Apartment Living

How to Properly Insulate a Window AC Unit

How to Properly Insulate a Window AC Unit

As springtime becomes summer, you might want to use your window air conditioning unit as temperatures rise. However, if your AC unit isn’t properly insulated, it might not keep your apartment as cool as you want. Below, learn how to properly insulate a window AC unit in your apartment. 

Why insulate your window AC unit?

If your window AC unit is not properly insulated, you might be inclined to set its temperature lower since it may seem to not be working well. A poorly insulated window AC unit can thus raise your energy bill. If you notice any cracks around your window AC unit, it’s best to fill the space between the top and bottom window panes to avoid hot air and pests entering your apartment.

Luckily, many air conditioners come with insulation foam that you can cut and shape to fit your apartment’s window. Window AC units also come with plastic curtains that slide out from the sides, though these don’t necessarily stop hot air from coming into your apartment. They’re better at preventing pests from entering. 

How to Properly Insulate a Window AC Unit

How to properly insulate your AC window unit

If your window AC unit did not come with insulation foam or its insulation is worn out, you can easily insulate the unit with a few supplies from the home improvement store. Once you have your supplies, follow the below steps:

1. Look for cracks around the top of the unit

Even if your window looks like it’s tightly closed and fully securing your AC unit, sometimes there’s a little space between the unit and the window. Outside air can enter your apartment through these cracks. 

2. Check your window sash

It’s best to check your window sash area to identify any insulation problems. Look whether the accordion side flaps are properly filling in the cracks. If there’s a single crack, you may be able to seal it temporarily with duct tape. Even if there are no cracks, you should replace the flaps If they look yellowed or worn. 

3. Clean the unit before insulation

It’s best to remove dirt, dust, and grease from your AC unit. This way, you ensure that your unit properly adheres to your window, thus making your insulation effective and long-lasting. 

4. Use caulk on the outside of the unit

In some cases, you can fix insulation issues with caulk. It’s best to use caulk outside the unit to seal it in place and reduce the chance of air flowing in and out. To make sure the caulk insulation is effective, caulk the outside of your window AC unit when the weather is dry and cool. Experts recommend using caulk when it’s about 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside. 

You can press rope caulk into gaps around your window AC unit. If you have large gaps, you may need to press two pieces of rope caulk around the outside of your unit to properly insulate it.

5. Use spray foam, but do so with caution

If you’re not planning to remove your window AC unit during the winter months, you can use spray foam to effectively seal and insulate gaps. Spray foam is highly effective at sealing cracks, but you’ll need to use it cautiously. It sets almost immediately upon application, and it can be extremely difficult to remove.

What other AC unit insulation tips do you have? Sound off in the comments!

Published at Thu, 01 Apr 2021 19:00:43 +0000

How (and How Often) to Deep Clean Your Fridge

When you see a fridge spill or identify a bad smell in your fridge, finding the culprit isn’t always easy. The good news is that you don’t have to find the source to eliminate it – deep-cleaning your fridge should do the trick. Below, learn how (and how often) you should deep clean your fridge.

Wash shelves and salad drawers

First, start deep cleaning your refrigerator by removing your food. Remove your fridge’s drawers, vegetable bins, and removable shelves. If it proves tough to remove drawers and shelves, it’s best to check the fridge’s user manual before you start to avoid any possible damage. If you don’t have a user guide, check the manufacturer’s website or try to contact the manufacturer with your fridge’s model number ready at hand. How (and How Often) to Deep Clean Your Fridge

Remove tough stains

You can often remove tough stains from your fridge’s drawers and shelves with a sponge or a rag soaked in hot water. To avoid burning your hands, wear kitchen gloves (which also help your hands stay clean). Wring out and compress the sponge or rag on sticky substances. Holding a hot sponge or rag on a spill will make removing stains and spills easier to clean up. For especially sticky spills, use the sponge as many times as needed.

After cleaning your drawers and shelves, then clean the remainder of your fridge’s interior. You can use an eraser sponge for this task, as it does better at removing stains and yellow scuff marks. To use an eraser sponge, wet the sponge and squeeze it out. Then, rub the eraser sponge on stains and watch the stains disappear. After the interior is clean, add your clean drawers and shelves back into the fridge.

Dust your fridge’s coils

You might not think about your refrigerator’s condenser coils, but if you want to clean your fridge especially deeply, it’s best to clean these coils. First, unplug your fridge. You can then clean the coils by gently using a coil brush or carefully using your vacuum if it has a crevice attachment. You will only need to clean your fridge’s coils once or twice per year. 

Clean your fridge’s exterior

Wipe your refrigerator’s doors with a cloth dampened with mild soap and water. Make sure to disinfect the fridge’s handles with a cleaning solution since the handles are high-touch surfaces. For stainless steel fridges, you can use a stainless steel spray and wipe in the direction of the steel’s grain. Lastly, make sure to dry your fridge to prevent streaks from showing.

How do I maintain a clean fridge?

Once a week, you should have a fridge toss day to remove leftovers. Throwing food out once a week will prevent food from molding and thus releasing odors or staining your fridge. If you have a hard time remembering when you got your food, you can write down the date you first put your food in your fridge on a food label or a dry-erase board in your kitchen.

How often should I deep clean my fridge?

You should give your fridge a deep clean every three to four months. In between deep cleanings, it’s best to wipe up spills before they dry and regularly remove spoiled food. Regularly cleaning will make deep cleanings easier in the long run.

How often do you deep clean your fridge? Sound off in the comments!

Published at Wed, 31 Mar 2021 17:00:18 +0000

Apartment Living

Masterclass in Monochrome

Masterclass in Monochrome

I’ve been an uber-fan of Dutch designer Faye Toogood for such a long time. Interiors, furniture, fashion – there’s nothing she touches that doesn’t turn to beautiful. Her Roly Poly chair is on the tippy top of my wishlist for the Hood Canal Cottage.

As I was internet rabbit holing looking for inspiration for the cottage over the weekend, I stumbled across this apartment on the real estate site The Modern House and was immediately stopped in my tracks. And of course it was designed by Toogood (interesting side note, the co-founder of The Modern House is Toogood’s husband!).

This apartment resides in Winchester, a hamlet toward the UK’s coast. The apartment resides on the ground floor of a historic Victorian building in the heart of this lovely town. The entire apartment is a major mood.

The project is such a great example of using consistency in your design to create an incredibly distinct point of view. I was immediately taken by the super consistent monochromatic color palette of cool whites and light grays used throughout the apartment. That sea of greige is punctuated by wood, little hits of black and touches of patinaed brass for punches of contrast.

A couple of things I really like about this kitchen – the single open self (I was just having a debate on Instagram this week about the status of the open shelving trend), the simple flat front cabinets (yay for no hardware-I did that in our kitchen too!) and the jumbo paper lantern pendant. I’m putting one in at Hood Canal and cannot wait to see it.

Vintage art is always a wonderful way to punctuate an otherwise plain hallway. So are those incredible light fixtures.

This cast-iron tub in the primary bedroom is truly spectacular. I love a tub in a bedroom.

That cast-concrete sink in the primary bedroom’s attached WC is just gorgeous and of course keeps within the approved color palette.

Designing a room – not to mention an entire home – can feel like a desperately overwhelming task as there are literally an infinite number of choices that can be made. But, if you give yourself parameters within which you must work, like a tightly honed color palette, so many decisions – from picking paint colors, to your family of light fixtures, to the final bedding selections -suddenly become that much easier.

As I work to determine the final finishes for Hood Canal, I’m going to come back to this project as a constant reminder to rein it in. When it comes to design, setting limitations is actually incredibly freeing.

images via the modern house

Published at Tue, 16 Mar 2021 09:18:01 +0000

Home Tour: Next Level Cottage Chic

As we dive head first into March (or is that tentatively tiptoe past the PTSD – it can go either way). I, for one, am dreaming of the long-awaited day when I can actually escape my house for a long stretch. Sadly, the #HoodCanalCottage is far behind schedule (and not just because it took me a month to find the perfect bathroom faucet. We also had to replace the roof!). For now, I just have to bide my time daydreaming about bucolic rural destinations. Thankfully, this stunning cottage in upstate New York, restored and redesigned by General Assembly, is helping me do just that.

As a tried and true modern lover and (aspiring) minimalist, I never thought I would be attracted to the cottage chic trend, but I think after nearly a year of Covid lockdown the idea of escapism has really taken hold. It helps that General Assembly dusted this 240+ year-old stone cottage with just the right amount of modern touches and the perfect level of restraint – transforming it into a stunning contemporary retreat that balances both modern and traditional styles quite nicely. You feel like you might be staying in what was once grannie’s cottage, but she doesn’t live here anymore!

Located on 4.5 acres on the New York/Pennsylvania state line, the Callicoon property is the charming vacation home of a young family who share their time between Manhattan and upstate NY. The house was built in 1780 and was updated with a second structure in 1877! And here I thought This Old Victorian was old.

General Assembly was contracted to handle all aspects of this renovation project from interior architecture to interior design, furniture sourcing and styling – with the specific request to provide more bedroom space. By rearranging most of the existing floor plans and moving the stairs that connect the two levels, the studio was able to turn the home into a comfortable 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom respite from Manhattan’s hustle and bustle (and/or lock down).

As it often is the case when working on a historic site, the overall goal for this project was to honor the building’s history and expose its existing structure and General Assembly certainly did just that. General Assembly’s sensitive approach treated the renovation as another chapter in the building’s life. From the get-go, the stone building was full of character and gave a lot of great elements to work with – from the thickness of the walls to the materials and the colors needed to balance the heavy stone, as well as the orientation of the natural light across the spaces. General Assembly did a wonderful job juxtaposing those architectural elements with a bevy of classic Scandinavian designs from iconic brands like Menu, &Tradition, and Fritz Hansen

Throughout the completed project, the home’s new architectural elements sit within the original stone shell – a clear line between what is new and old. With its visible smooth vs rough contrast, the original exposed header detail is a great example of how General Assembly made it a point to preserve and highlight what was already existing in the house. The staircase is also intentionally set off the stone wall to create another contrast of straight vs jagged and highlight the historic structure.

As you shift to the cottage’s upstairs living quarters the use of current materials comes into play, yet cottage vibes are maintained with the wide plank hardwood floors and simple, clean-lined furnishing and the consistent use of natural materials.

A sweet bathroom uses simple natural materials, a ceramic Cedar & Moss sconce and a floral wallpaper to add the cottage chic touch.

I love how the rustic header was preserved in this shower! This project is giving me so many ideas to cozy up the Hood Canal Cottage. While I don’t have any 200-year-old architectural elements to work with, it’s designs like this one that remind; the right layers and perfectly chosen pieces can infuse a deep sense of style and personality into any type of space.

I hope you find as much inspiration in this home as I do! For even more home tours click here.

photography by mathew williams courtesy of general assembly

Published at Wed, 03 Mar 2021 11:49:17 +0000

Apartment Living

The Cheapest Places to Live in Tennessee

The Cheapest Places to Live in Tennessee

It’s so appropriate that the Volunteer State has droves of people knocking down its door to move in.

Known for being super fun and friendly to people of all ages, Tennessee is also very affordable. In fact, there’s no state income tax, leaving all kinds of extra funds for rent. Where do we sign up?

Average rent prices in Tennessee

Even with some higher-end and trendy neighborhoods sprinkled throughout, Tennessee’s rent price still averages significantly lower than many other states, where it’s not unusual at all to drop two or three thousand bucks a month on a one-bedroom (*cough* California and Massachusetts *cough*).

Although Tennessee on the whole has seen a monthly rent increase of 5.12 percent in the last year, the average one-bedroom still runs $1,307.

The cheapest cities in Tennessee for renters

Fortunately for budget-conscious renters, the cities on this list fall well below the state average. Take a look at the 10 cheapest places to live in Tennessee, based on one-bedroom rent prices.

10. Clarksville

clarksville tn

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $918
  • Average rent change in the past year: 5.84%

Just less than an hour northeast of Nashville lies Clarksville, a sprawling community that has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Golf enthusiasts flock to the area to enjoy two public courses, Swan Lake Golf Course and Mason Rudolph Golf Course (named for the former PGA golfer who grew up in Clarksville).

Since middle Tennessee is one of the most picturesque areas of the country, locals also enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of the region via sites like Clarksville Greenway and Dunbar Cave State Park. It’s not all communing with nature, however — stop by Old Glory Distilling Co. and sample the tasting menu, if that sort of thing is your jam.

9. Sevierville

sevierville tennessee

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $908
  • Average rent change in the past year: -5.88%

Sevierville is a shining example of a best-of-both-worlds scenario. Located in East Tennessee, just outside Knoxville, the city is also barely north of majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s an easy commute from Sevierville, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that rent prices declined last year by nearly 6 percent. It also has some pretty cool attractions, including the Tennessee Museum of Aviation and NASCAR SpeedPark, among others.

8. Kingsport

kingsport tennessee

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $896
  • Average rent change in the past year: -0.27%

Next on our list of the cheapest places to live in Tennessee is one that’s barely in the state. Seriously, if a strong wind picks you up, you might just blow into Virginia, that’s how close Kingsport is to the line! It’s also barely a stone’s throw from Kentucky, to boot.

Kingsport is an outdoorsman’s dream, with close proximity to five state parks, six lakes and as the starting point for the historic 200-mile Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail. Locals also love their festivals, particularly the nine-day summertime Fun Fest.

7. Jackson

jackson tn

Source: / Camellia Trace
  • Average 1-BR rent price: $870
  • Average rent change in the past year: 1.83%

Almost smack in between the respective musical meccas of Memphis and Nashville lies Jackson, TN. In this heart of the Americana Music Triangle is where many famous musicians got their performance starts, including none other than Elvis Presley.

Not surprisingly, downtown Jackson has a bumping nightlife with everything from legit performers to DJs and brewpubs. Whatever your musical speed, Jackson has it in droves. Live near it all for a pretty reasonable rate in this super city, one of the cheapest places to live in Tennessee!

6. Cleveland

cleveland tennessee

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $831
  • Average rent change in the past year: -12.61%

The next city on our list is Cleveland, which experienced the biggest dip in rent prices over the last year at nearly 13 percent. Roughly 30 minutes east of Chattanooga, the only problem with living in Cleveland is that you’ll probably never do all the things you want to.

The city prides itself on adventuring, especially rafting, ziplining and horseback riding, to name a few. There’s also plenty of shopping and historic sites to take in, so plan your rental days here carefully and with tons of fun in mind. Cleveland is also the home of Lee University.

5. Bristol

bristol tennessee

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $691
  • Average rent change in the past year: 5.95%

The city of Bristol spans two states, with the northern half on the Virginia side of the border. Fortunately, the Tennessee portion has plenty to brag about and is probably best known as the site of Bristol Motor Speedway.

Not surprisingly, there are campgrounds galore for people who make the sojourn to regular races, as well as others who want to take in the area. There’s plenty of non-motorsports entertainment to take in, so don’t be discouraged by the presence of this sometimes dominating genre

4. Church Hill

church hill tn

Source: / Stoneybrook Townhomes
  • Average 1-BR rent price: $672
  • Average rent change in the past year: -4.05%

Situated in northeast Tennessee, just shy of the Virginia border, Church Hill is a short jaunt from the larger city of Kingsport, making it a very commutable option, indeed. With less than 7,000 residents, Church Hill offers city living with a small-town feel, a decidedly hard balance to strike.

It also boasts a low crime rate and low cost of living, but recent growth indicates that the price point will reverse course and start to rise pretty soon. For the moment though, it’s still near the top of our list of cheapest places to live in Tennessee.

3. Johnson City

johnson city tennessee

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $660
  • Average rent change in the past year: -9.31%

It’s a great time to rent in Johnson City since rates are down more than 9 percent compared with this time last year. Found in east Tennessee, Johnson City is bursting with parks dedicated to boating, mountain biking, hiking and climbing.

The presence of East Tennessee State University helps bring rental rates down quite a bit, but make sure you’re OK with living in a potentially student-filled complex before signing on the dotted line.

2. Dayton

dayton tennessee

  • Average 1-BR rent price: $510
  • Average rent change in the past year: 0.00%

You definitely won’t break the bank in Dayton, which lies just north of Chattanooga. It’s known particularly for the giant bass in Chickamauga Lake, making it a fisherman’s paradise and the site of many tournaments.

The city also prides itself on a whimsical downtown area, filled with charming eateries, shopping and brewpubs.

1. Bolivar

bolivar tennessee

Source: / Raines East
  • Average 1-BR rent price: $470
  • Average rent change in the past year: 0.00%

Not too far east of Memphis is the city of Bolivar, so named for a famous South American revolutionary. With an average rate of less than $500 per month for a one-bedroom rental, Bolivar is certainly the cheapest city in Tennessee by a significant margin.

A quiet hamlet by day, Bolivar nonetheless knows how to have a good time, regularly putting on events on the city’s beloved square. Area residents also enjoy locally-owned restaurants and shopping that rival anything found in the “big” city.

The 25 cheapest places to live in Tennessee

If the city you’re eyeing didn’t make the top 10, don’t fret! There are plenty more cheap places to live in Tennessee. Check out the rest of the top 25 here.


Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. We pulled our data in December 2020, and it goes back for one year. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.

We excluded cities with insufficient inventory from this report.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Thu, 04 Feb 2021 14:00:03 +0000

The Cheapest Places to Live in California

California has so much to offer — from its beautiful beaches, national parks and vineyards to the iconic theme parks, film sets and Hollywood.

While it’s a great place to live, it can also be pricey. Many different factors come into play when deciding where to live, including location, commute time, restaurants, safety and one of the biggest factors — the cost of living.

Certain California cities have seen decreases in rent prices over the past couple of years, which is great for renters looking to live in California without paying notorious rental prices.

California state average rent prices

It’s commonly known that rent in some California cities can be extremely expensive (think San Francisco or Los Angeles). While this is true in some cities, there are several cities that are some of the cheapest places to live in California.

The average rent price in California is $2,568 for a one-bedroom apartment and there’s actually an average rent decrease of 3.53 percent year over year.

The cheapest cities in California for renters

While California may be pricier compared to other states, that doesn’t mean there aren’t less expensive cities to call home.

Here’s a look at some of the cheapest places to live in California.

10. San Bernardino

san bernardino

  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,257
  • Rent change in the past year: 3.67%

San Bernardino, located east of Los Angeles, is one of the cheapest cities to live in California. One of the oldest cities in the state, San Bernardino has so much to offer. Some of its attractions include the First Original McDonald’s Museum, as well as the Robert V. Fullerton Museum of Art, which hosts many ancient Egyptian antiquities.

Even those it’s among the cheapest places to live in California, rent has actually increased by almost 4 percent since last year.

9. Carmichael

carmichael ca

Source: / Vista Torre
  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,243
  • Rent change in the past year: -5.01%

Home to many young professionals, Carmichael is a suburb of Sacramento and has a population of 64,785 people. If you enjoy outdoor activities, Carmichael is a great place for you as it has many nature parks and nature centers. Live near a large city and still enjoy the perks of nature in this town.

8. Rancho Cordova

rancho cordova ca

Source: / Avion
  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,235
  • Rent change in the past year: -14.50%

Rancho Cordova, once prominent in the California Gold Rush, is also a suburb of Sacramento. This city is home to many families as Rancho Cordova has a great school system. It has also been rated as one of the best places to work and it employs around 50,000 commuters. Plus, the rent is one of the cheapest in the state.

7. Hemet

hemet ca

  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,219
  • Rent change in the past year: 11.33%

Hemet, a suburb of Riverside County, is one of the cheapest cities to live in California. The city is under an hour from Huntington Beach, so it’s a great place to live and get both the suburb lifestyle while being close to the action and water.

6. Bakersfield

bakersfield ca

  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,170
  • Rent change in the past year: 7.84%

Bakersfield, just north of Los Angeles, was once a looked-over city that people simply drove through. However, it is now considered a great city to put down roots. With a new boom in the oil and agriculture industries, a healthy job market and an affordable cost of living, many people are drawn towards this city.

These are just a couple of reasons people love living in Bakersfield. It also has an extensive list of outdoor activities to choose from. The city is within driving distance from the Sierra Nevada mountain range, as well as many of California’s national forests.

5. Stockton

stockton ca

  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,122
  • Rent change in the past year: -13.32%

Nestled along the waterfront and located in Northern California, Stockton is a popular place to settle down. Just 50 miles from Sacramento and a little more than an hour from San Francisco, this city is a great place for super-commuters looking to be close enough to the city without breaking the bank.

4. Merced

merced ca

  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,116
  • Rent change in the past year:14.97%

Merced is a great place to live if you’re looking for an affordable place to live in California. The city is centrally located in the state about halfway between Stockton and Fresno. In fact, if you threw a dart at a map of California and hit the bullseye, you’d hit Merced.

Its close proximity to Yosemite National Park also makes it ideal for people who like outdoor activities.

3. Fresno

fresno ca

  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,113
  • Rent change in the past year: -10.84%

Los Angeles and San Francisco may be some of the most well-known areas in California, but did you know Fresno is the fifth-largest city in the Golden State? This city is very popular among residents due to its affordable living costs, as well as its central location. The city has a great restaurant scene as well as a pretty big art scene.

Plus, rent prices have dropped nearly 11 percent over the past year, making it a great time to move there.

2. Lodi

lodi ca

  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,219
  • Rent change in the past year: -3.71%

Set between San Francisco and the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies Lodi wine country. Lodi is one of the fastest-growing wine destinations in California. It’s also known as the “Watermelon Capital of the Country,” due to the number of watermelons that grow here.

This city has lots of perks for residents, but one of the biggest is the low cost of rent. Lodi is the second-cheapest city for renters in California.

1. Turlock

turlock ca

Source: / Tapestry at Silverwood
  • Average one-bedroom rent price: $1,013
  • Rent change in the past year: -0.67%

Turlock, otherwise known as the “Heart of the Valley” for its agriculture, is the cheapest city to live in California. It has a small-town feel and affordable living. You can rent a one-bedroom apartment for roughly $1,000 a month. Where else in California can you find that kind of pricing?

The 25 cheapest places to live in California

With sandy beaches, bustling cities and so much more, California has always been a sought after place to live. While these are the 10 cheapest cities to live in California, they are not the only ones that are affordable for renters. Below is a chart of the 25 cheapest places to live in California. Take a look over to decide if this state is the right one for you.


Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. We pulled our data in December 2020, and it goes back for one year. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.

We excluded cities with insufficient inventory from this report.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:00:45 +0000

Apartment Living

Moving Company Quotes & Tips to Plan Your Move | MYMOVE

Moving Company Quotes & Tips to Plan Your Move | MYMOVE

What is MYMOVE?

MYMOVE is your one-stop-shop for all things moving. We know that moving can be stressful, and we’re here to help lighten the load.
As an authorized affiliate of the USPS®, we connect more than 5 million people each year to name-brand deals and expert resources that make moving easier. We bring everything you need for your move together, so you don’t have to manage it on your own.
With MYMOVE, you can say goodbye to moving stress and hello to tools that help you tackle your move.

How can I use MYMOVE’s resources to check off my moving to-dos?

We’re here to help you take control of your move.
Learn everything you need to know about your new area with our city guides and cost of living calculator. Organize all of your to-dos with our customizable moving checklist. Compare moving companies on our site to find the best moving services. Declutter before you pack, and we’ll help you find charities in your area that do free donation pickup. File an online change-of-address with USPS®, and we’ll make sure your mail moves with you.
No matter the moving task, we help you tackle it.

Latest updates and news:

Are you planning a move during COVID-19? You’re not the only one. 15.9 million people moved during the first six months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent MYMOVE study. The study, which looked at USPS® mail forwarding requests from February to July, found that the total number of moves during coronavirus increased compared to the same period last year.

We also found that temporary moves increased by 27%, and people left large, densely populated cities like Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Chicago in unprecedented numbers. Read more about that study here.

If you have plans to move during the pandemic, take precautions to keep you and your family healthy. Follow our coronavirus safety guide to prevent the spread of the virus on Moving Day. If you’re a college student moving out of the dorms for winter break, here are some tips and resources to help lighten the load and keep you safe.

Winter months and the pandemic can add stress and anxiety if you’re experiencing housing instability. If you’re facing possible homelessness or are at risk of a lease ending during coronavirus, our guides connect you to resources and expert advice.

Published at

Moving Company Quotes & Tips to Plan Your Move | MYMOVE

What is MYMOVE?

MYMOVE is your one-stop-shop for all things moving. We know that moving can be stressful, and we’re here to help lighten the load.
As an authorized affiliate of the USPS®, we connect more than 5 million people each year to name-brand deals and expert resources that make moving easier. We bring everything you need for your move together, so you don’t have to manage it on your own.
With MYMOVE, you can say goodbye to moving stress and hello to tools that help you tackle your move.

How can I use MYMOVE’s resources to check off my moving to-dos?

We’re here to help you take control of your move.
Learn everything you need to know about your new area with our city guides and cost of living calculator. Organize all of your to-dos with our customizable moving checklist. Compare moving companies on our site to find the best moving services. Declutter before you pack, and we’ll help you find charities in your area that do free donation pickup. File an online change-of-address with USPS®, and we’ll make sure your mail moves with you.
No matter the moving task, we help you tackle it.

Latest updates and news:

Are you planning a move during COVID-19? You’re not the only one. 15.9 million people moved during the first six months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent MYMOVE study. The study, which looked at USPS® mail forwarding requests from February to July, found that the total number of moves during coronavirus increased compared to the same period last year.

We also found that temporary moves increased by 27%, and people left large, densely populated cities like Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Chicago in unprecedented numbers. Read more about that study here.

If you have plans to move during the pandemic, take precautions to keep you and your family healthy. Follow our coronavirus safety guide to prevent the spread of the virus on Moving Day. If you’re a college student moving out of the dorms for winter break, here are some tips and resources to help lighten the load and keep you safe.

Winter months and the pandemic can add stress and anxiety if you’re experiencing housing instability. If you’re facing possible homelessness or are at risk of a lease ending during coronavirus, our guides connect you to resources and expert advice.

Published at

Apartment Living

A Cozy New Rug Collection

A Cozy New Rug Collection

Hello friends! Praise be, the election is over and I just marked my birthday over the weekend – my official holiday season milestone. Whenever the calendar passes November 8, I feel like I can finally turn 100% of my attention to all things holiday. Obviously, the holidays are going to look and feel very different than years past. Perhaps instead of the holiday season, we should start referring to the next few months as the hunker down season. Because that’s what holidays in the time of Covid are going to require of us. But I’m not entirely mad about the idea of holing up at home. I’ll take a very valid excuse to look for ways to make my home as cozy, comforting, and beautiful as possible.

Enter the new rug collection from Beni Rugs, designed by my style soul twin, Colin King.

A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34

Called the Shape of Color, this new rug collection offers eleven Moroccan style rugs. Each rug features shocks of color inspired by Tangier and Marrakech. The hues are deeply saturated in simple geometric shapes or big bold stripes.

A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34

While I typically eschew color, rugs are a wonderful spot to inject something fresh into a room. I used a bold colored rug in my own living room. The particularly nice thing about a rug – it’s an easy way to reenergize a space without really having to change anything else.

A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34 A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34 A Cozy New Rug Collection on Apartment 34

There are a few secrets to picking out a rug. First, you want to think about size. A common mistake is getting a rug that is too small. You want all (or nearly all) your furniture in a space to sit on your rug. That helps a room feel anchored and like everything is working together. A too-small rug will actually make a small space feel even smaller!

Next, you want to think about foot traffic. If you’re looking to put a rug in a high foot traffic area, you’ll want to ensure any rug you select will withstand an onslaught of dirt and use.

Finally, when adding a colorful rug to your space you don’t need to “match your decor. You just want to keep everything in the same design family. Do you decorate with mostly warm colors or cooler tones? That will help you pick your colors.


If you’re looking to upgrade the coziness of your home before the holidays hit, I definitely think one of these rugs would be a great way to do it. I’m already debating which one I might add to our house. I do have a home office refresh in the works! If I pick out one of these rugs – I’ll be sure to share.

How are you planning on sprucing up your spaces for the holidays?

images c/o beni rugs

Published at Tue, 10 Nov 2020 20:10:40 +0000

The Calm Before the Storm

It feels extremely odd to focus on design this week, but I’m considering it a form of self-preservation today. We all need to do what calms us as we prepare for the inevitable storm ahead. Please tell me you’re voting today or tomorrow if you haven’t already. Click here to find your polling place. Every single vote matters – even if you think your vote won’t make a difference where you live – I promise you it will. Please please please vote.

While we all await our fate, please enjoy this stunning project designed by my go-to gal Lauren Nelson. It is incredibly soothing.

I have major entry envy.

Both a guest house and private tasting room for Petrichor Vineyards in Santa Rosa, CA, Lauren put her magic touch of approachable sophistication mixed with laid-back elegance in every single space she touched. Subtle Morrocan vibes, classic well-made pieces, and a muted yet saturated color palette work beautifully. I particularly love the use of the deep, rich blue tones in the updated kitchen. All the natural light and vaulted ceilings keep the space feeling open and bright despite the darker hues.

Lauren is the queen at beautifully impactful simple moments. This vintage chair and stunning cabinet make me feel like I’m somewhere in Italy.

Even though we’re in the heart of wine country, I am loving the Moroccan vibes peppered throughout the home.

This bedroom has such a mix of textures and styles, yet everything, from the rug to the bed to the curtains to the sconces all play harmoniously.

This officially might be my favorite bathroom vanity of all time. The counter top sink, the sconces, that faucet and yummy texture on the walls…it’s all delicious.

This space is going to serve as my moment of zen – I plan on revisiting it regularly between now and the end of the election day – whenever that may be. I hope this home tour brings you both some calm and some hope. I truly believe we have the capacity to bring ourselves back from the brink. We just have to show up and make our voices heard.

photos by bess friday courtesy of lauren nelson design

Published at Mon, 02 Nov 2020 17:31:23 +0000

Apartment Living

The Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

The Best Neighborhoods in Chicago

Find the best place to call home in the Windy City.

Chicago is known for being home to a number of Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries, including finance, retail, transportation and food processing. It also has world-class hospitals and universities, a robust tech scene and several welcoming start-up hubs and incubators. And, of course, a handful of great Chicago neighborhoods.

The best neighborhoods in Chicago feature a welcoming atmosphere, alongside award-winning restaurants and bars, coffee shops and independent businesses whose shopkeeper’s will ask you how you’re doing when you stop in. The difficult decision isn’t whether to move to Chicago. The hard part is deciding in which neighborhood to move.

Here are 10 of the best neighborhoods in Chicago to consider.

Andersonville, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Some people might find A’ville, as Andersonville is sometimes referred to, a bit too north for their taste and that’s fine with residents who live along tree-lined streets and frequent their local indie coffee shop, gift and home décor boutiques and restaurants along Clark Street.

It’s a popular area among LGBTQ residents, too. The current owners of Women and Children’s First bookstore, which has been around since 1979 and at this Andersonville location since 1990, consider themselves intersectional trans-inclusive feminists. They curate their bookshelves of more than 20,000 books on feminism, books by and about women, children’s books and LGBTQIA+ literature.

Kenwood, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Located on the South Side and just north of Hyde Park, Kenwood was once home to Muddy Waters, credited to be among the Chicago Blues pioneers, as well as Louis Sullivan, known as one of America’s greatest architects. The tree-lined streets of Kenwood are lined with 19th-century mansions and architecturally-significant apartment buildings.

The Burnham Nature Sanctuary is just one of the many reasons to escape to the outdoors within the 100-acre urban wilderness that makes up the Burnham Wildlife Corridor. Then, check out Goree Cuisine for a Sengalese meal before popping into Carver 47 Cafe half a block west for a drink made from ingredients from their in-house garden.

Lakeview, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Lakeview is all over the board when it comes to neighborhood personalities. At one point, Wrigleyville seemed to be the place where every college graduate decided to move so they could be closer to cheering their beloved Cubbies. It still attracts a younger crowd but there are plenty of seasoned residents who’ve learned to live with the crowded bars and congested streets whenever a baseball game is in play.

Just west of Wrigleyville is more subdued. The stroller brigades take residence so expect to see strollers parked outside popular brunch hangouts or the kid-friendly boutiques that line Southport Avenue.

Then there’s Lakeview East, also known as Boystown since it’s a popular LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood and where Pride Parade and the annual Halsted Street Market Days takes place. The recent controversy over the Boystown name resulted in a new name for the area: Northalsted. The jury is out whether that name will stick.

Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

The Lincoln Park neighborhood is home to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park, a 1,208-acre park situation along Lake Michigan. It’s a tony neighborhood filled with million-dollar single-family homes along tree-lined streets. Thanks to its close proximity to Lake Michigan, it’s also home to several high-rise and low-rise apartments that range in rental rates.

Locals love strolling along the South Pond, which some call the Lincoln Park Lagoon, or visiting the animals in the free Lincoln Park Zoo. Shoppers who love independent stores will appreciate the cute indie shops along Armitage Avenue as well as a mix of locals and chains along Clark Street near Diversey.

Lincoln Square, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

For those who want more of a family community feel, Lincoln Square is loaded with single-family homes, condos and apartment buildings and families with kids who are attending local public and private schools. This is very much a community at heart.

Neighbors and families often meet up at Welles Park to watch Little League games and many a new parent has brought their wee one to Wiggleworm classes at Old Town School of Folk Music just south of the park.

Logan Square, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes

What was once a quiet neighborhood with a large immigrant population has become more gentrified as young and hip Chicagoans who don’t want to pay the higher rental rates in Wicker Park or Bucktown head farther north to Logan Square.

Having a few stops along the Blue Line and easy access to both Milwaukee Avenue, which runs through Logan Square, and the Kennedy Expressway makes it convenient to live here and get around other parts of the city relatively quickly.

Locals love having their own farmers market along Logan Boulevard and tons of shops along Milwaukee Avenue, including a food co-op, boxing gym, tons of independent restaurants, bars and coffee shops, as well as their own movie theater.

Near South Side, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

The Near South Side includes the South Loop, Printers Row and Chinatown. Within walking distance to the Loop and Lake Michigan, it’s popular among both professionals who live in the business district and families who love the convenience of the location since it also includes the Museum Campus and a healthy dose of restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

The South Loop is filled with mostly high-rise apartments and condo buildings. Printers Row, formerly part of the printing and publishing industry, is comprised of industrial-era brick buildings that have been converted into residential lofts. Chinatown has a mix of apartment buildings and single-family homes — the large Asian population that lives in this community appreciates having easy and walking access to restaurants and grocery shops stocking sizable selections of Asian sauces, meats, seafood, vegetables and more.

South Shore, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

The South Shore is one of Chicago’s 77 defined community areas which includes several neighborhoods within the area. It lines Lake Michigan, and residents love the easy access to Rainbow Beach, as well as the South Shore Cultural Center, a 65-acre park with a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, culinary center, nature center and a variety of cultural programming and classes.

The Japanese Garden within Jackson Park is another oasis within this city. Since the Stony Island Arts Bank re-opened as an art gallery, media archive, gorgeous library and community center in 2015, it’s quickly become not only a gathering space for the community but a place for scholars, artists and researchers to engage with the rich history of the South Side.

West Loop, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

As the name implies, West Loop is west of the Loop, and what was once an industrial meatpacking district has become one of the hottest and most expensive parts of the city. Developers razed those warehouses and replaced them with shiny new luxury condo and apartment complexes. Even Harpo Studios, which used to air the Oprah Winfrey Show, was demolished to make way for the new McDonald’s corporate headquarters.

It took some time for businesses to follow but once people started filling in those tall buildings, and corporations like McDonald’s Corporate and Google Chicago Headquarters moved in, daycare centers, puppy boutiques, florists and bike shops starting filling in those first-floor retail spaces. Randolph Street quickly became known as Restaurant Row with its high-end restaurants and bars.

This is a busy neighborhood so if you like the hustle and bustle of city living, West Loop might be a good fit for you.

Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

As one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago, Wicker Park is known for its quirky shops and equally quirky residents. At the heart of Wicker Park is the Flat Iron Arts Building, which houses artist studios, tattoo parlors, galleries, creative businesses and restaurants. While the building is open daily to the public, the first Friday of the month is when the artists open their doors and invite the community in to see their work.

The area has become more gentrified and the low rents that once attracted the artist community have given way to larger condo buildings. Night and day, the area is bustling with activity, whether it’s locals heading to Quimby’s Bookstore for the latest ‘zine or meeting up with friends over coffee at Wormhole.

The best Chicago neighborhood: Yours

Chicago may have 77 community areas with unique neighborhoods within them, and choosing the best Chicago neighborhood can be hard. The best part of living in Chicago is no matter where you live, the entire city is accessible to you to have fun and explore.

Published at Wed, 11 Nov 2020 14:06:01 +0000

The Best Neighborhoods in Austin

Bursting at the seams with breakfast tacos, live music, high-tech jobs and vibrant youth culture, Austin has been topping best-of lists for decades.

While old-timers strive to “keep it weird,” the constant influx of new residents has introduced a flourishing restaurant, bar and hospitality element to many of the best neighborhoods in Austin.

In a place known for friendliness and fun, no matter where you land, you’re sure to find your groove. There really isn’t a bad part of town, which can make it hard to choose a neighborhood. Never fear, the following list will help you find your feet in this quirky capital.

crestview austin tx

Source: / Midtown Commons at Crestview Station

Crestview is known for being family-friendly. It’s a quaint older neighborhood filled with bungalows and ranch-style homes boasting tidy, well-kept yards. The tight-knit district enjoys proximity to community gardens, parks and top-rated schools.

In recent years, younger professionals have moved into the area, and a flurry of hip eateries and boutique retail have popped up in response. The local dive bar Lala’s Little Nugget is a crowd-pleaser, and an enclave of Asian groceries and restaurants infuse some delicious diversity along Lamar. With a combination of old and new housing, there is something in Crestview for everyone.

downtown austin

The flashiest area code in town by far, this neighborhood is immediately recognizable for its towering glass high rises. Vibrating with life day and night, this is truly the epicenter of the city. Unlike downtowns in neighboring big cities, Austin’s downtown offers a healthy work/life balance.

This neighborhood is nestled against Ladybird Lake and the greenbelt, so fresh air and nature are never far away. You’re also within walking distance to live music at Moody Theater and a luxury spa day at Milk & Honey. The price tag is steep, but the payoff is worth it for singles and professionals who want to be where the action is.

hyde park austin tx

Source: / Su Casa Apartments

Central to everything, Hyde Park is an Austin original. This enclave is hands-down the most well-preserved historic neighborhood in town and features a stunning collection of Victorian homes, mid-century bungalows and clapboard carriage houses.

The area offers chic and practical shopping and dining, including upscale Italian at Asti and local cheese from Antonelli’s. A mix of families and students keep Hyde Park diverse, and the small-town feel makes it one of the most sought-after ZIP codes.

mueller austin tx

Source: / Mosaic at Mueller

The former home of the original Austin airport, Mueller is now the largest mixed-use development in the city. With an Alamo Theater within walking distance from kiddo paradise The Exploratorium, this area is ideal for singles, families, professionals and even seniors.

With ample park space, a farmer’s market and multiple public pools, this neighborhood is as engaging as it is convenient. You’ll find every type of housing at every price point.

north loop austin tx

Source: / Flora Apartments

A quaint neighborhood brimming with vintage homes from the 1950s, North Loop is home to a nice slice of old Austin and a meaty helping of newcomers, too. A thriving local business scene is central to the area, with Epoch Coffeehouse and The Parlor pizzeria at its core.

Local bars and restaurants run the gamut from high-end to lowbrow, and there are plenty of boutique shops. Proximity to the University of Texas at Austin makes the neighborhood attractive to students, but the safety and local amenities also draw families and young professionals.

north university austin tx

Source: / Venue on Guadalupe

Also known as North Campus, North University is quieter and more diverse than UT’s rowdy West Campus with its Greek societies. This neighborhood is extremely bike-friendly. And, its tree-lined streets are home to a mix of students, faculty, young professionals, families and retirees.

Local dining options range from funky hometown favorites like Torchy’s Tacos and Thundercloud Subs to eclectic Ethiopian and Japanese options. Housing ranges from duplexes to upscale condos, making this a comfortable landing spot for anyone looking to call Austin home.

riverside austin tx

Source: / The Breakers on the Lake

This community has affordable neighborhoods with easy access to Downtown. Just south of the river, Riverside features a mix of housing and wide-ranging demographics. Many young professionals have moved into the new, modern riverfront condos, while students live in large apartment complexes further east.

Expect a blend of ethnic and budget shopping, along with bars, clubs and riverfront outdoor activities like stand-up paddleboarding and boating. Emos host raucous live indoor shows and the boardwalk trail at Ladybird Lake gives a unique vantage point of Downtown.

south lamar austin tx

Source: / Thornton Flats

Trendy, hip and happening, South Lamar was once a humdrum part of town known best for used car lots. Now, it’s one of the most vibrant parts of the city, where singles, artists and creatives flock for inspiration, recreation and affordable living.

From two-stepping at the Broken Spoke to award-winning sushi at Uchi, there’s plenty for everyone here. If you don’t mind the traffic and noise, South Lamar serves up live music, bars, boutiques and local food better than anywhere else in town.

westgate austin tx

Source: / 4704 Sunset Trail

Westgate is a small, classic Austin neighborhood that offers diversity, green space and plenty of shopping. This little pocket of the city is home to a community of families and empty-nesters.

With modest and rustic homes sitting beneath ancient oak trees, the proximity to schools, a sports complex and amenities galore attract residents who want access to the city without the noise and crowds. Meanwhile, foodies flock to Central Market, and Cavender’s Boot is fun to visit, even if you’re not in the market for cowboy duds.

zilker austin tx

In the rolling hills of Austin, just outside of the hustle and bustle of the nearby park of the same name, Zilker is an enclave of quiet and calm encased in greenspace.

While shopping, nightlife and dining are all a stone’s throw away, this community also attracts residents who love Barton Springs Pool, hiking the greenbelt and enjoying the nearby bike trails. Anyone who can afford the entry price is lucky to live in this verdant neighborhood in the hills.

Find the best Austin neighborhood for you

Despite a reputation as a party town, Austin is a complex city filled with every type of neighborhood you could imagine. Finding the right fit for you may take a bit of research, but whether you’re seeking a peaceful hideaway or a hipster hotspot, you can find it in the capital of Texas.

Published at Tue, 10 Nov 2020 21:52:41 +0000

Apartment Living

Love Country Chic Style? 12 South’s the Place for You

Love Country Chic Style? 12 South’s the Place for You

The 12 South area has a vibe unlike any other in the Metro Nashville area. It’s got beautiful parks and a host of diverse restaurants. But what makes it truly unique is the smattering of locally-owned boutiques, western-wear and vintage shops lining the main drag.

There’s certainly a lot to see and do. It’s no wonder so many new Nashvillians choose 12 South to put their roots down. So let’s take a look at the cool things 12 South has to offer and what to expect if you decide it’s the place for you!

Where is 12 South?

Bordering Belmont Blvd and Melrose, with a splash of 8th Ave S. to its northeast, 12 South is actually one of the city’s smaller neighborhoods. Its main drag is about ½ mile of 12th Ave S. It’s a highly residential area, with lots of bungalow-style homes lining the shady streets. There are a lot of apartment homes in the community’s hub as well.

People move to the area for its distinctly southern personality, walkability and its close proximity to plenty of other neighborhoods in greater Nashville.


Like many other neighborhoods in Nashville, 12 South has had its ups and downs. Before the 2000s, it wasn’t the fashionable hotspot you’ll see today. In fact, there wasn’t much to see there at all but some older single-family homes.

Now, many of those homes (some from the very early 1900s) have been restored. Within a decade, well over 20 new businesses have opened. Needless to say, today’s 12 South neighborhood is a thriving hub of commerce and activity.


Very family-oriented, the sidewalks of the 12 South area are full of young families with strollers. You’ll see plenty of young singles also frequenting the many trendy bars and restaurants in the neighborhood. The vibe is very laid back, fun and friendly.

Things to Do

Whether you’re in the mood for some shopping, playing on the playgrounds and green spaces of Sevier Park, or bar hopping at many of the strips’ fun establishments – there’s a lot to do in 12 South.


12 South is a mecca for fun and funky western wear and a ton of other diverse specialty shops. So many, in fact, we’ll just point out a few. You’ll have to come and see the rest for yourself. Reese Witherspoon’s southern-inspired clothing store Draper James is in the heart of the main drag. As is Imogene & Willie, a store devoted almost exclusively to denim in all its best forms.

Serendipity is also a neighborhood staple, offering up all kinds of eclectic clothing, jewelry, gifts and books. They also offer the Dolly Parton prayer candle we could all really use right now. You’ll find Judith Bright, a specialty jewelry boutique with a cult following throughout the Southeast. You can also duck into Ceri Hoover for luxury leather shoes, handbags and other accessories.

12 South is home to White’s Mercantile (a general store with food, home goods, clothing and more). There’s Halcyon bike shop for the cycling enthusiast, and Wags and Whiskers, offering up holistic pet foods, treats, toys and a DIY dog wash.

Fitness and outdoor fun

Sevier Park is the community center (literally) for fitness and outdoor activities in the 12 South neighborhood. The Sevier Park community center is a full-service fitness center, including a gym, group exercise/dance classes, indoor and outdoor walking and running tracks, outdoor playgrounds and more.

On Tuesday afternoons from May to October, Sevier Park hosts the 12 South Farmer’s Market. There you’ll find a vast amount of locally grown farm-fresh produce, edible goods and more than a few of the city’s best food trucks.

Where to Eat & Drink

A vast diversity of great restaurants and bars line 12th Ave S, from Lebanese cuisine to authentic gourmet Paletas and everything in between. You’ll also find more than a few coffee shops, a tea bar and some bakeries you won’t be able to resist. Oh, and you should know that brunch is HUGE around here.

Edley’s Bar-B-Que

With 3 locations in the Nashville metro area, Edley’s is a hometown icon that’s been voted best barbeque in Nashville by the Nashville Scene’s readers poll multiple years in a row. Pulled barbeque sandwiches, huge platters, gorgeous sides and lots more can be found on its massive menu.

Urban Grub

This place is everything you’d want in a comfortable fine-dining atmosphere. They’ve got their own butcher shop, fresh oyster bar and gorgeous indoor/outdoor dining spaces. Order traditional plates, or opt for building your own charcuterie platter with their signature meats, cheeses and seafood if you’re in the mood for a little bit of everything.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

If you need ice cream, Jeni’s is the place to go, hands down. The creativity of their flavors alone merits the line you’ll usually find down the block in the summertime just to get into the place.

Real Estate Snapshot

While 12 South apartments are pricier than the Nashville average by roughly $180, it’s nowhere nearly as expensive to live there as in other areas in the city. An average 850-900 square foot apartment home will set you back approximately $1,609. Which is a steal when you look at everything 12 South has to offer – all within walking distance.


The metro bus system has plenty of stops along 12th Ave S, making it a convenient place to live if you prefer to leave the car behind.

Schools & Employment

There are plenty of public elementary, middle and high schools serving the 12 South area, and there are plenty of private schools as well. The esteemed private Belmont University is a quick couple of blocks away.

Employment in the area is fueled mainly by its local businesses. Still, its close proximity to many of the surrounding areas means you could work just about anywhere in the city with a reasonable commute via car or bus.

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Published at Fri, 30 Oct 2020 14:57:35 +0000

3 Ways to Make Your Wardrobe Stay-At-Home Friendly

As much as getting dressed up for work was something some of us enjoyed (while others not so much), working from home has limited the extent to which we can embrace fashion and take full advantage of our wardrobes.

However, the home office does come with its advantages. Specifically, all those comfy clothes that, just a few months ago, we wished we could wear to work but couldn’t are now our go-to choices. But, unfortunately, being too comfortable doesn’t always help with productivity. So, here are some ways to make the most of your closet while working from home!

Organize by type of clothing

One of the easiest ways to figure out what to wear is to organize your closet by type of clothing. Not only does this allow you to quickly grab what you need to wear each day, but it also enables you to keep what you don’t need right now stored properly in one place. Likewise, it’s also important to organize your clothes by season because, depending on the temperature in your home, you may be wearing layers or just a T-shirt and shorts.

Keep comfortable clothes handy

Being inside all or most of the day, you may not want to wear jeans or dressy clothes. For this reason, comfortable, looser clothes are a better option. Whether it’s some joggers, sweatshirts, T-shirts, leggings, or elastic-waist or wide-leg pants, you’ll definitely want to keep them easily accessible in your closet. Also, be sure to consider the material of the clothes. Given that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in them, you won’t want anything uncomfortable, so avoid stiff and synthetic materials.

Feel good in what you wear

For some of us, getting too comfortable in our clothes — especially when working from home — can reduce productivity. For this reason, throwing on a pair of comfortable jeans and a hoodie can do the trick to allow you to be comfortable, but not as “loungy.”

Along the same lines, you should also like what you wear. After all, what we put on should make us feel good, and that shouldn’t change based on who is or isn’t there to see us. To that end, a good indicator of whether you’re wearing something you feel completely comfortable in — both physically and emotionally — is whether you would step out of your home to go to the store without changing.

Finally, while we’ve been spending more time inside lately than we normally would, it’s important not to give up on our appearance. So, wear clothes that not only allow you to be comfortable, but also that make you feel like you’re ready for anything — right from the comfort of your own home! And if you are currently looking for your next home, check out apartments for rent on RENTCafé.

Discover Apartments Near You

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Published at Fri, 30 Oct 2020 11:23:31 +0000

Apartment Living

10 Things to Know About Living in Philadelphia

10 Things to Know About Living in Philadelphia

Wedged between New York and D.C., Philadelphia has long been one of America’s most overlooked and underrated cities. The Birthplace of America, Philly is the nation’s sixth-largest city and one of its top cultural, culinary, employment, sports, music and education destinations. It’s a fresh, cosmopolitan city, and living in Philadelphia means you have nearly anything you could imagine to do, eat, visit, see and cheer for.

Philadelphia is a unique and diverse city, much more than the Liberty Bell, cheesesteaks and Rocky. It’s an inviting, connected community compromised of nearly 100 distinct neighborhoods from the gleaming skyscrapers of Center City to the rowhouses of South Philly to the rolling estates of Chestnut Hill. Whether you’re packing up for your move to Philly or just considering a relocation to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, there are many wonderful things you need to know about living in Philadelphia.

1. Philly has a great climate if you like having four seasons

No matter which season you enjoy frolicking in, Philly is the perfect climate to experience all four seasons. Philadelphia is a temperate Mid-Atlantic city with the best of all worlds, just 50 miles from the Jersey shore and 70 from the Pocono Mountains.

Summers in Philly can be hot and muggy at the peak of the season, with average highs just under 90 during July. Winters are cold but not bitterly, with daily temps during the holiday season straddling the freezing line. Rain can be expected a quarter-to-third of the days each month, with about 20 inches of snow each winter.

septa train philadelphia

2. Commuting is relatively easy by car or public transit

Philly commuting is convenient compared to most of its Northeast Corridor counterparts. The average one-way work travel time is just more than half an hour, with more than 20 percent using public transportation.

For automotive commuters, Philly’s transportation network couldn’t be simpler. Interstate 95 lines the eastern edge of the city, the I-76 Schuylkill Expressway divides West Philly from the rest of Philly and I-676 (Vine Street Expressway) and US Route 1 (Roosevelt Boulevard/Expressway) run east/west through the city. Broad Street, America’s longest straight boulevard, forms Philly’s north/south backbone.

SEPTA operates a convenient public transit system, which includes a number of commuting modes. This includes the Broad Street Line subway and Market-Frankford elevated train, which travels north/south and east/west, respectively, 131 bus lines and eight light rail and trolley routes.

3. You have to learn how to talk Philly to live here

Every city in America has its own dialect quirks, but Philly has a language all its own every newcomer must eventually absorb. From your first “yo,” you’ll quickly learn every jawn (which can literally mean any person, place or thing).

“Jeet?” is what you’ll be asked if someone wants to know if you’ve eaten yet. They may want to share a hoagie (don’t ever say “sub”), grab pasta with gravy (tomato sauce) or a cheesesteak “whiz wit” (covered in melted cheese and fried onions). Wash it down with some wooder (what comes out of the sink) or a lager (ask for that and you’ll get a Yuengling beer).

Where are you going to go? Maybe “down the shore” to the Jersey beaches, out to Delco (Delaware County) or to Center City (never call it “downtown”) on the El (the elevated train). That’s where yiz (plural “you”) are headed.

And everyone loves talking about the “Iggles” (or “the Birds,”) the championship football team.

4. Philly is the City of Museums

More than any city in America, history lies down every street, many of which the Founding Fathers once walked. Independence National Historical Park, the most historic square mile in the nation, includes important sites like Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, City Tavern, Christ Church, Franklin Court and more.

Nearby in Old City are the National Constitution Center, Museum of the American Revolution, Betsy Ross House, the first U.S. Mint, Elfreth’s Alley and National Museum of American Jewish History.

But Philly offers so much more, including world-class museums dedicated to art, culture, science and education. In the Parkway Museum District, must-visit attractions include the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and the Rocky steps), Franklin Institute Science Museum, Barnes Foundation and Rodin Museum.

Elsewhere around the city are amazing spots, including the Mummers Museum, Academy of Natural Sciences, Magic Gardens urban mosaic, Mütter Museum of medical oddities, Eastern State Penitentiary and even the Museum of Pizza Culture.

Philly cheesesteak

Photo courtesy of Michael Hochman

5. Philly cuisine is much more than cheesesteaks

Sure, everyone loves cheesesteaks and every Philadelphian has their favorite steak joint. But Philly also claims a slew of other iconic dishes.

Hoagies are a party staple, but many swear by the roast pork sandwich, with provolone and sautéed broccoli rabe, as the city’s signature sandwich. Philadelphians eat 12 times as many pretzels as the average American and you’ll find soft pretzels in the Philly figure-eight style on every corner.

Breakfasts wouldn’t be Philly without scrapple or pork roll, two pan-fried pork-based dishes. And dinner can include tomato pie (cheeseless rectangle pizza on focaccia served at room temperature), Old Bay-flavored crinkle-cut crab fries or snapper soup, which is exactly what you think it is.

For dessert, grab a “wooder ice” (kind of like Italian ice but not) or a Tastykake (more of a lifestyle than a snack food line).

And Philadelphia isn’t just for casual eats — some of America’s greatest restaurants live here. Israeli spot Zahav was named Best Restaurant in the country, and Pizzeria Beddia the Best Pizza in America. Other award-winning spots abound, including South Philly Barbacoa, vegetarian destination Vedge and 20 restaurants citywide from decorated chef Stephen Starr.

But all cross-sections of Philadelphians can agree on one thing — everyone loves Wawa, more of a culture than a convenience store, with more than 40 locations throughout the city.

6. Philly is the best music city on the East Coast

There would be no American music without Philadelphia. The city is home to one of the nation’s greatest music histories as the birthplace of Philadelphia soul, American Bandstand, Gamble & Huff and “Rock Around The Clock.” Artists hailing from Philly span the spectrum from Hall & Oates, Chubby Checker, Patty LaBelle, Boyz II Men and Will Smith to The Roots, Meek Mill, Diplo, Dr. Dog, War On Drugs, Kurt Vile, Dead Milkmen and Joan Jett.

Philly is also one of the best cities in America to see and hear live music, with a slew of iconic music venues of every size. Music pours nightly out of legendary clubs, such as Milkboy, Johnny Brenda’s, Boot & Saddle and Kung Fu Necktie, concert halls like The Fillmore, Union Transfer, Theater of Living Arts and Tower Theater and outdoor amphitheaters with stunning vistas BB&T Pavilion and Mann Center.

7. Philly is one of America’s great college towns

Philadelphia is one giant college town. There are more than 340,000 college students living in Philly spread across nearly two dozen four-year campuses. Thanks to college sports, Philly’s top five major universities (that make up the Big Five) are nationally known and include Temple, St. Joseph’s, La Salle, the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova (which actually sits outside the city).

University City in West Philly is home to Penn, as well as Drexel and the University of the Sciences. And scattered elsewhere around the city are historically-black Lincoln University, Chestnut Hill College, Thomas Jefferson University (on two campuses), Pierce College and Holy Family.

There are also a number of creative and performing arts schools in Philadelphia, including the University of the Arts, Art Institute of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Curtis Institute of Music.


Photo courtesy of Michael Hochman

8. Sports are life in Philly even if we like to boo

You may have heard. In Philadelphia, we love sports. Unlike cities like New York or L.A., Philly has just one team in each of the major sports, so every fan is on the same page. Except for college basketball where the city is divided among a half-dozen Division I programs.

Philadelphians bleed team colors and everyone from every walk of life pays attention. Often, the city’s collective mood is based on yesterday’s result. So, if you want to walk into nearly any conversation in Philly, be sure to know the Birds’ playoff chances or who your favorite Flyer is. But Philly fans don’t take lack of hustle or effort lightly, and a subpar performance will bring out the notorious boo-birds.

9. The cost of living in Philly is pretty good

As the sixth-largest city in the nation and keystone of the Northeast Corridor, you’d expect Philly to be expensive. Actually, it’s pretty average. The overall cost of living in Philadelphia (as of Q1 2020) is just 110 percent of the national composite. Compare that to its neighbors like New York (246 percent), D.C. (160 percent) and Boston (148 percent). In fact, Philadelphia’s cost of living is cheaper than many major cities like Denver, New Orleans, Miami, San Diego and Baltimore.

The same goes for housing, as well. Philadelphia is only 13 percent over the national index average for housing costs, much more affordable than other East Coast cities and metropolises around the country like Phoenix, Dallas and Portland. For renters, an average Philly one-bedroom leases for just $2,127 a month (compared to the national average of $1,621), just a pleasantly-surprising 17th most-expensive in the nation, cheaper than Sacramento, Boston, Seattle or Oakland.

10. Philadelphia is one of the great American cities

Philadelphia is a beautiful, friendly, progressive city for anyone moving here or just thinking about it. It’s a hub for technology and finance and home to a dozen Fortune 500 corporations.

It’s a retail center with high-end city malls, vintage and boutique shopping corridors and Jewelers’ Row, the oldest diamond district in the nation. It’s a haven for those seeking outdoor adventure, including massive Wissahickon Valley and Fairmount Parks. And a destination for family fun at spots like the Please Touch Museum and America’s oldest zoo. It’s even one of America’s most walkable cities.

Living in Philadelphia

Philly is a great place for lovers of music, beer, history, shopping, sports, theater, coffee, biking, art, dining and more. Whatever your passion, you’ll find it living in Philadelphia.

And with a head start on what’s listed here, you’ll be welcomed with open arms and find out quickly why we’re known as The City that Loves You Back.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. Data was pulled in October 2020 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Population and income numbers are from the U.S. Census Bureau. Cost of living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
Header image courtesy of Michael Hochman.



Published at Tue, 27 Oct 2020 13:00:46 +0000

How to Reheat Steak Like a Master Chef

We’ve all been there: You wake up the day after an amazing night out or a well-executed dinner party, thinking longing thoughts about the leftover steak in the fridge.

But how does one go about restoring the tantalizing tenderloin to its former glory without inadvertently turning it into a disappointing and rubbery throw-away? The answer is that there isn’t just one way. Depending on what equipment and time you have at your disposal, there are several ways to achieve a satisfying and restorative effect.

The best methods for reheating steak

Before jumping in to reheating steak, it’s important to consider what different cooking methods do to your food.

The oven, for instance, leverages dry, hot, moving air to heat your food from the outside in. This, of course, runs the risk of dehydrating the food in the process.

The microwave, by contrast, uses radiation to heat your food from the inside out by exciting the water molecules that keep your food moist to begin with. This, too, comes with the risk of irreparably altering the texture of your meal.

Finally, contact heating, as in a pan, uses a single, hot surface to heat your food quickly from the outside in. But the single surface often lends itself to uneven heating. This should not discourage but inform your process. It’s far simpler than it seems to work with these particularities to achieve a truly optimal and delicious effect.

How to reheat steak in the oven

reheating steak in oven

Again, remember that the oven tends to dehydrate easily. Thus, it’s important to use a “low and slow” approach. Reheat the steak at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. This will ensure moisture retention and even heating.

  1. Preheat your oven to a low temperature like 250 to 275 degrees
  2. Place your steak on an elevated rack inside of a baking sheet to allow the air to move around all sides of the steak
  3. Place the tray in the oven and let the steak warm until it reaches an internal temperature of 110 to 130 degrees, about 20 to 30 minutes
  4. This should be perfect, but if you want the crust to feel crispy again, feel free to quickly sear the steak in a grill pan over high heat for about 30 seconds per side

How to reheat steak in a frying pan

reheating steak in frying fan

Pans are great at heating food one side at a time. But if you’re trying to get ready for your lunch break in a hurry, you don’t have time to flip and wait.

  1. Start by using a large pan with enough room to add your steak with plenty of real estate to spare
  2. Scoot the steak over so that it’s touching the wall of the pan, then scoot the pan over so that the part of its bottom that the steak is sitting on is not directly under the burner. This will make sense soon.
  3. Add about one-quarter cup water to the opposite side of the pan, the side over the burner, making sure not to let water pool under the steak
  4. Crank the stovetop up to medium, cover the pan and let the steak cook for about 10 minutes, flipping once
  5. This will avoid heating one side of the steak and will instead encourage a gentle heating of all surfaces of the steak
  6. If you desire a crispier surface, feel free to quick sear the steak afterwards using the same method as is listed above

How to reheat steak in an air fryer

reheating steak in air fryer

With the advent of new kitchen tech comes new means by which to cook and re-cook everything under the sun. An air fryer, for instance, uses the same basic premise as a convection oven (hot, moving air) to cook your food in a manner that produces a similarly crispy texture to frying but without all that oil.

  1. Since we’re talking hot, fast air, cooking quickly to avoid dehydration is a must
  2. Pop your steak in the frying tray, and set the fryer to 370 degrees
  3. “Fry” your steak at that temperature in three-minute sprints until the internal temperature of the steak reads 110 to 130. This will ensure food safety and a nice medium-rare to medium doneness.
  4. No re-searing necessary

How to reheat steak in the microwave

reheating steak in microwave

We would be remiss if we did not note that cooking steak in the microwave, even the second time around, is truly sacrilege. But if you insist, just know that you’ll likely sacrifice a little bit of tenderness in the service of convenience.

  1. Start by slicing your steak into uniform slices or portions to ensure even heating
  2. Place your steak on a microwave-safe dish, and sprinkle a little bit of water on the plate
  3. Cover the plate with plastic wrap
  4. Set the microwave to medium power. This will ensure the steak doesn’t turn to jerky on the outside before the inside is even warm.
  5. Medium power will require a slightly longer cook time so nuke it in minute-long sprints until the internal temperature of the steak reads 110 to 130 degrees.
  6. Feel free to re-sear for texture

Select your method and dig in!

Ultimately, there’s no such thing as a truly bad steak. No matter how you choose to reheat steak, take into consideration what your cooking method means for the heat and texture of your finished product. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong. Warm up some mashed potatoes as a side and dig in!



Published at Mon, 26 Oct 2020 13:00:48 +0000

Apartment Living

A Small, Chic Icelandic Apartment Is an Absolutely Dreamy Minimal, Modern Home

A Small, Chic Icelandic Apartment Is an Absolutely Dreamy Minimal, Modern Home

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Name: Jewells Ramona Chambers and husband, Gunnar Örn Ingólfsson
Location: Mosfellsbær, Iceland
Size: 753 square feet
Type of Home: Two-bedroom apartment
Years Lived In: 2.5 years, owned

It’s been a long, hard year. And while I’ve definitely been daydreaming about running away from it all to live in an A-frame, on the road in an RV, or off the grid in a tiny house, I’ve also been fantasizing about leaving the country! I’ve always dreamed of living abroad one day, especially in a country that is vastly different than the U.S., and one that features stunning landscapes would be a bonus. Travel is important to widening your horizons and understanding different cultures and people, but just visiting a place for a few days usually isn’t enough time. Living abroad would give me the opportunity to really get to know a place. And in a year where I’m not sure when I’ll ever be able to travel again—let alone move to a foreign country—dreaming vicariously through Jewells Chambers’ Iceland home is sustaining me.

Jewells is the founder and creator of All Things Iceland, an award-winning podcast and YouTube channel. She gives travelers (and hopeful travelers) the “inside scoop on Icelandic nature, culture, history and language.” This native New Yorker ended up in Iceland after falling in love and marrying an Icelander, Gunnar Örn Ingólfsson, who is a psychologist. Together, they live in this minimal and modern two-bedroom apartment in Mosfellsbær, a suburb that is a 20-minute drive to downtown Reykjavík.

Jewells says that on paper, they have 753 square feet of living space. “Because we live on the top floor and some of the walls slant, there is a certain percentage of the height under the walls that are not counted in the official number,” Jewells explains. “If it were counted, the size would be 968 square feet.” HOWEVER you count her home’s square feet, though, clean white walls, big windows, and lofted ceilings make the space feel much larger than it is.

Jewells confesses that their style is very simple, but that’s precisely what makes the whole home so lovely and relaxing. Though the home could certainly be described as “minimal,” it exudes coziness. It’s a great example of allowing one’s home and one’s style to be a canvas that highlights the lives living inside of it… and the gorgeous views of movie-scene-worthy landscapes outside. The views from the apartment’s ample windows and skylights are actually perfect for enjoying gluggaveður, an Icelandic word that translates to “window weather,” and refers to the vibe of curling up all cozy-like while enjoying nice-to-look-at but not nice-to-be-in weather.

The whole home has great examples of how minimalism can make the decor that is incorporated so much richer. The cozy bedroom with the cute built-in is the perfect backdrop for some of Jewells’ YouTube videos and makes me wish I had a slanted wall of storage. The oversized paper stars in the windows give off the cutest Nordic vibes. Sheer white curtains make the views and light feel soft and dream-like. And the ample open space around a curated selection of meaningful art allows the individual pieces to shine beautifully. While Jewells says their current home isn’t her dream dream home, it is comfortable, welcoming, and bright, important aspects to any good home. And in a year where I’d kill to travel anywhere, Jewells and Gunnar’s home—and the gorgeous, exciting, adventurous landscapes and culture surrounding it—make it a dream home to me!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Our style is very simple. We like having white walls, some art, neutral colors for furniture, and not a lot of clutter. It’s nice to pop in a statement piece but we’ve kept the decorating to a minimum.

Inspiration: We are inspired by spaces that are functional, bright, and comfortable. We see our home as a space that makes others feel like they can relax and have a good time.

Favorite Element: The high ceilings and brightness from the multiple windows in the apartment. It is not common in Iceland to have very high ceilings. That element makes the space feel so much bigger. Also, the windows on the slanted walls and in the living room brighten up the space a lot. That brightness makes a big difference during the long, dark winter nights.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge is that a fake wall was built around the kitchen, so there is not a lot of flow from the kitchen to the rest of the house. The upside is that the fake wall lets us have more cabinets in the kitchen, but it would have been nice to have a more open feel. We have just decided to accept it because the pros outweigh the cons.

Proudest DIY: We received the big, black couch in our living room for free from Gunnar’s brother. However, there were some broken springs in it. Gunnar and his friend fixed the springs and the couch is like new. For a little bit of sweat we got a practically new couch, that normally costs thousands of dollars, for free.

Biggest Indulgence: Gunnar is a big fan of electronics and the biggest indulgence purchase we’ve made so far is buying a 65” television. Funnily enough, we don’t watch a lot of TV, but it is awesome when we do. The colors are amazing and it sometimes feels like we are almost inside of the picture.

Describe what a “dream” home means to you. Do you consider this to be your “dream” home? A dream home to us is a place that has amazing views of mountains and water, is on one level so that our moms can easily access it, is a single family home, has a studio for Jewells’ projects, a game room for Gunnar, an exercise room, two bathrooms, five bedrooms, an open floor plan for the kitchen, dining room and living room, as well as a glass-covered patio that acts as a sunroom, and a big private garden. We would also like to have an apartment on the property that we can rent out or use if we have a lot of guests staying over. The most important aspect of our dream home is that it feels comfortable and welcoming. Our current apartment is comfortable, welcoming, and bright. While it is not our dream home, it does feel like it was the perfect starter home for us.

What was your idea of a dream home when you were a little kid? How close is this home’s version to your childhood dream? As a young girl, I wanted a 20,000 square foot home with a pool, access to the beach, huge kitchen, lots of bedrooms and bathrooms, huge grounds, and a game room. I was just regurgitating what I saw on TV. At this point in my life, I do want more space but I don’t think we need anywhere near the amount of space I say on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” It makes me laugh now to think about it.

What is your best advice for finding/creating a dream home? You’d be surprised at what you think is your dream home until you go there and realize that maybe it wasn’t all that you dreamed of. I think keeping in mind what is non-negotiable for you regarding a home is important and then allowing yourself to be flexible with what is on that market that meets your absolute needs. Houses have a vibe and it’s important to let yourself be open to the vibe of the home and its surroundings. Also, it’s amazing how much fresh paint and new glass panes can make a difference in a place.

Thanks Jewells and Gunnar!

Adrienne Breaux

House Tour Editor

Adrienne loves architecture, design, cats, science fiction and watching Star Trek. In the past 10 years she’s called home: a van, a former downtown store in small town Texas and a studio apartment rumored to have once been owned by Willie Nelson.

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Published at Thu, 22 Oct 2020 16:00:08 +0000

7 Genius WFH Solutions From the 2021 IKEA Catalog

Nicoletta Richardson

Senior Associate Editor, News and Culture

In her spare time, Nicoletta loves scrolling through Airbnb, doing at-home workouts, and nurturing her plant babies. Her work has appeared in Women’s Health, AFAR, Tasting Table, and Travel + Leisure, among others. A graduate from Fairfield University, Nicoletta majored in English and minored in Art History and Anthropology, and she not-so-secretly dreams of exploring her family lineage in Greece one day.

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Published at Thu, 22 Oct 2020 15:15:06 +0000

Apartment Living

Choosing The Best Self Storage Facility: A Guide For Los Angeles Residents

Choosing The Best Self Storage Facility: A Guide For Los Angeles Residents

Los Angeles is a popular city to move to, known for big dreams, big salaries and — for those who earn them — some very big houses. But folk here sometimes find they have to downsize, move to temporary accommodation, or perhaps make space at home for their growing families. In all these cases, self storage comes to the rescue, helping people store furniture, cars and other belongings for a time.

Household furniture and vehicles can be kept at storage facilities until their owners can move to more spacious accommodation. And while gardening and skiing in the San Gabriel Mountains are great seasonal activities, the equipment needed could be kept in storage and out of the house for most of the year. There are different storage options for different purposes, and LA residents need to know what size units are available to them, what the advantages of the different types are, and how much they cost. There are storage facilities all across LA, with a variety of different attributes, and residents can choose one that is just around the corner or one further afield that offers more exactly what they require. Here we provide a guide for Angelenos who want to maximize the advantages they can get from self storage right now.

What storage unit sizes are available in LA?

There are plenty of unit sizes to choose from in LA, including those as small as 3’x3’ and 3’x4’ for holding a few boxes of paperwork. For storing additional items, for example seasonal clothes or small pieces of furniture, the 5’x10’ and 5’x10’ sizes are popular. For accommodating the contents of a one- or-two-bedroom apartment, 5’x15’ and 10’x10’ units can be ideal, while 10’x15’ to 10’x25’ units are available for larger homes.

People often keep cars in storage units, either because they don’t have a garage or a driveway or on a more temporary basis because they are moving to a new house. The common 10’x20’ lockup-garage-size units are popular for this, though RVs may need something larger and a smaller vehicle might squeeze into a 10’x15’. Anyone lucky enough to own a boat in LA can use a specialist storage unit, perhaps a 10’x30’ size and with a ceiling higher than the usual 8’.

Self storage unit with possessions outside

What should you expect to pay for self-storage in LA?

LA storage units rent for anything from $25 for a tiny unit to as much as $2,500, for example for a 30’x60’ unit at Downtown Mini Storage. The average street rate is $186 per month for a non-climate-controlled 10’x10’ unit, with only San Francisco demanding higher rents. Climate control adds to the price: for example, 5’x10’ units at East Hollywood’s BA Self Storage cost $166 if they have it compared to $141 without it.

Housing your car in a storage unit might cost well over $300 in the city. However, cheaper ones can be found away from the center, for example for $240 at this StorQuest facility in San Fernando — climate control probably won’t be necessary, unless you intend to store a valuable model for a long period of time. Simply parking your car on a designated spot at a facility’s premises could cost less than $100, for instance at this Extra Space facility near Long Beach. Boat owners would usually have to pay more for both indoor and outdoor spaces.

The storage industry in Los Angeles offers about 4.6 square feet per person, according to Yardi Matrix data, less than some cities but more than New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Corresponding to this relatively low inventory — and the high costs generally in LA — storage street rates can be higher in the City of Angels than in other large US cities.

What range of amenities is available at LA self storage facilities?

When determining whether a storage unit is suitable, one important factor is how it is accessed: a swing door is fine for most items, but one with a roll-up garage-style door is necessary if bulky objects will be loaded inside. Some have external doors which a moving truck can be driven right up to, while others are situated inside the building, maybe not on the ground floor and requiring a trip in an elevator. Many operators offer dollies to help customers move their stuff around. LA storage facilities offer this entire range of amenities.

Very many self storage operators have adapted rapidly to the changing pandemic situation, implementing rigorous cleaning schedules and making several procedures contact-free. The service kiosks a lot of them installed have helped with this. An increasingly popular service is ‘valet’ self storage: the storage company collects and delivers a customer’s belongings so they never actually see the facility — this is very convenient, making traveling unnecessary and limiting potential infection risks. Local LA firm Russell’s Moving and Storage, for example, offers this service.

What should you pay special attention to when choosing a storage facility?

Security is a vital aspect of self storage, and you might like to check out what precautions a facility has installed before you decide to store your belongings there. Up-to-date locks and gates with electronic access are a good sign, as is the presence of surveillance cameras and maybe security guards too. Individual units may be fitted with alarms, and some operators, for example Guardian Storage in Fullerton, combine both video and infrared detection with high powered lighting for maximum protection against intruders.

If economics are a major reason for renting a unit, and stored items won’t need to be retrieved often, an out-of-town facility can be considered — at Storage Etc in Diamond Bar a non-climate-controlled 10’x5’ unit costs less than $100. Insurance is another consideration: some storage operators insist on it and many offer it. When belongings are not of high value it may not be necessary, or perhaps a renters’ policy can be used to cover the stored items, but if you own any expensive artworks it’s worth properly insuring them in storage.

Hopefully you will always be able to pay your unit’s rent until you need to close it, but if not, a good facility should enforce the rules concerning delinquency correctly but with understanding. To evaluate a storage operator’s attitude toward clients, check out the review section of their website for positive comments — such as at Fort Storage near the Fashion District — and also ask for recommendations from your local buddies.

Couple with storage boxes outside home

LA offers a wide range of storage units for a variety of different purposes. While prices may be higher than in some US cities, the cost per square foot will always be a lot cheaper than residential LA property, making it a great way to economize without having to throw away favorite belongings. Anybody with valuable possessions they don’t currently have room for can put them safely in a unit with climate control and can take out insurance, while those with just a few boxes and bags of stuff can easily find a cheaper option. And any lucky locals with an RV or a boat can take a touring vacation or a romantic weekend trip from a local marina to Catalina Island knowing that self storage has their backs, providing a home for their precious conveyances. By choosing the right facility, unit and location, and by being aware of all the potential benefits involved, Angelenos can make self storage an integral part of their way of life.

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Published at Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:11:15 +0000

A Guide to Recognizing and Avoiding Rental Scams

As a renter, it is important to know how to protect yourself against those who may try to take your money fraudulently. While the internet has increased flexibility and ease in finding apartments for rent from trusted sources, unfortunately it has also created an environment where scammers thrive. In 2020, a massive shift to heavy reliance on virtual property tours and online research has created new opportunities for scammers to take advantage of renters.

Since the beginning of the year, local Better Business Bureaus have issued warnings in multiple areas across the country of a spike in rental scams. Local authorities have cautioned renters to pay even more attention when apartment hunting, because scammers are using the social distancing rules to avoid showing apartments and promote fraudulent rental listings. Rental scams have been signaled in every corner of the country, from Boston to San Diego, from Arizona to Washington state.

As an apartment listing website that prides itself in offering 100% verified listings directly from property managers, we at RENTCafé are committed to ensure a safe and worry-free apartment search. Which is why we have put together this comprehensive guide to help you recognize and avoid rental scams.

Navigate the contents:

What is a Rental Scam?

According to the U.S. government, a rental scam is when “either a property owner or potential tenant misrepresents themselves” through fake ads, applications and so on. While there are other types of scams, today we’ll focus on recognizing scams as a renter and protecting yourself against such risks. Unfortunately, there are a variety of ways in which scammers try to steal your money, primarily through either a non-existent rental or via a stolen ad from another website.

Types of Rental Scams

apartments for rent online

Among the various types of rental scams, watch out for hijacked ads and phantom rentals. These are often prominent on Craigslist, where there are no filters to help you find legitimate listings.

  • Hijacked Ads

In some cases, scammers will steal an ad from an existing rental and revise the contact information so that you reach them when trying to contact the owner. These copycat ads will appear on different websites, as well, so make sure you check to see whether the internet listing service you’re using has 100% verified listings.

Another way scammers hijack ads is by gaining access to the email accounts of various property owners. Therefore, it’s important to confirm that you’re talking to the real owner.

avoiding rental fraud

  • Phantom Rentals

Other scammers simply create a fake ad on a non-existent rental and promote it as real. Typically, these are the ones that have a significantly lower rent than average or amenities that should raise the price. If an offer looks too good to be true, find out what caused that drop in price and always check out the apartment with your own eyes before committing and sending any amount of money.

Another scam that’s common on Craigslist is illegal subletting. Be careful about this one. Unlike the others, these scammers will have access to a rental to show you — but they’re not the legitimate owners and have no right to rent it to you. To avoid this situation, research who the real owner of a unit or building is.

How to Spot a Rental Scam

There are plenty of other ways in which you can be deceived into thinking a rental is legitimate when, in fact, the person you’re talking to has no intention of renting it to you. To that end, pay attention to these red flags when discussing a rental with a potential landlord:

  1. They Refuse to Meet You

visit apartment in person

Scammers usually steer clear of meeting with you because they want to minimize the chance of being identified. As such, they will refuse to meet with you in person or — in the context of the pandemic — even show their face during a video call. This is a red flag because a legitimate landlord would want to see their potential tenant and evaluate you, as well, in order to establish the required level of trust between the owner and the occupant of a home.

  1. They Ask You to Wire Money

A major warning sign is when someone asks you for money up front — before you’ve signed anything. For instance, a scammer might claim that they’re not in the country and require you to mail them money with the promise that they’ll mail you back a key. Don’t do it. Instead, cease all communications and report it as a scam. Furthermore, wait to pay your security deposit, rent and any other fees until after you’ve seen the property, met the landlord and signed the lease.

  1. They Ask You to Pay for a Credit Score Check on a Referral Website

Another common type of scam is related to credit reports. Specifically, some scammers ask their unknowing victims to obtain a credit report through a link they send you in an email. The link then redirects the renter to a screening company, where the renter is supposed to pay for their evaluation via credit card. Consequently, the scammers get a commission through the referral campaign, although they clearly have no intention of renting to you — if the rental you’re applying for even exists.

  1. There’s No Screening Process

As a renter, you should be prepared to undergo a screening process involving your credit score and a background check. If there is no such process for the property you want to rent, that should raise a lot of questions. That’s because landlords are very careful about whom they let into their apartments, and you want a landlord who is concerned and experienced. Conversely, a landlord who skips the rental application and credit check is not going to have either of those traits.

  1. The Listing is Shady

If the listing itself has typos, excessive punctuation or grammatical errors, that might also be a sign that it’s fraudulent. Professional property managers or serious landlords will have an accurate, quality description. So, if the listing is poorly written, chances are that you’re dealing with a scammer. Be especially careful about the supposed deal if it’s paired with a price that is much lower than the average rent for a similar unit.

How to Avoid Rental Scams

avoid rental scams

  • Always Use Apartment Search Websites with Verified Listings

Not all internet listings websites are created equal, so be sure to use one where scammers are not able to post listings. At RENTCafé, we understand the mental comfort that this feature gives our website visitors when searching for their next home. That’s why all listings are verified, coming directly from property managers. We don’t advertise single units posted by individual owners, rather, all apartments and single-family rentals listed on are provided by property management companies.

Scammers may hijack ads from trusted websites and post them on less secure websites. Fortunately, you can do a reverse Google image search of the property you find to see if it appears on multiple websites under different names or displaying different information. In that case, you can contact the original listing owner or your local authorities to report the fraudulent ad.

  • Meet the Landlord & See the Apartment in Person

The best way to prevent yourself from falling for a scam is to meet the landlord and see the apartment in person before you sign the lease. Be prepared to ask questions related to the rental and living there — such as details about payments, maintenance requests and refund policies — and see how the landlord responds.

Even during the pandemic, solutions have been found to minimize social exposure, such as self-guided tours. This is an important last step before signing any contract or making any sort of payment. That’s because you need to make sure that the place is real, the person you’ve been in contact with has access to it, and everything is transparent so you know what you’re paying for.

  • Get Everything in Writing

Before you send any money, review the terms of the rental, including the price of rent, all fees and maintenance. Ask for a copy of the contract for yourself, as well, but only sign it after you’ve researched the owner and the agent to verify their identities.

How to Report a Rental Scam

how to report rental scams

If you come across a rental scam or fall victim to one, contact the platform in which you found the listing to make sure they take it down. You can also reach out to the Federal Trade Commission and your local law enforcement agency. And, because these take place on the internet, you can also send a report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), as well. The IC3 works with the FBI to take down any scheme that occurs on the internet, including rental scams.

Be aware that scammers are out there and be skeptical when you spot a deal that seems too good to be true. Do your research and don’t give in to the excitement of the moment — most scammers will also pressure you into thinking that you’re losing the deal. Instead, remain calm and be patient. If you see any of the red flags listed here, cut all connections and don’t be afraid to report the listing to prevent others from falling for rental scams.

Expert Advice on Rental Scams

Lawyers and realtors also have advice for dealing with scammers and reporting rental frauds. In particular, they say to never confront a scammer directly. Rather, these experts recommend educating yourself on how to spot these fraudulent listings and knowing how to safely report them. We thank them for their collaboration; click on their names below to see their full answers.

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Published at Tue, 20 Oct 2020 08:02:16 +0000