textiles's Profile

Display Name: textiles
Member Since: 5/6/09

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Last time I moved, I had a two week overlap, because my new landlord wanted to start the lease as soon as possible after the old tenant moved out, naturally, greedily, at mid-month, while I was committed on the old place until the end of the month. While it was expensive to pay for two places for a half a month, I didn't argue for less overlap, as I thought this would give me enough time to thoroughly clean the new place out, get moved, and clean out the old place, without all the stress that moving at month end usually entails. (I was also afraid that my new landlord would get mad and not give me the place if I asked for less overlap, and, in hindsight, now that we've had more dealings, I realize that this was a good call, as my new landlord likes to threaten me whenever I ask for anything, even legal and legitimate stuff to ask for. Sigh....)

Well, you know the adage that "work expands to fill time"? This is true of moving, too. Packing up the old place took longer than expected; I had to reschedule my movers from my first scheduled date to a later date to accommodate this, and also had to hire them to pack some stuff before moving day, as my back had just had it after packing so much on my own. I usually pack myself, but, hey, I'm getting older, and the body is not as accommodating as it used to be.

So, I never did get to thoroughly clean out the new place before moving, which needed it. And the move was still stressful, just more expensive than usual. I did have time to have a team of three cleaners come and clean out the old place with their "move-out service," a first for me, I usually thoroughly clean the old place myself, but hiring it out was totally worth it! I hired them mainly because I was concerned about my unscrupulous and greedy former landlord, who made me pay for stuff he was required by law to pay for, making problems for me, but it was so worth it! They cleaned stuff nobody ever cleans (do you dust your track lighting?) I only wish I'd had it together to hire them to clean out the new place before I moved in. The old tenant had her cleaning lady there shortly before I moved in, after they had mostly moved out, so I thought it would be clean, but it wasn't really - the drawers in the bathroom, and the insides of the numerous kitchen cabinets, and the shleves in the closets, really needed cleaning, and she didn't do this. A "move-in" cleaning team would have done this, and I hope to have time to hire both "move-in" and "move-out" cleaners the next time I move (because, the back is getting older), as well as movers, which I've been hiring since my 30s, and paid packers, which I had partially this last move, after having been spoiled by full packing paid for in a corporate move for the previous move. And hey, I'd like to hire unpackers, too, the next time, as it was so hard to get myself motivated to clean and unpack after the back pain left after the last move.

I never used to understand why people paid for stuff I could easily do myself, but age is starting to make me realize why they do this, as I ended it now, even when I have taken the time off to do it myself.

Part of the problem with packing and unpacking in an apartment is that the stuff stored in the closets, in furniture and in cabinets just takes up too much space in your apartment when it is put in boxes and piled head-high. I'm thinking the next move might facilitate unpacking better by doing a move in two stages - the first moving in all the boxed stuff, so it can be unpacked first (the kitchen, bathroom, closets, and some stuff stored in storage furniture, such as bookcases, buffets, and other cabinets, which storage furniture will also need to be moved in the first move. and THEN, afterwards, in a second move, moving the rest of the furniture, the couches, rugs, tables, chairs, beds, etc., after the stuff in boxes has been unpacked already, and the boxes collapsed. I may do this next time, for my sanity. Is different, of course, if you have a garage, basement, or extra room to store stuff before you unpack it all, or if you haven't yet acquired so much stuff. At midlife (or past midlife, if I'm realistic), I've acquired enough, and will be seeking to downsize from here on out, which may, in itself, help with the moving issues.

When Do You Consider A Place Move-In Ready?
7/28/14 09:07 PM

I toned mine down with medium tones of blue and grey - not pastel or light, but not dark. Worked great. In towels, rug, and accessories (shower certain and window treatment were clear, so no color there.)

How to Tone Down (or Play Up!) Pink Vintage Bathroom Tile
7/23/14 06:35 PM

I think faux is the look they are going for.

Those last two steps beyond the newel post seem so naked to me without their previous beautifully curved extensions, which so nicely framed the bench, which I liked a lot better than the paneled wall there.

Mike & Sandie's Foyer: Wainscoting Renovation Diary
7/23/14 06:31 PM

I'm all for doing your own design thing. But unless you live in real estate that sells to the rich, who are happy to buy at a high price and then rip out your kitchen to put in one to their liking, most of these would be a turn-off to many buyers. That's why so many play it safe, I think - keeping resale in mind.

Design is particular. For instance, I only like 3 of these for me - the rest would be a turn-off were I looking to buy. I like the all green one (it harkens back to a style popular earlier in the twentieth century, I think), the next one with the wood cabinets with inset brass handles called here a "cottage" kitchen, and the next one with the white u-shaped lowers-only kitchen.

And Now for Something Completely Different: 10 Standout Kitchens
7/23/14 06:27 PM

bizarre choices for flooring ... I always have to be careful not to slip in hotels with shiny marble floored bathrooms, as I do slip on them. and the lip - horrible tripping hazard.

Mike & Sandie's Foyer: New Flooring Renovation Diary
7/23/14 11:34 AM

Hard to believe it is illegal. A lease is a contract. When you write a letter suggesting they apply your deposit to the last month's rent, you are making an offer form the landlord to agree to do so. If they don't reply, they've essentially agreed. If they protest, then they can try to come after you for the money. If there was no damage done to the apartment, then the landlord has no legal damages, and will have a hard time getting any court to make you pay them for nonexistent damages.

How To Definitely Get Your Deposit Back: 10 Things To Do Before You Move Out Renters Solutions
7/21/14 08:39 AM

Hard to believe it is illegal. A lease is a contract. When you write a letter suggesting they apply your deposit to the last month's rent, you are making an offer form the landlord to agree to do so. If they don't reply, they've essentially agreed. If they protest, then they can try to come after you for the money. If there was no damage done to the apartment, then the landlord has no legal damages, and will have a hard time getting any court to make you pay them for nonexistent damages.

How To Definitely Get Your Deposit Back: 10 Things To Do Before You Move Out Renters Solutions
7/21/14 08:39 AM

If you live in NYC, where you usually have to pay a very hefty realtor fee to rent (which is elsewhere paid by landlords), you aren't likely to consider your security lost money from the start.

How To Definitely Get Your Deposit Back: 10 Things To Do Before You Move Out Renters Solutions
7/18/14 08:39 PM

I've rented in Boston (once) and in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and never gave last month's rent in advance, just security of one month.

How To Definitely Get Your Deposit Back: 10 Things To Do Before You Move Out Renters Solutions
7/18/14 08:38 PM

Possibly the landlord hadn't provided the sink plug, so they took the one they had to purchase with them....I've done that.

How To Definitely Get Your Deposit Back: 10 Things To Do Before You Move Out Renters Solutions
7/18/14 08:36 PM

That's why I have never rented a place that requires last month and security both. In the cities I've lived in, not everybody requires both, just some. (Some places, like in DC, it is illegal to require that.)

How To Definitely Get Your Deposit Back: 10 Things To Do Before You Move Out Renters Solutions
7/18/14 06:25 PM

it isn't just states, it is also cities, I believe, that can pass laws requiring window guards.

And it isn't just renters ... I've known parents who refuse to install them who own, even though it is required in NYC, and even though that didn't make their coop happy, as the coop board would potentially have some liability if anyone was injured and they hadn't enforced the law. And I've known others who just set the required window guards in those little plastic sleeves in the window frame, even though small hands could figure out how to lift them loose, or the plastic can crack under the stress of wieght, rather than screwing thm into the window frame as required.

6 Steps To Safer Windows In Your Family's Rental
7/18/14 06:14 PM

I've never let a landlord keep my deposit ... Just sent a note saying I'm moving on x and such a date (always month end, or the 15th if my lease ran to the 15th, or another date only if my landlords knew I'd be leaving earlier and planned to rerent it then, so pro-rated to an odd date only by mutual agreement as to when I'd owe rent for), telling them to apply my deposit to the last month's rent, and here's the difference I owe you (if I owed any, say if they never had me top up the deposit as rent had risen, or paying to that odd date I was leaving on). I'd heard too many stories of bad landlords keeping deposits for no reason, and wasn't about to risk my deposit.

This way, the onus was on them to come after me if they had a problem. Theybnever had a problem. I always left the place clean, returned keys, was gone when I said I'd be gone, etc. They never said anything. Even when I left mid-lease (I never left during the first year though). Of course, I always lived in cities with low vacancy rates, in somewhat decent to really nice apartments, where it was easier for them to just rerent, and where they could raise the rent when I left, once by as much as 50%, rather than come after me. I highly recommend this strategy. Of course, it could be difficult to do mid-lease in a place where vacancies are high, or if the place is hard to rent.

What it really depends on is whether the law where you live imposes on the landlord a duty to mitigate damages, that is, to try to rerent if you leave mid-lease, rather than telling you to just pay up to the end of the lesse. Where that's the case, it pays to find some potential new tenants yourself for the landlord to consider, and keep records of that.

How To Definitely Get Your Deposit Back: 10 Things To Do Before You Move Out Renters Solutions
7/18/14 03:38 PM

Also, unless you have kids (who tend to climb on furniture, so you have to keep them safe) or live in earthquake prone lands, then I've never found it necessary to attach tall furniture to walls. Not eve the Ikea stuff that domes with the wall attachments. Not the tall bookcases, not tall wardrobes (though check to see if they become tipsy with the weight of the door when the door is opened-mine didn't). One exception is tall things with drawers, if the drawers aren't just at the very bottom, as open drawers+ stuff in the drawers= tipsy.

You can use wood shims to make sure things aren't tipping forward. I need to do this anyway, as sloping floors also comes with living in old buildings. Almost anything gets tipsy on a sloped floor if not shimmed underneath.

How To Attach Wall Shelves Without Drilling Into Walls? Good Questions
7/18/14 12:49 PM

As I love to live in old buildings, I've always had old plaster walls. As I see what happens to them from previous heavy duty hangers people installed for shelves, I never tried to hang shelves in them. I do hang art - I get those old fashioned "picture hangers" where the nail goes into the wall aiming down on a slant through the brass hook, and they hold a lot of art or mirror weight with just a small hole. You make a mess of the surface, which is easily repaired with some speckle, but they don't crack the lath and the plaster keys the way putting in large holders needed for shelving would.

Yeah, putting shelving into these walls only makes sense if you are the owner and intend the installation to be permanent. When I owned a place, I didn't even bother. Free standing stuff is just easier.

Buy furniture that sits on the floor. You'll be fine. If you want it not to look so bulky, get units that have short legs underneath, so you can see some floor under the front of them ... this is a trick that really works to open up space visually. Works especially well on sofas and chairs. You'll have to spend for more than Ikea billy shelves to do this. Old stuff can be had that is designed this way, sometimes found cheaply. Or maybe you'll get used to having shelving and other storage that goes to the floor. If you pay attention and get units that are less deep than average, it won't look so bulky. Antique furniture is often less deep than new stuff.

there are some great tension pole hangers for hanging bikes on ... I do suggest you hang your bike to get it off the floor.

How To Attach Wall Shelves Without Drilling Into Walls? Good Questions
7/18/14 12:13 PM

Don't paint the nailheads ... Fake gold and fake brass are tacky metal colors often anyway, just keep to the not-gold side of the metal metals family if you don't want to mix them with golds... Silver, black, pewter, iron, steel, and other grey-toned metals, there are infinite choices. You must be drawn to them anyway, as you chose this nailhead color. Even copper will look fine, it goes with everything, and aged brass.

You don't have to go all eclectic to make this work if that's not truly who you are. This is an almost grey neutral, and will go with most colors. I think you are just suffering from the "I have this huge sofa, and it is all one color, and it is just so prominent in my room right now" - this is a normal feeling when you buy something large in one color. Relax ... you like this color, that's why you chose it. Adding some more colors, some patterns, and more textures will tone it down, but it will still shine through. Find something you like, and ask yourself if it clashes with the sofa, if not, buy it (hopefully something colored and patterned.). Then get more stuff that doesn't clash with the sofa or that new pattern.

I think you should stop looking for things that "go" with it, and ask instead "does this color, or the colors in this pattern, clash with it?" Most colors and patterns won't, they'll look fine.

The neutral lovers are telling you to stay neutral with white and cream stuff ... I'd disagree .. What this sofa is begging for is more color and pattern around it. You'll likely end up with 3 other colors that are repeated in your patterned and solid things that look good with your slate blue, and then a host of smaller accent colors in there in other complex patterns (like Persian rugs) as well.

Unless your preferred art is very modern and graphic in style, I wouldn't buy art for its color. Make your fabrics, wall color, and window treatments coordinate ok, and then whatever art you like will look fine in there with it all. Works for me.

How To Coordinate with Gorgeous New Slate Blue Sofa? Good Questions
7/18/14 11:54 AM

Things I have been aware enough to say no to:

- buying a place near a corner where a popular sports bar was (it was such a cool apartment, even had a sauna! in the bathroom, rare in Brooklyn in the mid-90s);

- renting a place with a big wide window on the front porch without any bars, such that anyone could enter the apartment through the window (bars are not necessarily a sign of bad things, but rather an aware neighborhood);

- buying a place next to a parking lot that could be developed (and later was, causing the building next door to crack so badly it had to be evacuated);

Things I regretted not saying no to:

- buying a place where I had indication that my downstairs neighbor was crazy;

- renting a place that was right above what turned out not to be a bus stop, but the end of the line, where two buses would sit for 45 minutes at a time with their engines running blowing smog that blew up and directly into my windows, which I couldn't then open, even in the summer;

- renting a place where the landlord refused to repaint before I moved in when it really needed it - a sign, I've learned the hard way, that they will attempt to put future repair costs of any kind that the landlord is responsible for on you; ditto with their not removing moldy carpeting .. I did it myself in one place, but future needed repairs were impossible to get;

- renting or buying anything not on the top floor, many times ... Neighbors always woke me up! I know I sleep better on the top floor, and I should stick to that in the future (as long as I have the clout it get the roof repaired as soon as it starts to leak into my place);

- renting a place with a restaurant two floors below ... there was no noise, except on New Year's Eve, but the mice and roaches were impossible;

- renting a place really far from the nearest laundromat that was safe to walk to (my first apartment, I hadn't had to think about laundromat proximity before).

Also, in my experience, I am much more likely to be robbed when I live in a poor neighborhood and own nothing worth stealing (my iron, my electric drill, a small alarm clock, a very old black and white really small tv, etc., these are the things they got for their trouble in three different break-ins ... If I had any money for stuff, I'd have been living elsewhere, folks, this chick named Sallie Mae was getting almost half my meager income then).

Location, Location, Location: Things to Beware of When Moving to a New Neighborhood Renters Solutions
7/18/14 11:31 AM

Yes, I loved the Kramfors sofa in leather... Had my mind set on getting one in the future when I had room, but was sad to see Ikea discontinued it. I hate when they do that with their beter pieces! Likely to be a good secondhand trade in them as a result.

My advice to to not limit yourself to 1000.oo. It is really hard to get a quality sofa for that, especially a long one and one with some style, which seem to be your requirements. You bought the house ... now invest in the furniture. A good one will last much longer, decades even, and you'll see in a few years that that is more cost effective than having a cheap one that looks like $hit in a few years... And yes, 1000.oo only gets you a cheaply made couch. Sad, but true.

Can You Help Us Find a $1000 Couch We Can Agree On? Good Questions
7/18/14 10:38 AM

Depending on where you live, thieves take all kinds of trouble sometimes.

Deadbolt with key inside. Also, you need a second deadbolt, high upon the door - hard to reach from the mail slot, and also makes your door harder to push in. Double keyed deadbolt there as well.

How To Make My New Mail Slot Burglar Proof? Good Questions
7/17/14 09:24 AM

I like using a dish cloth much better than a sponge, because you can use a fresh one every day or two, and not be harboring germs and such as a sponge can. I probably do this because that's what I grew up doing, in pre-dishwasher times when I was very young. I have a bunch, and I just wash them with my laundry when I wash.

Yes, their hanging can look unsightly. My mother's always look unsightly, though I deal with and that by having pretty, colorful ones, usually purchased at crate and barrel, though sometimes elsewhere. I have no problem with a nicely colored one folded in half handing over the faucet spout. It is close at hand when I need it, dries out fairly quickly, and brings a spot of color to my kitchen. If you don't like that look, or if your spout is vertical, not slanted for easy hanging as mine have been, then if you have room, you can hang them on a little towel rack in some out of sight place in your kitchen. Any scrubbers or handled brushed get kept in receptacles on the counter, or in baskets inside the cabinet unde the sink.

Our Best Tips for Life Without a Dishwasher
7/17/14 09:21 AM