Temporarily Out Of A Real Home

By: Jon Caldwell

The present administration is lobbying for home ownership but according to a study conducted by both the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the National Low Income Housing Coalition it should focus more on rental and affordable properties.

Due to the surging rates of foreclosures, people may choose the apartment or temporary housing options this year. There's even a figure stating that 1 million people rented apartments last year compared to 139,000 more people looking into buying a house.

Leaving the house? Keep safe! Here are some friendly reminders for those in the go.

Have the cylinders of the door locks changed. It is possible that other people might hold the keys to your house.

Trim shrubs and high hedges so that you could easily see if there are burglars around your home.

Remove things that provide access to second-floor windows like tree branches and trellises.

Lock doors and windows that lead to rooftops, balconies and fire escapes if you're not at home.

Engrave your Social Security number on your valuables so that they would be harder to be sold.

Don't record your name, whereabouts or any personal information on your answering machine.

Get a dog.

Ask a neighbor or a friend to visit your house from time to time to do the chores.

Halt the mail and newspaper deliveries.

Ready for an apartment make-over? Stop right there and read on!

Let's do the Switch! If you live in a one bedroom apartment, switch your living room with your bedroom. This way, your living room becomes a different room and gains a door. Also, you could never miss a guest because the front door is in your bedroom. If you live with roommates, switch bedrooms with one another.

Color your world! Experiment with colors and design, choose different walls, have a painting party! But of course, don't forget to tell the management first!

House of fun! Get rid of boring furniture and spruce up your living room. Rummage through garage sales and check out funky items and gadgets.

So, still bored with your apartment? No need to move out, just try these out!

Living in a dorm? Here are some wise tips to store your items.

* Find out details about your dorm room and what is included. Many colleges and universities post floor plans and pictures on their Web sites. Will your desk come with shelving? Will you be provided with a chest of drawers or a closet? Will the door's width fit standard-size door racks?

* Pack and move your dorm room supplies using double-use items. For example, use containers (such as Yaffa blocks) or mesh totes that you can load with belongings and use as storage once you are settled in your room.

&bullThink vertically when organizing your closet. Use double rack hangers to hang several items. Purchase a hanging shelf to store shoes, sweaters, or accessories.

Make sure that you are present to ensure that all services are performed to your satisfaction.

Check the inventory sheet before signing. Don't sign it if you haven't checked your things!

Check if there was something left or taken by mistake.

At unloading, check off each item as it is delivered and make notations for loss or damage before signing the form.

Ask the driver to assemble anything that has been disassembled and ensure that all parts are there.

Be sure that items in storage are clearly marked and check if they are still there.

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