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15 Easy Hacks for Achieving Feng Shui

15-Easy-Hacks-for-Achieving-Feng-Shui-2-2-HEROCould proper feng shui in your home or apartment improve everything from your sleep to your bank account? As practitioners of the ancient Chinese art tell it, yes. At its core, feng shui is a practice based on the idea that humans are linked to our environments. So what we choose to bring into our homes and how we decorate can all affect the flow of chi (or energy), which, in turn, can impact our health and our happiness.

Feng shui is a lot more accessible than you might think. All it takes is a few simple steps to “improve your feng,” as master practitioner Jennifer Bonetto of Real Feng Shui SOULutions in Santa Monica, CA, puts it. “A lot of people assume feng shui involves buying a bunch of complicated tchotchkes — bamboo flutes, statues, and other trinkets that are supposed to balance energy,” she explains. “They’ll fill their house with this stuff and say, ‘OK, I’m feng shui-ed!’ But then they don’t get results.”

Whether you’re getting ready to move into that home for sale in Athens, GA, or apartment for rent in Boston, MA, here are some ideas for improving feng shui throughout your space, from the entryway to the bathroom.

feng shui house hacks entry

1. Maintain a 6-foot clearance. Everything within 6 feet of the front door — inside and outside — needs to be clear and clutter-free to help energy flow. Floor mats are OK, but avoid putting items like shoe racks and other obstructions immediately around the door.

2. Add plants. Potted plants on a balcony, patio, or entryway can help foster vibrant energy in and around the home.

3. Pick your palette thoughtfully. Although red is feng shui’s 2016 color of the year, Bonetto advises against painting walls or doors red (good news if you’re a renter, since you may not be able to paint anyway!). “Depending on the facing direction of the home and what wall you paint red, it can actually be bad luck,” she says. “I would just use accent pieces and accessories like a blanket, pillows, throw rugs, etc.”

feng shui house hacks family room

4. Add living things. Plants move energy and absorb negative vibes. Pets also are a good thing, because they move energy around in our homes!

5. Consider shape and scale. Contrary to popular belief, feng shui doesn’t exclusively favor furniture with rounded edges. In fact, a variety of shapes are your best bet for achieving a well-balanced room. Bonetto adds that the furniture should be in scale and proportion to the size of the room. “I would avoid oversized furniture in a small place and vice versa: small furniture in a large space,” she says.

6. Shed some light. Light activates energy, while dark corners and areas are thought to signify neglected parts of your life. Make sure you have enough light sources to illuminate the entire space and try a mix of sizes and intensities.

feng shui house hacks kitchen

7. Free up counter space. Stow any appliances you don’t use regularly to open up space and inspire more energy and movement. Editing out extraneous items — even that cacophony of magnets on your fridge — is key to achieving a feng shui house.

8. Make it safe. Store knives in a knife block or organized drawer, and if you have the space, arrange pots in cabinets, not dangling on hooks overhead (pro tip: Copper pots and pans attract positive chi). By ridding your space of sharp and heavy objects, it will look and feel lighter, not to mention be safer.

9. Purge a drawer. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by clutter and don’t know where to begin, try starting with a “give to charity” pile. Often, all it takes is this first step to give you the momentum to declutter your entire home.

feng shui house hacks Bedroom

10. Consider your bed placement. Avoid putting your bed against a wall adjacent to the bathroom or the kitchen; doing so is believed to negatively affect health.

11. Avoid large mirrors. When a mirror reflects the bed or any part of your body, it can cause insomnia. If you’re a renter stuck with wall-to-wall closet-door mirrors, slide the doors open at night, install curtains you can draw before bed, or add contact paper to cover them up.

12. Conceal electronics. If you have a TV in the bedroom, unplug it and throw a towel over it at night. Also, keep laptops and cellphones off the nightstand so they don’t disturb your circadian rhythm; electronic devices are best stowed in another room while you sleep.

feng shui house hacks

13. Close the lid. Feng shui traditionalists believe that an open drain can sap energy (and money) from a space. The toilet is the largest drain in the bathroom, so keep the lid shut.

14. Go off-center. Shopping for a new home? Avoid buying or renting a place with bathrooms that fall dead center in the floor plan. A centrally located bathroom is unlucky and thought to cause money issues, says Bonetto.

15. Try soothing shades. Black and red are activator colors that can ramp up your nervous system. Choose earthy tones in the bathroom to create a calm, rejuvenating atmosphere.

Source: ~ By: Jill Russell

Understanding Renters’ Legal Rights

Renting a home can be highly beneficial for anyone seeking a short-term housing option or a lower commitment than a home purchase.

However, this option can lead to uncomfortable issues in the event a landlord is lax in following the terms of the lease agreement — or otherwise forgets that renters have legal rights.

Here are some of the more common issues that arise between renters and landlords. If you think your landlord is acting outside the bounds of state and federal housing laws, be sure you have a little legal ammo to make your argument.

Security deposits

Security deposits for leasers are highly regulated in most states, and lease agreements must clearly and unambiguously detail the specific instances in which a landlord may withhold all or some of a deposit.

First, the deposit must be in a sensible amount (such as the sum of two months’ rent).

Second, a landlord may only keep the deposit if there is a definitive reason that falls within the terms of the lease. Wrongful withholding is undoubtedly fodder for a claim against the landlord for the return of the money, as well as for costs and fees associated with bringing the issue to court.


All renters have a right to reasonable accommodations for a disability. In the context of apartment complexes, a landlord must set aside a certain number of units that are accessible to people with a physical handicap. This means rooms must be accessible from the ground floor, fitted with accommodating bathroom and/or kitchen fixtures, and generally compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Also, all landlords must accommodate renters who rely on specially trained service animals, even if the building as a whole maintains a no-pets policy.


Renters have the right to timely, competent repairs to major appliances and fixtures — provided the damage occurred as a result of normal wear and tear or other forces outside the renter’s control.

By contrast, damage that the renter causes is generally not the landlord’s responsibility to repair. If a landlord is taking an unreasonably long time to fix the problem, a renter may usually arrange for the repair himself and withhold rent in the amount of the repair. Be sure to save your receipts as proof.

Privacy and safety

Renters have a right to both privacy and safety in their leased unit. This means that a landlord is not permitted to enter a renter’s private unit unannounced.

Further, a landlord must contact the renter prior to sending repair technicians or inspectors — and must respect the renter’s schedule when scheduling maintenance.

With regard to safety, a landlord must maintain the premises to control known dangers or hazards — which may include extensive locks, deadbolts, or special entrance codes as well as the presence of security personnel and surveillance cameras.

Rent and eviction

Of course, renters are obligated to pay rent each month. However, as mentioned above, the payment of rent may be premised on the dwelling’s habitability — and renters may be within their rights to withhold rent if the landlord fails to attend to certain major repairs.

Additionally, renters have the right to fulfill the terms of the lease agreement, and may not be evicted arbitrarily without cause during the rental term.

If a landlord attempts to evict a tenant prior to the conclusion of the lease, the renter may initiate a lawsuit against the landlord for the costs — both direct and incidental — associated with finding a new place to live on unreasonably short notice.

Moreover, a landlord who is believed to be evicting tenants for discriminatory or fraudulent reasons could face criminal culpability in many jurisdictions, if proven guilty.

Renters enjoy a long list of rights pursuant to the lease agreement and state and federal laws. Any violations of these rights can lead to a lawsuit by the renter, as well as bad publicity for the landlord. So renters take heed: You’re covered.

Source: ~ By: Stephanie Reid

Meet Blink: The Ultra Affordable Wire-Free Home Monitoring System

Over the past few years we’ve seen tons of innovation in the home security marketplace; smaller, smarter cameras have made it easier than ever to keep an eye on things at home while you’re away – but with a hefty price tag. Enter: Blink, the simple, chic answer to affordably monitoring your whole home.

We Think You’ll Like Blink, Here’s Why:

Blink is a new wire-free HD home surveillance system that offers serious battery longevity and a super simple setup. The cameras themselves are really straightforward; since they’re battery-operated and connect to a central hub over WiFi, you can place them just about anywhere. There’s no installation required beyond finding a space on your bookshelf or using the included wall mount to swivel and tilt the camera into the ideal position. Best of all, the batteries only need to be replaced once a year! Other wire-free home monitoring cameras need a recharge about every two weeks, so that’s kind of a big deal.

The whole Blink system works with your smartphone via the Blink app. As soon as motion is detected by a Blink camera, a short video is captured and an alert is sent to your device so you can log on and see what’s happening. Live View mode lets you access a live camera feed anytime—perfect if you’ve ever wondered what your dog gets up to while you’re at work. (Spoiler: He’s probably sleeping… on your bed… where you told him not to. Good luck with that.)

Initially funded on Kickstarter, Blink is now entering production! For a limited time, you can pre-order a one-camera system for just $79. A three-camera system is only $189, which is about what you’d pay for a single camera from most other video surveillance systems these days.

6 Sneaky Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive

pottery-barn-build-youro-ownWant your place to look like those home design website images you drool over? Of course you do! Problem is, your budget may not match your design aspirations. Fear not! Making your home look high-end isn’t always about spending tons of cash.

It’s a matter of taking the time and care to arrange things in an eye-pleasing way—and making small, inexpensive updates that have a big impact. In other words, it’s about being sneaky.

Here are a few tricks to pull if you want to add the illusion of luxury.

1. Declutter

Nothing says “this home ain’t worth much” like tons of disjointed knickknacks, piles of books, and other miscellaneous items that should be tossed or stored.

No, you don’t need to go full Marie Kondo, but going through your rooms and getting rid of anything that doesn’t mesh with your personal style is a great first step toward transforming your home from average to exceptional.

Walk through each room of your home and edit items. Make some tough decisions. Sure, you love your grandma’s vintage Chinese vase, but does it really jibe with your West Elm look? It might be time to store it or let it live in another room with similar family heirlooms.

Next step: Tackle any stuff that piles up—toys (if you have kids), shoes by the door, mail on the dining table. At the very least, find places for your stuff to live in a more organized way; an upgraded closet with beautifully sorted nooks and crannies looks luxurious. (Pro tip: We love Pottery Barn’s build-your-own pieces.)

2. Eliminate grunge

You may not have time for intensive cleaning on a weekly basis, but a once- or twice-yearly deep clean is an easy way to make your home look far more luxurious. After all, you rarely see a mansion with dirty baseboards.

Go through your home and search for overlooked areas that have become dirty and downright gross. You’ll want to pay special attention to the grouting, says designer Young Huh.

“Having old tile cleaned and regrouted makes a huge difference in having your bathroom look sparkly and fresh,” she says. Best of all: The process is simple and inexpensive.

Get sparkly new floors–minus the refinishing. Try steam cleaning wood floors for an immediate lift to the finish.

3. Add—or rearrange—lighting

Designers use lighting to define spaces and separate rooms, making a small space grand.

Think of your living room—where you might have a reading nook, sofas and chairs for company, and a television. Visually differentiate among the areas by using different kinds of lighting: Add a table lamp beside your cozy reading chair and sconces behind your couch for conversation. Consider a dimmer for overhead lights. Architects and lighting designers swear by them. Installing is a relatively simple DIY.

Bonus cheapskate tip: Use warm-colored lightbulbs, Huh says. Cool tones are a “sure-fire way to make your home look down-market,” she says. Daylight bulbs work best for reading nooks.

8-Inch Fused Glass Closet Door Pulls Large Cabinet Pulls Amber White Home Decor Door Hardware Office Kitchen Bathroom Extra Large Pulls

4. Upgrade your hardware

Don’t have a kitchen renovation in the budget? You can get a similar effect for much less by swapping out old, dated hardware for new.

Tired of your brushed-steel drawer pulls? Try gold, bronze, or even crystal—or make an adventure of it and scour your local thrift store for vintage hardware that screams your style.

It’s not hard to find attractive options in any decor style for next to nothing (a drawer pull, for instance, might start at just $3 or less). For hard-to-find designs, search etsy.

Changing the countertop and faucets is another change that can make your home look much pricier, Huh says. If you have the budget, exchange your dated sink accessories for something fresh that matches your brand-new hardware.

5. Repaint

There’s no simpler way to make an old home feel new than painting.

“This is the most important part,” Huh says. “Repaint and choose beautiful colors for an instant makeover.”

You can’t go wrong with classy neutrals. Minimalists might love a bright white combined with a bold accent wall; DIY decorators might enjoy a tasteful, sandy tan tone, which pairs well with any number of woods.

Paint isn’t just for your walls: Add some color to your front door, window trims, or even the floor, if you’re brave (hardwood can look amazing when painted white).

Family Room Vignette

6. Focus on the devil in the (decor) details

Does your home feel a little meh—and you’re not sure how to change it? Try vignettes—combine decor items (e.g., vases, frames, and objets) that add visual interest to an otherwise bland area—perhaps a shelf or console table.

Organize your vignette around a theme so that the decor items are unified and tell a visual story. Go around your house and cull items you love that need a new home (see tip No. 1 on decluttering).

For example, take that silver tray you’ve been wanting a use for, add a glass tumbler with a fresh flower, that postcard your parents sent from Thailand, and a white bowl filled with colorful candy. Voilà: You now have a magazine-worthy vignette!

Another way to go: Grouping together multiples of the same object (e.g., glass vases in the same color) is an instant update. Decorators often use odd numbers because they are said to be more appealing.

Before you know it, you’ll be posting pics of your gorgeous home.

Source: ~ Author: Jamie Wiebe

7 Things to Think About Before Adopting a Pet

It might happen when you’re out running errands: A local shelter has set up an adoption event outside the grocery store, and you’re drawn to the happy wagging tail of a black lab. Or perhaps the moment comes when you’re visiting a friend. “Oh, my neighbor’s cat just had kittens,” she says. “You have to look– they’re so cute.”

7 Things to Think About Before Adopting a Pet

It’s even possible that you’ll happen upon the moment yourself. In an attempt to de​-stress, you pull up the website for your local humane society. I’m just looking, you think. It’s not like I’m going to adopt a puppy or kitten today.

And then, out of nowhere, you fall in love.

Before you decide to take any furry friends home, however, there are some things to think about. Here are seven questions you should ask before you adopt a pet:

1. What Does My Lease Say?

It’s not enough to make sure your building allows pets.

Make sure you understand what your landlord expects as far as notification, and whether or not your landlord or the building has any additional deposits or monthly charges for keeping an animal– you’ll likely have to pay a bit more each month than if you were moving in sans cuddly creature.

2. Can I Afford a Pet?

Thoroughly research your potential pet’s monthly food and care needs, and figure out how that will fit into your budget. Don’t forget to include regular and emergencyveterinary costs, and consider building an emergency pet fund before you bring your pet home.

7 Things to Think About Before Adopting a Pet - Can I Afford a Pet?

Your new pet will probably not come with its own savings account.

3. Do I Have Time?

Different pets require different time commitments.

7 Things to Think About Before Adopting a Pet - Do I Have Time?

Make sure you know how much of your time your pet will need for attention, exercise, and grooming. If you work long hours or travel regularly, consider how that will fit into your pet care.

4. Will Your Companion Need a Companion?

Some animals are very social and need to have a companion. For example, ferrets can become depressed if they don’t have a ferret friend around, which means you effectively need to adopt them in pairs.

7 Things to Think About Before Adopting a Pet - Will Your Companion Need a Companion?

Other animals, like hamsters, are perfectly content to be the only pet around.

5. Is This Pet Legal?

Speaking of ferrets, did you know it’s illegal to own, breed, or sell ferrets in California and Hawaii?

7 Things to Think About Before Adopting a Pet - Is This Pet Legal?

Make sure the pet you’re thinking of adopting is legally allowed in your area. Different states and cities have different laws about exotic animals, so do your research if you’re considering anything other than a cat or pup.

6. Do I Have the Space?

How much space you’ll need will depend entirely on what kind of pet you’re looking at. It’s not just the size of the animal that matters: For example, a low-energy, medium-sized dog might require less space than a large cat. It’s not that the cat itself takes up more room, but the accompanying litter box does.

7 Things to Think About Before Adopting a Pet- Do I Have the Space?

Take into account your pet’s size, energy, and accompanying accessories, and figure out how that will fit into your apartment.

7. What Will Happen Down the Road?

The future is one of the most important things to think about when considering pet adoption. What will you do if you have to move somewhere that doesn’t allow pets? How will you handle your companion developing a chronic illness?

Asking these questions now will help you cross the bridge if you get to it and let you know if you’re ready to have a pet at all.

Souece: ~ By: 

How to Know if Your Apartment is The One

Nobody ever said finding “the one” was easy. It takes some time, a great deal of persistence, and definitely the commitment to make your way through a few bad eggs before finding one with potential.

The same is true for finding your ideal apartment– it really does take the same amount of dedication. However, in the same way that it’s hard to know if you’ve landed a guy or gal you could commit to, it’s also tough to know while apartment searching when you’ve found the place you want to snatch up.

Every place is going to have its advantages and disadvantages. So, to give you a little assistance on your apartment quest, here’s how to know you’ve found the one:

You Like Your Landlord (and Your Lease)

It’s important to enter into a lease confident in your landlord’s expectations and dependability. You don’t want to get stuck with no heat mid-December, only to find out you have a landlord who’s no help at all.

How to Know if Your Apartment is 'The One' - You Like Your Landlord (and Your Lease)

When talking (whether in person or over email or phone) to potential landlords or building managers, pay attention to how they answer your questions or concerns and how quickly they respond. Find someone who you like and feel you can trust.

Also, be sure the terms of your lease are OK. If no utilities are included and the rent is already on the high end of your budget or there are strict lease terms you can’t really agree to, the situation may not be the right fit for you.

It’s Well-Maintained

No renter should have to live in a place that’s constantly in need of repairs, small or large. During your apartment search, observe the overall condition of the building and the apartment, including its floors and walls.

How to Know if Your Apartment is 'The One' - It's Well Maintained

Then, inspect appliances, heating and cooling systems (if applicable), and faucets and fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to make sure everything is in good working order. Don’t feel bad about taking the time to do this– as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Your Location is Ideal

You should have done ample research on the best neighborhoods for you before beginning your apartment search. If not, consider whether the locations of the apartments you’re viewing are a good fit for you.

How to Know if Your Apartment is 'The One' - Your Location is Ideal

Is the neighborhood safe? Is the commute to school or work reasonable? Is the area easily accessible by public transportation or is there parking nearby? Are all of your everyday necessities in the vicinity (i.e., a grocery store, coffee shop, pet store, etc.)?

The Price is Right

It’s always best to go into apartment hunting with an ideal budget in mind, but you should nail down a maximum price you’re willing to stretch to in case you aren’t finding anything within your optimal price range.

How to Know if Your Apartment is 'The One' - The Price is Right

Your apartment may be “the one” if it’s a little over what you’d like to spend but makes up for that with amenities and location. Perhaps, for example, an apartment with a nice workout facility is more expensive, but then you could also cancel your gym membership to offset that added cost.

However, that doesn’t mean you should go over what you can reasonably pay per month.

It Has Your Non-Negotiable Amenities

Personally, I can’t live in an apartment without a dishwasher. In my experience, that will result in a sink constantly full of dirty dishes and an overextended food budget. Why? Because I’d rather buy food than clean my dishes and make meals at home.

How to Know if Your Apartment is 'The One' - It Has Your Non-Negotiable Amenities

Decide what your non-negotiable amenities are before apartment searching. Your ideal apartment should have as many of these as possible.

It’s the Right Fit for Your Furry Friend

Do you have a pet? Or are you considering getting one in the near future? Then the apartment has to be the right fit for your furry friend too. You wouldn’t marry someone your kids (assuming you have them) didn’t like, would you?

In any case, look for a place that has the right setup, amenities and location for your pets, and make sure the added deposits, fees and monthly rent will still keep the place within your budget. If you’re wondering how to know if a place is good for animals, look for other signs of dogs or cats in the building, like an outdoor doggie play area or a jar of treats at the front desk.

Keep in mind that it’s rare to find a “perfect” apartment. Much like finding the man or woman who is “the one” for you (you know, if you believe in that sort of thing), finding the right apartment may mean having to make a few compromises. While you shouldn’t settle for something that truly isn’t a good fit, give yourself a little wiggle room in all of these categories and look for a place that meets your most important criteria.

Source: ~ By 


Make Your Rental Search Mobile

realtor_comappWhen you launch the® Rentals App, you can immediately start looking for rentals in your area, but there are a few features that may not be apparent at first glance in this apartment rentals app.

When you arrive at the map view, you can swipe through your options. Click on one icon in the map and you will see information about the property on the bottom of your screen. If you want to see the other properties within the map, just swipe to scan through all of your options.

For you visual types, if you would rather use images to compare and contrast your housing options, just click on the list icon in the upper right corner.

Now you will see photos of all the listed properties. Swiping sideways and then scrolling down gives you a great sense of what your prospective destinations look like.

When you are out looking at a variety of rentals, it’s hard to keep track of all the places you’ve seen. To avoid that frazzled feeling, add your own photos to each listing to jog your memory. Add pictures of features you liked or photos of the view from the balcony. Simply sign in and click on the photos icon on any Rental Details page to upload your photos. These visual reminders will come in handy after a hectic day of house or apartment hunting.

In addition to pictures, you can also add notes to each rental details page. Just click on the Notes icon and type your thoughts while you are out and about.

Once you have taken photos or notes, you will notice new icons in your map view. Properties you’ve saved or made a note will have a red star icon, properties you’ve contacted will have the blue envelope icon, and the grey eyeball icon means you’ve looked at that property in the app.

While you are out on the road looking for a rental, it’s easy to contact landlords and property managers. Each detail page has links to email and/or call directly. Get in touch and find your next rental!

In the map view, you can keep track of all your progress. Just check the little icons to see which properties you have viewed, which ones you have noted, and which ones you have contacted.

We have also made it easy for you to filter your rental searches. Use the slider tools to help you find the right size and price. And for pet owners, we have made it easy to find a place that’s hospitable to your animals. Just check the boxes to filter for places that allow dogs and cats.

If you want to save your search activity, just click on the “Save” link next to the search box. You can access your saved searches and other recent activity by clicking on the menu in the upper left corner.

With all these useful utilities right at your fingertips, we know that the® Rentals App will be the key to finding the right rental for you!

Match Your Personality With Your Rental

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Searching for your first rental can be daunting. Within a short time frame, you need to find a place that matches your budget, your need for space, and above all, your personality.

The Quiet Type

If you’re someone who values quiet, beware renting a place that shares walls, ceilings or floors with adjoining units. Your best bet might be a studio or in-law unit behind a house in a quiet neighborhood.

Gotta Be Gregarious

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a rental that will take advantage of your social skills, look for a big apartment complex with an active community. You should also consider renting in a vibrant part of town that will provide you with plenty of opportunities to interact.

Low Maintenance

There’s no shame in the lack of a green thumb. If you’re not interested in keeping a yard at a rental home, you’re better off renting in a high-rise building or a complex that takes care of all gardening responsibilities.

Enjoy Exercise

Workout aficionados should look for apartment complexes with a gym option. Many complexes offer workout facilities, but you should make sure to scope them out before committing. If an on-site option isn’t available, make sure you find a place that’s close to a great gym. Also, keep an eye out for local trails and walkable neighborhoods around a rental.

Pet Priorities

You love your pets, but you may have difficulty finding a rental that allow animals. This is a deal-breaker for many renters, so make sure to find out a rental’s pet policy up front. Our® rental appprovides an easy way to screen for pet-friendly landlords.

Not Into a Scene

For people actively avoiding the hustle and bustle of an urban environment, the suburbs are a welcome respite. Parking is plentiful and the streets are quiet at night, but some renters may be turned off by the perceived sameness of suburban life. If you have a personality that doesn’t thrive on an urban scene, consider renting a place in the ‘burbs.

Thrilled by Newness

Some renters want to have the latest and greatest when it comes to appliances, fixtures and amenities. If this sounds familiar and you want all the modern conveniences, consider complexes built within the past five to 10 years.

Character is Important

On the other hand, if you’re a person who values charm and quaintness, and you can overlook funky flaws, your best bet is to look for a rental with character. Don’t get character mixed up with dump—if a rental is a dump, there’s no sense in trying to polish it. But if a place has the charm and spark you need, your rental experience will be sweet.

Storing It Up

If you’re one of those folks who end up acquiring stuff as the years fly by, think about where you’re gonna put it all. Whether you have well-curated collections on display or closets overflowing with boxes, if you tend toward the pack-rat personality, keep an eye on the storage options a rental offers. You’ll want to scope out the square footage and figure out how to make it work for you.


What to do in the first 24 hours in a New Place


The first 24 hours in a new place are vital — they can make a difference on how the first few months go and set the tone for the rest of the time you live there. So how should you spend the first 24 hours in a new place? Consider this list as your guide for those precious first hours.

Document everything and save it all or send it

If your landlord has asked you to fill out a condition report, do it as soon as you’re able to, and follow their instructions on whether you’re to drop it off to them or send a digital file, and include photos if you can. Also make plenty of notes and photos to keep yourself. And while there might be plenty of other things you want to dive into doing, also consider doing a walk-through and taking notes of certain maintenance items you want to do, like make your windows more energy efficient, and more. You don’t have to do anything just yet, just make a list.

Clean some spots that seem to need it

Even if your new home was cleaned before you moved in (and hopefully it was!) there still sometimes seems like there are a few spots that need a little extra attention by you. Some folks prefer taking extra swipes over places like toilet seats and door knobs. We like to suggest you do an extra clean in places that you might not be reaching often when your furniture gets into place.

Put together all the furniture and put it where it’s supposed to go

Start with the furniture that needs to be assembled, getting them together and putting them and their non-assemblage needing siblings in the rough areas of where they need to be located. If you didn’t have a lot of time to see the space before you move in and don’t have a furniture plan in place, go with your gut.

Make your bed

Trust us on this one, once your bed is assembled and in place, make it so you don’t have to try and find and wrestle with sheets after a long day of moving boxes.

Put all the boxes in the right rooms

You don’t have to unpack all the boxes yet, but at least try and move the boxes to the correct rooms they belong in. Whether you unpack in one long, unbroken string of hours or peck at it a bit as your first weeks in your new home go by, it’ll make it easier to put away and put together small areas and whole rooms faster if you’re not darting from room to room.

Take out and arrange your daily stuff

There are some things you just need on a daily basis. From toiletries, to towels to coffee-making supplies, take out the things you need and arrange them as best you can, and you’ll make having to get ready for work in a sea of boxes a lot easier.

Introduce yourself to any neighbors you come across

You don’t have to bring over warm, oven-baked cookies or anything, but if you happen across any neighbors in your first 24 hours in your new place, don’t tuck your chin and run (even if you are dirty from moving). Say hello and establish friendly terms early on.

Avoid doing loud things like hanging paintings and vacuuming late at night

Even though you’re bent on working through the night to get as much stuff done as possible, your neighbors are probably just trying to enjoy their lives (and sleep) as they normally are. So try not to be extra noisy and start out on the most considerate foot first.

(If there’s still time) Complete one room as much as possible

Choose a small space and try to “complete” it as much as you can. Unpack the boxes for that room and put stuff up where it needs to go (while making note of any storage solutions you might need in that space). Maybe not hang the art on the walls yet, but at least unwrap and lean in a spot near where’d you like to put it. Do all this so when the sea of boxes that seems never-ending threatens your sanity in the coming weeks, you’ll have one spot in your home you can retreat to so you can forget you just uprooted your life!


How to Fit Everything You Own Into One Storage Closet

One of the biggest shortcomings of many small apartments is the amount of storage space they offer. Or rather, the lack of storage space. In fact, in many cases, it’s not uncommon for small apartments to have a single storage closet for everything from clothes to shoes, cleaning supplies, luggage and more– especially in single-room studios.

How to Fit Everything You Own Into One Storage Closet

For people with numerous belongings, small storage makes for a big problem. However, if you’re planning on moving into a place with a single closet, there are a few practical ways to handle the matter. Here’s how to fit everything you own into a single storage closet:

Organize, Organize, Organize

Even in apartments with multiple closets, organization is the key to maximizing your storage. This means you should do two things: downsize and consolidate. Start by getting rid of stuff you don’t need anymore or items you’re simply hanging onto because you’ve had them forever (you know, like the CDs from your favorite band in middle school or your class notebooks from college).

How to Fit Everything You Own Into One Storage Closet - Organize, Organize, Organize

Then, with the items you have left, categorize them and decide the best way to store each group. Use similar containers when you can to eliminate as much dead space as possible– rectangular containers will stack together better than a mixture of square and round boxes and baskets.

Find Storage Elsewhere

Remember that even if you have one storage closet, it’s not the only place in your apartment where you can tuck extra stuff out of sight. Utilize other storage options to make more room in the closet. Try under-the-bed containers or drawers, for instance. You can even place bed risers underneath the legs of your bed to give yourself more room for bins and drawers.

How to Fit Everything You Own Into One Storage Closet - Find Storge Elsewhere

Or, buy double-duty furniture, like an ottoman with built-in storage or a dresser you can use as a TV stand. And don’t forget to use your bathroom and kitchen cabinets for as many items as you can– the more you use these other storage spots, the less you’ll have to worry about fitting into your closet.

Use Every Inch

Make practical use of the top shelves as much as you can by keeping items you don’t need very often on them. Opt for tall containers that will fit plenty of your things and maximize that often unused space at the very top (you may need to keep a step ladder on hand to get to these items).

How to Fit Everything You Own Into One Storage Closet - Use Every Inch

If you can, utilize floor and wall space, too. Hanging hooks and baskets on the back of the door or on the wall will provide an extra place for stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else.

Store By Ease of Access

The best way to organize your belongings in a stuffed storage closet (or anywhere in your apartment) is by how often you’ll need them. Keep little-used items in places you can’t access as easily, like on the top shelf, in the back of your bathroom cabinet or under the bed.

How to Fit Everything You Own Into One Storage Closet - Sort By Ease of Access

You don’t want to have to move around piles of boxes to get to items you’ll need regularly! Stuff you’ll need to access daily should be in drawers, shelves, or hanging in spots where you’ll be able to access them as easily as possible.

Vacuum Seal

If you’ve ever watched late-night infomercials, you’ve likely seen those vacuum-sealed bags that claim to turn stuffed and untidy closets into amazingly organized spaces that even have plenty of extra room for storage.

How to Fit Everything You Own Into One Storage Closet - Vacuum Seal

These vacuum-sealed bags really do work to consolidate soft items like linens and out-of-season clothes you won’t need for awhile. They’re certainly worth a try– you may find yourself with more storage than you anticipated!

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