It’s well known among New Yorkers that even the most enthusiastic transplants will eventually face a moment of reckoning, and the culprit is often those infamously tiny Big Apple apartments. Even when you’re lucky enough to snag your dream pad, it’s still easy to feel the culture shock if you’ve never lived in such a densely populated city before.
Whether you’re just getting the apartment hunt started or are settling into your new home among the skyscrapers, here are five important tips for renters in the city that never sleeps.
Redecorating Is Usually Mandatory
If you’ve spent much time viewing apartments, you’ve probably noticed that the hallmark of a New York City apartment is the archaeological evidence of dozens of paint layers on all the molding and trim work.
Throwing up a fresh coat of paint is a rite of passage for local tenants and a good way to make sure you feel right at home. Stick to light colors and careful shading to make your rooms feel open and airy, but don’t be afraid to go wild with bold accent walls when appropriate.
Get Ready to Walk
If you’ve lived a life in rural towns or the suburbs, you’ll likely be shocked by the amount of walking required in New York city. Whether it’s hiking to the subway station or schlepping to your sixth-story walk-up, you’re sure to get plenty of cardio one way or another.
Shoe management is likely to become a regular part of your life, so take a tip from the locals and set up a shoe station right near your door. In smaller, more intimate buildings, many New Yorkers even keep their shoes on the exterior landing, but a shoe rack inside the front door works just as well to prevent tracking street grime into the house. Additionally, get used to carrying an extra pair of shoes if you work somewhere with a professional dress code, since you’ll regret having nothing but a pair of tight dress shoes when walking sneakers are called for.
Always Aim to Downsize
Storage and living space are at a premium in the Big Apple, so get used to culling your collections. Ideally, you’ll engage in a round of aggressive downsizing before you start packing to move into your new apartment. But even once you’ve moved, it’s a good idea to take stock at the end of every season. Paperwork and other disposables are frequent clutter culprits, along with worn-out or outdated clothing.
To make the most of your space, do as the locals do and rent a self-storage unit ASAP, then split your belongings into warm weather and cold weather categories and keep the off-season junk stashed away for half the year.
Embrace Open Spaces
Claustrophobia is inevitable in the city, so do everything you can to give yourself room to breathe. Most locals take every opportunity to visit open spaces, whether it’s one of the many parks scattered around the city or just an open plaza with benches to eat your lunch on.
Avoid the rookie mistake of trying to replicate the feeling of many-roomed exurban homes by splitting your apartment up with shelves or movable walls and, instead, delineate spaces in your abode with smart decorative choices that don’t obstruct sightlines, especially those leading to your windows.
Avoid the Fee
Of course, these tips only apply if you already have the apartment. If you’re looking, MetroNest is the best place to start, with studios, one bedrooms and larger shares in many neighborhoods around the city. And, because we own and manage our own properties, there’s never a fee. Ready to move? Click here.