Making the most out of your apartment (size)

It’s no shock to anyone, inside or outside of Manhattan, that New Yorkers pay tons of money for teeny, not-so-homey homes. But, Michael Bloomberg (New York City Mayor) is on to something: cheaper, sustainably-sized apartments. In fact — under his New Housing Marketplace Plan — the City recently held a design competition to create 55 “micro-apartments” to be built by 2015.

Photo from archdaily.com

The winning team (composed of Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and Brooklyn’s nARCHITECTS) designed apartments ranging from 250-350 square feet. Sounds small? Well, it is. But with the right eye and the right design it’s completely habitable, and — judging from the models — much chicer than most other affordable housing options in the boroughs.

But what does this have to do with you? Everything. Because we could all learn a thing or two about how to make the most out of the space we’re given. So lets take some tips from New York and Bloomberg and start working with what we’ve got.

Read on for ideas, tips, or just plain old inspiration.

Lack an entry-way in your new place? Frustrating, but you probably have a bookshelf (or can find one at a thrift store, or Ikea). Take out the top several shelves, drill in a few hooks, and suddenly you have a well-contained coat rack. Plus, you can use the remaining shelves for shoes.

Need more storage in your bedroom (or living-room)? Buy a chest instead of a coffee table. Holds sheets, towels, winter clothes, rain gear, the list goes on.

Apartment Therapy recommends having a space for everything because – to be frank – if something doesn’t belong anywhere, it ends up on the floor. Clutter begins here, and clutter makes apartments feel small (and claustrophobic).

For those of you with a lot of jewelry, stop trying to hide it. It’s actually a space saver if you leave it out. You wear it to decorate your person, so decorate your walls with it as well.

Tiny kitchens? Invest in a dining table on wheels. That way you can move around at your will, and store to the side, as needed.

What do YOU do to make your FreshRent Apartment feel homey and clutter-free? Tell us on Facebook- We’re listening.

On Breaking Winter Boredom

So it’s the middle of winter. It feels like the sun hasn’t shown its face in weeks. No, months. And the inside of your beautiful apartment is suddenly starting to feel like a jail cell.

YOU NEED TO GET OUT!

But how? Where? To do what?

How about ice-skating? If there’s one way to enjoy the winter weather outdoors it’s ice-skating! Too far south for snow? Plagued with rain instead? Head to an indoor ice rink, or better yet, bust out the old rollerskates for an acceptable southern alternative. Now call up a friend (or make one at the rink) and channel your childhood memories. Or—if you’re one of those people who never skated as kid—make new memories. Whether your fall on your butt or land a triple axle you’ll find yourself laughing and sweating. Winter boredom: be gone!

Looking for a way to be out and about without the joys of a red, runny nose, or soggy shoes? Save up some gas money, get in the car and make a day of road-tripping. You don’t have to go far to see something new, and it’ll make you feel like you got to take an adventure without spending or doing a lot. Get old school- burn a mix CD, pack some snacks and hit the road. Maybe even dust off that old Atlas of yours and navigate as you go.  Don’t have a car? Have no fears—ZipCar is in nearly every city, offers affordable rates, and allows non-car owners to get out and drive when they want.

Photo from DJRay.com

Or, you can always bring the party and the people to you. The next couple of months are packed with TV events that 20somethings just love to use as excuses to throw a party. Football fan? This year’s Super Bowl Sunday falls on February 3. Make some 7-layer dip (check out this awesome/easy recipe), order a bucket (or several) of wings, get some beer and have your friends come root for their team of choice. Added bonus- maybe Beyonce will actually perform an interesting halftime show. Not into keeping score? There’s always The Oscars (on February 24). The recipe is pretty much the same, maybe some hummus and mini quiches go better with Best Movie nominees, but then maybe not. Music’s big night is also quickly approaching. The Grammys are February 10. Either way they’re fun excuses to have a get together.

And don’t forget – you can always host a movie night at your apartment too. Redbox that dramadey/horror/film you’ve been dying to see for the last year but somehow never had time to watch, get some people together, pop some popcorn, call it BYOMD (bring your own Milk Duds), and make a night out of it.

Other ideas:

  • Craft nights at your FreshRent-found apartment- tell your friends to bring supplies and start crafting!
  • A bundled-up scavenger hunt- brainstorm a list, put out a Facebook event, and have the losing team(s) by the winners dinner or drinks at the bar you’ve been wanting to check out.
  • Restaurant hop- make a list of the best appetizer, dinners, and desserts in your city and make a night out of being a foodie!

FreshRent. Here to help you with all your apartment hunting needs, and sometimes even more. And remember, spring is only 60ish days away!

New Year, New City, New Apartment

So you’ve moved to a new city and survived your first holiday season in your new place. Congratulations!

But now, as the confetti is getting swept up and the festive decorations are coming down, life returns to it’s normal ebb and flow. Except, you’re in a new place and have yet to fully find your niche.

It’s time to make a resolution or two. Now, New Year’s Resolutions can feel a bit…trite, but in your situation they might actually be useful. Take the typical January 1st proclamation: “I Will Work Out More.” This year going to the gym will not only get you in better shape, it’s also a great place to meet some locals. This could be the best of both worlds: new friends, and a gym buddy will probably keep you motivated to work out all the way through 2013.

And we’ve all experienced the post-Holiday cleanup high that often leads to the self-affirmation “This year I’m going to be neater.” This usually lasts for a few weeks before the clothes are back on the floor, and the sink is overflowing. But this year you’re trying to meet people, and having a place where your not embarrassed to bring people to is always helpful. It might just be the inspiration to keep your new FreshRent apartment clean. Because—let’s be real here—no one wants to bring a new-city-date home to a messy house.

But resolutions aren’t just about getting your life into shape; they’re also about giving yourself room to reinvent who you are. Relocating makes that even easier. In 2013 get over your shyness, or your stage fright. Finally carve out some time in your life to learn guitar, take a dance class, or go to that open mic you heard about. It’s a great way to meet other cool, like-minded people, and the adrenaline rush will keep you talking well past the “nice to meet yous.”

Make the most of 2013, shake up your routine, and get yourself out there. And remember, FreshRent is here to help with all your apartment hunting, and living needs!

Apartment Hunting: How-To

So it’s really that time, you’re officially contemplating a change in scenery? In other words- you’re ready to move. But where do you go from here? What neighborhood fits? Are there roommates involved? Can you afford it?

Here are a few tips, brought to you by FreshRent, on starting your hunt for a new home.

Roommates: To have or have not? This is a big question, and one that involves a few factors:

  1. Can you afford to live alone?
  2. Will you enjoy the solitude or end up being that crazy person who talks to their plants?
  3. If roommates are the answer- are you looking for friends, acquaintances or straight up strangers?

Living alone can be nice, especially if you choose to be in a trendy (i.e. 20-something filled) neighborhood where your friends and possible future friends are likely to hang out. However, if a more quiet, family-friendly neighborhood is better suited for you, roommates might just be the answer. You can travel out to the busy parts of town when you want to or have a quiet night at home- but not alone- if desired.

Living alone can be costly- there’s no one helping with rent, electricity, internet, and you really weren’t ready to give up cable. Roommates can help that.  And they’ll probably keep you from talking to your plants, but then you need to decide if you want to take the Craig’s List approach:

Benefits:

  1. You don’t owe them much—had a bad day at work and don’t want to hang out? Escaping to your room with no more than a simple “hey” is acceptable.
  2. Their allergies will stop you from getting that dog/cat/ferret you don’t actually need.
  3.  No risk of destroying a friendship—you weren’t friends to start with, so a fight over who didn’t do what dishes won’t turn into an argument about how you’ve NEVER been a supportive friend.
  4.  You might actually make new friends.

Negatives:

  1. Your roomie-to-be might be a bit more Type A than they let on in the interview and suddenly they’re yelling at you for not keeping the DVDs alphabetized.
  2. There could be a Significant Other in the picture that ends up being the third (non-rent paying) roommate …warning: this can happen with friends too.
  3. Are you vegan? Random-Roommate is not, and just cooked a juicy burger in your cast iron frying pan.

Honesty is always the best policy when picking roommates. If you know doing the dishes in a timely manner isn’t your thing-SAY IT. Maybe add in that you find vacuuming to be stress relieving, but say it. If you’re a night person you probably don’t want to live with a morning person. Making note of these things, prior to signing a lease, can be a lifesaver.

Now that you have all that sorted let FreshRent do the rest!

We’re Coming to Orlando

That’s right Disney fans…Deep Discount Apartments is coming to Orlando. Many new properties will be added over the next several weeks – so check back often and be sure to follow our new Orlando Twitter feed @DDA_Orlando.

Be sure to tell us what you’re looking for in an Orlando apartment? Location, price, amenities? We’ll find them all – and at discounts only available from DeepDiscountApartments.