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37 Useful Apartment Living Tips, From Real People (for 2018)

Living in an apartment can be tricky.

 

It can be tough to try to fit your favourite furniture into a smaller space. It can be a challenge to make it feel like a comfortable home. It can even be difficult choosing the right apartment for you and your family.

 

But, there's good news!

 

There are people who have 'been there, done that" and we can use them to learn the ins and outs of apartment life.

 

We asked 16 people with apartment-living experience for their best advice and favourite tips on apartment living.

 

From doorless closets to choosing scents and decluttering belongings, you might feel like you've lived in an apartment for years by the end of this article.

 

To make it easier to digest, we broke it into 5 core sections:

 

Sections:

  • Maximizing apartment space
  • Looking for an apartment
  • Making it feel like "home"
  • Dealing with noisy neighbours
  • Other Helpful Tips

 

Let's dive right in...

 

Maximizing Space

 

1. Getting smaller, more compact furniture. Also, decluttering and only bringing furniture that you need with you when you move in.

  • Katie B

 

2. Use hanging wall shelves. Cupboard shelves/organizers. Also, if you have a bookshelf, use it for things other than just books.

  • Tanya Y.

 

3.  Consider having no curtains on your windows or ones that are light in colour, like white. The more light that gets in, the more spacious your apartment will feel. Plus, ntural light contributes to your well-being.

  • Adam Z.

 

4. Get closet storage organizers that you can put in your closet and on the back of the door for shoes and clothes.

  • Josh L.

 

5. Choose comfortable furniture over size and looks. Because you're going to be in a tighter space, bigger furniture will make your apartment look even smaller.

  • Melissa N.

 

6. Don't be a hoarder! Get rid of the things you don't need - only keep the necessities and those that are of most importance to you.

  • Jonathan S.

 

7. This might sound odd, but taking the doors off of your closets. This opens things up in your space and make it feel bigger. Just make sure your closet is organized on the inside!

  • Sandy H.

 

8.  Use plastic storage bins or boxes that will fit under your bed for extra storage space. It saves room and can be accessed easily if you need it.

  • Martin G.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for an apartment

 

 

9. Look for apartments in an area that you want and that is close to what you need (schools, shopping, etc.). Also, look for the right sized apartment unit (is it just you or your family moving in?), fair price, and amenities.

  • Josh L.

 

10. Prioritize your wants and needs. Some apartments are going to have a bigger kitchen than others, some will have a smaller bathroom or a bigger bedroom, and so on. Find what the most important things are to you and put them in order. For example, you might have to compromise and go for a smaller bedroom if there is a bigger kitchen in one apartment (if a kitchen is what you value most).

  • Matt P.

 

11. Look at reviews and testimonials and use the people you know. Do your family or friends know of a place in town? What are current and past tenants saying about the building and company? Use this to your advantage to learn as much about a place as you can before looking at it.

  • Simon E.

 

 

RELATED: 7 Questions to Ask When Looking for an Apartment

 

 

12. Make sure the area is right for you. If you want a faster, busier area with lots to do, choose a high-populated location. If you want a quieter, family-friendlier neighbourhood, look for that.

  • Melissa N.

 

13. Know exactly what you're getting by reading the lease. Once you've found a place you could see yourself moving into, make sure you read every word of the lease to ensure you know what is expected of you and that you actually agree to everything. This can save you future hassle!

  • Shawn T.

 

14. Find a place that's in a good proximity to where you work or where your kids go to school.

  • Jonathan S.

 

15. Bring your friend or family with you when you're looking. They might notice something that you don't at first or can help ask questions that you may otherwise forget while caught up in the moment. Plus, it's always nice to have someone to talk to for their opinion.

  • Courtney T.

 

16. Be realistic about what you can afford and what your expectations are.

  • Dillon L.

 

 

 

Making your apartment feel like Home

 

 

17. Decorate your apartment with items that are comforting to you. Paint rooms in a colour that you like and that makes it feel cozy.

  • Katie B

 

18. Get creative! Hang portraits of photo collages, artwork and display unique items. Also, bright colours have always worked well for me and help with keeping the mood light.

  • Courtney T.

 

19. Two tricks that I always tell people: lighting and scents. Having plenty of light, whether it be natural through windows or lamps or overhead fixtures, will keep the room bright. Also, scents that provide a comforting feeling or fond memory is really underrated! Buy your favourite smelling candles or spray and keep the good smells rolling at all times.

  • Sarah G.

20. Add an area rug in your living room and bedroom. Not only can it complement a room, but they feel really comfortable - especially during the winter when feet get cold!

  • Martin G.

 

21. It's really basic, but just having the small things like couch pillows and blankets on furniture. Also, a good book or magaizine hanging around. There's nothing better than lying on the couch with a movie on and dozing off for a nap.

  • Adam Z.

 

22. Buy or grow plants. Small plants that you can put in your kitchen, hang from your ceiling, or just put on a corner table can make a big difference in making an apartment feel more cozy.

  • Sandy H.

 

23. Paint rooms your favourite colours and put up pictures that make you happy, like of your pets, family, and friends.

  • Melissa N.

 

24. Lots of pictures and sentimental items throughout.

  • Vicki A.

 

 

Dealing with noisy neighbours

 

 

25. If you're a relatively quiet/respectful tenant, you can politely knock on their door one day or leave them a police letter mentioning the noise and how it might be impacting your and your family. Again, this will go over a lot better if you're not a noisy neighbour yourself and being a hypocrite!

  • Melissa N.

 

26. Make some noise of your own. Put some music on, turn the TV up, etc. Don't go overboard and turn it into a contest, obviously, but just enough that you can't hear the noise from your neighbour anymore.

  • Dillon L.

 

27. Develop a relationship with your neighbours. I have found that the better terms you are on with them, the more respectful they're going to be and increase their receptiveness if you bring the issue up with them.

  • Adam Z.

 

28. Try talking with them first. If they don't listen, get your superintendent involved.

  • Sarah G.

 

29. Don't complain because you'll be noisy at some point too.

  • Josh L.

 

30. Be upfront with them and just let them know that they're being loud and if they could please keep it down. If they continue to be loud, you might have to talk with your superintendent and they might have to step in.

  • Jonathan S.

 

31 If it's been going on for awhile, try asking some of your other neighbours (if you're comfortable) if they hear it too. I've found it's easier to approach the person who is being noisy if there are multiple people it is affecting.

  • Sandy H.

 

32. Write a note and stick it on their door or slip it underneath it. If you do this, make sure you write it at a time that you're calm and clear-headed! You don't want to start any floor wars with your neighbour because you wrote a nasty letter when you were mad at their noisiness.

  • Tanya Y.

 

RELATED: 18 Reasons to Live in Guelph

 

Other Helpful Tips

 

 

33. Inspect everything in your apartment when you first move in. Check to see if there is any existing damage, like holes in the wall or water damage, and let your landlord know as soon as possible. This way, you can avoid being to blame when it's time to move out.

  • Martin G.

 

34. I actually like to have a couple of mirrors in my apartment. A couple in the bedroom, a couple in the living room, bathroom, etc. It makes it feel bigger than it actually is, especially if the mirrors are a pretty good size.

  • Sarah G.

 

35. Keep track of all your bills and know what is and isn't included. Know when rent is due. Are utilities included or excluded? Keeping tabs on this can make life a lot easier than if you were surprised everytime you got notice that a payment is due.

  • John C.

 

36. Think about getting a roommate if you are a little short financially.

  • Shawn T.

 

37. If transportation is an issue for you, know where the closest public transportation stop is. Apartments with a gym, pool, or other activity-based room can be a nice substitute for a gym membership, too.

  • Vicki A.

 

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