How to Settle Into a New City After You’ve Moved

You’ve finally done it. You’ve packed up all your belongings, said your goodbyes, and taken the leap to move to a new city. Congratulations! Now comes the hard part: settling in. Here are a few tips from Marjorie Jones at to help you get comfortable in your new surroundings and make the most of your new adventure.

Unpack Right Away

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to unpack as soon as possible after you move. The longer you wait, the more labor-intensive the task will become. Plus, once you’re settled in and have put away all your boxes, you’ll be able to truly start enjoying your new home.

Set Up Your Bedroom First

There are many important rooms in your new home that you’ll want to get set up, but none are as vital to your well-being as your bedroom. It’s important that you have comfortable space to decompress and get quality sleep as you unpack and adjust. If possible, order a new mattress to be delivered on move day. Select the best full size mattress for your sleep style that also blends support with comfort. You can also choose cooling materials, like memory or gel foam and all natural cotton covers.

The rest of your room should be calming, too. Choose accents that are blue, lavender, and gray and invest in some blackout curtains to ensure a dark environment for restful sleep. You can even use aromatherapy candles or diffusers with lavender and chamomile to add to the environment.

Socialize and Meet New People

One of the best things about moving to a new city is all the new people you’ll meet. Join social clubs, take classes, go to meetups — whatever it takes to get out there and start meeting people. The more friends you make, the more comfortable you’ll feel in your new surroundings. And who knows? You might just make some lifelong friends along the way.

Explore the Area

One of the best ways to get to know your new city is to explore it! Walk or bike around different neighborhoods, check out local attractions and grab a bite at a new restaurant. There’s no better way to get a feel for a place than by experiencing it firsthand!

Help Your Family Acclimate

If you have children, it’s important to help them acclimate to their new surroundings as well. Have them join clubs or sports teams, enroll them in school activities, or simply encourage them to make friends with the kids in their neighborhood. The sooner they start feeling like they belong, the better off they’ll be.

This goes the same for your pets, as well. However, with all the demands of moving and settling in, their needs might fall by the wayside. This is unavoidable, so look into solutions that will help you avoid this and, in turn, keep your pets as happy and comfortable as can be, despite the stress of the move. One way to do so is to find a pet sitter you can trust.

Move Your Business and Register Your LLC

If you own a business, chances are you’ll need to move it to your new location as well. This can be a tedious task, but there are resources available to help make the transition as seamless as possible. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for assistance, or look online for resources specific to your industry.  In Wisconsin, go online to the Department of Financial institutions at

In many cases, you’ll need to form your business anew, especially if moving across state lines. It’s always worth forming a limited liability company or LLC for pass-through taxation and other benefits. Work with a formation service that’s well-versed in how to start an LLC in Texas to take a load off your shoulders.

Get Familiar with Key Resources

It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with local transportation options when you move to a new city. Find out where the nearest bus and train stations are and research the city’s public transportation system. If you’re planning on walking or biking, explore the city’s parks and hiking trails.

And be sure to establish medical care in your new city. Find a local doctor or hospital, and make sure you have health insurance. By taking care of these things, you’ll be able to settle into your new city quickly and start enjoying all it has to offer.

Give Yourself Time to Adjust

Last but not least, don’t forget to give yourself time to adjust. It can take weeks or even months to truly feel at home in a new place—and that’s okay! Be patient with yourself, and soon enough you’ll be feeling right at home in your new city.

Decorate to Feel Like Home

After settling into your new home, making updates can enhance its functionality, comfort, and aesthetic appeal. Although you generally can’t make permanent changes to rental properties, you can add furniture, storage, appliances, and decor that make the space work better for you. By incorporating these elements, you can create a living space that reflects your personal style while also boosting the value of your property.

Start Enjoying Your New Home

After you’ve moved, take some time to settle into your new city. Explore the different neighborhoods and find the one that best suits you. Check out the local coffee shops, bookstores, and parks. Get to know your neighbors and make some new friends, and be sure to register your business. After you’ve settled in, you’ll be able to enjoy all that your new city has to offer.


02 08 2024 Move to New Home M Jones - How to Settle Into a New City After You've Moved

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Holiday Hangover – A Credit Conundrum

Here’s a little fact to spoil your holiday cheer:  According to Nerd Wallet, 52% of American went into debt for Christmas 2022 and of that group, just less than a third of them still have not paid off the balance!

Here are some ideas for getting out of this debtor’s prison:

  1. Make at least the minimum payments. No matter how tight things are, don’t skip a payment.  Make at least the minimum payment or your credit score will be impaired.
  2. Pay off that balance! In my opinion, you should never carry a balance but should pay the balance in full every month, thereby avoiding interest charges.  But I should have shared this advice by in October – for some, it’s too late!
  3. Start planning for Christmas 2024 now. Yes it’s early.  Paying off Christmas 2023 is a good place to start.  Then save in advance for 2024 to avoid being in the same mess January 2025!
  4. Set spending limits and stick to them. This may apply not only to gifts, but also to what you’re going to spend on yourself.
  5. Don’t neglect other obligations like student loans. Fail to keep  up the payments and the balance will grow and your credit score will decline.

Christmas 2024 will be a lot merrier when you’re debt free – what a great present to give yourself.


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How to Make Your Place Look Like the Ritz

Inflation may be eating a hole in your bank account.  Maybe you’ve cut out going out and are staying in.  If there’s a little extra time on your hands, here’s a few idea to make your place look like a million without going broke.

  1. Deep clean. Make every room and every surface sparkle, but pay particular attention to the kitchen and bath.  The one that will enjoy it the most is you.
  2. Store it or put it away, but don’t stop there.  Attack your closets and organize those too.  Your friends will be impressed but even better, you’ll love where you live.
  3. Fix it. Been meaning to call the landlord about that switch that doesn’t work, the torn screen or that dripping faucet?  Stop procrastinating.  Get that stuff fixed.  Unless the landlord can legitimately hold you responsible for the damage, it won’t cost anything.  Any if you were responsible for the damage, you were probably going to have to pay for this when you move out anyway, so why not take care of it now and be able to enjoy living in a nicer place?
  4. Since you’re going to be talking to the landlord anyway, what about a minor upgrade?  Maybe your light fixtures look like something right out of 1975.  And do you still have beige switches and outlets?  White is the thing now.

12 26 2023 upgrade your apartment - How to Make Your Place Look Like the Ritz

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How to Save on Holiday Travel

Traveling for the Holidays?  Here’s a few ideas on saving a shekel or two so you’ll still have enough left to play Santa Claus.  No bah humbug for you!

Think Flexible

December 26th is one of the most intense flying days of the year.  Can you extend someone’s Christmas cheer by showing up the first week in January?  Or kick off the season early in the middle of December.  Set up alerts on travel sites like Kayak or Google Flights to notify you when there is a price drop on a flight you’ve been monitoring and jump on a good deal.

Think Trains Planes and Automobiles

Hey, maybe we could make this idea into a movie!  Until then, consider all the modes of transportation available. Take a train and enjoy the sites.  Or maybe you can share the driving on a longer trip.  If your destination is a big city, consider rideshare services like Uber or Lyft and avoid the expense and hassle of having to park.  Maybe if you’re going somewhere warm, you can even rent a bike.

Think Lodging Options

Use sites like Expedia or Travelocity to compare prices and find deals. Consider alternative lodging options such as booking an Airbnb or Vrbo. For the younger crowd and the young at heart, and if you don’t mind sharing accommodations, try hostels. Or if you’re going somewhere warm, even consider camping.

Think Picnic

Part of the fun of travel is trying the local cuisine, but daily dining can really blow out your budget and maybe your waistline. Bring food from home or plan on a trip to the  local grocery store and enjoy some picnic lunches instead of every meal at a restaurant.

Think Partners

Cost share by traveling with buddies.

Think Rewards

Traveling and time with family is its own reward, but don’t forget about those travel points or bonuses you accumulated on various credit cards.

Have a safe and wonderful Christmas and New Year!


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Ways to Save on Holiday Shopping

Makin’ a list, checkin’ it twice.

Before hitting the mall or your favorite online source, check with your budget to make sure there’s a surplus available for you to play Santa Claus.  Make a plan and stick with it.  Don’t let emotion get you in financial trouble.  Running low on funds with more names on your list?  Move them over to the naughty column!

Start Early

OK, the naughty list can’t be the remedy for when you run short of funds.  So we’ll need to keep going on finding a way to stretch those gift dollars.  Start early.  You may pick off some early season sales.  Even if not, starting earlier keeps your options open and is less likely to push you into budget busting panic mode when deadlines loom and gifts have still not been purchased.

Get the Best Deal

There are always deals to be seized upon Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but let’s get a little more creative. Use a browser extension like Honey that will automatically try promo codes at checkout time. Make sure you’re not missing out on any easy deals and discounts. Use tools like Google Shopping to track prices. Set up an alerts for price discounts on items you’re thinking of buying.

Make the Most of Credit Card Rewards

Here again, starting early is key.  You might need to get a new credit card to really maximize those cash back rewards.  An internet search will point you on your way.

Consider Unconventional Gifts

It’s the thought that counts, right?  If you’re crafty, make those gifts yourself.  If you’re not, how about volunteering your services where they’re needed?  Your grandmother would appreciate her driveway snow getting shoveled over a sweater featuring dogs playing poker.  What about some of those magical cookies you make?  Or even babysitting services?  How about help putting up the holiday lights or taking them down?  Even cleaning out a garage or basement can be a winner.

Bottom line, don’t make holiday largesse put you in a financial bind that becomes a New Year’s resolution!

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A Sure-Fire Way to Spoil Your Holidays

Here’s a sure-fire way to turn holiday cheer into nightmare:  have a heart attack.  As it turns out, heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems increase around the holidays.  Research indicates that the peak days for cardiac deaths are December 25, 26 and January 1st.  Here’s why:

  1. People postpone doctor visits around the holidays. Or they forget to take their medication as ordinary routines are disrupted.
  2. Winter brings about viruses with symptoms that include restriction of blood vessels.
  3. The holidays come with travel and annual family gatherings that can be stressful.
  4. Holiday meals, particularly if high in salt, can trigger cardiac problems. So can alcohol, and New Year’s Eve is sometimes the one day of the year that some drink when they are otherwise teetotalers.

Now that we’ve explored the risks, let’s discuss the warning signs of heart trouble.

  1. Chest pain. The discomfort can manifest itself as weight applied to the chest.  Sometimes the pain is in the left arm, neck or jaw.  There can also be shortness of breath.
  2. For women, symptoms include nausea, lightheadedness, back pain and fatigue.
  3. Swelling in legs, stomach bloating, dry cough and loss of appetite are also symptoms.

When in doubt, seek care.  The earlier care is sought, the better the outcomes.

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How to Avoid Internet Scams

Here’s a way to screw up your holidays:  Get looted from an internet scam.  Time for eight tips to avoid internet thieves:

  1. Guard your personal information. Never give personal information over the phone, text or email to someone you don’t know.
  2. Do business only with those you know and trust. This is good advice, but these days, you additionally have to be aware of crooks posing as a legitimate business you know and trust.
  3. Double check. We just talked about why.  The bad guys will try to pose like good guys.  Check who that email came from in the from line and compare it to known legitimate emails.  Have doubts about somebody calling you claiming to be from a trusted source?  Get their name and number, internet search the number and if legitimate you can call them back.
  4. Monitor accounts. Look for suspicious credit card transactions or other activity you don’t recognize.
  5. Watch what you click on. Beware email attachments from sources unfamiliar to you.
  6. Keep your antivirus software current and working.
  7. Be on guard for any contact you didn’t initiate, be it a phone call, text message or email. Reach out directly in a separate email, text or phone call to your trusted sources to confirm the validity of this unsolicited contact.
  8. Beware these scams:
    1. Romance Scams – Someone online is interested in you but has every excuse about why they can’t meet in person, then they ask for money.
    2. Overpayment Scams – Someone is going to overpay you for some item you’re selling or renting and you’re supposed to refund them the difference. Only your refund will be legitimate funds.
    3. Phishing Scams – Scamsters email you from a seemingly legitimate company asking you to update your personal information or otherwise provide sensitive personal information like passwords, credit card numbers or even a social security number. Often, these scams have poor grammar or don’t look quite right in any number of ways.  When in doubt, separately contact your existing trusted contacts at the company to confirm the legitimacy of this phisherman.
    4. Unexpected prize. All you need to do to claim it is to pay a shipping charge or other fee.  Now the scammer has your money and probably your credit card info too.
    5. Ransomware Scam. If you make the mistake of clicking on something you shouldn’t have, the result is that a scammer could encrypt your data locking you out from your own files.  In exchange for a ransom, the scammer is supposed to restore your data, but this often doesn’t happen.  Some scammers skip the encryption part and just claim that they’ve copied or stolen your data.  These you can just ignore.
    6. Tech Support Scam. Once again, if you innocently import malware by clicking something you shouldn’t, you may get pop up ads from tech support companies warning you that you have a serious computer problem that the tech support scammer wants to fix.

The best solution is to maintain a certain degree of cynicism.  Assume any unfamiliar contacts are from someone trying to steal from you!

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How to Stay Healthy While Working Remote

Working remote is the thing.  There’s nothing like rolling out of bed and pounding out a day’s work while still in your pajamas.  No office politics, no commute, no dry-cleaning bill, what could go wrong?

Just a few things.  Your routine is completely disrupted.  There’s a certain discipline about showing up to work every day and looking sharp.  When do you go to the gym?  On your way home from work, or on the way there.  Now you don’t go to work, so you don’t go to the gym.  And wasn’t it closed anyway for Covid?  So you got out of the habit.

And you got into the habit of snacking all day because you’re home all day and the food is right there.  Don’t even go near the scale.

This may not turn out the way you wanted.  Let’s make a plan so your remote work doesn’t spiral into a disaster.

  1. Keep moving. You just saved all that commute time.  That makes for a new time window for exercise that you may not have had before.  Since people can’t see you while you’re working, you could be on a treadmill while you work.  Or sitting on one of those exercise balls instead of a chair.  Not all day, but once in a while.  Which leads to….
  2. Turn off your camera. If you’re on a video call, maybe they don’t need to see you and you keep moving while you’re on that call.
  3. Find a buddy. If you need a little encouragement to get out for a walk in January, connect with a like-minded buddy.
  4. Get out of Dodge. Or at least get out of your living room.  Get dressed, go out and join the real world before moss starts to grow on you.
  5. Think of food as fuel. Watch the snacking.  Be deliberate.  Perhaps set aside hours where snacking is not allowed.  Place barriers between you and the food.  Maybe those barriers are psychological but they could be physical too.  But the good stuff on a high shelf so it’s inconvenient to access so you won’t just grab something as you walk past.
  6. Escape when necessary. Maybe your spouse is working from home.  Maybe that’s great, but maybe it isn’t.  If it’s getting a little crowded, alter your schedule.  Be an early riser getting up ahead of everyone else so you can have the house to yourself while everyone else is still sleeping.  Or become a night owl if everyone is already an early riser.
  7. Get out of your pajamas. It’s hard to feel like a super-power when you look like a slouch.  Get dressed enough so that you’re ready to go out spontaneously.  It doesn’t have to be what you wore to the office, but it should be something that if you decided to go grocery shopping, you wouldn’t have to change clothes first.
  8. Be in tune to yourself. This list is designed to get you thinking.  Remote work can be a blessing, but there are pitfalls.  Those pitfalls could be unique to you.  We may have hit upon some potential problems but missed others.  Be thoughtful and deliberate about how you conduct your remote work and don’t allow bad habits to develop.

Need a little space for your home office?  Consider Catalina Crossing in Madison.

09 11 2023 Remote Work - How to Stay Healthy While Working RemotePhoto by pexels

A Better Solution for High Rents – Rent Control Hurts Those It Meant to Help

In cities like Milwaukee, landlords are making inflation worse by jacking up rents. This is the charge leveled by Chris Krco, Community Land Trust founder and president of Housing for All. Mr. Krco went on to prescribe rent control as the remedy.

By why stop there? If rent control is a good idea, why not gas control and grocery control? Since Mr. Krco correctly attributed housing as a prime driver of inflation and since two thirds of all households live in a home they own, why not regulate and limit the sale prices of single-family homes? We are just a few laws aware from an affordable utopia!

Obviously, should such regulations be implemented, immediate shortages would result and homeowners would revolt. Instead of cheap gas and groceries, there would be no gas and groceries.

Mr. Krco claims without evidence that the negative effects of rent control are exaggerated and that jurisdictions with strict rent controls have extremely high-quality housing. Minimal common sense and even a cursory glance at the facts proves otherwise.

St. Paul voted rent control into existence last November, capping rent increases to 3% annually. Building permits plummeted 82% by January 2022 compared to the same period the prior year. In Minneapolis, where rent controls do not constrain development, building permits increased 68%.

Rapid inflation in rents is caused by demand outstripping supply of rental housing. Rent control makes an existing housing shortage worse. Further, it hurts the very populations it was intended to help. Landlords qualify tenants based on things like income and credit score. When market disruptors like rent control are introduced, tenant competition for what little housing remains heats up. Landlords can raise the standards for qualifying, resulting in less affluent income groups or individuals with lower credit scores being crowded out in favor of higher income applicants with higher credit scores.

There is a better way. Since rents increase in response to demand outpacing supply, increase the supply of rental housing. Here are three ways to do that.

  1. Nationalize the building codes. Imagine what it would cost to manufacture cars if every municipality had a say in their design and safety features, but this is how we regulate housing construction. Instead, establish national standards. Yes, there will have to be variations to account for differences in climate, but those solutions should be regional, not local.
  2. Turn the approval process upside down. Today, it can take longer to achieve permission to build than the time in construction. Turn this process around. If certain national, easily understood requirements are met, developers may proceed with construction. Local authorities will still have a say in what gets built in their communities, but they will have to be more creative. Local governments could grant tax incremental financing (TIF) subsidies to desired projects and withhold the same from those developments deemed not as desirable, placing them at a competitive disadvantage.
  3. Subsidize development. In addition to TIF subsidies, tax credits are already available for developers willing to construct income restricted rentals. Make existing credits more lucrative and extend the standard subsidy to market rate housing.

None of these subsidies will soak taxpayers. TIF subsidies are a forgiveness of future tax revenues that never would have materialized had there not been new development. Tax credits that spur more development are a sound investment. Nothing jump-starts economic activity like more construction. Increased economic activity will generate higher tax revenues. Once rents stabilize, the tax credit subsidies can be withdrawn.


08 21 2023 High Rent - A Better Solution for High Rents - Rent Control Hurts Those It Meant to Help

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Tips for Redecorating and Reorganizing Your Rental

Redecorating and reorganizing your rental is a great way to make it feel more like home. Whether you’re looking to create a cozy atmosphere or maximize storage space, there are plenty of things you can do to spruce up your living space. In this article, Marjorie Jones from shares some tips for redecorating and reorganizing your rental.

Rearrange the Furniture

One of the easiest ways to give your rental a new look is by rearranging the furniture. MYMOVE notes that moving furniture around can make a room look bigger or smaller, depending on what you’re going for. Try switching things up and seeing how it looks with different configurations. You might be surprised at how much of a difference this simple change can make.

Utilize Bookshelves and Closets

If you’re struggling with storage space, consider utilizing bookshelves and closets as much as possible. This can help you keep your living space looking neat and organized without taking up too much floor space. Utilizing wall-mounted shelves for extra storage is also a good option if you don’t want to take up too much of your rental’s precious square footage. Invest in some attractive storage containers or baskets to keep everything organized. This will not only help you stay organized but also make your rental feel more spacious.

Invest in Multifunctional Furniture

If you’re renting a property, but still want your space to feel like home, investing in multifunctional furniture is key. Not only does multifunctional furniture look great and save you space, it can also save you some cash!

Multifunctional pieces are designed to do more than one job – think bed frames with drawers, storage ottomans that double as seating, coffee tables with cupboards beneath them – whatever meets your needs and fits in the rental space. With some savvy shopping and smart decision-making, you can make even the most limited rental space look chic and feel comfortable.

Hang Curtains or Add Blinds

Adding curtains or blinds can completely transform a room’s look and feel. Not only does it add a touch of style, but it can also help control the light in the room. This is especially important if you live in a rental with lots of windows that let in too much sunlight during certain times of day. Consider opting for sheer curtains if you want to let natural light into your home while still maintaining privacy.

Use Throw Pillows, Rugs, and Other Decor

Transforming your rental into a haven without making any permanent renovations is possible if you know what to focus on. Throw pillows, rugs, and other decor can be used to make a huge difference in the look and feel of your rental. When shopping for items like a sustainably-stylish lumbar pillow, look for colors that can easily blend with the existing hue of your walls or curtains.

A rug that adds warmth will instantly separate one area from another while beautifully tying the entire space together. Pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so they’re perfect for creating clusters around seating areas or brightening up a corner sofa. If you’re feeling creative, you may even want to try adding wall decor such as stickers, canvases, and vases filled with fresh blooms for extra appeal.

Add Plants

Adding plants to your living space is another popular option. They can liven up any room, while also bringing in additional oxygen and cleaning the air. Greenery has many health benefits such as improved air quality and stress relief, so it’s worth looking into even if you’re new to caring for plants.

However, if you’re new to greenery, Home Garden Hero has several tips on how to take care of your plants. Adding plants to your rental doesn’t have to take a ton of effort, so anyone can enjoy their very own green space.

Redecorating and reorganizing your rental doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. By redecorating your home office, rearranging your furniture, adding indoor plants, and more, you can easily transform your living space into something that feels like home without breaking the bank. So go ahead – start planning out how you want to decorate and organize your living space today.

Decker Properties owns and manages hundreds of apartments throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Contact us today to learn more! 262-785-0840

07 31 2023 Decorate Rental - Tips for Redecorating and Reorganizing Your Rental

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