The Renter's Bent New to self storage and looking for solutions? Curious about this relatively modern trend in American life? Want to know what motivates the StorageFront team? StorageFront's blog is a helpful mix of tips and tales for renters, conjured up by our own diverse team of writers. Wed, 24 May 2017 16:00:29 +0000 en hourly 1 20 Tips for Moving Cross Country Wed, 24 May 2017 16:00:29 +0000 Krista Diamond Moving is stressful. Moving 2,000 miles? Now that’s stressful multiplied by, well, 2,000. Packing up your stuff and hauling it across the country can often feel like a road trip without any of the fun. You’ve got to think about fitting everything into your car or moving truck. You’ve got to pay for gas, food and hotel rooms. And every night you’ve got to fall asleep while trying not to think about how unsettling it is having all of your possessions sitting in a parking lot.

If you’re about to take on a cross country move, you can take comfort in knowing that it doesn’t have to be awful. In fact, it can even be fun. Here are 20 tips for cutting costs, staying safe, packing smart and enjoying the ride.

1. Get a lock for your moving truck and back into spots whenever possible. This prevents would-be thieves from breaking in.

2. Live out of one small suitcase full of essentials so that you don’t have to unpack any boxes to find stuff.

3. Sell or donate items that you’re not super attached to before you move. You’ll save space and have extra gas money.

4. If you’ve rented a large moving truck or are towing a moving trailer, download an RV GPS app to help you find routes that will accommodate any extra length and height.

5. Never let your gas go below a quarter of a tank (especially if you’re driving across I-70 through Utah).

6. If moving for work, ask to be reimbursed for moving expenses or at least save your receipts so that you can deduct them from your taxes.

7. If you’re a student or just a book lover, use media mail to send up to 70 pounds of books for an insanely cheap price.

8. Consider getting a cargo carrier for the top of your car.

9. If your moving time is flexible, move during the summer and save money by camping instead of staying in hotels.

10. Keep a detailed inventory of what is in each box. You’ll thank yourself when it’s time to unpack.

11. Pack valuable items in hard to reach spaces, like the back of the trunk or moving truck. Label boxes containing valuable items with something innocuous (i.e. “towels” instead of “box o’ diamonds”). Always evaluate what is visible in your parked car to passersby.

12. Fact: Small trailers are typically cheaper than moving trucks.

13. Consider moving the big items by using PODS. This is a small shipping container that is delivered to you. You fill it and then PODS delivers it to your new home or to a storage facility in your new hometown.

14. If you have large items that aren’t heavy, ship with Amtrak Express Shipping. They charge by weight, not volume. This is a great way to ship a bike if you don’t have a bike mount on your car.

15. Traveling with your fur baby? Be aware of pet friendly hotel chains like La Quinta, (up to two pets are allowed per room and there are no fees).

16. Pack one box of things you’ll need right away in your new home. This should include essentials like something to eat off of, toilet paper and a towel.

17. Think vertical and horizontal when packing your moving truck. Pack the heavy stuff at the bottom and work your way all the way to the top. Leave as little room as possible so that items won’t shift around and break.

18. Get free moving boxes from your local liquor store—along with a bottle of bubbly to pop when you arrive!

19. Learn how to rent an apartment sight unseen so that you’re actually happy about your new home when you get to it.

20. Most importantly, pick a few things to see along the way, whether they’re crazy roadside attractions, cities you’ve always wanted to visit or friends you haven’t seen in awhile. Enjoy the journey. You’ll be home before you know it.

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How to Use Online Reviews to Find Self Storage Tue, 23 May 2017 16:00:41 +0000 Krista Diamond According to the Self Storage Association, there are more than 52,000 storage facilities across the US. That’s approximately 2.86 million units! So with all of those choices, how do you find the one that’s right for you?

Your first move is probably to search for the storage facilities that are closest to you. Go ahead; we’ll wait. Did that search yield way too many options? If your next instinct is to narrow it down by looking at reviews on Google or Yelp, here’s how to weed through the various rants and raves and use that information to find the perfect storage facility.

Look in More Than One Place

There are a ton of review sites out there, so be sure to check out all of them. That includes Yelp, Google and the storage facility’s Facebook page. This is the best way to find recent reviews, so be sure to check the dates when scrolling through. A review from five months ago is way more relevant than a review from five years ago.

Take Negative Reviews with a Grain of Salt

People are more inclined to take the time to review storage facilities if they’re really fired up. Occasionally, that’s the result of a very positive experience, but more often than not, that’s the result of a negative experience. While you should definitely take the time to read the words of unhappy customers, be wary of certain reviews. If the review is written by someone who never actually rented a unit at the storage facility, had their unit auctioned off due to inability to pay rent or is using discriminatory language in their review, disregard it.

Look for Responses and Updated Reviews

It’s always a good sign when you see the manager of a storage facility responding to reviews. Ideally, you’ll see the manager thanking customers who left positive reviews and apologizing to (and offering to further assist) customers who left negative reviews. Another promising sign is a number of updated reviews that demonstrate the storage facility’s ability to address and fix problems. On the other hand,  if the storage facility’s manager is responding to negative reviews in a manner that’s unprofessional, stay away.

Be Wary of Fake Reviews

Unfortunately, some businesses hire people to write glowing reviews in order to trick savvy consumers like you. Fortunately, these same businesses are rarely smart enough to do a convincing job of it. Here are just a few of the many, many ways to spot a fake review:

  • Multiple reviews use the same key phrases (and those key phrases sound a lot like ad copy).

  • You click on the reviewer’s Yelp profile and notice that they only write extremely glowing reviews for businesses.

  • The reviewer knows way too much about self storage and is listing features and amenities from the facility’s website.

  • You see multiple reviews with similar themes posted within hours of each other.

In addition to trusting your gut when reading self storage reviews, you can use Fakespot to analyze the facility’s Yelp page for you.

Identify a Theme

After reading Yelp, Google and Facebook reviews, you’ll probably notice a trend in reviews. Sometimes that will be a positive trend, other times it will be a negative one. Either way, be aware of it. Pay attention to things like a specific person on staff being mentioned either for great customer service or terrible customer service as well as recurring praise of the facility or reoccurring problems. Are there five different reviews from people complaining about their storage units being broken into? Stay away. Are there five different reviews from people complimenting the storage facility’s awesome employees? Go ahead and book a storage unit.

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15 Ways to Feel Safe When Living Alone Mon, 22 May 2017 22:00:39 +0000 Krista Diamond Is there anything more grown-up than renting your very own apartment? You can decorate however you want, you can dance around in your underwear and you never have to worry about roommates stealing your food. It’s total paradise.

Or at least it is until the sun goes down. Come nightfall, those footsteps on the sidewalk outside sound like they’re headed for your door and that shadowy figure in the yard looks a lot like the first five minutes of every 90’s horror movie. Maybe living alone is actually terrifying.

But don’t put up the roommate ad quite yet. Instead, refer to this list of 15 ways to feel safe when living alone. Institute even just a few of these smart apartment renter practices and you’ll sleep soundly again.

1. Get Nextdoor, a free social network for your neighborhood that allows people in your zip code to share information about suspicious activity and local crime as well as general news about what’s going on in the community.

2. Practice the real life version of Nextdoor: getting to know your neighbors in person. If you and your neighbors know each other (even just by face) you can have each other’s backs.

3. Get an apartment security camera that connects to your smartphone. Simplisafe is a great option for renters because the installation doesn’t require any drilling, plus there’s no contract.

4. Get a dog. Few things send would-be criminals running like the deep bark of a dog. Besides acting as a security system, the company of a dog will put you at ease when you’re feeling paranoid for no reason.

5. Avoid posting overly personal information on social media. That includes pictures where your apartment building or address is clearly visible and posts containing details about when you’ll be out of town.

6. Don’t answer the door when strangers knock. The guy knocking on your door offering a carpet cleaning service might actually be trying to see if you have anything worth stealing. Instead of answering, respond firmly that you’re not interested. It’s important to let them know that you’re home without letting them in.

7. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. If something seems off, trust your gut. Call your apartment complex’s security number or your police department’s non-emergency number. If you’re really freaked out, it’s okay to call 911.

8. Close your blinds at night. Leaving your blinds open at night when you have the lights on is basically advertising what’s inside your apartment to anyone who walks by. Close them and burglars won’t be interested.

9. Don’t hide your extra key under the doormat. Instead, leave it with someone you trust or in a place (like your desk at work) where you can access it. Ditch the fake rock key hider thing too.

10. Get in touch with a neighborhood watch group. Ask about what kinds of crime typically affect the area and consider getting involved in the group’s efforts. You can also check out websites like CrimeReports and CrimeMapping. But don’t spend too much time on these websites. Sometimes they instill more fear than safety.

11. Secure your doors and windows. Ask your landlord if he’ll install a deadbolt or if he’s okay with you doing so. Get a window alarm like Doberman, which is a renter-friendly adhesive alarm that sounds when your windows are broken.

12. Keep valuables out of sight. Don’t leave your laptop sitting on your desk when you leave your apartment. Keep it tucked away instead. For the truly irreplaceable stuff, like family heirlooms, consider renting a storage unit.

13. If you live in a smaller apartment complex, be aware of your neighbor’s vehicles. Take note if you see a car that looks out of the ordinary.

14. Identify places in your apartment that aren’t secure. Look for things like torn window screens or loose doorknobs and notify your landlord ASAP.

15. Remember, if you ever feel totally unsafe in your apartment due to the apartment being unsecured, you can break your lease. If your apartment is technically considered unlivable due to security concerns (broken gates, broken locks or gang activity on property), it’s your right to move out.

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Funny Fridays: Baggage by Kelly Kamowski Fri, 19 May 2017 17:03:29 +0000 GuestBlogger Baggage Funny Fridays: Baggage by Kelly Kamowski

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The Most Common Study Abroad Packing Mistakes (And What to Do Instead) Thu, 18 May 2017 22:00:23 +0000 Krista Diamond Somewhere in between getting accepted into a study abroad program and actually setting foot in a foreign country it hits you: You have to fit your entire life into a suitcase. Packing for a semester or summer abroad can be daunting. You don’t want to pack too much for what might turn out to be an even smaller dorm than the one you’re used to. And you definitely don’t want to forget something essential, like an important travel document or favorite piece of clothing.

If you’ve already read all of the lists of things that you should do when packing to study abroad and you’re still stumped, consider a what not to do approach. Here are 10 common mistakes that college students make when packing abroad and what to do instead.

1. Leaving Your Appliances At Home Because You Assume They’re Not Compatible

Before you start packing, find out if you’re actually going to need an appliance adapter. Most European outlets aren’t designed to fit American devices, but some regions may be compatible. If you’re traveling somewhere that requires appliance adaptors, buy one (or two, or three, or four) before you go and bring your gadgets with you.

2. Bringing Only One Kind of Currency

Some countries are happy to accept US dollars, but that’s not always the case. In addition to bringing cash, bring a credit card and a debit card. Most places accept plastic and you might not be able to exchange your US dollars right away.

3. Not Bringing Enough ID

Err on the side of bringing too much identification. This includes your passport, student visa, driver’s license, college ID (yep, you can still score discounts abroad), health insurance card and copies of your social security card and birth certificate. Pro tip: Make copies of all documents. It’s way easier to replace a lost or stolen passport if you have a photocopy of it.

4. Packing Too Many Liquids

Liquids are a major packing liability. They add weight to your suitcase and they put you in danger of a dreaded shampoo explosion disaster. Don’t pack liquids like shampoo, laundry detergent, soap and sunscreen if you know you’ll be able to get them abroad. That being said, if there’s a toiletry you can’t get in the country you’re headed to, bring it. Just be sure to prevent spillage by placing a piece plastic wrap beneath the cap.

5. Overpacking

Here’s two reasons to become a light packer: 1) Overweight baggage fees (seriously, these can cost you hundreds) and 2) You’re going to want extra space for all of the cool stuff you’re going to buy abroad. Leave space for souvenirs!

6. Making Assumptions About the Weather

Whether you’re spending a summer on the sunny coast of Italy or a fall semester in rainy London, pack for unexpected weather patterns. A pair of shorts, long pants, a rain jacket and a warm sweater are essentials for any study abroad destination.

7. Folding Instead of Rolling

Are you seriously still folding your clothes instead of rolling them? Break this habit ASAP and gaze in wonder at how much space this technique saves. You can also get compression roll-up storage bags for even more space. Just be sure to get the ones that don’t require a vacuum.

8. Not Packing Comfortable Shoes

You might be a public transportation aficionado at home, but plan on doing tons of walking abroad. A sensible pair of shoes is critical. We’re not talking about the ballet flats you keep in your purse for those nights when your high heels are killing you. We’re talking actual comfortable walking shoes. Invest in a good pair and pack them with you.

9. Forgetting a Day Pack

You shouldn’t have to lug your suitcase all around France! Bring a daypack like a small backpack or crossbody bag for spontaneous adventure.

10. Leaving Your Belongings With People You Don’t Trust

You can’t take everything with you, so that means leaving some stuff behind. Leaving your belongings with your friends or whoever’s subletting your apartment might seem like the most economical solution, but it can cost you in the long run. You won’t be able to control who has access to your things if they’re laying around during a party, and you might found out that your subletter is actually kind of sketchy. Rent a storage unit and enjoy peace of mind—and not to mention climate control, online bill pay and month-to-month leases—instead.

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How to Store Pool Supplies Wed, 17 May 2017 16:00:52 +0000 Jon Fesmire Having a pool is wonderful, but it also comes with big responsibilities. These include encouraging a safe environment, keeping the pool clean, and keeping pool equipment clean. For the purposes of this article, we’ll cover cleaning pool toys and storing pool supplies correctly.


In the summer, you’ll use your pool often. When swim time ends, make sure all toys get removed from the pool. That goes for innertubes, pool noodles, and the everything else. Dry them off with an absorbent towel and put them away until next time. If the sun is still out, you may want to leave them by the side of the pool to dry under the heat as well, but be sure to put them away when the sun goes down.

As long as the toys are dry, you may want to simply put them in your home or garage. However, we’ll go over some other options shortly.


When winter comes, and you’re ready to cover your pool for the season, make sure your pool equipment is clean and very dry before storing it. Depending on the weather where you live, you may spend some time swimming during the winter, or the pool may be frozen over. One option for storing your pool gear over winter is to put it into your self storage unit.

Cleaning Pool Toys

Periodically over the warmer seasons, and once at the start of winter, clean and dry your pool toys well. Mold and mildew like to grow on damp pool equipment, as well as in dark spaces.

Fortunately, cleaning pool toys is easy. You’ll need liquid bleach, a cleaning bucket, sponges with one rough side, and baking soda.

To make a cleaning solution, mix one tablespoon of bleach per one gallon of water. Let smaller items, like arm floaties, pool weights, and the like float or sink into the cleaning solution for a few minutes. Next, remove them, dunk a sponge into the bucket, and rub down the toys well. This should kill any mold or mildew. For larger items, such as pool noodles or inner tubes, wet a sponge and rub the item down. Next, dry them thoroughly with a dry, absorbent towel.

For items with already visible mildew or mold, or that are especially dirty, apply baking soda to a moist sponge and vigorously scrub the affected areas. Then, clean them with the bleach/water solution and dry them completely.

Storage Bench

One great way to store your pool toys is in an outdoor storage bench. These benches are nice for relaxing poolside and they have space inside for storing outdoor items. What’s more, they’re generally made to breathe, so any moisture you didn’t manage to get off items has a chance to evaporate and escape. A storage bench isn’t ideal for pool cleaning machines and supplies, so you would need to store those elsewhere, such as the garage, to take out when you need them.

Garden Shed

If you want to store many pool toys, pool cleaning equipment, and even some extra towels in one place, consider getting a garden shed. These come in many sizes, but for pool storage needs, look at those on the small side. You can set one up against the side of your house by the pool, and this will make it easy to grab whatever pool toys you want to play with before hopping in for a swim.

Equipment Carriers

These are great if you plan to simply bring your dried pool toys into the house, garage, or to put them in a self storage unit over the winter. Equipment carriers for pool toys are essentially cages on wheels. They’ll keep your pool toys together and safe, so they won’t get scattered about a storage unit. The toys will also be able to breathe and lose any extra moisture that may be left on them.

Climate Control

Finally, if you do decide to store your pool toys in a self storage unit, consider getting one with climate control. Both freezing, dry weather, and hot, humid weather, can cause damage to pool supplies. If you happen to have your items in storage over the summer, even if you cleaned and dried them well, in a non-climate controlled unit, they can become damp from the humidity and grow mold. Many pool toys will likely be all right in freezing weather, but those made of rubber can crack. Climate control keeps the temperature and humidity in a unit at moderate, safe levels.

Following these instructions will help you, your kids, and your guests, have safe, literally clean, fun in your pool all summer long!

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7 Cities to Move to If Safety is Your #1 Priority Tue, 16 May 2017 16:00:11 +0000 Jon Fesmire If your family is moving, safety is likely at the top of your list of concerns when choosing a place to live. Safe cities include places where it’s common knowledge that crime is lower than average, but do a little digging and you’re bound to find some gems that few know about as well. On this list, you’ll find the familiar and you’ll learn of a few new safe cities to consider moving to.

This list takes into consideration low crime rates, school systems and activities available. Hopefully, you’ll either find somewhere you want to live, or you’ll get a better idea of what you want to look for in a new city.

Naperville, Illinois

Naperville is one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S., so it’s no wonder it belongs at the top of this list. It has a population of about 150,000. Naturally, cost of living is higher than most of the U.S., and the average annual income in Naperville is about $58,000. The average two-bedroom apartment rents for about $1,500. The crime index, on which 1 is the worst crime and 100 is the least, scores an amazing 61 in Naperville, with a violent crime rate of 0.087% (per 100 residents, that is) and property crime rate of 1.14%.

Naperville has places to bike, a gorgeous outdoor concert center, a living history museum called Naper Settlement, and much more.

Sunnyvale, California

With a crime index of 45 to reflect its violent crime rate of 0.106% and property crime rate of 1.57%, Sunnyvale is another safe place you could call home. It’s in a prime real estate area within Silicon Valley, so you can expect rent to be high. The average one-bedroom home rents for about $1,600, the average two-bedroom for about $2,000. However, if you’re in the right line of work, expect to make a good salary. Average yearly income in Sunnyvale is about $88,100.

Great! Schools gives Sunnyvale K-12 schools an average rating of 8 out of 10. If you’re interested in sending your kids to private schools, the city also has plenty.

Irvine, California

In southern Orange County, California, is the  thriving, business-oriented city of Irvine. It’s home to the major game company, Blizzard, and just happens to be the home of StorageFront as well.

Irvine is clean and spacious despite its population of about 260,000, and has an overall crime index rating of 43. The rate of violent crime is just 0.065% and property crime rate is 1.69%. Cost of living is high, with the average two bedroom place costing about $2,150 per month. Irvine schools get high ratings, and if students wish to they can get a great college education in the city as well at schools like California Southern University and UC Irvine.

Thousand Oaks, California

Near Simi Valley you’ll find Thousand Oaks, California. This city has a crime index of 56, reflecting its violent crime rate of just 0.1%, and property crime rate of 1.2%. It has a population of about 130,000, and the average annual income is about $50,500. A two bedroom apartment rents for about $2,025 per month. Thousand Oaks is in the Conseco Valley School District, which also has highly rated K-12 schools.

There’s lots to do in Thousand Oaks as well, from activities at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center to seeing concerts and more at the Civic Arts Plaza.

Provo, Utah

On the eastern shore of Utah Lake is the city of Provo, with a crime index of 30, reflecting its low violent crime rate of 0.13% and property crime rate of 2.17%.

One fantastic thing about Provo is that rental prices are surprisingly low. The average two-bedroom place rents for just $680 per month. Even in the Provo-Orem metro area, it’s just about $790 per month. Alas, Provo schools don’t rate as highly as others on this list, but that’s all the more reason for parents to get involved.

Fortunately, there’s a lot to do in Provo. If you like museums, you can visit The Soap Factory, BYU Arts, or Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. If you love the outdoors, go on a hike to Bridal Veil Falls or spend time in the parks in Provo Canyon.

Round Rock, Texas

Round Rock has a crime index of 35, reflecting a 0.13% violent crime rate and 1.9 percent property crime rate. It has a population of about 125,000. A two-bedroom apartment will run you about $1,325 per month, and the average annual income is about $50,000 per month. School ratings are all over the map, from 3 out of 10 to 10 out of 10, so pick where you move wisely.

In Downtown Round Rock, you’ll find outdoor music, called Music on Main, every Wednesday, and other family events every month.

Sugar Land, TX

Sugar Land has an excellent crime index of 41, with violent crimes at 0.095% and property crimes at 1.73%. This city has a population of about 89,000, and is an expensive place to live for Texas, though less expensive compared to pricy areas in the rest of the country. Annual income is about $51,500, and a two-bedroom apartment rents for about $1,325 per month. The city’s schools get an average rating of 8 out of 10 from Great! Schools.

Sugar Land has plenty of parks and trails, youth programs, adult sports leagues, and more to meet your activity needs and desires.

Now that you know some of the safest cities in the U.S., it’s time to take your research further on the cities that interest you most. Best of luck finding a wonderful, safe home for you and your family!

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How to Make a Studio Apartment Feel Bigger Mon, 15 May 2017 22:00:51 +0000 Jon Fesmire Do you live in a studio apartment? For some of us, doing so is a temporary solution, perhaps while living as a student or first moving to a new town. Others love living in small spaces. Whichever you are, you no doubt want your small place to feel like home.

Fortunately, there are some tricks to making a studio apartment seem larger. These ideas should help you make the most of your space.

  • Embrace Minimalism – In a larger home, you can keep all your belongings, even things you rarely use. In a studio apartment, keeping fewer possessions means having more space. While living in a small apartment, consider getting a self storage unit to keep your other belongings safe.

  • Arrangement – This one can be tricky. Consider different ways to arrange your furniture in the apartment and choose one that gives a sense of more space. This could be as simple as having your bed against two walls rather than one. Keeping the entrance to your home clear will also help. When you enter, the sense of openness at the entrance will stick with you.

  • Vertical Space – Studio apartments are limited when it comes to floor space, but you may have a good deal of wall space. That’s perfect for taller shelves to hold a variety of items. Hanging shelves can also help by keeping the floor clear and drawing the eye higher.

  • Hiding Furniture – Does your bed seem to take up too much space in a small apartment? Consider getting a couch with a hideaway bed, which will give you a place to sit during the day and sleep comfortably at night. A good futon will serve the same purpose. A fold-out wall table can keep valuable kitchen space free, becoming part of the wall until you need it.

  • Clean – Clean your place daily. Make sure clutter is gone, and everything is put in its place. This will go a long way toward making your place seem more spacious.

  • Coordinate Colors – When possible, keep the colors in your place within a narrow palate. Disparate colors can break up the space visually, giving the impression of less room. Similar colors—particularly light ones—will add to the sense of continuity and therefore add space.

  • Lighting – While your apartment may come with lights in the center of the ceiling (some don’t), having a few extra lights in every room helps. Consider wall-mounted lighting high up, or keeping a lamp on your desk and one on your bedside table. During the day, open the shades for awhile.

  • Mirrors – Full body mirrors that attach to the wall can create the illusion of space. Consider putting them on the wall where you have extra room. Don’t use full body floor mirrors, however, as these will take up actual space. Wall-hung mirrors will, instead, seem to create rooms beyond.

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Funny Fridays: University Storage Fri, 12 May 2017 15:58:10 +0000 GuestBlogger Student Storage Funny Fridays: University Storage

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6 Popular U.S. Cities for Artists Thu, 11 May 2017 16:00:07 +0000 Jon Fesmire Do you live in an area where art of all sorts—painting, sculpture, writing, acting, and music—seem under-appreciated? Do you long to live in an area with museums, performance venues, and other artists?

Consider these six great American cities, where with a little effort you’re bound to find like-minded people and even jobs in artistic fields.

Portland, OR

The writing and literature scene is big in Portland, and the city has a ton of small-press publishers, including Hawthorne Books, which publishes novels, books of local interest, and more; Oakstone, which publishes medical books, and Eraserhead Press, which publishes bizarro fiction, possibly the strangest genre you’ll ever encounter.

It’s also a great place for visual artists, such as painters and photographers. You’ll find lots of museums, like the Portland Art Museum (PAM) and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Actors may wish to audition for Broadway shows at the Portland Theater or Portland’5.

The job market is great for creative types look for work as copywriters, photographers, and graphic designers. Median rent hovers around $1,700.

Cincinnati, OH

You’ll know that Cincinnati is an art city the moment you take a step downtown, where you’ll find loads of public art on display.

Consider taking part in Learning Through Art, either as a student or a teacher, and get involved with the community. Cincinnati is also home of the School for Creative & Performing Arts. This is a K-12 public school where artists may want to send their children.

As for shows, you’ll find the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Music Hall, and The Emery Theater, an enormous venue for shows and art exhibitions.

The cost of living in Cincinnati is low, with median rent being around $1,000. It’s also a good place for creative jobs for writers, television, art instruction, and more.

Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, home of music greats like Les Paul, Liberace, Violent Femmes, and Al Jarreau, has almost constant music entertainment, so whether you’re a music lover or a band looking for somewhere to perform, you’re bound to be happy.

Sadly, though Milwaukee still has a good art scene, it’s been shrinking, which may be as good a reason as any to move there and help bolster it. Join the Arts of Milwaukee organization, with its artist and writers groups, programs to connect with the community, and check out its event calendar to see what’s happening around the city.

Milwaukee has a variety of creative jobs in fields of writing, media, and design. Rent is also on the low side, averaging about $1,100.

Memphis, TN

Let’s start this with the surprisingly low rent. The median apartment rental price in Memphis is just $850 per month, and you can expect to find jobs in proposal writing, graphic design, and music education.

The city also has a thriving arts scene, with displays around the city and venues like Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art, and Dixon Gallery & Gardens.

Memphis, the “birthplace of rock & roll,”  is also full of music venues. These include B.B. King’s Blues Club and Hi-Tone Cafe. It has spawned musical greats like Isaac Hayes, Justin Timberlake, Lucero, and of course, B.B. King.

Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City has a huge underground arts scene. Literally underground. The Oklahoma City Underground consists of a large series of underground tunnels. One can traverse much of the city there, and many of the walls are lined with art exhibits.

Two major groups support art and artists in OKC. The Arts Council of Oklahoma City holds events featuring musicians and artist and holds the a yearly Festival of the Arts. Allied Arts provides art programs for schools.

If you love photography and want to rent out a great venue, there’s Photoart Studios. This is what it sounds like, a professional photo studio, but they also rent out event space. Or, stop by the popular Stoney LaRue Music House for dinner, cocktails, and live shows.

Median rent is about $1,150, and businesses often hire copywriters, photographers, and graphic designers.

Seattle, WA

Seattle is a seriously creative city. You probably already know it as a source of counterculture. It was the home of Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam, Judy Collins, and Alice in Chains. It should come as no surprise that there are plenty of musical venues, such as the Paramount Theater, The Triple Door, and Showbox Presents. There are plenty of places for your band to audition or gain inspiration.

If you’re a writer looking for support, you’ll find Seattle7Writers, a nonprofit group dedicated to supporting writing, reading, booksellers, libraries and librarians, and literacy. Many publishing companies make their home in Seattle, including Parkside Publications and Sasquatch Books.

For artists of all types looking for a place to meet, there’s Fantagraphics, a three-in-one art gallery, bookshop, and publisher. Also, consider getting involved with the Linda Hodges Gallery, which showcases sculptures and paintings.

Seattle is a beautiful place to live, and this is reflected in the cost of living. Median rent is about $1,900. The city does have many good jobs for creatives in fields like interactive Design, copywriting, and art.

The information in this article is meant to get you started becoming part of the artistic scene wherever you decide to live. We encourage you to do your own search for other artists, creative jobs and groups. In fact, do some searches for groups where you live now for good measure, and best of luck wherever you live!

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