Category Archives: Apartment Tips

Faqs for first time renters. Image is a cartoon house. FAQ’s For First-Time Renters

Renting an apartment or house for the first time is an exciting milestone on the way to adulthood. The freedom from your parents and the restrictions of the dorms can be liberating, but it’s not all fun and games. For first-time renters, it’s important to prepare yourself before entering into a year-long lease. To help you out, we came up with a list of Frequently Asked Questions you should be asking yourselves—and your landlord—before signing your name on the dotted line.

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Moving Tips For New Or Experienced Renters

Whether it’s your first time, or you’ve done it like a thousand times before (no judgment), you should know that it’s totally normal to not know what you’re doing. Sure, you may have a general idea of what’s supposed to go where, but if you aren’t careful, everyone involved is going to end up tired, sweaty, and disappointed.

Lucky for you, we have just the tips to help make your next move easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Without further adieu, here are our tips for things you can do to make moving into your place easier (*if you don’t have one yet, check out this post about what to look for in your first apartment).

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First apartment checklist. List includes first apartment essentials you'll need at your apartments by category. Categories include: kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, general cleaning supplies, and uncategorized necessities. First Apartment Checklist For New Renters

When you move into your first apartment, there are so many items to remember that you are bound to forget something small or large, yet essential. A good way to avoid having to head back to the store three or four times that first weekend you move in? Make a new apartment checklist. Or, just use ours! Our first apartment checklist has everything you need, sorted out by the rooms you’ll need to be populating with new stuff.

Download our first apartment checklist image above and print it out when you head to the store this August.

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How to Avoid Rental Scams

From Telemarketing scams, identity theft, to credit and debit card fraud we’ve all heard horror stories about scams, or even worse, fallen victim. Rental scams are prevalent across the nation and first-time student renters looking for off-campus housing are especially vulnerable to fraudsters because they often communicate with landlords and lack experience when it comes to renting.

College Pads surveyed hundreds of students across campuses nationwide and found that many students have encountered an online rental scam when looking for off-campus housing near their university.

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Brr, It’s Cold in Here: 5 Hacks to Stay Warm and Lower Your Winter Heating Bill

If your guests have been asking you if you’re hiding the Toros cheer team from Bring it On somewhere in your house or apartment, it’s probably time to start considering winterizing your rental because seriously – BRRR it’s cold in here!

All great awful movie references aside, if you’re tired of spending an arm and a leg on trying to heat your place, you need to try a few of these simple hacks to keep your rental warm while lowering your winter heating bill.

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Making Your College Apartment Study-Friendly

When you move into your first off-campus apartment in college, it can be a little overwhelming. You’ve never had this level of freedom before! So what do you do with it? If you want to set yourself up for success, you should start by making your place as study-friendly as possible.

There are lots of ways to let your grades slip when you’re living on your own, but if you follow these tips you should have no problem staying focused and ready for whatever challenges the world of higher education throws at you!

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How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets in College?

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Stats, you’re spending more than a third of your day in bed. To us, that sounds like it might even be an underestimation. In this, The Age of Streaming, it doesn’t take much searching on Twitter or Facebook to see thousands of students across the country declaring their intention to spend the weekend in bed bingeing on a new Netflix series.

It stands to reason that more time in bed should mean more time spent washing bed sheets. But we seriously doubt students, of all people, are spending any more time in 2016 washing bed sheets than they did in 2000.

Bed sheets are often left behind on laundry day. If bed sheets were in a military movie, there’d be a tearful eulogy delivered about how they didn’t make it on laundry day. They were the good man that got left behind because hampers are only so big, and we can only stand so many trips to the laundry room.

The rest of your clothes provide a sense of relief on laundry day. When you can empty your hamper, get everything washed, dried, folded or hung and logic and order restored to your clothing rotation, that’s a great feeling. But bed sheets? They’re easy to forget, even though they’re putting in more work than even your most worn outfit.

Bed sheets are there for you every night, absorbing your body’s oils, skin cells, dirt, sweat and anything else you emit. Sure, a layer of clothing usually – usually – separates you from your sheets, but over the course of six to eight hours every night, they still get quite familiar with you.

So how often should you wash your sheets?

A good rule of thumb is never to let any of your household chores sit unattended to for more than two weeks. And that includes washing your sheets. 

As a college student, you may be accustomed to living in a certain amount of filth. We assume your coffee table does not remain pristinely dusted and Windexed at all times. Your floor could probably use a Swiffering, and there may be a few dishes in your sink too. You’re busy with school and work and socializing. Cleaning shouldn’t be at the top of your to-do list every week. And we know you’re not made of money either. Laundry is secretly expensive. According to this article from the Daily Kansan, students spent $9-12 a week on laundry. Doing a load that’s just sheets and comforters, not even clothes that you get to wear, can be frustrating. BUT IT IS WORTHWHILE. YOUR SHEETS ARE DISGUSTING.

But when to wash them is only part of the battle. What do you do when you get them in the washing machine?

How do you wash your sheets?

Since you’re only going to be able to knock out sheet day every other week or so, make sure you do it right. According to Clean Organized Family Home – which sounds like the kind of place we all aspire to live in – sheets should be washed in hot water, especially if you’re dealing with a cold. All that built up bacteria needs to be hit with the heavy stuff.

Throw some bleach in there – bleach with chlorine if you have white sheets and that fancy oxy-bleach stuff if you have color sheets that can be stained or fade – and make sure to give it the hottest water setting. Hot water, detergent, and bleach are all necessary to kill bacteria effectively according to ABC News.

You may have been relying on your detergent to get rid of all the dirt and germs, but if you’re not using bleach or very hot water, you’re not killing the bacteria — they’re getting on your hands and staying in the washing machine.

So head up or down the stairs to the floor in your building that has laundry on it and restore order to your bed. You’re spending most of your time there, so you may as well make the best of the situation.

Tips On Subletting Your College Apartment

Life takes us in mysterious directions, especially in college. Maybe you’ve decided to travel the country for the summer, maybe you’ve got that awesome job in another state, maybe you’re graduating early, or maybe you’re heading home to hang out with your high school friends for the summer. When you find yourself in the situation of having to sublease your apartment, things can get difficult. We’ve put together some basic tips on subleasing your college apartment. Enjoy.

Plan Ahead, and Talk with Your Roommates

The journey to subleasing your apartment should begin as soon as you know that you’ll need to. The more time you have to prepare, the better your chances for success. Your first step should be talking to your roommates so they can plan accordingly. If you give yourself enough time and communicate with your roommates or potential roommates, you should be able to avoid any potential issues.

Read Your Lease

Especially if you know you’re going to sublease before you sign your lease, it’s important to read this document and make sure you’re aware of any sublease requirements. You’ll want to make sure you are allowed to sublease your apartment, and what process you need to follow to get this done. Some places may require their approval process before you are allowed to sublease to someone else, there may even be a fee. When you sublease your apartment you usually are still responsible for the payment getting made, so make sure you’ve found a trustworthy subleaser.

Set the Mood

Before anyone will see your place, make sure you clean! No one wants to move into a pigsty, unless they’re a pig, of course. But you probably can’t sublease your college apartment to a pig. You might not be a world class photographer, or even have an Instagram, but do your best to take quality pictures of your place. It’s okay to highlight the truly awesome parts of your apartment, do you have a dishwasher? Maybe its an awesome porch? Make sure your photos accurately portray your apartment, but they can be a great tool to market your place.

Let the World Know

Now that you’ve got everything in order, it’s time to start letting people know Thousands of students use Rent College Pads, making it the perfect place to post your apartment sublease. Plus, it’s free! Make sure you’re asking for a reasonable price, but don’t set it too low since you’ll be making up for the rest. Post your place to our college apartment sublease board in your campus, and you’ll be well on your way to success. From there, you can even post it to your Facebook feed for your social network to see.

Congrats, People Want to Sublease Your Apartment. Choose Wisely.

Make sure to meet with potential subleasers. If your roommates will still be around, or are even just leaving their things, you’ll want to make sure they approve as well. You’ll want to make sure this person is trustworthy and a good fit for your place before you let them live in your bedroom for any period of time. Once everything is figured out, set up a formal, written sublease and get everything in writing. When you’ve got everything finalized and official, take your things (especially the valuables) and you’re ready to sublease your college apartment!

Your First Off Campus Apartment: What to Look For

Getting out of the dorms means you don’t have to settle for the same rectangular room everyone gets. One of the great things about moving off campus is picking your own place. When you’re looking at potential first off campus apartments, there are a few things you want to look for.

Apartment Location

The number one most important thing is location. What’s important to you? If it’sutili a short walk to campus, look at places near the building you’re most frequently in. If it’s a short stumble to your favorite bar… well you get the idea. Make sure you choose a place that is convenient and fits your lifestyle. By now you’ve hopefully gained a feel for the lay of the land. Keep in mind what’s close and what’s not when considering moving into a place.

Make Sure Everything Works

Make sure everything’s in full working order. Leave no window untested, not door unopened, no light switch unflipped. Check the water pressure and make sure it’s hot enough for your 30 minute showers. (Okay that’s a stretch, but make sure it’s hot) If there is anything that’s not working, make sure the landlord knows and plans to fix it. No one wants to live in an apartment every year with non-working lights, or worse…

You should also note the amenities. Know what’s important to you. If you can’t survive without a designate parking spot, or absolutely need a laundry machine in your building, make sure they’ve got that. Some people can live without a dishwasher, some people eat off paper plates for an entire year. You should also check if utilities are included, that can be a really great benefit. Especially if you go to school in a state with long cold winters.

Does Your Apartment Work for You?

As you walk around the house or apartment, think about what you’ll be doing in every day life. Is the bathroom big enough to fit your 1,000 pieces of makeup? Do you have enough outlets in your living room for the surround sound, 10 different video game systems, and the kegerator? Make sure everything in the place is conducive to the way you’d like to set up your pad.

If you there’s anything you don’t like, don’t be afraid to let the landlord know. They might be very willing to make some easy changes to the place if it will help you sign a lease with them.

Read Your Lease!

Once you’ve checked everything out, don’t forget to read the lease. This is like, really important. You’re signing your name to it, it’s legally binding, read it. It’s not like the iTunes terms and conditions. It’s pretty serious. Well, you get the idea, read the damn thing.

Creating the Best Study Space in Your College Apartment

Some students spend hours, even days on end, in the library. It’s a great place, I hear, full of resources and quiet areas and there’s usually a great supply of coffee nearby. Whether you know the layout of the library like the back of your hand or have to ask directions every time you’re supposed to meet there for a group project, creating the ideal study zone in your college apartment is extremely beneficial. So we’ve put together a few helpful tips on building your fortress of study-tude.

Keep Your Apartment Distraction FreeKnow How to Eliminate Your Distractions

Some people can pump out 10 page research papers while the rest of their house is throwing a level 5 rager, some people can’t get anything done if there’s so much as a TV turned on too loud. Your space needs to be completely free of distractions. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break now and then, but separate your work space from the rest of your apartment. The best study zone starts with the one keeps your mind focused on studying.
Good Furniture Facilitates Good Focus

Propping your laptop on a couple of milk crates next your extra large bean bag chair may not be the most conducive to getting work done. Make sure you’ve given yourself enough space for your laptop, notes, and books. Being able to navigate quickly between all your resources is important, Organize everything in whichever way makes you feel the most comfortable working. Your chair should be comfortable too, since you should be spending a decent amount of time there. Get something that can swivel, a good cushion, and better back support. If you get something fancy with nice leather, you’re that much closer to being a boss.

Whiteboard in Your ApartmentWhiteboards are Perfect for Notes

They’re not just for mad scientists or child prodigies, a whiteboard is a great tool to enhance your study powers. It’s the perfect blank canvas to tackle your problems one by one, all in one place. Plus, it’s pretty good for the environment to not waste 100’s of pieces of scrap paper.

Good Lighting Sets the Mood

I mean for studying, of course. Bright white lights will burn your eyeholes out while dull lights while a dim atmosphere may help put you to sleep. Nice soft, yellow overhead lighting is generally the best source of light for studying. Enough so that you can see everything clearly but not anything that’s going to blind you. I would rely on that five dollar desk lamp to be your only source of light.

Living in the right area is, of course, also important for a good home study environment. Thanks to our massive resource, you have your pick of the litter as far as where you want to live. Of course, you’ll still want to start looking for a place early. So check out our housing map for your school. If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to send us an email!