Posts in Kijiji for the Home

Prepping for House Guests

Between the work of getting ready for the holidays, and the labour of cleaning your home until it meets the exacting standards you assume guests have for dust, it can be easy to forget to attend to the details. Here is our checklist to make it easy!

Stock the bathroom. Make sure you have extra, and accessible toilet paper, feminine products, and anything else your guests might need but be embarrassed to ask for. Put some shampoo and soap in the shower, have some available toothpaste, and make clear which towels are theirs by putting some clean ones by their bed or in the guest bathroom.

Clear space in the closet or a chest of drawers. Make sure that your guests have a place to unpack their clothing, and some hangers to keep their clothes looking good over their trip. Make sure there is space for heavy jackets, suits, and a place where they can primp in private, preferably a full length mirror near the guest space. If you don’t have a lot of space, at the very least, has a space where they can put their suitcase and if possible, provide a suitcase stand.

Set up a primer or FAQ. Leave out some paper with your wifi password, any explanation needed for operating the television or blu ray player, and some ideas for interesting nearby destinations or day trips. If they will be using public transit, include instructions and some tokens to get started.

Stock the fridge. Make sure you check on any allergies or dietary restrictions and have some appropriate food and drink options ready for them. If you have pets, include any need to know information (don’t let the cat out) on your list.

Make up & test the guest bed. If you are using an air mattress, make sure it isn’t leaking. If a regular bed, make sure the amount of blankets are appropriate for the season and there are ample pillow options for different sleep preferences.

Make a spare key. You’ll be glad you did when they aren’t ringing your doorbell every time they arrive.

How to Determine What Type of Living Situation is Right for You

Have you overstayed your welcome at your parents’ home? Or are you just ready to flee the nest and explore the real world? Either way, moving out is an exciting and exhilarating experience and a major milestone in a person’s life.

One of the things you should consider before you take the leap however, is whether you’d like to live by yourself, with your partner or with a roommate. It is a very personal decision, and there is no one sized fits all answer to the question. It comes down to preferences for personal space, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, how you like to spend your time, and how you like to spend your money. Whether or not you know anyone that you actually want to live with is another important consideration. Are you comfortable finding a room mate online? Do you prefer to move in with a friend? Does your partner make such a mess everywhere it would lead to the end of the relationship?

Here are some tips that might help you make that call.

The perks of living alone

  • You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. So go ahead and eat mac and cheese out of the pot. No judgment here.
  • You have all the privacy you need, so if you want to clip your toenails while watching TV in the living room, go ahead.
  • No roommate drama or “quirks” to deal with.
  • You don’t have to share the shower, kitchen, washing machine, or anything else for that matter.
  • You call the shots on what furniture to buy and what will suit your space.
  • You can feel good about yourself that you’re doing something independently.

 

The downside

 

Living with your partner, a friend or a roommate

  • It’s cheaper.
  • Companionship. There’s someone you can usually vent to about your bad day.
  • You may build a stronger relationship.
  • Perhaps you might meet new people if you don’t already know your roommate. It will help expand your social network.
  • It isn’t so lonely.
  • You can share chores.

 

Cons

  • You have to trust that they will hold up their end of the rent and chores.
  • You have to be respectful and considerate of the other person you’re living with. This may mean not having guests over at 2 a.m. when your roommate is working at 6 a.m. the next day.
  • Sharing has its downside. Maybe you wanted that last slice of pizza.
  • Being in the same space can lead to some friction. You may get annoyed at each other’s quirks.
  • If you’re moving in with your partner or even a friend you can risk ruining that relationship. You might get on each other’s nerves or argue over who did the dishes last.

Tips for Buying a Used Couch

Your couch is one of the most important pieces of furniture you can buy. It needs to be that special place you can flop into at the end of a long day and unwind. It is important to find exactly the right couch for you. What do you need to think about when buying a couch second-hand?

Buying a Used Couch

Size matters. It’s important to know your measurements in advance. There’s nothing worse than taking home a brand new couch, only to find it doesn’t quite fit where you were picturing it. Consider how it needs to fit alongside your existing furniture and how much free space you’ll need to move around. Also, if you have a staircase with a bend in it between the door and where you hope to place it, measure the space to make sure you can physically get it into the right room!

Try before you buy. Don’t be shy when it comes to making sure it is comfy! Sit on it, lie on it and make sure you’re comfortable with the feel of your new sofa. Sharp springs and sinking seats do not make for comfortable lounging, so don’t forget to look under the cushions and check for structural issues (or deal breaker cleanliness issues).

Follow your nose. There are some clingy odours that never seem to want to leave. If a couch doesn’t smell quite right when you inspect it, think twice before taking it home with you, unless you’re prepared for some serious airing out.

Picture the entire room. The colour or pattern of the couch you choose is very much an individual choice. Think about how it’s going to look against your walls, carpet, curtains and other furniture. If you can bring fabric swatches with you, or even photos of your existing furniture, it will help you decide whether your new find is going to look right in your existing room. The last thing you want is to turn your comfy new couch into a living room eyesore.

Don’t judge a couch by its cover. Sometimes a lounge may have a shabby exterior, but a quick reupholster can make it look like new. The key is to look for a sturdy frame that’s going to go the distance; hard woods tend to last longer than pine, for example. (Handy tip: a build-it-yourself couch probably isn’t going to be worth reupholstering.)

Don’t forget to bring plastic sheets and lots of rope to transport it home. Moving a couch can be an ordeal, so make sure you are properly prepared.

There are thousands of second-hand lounges, sofas, and all kinds of living room furniture on Kijiji, so have a browse through the listings and find one that’s right for you.

Fires, Thieves and Foam Parties – The “ins and outs” of Tenant Insurance

You never know when disaster can strike. The old, “it won’t happen to me” is a common sentiment until Murphy’s Law kicks in. Theft, fire and damage to apartments happen more than you would guess and you should be prepared, it won’t cost you much and you’ll worry less. Check out this neat Infographic resource from one of Canada’s top property managers, they’ve seen it all.

Capreit Tenant Insurance Infographic

What does the monthly Tenant Insurance cost cover?

  • damage to or loss of your possessions if you rent or lease your apartment or home
  • personal property stolen from your vehicle
  • injury caused to visitors (ex. slip and fall on the driveway)
  • Accidental damage you cause to any part of the apartment building or home you are renting. If the bathtub overflows and floods your apartment, or you’re having a foam party (you’ll want to ask about coverage for this one before sending invites, parties probably won’t qualify as accidents). Tenant insurance can pay for the damage caused to your apartment, the building or neighbouring units.

I don’t have any expensive stuff!

Replacing one or two sweaters is no biggie but imagine having to dish out for 4 or 5 new pairs of shoes, not to mention a new laptop, TV or even a new bed! Are you adding this up? My rough count is up to about $4000 on these few items alone and we’re just scratching the surface. You get the point here; what’s a few hundred bucks a year for a piece of mind? If this sounds like scare tactics to you, you’re catching my drift.

flood

Will my insurance cover the full value of my lost/damaged possessions?

There are two standard types of reimbursement and it’s important to understand the difference between the two; it can impact your premiums and affect how the insurance company assesses your claim. When shopping around for home, condominium or tenant insurance, make sure you find out if the quotes you receive are based on actual cash value or replacement value because premiums for replacement coverage will be higher than for cash value.

  • Cash value coverage reimburses you for the value of personal belongings at the time of a claim. If your 3-year-old mountain bike is stolen, you’d receive the value less depreciation. If the original cost was $2,000, you might only receive $1,000, minus the deductible.
  • Replacement cost coverage reimburses you for the full value of an item. If you’d have to pay $2,500 to buy that same mountain bike today, that’s what you’d receive, less the deductible.

Do Students need Insurance?

Starting at college or university comes with brain clutter like exams, parties, co-ops and friends but one thing that rarely comes to mind is insurance, and for good reason. If you’re a student you’ve probably never had the need for your own insurance; living at your parent’s house and driving their car means you’re insured under their policy. Depending on where you stay while attending school, you might need your own.

  • If you’re living at your parent’s home or residence, you’re covered by their insurance
  • There is usually a cap or limit to how much coverage a student can claim from their parent’s plan, make sure to inquire about the limitations.
  • Students living off campus in an apartment, condo or house should definitely get coverage, especially if you’re living with roomates!
  • Best of all, once you have insurance you can now host a raging foam party (I recommend attending rather than hosting, from personal experience)

Moving Out & Tight On Cash? How to Set Up a Home on a Budget

Whether you’re moving out on your own for the first time, setting up a home with roommates, or settling down after globe trotting, setting up a home sure adds up! While you may have dreams of magazine and pinterest worthy interiors, if you’re on a budget you’ll probably need to hold off on the décor until you’ve bought and paid for all the basics.

When you’re starting from nothing, your shopping list will be gargantuan, covering everything from furniture to trash cans to toilet paper, as well as filling up an empty pantry. But even though it’s a big job, getting yourself sorted doesn’t have to break the bank. If you have a budget to stick to, here are some ideas to help you save.
How to Decorate a Home on a Budget
The essentials
Working out what you need rather than what you want will help you cut down on your initial set-up costs. The best way to do this is make a list of all the items you think you’ll need for every room in the house. For example:

Living Room:
Couch
Coffee table
TV
Lamps
Once you know what you want in each room, go through the list and circle only what you’ll absolutely need on day one – things like the fridge , couch, bed, etc. These are the items you’ll want to buy first. Everything else on the list – like cushions, side tables, etc. – can be acquired slowly over time. By prioritizing your essentials you’ll significantly reduce your initial set up costs, allowing you to slowly save up your money for the rest. If you have time to save up and search for the perfect piece, you are more likely to find fabulous statement pieces that really add to the character of the room, as well as more time to hold out for a great deal.

Where to start?
When you’re just starting out, the first things you buy don’t have to be the best; they just need to get you through while you’re finding your feet. One way to stick to your budget is to get as much as you can second hand:

Friends and family: Friends and family love to help, so don’t be afraid to ask. You’d be amazed by how many couches, TVs and other items are just sitting around unused in people’s garages (that they’re probably glad to get rid of!) Sure, cast-offs from family are unlikely to be the hottest new style, but beggars can’t be choosers, right? You will have plenty of time to save up for a leather couch or a flat screen wall mounted TV once you have a good idea of how your monthly budget balances.

Social media: Don’t underestimate the power of your social networks. Let people know what you need and you never know who might be looking to unload a few items for very cheap or for free to a friend.

Kijiji: Of course, for anything you don’t find from friends and family, you’ll always be able to find great second hand deals on Kijiji! There are lots of free items posted daily, which you can jump on easily if you have the time to check often and the means to pick things up quickly (access to a pick up truck comes in handy when moving large furniture items). Set up an alert for items you hope to buy a little way down the line, so you will be notified when one is posted within your price range.

Setting up a new home can be costly, but there are ways you can cut down on costs. By focusing on the essentials and getting as much as you can second hand, you can probably get set up for much less. So take your time, ask around and graciously accept any items you’re offered. It may not look like the house of your dreams in the beginning, but you can always redecorate a bit further down the track.