Written by Keriann Coffey
Every apartment has its pros and cons—if you stumble upon a genetically gifted space, chances are it comes with (what sounds like) a 24-7 party taking place upstairs. Great location? You’re probably dealing with wall-to-wall shag carpeting. But don’t retreat to the burbs just yet—I’ve gone ahead and solved the most common rental problems so you can relax.
The Problem: “My neighbors can see right into my windows.”
The Solution: I hate to break it to you, but if you live in the city, there’s a good chance your neighbors have seen you do something embarrassing (yes, they’ve seen you naked). The common-sense solution is to buy blinds. But what about natural light? “We’re Bostonians,” you’re saying. “We need all the vitamin D we can get!” For the best of both worlds, invest in top-down/bottom-up shades. They allow you to keep your home private, while bringing in sunshine by lowering the top section. Also, remember: it’s easier to see in glowing open windows at night—so make sure your blinds are shut after the sun sets.
The Problem: Wall-to-wall carpeting
The Solution: First, get your carpets professionally cleaned—once washed, they might not be as bad as you think. If that doesn’t work, layer, layer, layer. Look to one large area rug to cover your carpet, or use multiple rugs in a studio to help delineate what happens where. Brightening your walls (if your lease permits painting) can also help temper dingy flooring.
The Problem: Noise. So much noise pollution.
The Solution: Whether it’s coming from your upstairs neighbors, adjacent back buildings, or late-night street happenings, urban noise can be a huge issue. Luckily, like so many things these days, there’s an app for that. Ambiance, Naturespace, the list goes on. Or, you could always go the old-fashioned route and turn on a fan. Not one for white noise? Try bulking up on rugs and affixing a cork board or insulation material to the underside of tables to help absorb sound and counteract bad acoustics.
The Problem: Missing mail.
The Solution: Sure, a select few complexes have a doorman, making package delivery a breeze. But for the majority of us, “missed package” slips and stolen parcels are the cold, hard reality. But now, new services are popping up to finally give us the luxury of home deliveries on our own time. Sure, there’s not a myriad of choices since most of them exist solely in NYC and San Francisco (we’re looking at you Amazon Locker), but smaller, Boston-based startups like Safestoop promise to end missed deliveries and trips to the post office—and really, it doesn’t get much better than that.