bicycle storage

Bicycle Storage in Your Apartment

Nowadays apartments come with a wide range of amenities and even more space than before, but apartment living still means space is at a premium. You have to learn to economize the space that you do have. This is true for all of your stuff, including your modes of transportation. While parking is generally considered to be part of your lease in many places, if you live near the core of a city it can be an additional fee. Many apartment dwellers are choosing to go car-less and get around via bicycle. When it comes to bicycle storage, however, that can be difficult in an apartment. Here are some tips on how you can store your bike to keep it safe and secure in your apartment.

Bicycle Storage in Your Coat Closet

Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of room to store a bike, which is why a coat closet can be a great option. It is easily accessible and in poor weather you’re going to need your coat anyway. Since this is likely the closest spot to the front door it makes for an easy-in/easy-out option. In the summer you can get more space for your bike by moving winter coats to your main closet, thus making it easier to get your bike in and out.

Balcony or Porch

This only works if you have the option of a porch or balcony, but it is a great place to store your bike out of the way. You don’t have to worry about moving coats or sweaters out of the way to get to it. Weather can still be a factor, but you can protect it from the elements by putting a tarp or other form of cover over it. Just make sure that you don’t block the door to your apartment, as this could be a fire hazard.


This is by far the easiest place to store it if you have the option. Some apartments do come with the option for a garage or other covered parking. If you are already paying for this, it is a great place to store your bike and keep it out of the elements. It is also a great place to perform any maintenance on it if needed. You won’t track in any dirt and it is completely out of the way from being inside your apartment.

Bike Rack

Many apartments offer on-site bike racks for their residents to use communally. There are also plenty of types of stands, racks, and hangers that your complex can offer. These are versatile structures that allow you to lock your bike up and leave it there with the peace of mind that it is safe.

Whatever storage option you choose, a bike in your apartment is both a great way to get around and a great way to get free exercise. You can find any number of innovative solutions that will not only solve your storage issues, but keep your bike safe and sound.

holiday party

Hosting a Holiday Party in a Smaller Apartment

Hosting a Holiday Party in a Smaller Apartment

The holiday season is almost here. It can often be a troubling time if you are an apartment dweller. You may feel that your space is too small to host something like a family Thanksgiving or a Christmas party for a group of friends. The good news is that you can, indeed, host events like these no matter how small your apartment is. Sure, it will take a small amount of pre-party planning, but with a little work you can pull off a great party.

Make Some Space

Yes, you have a limited amount of space to work with, but an added benefit of clearing away some clutter is that you can create more room in your apartment even after the apartment. Look at it this way: you are probably wanting to clear away some clutter anyway, so why not do it to benefit hosting a great party?

You’ll want to start by moving some furniture that may be in the way of a centralized area. If you have a bunch of unnecessary items and out of place belongings this is a great time to put them back where they belong. If you’re struggling to figure out what needs to be pared down take photos of your apartment. This can help pinpoint areas where you can clear out space. Who knows, your apartment may even look BETTER when you’re done.

Make Room in Your Coat Closet

Since the holidays means cold weather it is a great time to purge coat closets. You can switch out seasonal clothing and create room for your guests. Many communities also have coat drives, so you can donate items you no longer wear. Once you have made room make sure that you have extra hangers for your guests. If their coats are out of the way in the coat closet it means you have more room for your party.

Rearrange the Furniture to Encourage ConversatioN At Your Holiday party

The default setting of most living rooms is around the television, but this discourages conversation. The way around this is to shake things up with your existing furniture. Ignore the TV. Places sofas and chairs facing each other. Make sure you have a coffee table or something in the middle so guests can set down their drinks or snacks. If possible, arrange all furniture in a round layout around a centralized area. This encourages guests to engage in conversation and interact with each other.

Keep Your Place Open

The kitchen and the living room are the natural hotspots for the party, but keep your entire apartment open. Leave doors open so guests can explore. Just be sure to make sure all open areas are free of clutter too. This can greatly increase the space of the apartment while still allowing for areas of one-on-one conversation.

Many apartments may not have much of a dining area, but you can maximize space by using other areas. If you have a coffee table drape a tablecloth over it for a secondary eating area. Limit the décor on your tabletops so there is more room for food and plates. When it comes to table decorations a little goes a long way.

Use Every Surface

With space at a premium, flat surfaces become critically important. End tables can become drink stations if placed in high-traffic areas. A padded bench or ottoman can become functional with a serving tray on top. Bookshelves, TV consoles, and other objects with a flat surface can become handy places for people to put down their drinks.

Find Alternative Seating

Everyone likes to sit at a party, but what if you don’t have enough seating? The first way to avoid this is to know your number of guests. Try to have a seat for each guest, especially if it is a dinner party. With a more casual affair you can probably get away with having a few fewer seats than guests. To come up with enough seats you can repurpose furniture from other rooms. Desk chairs, bed benches, and even patio furniture are great for this. Even stepladders can be used in a pinch.

The key to hosting a great holiday party in a small apartment is to be creative. With a little work you can pull off an event that your guests are sure to love.

apartment lighting

Apartment Lighting: Getting More for Less

Something to think about when getting a new apartment is the lighting. It is not something that is always at the top of a prospective tenant’s list, but apartment lighting can be something you’re not happy with after moving in. You also might be sure how you can improve on it if it is bad. Sure, you can add floor lights or lights on end tables, but there are some other ideas that might help the situation even more. Here are some of the easiest solutions you can implement when it comes to improving apartment lighting.

Improving the Natural Light

The best way to improve light is to rely on natural light. You’ll have to have an eye for it when you are touring apartments, but you can also still optimize the natural light that you do have. If you don’t want any blinds or shutters you can take them down and store them for when you move out. If you would rather leave them up, be sure to leave them open during the day to maximize the amount of natural light.

Overhead Lighting

Most rentals have overhead lights and/or ceiling fans, but they might not provide enough light for your tastes. You can go to any hardware store and purchase your own new ones if you know how to safely install fixtures. These fixtures can stay up throughout your time in the apartment and come back down when it is time to move out. Just be sure that you can safely store the original fixtures and put them back up.

Amplify Light with Mirrors

While mirrors don’t make their own light, they do reflect other light sources and can amplify the light you have available. They make rooms feel larger as well. If you can hang mirrors or reflective metal surfaces across from windows, natural light sources, or lamps it will help brighten up almost any room.

Small, Portable Lights

Many stores now sell small lights that can be placed almost anywhere via Velcro or command strips. These lights are great for being put underneath a counter or on a wall and can be turned on with a simple touch. The downside is that they run on battery power, so they are not connected to the electrical grid of your apartment. Still, they are good for ambiance and can be placed in any number of spaces. They are also great for closets.

Decorative Lights

A great way to make your apartment more festive is to hang decorative lights across the ceiling light Christmas lights. These can work best in bedrooms or hallways, but can also be strung up virtually anywhere. As long as you have access to a power outlet you can hang Christmas and other decorative lights all over the place.

Garage Space

Clearing Garage Space with Self Storage

When you got your home or apartment you probably had grand visions for your garage. It was going to be more than a place to store your car. It was going to be a workshop, a place for your lawn care supplies, and maybe even an escape from the everyday world. Over time, however, it has become a catch-all for storage. Now you can barely fit your car in it because of so much stuff, and you haven’t even begun packing up your summer furniture. You have run out of garage space, and that is a problem.

Many people turn to self-storage units as a way to clean up the clutter in their garages. Self-storage units are a great place to store bikes, summer furniture grills, and other stuff during the winter so they are out of the way. But how do you pick what stays in the garage and what goes to the storage unit to free up garage space?

Use the Walls and Ceilings

For the items that are staying in the garage thing of the walls and even the ceiling as extra places to store things. Adding cabinets and racks provide additional space for smaller items and keeps them off of the floor. Bike hooks can be hung from the ceiling as a great way to stow bikes. The most important part is organization. As long as things are organized, you know where they are, and they are easier to get to when they are needed.

What Goes in Storage Units?

Storage units are great for large items that need to be stored, but you simply don’t have room for them in your garage. This can be stuff like patio furniture, outdoor games, grills, and more. Basically, they only take up space during the winter. This is why a short-term storage unit is a great option for the cold winter months.

Alternative Vehicle Storage

While you will need access to your primary vehicle, other vehicles like motorcycles, hobby vehicles, or even RVs still need a place. They often are not used much during the winter, anyway. Some self-storage centers have larger units that can even hold vehicles. With these larger items out of the way you can have more room at your home for winter storage.

A self-storage unit is always a great solution for short term and long term storage of items. As you’re cleaning out your garage this fall, consider renting a unit to store your summer items for the winter.

roommate agreement

All You Need to Know About Roommates

When you’re just starting out on your own money can be tight, especially when it comes to living in cities. That’s why many people opt to live with roommates in order to share costs. It can be a great way to save some money on living expenses, but it can also be fraught with peril due to the ups and downs of interpersonal relationships. If you choose to live with a roommate here are some things you need to know before signing a lease.

What is a Roommate Agreement?

A roommate agreement is basically a written document that puts down the responsibilities of each roommate. It is often made without the landlord present. This can range from financial responsibilities to personal ones. It often outlines how rent and utilities are to be divided, but it can also be modified to include chores, food sharing, quiet times, and the policy on guests.

The three biggest things included in the roommate agreement are rent, security deposit, and utilities. These financial items are critical to any agreement.

Is a Roommate Agreement Legally Binding?

The answer to this can be tricky. A lease with a landlord is legally binding from beginning to end. If there is legal action against a tenant that broke a roommate agreement a judge will likely only hold them responsible for certain items. For example: If the roommate moves out early because they had to take a job elsewhere, leaving you to pay all rent and utilities, the court may order the roommate to pay you back in full.

The court likely won’t get involved if some of the more personal terms are violated like playing the TV too loud. Another important factor is if the roommate files for bankruptcy or has no money. If they don’t have any funds it is unlikely you will be able to collect on any judgment.

The phrase “caveat emptor”, or “buyer beware” is important before agreeing to live with a roommate. Be sure that it is someone you know and trust if it is at all possible. That makes the entire rental experience much more enjoyable for all parties involved. If you are meeting someone for the first time be sure to do your homework and find out more about them. In this day and age of the internet and social media you can learn a lot about a person before living with them.

In the event you do have to go to small claims court for failure to pay rent and utilities a roommate agreement can be a handy tool in your favor. It can help you get the share of the bills the other party agree to pay, but it is by no means a guarantee. By getting to know the person and trusting them you can make sure you have a much better experience, and it will end up as a much better experience for the second party as well, because they likely need a roommate too!

self storage in summer

What to Move to Self Storage in Summer

Warmer weather is just around the corner and that can mean it is time to reduce clutter around your home. If you have a self storage unit it can also mean it is time to switch up what gets stored there. Summer patio furniture and more can come out and winter items like that snowblower can go in. The flexibility that self-storage units offer can be very helpful with the change of seasons. Seasonal items are great for that, and as summer approaches here are some items you can consider moving to self-storage so they are not in the way.

Holiday Decorations

Are the Christmas tree and lights taking up space that is needed in the garage? Put them in a storage unit! You’re not going to need them until November anyway.

Winter Clothing

If you already have a storage unit you can put away bulky winter coats and blankets. Just make sure to protect them properly with plastic bins and vacuum sealed bags.

Snow Removal Items

This includes snowshovels, snowblowers, and more. For snowblowers, be sure to drain the tank of any fuel and disconnect the battery. That way it will be ready to go next winter with little maintenance.

Vehicle and Patio Covers

Summer is the time to be outdoors, so don’t let the bulky covers for your outdoor furniture get in the way. Put them in storage with the rest of the cold weather gear.


Many people like to store their motorcycles in the winter, and if you have a snowmobile it is a great trade-off. You can bring out the bike while you put the snowmobile away for the summer. Just be sure to drain the gas tank and disconnect the battery before storing.

Space Heaters and Snow Tires

These are both specialty items that just get in the way during warmer weather if you have them. Safely store them in a storage unit and they will be ready to go next winter.

As always, if you have any questions about what can and cannot be stored, feel free to contact your storage professional. They are there to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

Bathroom decorating

Bathroom Decorating Ideas for Your Apartment

There are certain trade-offs when it comes to apartment life. You know that your space is limited. This is as true for decorating ideas as it is for storage. Both of these factors come into play when it comes to taking care of the bathroom in your apartment. You may never have enough space in your apartment bathroom, but there are tips and tricks that can help you both maximize your space and have the bathroom looking great.

Work on Your Display

If done the right way, the bath products you have in your bathroom can be part of the display itself. The trick is to not have too much on the vanity itself. Most bath products come with their own colorful packaging. Items such as bath salts, cotton swabs, and more can be displayed in mason jars that are both aesthetically pleasing and handy containers. Make sure that your display is also functional. What you leave out can make your bathroom cozy while also being functional.

The Medicine Cabinet

Your main place of storage in the bathroom is the medicine cabinet. It not only holds hygiene products, but it also holds medications, hair accessories, and more. A great way to maximize space is to purchase a stand-alone medicine cabinet that goes over the toilet. Some of these units are quite large and can even hold extra towels, soap, and more. Most hardware stores have dozens of options for stand-alone medicine cabinets.

Add a Plant

It may not seem like m8uch, but if you add a plant such as a fern or cactus it can serve many purposes. First, it adds a splash of color that can be a visual focus in the room. Second, plants can help reduce the moisture levels in a room that is already high in humidity. They help absorb the moisture from a steamy shower and make the room more comfortable. As a bonus, they don’t take up much space, either.

Use Stackable Containers

Whether it is under the sink or in the medicine cabinet, stackable containers help you maximize every square inch of storage. By using vertical storage space you can double or even triplet he area available. Many stores have containers designed to fit into tight spaces in the bathroom such as between the wall and toilet.

Add a Personal Touch with Art

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but framed prints or other artwork can be a great final touch. Empty wall space is a great area for a piece of art, and it can be anything. Be creative and look at making a collage of photographs. This is a quick and inexpensive way to liven up the room.

These are just a few of the way you can really dress up your small apartment bathroom.

The Best Time To Rent A New Apartment

Renting a House vs. Renting an Apartment

When it comes to renting you have many options for a home. There are apartments, townhouses, houses, and other options, but what is the best? Each type of unit has its own advantages. Apartments generally allow you to save on cost, while houses often offer more space for your belongings. Location is also important, as apartments and townhomes are usually closer to the center of major cities while homes can be found elsewhere. When it comes to a house vs. an apartment, what is the best to rent?

Costs and Expenses

Apartments and houses each have different types of expenses. This is on top of the rent you have to pay, which is also even different. Generally, houses are more expensive than apartments for both rent and expenses. Houses typically have more space, so heating is therefore more expensive. Apartments can be all-inclusive, however, which means that all utilities are included within your rent payment. This can end up being better in the long run because the amount you pay per square foot can be better.

Transportation is also a concern. If you rent a house the parking is often a part of the rental, but it is not always included with an apartment. Some places may only have a limited amount of parking spots available.


The biggest factor in deciding between an apartment and a house is the amount of space you need. If you have a larger family, a house is probably the way to go. A house almost always offers more room, but if you are moving out on your own an apartment can be best. This is especially true if you are living on your own for the first time, as the building will have a professional management staff that can handle any problems you may encounter. If you rent a house the landlord is likely the only person you can trust for repairs.


One of the top benefits of renting an apartment is the amenities that come with them. Many apartment complexes and buildings have fun amenities such as a fitness center, pool, sauna, and entertainment room. Many times these rooms can be rented or checked out for your own small gatherings. A house often does not have access to these things, but if it is in a good neighborhood it may have parks and sports fields nearby.

There are, of course, several things to consider beyond these, such as the amount of rent you can afford, the location of where you want to rent, and more. Once you take all of these things in consideration you will be ready to make your decision.

self storage in summer

Choosing Between a Storage Shed and Storage Unit

Every home can use more space. Deciding between building your own storage shed and renting a storage unit can be a tricky choice for many homeowners. Each type of storage solution has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. Here is what you should consider when deciding between a storage shed and a storage unit.


The good news is that the cost of a storage shed is all up front. It can be a bigger initial investment, as it could cost a couple thousand dollars, but it depends on the length of time you will need storage. The average cost to rent a storage unit is $91.14 a month. You could store your items in a storage unit for 9 months at an average cost of $820.26. This varies by the size of the unit and the facility, but if you only need short-term storage it may be more cost-effective to rent a storage unit.


Storage units have varying levels of security in the form of cameras, gates, locks, and more. Many facilities also have managers that live on site and conduct routine security patrols. With a storage shed on your property all security is up to you. You can add locks and connect it to your home security system.


A major advantage to having a storage shed on your property is that you have access to your belongings at all times. For items like garden tools, sports equipment, and more having everything on site is great. Many storage facilities offer 24-hour access, but they are still off-site and you have to travel to access your belongings. You still have to maintain the shed, however. You have to paint it, make repairs, and such. With a storage unit, the storage company handles all this.


Part of the storage company’s responsibility is to spray for bugs and keep other pests out of its units. They often have a standing contract from pest-control companies to take care of these things, while your own storage shed leaves this as your responsibility.

After careful consideration of each of the criteria above, there are still other things to consider. Is the convenience of a climate-controlled unit something you need? What life-phase are you in? Everyone has a different opinion on what is “convenient”, so be sure to take the time to think it through. Everyone has different needs when it comes to storage, so it is important to consider all factors.

Apartment decorating ideas

Apartment Decorating Ideas

Walls are meant for decorating. In apartments they are a great way to make your place truly your own. Unfortunately, turning the walls of an apartment into Swiss cheese with a bunch of nail holes is a great way to not receive a security deposit back. Not everything that ends up on your walls needs a nail, however. There are a number of ways you can spruce up your place with a unique look without leaving a ton of marks on the walls.

Use a Pegboard

Pegboards come in a variety of sizes with dozens of holes that can be used to hang almost anything. You can even get a pegboard big enough to cover an entire wall! Whether you leave a pegboard the color you find it in or paint it ahead of time, it is a great way to make a place truly your own. With various hooks and other methods of hanging things a pegboard can also double as a storage space.

Try Velcro

Velcro is a great way of hanging small items with no mess and no holes in the wall. Just get a lengthy strip and put one side of it on the wall and the other side on your artwork. Not only will you be able to easily hang each piece this way, it makes it easy to move things around. Things can even stay more securely on the walls as well.

Strategically Use Bookshelves

Bookshelves can be used for more than just books. If you only have a limited amount of books the rest of the shelf space is a great place to display artwork, knick-knacks, and more. Inexpensive shelving is available from several retailers. Make your place unique by purchasing some and displaying models and more. You can find small items at dollar stores that work well as accent pieces.

Use Decorative Tape

Decorative tape is a great way to add accents to rooms without messing up the walls. It can come with a variety of patterns and is available for less than $5 per roll. You can even get solid colors and make your own patterns to create your own designs that will truly stand out. Best of all, when it comes time to move out, decorative tapes easily peel off the wall. It makes for less stress and no mess.

These are just a few of the ideas that keep your walls free of holes and help you make your space truly your own.