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Small Space Living

Tips to living in a small space when sharing an apartment with room mates

College life often means you’ll be living in dorm, a small apartment or home by yourself, or sharing a larger space with roommates. Regardless, you’ll likely have to live in a small space – a challenge when you’re collecting more and more textbooks and belongings each year.

Whether you have a tiny house to yourself or just a bedroom and shared living space, small-space living can be a rewarding experience if you go about it the right way. Here are some tips to help you live well and stay sane in your small space:

Use furniture that doubles as storage

Storage ottomans are great for bedrooms and living rooms. They can hold movies, books, blankets, shoes, and more. They also provide an extra seating space or a place to rest your feet.

Hanging mirrors that double as jewelry storage keep your belongings safe and tidy and provide a convenient space to get ready.

Dressers are great for spaces other than the bedroom. They can be used as a TV stand and also store movies, video games, and electronics. They can be used in a dining room as a buffet table that also serves as a place to store dishes. They are also great for entryways to serve as a place to drop keys and mail.

Maximize space

Put a double-hanging rod in your closet to double your closet space. Put stackable shelves in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets to double this space as well. Take advantage of wall space by installing shelves (check with your landlord first to ensure this is allowed). Use a drop-leaf table for a tight dining area. Pack your off-season clothing in plastic bins that fit under the bed.

Use mirrors and see-through furniture to make space seem larger

Mirrors are a great way to reflect light and make a room seem larger. See-through furniture like glass tables, wire chairs, or lucite coffee tables help keep a room feeling lighter and less cluttered.

Keep clutter at bay

The best way to keep a small space tidy is to manage what comes into your space. Throw out junk mail immediately to keep it from piling up on the kitchen counter. Evaluate whether you really need that pair of shoes and if you have the space to store them. Go through your belongings regularly to see what you no longer need and can donate.

Living in your apartment can be an enjoyable experience if you plan your space well. Use these tips to make a plan so you’ll be prepared when purchasing items and arranging your belongings. And most importantly, have fun and be creative!

Put an End to Moving Madness

Moving TipsAfter finding the perfect place to live, you’ll need to figure out how to get all of your belongings from your current residence to your new one and how to do so efficiently. Whether you are moving across the country or across town, these packing tips will simplify your moving experience.

Chart a course.

Once you know where you’re moving and when you’re moving, you’ll need to figure out if your leases overlap and you can move directly from one apartment to the next or if you need for your belongings to stay in a storage unit for a while.
If there isn’t a gap between when you have to move out of your old residence to your new one, all you need to do is pull up your GPS and find the fastest route from one place to the next. The fastest route in a moving van often means sticking to less crowded, wider streets, giving you more maneuverability and comfort when driving.

If you aren’t able to move your belongings home for the small window of time between leases, renting a storage unit near your new home during that gap can be a good alternative. Storage units are rented months in advance, so don’t wait to call about renting space. Electronics, candles, instruments, or paintings are examples of items that may require an air conditioned storage unit. Units with AC controls are a bit more expensive but will keep these items in pristine condition.

Make a list and check it twice.

Google spreadsheets or Excel are helpful pieces of software when creating lists. Both allow you to create new tabs for different kinds of lists like a list for last minute items and another for tracking what each container holds. Labeling boxes with a sharpie while packing can make it easier to track what is in each box. Use numbers or letters to label containers, and record that information on your list. This will keep you organized, ensure you don’t leave anything behind, and allow you to unpack more efficiently.

Don’t procrastinate.

Pack throughout the semester, especially within the last month before the move. Separate your common room items that are non-essentials for everyday life from your roommate’s belongings. If there are items that you know you won’t need, like winter clothes or extra shoes, put those in boxes early. Packing early will allow you to breathe easily the day of moving and will give you time to remember important items you left off your list.

Efficiency in packing.

When it comes to clothing kept in dresser drawers, roll, don’t fold. It really does save room. Use wardrobe boxes for clothes that are already on hangers. Simply hang your clothes on the rack, and close up the box. This will save you time trying to take things off the hangers and put them back on once you’ve moved in.

Compartmentalize, compartmentalize, compartmentalize. Keep everything divided into sections to help you unpack room by room. For example, put all your socks and underwear in one place and all your bathroom products in another. This helps you know where to place boxes to be unpacked once you make it to your new home.

Boxes and totes and bags… Oh my!

When debating quantity versus volume of containers, opt for a middle ground. Having too many containers can seem burdensome. Consolidation can create order if you do so wisely. Picking an enormous box that fits your entire wardrobe consolidates your gear, which is the goal. However, if you aren’t able to lift the box, have you really made anything easier for yourself? Find that middle ground between number and size for the majority of your belongings.
Bigger boxes are perfect for lighter, bulkier items like bedding. Use medium to small sized boxes that fit easily on a dolly for heavier items like books. You can even divide your heavier items like books into the bottom of several different boxes with lighter items like socks on top, which will disperse the weight.
Use plastic or rubber tote boxes instead of cardboard for items that are going in storage. Plastic tote boxes provide more durability and keep water and dirt off of your valuables. If you do use cardboard boxes, place clothes or other items in extra large garbage bags and then place them in the cardboard boxes to reduce the chance of water or dirt getting on your belongings.

The week of the move.

Being prepared for anything will save you time and energy the day of the move. Run to the store to grab extra packing tape, sharpies, moving blankets, bungee cords, and a tarp or two in case of rain on the day of the move. Add extra large ziplock bags to that list if you don’t have a designated basket for your dirty clothes the week of the move. You can avoid having dirty laundry in random places by having bags to put dirty clothes in. While you’re out and about, fill up your car with gas so you are able to get to where you need to go without stopping to refill your tank on the day of the move. You should also clean out your car prior so you won’t mix up trash with your valuables.

Grab a friend… or two… or three. Having other people there to help you will cut down on the costs of using a moving service and on the time you spend moving. Promising to bake someone cookies or providing pizza can go a long way in convincing them to help. If you do want to use a moving service, there are some great ones out there, but use resources like customer reviews to choose the best service. The same goes for renting a moving van or truck. If you or your friends don’t have pickup trucks or larger vehicles with collapsible seats, check online to see which companies have the best rental prices and reviews.

Moving, even across town, can seem like a stressful ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these packing tips to increase efficiency and cut down on the drama of moving.

Apartment Living with Pets

Pet Friendly Apartments Apartment Living with PetsOne of the best parts about our properties is they’re all pet friendly, but we know that living with pets in an apartment can be tricky. We’ve come up with a list of tips to help keep us, you, and your furry friend happy.

COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR LANDLORD

Your landlord needs to know if you plan on having a pet in your apartment. They may have rules regarding your pet. Some landlords allow only certain sizes and breeds. Others have rules about cleaning your apartment before you move out. Some landlords require extra deposits for pets. In general, you never know what rules your landlord might have for pets, so make sure you find out.

Our biggest pieces of advice is - DON’T LIE. If you lie to your landlord and try to sneak a pet into your apartment, you could lose your security deposit, your apartment, or your pet (which isn’t fair to the animal). Luckily, since all of our properties are pet-friendly, that isn’t something you have to worry about with us.

FREQUENT PARKS

Your pets need exercise that they just can’t get in an apartment. Luckily, Auburn has many pet-friendly parks, all of which don’t require leashes.

Kiesel Park is Auburn’s largest park. Along with its large off-leash area, it has a pavilion, a garden, a pond, and a 2.25-mile walking trail.

Town Creek Park is another popular park in Auburn. It currently has one 0.87-mile walking trail, and it will soon have another one built around the pond.

With 30 acres and a hard-to-beat location, Ag Heritage Park is a great option for pets. It has picnic tables, a pond, and an amphitheater.

BE COURTEOUS TO YOUR NEIGHBORS

A big challenge of apartment living in general is close proximity to neighbors. This challenge heightens when a pet is in the picture. If your pet barks all the time, an apartment may not be the best living situation for you. It’s also important to think about your downstairs neighbors. If your dog paces a lot, we suggest buying rugs to absorb the sound. It’s impossible to predict every neighborly issue regarding pets, but no matter what arises, don’t forget to be gracious.

ESTABLISH A ROUTINE

Your pet needs a routine while you’re living in an apartment. Go outside around the same times every day. Make your excursions around the same time every week. When you can’t be there to follow your normal routine, make sure someone else is.

Overall, living in an apartment with pets is not as challenging as you might think. Follow these rules of thumb, and you and your pet will be good to go.

Tips for Living with Roommates

RoomMates 300x200 Tips for Living with RoommatesCollege is a time for new and incredible experiences. One of the most nerve-wracking new experiences can be living with a roommate for the first time. However, with open communication, a bit of tidiness, and respect, living with a roommate can be one of those college memories that you’ll cherish forever.

TALK TO YOUR ROOMMATE

It seems simple, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to rant to your mom, significant other, or best friend about all your roommate’s annoying habits and never address the problem with the one person who can actually fix it.

Set expectations early

Some issues can be avoided if you set expectations with your roommate from the get-go. We all have certain quirks and things around the house we really care about. Does it drive you crazy when people’s clutter is left in a common area? Tell your roommate right off the bat. Are you really cold-natured and need the thermostat to stay above a certain temperature? If your roommate knows from the beginning, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Be upfront about problems

No matter how much effort you both put into being good roommates, problems are bound to come up. When they do, be upfront about what’s bothering you. Saying, “Hey, I actually bought that milk just for me, so it would be great if you could buy your own and not drink mine from now on,” is going to be received so much better than a passive aggressive sticky note on the carton that says, “Just for Taylor!”

BE TIDY

We all either think we’re tidy or don’t mind that we aren’t, but chances are that you and your roommate will have differing expectations of cleanliness.

Clean up after yourself

Now that you live with someone, it’s important to respect the common areas of your apartment. Did you kick off your shoes while you were watching TV? Take them to your room when you’re done. Did you eat a bowl of ice cream when you got home from studying? Don’t leave it on the kitchen table when you finish.

Establish a chore routine

Some people take out a trash bag and leave it by the door until they leave the house, and others take it straight outside. Some people leave their dishes in the sink for days, while others do them as soon as they’re done eating. Regardless of your preferences, make sure you and your roommate establish a chore routine that will keep you both satisfied.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T EACH OTHER

At the end of the day, being a good roommate comes down to respect. If you are respectful of one another, then even when problems arise, they will be easily resolved. For the most part, you will live harmoniously.

Respect your roommate’s schedule

If all your classes start at 8 a.m. but your roommate doesn’t have class until noon, try not to wake them up as you’re getting ready in the morning. If you’re a night owl and your roommate has a strict 10 p.m. bedtime, be as quiet as possible when you’re rummaging through the fridge for a midnight snack.

Respect your roommate’s stuff

If your roommate brought a coffee pot to the apartment and put it on the kitchen counter, chances are that it’s all right for you to use it. If your roommate bought a new pair of earrings and put them in her jewelry box, you probably don’t have the right to wear them without her permission. All roommates have their own boundaries when it comes to sharing stuff, so just make sure you and your roommate are on the same page.

Be open to change

Being respectful of your roommate will probably mean that you’ll have to change some of your habits. That’s O.K. If both of you are open about changing some things here or there so that everyone can live happily, you will have a wonderful experience living together.

Remember, college is meant to be a time of growth and transition into the “real world.” The habits that you pick up in college will probably carry over into other aspects of your life, like a job or marriage. Make sure you’re as good of a roommate as you’d like to one day be an employee or a spouse.

4 Great Wedding Venues in Auburn and Opelika

wedding venues AuburnThe first hint of autumn is appearing on the leaves, and for many people that means getting ready for the winter ahead. For newly-weds-to-be though this is peak marriage season, and that means getting everything organized as quickly as possible, including your wedding venue of choice. Now, some people plan their marriage months in advance, but not everyone is so lucky. So, you can use this guide as either a blueprint for getting hitched in 2017, or planning your last minute wedding over the next few precious weeks.
Here are four of the best wedding venues in the Auburn/Opelika area:

Marriott Grand National

Sometimes it makes perfect sense to go for a traditional choice of wedding venue, so although the Marriott Grand National might not be quirky and unique, it can deliver a wedding experience you're not likely to forget in a hurry. Part of the Marriott wedding experience is that you get access to your own fully trained Marriott wedding planner who will walk you through each step of planning your big day - including helping you work within a fixed budget. The Marriott Grand National offers a number of wedding reception packages, and their Grand Ballroom can comfortably accommodate up to 500 guests.

The Farm at Rocky Top

The barn at Rocky Top Farm is ideal for any couple searching for a venue that's steeped in old world charm, and has a genuinely rustic feel to it. Unlike the polished ballrooms of The Marriott, this converted barn offers you over 6,000 square feet of rough hewn pine walls and ceilings to house your guests. Rocky Top is a working farm, and this new barn was specially constructed as a function building for weddings and other events. It can comfortably seat 300 guests, and the views both inside and outside will make for a truly memorable night for you, your spouse, and each one of your guests.

The Bottling Plant Event Center

If you're wondering why a wedding venue might be called The Bottling Plant Center it's because this particular building was once home to the local Coca-Cola facility, but has been converted for other uses. This venue is capable of hosting up to 1,500 people, and features 3 ballrooms, a roof-top terrace, and even a bridal suite. We know having "The Bottling Plant Center" on your wedding invitation might not exactly scream romance, but we’re certain that once you see the building up close and personal you'll change how you feel pretty quickly. This venue is one of the largest in the region, and is perfect for that large family wedding you hoped to avoid.

Fountainview Mansion

Wedding guest lists can get out of control far more quickly than you could ever imagine, so if you find that you need to host several hundred people then Fountainview Mansion is worth checking out. This venue is about far more than just sheer seating capacity - which is about 800 people in total - because it's also one of the most picturesque wedding venues available anywhere in Auburn or Opelika. The staff at Fountainview Mansion is willing to go the extra mile to make your day as special as possible, so if you have any unique requirements please do let them know. Guests can enjoy the reception, and then retire to one of the many luxurious rooms on offer here.
So, no matter what your particular tastes are in wedding planning and receptions you'll find a venue you'll love in Auburn and Opelika.

What to Know Before Moving into Your Auburn Apartment

Liverpool1It's difficult to explain just how exciting moving into your first apartment can be without experiencing it yourself. This is your first real taste of freedom, where you can live whatever way you wish. But we do understand that taking ownership of your living space can be a daunting experience, and not something you're quite prepared for. Most students won't be moving into their Auburn apartments until August, so we wanted to help you prepare for when that day comes. Planning is key.

Remember Apartment Deposits:

You'll need to have the money to pay for your deposit, which is typically your first and last month's rent. Having the exact amount you need for your deposit is fine, but we always recommend allowing an extra 10% in your budget for any unforeseen emergencies or contractual changes. The last thing you want is to be temporarily homeless because you're short $100.

Don’t Forget Your Lease Terms:

The lease for your apartment might seem like something you can scan, sign and then forget about. The issue is that a lease is a legally binding document, and not something you should sign without reading it thoroughly, and seeking professional advice on any parts of it that you're unsure of. Key things to check are the duration of your lease, when your rent is expected, and how it should be paid. You should also check what rights your landlord has under your lease agreement, and your own rights as a tenant. Do also check what notice period you have to give in case things don't work out for you.

Go For A Property Inspection:

You should take a closer look at your apartment before signing the lease, and any reluctance on your future landlord's part to allow an inspection should set off alarm bells. Check that the light, heat and plumbing all work properly. This includes the shower, toilet, sinks, bulbs, electrical outlets, and the HVAC system, too. Look for any existing damage to paintwork, furniture, windows, woodwork, or anything else, and note them.

Also, check that any existing electrical appliances work properly, such as the washing machine and tumble dryer. Also make a note of every piece of furniture present in the apartment during your inspection.

The Shopping List:

In an ideal world everything you need would already be in your apartment, but we don't live in that world. That means doing some shopping for your apartment before it's ready for you to move in. The first item on your shopping list is bedding, which should include a duvet, pillows, and fitted sheets, and some new towels.

You'll also need to stock up on cleaning products to keep your apartment neat and tidy. It's also a good idea to stock up on some "emergency" foods like Ramen noodles, Mac'n'Cheese, bottled water, granola bars, ketchup, mustard, crackers, cheese and bread. Always bring a few personal items from home, these help to make an apartment feel more like home and less like a hotel room. They're also a great way to curb any feelings of homesickness.

Yes or No to Pets:

Most students don't have any pets, even though they're a great way of relieving stress, and will also make your apartment feel like your home. So, check your lease to see if pets of any kind are permitted. You'll be surprised to see just how many landlords will stop tenants from keeping any pets at all, even fish.

Unpacking At a Steady Pace:

The overpowering urge will be to unpack everything you own, all at once. But what you'll wind up with is a muddled mess of clothing, and other personal items, that will take you weeks to sort through. Unpack one room at a time, focusing on the rooms you'll most need during your first night or two i.e. your bedroom and the bathroom.

Once you have somewhere to sleep, and somewhere to wash then focus on getting your kitchen ready for use. Yes, we know you'd like to set up your Xbox/PC first, but unless you can sleep on or in them we'd recommend taking care of your sleeping arrangements before doing anything else.

Don't Rush:

Moving into an apartment isn't a race. Take your time, organize, unpack in a sensible way, and do your best to take the time to enjoy the fact that you now have someplace you can call your own.

How To Select the Right Retail Space for Your Business

Auburn rentalsLocation, location, location. You're probably tired of hearing inexperienced realtors repeating this every single time you ask them about which retail business lots they have available.

The truth is that choosing the right retail space for your business is far more complex than simply choosing what seems like the best fit for your budget.

Here are some of the key considerations you need to take into account before signing a lease:

Pricing of Retail Space:

We've seen it countless times—most new business owners base their choice of location on the costs. In the real world, excessively low pricing for a retail space can be a major warning sign that all is not right - there's a reason why the rent is so low.

Conversely, there’s a very good reason why more expensive space you've been avoiding might be the best choice for you. Perhaps, that spot is a prime business location for you. Don’t choose your new place because it’s cheaper than everywhere else. You’ll regret that decision in a few months.

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Historic Auburn Oak Trees Are Now Being Planted Around Samford Park

Auburn rentalsIf you’ve taken a walk through Samford Park over the last few weeks, then you may have noticed some changes: earlier this month, landscapers and Auburn University students teamed up to plant 10 historically important trees in one of Auburn’s most popular parks.

The change started on Thursday, March 10, when workers with hard hats and earth movers began moving huge piles of dirt to make room for ten transplanted trees.

The trees in question are historically important:

“Today, we’re planting 10 trees that are descendants from the original Auburn Oaks,” Ben Burmester, a campus planner in Facilities Management, explained in a statement to oanow.com. “We’re planting them along the new walkway that was finished this summer.”

The trees were grown from acorns that fell off the original Toomer’s Oaks. Those oaks were infamously poisoned in 2010 and removed from their popular street corner, Toomer’s Corner, in spring 2013.

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Renewing Your Lease: Should You Change Apartments in Auburn?

Auburn rentalsWhen it comes time to renew your lease in Auburn, you have an important decision to make. Should you renew your lease? Or take the chances and try to find a better place to rent?

There are plenty of things you need to consider when renewing your lease in Auburn – including the availability of other apartments and the annoyance of moving to a new property.

But you also have a lot to gain by changing apartments. Today, we’re going to help you weigh the pros and cons of renewing your lease in Auburn.

How Much Do You Dislike Your Place?

The first and most important thing to consider when renewing your lease in Auburn is how much you like – or dislike – your place.

Many people in Auburn have signed up for a one year lease, only to move in and find the place isn’t quite as nice as advertised. Others like their place at first – only to find out about a deal their friends got on a much nicer place across town.

Ultimately, there are thousands of places to rent in Auburn, and it’s tough to find the perfect place for you at the perfect price.

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Number Two in Auburn: Another Walmart Neighborhood Market Opens

Auburn Walmart

Auburn residents were abuzz in January as another Walmart Neighborhood Market opened up in town just two weeks after the first one reached the city.

A grand opening ceremony took place on Wednesday, January 27 at the new store’s Shug Jordan Parkway location. Members of the Auburn High School JROTC and choir took part of the grand opening.

The new location is about two miles down the road from the Walmart Neighborhood Market on East University Drive that opened on January 13, 2016.

Neighborhood Markets Are Different from Larger Walmarts

Just like the East University Drive Walmart Neighborhood Market, this new Walmart features a drive-thru pharmacy and specialty departments like a full-service deli, in-store bakery, and gas station.

The neighborhood markets have been appearing in communities across the United States for the past several years. They are larger than Walmart’s smallest stores (Wal-Mart Express) but smaller than the larger Walmart Supercenters.

The goal is to deliver the same Supercenter experience in a smaller format, with a similar pricing model using Walmart’s scale.

Walmart announced in January 2016 that it was ending its Walmart Express pilot project. Analysts expected that Walmart would focus instead on Neighborhood Markets, which have shown greater profitability and success than the smaller Express stores.

The neighborhood markets have generated positive comps for 19 consecutive quarters.

Walmart is also expected to focus more on e-commerce and now allows users to order groceries online before picking up those groceries in-store.

Open 24 Hours

The Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2047E University Dr. in Auburn, AL, is open 24 hours. However, the new store is expected to offer hours closer to Walmart’s standard opening times: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Should This Affect your Apartment Search? Yes!

Any time a new grocery store opens in Auburn, Alabama, it changes the dynamics of the apartment rental industry.

Now, those who lived in a previously under-served part of town can enjoy easy, nearby access to groceries. If you live near the University Drive location, then you can visit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – which is a great benefit for night owls who like to stay up all night studying.

Looking for the perfect apartments in Auburn AL? Liberty Properties can help! Contact us today and book a no obligations rental of various units today. Liberty owns all of the properties that are rented out, which means Liberty goes the extra mile to ensure its properties are well-looked after.