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Military Moving Tips for Switching Locations Quickly and Often

Frequent moving from one home to another is stressful; you have to learn new routes to work, change health-care providers, perhaps find a new job and learn new landscapes. It doesn’t have to be so stressful if your things are organized and there are systems in place to help everything run smoothly. If you’re in a military family you’ve likely developed an appreciation for efficiency and precision. Here are some tips to help you switch locations as often as you need—to without the headache.

Preparing for the Move

Preparing for the move is important, but starting too early can force you to dig through a box looking for that one item you really need right this moment long before it comes time to actually move. Preparing mentally is a great idea and can be done in advance, but it’s best to save the actual packing for the couple of weeks before the move.

It’s nicer to set up house with clean things, so washing everything before packing it is a great idea for an easy transition. Downsizing before a move is another great idea. It’s often cheaper to replace an infrequently used item than it is to move it. If something hasn’t been used in the past year, or you won’t need it where you are going, sell it online, donate it to a charity, give it to a friend or relative or simply let it go. The moving process is too stressful to bring along un-needed items. Here’s a motto to keep in mind: the families who travel best travel light.

Learning About Your New Location

It’s a good idea to research the area well. Base housing may not be what you are looking for, so start your homework early: contact real estate agents and take a look at any rental opportunities that might be available to make your decision between all options easier when you get there. If your move would allow you to commute to work, school, and any other activities your family participates in, keep in mind that traffic patterns could be drastically different in the new location and plan accordingly.

Plastic Drawers and Totes

If the moving is frequent (every few months), consider using plastic drawers and totes to make it easier to take household items from one place to another and set things up exactly the way they were in the previous house. These storage containers can be useful for anything from clothing items and toiletries to spices and cookware, and they’ll make organizing your new home a breeze.

Inventory Systems

One time-saving idea is to simply snap a picture of each drawer, cupboard, and closet before packing to have a visual inventory for easy reference in case of an insurance claim. Keeping track of what you have is very important. Some frequent movers use color coded boxes with a swatch of red tape across all the bathroom items, blue for bedroom items, green for things that belong in the main living area, and so on. Others get more detailed still, employing a coded system to number each box and keep track of what is inside—there are even apps for smartphones that will let you print out barcodes and labels.

Moving frequently can be a real hassle, even for military families who are required to move often. It’s most important to find a system of organization you can actually stick with; a system that doesn’t get used is worse than no system at all.

How to Survive Moving Nightmares

Moving from one home to another can be a very stressful ordeal. Every routine is changed, including the familiar route from the bedroom to acquire coffee first thing in the morning. While every move will require adjustment, there are certain moving nightmares that can make it much harder to get back to normal.

Having Personal Property Stolen During the Move

Sadly, having items stolen during a move can happen. Two movers, one from Tennessee and another from Virginia, were just arrested for stealing valuables while helping a Kingsport family in a move. When you’re moving overseas, everything has to be inventoried and counted before and after the move to make getting through customs easier and quicker. When moving from state to state, or even just across the street, individuals are often too frazzled with the move to take stock of their belongings and it is easy for valuables to be “lost in the shuffle” and stolen. Whether or not you hire professional movers, take inventory for yourself both before and after the move to make sure nothing gets lost or goes missing.

Problems With A Moving Truck

Moving trucks can be well used, and there is no guarantee that there won’t an old truck won’t break down—or worse. In one case from California last summer, a U-haul truck caught fire and a load of household items was lost while the blaze caught some brush and started a wildfire. Moving truck nightmares need not be fiery to be stressful. Many times individuals who attempt to move themselves by renting a large truck aren’t well versed in driving large vehicles. If you rent a truck on your own, make sure to speak with someone about the condition of the vehicle and its safety features, just in case.

Personal Injuries Due to Improper Lifting

During household moves, it is easy to injure yourself by hefting furniture or boxes in a hurry and without adopting the proper posture. Muscle injury can occur from this strain, causing pain and small tears in the tissue. Injuries to the disks that form the spine are also a possibility, and they could cause debilitating pain and possibly require surgery or ongoing treatment. Joint injuries are also a risk, including shoulder and knee problems. Make sure that you, your family and anyone else helping you move knows how to safely lift and lower large, heavy items to avoid injury when you move.

Surviving The Move Easily

Moving can be seamless with correct planning and execution. Whether you are planning to do everything yourself or to hire a little extra help, it’s very likely that you’ll be dealing with a rental truck company or professional movers at some point. Choosing a company with a good reputation will give you peace of mind and make things much easier. Estes SureMove is an excellent choice for a moving expert that can provide information as well as services to assist with a great moving experience. Having a trusted source for anything from storage and truck rental to help with packing and loading will make all the difference between a great moving experience and a nightmare.

The Most Popular Months to Move

Moving to a new home might be stressful, but we all do it: nearly 40 million Americans relocate every year. Naturally, people do their best to make the moving process as easy as possible. That might mean having a garage sale to get rid of things you don’t want to take with you, hiring professional movers and choosing a move-in date that works with their schedule. 40 million people can’t all have the same schedule, but some months are markedly more popular for moving—keep reading to find out why that might be.

Spring and Summer Weather

People move throughout the year for various reasons, but most move-in dates tend to fall during the spring and summer months, between May and September. Part of the reason for this could be because the weather is nicer and movers don’t have to worry about driving through ice and snow, but there are a few other reasons why these are the most popular moving months.

Settling In Before School Starts

Many families who move during the summer do so because they have children who are still in school. Having to go to a new school is always hard on a child, but it can be especially difficult when the move happens right in the middle of the school year. Both parent and child have to adjust to a different school schedule, meet new teachers and make sure that the child is caught up with the rest of their new classmates. A move during the summer eliminates these challenges. Most children don’t go to school during the summer, so they don’t have to worry about transitioning from one classroom environment to another mid-year. They can start school at the same time as the rest of their classmates without having to catch up on recent assignments.

Moving After School Ends

Moving during the summer makes perfect sense for families who have children, but even those who don’t have any kids seem to prefer to move during the spring. Many of these people are just finishing college once spring rolls around, and they may be getting ready to leave the tiny apartments that were so convenient while they were in school. Not only does this mean that college students are leaving for greener pastures and different homes themselves, but it means that countless apartments are suddenly available for rent. These apartments tend to be fairly inexpensive, and they are ideal for young couples or those who may be living alone for the first time in their lives.

Why The Slow Winter Months Shouldn’t Be Ignored

The spring and summer may be the most popular seasons to relocate to a new home, but those who are trying to save money on a new apartment shouldn’t ignore the winter months. Not many people want to move during the winter, so any places that are available for rent during this time will be a lot cheaper. As much as you may not want to go out into the cold to hunt for an apartment, it might be wise to buck moving trends and start looking around when the snow starts falling.

How to Move Your Plants and Pack Up Your Garden

Packing to move can be stressful and require meticulous organization in order to know what you’ll need at your new home, and what’s better off staying behind or being donated to the thrift store. For an invested gardener, or someone attached to the basil they’ve been growing in their kitchen window for a few years, there are special considerations to be made in preparing your plants for the journey ahead. While some plants—indoor or outdoor—are hearty and tough to disturb, others are delicate and very sensitive to even subtle changes in lighting or soil conditions. Knowing ahead of time which will likely survive the trip and which ones are better left for the next homeowner will help save you time and a little flora heartbreak.

Indoor Plants

There are a few basic rules to follow in preparing your fronds for transplant. Find a stable, open-air means of transporting your plants. Get a crate and arrange small house plants so they won’t tip over, and are protected from being smashed or having their leaves torn off. Keep your more delicate plants in a temperature-controlled environment like your car, where they won’t be subjected to unusual highs and lows of temperature, especially if you’re moving long-distance.

Be sure to keep the soil moist, and be careful about over-watering, as this will not only be bad for your plants but it can also create a muddy mess. Make sure all the pots and containers have proper drainage, and that the carrier will prevent any of that drainage from seeping out into the interior of your car. It’s important to be gentle, but most house plants are resilient and accustomed to small, confined spaces in which to grow.

If you’re moving between states or to another country there are some limits about what species of plants you may take with you. Due to pest control laws, some states, such as California, have a strict border enforcement policy. This is their way of protecting the state from any unwanted pests from getting in to their agricultural environment from an outside source. Check the agriculture website for the state you’ll be moving to, and all the states you’ll pass through in between, for more specific information about what’s allowed through the checkpoints, and what must be left behind. If you are moving to a new country, many plants are not allowed through customs, and you may have to give them to a neighbor before you move on.

Outdoor Plants

Transplanting outdoor plants can be more difficult, given their size and scope. If you have a backyard garden, it may be better that you leave most of it behind. If there’s a plant you’re determined to take with you, ensure that you dig out enough soil to support the root ball, and place it in to a plastic pot large enough to safely transport it. Use sterilized soil, which does not contain banned pesticides or foreign organisms and is available in many garden centers, if you’re moving to a more restrictive state. If you’re going to move larger outdoor plants, be sure to uproot them while they’re not actively growing, if at all possible.

Wrap large plants, after you’ve pruned them, in tissue paper or a sheet in order to protect branches and limbs from breaking on the ride. Make sure the plant can still breathe, but is secure enough to transport. Load the plants in to a car or truck just before departure, and when you arrive at your new location, they should be the first things to be unpacked. Small trees, shrubs, and other bushes do best in transport. More fragile plants such as vegetables, flowers and succulents are more delicate.

If you have questions relating to transporting a specific plant, ask your neighborhood gardening center, they may have more information.

Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation

It’s that time of year! Warmer days, trips to the beach or the lake, getaways in the mountains, vineyards, or state parks of your choice – the world is your oyster, as the saying goes. As you and your family plan your summer vacations, it’s important to pack well and plan for anything. Most importantly, however, is how you leave your home while you are gone. It’s easy to just lock up and forget about your life at home while you lounge on the beach or hike in the mountains, but safety is important – you want to be sure your life is still there when you return! To keep your house safe and in mint condition, here is a list of things to do before you leave:

  • Turn off all major appliances. This will help conserve energy and keep the house safe. Unplug everything you can, even televisions, computers, charging plugs, and kitchen appliances that you won’t need to use.
  • Adjust thermostats and water heaters. You don’t want the house to cook while you’re gone, but you certainly don’t need the air-conditioning set to 65. You can also change the setting on the water heater so it doesn’t work hard to heat water you won’t be using for a while.
  • Keep the house safe. Vacationing home owners can be victims of theft, so be sure to keep a low-energy porch light on at night or set timers so you home appears occupied. Keep a car out front if possible, and hold the mail or arrange for a neighbor to pick it up. Make sure neighbors you trust know that you’re gone, and have friends drive by or stop by occasionally to check up.
  • Keep the plants and pets happy. If you can afford a sitter, that’s your best option for safety on a summer vacation. They can keep the house occupied, feed the pets and water the plants. Otherwise, you may want to install a self-watering mechanism in plants or have someone stop by to water them if you’ll be gone long. If your pets are staying home, be sure someone stops by regularly to feed, walk, and check on them.
  • Print emergency information. Give it to several people, family and friends. They’ll need to know how to reach you in case of an emergency at home.
  • Check the washer and dryer. Nothing is worse than coming home to moldy clothes left in the washer. Better do the dishes, too.
  • Check the refrigerator. Plan to eat perishables before you go out of town, and compost or toss the rest.
  • Check your bills and set up an auto-response for important email addresses. You want to make sure everything is paid and anyone who might need correspondence knows you’re gone.
  • Arrange for lawn care for long vacations. Almost as bad as moldy clothes, is coming home to grass that’s up to your hips. See if you can pay a neighbor’s teen to mow it for summer cash. You can also invest in a soaker hose that keeps flowers, lawns and veggies watered without waste.
  • Lock up and remove all extra keys. Once you’re sure you have the house keys in a secure spot in your luggage, consider removing any hidden keys around the exterior. Give them to a close friend or family member for safekeeping until you return. Check all windows and doors, and place stoppers in sliding glass doors, too.
  • Have someone take out your garbage. This one’s another good tip for making the home look lived in while you’re gone.
  • Don’t share everything everywhere. Although it may be necessary to send an auto-email response, consider keeping your social media as private as can be. If you want to share your location and photos as you go, up the privacy settings and scan your friends list to be safe.
  • Install safety features. If you can afford it, and you plan to be gone for longer than a week, you may consider a home security system that adds that level of comfort while you’re gone.

We hope these are helpful tips as you ready your home and family for summer vacation. At Estes SureMove, we believe a happy, safe, and secure home helps make moving easier when the time comes.

Choosing a New Place to Live

Many times, we don’t have a choice in where we live. Maybe your job brought you where you live now, or your last move took you closer to family. Maybe you got a job after college and stuck around your college town to build your resume and never moved, or maybe you’ve stayed in the place where you were born, building a life where you were raised, and haven’t had the opportunity to move. These are all normal parts of life for many Americans, but for most of us, the itch to move and change the scenery bites every so often. Once you’ve scratched that itch and decided it’s time to move, how do you decide on your next hometown?

The Best Place for Your Lifestyle

The most important thing to do before you begin looking for your next stomping ground is to assess your lifestyle, your desires, and your needs and hobbies. Make a list of what you need from a place you call home, and be specific. These questions and tips will help:

  • Are you a family person or do you plan to stay single for a while? Or, has your family grown up and it’s just you and your partner needing less space and a quiet place?
  • Do you need roommates, or can you afford to live alone?
  • How important is it to be in or close to a big metropolitan city? Do you like to be in walking/biking distance of most amenities, including your job?
  • If you crave a more rural setting, can you afford a commute to work?
  • Are you interested in a suburban community, or something more spread out?
  • Do new houses and developments appeal to you? Or, do historic houses with classic charm call your name?
  • How important is a good school system to you and your family? Does living near a University appeal or repel you?
  • Will a few basic grocery stores and shopping malls suffice? Or, do you crave a variety of options from farmer’s markets and locally owned shops?
  • Don’t forget the weather. If you’re moving to the Midwest, consider tornado threats. The Southeast comes with hurricane warnings and the Southwest, brush and forest fires. Are you a hot weather person? Do you prefer a wet climate or a drier one? Cold or ice cold? Rainy or blue skies?
  • Is a thriving arts culture important? Is a variety of religious and spiritual opportunities important?
  • Can your job come with you or do you need a place that has options to fit your working needs?
  • How does this place actually look and feel? Do you need trees and parks? Open sky? Tall buildings? Family-style houses and big lawns? Trust a gut instinct and take a walk and/or drive around to see if you feel inspired.
  • Every city and town has its crime, but the important thing is to know what your new home is known for. Contact your local police department to inquire about local crime and safety.
  • If you are buying, you may want to check into local property values, taxes, and development.
  • Is affordability important? Of course it is. Be sure you take a good look at your budget and choose a place that is both inspiring and won’t break your bank. It is possible to have both.

Once you understand your own needs, then you can go online, start browsing different lists and articles, and narrow it down. There are plenty of websites devoted to narrowing down the best places to live by category, and it’s up to you to decide which sources are reputable and why.

How to Pack for a New Place

Once you’ve decided to change your neck of the woods, it’s important to assess your belongings now before you pack. Your current lifestyle may be completely different from your new home. Maybe you’re moving because you’re expecting your first child and want to be closer to schools, but currently live in a big city apartment. Maybe you’ve been living in Missouri and have endured its long, cold winters and now are headed to the South for its warm summers and active, outdoor lifestyle. As you begin packing the house, consider only keeping one parka instead of five. Donate or sell your ice fishing gear to make space for a canoe.

These are just quick examples, but we do recommend taking your new home and town into consideration as you pack. The less you haul across the state or country, the more money you save – especially if you’re using Estes SureMove and only pay for the space you use!

Labeling Tips for a Sure Move

When the day to move your family into a new home arrives, the ease of the day and the weeks that follow depend on how organized you have been in your packing process. This means neatly packed boxes and of course, safeguarding against damage of any kind. It means planning the days ahead with precision, packing the truck on a good day after a hearty breakfast with plenty of helpers, and unpacking the truck in a way that makes setting up shop in your new home a breeze.

A foolproof way to make unpacking easy (and dare we say it, even fun!) is to get real on your labeling system. We’re not just talking basics like bathroom and bedroom, fragile items and winter clothes, but taking the time to get specific and if you’re up for it, color-coded. Below are some fun tricks to making the labeling process worth the extra effort:

  • Print large enough labels to include their contents. This may seem unnecessary, but the more specific you can be, the better. When you start unpacking, you should prioritize so you can decorate as you go, instead of moving things around later, adding steps, and a few weeks onto your move. The faster you can make the new house feel like home, the better.
  • Color-code everything, and make it bright. This makes boxes easy to identify and separate into the precise room and area in which they belong on the fly. Instead of just getting boxes in the door, get them where they belong. When you’re tired later and don’t have to move boxes again, you’ll thank us.
  • If you’ve color-coded, make a master legend. Paste it at eye level so you and everyone who is helping you move can see it as they bring in boxes and furniture. You can even stick a colored label at the entryway to each room so everyone knows each room’s future purpose.
  • For general boxes, use labeling tape. This labeling tape is also color-coded so be sure you match it to other labeling systems if you are using more than one.
  • Play with colored duct tape! At any hardware store, you can find up to 20 different colors and designs on duct tape these days, so if buying and printing labels is out of your budget or doesn’t feel crafty enough, create your own system with colored duct tape. You can write the contents on the tape with colored Sharpies, too. Have fun with it! Who doesn’t love having extra, useful duct tape lying around for future fix-its?
  • Label all sides of boxes, if possible. Though this might feel wasteful, at least hitting up two sides of the box will help make actually seeing those labels you spent good time on, easier. A better tip is to use color dots for three sides, then put the master label with its contents on one side to save money and time.
  • Label furniture, too.  Clearly, you don’t have to include contents on a sofa, but a quick sticker to assure the chair for the study doesn’t end up in the second floor extra bedroom will save you the heavy lifting.
  • Create an open first label. Make this an extra label for boxes that need to be opened right away. You won’t even need to check the contents on these first because you’ve planned so well.
  • Don’t forget to label fragile items. Make this label the biggest and brightest.
  • Make little labeling tags for wires and disassembled furniture. You can color-code these the same way you do the rest of your boxes and furniture, too.
  • Inventory your boxes. In addition to your labels, number your boxes to keep track of your life. Writing things like box 5 of 10 for each room makes it easy to know what’s missing.

We hope these labeling tips help you organize your move in the most creative and simplified way as possible. As with most things, just a few extra steps make for a more relaxed task. When you’re ready to haul your belongings to your new home, call Estes SureMove for a free estimate!

Homeowner Tips for a Cool and Clean Summer

We have all heard of spring-cleaning, and it’s important to dust and air out the house during those first few green and sunny spring days. Even more important is to prepare the house for summer months, and to keep a running list of good cleaning habits nearby so summer is fresh and easy, even when it’s hot and humid. Summer months mean running the air conditioning and fans, which means that air and dust is circulating constantly through your filters, fans, and open doors. Summer also means longer days and many outdoor activities – more dirt and wet clothes, patio meals, sun kissed skin, insect bites, and green thumbs. Here are some tips to keep the home clean, cool, and ready for anything during our more active, outdoor days:

  • Clean the filters. Keeping the house cool is important for most people during the summer days. It’s also good for allergies, but a clean filter goes a long way. Changing the air filters in your A/C unit helps the air stay clean longer, and your system will work more efficiently, cooling off your hot skin and your power bill.
  • Vacuum vents. Don’t forget to change the air filters and vacuum all the vents in the house, too. If you have pets or highly allergic family members, best to change them every 30 days.
  • Dust the fans. While you have the vacuum out, clean the fans (ceiling fans too!) as best as possible, and run the hose along the floorboards, wall corners, and behind furniture. The less dust and grime there is to circulate, the better.
  • Check on major appliances. Many home maintenance companies experience slower business in summer so it’s a good time to check on the house and appliances. Cash in on deals and good service when you can!
  • Hose down the patio. Break out the outdoor patio furniture and grill, along with any children’s toys and gardening equipment and give them all a good hosing down in the summer sun to dry. This also gives you a chance to check for any insect infestations hiding in storage crevices and clear them out.
  • Wash out the winter. Everyone knows it’s good to put away winter clothes and blankets, but do you wash them all first? This saves time when it gets cold again in the fall and assures proper, clean storage. It’s also a good time to flip and clean the mattress, too.
  • Pressure wash. Summer is a good time to pressure wash the deck and siding, porches and patios. Renting a pressure washer can be affordable, but if you’d still like to save money, many stores sell cheap add-ons for your basic garden hose and work well for basic up-keep.
  • Landscape. Trim away any branches and rogue bushes that are near power lines and HVAC units to keep from costly repairs down the road. While you’re at it, check the health of any trees and vegetation on your property and remove any dead or dying material. Then plant your gardens.
  • Stop dirt in its tracks. With all the extra dirt tracked in during summer months, it’s a good time to invest in sturdy nylon mats for each doorway so the tracking stops there.
  • Stock the first aid kits. Many forget that summer mean sunburns, scraped knees and insect bites, so prepare the medical kits and cabinets for summer emergencies. Restock your first aid kits and consider making family emergency bags if you live in an area prone to natural disasters.
  • Sparkle the glass. Clean the windows and sliding glass doors. And don’t forget the tracks of the windows and doors, too.
  • Extras. Clean and hose out the gutters for summer storms, and while you have the hose out, spray and dry the lawn mower, too.

There are plenty more tips out there, but we think these are a good start. It may seem like a lot, but a well prepared home will grant you more time to enjoy the long summer days with your family. We’re moving pros at Estes SureMove, but we know there is much more to an easy moving process than simply packing up. Being a savvy homeowner makes life easier when you’re in the home, and when you’re ready to pass it on to the next.

First Move for Graduates

Graduating from high school or college is a liberating rite of passage for many teens and young adults. It is at this point that the years of hard work finally pay off, and the new grads head off into the “real world”. However, with the newfound freedom also comes the moving process. If it is you or your child’s first move, it could turn into a headache quickly, although it does not have to be.

The good thing about moving off to college is that generally, your son or daughter moves into a space smaller than his or her bedroom. In addition, the room is usually already furnished. Therefore, you are not transporting more than clothes, some electronics, bedding and fixtures. However, for someone moving back home or into his or her own place, there will be a little – or a lot – more moving to do.

Moving is not an easy process, but it is not as difficult as it sounds either. With proper planning, the move can be handled quickly and efficiently. For entering college freshmen, schools often offer a checklist of the necessities and recommendations of what else to bring along. The checklist also outlines what is not allowed in the dormitories.

Regardless of whether you or your child is headed off to school, or going into the real world, we offer a checklist of our own as well. It offers advice and tips for every step of the way, from the planning stages, to who to contact and alert, to the aftermath when everything is moved in. You should not have to do everything on your own, and while family and friends are there to help, let Estes SureMove help you make the move to or from school a smooth one!

We here at Estes SureMove offer convenient solutions to help you reach your moving goals. Regardless of how big or how small the dorm room or apartment is, Estes SureMove offers a moving truck that is perfect for you. We offer a 28’ moving truck, but only charge you for the space you need. In addition, we drop the truck at your residence, and give you three (3) days to load everything. From there, we deliver the moving truck to the destination, and give you three days to unload your haul!

You have enough on your mind with getting into or leaving school. Let Estes SureMove at least take a small load off…literally!

A Small Checklist to Help You Find the Perfect Home

Last week, we talked about the moving process for a graduate headed off to college or into the “real world”. This week, it is all about finding the right place for you, and turning new your place – whether you rent or own – into a “dream house”. If you are not familiar with moving, we have you covered. There is a lot to consider before you start packing, but with a little preparation, it can be a smooth process. All of these things should factor into where you live, and can help make your new place somewhere to call home for years to come.

Daily Commute
Chances are you do not want to spend your mornings and/or evenings stuck in traffic. Therefore, consider finding an apartment close to where you work. By living closer to the office (say, a few miles away), you will be surprised at how much you will save on gas every month.

If you live in a big city, look at the public transportation options. Consider living near a train station and riding to work. Although it may be an extra expense, you could also offset things with the money potentially saved on gas.

What exactly do you look for in your next place? Do you want a balcony overlooking the neighborhood, or a large backyard for the kids? If you live in a building, perhaps you want a pool and/or a fitness center. Those are all things to consider, but also think about amenities inside the individual home/apartment. Perhaps you want a dishwasher or fireplace, or maybe a washer and dryer. You might prefer natural lighting, and therefore want extra windows. While you may not want to sound like the picky couples on the various house hunting shows, you still have the right to want a few bells and whistles. Just try not to get too picky.

Depending on how many people live in your new place, space will likely be a factor. If you are getting married or expecting, more room is always a good idea. If it is just you, maybe you want to downgrade, which saves money on heating and energy costs. Not everyone needs a luxurious home, and some prefer a studio or one-bedroom unit. Just remember when you start packing that you will also need rooms and closet space to store your belongings.

Do you like going to Happy Hour after work? Maybe you want to check out some of the street festivals during the summer. If nightlife is a big deal, consider finding an apartment close to the social scene. Having bars and restaurants within walking distance always comes in handy, especially if you have a favorite place to go. In addition, you save a little gas and get some exercise in the process!

Before you even pack the first box or reserve a moving truck, you have a few things to consider. And even after you find the “perfect” spot, keep in mind your security deposit or down payment, and getting approved. At the very least, you at least have a better idea of what to expect. Happy hunting!