Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other

Moving in together is a big step for any relationship. When couples first live together they have to learn how to handle each other’s strange habits and idiosyncrasies, and they have to be able to come to a consensus on things like cooking, cleaning and paying the rent.

Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other

This means that live-in couples need to learn the fine art of compromise: Finding a middle ground in any dispute is essential to keep the peace. If you and your significant other are about to move in together, the first hurdle you’ll have to manage is figuring out what to do with all of your stuff.

Trying to blend two completely different styles is tough, but with a little respect and, you guessed it, compromise, it can be done. Here are a few guidelines for finding a middle ground between two decorating styles when moving in with your significant other:

Decide What Stays

The very first thing you should do before moving in together is take an inventory of everything you both have and decide together what stays and what goes. You likely don’t want two couches, two beds, etc., so pencil in an evening to go through each piece of furniture and decide which one you both like better.

Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other - Decide What Stays

If you can’t come to a consensus, try making a trade-off. His couch, but your coffee table. His bed, but your dresser. Be prepared to have to donate, sell or store some items you really like– it’s all about finding a balance.

Emphasize Your Similarities

Your styles may be as different as apples and oranges, but there’s likely some aspect of the decorating you can both agree on. Maybe you both love photography, and you can decorate the living room with framed prints.

Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other - Emphasize Your Similarities

Or perhaps you bonded over a love of the color green. Go for some forest green throw pillows or a rug with green accents. Focusing on the similarities will create a space you and your significant other both love.

Use Your Basics

Incorporate furnishings with basic colors and styles into your apartment as much as possible, since neutral pieces can act as a buffer between the two styles.

Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other - Use Your Basics

Maybe you’re stuck with a crazy couch or entertainment center– plain black coffee and end tables can give the room a more unified look.

Give Each Other Space

If there are some things you just can’t agree on, consider giving each other a specific space to decorate however you want. Maybe one person can decorate the bathroom and the other gets to be in charge of the kitchen. Try to find middle ground on how you decorate the bedroom.

Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other - Give Each other Space

Or, put two shelves in the living room, one for each of you. Display whatever knick-knacks and keepsakes you want, and allow your significant other to do the same. You’ll have a cute his-and-hers display of stuff you may grow to love.

Take Some Time

Keep in mind that you don’t have to decide on everything the minute you move in. After moving in together, it may take a couple of weeks to settle into a routine. Give yourselves that time to make some of the decisions on what stays and what goes, and on how to decorate.

Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other - Take Some Time

After the first few weeks you may find yourself getting used or even liking to some of the items you didn’t like right when you moved in, and your partner could feel the same.

Show Respect

If there are some things you really dislike that your partner absolutely loves, it’s probably a good idea to let those go and respect his feelings. What’s worse: an unhappy partner or living with a keepsake set of action figures?

Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other - Show Respect

Plus, you both want to feel like you’re living in a shared space, so make sure both of you are being fair about deciding what stays and what goes.

Shop Together For New Things

If there are any gaps in your combined possessions– like a wall-hanging for over the couch or a set of bar stools for the kitchen island– go shopping for them together. Find items you can both agree on, and enjoy spending that time together.

Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other - Shop Together for New Things

Finding a middle ground on even the most basic items will make the experience fun, and you’ll love being able to put the finishing touches on your first apartment together.

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How To Blend Styles When Moving In With Your Significant Other

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Icebreaker Activities for New Roommates

I do anything I can to save a few bucks, whether it’s using coupons at the grocery store or shopping in the sale section at my favorite clothing boutiques. After apartment searching in the city of Chicago, I’ve discovered another wonderful way to save money: a roommate. Thankfully, my brother needed a roommate as well, so we’re sharing the rent, making that monthly expense a lot more manageable.

Icebreaker Activities for New Roommates

However, if you want to save money, but don’t have anyone to live with, you may consider moving in with someone you don’t know. Maybe it’s someone you found online, or a friend of a friend. Either way, you don’t know each other, which can be super awkward if you’re living together.

Rather than wait until the awkward situations subside, take matters into your own hands with any of these icebreaker activities that will turn you from random roommates into friends (hopefully):

Ask Questions

You don’t have to interrogate each other in interview format– instead, stick to fun questions that will help you get to know each other.

Icebreaker Activities for New Roommates - Ask Questions

Take the pressure off of both of you by making a bowl of popcorn, turning on a show you both like, and during commercials, have fun answering any of the following questions:

  • What person from any book or movie would make the perfect/worst roommate and why?
  • What was your favorite musical group when you were in junior high? (Nothing brings people together quite like nostalgic boy bands.)
  • Do you have any hidden talents?
  • What are some of your hobbies?
  • What song best describes your life?
  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • Do you play any sports?
  • What was the best/worst first date you’ve ever been on?
  • What’s something not many people know about you?
  • Do you have any pet peeves?

Cook A Meal Together

I probably wouldn’t have put this offer on the table with my old roommate from college, as she tried to cook a frozen waffle in the oven. But assuming your roommate knows what general kitchen appliances are for, this could be fun.

Icebreaker Activities for New Roommates - Cook a Meal Together

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, food can really bring people together. Look through a cookbook or choose a dish to make off of your food-themed blog or Pinterest board, and head to the store to pick up the ingredients.

Cooking gives you something to do with your hands, so you won’t feel uncomfortable just standing there staring at the other person, waiting for them to speak. You can even play the 20 questions game I mentioned earlier while you make the meal.

When you sit down at the table to enjoy your meal, pour a drink and cheers to the beginning of a great roomie relationship.

Play Desert Island

This has to be one of my favorite icebreaker activities. You may have played this game, or know it from the popular TV show “The Office” when Jim played with his co-workers. This fun game actually is a pretty good way to get some insight on your roommate. Here’s how to play:

Icebreaker Activities for New Roommates - Play Desert Island

Let’s say your roommate is trapped on a desert island– ask them what five items would they bring with them. You can get a bit more specific, asking what five movies or books they would bring. The movies or books they choose may help you get to know them a little better and give you a sneak peek into some of the things they can’t live without.

Explore Town

If you’re new to town, but your new roommate isn’t, ask him or her to show you around the neighborhood. Explore your surroundings on foot, or go for a drive if one of you has a car. You can check out his or her favorite places, like a local bar, restaurant or store.

Icebreaker Activities for New Roommates - Explore Town

If you’re both new to town, do a bit of research before you leave your apartment, finding out which attractions are nearby that you can visit, or read some Yelp reviews on local restaurants to figure out where to go for dinner.

Work On Decorating

Become better roomies by putting your energy into decorating your new place. Go to the store together to pick out paintings, blankets, rugs or tables that you both like.

Icebreaker Activities for New Roommates - Work on Decorating

Along the way, you’ll begin to get an idea of your new roomie’s style.

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Photo Credit: blu-news.orgRaymond BrysonwEnDyPaul TownsendMaciek LulkoAndrea Williams

How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out

Moving out of your apartment can be bittersweet. You pack up all of your things, begin moving furniture, start taking down wall art– and, lo and behold, there’s that golf ball-sized hole in the wall you accidentally made one night, then covered with art.

How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out

After living in an apartment for at least a year, there’s bound to be some small damage here and there. While some wear and tear is normal and should be built into your lease, fixing minor damage before moving out will ensure you get your full security deposit back. Plus, you’ll stay on good terms with your landlord, who you may need for references down the road.

To make sure you leave your apartment in good condition before moving out, take a look at these normal damage issues and their fixes:

Small Holes

After taking down the photos from your gallery wall, you probably noticed the many small holes left by nails that were used to hang the frames. Patching small holes left by nails, tacks and screws is simple and will leave the walls looking great again.

How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out - Small Holes

You’ll need some spackling paste, a putty knife and some sandpaper. Squeeze a small glob of the spackle into each hole, then use the putty knife to spread and blend it over the hole and wall. Once the spackle is dry, use the sandpaper to lightly sand the area, especially around the edges, to leave a smooth, flat wall.

Scuff Marks

Though scuff marks likely aren’t going to cost you any of your security deposit, they make the apartment appear dirtier than it is.

How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out - Scuff Marks

Since I seem to make an inordinate amount of scuffs on the walls of my apartments, I typically don’t try to tackle them all– just really noticeable and large ones. A magic eraser works wonders to get rid of them, so pick up a couple and your walls will be white again in no time.

Large Holes

Now it’s time to tackle that large hole you hid under your favorite painting. Mending large holes in drywall isn’t as easy as some of the other fixes, but it will most likely cost you less than if you were to let your landlord handle it and deduct it from your deposit.

How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out - Large Holes

Pick up a mesh repair patch at the hardware store to use with your spackle. Then, cut the patch so that it fits over the hole and the surrounding wall. Cover the patch with spackle, and after it dries, sand down the edges so they blend into the wall completely.

Broken Blinds

Another common damage issue I’m guilty of is bending or even breaking some of my window blinds. Before moving out, dust your windows and blinds, and make sure none are bent or cracked. If bent, do your best to straighten them out as much as possible.

How to Fix Common Apartment Damage Issues Before Moving Out - Broken BlindsIf you can’t straighten them, or if one of the blinds is broken, look for blinds of the same size and color at your hardware store. Replace the broken slat with the new one, and your landlord won’t ever know the difference!

Carpet Stains

If you’re a red-wine drinker living in a carpeted apartment, you probably know a thing or two about removing carpet stains. Tackling stains before they get a chance to set will help your carpet look better overall, but before moving out, peruse the carpet for any stains you might have missed.

How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out - Carpet Stains

Try using baking soda or carpet cleaner first. If that’s not strong enough to remove the stains, consider renting a carpet cleaner from your hardware or grocery store. They’re easy to use, and your carpets will be unrecognizably clean when you’re done.

Scratches on Hardwood

Renters love apartments with hardwood floors because they’re much easier to clean than carpet, but they do have one common problem with them: Hardwood is easy to scratch. There are a couple of quick fixes for the shallower scrapes, though.

How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out- Scratches on Hard WoodMany people swear by the walnut method, which involves rubbing a raw walnut along the scrape until the scratch blends into the rest of the floor. This method works well, just not on deep scratches and darker woods.

For deeper scratches, look for a wood-colored marker or pencil at the hardware store. These products are specifically made for filling in and disguising the scrapes.

General Dirtiness

Deep cleaning your apartment is generally recommended to ensure you get your full deposit back, and to give your landlord less of a headache when he or she is trying to ready the unit for the next renter.

How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out - General Dirtiness

Give everything a good wiping, sweeping and dusting, but spend extra time in the kitchen and bathroom. The refrigerator, microwave, oven and stove should all be thoroughly cleaned, along with the toilet, shower, tub and sink.

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How to Fix Common Damage Issues Before Moving Out

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What to Handle First After You’ve Moved

You did it. You made it through what was potentially one of the most stressful days of your life up until this point. You moved. Now what?

What to Handle First After You've Moved

As a veteran mover, I’ve found there are certain tasks you’ll want to take care of in the first day or so post-move (after making sure all of your belongings are in your apartment and taking a 10-minute breather on your couch, that is). Here’s a guide for what to handle first after you’ve moved into your new place:

Unpack the Essentials

If you’ve just moved, the very first thing to do is unpack the most essential items from your boxes. Necessities like toilet paper, soap, paper towels, basic kitchen supplies, and bedding items are typically the first things people unpack.

What to Handle First After You've Moved - Unpack the Essentials

If you want to begin unpacking everything else, that’s fine, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be done right away either. As long as the essentials are out, you have some time to take care of the other important tasks on your list.

Do a Quick Walkthrough

Before setting up the furniture and unpacking all of your boxes, it’s a good idea to take your phone or camera on a quick walkthrough of the new place and snap pictures of any damage that was there before you moved in.

What to Handle First After You've Moved - Do a Quick Walkthrough

If you do end up finding some damage and taking a couple of pictures, send them to your landlord with a quick friendly note. He or she will likely appreciate the initiative, and it’ll ensure the damage is documented as early as possible, which will hopefully save you some money when it comes time to get your security deposit back.

Get the Internet Going

Unless you’re content using your smartphone for all of your Internet needs, it’s a good idea to get a wireless router set up as soon as possible.

What to Handle First After You've Moved - Get the Internet Going

We often take the Internet for granted, but having it running will make your life infinitely easier– especially if you start unpacking and realize you need to find a nearby hardware store or suddenly become famished and need to order a pizza ASAP.

If you don’t have your own router, you may need to contact your Internet provider to have them set one up for you. That can take a couple of days, so make an appointment right away.

Call Your Utility Companies

You should also call the rest of the utility companies for your building to get everything set up in your name.

What to Handle First After You've Moved - Call Your Utility Companies

Unless utilities are included in your rent and handled by the building, make sure to contact your energy, water, gas, and cable providers.

Hit the Grocery Store

An important first day task after you’ve moved into a new place is to hit the local grocery store. Acquaint yourself with the setup and pick up at least a few essentials to get you through the first couple days post-move.

What to Handle First After You've Moved - Hit the Grocery Store

While you’re there, it’s a good idea to see if they have a membership card you can sign up for. Since you’ll be shopping there for at least a year, having a discount card can only be beneficial for your bank account.

Change Your Address

It’s also a good idea to officially change your address with the post office as early as possible after moving into a new place so your mail starts getting forwarded right away. The U.S. Postal Service’s website makes it easy to change your address online, so start there.


What to Handle First After You've Moved - Change Your Address

Make sure to also change your billing address with your bank and credit card, and provide a new shipping address for any subscriptions you receive. You may even want to send out a quick email to friends and family members – one of them is guaranteed to ask for it at some point.

Transfer Your Prescriptions

Even though you don’t technically have to transfer prescriptions until it’s time for a refill, it makes sense to get everything set up at a new nearby pharmacy as soon as possible.


What to Handle First After You've Moved - Transfer Your Prescriptions

It’s easier to transfer all of them over together, and you’ll feel better knowing all of your prescriptions are taken care of.

Take Measurements

Make a list of all of the furniture and decor you need or want to buy after moving in. Decide where the new items will go, then take measurements of the areas where you’ll be putting them, making sure to mark down the measurements on your list.

What to Handle First After You've Moved - Take Measurements


Take note of the sizes of your windows and the height of your shower curtain rod. If the shower curtain rod is high enough off the ground, you may need to pick up an extra-long liner.

Scope Out Your Neighborhood

Arguably one of the best parts about moving to a new place is the chance to explore a different neighborhood than you’re used to – unless you move only a block away, which has become a habit of mine. The best way to get a feel for your new neighborhood is to just start walking.

What to Handle First After You've Moved - Scope Out Your Neighborhood

Walk up and down the busier streets near you and take note of the cool cafes, eateries, and shops within walking distance of your place. Look for public transportation stops, fast-food options, and even a gym if you’re thinking of joining one. Most of all, just enjoy taking in the sights of your new city.

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What You Should Handle First After You've Moved into a New Apartment

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Moving Out: How to Make a Packing Plan

So you’ve found a new apartment, gone through the application process and been accepted. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders … until you realize you have to start packing.

Moving Out How to Make a Packing Plan

Packing is one of the most stressful parts of moving because it involves trying to stay organized while going through every single one of your possessions item by item. And for those of us with a decidedly large amount of possessions, keeping everything organized becomes even more complicated.

If you’re moving out of your apartment in the near future, there are ways to make packing easier so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Here are some tips for creating a packing plan that will keep you organized:

Mark Your Calendar

As soon as you find out your application has been accepted, settle on a moving date and mark it in your calendar. This will allow you to physically see how much time you have to plan, and it will make scheduling your packing a lot easier.

Moving Out How to Make a Packing Plan - Mark Your Calendar

Go through the calendar day-by-day until your moving date and plan specific packing projects for each day.

If either of your apartment buildings (the one you currently live in and the one you’re moving to) require you to schedule moves ahead of time, make sure you set that up as soon as you can to get the date that works best for you.

Start Early

Once you have the moving date set up, get an early start on some of the preliminary packing projects, like decluttering and researching movers (if you’re using them). The earlier you start preparing to pack, the less stressed you’ll be in the days ahead of your move, so work now in order to relax later.

Declutter and Donate

Before even picking up a moving box, go room by room and decide what you’re going to save and get rid of. You don’t want to do this while you’re packing, because doing both at the same time can be pretty overwhelming.

Moving Out: How to Make a Packing Plan Declutter and Donate

Sort through everything in each room and start getting rid of anything you don’t use. If the item is broken, stained or otherwise unusable, simply toss it. If it’s in good condition but you haven’t used it in several months, put it in a donation pile.

A good rule to keep in mind: If you didn’t even remember you had the item until you found it, put it in the donation box – you don’t need it.

Figure Out What You’ll Need

Once you’ve gone through everything and (hopefully) downsized, you’ll have a much better idea of how many boxes and other moving supplies you’ll be needing. Start gathering enough moving boxes or bins for each room, along with packing tape and a lot of packing paper or newspaper.

Check out your local grocery store to see if they have any extra boxes you can use to save a little money. If you have a lot of breakables, you may want to invest in some bubble wrap to keep everything perfectly safe.

Create a Packing List

No, you don’t have to make a complete packing list for all of your belongings, but it’s a good idea to make a priority list of all the items you use most. That way, you can keep all of those items together and easily find them once you’re at the new apartment.

Moving Out How to Make a Packing Plan Create a Packing ListAlso consider making a list of everything you’ll need right away at the new place, like essential bathroom supplies, bed sheets and some kitchen utensils. You can pack those items together in one box so you’ll immediately have everything you need when you get there.

Stay Organized

Come up with a plan for identifying what items you’re packing in each box. Many people list every item in marker on the sides of the box, but do whatever you find easiest.

Some professional movers suggest taking pictures of all of the items that are going in each box. If you take the photos on your phone, you’ll be able to scroll through your gallery and quickly find whatever you’re looking for there first.

Pack for the New Place

Many people pack room by room, but that strategy may not make sense when it comes time to unpack at your new place, depending on how different the setup is there. Make a list of the rooms you’ll have at your new apartment, and organize your belongings that way to make the unpacking process that much easier.

Moving Out How to Make a Packing Plan Pack for the New Place

Consider an App

There are several apps out there that make the packing and moving process a thousand times easier. The Sortly and Moving Day apps both offer unique ways to inventory your belongings and organize them by what box they’re in.

The Move Planner app allows you to create a checklist for your move using one of their prepopulated checklist items or one you enter in yourself. Apps are a great way to organize any aspect of your move, including packing, unpacking and getting organization tips once you’re at the new apartment.

Remember: The more organized you are while packing, the easier the rest of your moving process will be!

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Moving Out- How to Make a Packing Plan

Photo Credit: Sarah BarkerChris Campbelldrip&jubgbloggingFinn Frode

How to Get the Best Deal on a Moving Company

You’ve finally found the perfect apartment. It has a great location, just the right amount of space and all the amenities you could ask for. Now, how are you going to get your stuff there?

How to Get the Best Deal on a Moving Company

Hiring a moving company is always the easiest way to move but the expense can squeeze an already tight budget. Here are some tips on how to save money on professional movers to make the service much more affordable.

Don’t Get Scammed

Learning how to save money on moving isn’t without its lumps. If you hire a company based on low pricing, and they turn out to be scam artists, you could lose money and your property. While staying within your budget is always important, take the following steps to hire reliable professional movers and avoid scammers:

  • Make sure the company is licensed and insured.
  • If a mover is quoting you a price that is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Have the mover do an in-home estimate to get a feel for their professionalism and to get a better idea of what they will charge. Most professional won’t guarantee an accurate quote without one.
  • Ask for referrals from friends and family, and look for online reviews. You’re less likely to be scammed by a business that has provided satisfactory service to others.

Compare Companies

Now that you have a list of professional movers that won’t scam you, it’s time to take a look at their quotes. The price variations probably have a lot to do with the extra services they offer. Ask for an itemized quote and take note of services you don’t think you’ll need. See if any companies are willing to lower their prices if you drop any extras.


Some companies charge a flat moving fee, while others charge by the time and materials it will take to move your possessions. You may be able get a better deal on moving services if you can reduce the amount of items that need to be moved. Donate things that you don’t absolutely need to charity or move smaller items such as clothing, bedding and dishes with you in your personal vehicle.

Be Aware of Extra Costs

Movers often charge more for moving large or specialty items. It may make sense to have a couple of friends come over to move your jet ski instead of paying extra for the movers to do it for you.

Movers may also charge extra for packing and moving appliances. If your new apartment already has appliances, and you will just be putting your old ones in storage, it may be a good idea to sell your extra appliances before the move. This will prevent your from paying extra moving costs and give you more cash to use on your relocation.

Pack it Yourself

Avoid a packing fee by doing all the packing yourself, which can drastically reduce your moving company’s fee. Packing yourself also ensures peace of mind in knowing everything has been packed safely.


Remember, it never hurts to negotiate. Movers know they are competing with other companies to get your business, so they may be willing to lower their quote to match or beat their competition. This is a good tactic if you like a moving company more than its competitors, but its fees aren’t as affordable.

Book It Early

Some movers will charge last-minute booking fees, so you can save money by scheduling well ahead of your moving day. Call your moving company to see when the best time to book would be. Some movers may also lower their quoted prices if you’re flexible on what days and times they can move your items.

It’s also important to make sure that your items can be moved into your apartment right away when the movers arrive. If a company has to wait, you may be charged for the trouble. Double-check with your landlord about when you can move in to avoid any hold ups on moving day.

Did you save money when hiring a moving company? Apartment Guide would love to hear about it! Tell us on Twitter.

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How to Get the Best Deal on a Moving Company

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Money-Saving Tips for Moving

By Brian Wilson

The cost of moving is often easily underestimated—the process involves many moving parts (no pun intended), and the rundown of expenses required to transition fully from Point A to Point B quickly adds up.

Money-Saving Tips for Moving

Going as cheap as possible with your moving expenses can certainly be a bad idea, but there are a multitude of smart ways for you to save on everything from packing to installation without cutting corners. 

Don’t Buy Boxes

While this bit of advice is the simplest (and arguably the most common tip you’ll hear when moving), the impact of grabbing your boxes and other moving materials for free can’t be overstated. Local retailers, online personal ads and many more avenues will often offer a virtually infinite amount of free cardboard boxes and other leftover shipping materials completely free of charge—the only prerequisite generally being that you come and get them yourself.

Opt for the Off Season

If you have any control over the time of year that you and your family move, it can be a surprisingly wise choice to move during the months that the moving industry refers to as “off season.” May 15 to September 15 mark the busiest time of year for movers, and this bustling season comes with larger moving quotes to accommodate the high demands and higher temperatures.

Scheduling your move during the off season outside this summer rush can prove financially advantageous (and not having to lug your boxes underneath a hot summer sun is certainly a nice bonus.)

Plan for Distance

Rates and billing methods across movers have the propensity to vary largely, and the potential expenses quoted for many can be a source of confusion. It’s important to factor details such as distance and proximity into your choice of mover—long distances can give rise to the greatest spikes in the cost of your moving quote if not accounted for properly.

If you’re set to move to a new city, state, or beyond, you may find it advantageous to consider movers that place an emphasis on long-distance travel. International movers can often offer better rates for cross-country moves, due to the fact that their infrastructure and business model are better equipped to handle large demands when it comes to gas, lodging and more.

Reach Out to Friends

It may surprise you how much it can ease the stress and financial strain of moving by simply reaching out to a handful of friends—even just one or two extra hands helping you pack can be the difference between a disaster and a great memory.

Having a few close friends help you through the DIY aspects like packing and setting up your new place will save you valuable time and resources, leaving you with more flexibility to move with. Just be sure to thank them with refreshments, impromptu housewarming parties, or other informal tips.

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Money-Saving Tips for Moving

Brian Wilson is a content writer representing North American Van Lines. North American Van Lines is a moving service that specializes in corporate relocation, long distance and residential moving.



Find the Perfect Neighborhood for You

find the perfect neighborhood for you

Moving to a new home can be one of the most exciting times in your life. It gives you the chance to decorate a new space, a new place to create memories with loved ones, and a fresh, new energy to your surroundings. However, when looking for a new place to move, it’s important not only to keep the physical attributes of the apartment in mind, but also the characteristics of the neighborhood. After all, what’s the point of moving to a new place if you don’t like its surroundings?

If you’re thinking about moving to a new city or town, research the different neighborhoods available – what amenities they offer, what the community is like, and what attractions they afford easy access to. Want to know more about what to look for in new neighborhoods? Consider these five important factors when deciding if a new area is the right location for you to call home.

1. Price Range

Pay attention to the price of rent in the neighborhoods you’re considering. You have to be able to afford to pay monthly rent and utilities! Monthly rent prices in a neighborhood are good indicators of the prices of services and amenities in the neighborhood. If you choose a home on the low end of prices for your neighborhood, but there are other rental homes that are much more expensive, there’s a good chance that prices at stores and restaurants in the neighborhood might be on the higher end of things. Ensure that you can not only afford your rental, but also the neighborhood’s available resources.

2. Amenities and Attractions

Another important thing to look for in a neighborhood are great amenities and attractions. You’ll likely be spending the most time at places around your home, so make sure it is surrounded by plenty of activities! Think about what kinds of places you like to spend the most time at. Do you like dining out? Are you a person that spends a lot of time outside in parks? Do you want to be located near top-notch schools or daycares? Make a list of important amenities to you, then look for neighborhoods that closely meet those specifications.

3. Commute

Your work commute is a huge factor when choosing the right neighborhood. Think about how long it will take you to get to and from work, and how you will physically do that. Consider living in a place that offers an acceptable commute time and an easy way to get to and from where you need to go, whether that’s by your own vehicle or public transportation. If you have friends or coworkers already living in some of the prospective neighborhoods, find out if carpooling is a reliable option.

4. Safety

Real estate brokers can’t legally tell you how safe a neighborhood is, but it’s an important thing to keep in mind for an area that you want to call home. You can find reports about crime by geographic area online, and you might want to research different areas to make sure you will feel safe in your new neighborhood. You should also take into account other safety considerations that apply to your life – for example, whether a neighborhood has sidewalks, bike lanes, or a fire department nearby. Pro tip: drive through a prospective neighborhood during the day and at night to get the feel of a local. 

5. Home Size and Shape

Nearly every neighborhood has its own character and personality, and one of the important qualities that makes up its personality is the size and shape of the homes within it. Are you looking to live in a high-rise building? A community of townhouses? A small apartment complex? Each neighborhood has its own character, and the types of available rental homes will reflect that.

Once you’ve considered the above factors, the next step in choosing the right neighborhoods is to research your new hometown and the available neighborhoods within it. By making a list of neighborhoods that definitely have the qualities you’re looking for and eliminating the neighborhoods that don’t, you can start with a much smaller selection of rental homes, ultimately increasing the chances that you’ll find just the perfect rental for you. Look no further than Apartment Guide to begin your search. Do you have any expert tips for finding the right neighborhoods? Share them with us in the comments below, on Facebook or tweet them to @AptGuide on Twitter!

How You and Your Roommate Can Move Together

moving with a roommate

Moving with a roommate is tricky, but follow our advice to help the process go smoothly.

Trust us: Once you find a roommate that you’re compatible with, you’ve struck gold, and you definitely don’t want to give that up. So when it’s time to find a new apartment, why not involve your roomie in the process?

Deciding on a new place when you only have your own wants and needs to consider is hard enough, so multiply that by two (or more!) when you move with someone else. Compromises will have to be made, but here’s how to approach your upcoming move in a way that’ll make both you and your roommate happy.

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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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