But instead of looking strictly at the numbers, this time, we thought we might check out the words.

Looking at the thousands of listings on Apartment Guide, we discovered the most popular and unique apartment community names.

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E-Cigarettes: What Renters Need to Know

e-cigaretteBans on smoking have drawn both controversy and congratulations in varying degrees across the country. In many apartment communities, there are rules are in place restricting smoking.

Now, the introduction of a new technology that looks and feels like smoking — without actually being tobacco smoking — is reigniting the debate about where and when it’s appropriate to “light up.”

Should electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, be restricted along with other nicotine products to protect nonsmokers?

Here’s the latest information we found for those who share apartment spaces.

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Moving Insurance: What You Need to Know

Learn how to choose between moving insurance options to protect your stuff when you move!

Learn how to choose between moving insurance options to protect your stuff when you move!

Moving soon?

Whether you choose to hire a professional moving company or handle the dirty work yourself, you’ll need to consider how much you are willing to pay to protect and possibly replace your possessions in the event of damage, loss or theft. So what do you know about moving insurance?

For do-it-yourself movers, buying insurance falls to the individual. But when you hire the services of a moving company, the options become a bit more involved.

We’ll discuss the key ideas you need to know to affordably protect the things you’re moving. Read on to determine the best, umm, move for YOUR move, as it applies to understanding and pricing moving insurance.

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The Most Expensive Square Feet in the Nation: 20 Metros Where Rented Space Really Costs You

In a previous article, Apartment Guide looked at internal data to determine apartment rent costs per square foot nationwide. We learned the median rent for an entry-level apartment — $769 in April of this year — and how much space that amount would rent in metropolitan areas (metros) around the country.

Below is an expanded list to include the twenty most expensive metros for renting by square foot based on internal apartment listings data on Apartment Guide in May 2014.

Note that you can adjust the slider in either direction to display metros according to their relative expense by square foot.

Keep an eye on what your renting dollar can buy in some of the most desired places to live in the country!
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