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6 Tips to Help You Downsize

Did you know most people only wear 20% of the clothes they own 80% of the time? Keep this factoid in mind as we talk about tips for downsizing from a house to an apartment. No matter why you’re downsizing, the transition can seem daunting without these quick tips.

1. Determine What You Already Have

Once you’ve figured out exactly how much square footage you have in your new apartment, you can tackle the task of sorting through what you already have and then choosing what items are moving with you and what items are not.

2. Organize Your Belongings

It’s important to prioritize in the early phases of downsizing. Identify the most important items you have which will most likely be key furniture such as your bed, sofas, dining table, bedside tables, and chairs. Start planning out where you will put these items first as they are the most important. Then you can begin to plan around with decor or smaller items.

3. Consider Lifestyle Changes

Getting into the mindset of your new life will be extremely helpful to your downsize project. Consider how your everyday activities will change in your new surroundings. For example, according to a long distance moving company in Dallas, if you are moving to a city without good public transportation, you need to restructure your budget to allow more spending on gas.

Think about your lifestyle changes as you go through your possessions and determine which ones make the cut, and which ones are better left behind. Consider things that may be useful to you now but won’t be useful in an apartment and a different environment.

4. Choose Your Supplies Wisely

As you start packing, it may be helpful to designate boxes: items you’re taking with you, items you’re giving away, items you’re putting in storage, items you’re throwing away. Remember, long-term storage can be expensive, so if there are items you don’t want to get rid of but don’t have space for (like a piano, for instance) ask a friend or family member to store those for you.

5. Deciding What to Give Away vs. Keep

Many people find it hard to discard their belongings even if they haven’t used them in a long time. While there is no getting around the sentimental value an item might have you should ask yourself two important questions when sifting through your things. One: how useful is it? And two: does it have aesthetic value?

Remember the stat we threw at you in the beginning of this post? Your downsize project may seem intimidating but the fact is most of the items we accumulate in our homes are not particularly useful. While you won’t want to bring a rarely used kitchen mixer, you may want to bring a rarely read book. Why? Because books are great accent pieces that can add aesthetic appeal without breaking the budget.

6. Declutter Your Life

Making the most use of your available space will be very important when downsizing. For many, this means minimizing clutter. No matter how organized you are, we all have clutter and moving is the perfect time to declutter your life.

One helpful hint for minimizing clutter is using wirelessly connected devices like printers and laptops so you don’t have a bunch of wires creating an eyesore in your new place. Plus, if you’re relocating to a new office, you may consider bringing some home items to your new space (i.e. small plants, notepads, etc.) Also, utilize the space under your bed and behind your doors (door-mounted shoe racks and underbed storage are great sources of organization).

A Great Opportunity

In reality, downsizing is a great opportunity to simplify, de-stress and reprioritize your life. It’s a chance to reinvent yourself and your living space. So we hope this post has given you a positive perspective of the whole ordeal. Ready, Set, Go!

Guest blog by North Dallas Moving and Storage


Making a Long-Distance Move: What to Know About 1st Lake

Sometimes, life takes us far away from home. Whether it’s for a new job, a new relationship, or some other unforeseen circumstance, you may find yourself searching for a place to live in a different state.

If life is taking you to New Orleans in the near future, 1st Lake Properties is a fantastic place to begin your search for a new home. 

In this post, we’ll explore all the reasons why you’ll love living in one of our New Orleans apartment communities. Read on to learn about what 1st Lake Properties has to offer, from on-site amenities to the fantastic shopping, dining, and entertainment located nearby.

Convenience

There are dozens of our private, gated communities located throughout Metairie, Kenner, and River Ridge. These apartments are on the edges of the city, giving residents the best of two worlds: you’ll have the off-street parking and nearby gyms, pools, and grocery stores of the suburbs while being just minutes away from the shopping, dining and entertainment of the city. 

It’s a perfect combination. Peace, privacy, and convenience with the option to take part in the bustle of New Orleans as you please.

On-Site Features

1st Lake’s New Orleans communities offer a multitude of convenient on-site features and amenities.

Our communities offer:

  • Free parking
  • Free bike rentals
  • Free use of pools
  • On-site fitness centers
  • Movies
  • Cabanas
  • Dog parks
  • Beautifully landscaped walkways

We also offer discounts at local businesses such as pet services and storage facilities, as well as 24/7 maintenance.

Nearby Fun & Community Perks

When you live in one of our New Orleans communities, you’ll be just minutes away from New Orleans’ best shopping, dining, and entertainment districts. Take a 10-minute drive and visit any of the following places:

Our apartment communities are also located near world-class medical resources, such as Ochsner Medical Center and Touro Infirmary Hospital.   

If you’re unfamiliar with New Orleans, don’t sweat it! 1st Lake offers its residents free discounts for local businesses, auto shops, restaurants, spas, and fantastic local entertainment. Taking advantage of these perks is a great way to get to explore the city and get to know your new home. Contact us for more information.

Discounts include special offers for the Audubon Zoo, New Orleans Pelicans, New Orleans Baby Cakes, and Massage Envy.

Let Us Help to Make Your Long-Distance Move a Breeze!

1st Lake Properties is a family-owned management company, and we offer apartments to suit a variety of needs. Contact us today to find out more about communities, which range from inexpensive to high-end luxury. 


Why You Should Consider Moving to Elmwood Right Now

It’s no secret Jefferson Parish’s Elmwood neighborhood is a shopping destination for residents across the Greater New Orleans Area. Its large shopping center has a great selection of big-box stores, its movie theater boasts 20 screens, and its area attractions include an indoor trampoline park and laser tag venue. In addition to an abundance of amenities, Elmwood is an ideal place for those looking for a quiet and affordable alternative to downtown New Orleans living.

You Can Shop ‘til You Drop

Living in Elmwood makes shopping a breeze. Elmwood Shopping Center is a one-stop shop for all of the items on your shopping list. In one trip, you can find new shoes at DSW, find a new dining table at World Market, find a television at Best Buy, and more! Instead of having to drive all over town to get the items you need, you can make one trip to one central location and then head right on home! It will save you gas, time, and a lot of patience.

Park your car and find everything you need in one place!

The Great Outdoors are Just Out Your Doors

Elmwood’s little corner of the Mississippi River is a quaint residential area with quick access to paved bike paths, public parks, and recreational spaces. La Salle Park is a well-kept multi-purpose recreational space for sports and nature explorations. Its nature boardwalk winds through native cypress trees, making it a scenic and calming spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

La Salle Park is a great escape from city life right in the heart of Elmwood. (Photo via Visit Jefferson Parish)

If you’re looking for some two-wheeled fun, the paved levee bike path is a great way to enjoy the action on the river while you get some exercise in. Pack a blanket and some snacks for a riverside picnic, or wind your way over to Oak Street on the outskirts of New Orleans for some good local eats and live music.

The Living’s Easy in Elmwood

Elmwood might be a shopping haven, but it’s also a secluded treasure. Many of our 1st Lake properties sit tucked away on peaceful, open green areas which provide a feeling of escape and relaxation.

Bella Ridge is a blissful haven for easy living in Elmwood.

You can unwind poolside at Bella Ridge without the distracting sounds of blaring car horns, screeching sirens, or chatty tourists. You can share a casual and fun afternoon with your dog and your neighbors’ dogs in Clearwater Creek Premier’s gated pet park. You can go for an easy evening stroll alongside the flowing streams of Palmetto Creek. Every one of our Elmwood locations is designed to make you feel like you’re living in a remote luxury retreat.

If you’re considering a move, consider Elmwood as your new neighborhood. With great shopping, great outdoor spaces, and great living communities, you’ll find it easy to settle in and make yourself at home in Elmwood.


Renting for Two: 3 Apartment Hunting Tips for Couples

It’s not hard to find countless tips and best practices for apartment hunting online, but what if you’re looking for the perfect apartment space for you and your significant other?

While apartment hunting individually or as a couple can be similar in many ways, there are certain factors to consider that are unique to approaching the process as a pair – just like deciding how to spend the holidays or making big purchases. If you’re launching into an apartment hunt with that special someone, check out these 3 things that’ll make the process faster, easier and more enjoyable for both of you.

1.  Know Your Apartment Negotiables & Non-Negotiables in Advance

Discuss apartment search as a couple in advance

This is a largely ignored step that can save couples a ton of hassle and disagreements. Before launching into your couple apartment search, make sure to write separate lists of each of your apartment negotiables and non-negotiables. Then, combine all your non-negotiables into one list and make this your starting point. If the list seems too long, try to cut it down by eliminating items that both of you don’t feel strongly about. Completing this exercise before going into the process will be instrumental in avoiding nasty surprises later on.

For example, are there certain locations that won’t work for one of you? Is a community pool a necessity or are both of you willing to forgo that amenity? Questions like these can help both partners get on the same page and narrow down the apartment search criteria – separating the necessities from the “icing on the cake” items will help speed up the apartment search process tremendously.   

2. Split the Apartment Search to Double the Efficiency

Researching separately when apartment-hunting as a couple

Okay, we get it, you do everything together. However, when it comes to apartment hunting as a couple, this may not be the most efficient strategy. We suggest maximizing the fact that there are two of you – you can cover twice as many locations, online resources and showings if you split the search process between the two of you. While there will be times when you need to research a listings site or attend an apartment appointment as a pair, tackling some of the legwork separately can make your apartment search twice as effective.

To avoid any miscommunication or confusion, make sure to keep each other in the loop through cc’d emails, pictures and regular touch bases. As far as visiting apartments solo, that’s what FaceTime is for.

3. Establish a Soft Timeline

Establish a soft timeline for apartment search

When you first decide to rent, you’ve most likely discussed a feasible timeline for research, appointments, application process, etc. However, it’s best not to place a hard deadline on when to make a decision. Unless there are factors such as a new job or the birth of a child to consider, it’s best to leave plenty of room for research, discussion and changes of heart. Renting an apartment as a couple should never be approached in a rushed fashion, and if one person isn’t 100% on board with a particular place, it’s best to wait rather than try to convince them otherwise.

Apartment hunting with a significant other can be an exciting time but can turn ugly if both parties aren’t open to reaching common ground. It’s important to consider your partner’s point of view while being clear about your own needs and non-negotiables. As long as you know what to stand firm on and what to let go, you’ll be moving into both of your dream apartment in no time!

Finding the ideal apartment is a big part of the puzzle when moving as a couple but there are many other moving-related tasks to consider as well. If you’re moving in the near future, check out CableMover’s Custom Moving Guide for personalized tips, tools & timelines for your move – your way. 

Guest blog by CableMover


Truck or Movers? How to Make Moving Easy

Congratulations, you’ve found a great new apartment!

Before you settle in, you must go through the inevitable moving process. If you opt to do the moving yourself, there are a number of factors you must consider. Number one: how am I going to get my stuff from here to there? Before you jump the gun and rent a truck, consider the following items.

Big move on the horizon? Pack up every last belonging and plan to rent or purchase a dolly.

Big move on the horizon? Pack up every last belonging and plan to rent or purchase a dolly.

If you plan on renting a truck…

Thinking about renting a truck for a DIY move? Consider these factors:

Distance

For the most part, if you’re staying in the same place or making a short move (from the city to the suburbs), a rental truck makes sense.

However, if you’re moving across the state or out-of-state, make sure the company offers one-way trips. That way, you can drive the truck from your original destination and leave it at the new one. Before renting, make sure to check whether or not the company charges large fees for driving out-of-state or not returning to the pick-up destination.

You can estimate your U-Haul rate here.

Size

Once you have decided you’re renting a truck, make sure to get the right size. You don’t want to be driving around an extra-large truck for no reason, but by the same token you don’t want to choose a truck that’s too small to safely fit your belongings. Make sure to consult your truck rental company before settling on a vehicle.

Time

Make sure to reserve your truck for the correct length of time. If you think your drive will take two days, reserve the truck for three. You don’t want to be hit with crazy overage fees.

Also, book your truck as far ahead of time as possible. Trucks can be hard to nail down, especially during peak moving season (May through September).

Vehicles

If you have several vehicles, you may need to rent a trailer and a hitch to tow them. Make sure to have the correct materials to transport your motorcycle, boat, or extra car safely.

Moving Materials

Once all of your moving transportation is set up, you need to think about the actual items you are moving. Buy dollies, pads, and packing materials to avoid damaging any furniture or decor. You’ll also likely be able to rent these items from your moving company.

If you are thinking about hiring movers…

Movers are a fantastic option if you have more flexibility in your budget. Professional movers can move more quickly, safely, and easier than you can, even with the help of your friends and family in tow. Here are our top 3 ways to save money when you hire movers:

Move in the “off-season” 

Although the end of July and early August are prime moving seasons for students, if you can move in less busy moving months or in the middle of the month, movers usually have more availability. This can translate to lower rates!

Book movers as early as possible

The closer you try to book movers to your move, the harder it is to a) find ones who are available and b) find them at an affordable price. Aim to book a moving company as far in advance as possible to secure lower rates and enjoy that priceless gift: peace of mind. At least two weeks in advance is recommended.

Settle up ahead of time

It’s easy for additional charges to spring up during the moving process if you use movers. Most movers charge for extras like packing, unpacking, flights of stairs, long-distance carrying, or multiple pickups. Remember to be as transparent as possible about the conditions of your move, and confirm all charges before movers get started so you aren’t taken by surprise.

Read our blog post on How to Save Money with a Moving Company for even more top tips!