Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Add an Entry-Way to your Apartment and Make your Rental Feel Like Home

One big advantage houses have over apartments is the wonderful sense of an entrance they tend to provide.  When you step inside a house you are generally greeted by a receptive and welcoming hall that accommodates your shoes and outerwear, and acts as a welcome decompression chamber from the outside world.  Apartments, more often than not, open directly from the outside world onto one’s living space in an abrupt and jarring manner.  However, apartment living need not do without the soothing middle ground of an entry-way.  Here are a few tips to help you set up your own grand entrance.

The challenge in adding a good entry to your apartment is to maximize the feeling of a separate area, and to minimize the space you take up in your apartment while doing so.  A good first step is to provide a space for coats.  Depending on your space you can either arrange and mount several decorative looking hooks—antique markets sell old hooks, door knobs and other interesting items you can use for this purpose—or mount a proper coat rack.  Some coat racks come with a row of hooks, as well as a series of little cubbies to store hats, gloves, and push button umbrellas—these are great.  Another option is to install and adapt a thin book case.  By removing the shelves and installing some hooks, you can create a wonderful, space-saving wardrobe, complete with room at the bottom for boots and shoes.  A place for coats and outdoor things is a wonderful way of establishing a sense of entrance into your apartment.

After building in some space for you and your guests’ outdoor wear, you will want to add a little piece of you to your entry-way.  An entrance is, in a sense, a first impression of your home, and you want that impression to clearly reflect who you are.  The addition of a few small signature items can really help pull this off.  One or two objects, like a chair, a photograph, an umbrella stand, a painting, or an end- table work wonders in conveying who you are in your entry-way.  These little furnishings transform your door way into a distinct entrance into your own space.  Furthermore, the functionality of these furnishings gives your guests a place to take off their shoes, stow their coats, or throw their keys. 

Whether it is a shoe rack, an umbrella stand, or some photographs or a painting, by adding an entry-way you can better convert your rental into a home.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How to Pull Off the Perfect Move

There are few things in life that are as trying, aggravating, and all around grueling as moving.  We never realize just how much stuff we have until we are forced to pack, load, transport, and unload it all in one frenzied day.  However, like most things in life moving can be greatly simplified with some solid pre-planning, preparation, and organization.  Here are some guidelines to ensure that your next move is as smooth as they come.

Organization is Everything

You can greatly reduce the stress of moving by generating—well in advance—a detailed to-do list.  A good list allows you to identify everything you require, from movers, to friends, to truck rentals, to boxes, and it lets you get a handle on when things should be booked or reserved.  Planning in advance also gives you time to start acquiring the numerous boxes you will invariably need to get moving.  Once you have boxes in your place, you can get a great head start on your move by pre-packing and stacking anything and everything that you don’t absolutely require in advance of your move.

Leadership and Coordination

A good move will require leadership and coordination to keep friends and movers busy, and to ensure that all is running smoothly.  If you have movers, be sure they have all the requisite information about your new home including information about keys, parking, and unloading.  If you are relying on the kindness of friends, be sure to maximize their strengths by getting the best packers packing and the best loaders loading.  Another tip is to label your boxes clearly and simply—“upstairs bathroom” or “basement”—to keep your movers self-directed while you attend to the other details at hand.  Moving is also a wonderful opportunity to purge things you no longer need.  When under the pressure of having to load a truck, the decision as to whether or not you’d like to hang on to that oversized hand chair is greatly simplified.  

Unloading with Ease

If all goes to plan, unloading should be the more enjoyable part of your move.  Make sure that you are fully aware of any and all rules and regulations regarding moving at your new location.  Double check if parking is an issue, and whether or not you need to reserve the elevator for the afternoon.  Also, to ease your transition, make sure that everything has been cleared with your new landlord, and that your move is in full compliance with the rules of the house or building you are moving into.  Moving day is a wonderful opportunity to befriend your new neighbours, and there is no better way to do this than by observing the house rules on moving.  Finally, be sure to keep your movers happy (and productive!) by feeding them.  Moving is incredibly taxing for all involved, so when you are done be sure to kick back, feast, and congratulate your movers on a job well done.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

How to be a Great Tenant

As more and more people look to renting and leasing homes instead of owning, the need to develop strong professional working relationships between tenants and landlords becomes all the more important.  A clearly defined, respectful rental relationship is mutually beneficial.  Landlords gain from having tenants treat property with the care and respect it deserves, and tenants benefit by cultivating a clear channel of communication for any concerns they may be having with the property.  By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are doing your utmost to be the best possible tenant you can be.

Know Your Lease
By signing your lease you are committing to conduct yourself in the manner specified, so be sure to read your lease in detail.  Make sure you understand what it is that is expected of you as a tenant, and be sure you can live up to your end of the arrangement.  Also, double check that the lease outlines anything you might expect from the landlord in the rental agreement.  If you have any questions or concerns about maintenance, parking or pets, houseguests or gardens, raise them with your landlord as you negotiate and sign the lease.  Establishing a clear and open channel of communication in the signing of your lease is a great way to commence your rental agreement.

Pay Your Rent On Time
Paying your rent on the agreed upon date is crucial to being a good tenant.  With property taxes, utilities, and mortgage payments, property owners need to be sure that they can make their payments on time.  Pre-written cheques given to your landlord in advance are a great, and hassle-free way to ensure your rent always goes through on the agreed upon date.

Treat Your Rental like a Home
Your apartment is your home, and treating it as such pays dividends.  Maintaining your property, ensuring your garbage and recycling are deposited properly and on time, and keeping your apartment clean and in order are great ways to let your landlord know that you care about where you live.  Treating your rental like a home also means being a good neighbor.  When you rent you become the face of the property, and by being cordial, friendly, and respectful you keep your landlord free from having to dissolve any squabbles, and you keep the property owner’s relationship with the community in good standing.

Ultimately both landlords and tenants want the same thing: a mutually respectful, professional relationship.  By being the best tenant possible, you do your part to make this happen, and you reap the benefits as well.