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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The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Moving can be an incredibly stressful time, as you pack, move and unpack your belongings. What makes the whole experience more stressful, however, is being unprepared.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Really, moving should be exciting– after all, you’re getting a whole new place just waiting for you to add a personal touch. Organizing and preparing can help you remove the anxiety and enjoy the thrill of re-establishing yourself in a different location. With that in mind, here’s our moving checklist, sure to prevent you from losing yet another favorite T-shirt in the abyss of moving boxes:

6 to 8 Weeks Before You Move

This is prime time for prep work. It’s also when organizing is the most important. You’ll reap the benefits of the work you do now when you’re in your new apartment.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist - 6 to 8 Weeks Before You Move

Here are the tasks you should get done six to eight weeks prior to the big day:

  • Read your current lease to discover proper protocol for informing your landlord that you’ll vacate– follow the agreed-upon directions. Most landlords require a letter or a signed document one month before you leave. That way, they can take photos and list the property to attract new tenants right away.
  • Decide whether your move will be DIY or if you want to hire help.
  • Research moving companies if you plan to hire professionals. Look at reviews and ask friends for references. Compare prices. You’ll likely have to schedule an in-home estimate, so add that to your calendar.
  • Create a physical folder where you can store important moving information, such as agreements you sign with a moving company or your new lease. Also keep a copy of your vacate letter.
  • Schedule a date with your moving company of choice. You should get a written confirmation of your moving date and an itinerary.
  • Devise a moving budget. It should include the cost of movers, any new furniture you’ll need to buy and eating out during your move (who wants to cook when they’re still unpacking kitchen boxes?).
  • Inform the proper parties of your move (i.e., your child’s school, doctors, employers, and groups you belong to).
  • Transfer your renters insurance to your next apartment.
  • Start accumulating supplies like boxes and packing tape.

4 to 5 Weeks Prior

As you reach the one-month range, you should start buckling down on moving tasks.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist - 4 to 5 Weeks Prior to Moving

  • Check with your moving company to see if you have any items you can’t move. If you do, make arrangements to get those belongings to your new place.
  • Start sorting through your stuff. You don’t have to pack it all yet, but begin purging things you don’t need. For instance, if your worse-for-wear end table won’t fit in your next apartment, either sell it or donate it.
  • Fill out the change of address form provided by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Schedule cancelation or transfer of your utilities, including gas, electricity, and Internet or cable service.
  • Make arrangements for pet care if you’re moving out of state and need a petsitter during this time.
  • Ensure you can get a day off work if you need it.
  • Get vehicle stickers for your new location, as many towns require them.
  • Arrange for any necessary temporary storage.
  • Change your address with your bank and move accounts if necessary.
  • Start using perishable items you don’t plan to move, such as food.
  • Have a yard sale if your landlord allows it. This way, you can make a little extra money off some of the items you won’t keep.

2 to 3 Weeks Prior

The Ultimate Moving Checklist - 2 to 3 Weeks Prior to Moving

  • Pack all nonessentials.
  • Return library books or rented DVDs.
  • Finish making arrangements with the utility companies, and reconfirm your date with the movers (which can also include friends who are helping you move).
  • See what cleaning is required in your lease and schedule a cleaning day.
  • Schedule any time off you need from work.

1 Week Prior

The Ultimate Moving Checklist - 1 Week Prior

  • Finish packing. Label each box with what’s inside. Consider packing by room so unpacking is easier. For instance, your kitchen box should have all kitchen items inside.
  • Create an inventory of all the boxes you have. You might even number them. This will help you ensure you have everything after you move.
  • Pack one essentials box that has everything you need for your first night in your new place.
  • Fill a cleaning supplies box, as scrubbing your old place is likely the last thing you’ll do before you turn in your keys.
  • Confirm plans for pet or childcare.
  • Confirm the installation date of new utilities, such as Internet, gas, and electricity.
  • Confirm details of moving day with your moving company or your helpers.
  • Withdraw any cash you’ll need for moving day, such as money for the movers and cash for ordering food.
  • Clean the apartment to the required specifications.
  • Schedule and complete a walk-through of the apartment with your landlord. Skipping this step forfeits your ability to argue with any security-deposit decisions your landlord makes. If you’re around, you can point out any details and remind your landlord of what is and is not your fault.
  • Ask your landlord if you can reserve a parking spot for moving day. That could mean pulling into the back alley or getting the prime parking right out front.

Moving Day: Your Old Apartment

The Ultimate Moving Checklist - Moving Day - Your Old Apartment

Moving day, or weekend for many, really has two steps: tying up loose ends at your old place and settling into the new one. This is what you should do to end your stay at your old apartment:

  • Finish packing, check every nook and cranny to be sure you didn’t leave something behind.
  • Take out the trash and complete any other last-minute cleaning tasks.
  • Confirm payment method with your movers– when it comes to your friends, that might mean ordering a pizza and pulling out a pitcher of cold drinks.
  • Keep pets and kids away from the action. Having a family member watch them is the safest option.
  • Pick up your moving truck (if you’re moving yourself) and inspect the vehicle. If you’re using your own car, make sure it’s in good condition. You don’t want to deal with car troubles on moving day.
  • Swap contact information with your movers.
  • Pack your vehicle carefully.
  • Turn off all the lights and put your keys in the designated spot. That could be on a counter or into your landlord’s hands.

Moving Day: Your New Place

Getting out of your old apartment feels great, but it’s only the first leg of your journey.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist - Moving Day Your New Place

You might have to go back and forth a few times if you’re moving yourself, so adjust this checklist as needed. Once you’re moved into your new apartment, follow this checklist:

  • Arrive before the moving company or your friends and unlock the apartment.
  • Prop open any gates that lead in and out of the building so you have a safer and clearer path to your unit.
  • Walk through with your new landlord before you start moving your boxes. Take photos and detailed notes. This is important when it comes time to get your security deposit back.
  • If you have time, clean the new apartment before you put boxes down. Prioritize sweeping and mopping, as apartment showings have likely introduced dirt and dust to the floors.
  • Start moving in boxes. Place each box in the correct room, based on the labels you wrote while packing – i.e., the kitchen boxes go in the kitchen and the bedroom boxes go in your bedroom.
  • If you hired movers, take inventory of your belongings to ensure all the boxes are there and nothing is damaged.
  • Pay and tip the movers, and give your friends whatever compensation you agreed upon, such as pizza.
  • Return any rental truck you used.
  • Unpack your priority box first, then get to work on anything else you have the time and energy to do.
  • Enjoy your new apartment!

Moving is hard work, whether you do the entire task with your car or if you hire movers. This moving checklist should streamline the process, but don’t be afraid to personalize it. You may have a unique timeline and different items that will keep you organized. Congrats on the new place and good luck moving!

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The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Moving Costs: How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers?

We all know how stressful moving can be. It’s not just that it requires a lot of organization and commitment– it’s time-consuming, complicated to organize, and often back-breaking work (the last time I moved I legitimately injured my back– this is not an exaggeration).

Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers?

So while you may save money by packing and moving everything yourself, hiring movers to do the heavy lifting for you could save you a lot of stress during the whole process– despite the added moving costs.

Hiring professional movers is a good idea because you can totally customize the service to fit your needs. Do you want them to pack all of your stuff, load the truck, drive, and unload the truck at your new place?

Or would you rather take care of the packing and unpacking yourself? However, that’s part of what makes using movers complicated– there are a lot of factors involved in moving that can affect how much hiring professionals will actually cost. Here’s a breakdown of some of the things that may affect your moving costs:

How Much Help Do You Need?

The factor that will most affect the amount you pay for your move is how much work you’re willing to do yourself. On the most luxurious end, movers could even take care of things like packing and unpacking, but those added services will cost you a pretty penny.

Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers? - How Much Help Do You Need?

The next priciest option is to pack everything yourself, then hire movers to load their truck, drive everything over to the new place and unload. The least expensive option is to take care of the packing yourself, rent a truck separately, and then hire movers to haul everything.

Companies often offer moving packages for a slightly less expensive rate, but you can expect the cost per mover to be at least $30 an hour, not including expenses for renting the truck, paying for fuel, and adding packing services.

How Much Stuff Do You Have?

Your moving costs will also vary depending on how much stuff you have. The amount of belongings you’re moving directly influences the size of truck you need and the number of movers you’ll need to hire.

Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers? - How Much Stuff Do You Have?

So, moving from studio to studio will be much less expensive than, say, from one three-bedroom apartment to another.

How Far Are You Moving?

Even for local moves, if you rent the truck separately, you’ll be responsible for paying for whatever amount of fuel you use. If you’re moving long distance, though, you’ll be charged a bit differently by most moving companies.

Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers? - How Far Are You Moving?

Many companies charge based on the weight of your belongings (typically per pound), which is usually much more costly than short-distance moves. Remember that each moving company defines long distance differently, so check what each company’s definition is before committing to them.

Where Do You Live?

As with most things, if you live in a big city, you can expect to pay more in moving costs than if you were to move in a small town.

Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers? - Where Do You Live?

Moving companies in big cities charge as much as $20 more per mover per hour than companies in smaller cities and towns, which can add up quite a bit.

When Are You Moving?

One aspect of moving costs that people don’t think about is that when you move matters a great deal. Summer in particular is one of the most popular times for people to move, which means rates will often be higher during June, July, and August than they are for the rest of the year.

Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers? - When Are You Moving?

To some extent, there isn’t a lot you can do about this – if your lease runs out in July, you’ll need to move during the summer. If you want to try to lessen your moving costs, though, see if you can sign a short-term or month-to-month lease to get out of the priciest time of year.

Do You Need Insurance?

To get insurance or not to get insurance? This will largely depend on your personal preferences and how valuable your possessions are to you, but if you opt to cover your belongings through the moving company, you’ll be paying more overall for the move.

Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers? - Do You Need Insurance?

If you have renters insurance, check with your policy to see if it covers moves.

4 Tips for Hiring Movers:

Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers? - 4 Tips for Hiring Movers

1. Ask For Recommendations

There are a few ways you can make sure you’re getting the best deal when you hire movers. The first is to ask your friends for recommendations on who they’ve used to move in the past. They’ll be able to tell you first hand about the moving costs and the quality of the move overall.

2. Get Several Quotes

Don’t jump right into a contract with the first company you find. Make sure you look into several different moving companies, and get quotes from three or four. Then, compare the quotes and decide which one makes the most sense for you.

Remember that the price shouldn’t be your only consideration when choosing a moving company, but if one charges astronomically more than another, you could save quite a bit by going for the less-expensive option.

3. Check for Hidden Fees

Some companies charge extra under certain circumstances, like say, if an elevator isn’t working or if the moving van won’t fit down your street. Ask each of the companies you’re considering about these extra fees so you can be prepared to pay a bit more.

4. Get Everything in Writing

Signing a moving contract before even loading the first box is crucial– this will ensure you don’t get charged an exorbitant amount above the company’s estimate. There are three main types of contracts, but if you can, find a company with a non-binding to exceed agreement. With this, the company can’t charge you any more than their original estimate, even if the move ends up taking longer than expected.

Moving costs are hard to estimate because they’re often decided on a case-by-case basis. That’s why it’s so important to get several different quotes and choose your moving company carefully.

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Moving Costs How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers-

Tips for Moving a Short Distance

Moving can be stressful, even if you’re just going a few blocks away. But short moves can be made much less grating if you take some time to plan ahead.

How to Handle Your Short Move

With shorter moves you have options that would never be possible during a longer haul transition. Check out these useful tips for moving a short distance:

Measure Twice; Move Once

Unlike a cross-country move, a short-distance move gives ready access to your new house or apartment. That means you can visit frequently and study the space – head over after work and walk the rooms, measure the closet/cabinet space, and plan where individual items will go.

How to Handle Your Short Move - Measure Twice Move Once

Take the time to map out how your existing living room furniture will fit in the new living room and then plan to move that furniture and its accompanying decor at the same time.

When you move one room at a time rather than unpacking a home’s worth of stuff, you can unpack, set up, and be done with the room in one step rather than several. With longer moves, you need to pack everything at the same time and ship it off in bulk; shorter moves let you focus room-by-room, making the transition easier.

Borrow Boxes 

Unless you’ve been hoarding boxes for months, even packing up a smaller home could mean a trip to the store to buy boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing material. But there are ways you can save a few dollars on supplies if you plan ahead.

kawasaki disease

Ask friends for boxes, bins, blankets, and anything else you need. Chances are, most people you ask will have at least a few large cardboard boxes and maybe an empty crate or two they’d be happy to let you use.

Why Rent an 18-Wheeler When a Van Will Do?

If you’re moving a short distance, only borrow a moving truck large enough to accommodate the largest piece of furniture you’re moving. If a friend’s pickup truck is big enough for that couch or dining room table, then that’s the moving truck for you.

How to Handle Your Short Move- Why Rent an 18 Wheeler when a Van Will Do

If you need a larger vehicle, be tactical with its use. Plan to move all your big items in the same day during a few back and forth trips to save you both time and money. You should also try to fit as many smaller items in there as well so there isn’t any wasted empty space in the truck.

Prioritize What You Move and When

If you can move into your new place before you have to leave your old one, get moving right away. Take over the items you know you won’t need during the transition. Cookware, clothes, artwork, and furniture are great places to start.

How to Handle Your Short Move - Prioritize What You Move and When

Out-of-season clothing and items are also good to get out of the way. The last things you move should be what you’re using on a daily basis. If you really need to clean out those closets you can even figure out only what outfits you’ll need and then move the rest of your wardrobe ahead of time.

Thin the Ranks

A move is always a great time to declutter your life and donate, sell, or toss out all that stuff you really don’t need. If you have an article of clothing, a piece of furniture, or some artwork that you know you’d never bother moving across the country, then why bother moving it across town?

How to Handle Your Short Move - Thin the Ranks

A short move is still a transition and a new start, and there’s no reason not to embrace it as such. Use these tips to help make your move as smooth as possible so you’re starting out your new chapter on a positive note.

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Tips for moving a short distance -

Jonathan Deesing is a moving expert and writer for moving resource site When he’s not playing moving truck Tetris, he’s enjoys beekeeping and puppy wrestling.

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City

If you’re set to make a cross-country move– or any move to a new city you’re unfamiliar with– finding an apartment can be a little difficult. Not only is it hard to choose an apartment itself before looking at it in person, but it can also be tough to even know which neighborhoods will fit your needs until you’ve lived in the city for awhile. And the last thing you want is to move into a new apartment or to a neighborhood that, at best, isn’t really what you’re looking for.

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City

Step one: Don’t get discouraged. Finding an apartment when moving to a new city can be done! Read on for some tips and guidelines for finding an apartment in a new city:

Start by Researching Neighborhoods

The first step is to do your best to determine which neighborhoods will be most ideal for you. Whether you need a neighborhood that’s an easy commute from your job, one that’s affordable, or you’re simply looking for an area that suits you, you can discover a lot about neighborhoods by going online.

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City - Start by Researching Neighborhoods

You may want to connect with some friends, family members or even acquaintances who live there and ask for their advice. They’ll likely be happy to give you a rundown of a few good options.

Ask Your Employers

If you’re struggling to find neighborhoods or apartments that work for you, and you’re moving for a job, you may want to talk to your employers for a little assistance.

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City - Ask Your Employers

They’ll at least be able to help you figure out some neighborhoods that will be easily accessible from the office, and it’s possible they’ll be able to connect you with a realtor or local apartment-finding service that you’ll find helpful.

Decide What You Want

After getting a better understanding of the neighborhoods best suited to your lifestyle, you have to prioritize your apartment wish​ list. First decide what type of apartment you’re looking for (studio, one-bedroom, etc.).

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City - Decide What You Want

Then, write down some of the amenities you need and make a separate list of any features you want. These can be any number of factors, such as included utilities, a parking space, in-building laundry, a doorman, a workout room, and so on. Knowing what you want will make narrowing down the hundreds of online listings that much easier.

Go Online

Speaking of online listings, most of your apartment search will have to be done on the Internet. You can use to look for available apartments that meet some of your requirements (you’ll be able to search by area, type of apartment, price and amenities).

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City - Go Online

You can also use online apartment hunting sites to peruse listings and get a better idea of what prices are like in each neighborhood you’re interested in.

Pay Attention to How Landlords Communicate

Once you begin connecting with landlords, pay attention to the way they communicate with you. If they respond right away and are eager to share whatever information you need, that’s a very good sign.

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City - Pay Attention to How Landlords Communicate

Landlords who don’t respond right away, don’t answer your questions or otherwise don’t communicate as well should be a red flag. The apartment may not be exactly what they’re advertising, or you may find them just as hard to reach in the future if you ever need help with a maintenance issue or anything else.

Consider a Staycation

​If looking solely online seems overwhelming or risky to you, you may want to think about setting aside a few days for a short trip to your new city. Plan on a time, then get in touch with some of the landlords you’ve been talking to and ask to set up in-person viewings.

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City - Consider a Staycation

Go prepared to apply for an apartment on-site, so bring your ID and three recent pay​ stubs, along with enough money to pay for things like deposits, application fees and first month’s rent.

Ask Friends for Help

If a short trip isn’t in the cards for you, you can still learn more about the apartments you’re considering. One of the best ways is to ask your friends or family members who live in the city to go check out a place for you.

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City - Ask Friends for Help

You’ll be able to trust their opinions, and they can provide you with as many pictures as you need while doing a walk through.

Don’t Sign Before Seeing

Whether you ask your friends for help or simply request as many pictures as possible from the landlord or building manager, it’s best not to sign a lease before seeing the place yourself. Ask your landlord if it’s OK for you to wait to sign on the dotted line until you’ve seen the place with your own eyes.

Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City - Don't Sign Before Seeing

If that’s not possible, see if they’ll negotiate a clause in the lease that says you’re allowed to back out within a specific amount of time if the apartment isn’t what they’ve advertised. It’s a great way to protect yourself and feel secure in your decision. Just make sure you have a back-up plan if that apartment ends up falling through!

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Tips for Finding an Apartment Before Moving to a New City

How to Prioritize Your Apartment Hunting Wish List

Imagine your perfect apartment. Mine has a big kitchen with plenty of storage, an extra room for crafting and working, central air conditioning, on-site laundry and a closet big enough for all of my clothes. As you can see, my wish list is long. To get everything I want in the city where I live, I’ll have to shell out way more money than I can afford.

How to Prioritize Your Apartment Hunting Wish List

Every renter goes through this debacle of looking at their income and their apartment hunting wish list and realizing there’s a gap. The unfortunate reality is that we can’t have it all (sigh). But prioritizing the things you want in an ideal apartment will help you sign a lease as a satisfied renter.

With that in mind, here are some tips to help you prioritize what you really need out of your next place:

What Can’t You Live Without?

Your top priorities for apartment hunting should be features you can’t live or rent without. These are the parameters you include in your search. For many, a certain price tag is No. 1. If your budget limits you to places that are $800 and under, you can only look for units in your range.

How to Prioritize Your Apartment Hunting Wish List - What Can't You Live Without

Additionally, if you’re a pet owner, finding a pet-friendly apartment will be high on your list– if Fluffy can’t stay, then you can’t either!

The third deal breaker could be any number of things, depending on what you personally need. It could be a certain neighborhood, access to public transportation (especially if you don’t have a car) or a certain number of bedrooms. Additionally, security measures (like having a deadbolt lock and hallways that are well lit) are important.

Make a list of all the items you absolutely can’t rent without and stick them at the top of your priority list.

What Don’t You Need, But Would Make Life Easier?

Let’s be real: We don’t all need laundry on site, building parking, or central air conditioning. However, these amenities can increase quality of life. I’ve had both a radiator and central heat in my apartments, and I’d prefer the latter any day.

How to Prioritize Your Apartment Hunting Wish List - What Don't You Need, But Would Make Life Easier?

Although amenities are nice, you don’t necessarily need them. You can walk to a laundromat, find street parking or buy a window air-conditioning unit if your building doesn’t have what you want. It may be inconvenient, but things like location, rent cost, pet-friendly living, and the right number of bedrooms are way more important.

Know What Matters to You

In order to make lists that include your must-haves and would-like-to-haves, you need to know what matters to you. For this, take a look at your lifestyle.

How to Prioritize Your Apartment Hunting Wish List - Know What Matters to You

If you enjoy walking everywhere, don’t live in a neighborhood where stores, restaurants, etc., are miles apart. If you like to go out on the weekends, living near bars could be high on your list. Those who cook and bake regularly need a good-sized kitchen with updated appliances.

Even your work can help you figure out what means the most to you. From commuting distance to needing fast Internet to work from home, your job could influence your apartment-hunting wish list.

Talk to Your Roommate

Knowing what you want out of an apartment makes building a priority list of amenities easier. However, if you plan on living with other people, you’ll have to make compromises. Even if your budget is big, your roommate may want to save money. Your roomie may also want to live in a different neighborhood than you.

How to Prioritize Your Apartment Hunting Wish List - Talk to Your Roommate

Have a conversation with your roommate about each of your priorities. Both of you should share your individual priority list to see where you match and where you don’t. Then you can start compromising. Perhaps you’ll give up central air if your roommate is willing to bump parking up on the list.

When you’re done talking, you should have a joint list of apartment priorities to use when searching for your next place. Stick to it and you’ll be able to keep the peace.

When You’re Looking …

Although you’ve spent time making the perfect priority list, you may not find a place that has everything, or even half of what you want. Remember, you want your next apartment to hit at least the must-haves. Then, if it has one or two of your other priorities, you’re in good shape.

How to Prioritize Your Apartment Hunting Wish List - When You're Looking

Ideally, you’ll search for places by going top-down on your list. That way, the things you care about most will be included in your apartment.

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How to Prioritize Your Apartment Hunting Wish List

Photo Credit: Mathieu Bertrand StruckNeil HowardMaegan Tintarijonathaneyre323Ana C.Garry Knight

7 Tips That Speed Up the Moving Out Process

Consider this: The faster you move out of your apartment, the earlier you can be finished with the whole stressful moving process! On top of that great benefit of moving out quickly, though, there are a plethora of other reasons people may want to speed up the task.

7 Tips That Make Moving Out Go Faster

Perhaps your landlord gives you a small time frame to move everything out of the building, or maybe you just don’t want to pay movers for a minute longer than you need them.

No matter what, moving out quickly will keep the whole operation efficient and get you moved in and ready to start setting up your new place in a timely manner– and who doesn’t want to begin hanging curtains and arranging furniture as soon as possible?

Here are seven tips that will make moving out go much faster:

1. Start Packing Early

You may not think it matters how early you start packing as long as everything is ready to go by moving day, and to an extent that’s true. However, packing up early will give you ample time to go through your belongings and get rid of excess stuff you never use or don’t need.

7 Tips That Make Moving Out Go Faster - Start Packing Early

It doesn’t make sense to move more than you have to, so taking time to downsize will speed up the whole moving process. Packing early will also help you keep things organized and stress-free.

2. Stay Organized

A systematic packing process can greatly increase your efficiency on moving day. Organize all of your boxes by room and make sure you know what’s in each one. You can label the boxes with all of the items that are in them, number the boxes and keep a list of items separately, or even take pictures of everything that’s going into each box.

7 Tips That Make Moving Out Go Faster - Stay Organized

That way, if you need to find something quickly, you’ll be able to with no trouble. Keep all of your moving information, including your moving truck reservations, new apartment information and movers’ contact information in a single folder or binder so you can access anything you need right away.

3. Consolidate Your Belongings

Use your dressers, baskets, suitcases and anything else you can pack items in to cut down on the number of boxes you’re moving. Keep all of your clothes in your dresser, and wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap so the drawers stay closed.

7 Tips That Make Moving Out Go Faster - Consolidate Your Belongings

Use shirts or sweaters to wrap breakable items, rather than moving paper. Also, don’t discount plastic garbage bags for your pillows and blankets– they’ll be easier to stuff into nooks and crannies than sturdy boxes.

4. Ask For Help

This is perhaps the most important way to speed up your moving day: Get as much help as possible.

7 Tips That Make Moving Out Go Faster - Ask for Help

Whether you hire movers or enlist several friends, the more bodies you have, the faster moving out will go.

5. Move Some Stuff Early

If at all possible, try to move some of your belongings before moving day. Even if you can bring just a few suitcases of clothes or some breakables that will have to be moved cautiously, you’ll be able to spend a little less time on those items on the big day.

7 Tips That Make Moving Out Go Faster - Move Some Stuff Early

Ask your new landlord to let you know when the apartment will be available– if it’s a few days before moving day, you’ll have a little extra time.

6. Prepare Everything The Night Before

You shouldn’t have anything to do on moving day but move. That means everything from cleaning out the fridge, to repairing the holes in your walls, to packing up every last toiletry should be done the night before.

7 Tips That Make Moving Out Go Faster - Prepare Everything the Night Before

Keep some items that you’ll need that night or the next morning in a small suitcase or tote, and put everything else in its box. You should also confirm your truck rental and make sure your friends know what time to head over the next day.

7. Pack the Truck Strategically

When packing the truck, load all of your furniture and other heavy items first, then follow up with your boxes and bags. Continue loading items from biggest to smallest to ensure you can fit all of the larger boxes.

7 Tips That Make Moving Out Go Faster - Pack the Truck Strategically

If there’s anything you’ll need right away at the new place, save it until the very end– it’ll be the last stuff to go in the truck and the first stuff to come out.

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Photo Credit: splityarnLaura D’AlessandroMatt CornockJohn BensonPeretz Partenskyrick

How to Introduce Pets When Moving In With Another Pet Owner

Moving in with a roommate can be tricky as it is, let alone when trying to introduce a new pet into the mix at the same time. When cats and dogs (or cats and cats and dogs and dogs) first move in together, the relationship can be pretty precarious. But as long as the introductions are made properly, the pets will likely get along in the end– or at least be able to coexist peacefully.

How to Introduce Pets When Moving In With Another Pet Owner

If you’re moving in with another pet owner into a pet-friendly apartment, here’s how to introduce your beloved cats or dogs as safely as possible:

Start Slow

The first rule of introducing pets is to avoid just tossing them into a room together and hoping they work out their differences. That’s probably not going to work.

Introducing pets can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and the first interactions should be just a few seconds long. As they slowly get used to the other’s smell and to sharing their home, things will get easier for you and your roommate.

Isolate the Newcomer

No matter what, the animals need to be separated by a door at first. This will give them the opportunity to smell each other and even interact under the door a little, without being able to do more than hiss or growl if they’re uncomfortable.

How to Introduce Pets When Moving In With Another Pet Owner - Isolate the Newcomer

Usually that means that one animal will be stuck in a single room, while another is able to roam the rest of the apartment. If you’re moving into your new roommate’s apartment, or vice versa, the new animal is the one that should be isolated in a single room.

Move both of their food and water bowls near the bottom of the door to get them as close to each other as possible, and switch the animals’ places every so often. This will give the new pet time to get used to the rest of the apartment while the other animal explores the newbie’s space and becomes even more accustomed to their scent.

Let them interact with each other (supervised) a couple times a day at first, and slowly increase the number of times each day.

Give Them a ‘Safe’ Zone

Each animal should have a safe place they can retreat to if they start feeling uncomfortable.

How to Introduce Pets When Moving In With Another Pet Owner - Give Them a Safe Zone

For the new cat or dog, this can be their isolation room. Keep a bed or crate in each separate area that will make the animals feel safe.

Take Dogs On a Walk

Dogs react really well to being introduced while on a walk together because it gives them time to feel (read: sniff) each other out. Plus, the sights and smells while on walks can distract dogs from each other if the relationship is a little tense at first.

How to Introduce Pets When Moving In With Another Pet Owner - Take Dogs on a Walk

Try to keep the leashes loose and avoid yelling harsh orders– believe it or not, the two pups can feed off that negative energy and become even more tense with each other.

If they’re meeting for the first time before the walk, have one dog sit or lie down for treats, while the other is allowed to sniff, then switch their positions.

Be Patient

If the introductory process is taking longer than you thought it would, try to be patient. Some animals, especially if they’ve lived alone their whole lives, find it really difficult to live with another pet, so they may continue barking, growling, or hissing for weeks.

How to Introduce Pets When Moving In With Another Pet Owner - Be Patient

Keep doing what you’re doing, and if you stop noticing any progress at all, consider asking for help from your vet or an animal behaviorist.

Give Them Attention and Love

Don’t forget that your animals love you, so give them plenty of attention when they’re feeling scared or confused!

How to Introduce Pets When Moving In With Another Pet Owner - Give Them Both Attention

Living with another pet can be stressful and difficult for some cats and dogs to adjust to, so make sure that your four legged friend is feeling loved and safe during the transition.

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How to Introduce Pets When Moving In With Another Pet Owner

Photo Credit: Douglas SprottTim MorganMandy JouanSangudonguyen hoangnamb1ue5ky

9 Ways to Meet New People in Your Neighborhood

Moving is a stressful life event in more ways than one, and making new friends is one of the scariest parts of a big relocation. When I moved across the country from Iowa to Oregon, my first big scare was when I realized I didn’t have my best friends to lean on anymore– I was all alone (cue sad music).

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood

What I came to realize, though, is that there really are a lot of easy ways to meet new people in your neighborhood, whether you’ve just moved or you’re simply looking for some new friends to hang out with– it just takes courage, determination, and a few motivational pep talks in the mirror. Here’s how to meet new people in your neighborhood:

1. Suggest After-Work Happy Hour

Some of the first people you’ll meet after relocating are your co-workers, so try getting to know the people you’ll be interacting with every day. Not only will this make work more fun, but you’ll hopefully get to know some similarly minded people who could end up being great friends.

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood - After Work Happy Hour

Send out an email or suggest to a few close teammates that you should all go to a nearby happy hour after work. And if you enjoy each other’s company, make it a weekly ritual.

2. Be a Friendly Neighbor

If you’re moving into an apartment, there are dozens of people in your building that could potentially become friends. Say “hello” to anyone you pass in the hall, and introduce yourself personally to those in the apartments adjacent to yours.

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood - Be a Friendly Neighbor

Also, if your building hosts any get-togethers or events, make sure you try to take part– you’ll be able to meet even more residents that way!

3. Use Your Dog

I know you love your dog like a child, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use him to meet new people. Take Fido to the dog park and other dog-friendly neighborhood spots where you’re likely to meet some other animal lovers.

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood - Use Your Dog

If you make a connection, set up a play date. You can even try to connect with other dog owners who live in your building when you take Fido out for a bathroom break.

4. Take Advantage of That Friend of a Friend

Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who “lives just a few blocks from you.” Take advantage of that!

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood - Take Advantage of that Friend of a Friend

People are almost always happy to make introductions, and the connection, however roundabout, will be a great icebreaker when you and that friend of a friend hang out for the first time.

5. Volunteer

If you have a cause you love, getting involved is one of the best ways to meet new people with similar values and interests– plus it feels great to spend time helping an organization you care about.

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood - Volunteer

Look for volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood or city, and try to join in whenever you have some free time.

6. Get Online

While you shouldn’t rely on only the Internet to make friends, there are a few good websites that can come in handy when you move to a new neighborhood. Try perusing, which allows users to create groups that meet regularly around the city.

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood - Get Online

You’ll find groups of singles, volunteers, yogis, photographers, and almost any other type of person you can think of. Look for a group of people doing something you’re interested in, and sign up to get alerts whenever they’re hosting a new meetup.

7. Take a Class or Join a Team

Classes and teams make meeting people easy, especially when they involve group discussions and activities. If you play a sport, look for a league in your neighborhood. If you’ve always wanted to be a comedian, take an improv class.

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood - Take a Class or Join a Team

8. Become a Regular

Is there a coffee shop down the block you can work in or a dive bar that offers amazing drink specials? If there’s a great neighborhood spot nearby, you can bet there will be plenty of neighborhood regulars who frequent the establishment.

9 Ways to Meet New People in your Neighborhood - Become a Regular

Spend a little time there and start conversing with some of the familiar faces you see often– you’ll have at least a few acquaintances in no time.

9. Never Turn Someone Down

Of all the ways to meet new people, the most important is this: Never turn down an invitation if you’re free.

9 Ways to Meet New People in Your Neighborhood - Never Turn Someone Down

While cozying up in your apartment with Netflix and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s may sound great, if you don’t accept invitations, people may be a little less likely to continue extending them in the future.

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9 Ways to Meet New People in You Neighborhood

Photo Credit: kafka4prezJeff McCChrisThis Year’s LoveAbbey HambrightTed Fu, Truthout.orgSeattle Municipal ArchivesJason Crane, Peter

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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