Top 10 Tricks for Better Apartment Living

October 30th, 2013

Apartment living can be horrible and stressful. But with great tips and advice, it can be a good one. Check out the LifeHacker.Com’s Top 10 tricks for better apartment living below.

Apartment Building


10. Find the Perfect Pad

The first step to better apartment living is, obviously to find a good apartment to begin with. It takes a little research, but with a bit of patience you should be able to find a nice apartment in the neighborhood you want.

9. Cultivate a Good Relationship with Your Landlord

When you’re looking for an apartment, don’t just look at the unit—pay close attention to the landlord too. Avoid future problems by getting everything in writing, documenting the condition of the apartment, and knowing your rights.

8. Save on Rent (and Moving Costs)

Many landlords are willing to negotiate on price, as long as you aren’t competing with a bunch of other tenants. Try negotiating on things like pet fees or parking spaces rather than the actual rent cost, which can be tricky.

7. Upgrade It (Temporarily)

One of the major downsides of apartment living is that you can’t upgrade a lot of things that are older or not as nice as you’d like. You may not be able to redo the entire kitchen, but you can perform a lot of temporary upgrades (old school or high-tech) that will make things look a little nicer and work a little better.

6. Ease Roommate Tension

If you’re living with roommates, you have a whole new set of things to deal with. For example, you have to divide up all your expenses, and share a close quarters living space.

5. Deal with Noisy Neighbors

When you live in a house, your neighbors are separated by…well, another house. When you live in an apartment, your neighbors are separated by what always appears to be paper-thin “walls.” If your neighbor is prone to loud music, lovemaking, or dance dance revolution binges at 1am, you have options. Obviously you can have a conversation with them, but depending on the circumstances, it may pay to go to the management or send them more subtle messages.

4. Avoid the Dreaded Rent Increase

Just because you got a good deal on rent at the beginning doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Landlords increase rent all the time, and if you aren’t prepared, you’ll end up paying more next year than you did this year. Luckily, it may be avoidable.

3. Save on Energy Costs

Some energy-saving measures are more difficult to pull off in an apartment, but you can still do a lot. For example, you can still install window shades, install a programmable thermostat, use energy efficient light bulbs, and more. In fact, most of our best energy-saving tips should be applicable to apartment living.

2. Make It Feel Like Home

You may not be able to repaint your apartment, install new carpet, or make any other permanent changes, you can still customize it and make it feel like home. Use photos and frames creatively to keep the walls from looking too bare, and add a large rug or other floor covering to switch things up.

1. Use Your Space Wisely

You hear it all the time, but the most useful apartment tips we encounter always have to do with saving space. It makes sense, since apartments can be pretty tight fits—especially if you’re renting in a big city. You can save a lot of space with cheap household products, though—like command hooks, bed risers, and over-the-door storage racks. Just remember: use your vertical space when you don’t have horizontal space, especially where it’s easily out of sight.

Image by castigatioxes. License: CC0 Public Domain /

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