Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Big Move

It's that time again.  Everyone's moving around to get settled before the fall.  Whether you're moving, going to move, or already moved, we have something for you.

About to Move

If you're still looking for a place, don't forget to try websites other than craigslist.  Zillow has a great rental search engine that gives you detailed information about the apartment AND the neighborhood.  If you want a nice, move-in ready condo, Avalon Communities is a great option.  Not only are they an awesome Apt528 sponsor, but their properties are awesome as well...many include pools, workout facilities, and more.

Once you've found a place, use the Rent-o-Meter to see if it's priced right for the area.  Who knows, you may be able to negotiate a few bucks off your rent!

Once you're ready to move out, head over to our Move-Out Checklist to make sure you've done everything you need to get your security deposit back.  Also check out the wood cleaner product review to get your hardwood floors as clean as they were on the day you moved in and the Fix-It Club to find answers to every problem you can imagine.  Now your landlord will never know about the hole you accidentally knocked into the wall or the scratch you made in the floors while moving furniture.  It will be our little secret!

Already moved in? There are a ton of great DIY projects you can do to make the place your own.  The one thing to consider is, how long do you plan on staying?

Short Term

Get some privacy.  Window film is perfect for covering ugly views or blocking your neighbors while still letting the sun shine in.  Rolls start around $15 and come in many different designs, colors, and textures.  The best part is, you only need soapy water and a squeegee for the install.  When it's time to move, simply peel the film off and bring it to your next apartment.  If you have a little extra money to spend on shipping, check out Emma Jeffs, a UK designer who makes the more beautiful films.
 A year
  • Add a few accents.  If you don't want the work of painting the entire apartment, try painting a couple of accent walls to highlight your favorite furniture pieces or architectural details.  If your landlord hates the color, you'll only have one wall to paint back.
  • Make a headboard.  You can go as simple as a headboard decal or make your own tufted piece.  Either way, it will give your bedroom instant glam.

  A year +
  • PAINT!!!  Painting is the easiest way to completely change the look of your apartment.  If your landlord doesn't like your color scheme, volunteer to paint it back when you move.  You may choose to paint the larger rooms a more neutral color to save time when you move-out, or just stick with accent walls.
  • Cover the counters!  If you have horrible laminate counters that you just can't stand, talk to your landlord about painting over them (you can do this one yourself) or completely replacing them...offer to pay the $75 for materials if they'll pay for labor.  It's a win-win - you get a nice kitchen and they get to raise the rent when you leave!
  • Make a Moddi.  The Moddi is a DIY Murphy bed that can be made using hardware and Ikea pieces.  For $275 (not including mattress cost), you can have a guest bed that folds away to save space when not in use.  Genius.
Don't forget other fun options like changing out your cabinet knobs and pulls or switching out light fixtures.  Just remember to put them back when you move out!

**What are your move-in/out tips and tricks?

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