It’s a brand new year and you are ready for a big change. If you are planning a move to a new rental home in 2021, Panoramic Properties is here to help. These are our best tips for finding a new apartment, moving in safely and making it feel like home.
Finding the right new home for you
Where we choose to live is a big decision that will influence and affect practically every decision that follows. You may never feel fully at home if you don’t choose the right apartment upfront. What makes an apartment “right” for you? One key factor is your new home’s location. This is one thing that cannot be changed, so choosing the right neighbourhood for you is key when planning a move. Is your new apartment close to work, school and other local amenities such as shopping, dining, transit and entertainment options?
Many of us are spending more time at home these days. Choosing an apartment that is the right size to suit your current and near-future needs is crucial. Will you be working from home? Living alone? Do you have, or will you get, a pet?
Another big factor is affordability. You won’t feel safe and secure if you are living beyond your means. As a general rule, your monthly rent should not exceed 25 – 35% of household income.
Planning a Move
Moving can be stressful – even under normal circumstances. This past year has been anything but “ordinary”. Check out our recent post for tips on moving during the pandemic.
Properly planning a move can help reduce your stress and make everything run smoothly on the big day. Make arrangements to disconnect any utilities at your current home and set them up at your new address.
If you are using professional movers, do your research and be sure to budget for the expense. Not all moving companies are created equal. Click here to search for the highest-rated moving companies by province. You will want to check out your chosen company’s online reviews and/or ask your friends for references for reputable companies. Keep in mind, the moving company may have to perform an in-home estimate in order to give you a quote, so you may need to plan ahead to allow enough time.
Not all of your possessions need to spark joy, but packing and paying to ship things that you no longer want won’t make you happy either. It is a good idea to take stock of all your stuff well before you move. Sort everything into three categories: 1. Keep it. 2. Trash it. 3. Donate it. When it comes time to pack everything up that you are keeping, be sure to label your boxes by content and/or by room. You don’t want to open every box when you get your new place to find that sweater that makes you feel warm and safe.
On moving day, be sure to pack a bag of essential items like a toothbrush, change of clothes, phone charger etc. Keep this bag with you – rather than loading it onto the truck – to make your transition from one home to the next a smooth one. This way you know you’ll have what you need – even if the moving truck gets delayed.
If you are moving during the winter months, check out our tips for a safe and sound winter move.
Making it feel like home
Now that you’ve signed the lease and the movers have left, it is time to make your rental apartment feel like home. An excellent first step is to unpack, or at least get the boxes out of your way. Organize your space in a way that makes sense to you. Consider some smart storage solutions so as not to clutter up your new space. Your home is not simply a place to keep your stuff – it is your personal sanctuary. Eliminate the chaos of moving as soon as you possibly can so that you can start to feel at home. There is perhaps nothing more important for your overall well being than a good night’s sleep. Get your bedroom set up comfortably so that you can be cozy and well rested.
Plan and arrange your lighting to create the feel you want. Each room should have at least a lamp or two (in addition to the ceiling light that comes with the apartment). These lighting zones will help create a mood and vibe that lets you know this is your space. Look for compact fluorescent light bulbs or LEDs. They can produce warm and soothing light, similar to incandescent bulbs, but they last longer and are more energy efficient.
Be sure to decorate with a few elements that are of personal, sentimental value to you. Maybe that means framed photographs on the nightstand or bookshelf. Maybe it’s a memento from another time. Whatever the items are that are yours and yours alone, that have meaning for you, these are the things that will help you feel most settled at home.
Don’t forget to get acquainted with the space outside your walls as well. You have moved not only to an apartment but to a neighbourhood, so get out and safely explore your new surroundings. These are the shops, stores, and cafes that will become the backdrop to your new life. If you need to recharge your batteries with a nature walk, you’ll want to know the best spots near you and how to get there.
Panoramic Properties hopes these tips help when planning a move. Welcome home.