Poolside Etiquette

Poolside EtiquetteA pool at the apartment complex is a huge luxury during hot summer days. But when the poolside is packed with people, after hour cleaning and maintenance can be difficult to keep up with. Do your part to keep the poolside as good as you found it by practicing good pool etiquette.

No Glass

Breakables, especially glass, should not be brought to the poolside. The poolside is one of the only public places people walk around without shoes. Broken glass at the poolside can close the pool for a few days for cleanup, and, worse, someone could get injured. Keep your fancy glassware inside when you go for a swim.

Clean Up

Sure, it’s nice to relax in the sun, eat some Cheetos, and take a quick swim. But you wouldn’t want to swim with that Cheetos bag floating in the water, would you? What about a somewhat empty McDonald’s shake? Probably not. Be sure you leave the poolside with everything you bring with you.

Limit Guests

It’s fun to swim with friends. But apartment pools are made specifically for the hundreds of residents that already live at the property. It’s okay to bring friends every once in a while, of course. But be courteous to your neighbors by limiting your guests.

Limit Noise

What do you think of when you think of relaxing at the poolside? You probably don’t think of people screaming “Marco!” “Polo!” in the pool. Or a loud country song that probably shouldn’t see the light of day in the first place. All this is to say, when you’re at the pool, try to limit your noise so people who are trying to relax in the open can do so.

Practicing good pool etiquette is an easy way to help keep the pool open all summer by limiting trash. It’s also a good way to connect with friends and neighbors without disturbing others. When you’re at the poolside this summer, be sure to practice good pool etiquette!

How to Create a Good Wi-Fi Network Name

wifi tipsMany apartments require tenants to use the property Wi-Fi provided service. Others let tenants choose their own service. Either way, many people have the capability of creating Wi-Fi hotspots with their mobile devices. Wi-Fi networks are virtually everywhere. A good Wi-Fi network name is an easy way to protect your network without spending money.

Many people will just connect to any Wi-Fi network that’s not password protected. Obviously, the first step in securing your network is requiring password authentication. This is standard on many routers already.

But one important step to deterring likely unwanted connections is to name your network something unappealing, intimidating, or unfamiliar. Variations of “Malware” and “Virus” are good choices, as they resemble the names of unwanted software typically used to hack computers.

Another way to go at this is to type a random string of characters as if the name is computer generated as in, “13d;j43fadoi.” This will give the appearance of a non-human element, making people think the network is a dubious one. “The Johnson Family” is way too nice of a name. It’ll attract attention and most people will think, “Oh, these people don’t really understand what they’re doing. I’ll just steal off their network.”

A sure-fire way to protect your network from strangers is to just make it “hidden.” That way, only people who actually know the name of the Wi-Fi network can find it. Whatever you do, take precautions. The cost of your Wi-Fi network is usually determined by how much you use it. And when you have strangers using your Wi-Fi, it can lead to many unwanted fees.

5 Topics to Discuss with a Potential Roommate

Topics to Discuss with Potential RoommateYou don’t really know people until you live with them. These five topics will help you determine, beforehand, whether a potential roommate will be a good fit for you.

Cleaning

Many people are okay, and sometimes don’t even notice, living in a mess they’ve made themselves. Dishes could be stacked to the ceiling, the floors unswept for days. But you won’t notice at all if you’re never home or if you play video games constantly. Living with another person can really open your eyes to some of your messiest habits. Ask your potential roommate what he/she thinks a clean home looks like.

Allergies

Do you spread peanut butter all over your countertop by using it as a plate for your peanut butter sandwich? Do you have cats? Now is the time to understand if your potential roommate has allergies and what kinds of changes in lifestyle it might entail for you.

Typical Schedule

If you work early hours, you probably won’t enjoy the company of a roommate who parties all night with Call of Duty. You probably won’t like his nightly guitar practices, either. Ask about your potential roommate’s typical week and weekend. You might be surprised. And, if you’re not, so much the better.

Visitors

Whether you are introverted and remain aloof for large portions of the day, or extroverted and enjoy the company of many people, the type of people you enjoy hanging out with might not be the type of people your potential roommate socializes with. Ask your potential roommate how often guests will stop by.

Sharing

Will you split the food bill? Will your Ramen be his Ramen? These are things you should decide beforehand. If you don’t want to share your things with your roommate, let that be known. But don’t wait until move-in day. Set expectations at your initial meeting.

5 Questions to Ask before Signing the Lease

questions to ask before signing the leaseWhen you’re apartment searching, don’t schedule visits without preparing some questions first. Here are five general questions to get you ready for your next visit.

Fees

Ask what costs are included in rent and what aren’t. Are utilities included? Water? What about a recycling option? It’s also useful to know how often rent increases and by what percentage. Some apartment complexes increase rent by a certain percentage every year. How will you access the internet? Does the property provide it or are there local options?

Guests

Is there a limitation to the amount of guests that can visit at once? Where can they park? Will they need parking permits? Friends and family are important. Get to know the policies so you won’t be in the dark when they visit.

Pets

What kind of pets are allowed? Are there limitations on breed or restrictions on weight? Must they be house trained before they’re allowed on the premises? Many properties won’t allow untrained pets. So it’s good to have an idea before you decide to go out and buy a puppy.

Repairs

How often are repairs taken care of? What is the normal procedure for submitting a repair request? How do you follow through on repair requests? Maybe once a year you might need to submit a repair request. You’ll rest easy knowing what that looks like.

Parking

You’ll have to park somewhere. Ask about whether the parking lot is generally full, when it’s the busiest, and if you’ll need a parking permit. That way, if the parking is scarce, you can plan ahead.

These questions should give you a general idea of whether the apartment is a good fit for you. But if any specific questions come to mind, don’t be afraid to ask. That’s what property managers are there for!

Move-out Day Cleaning

move out tipsEveryone wants to get the most back from their deposit. That’s what making the most of Move-out Day means. It means cleaning those areas you usually wouldn’t and doing maintenance on spots you’d usually let go. The following will help you get the most back from your deposit.

Carpet

This is a huge part of preparing your apartment for move-out. If you’ve ever lived on a laminate or hardwood floor, you know how much dirt you can track around your house. But when you have carpets, sometimes the dirt is hidden, especially if the carpet is thick.

If you haven’t used a carpet cleaner on your carpet yet, now is the time. You might be surprised how much dirt your carpet hides.

Damage

Light switch covers, doors knobs, drawer handles, door stops, blinds: all are commonly used or commonly damaged items in your apartment. If you wouldn’t like the state any of these are in when you move into your new apartment, then it’s probably a good idea for you to replace or fix them.

Small holes

If you don’t use adhesive strips to hang your pictures and posters, chances are your apartment is riddled with small nail holes. But this is an easy fix. Simply purchase a putty knife and spackle or wall joint compound. Spread the spackle or wall joint compound over the hole(s). When it dries, sand it to match the depth of the wall. Repeat if necessary.

 

Dog-Proof Your Apartment

dog proof your apartmentPreparing your apartment for a new dog is a lot like preparing it for a child. You’ll have to rethink how you organize, store, and use everyday products. Here are common ways people adjust their lifestyle for the new furry family member.

Locks

Lock all base cabinet doors: in the bathroom and the kitchen. Dogs are notorious for learning how to open cabinets. Everything you’d be horrified to see the new dog eat, expect it. It’s a good idea to put your trash in a closet or large pantry, according to the same reasoning. As long as it’s locked, you’ll have no need to worry.

Cords

Don’t be afraid to rearrange your furniture for the new family member. Placing couches and tables in front of outlets, at this point, isn’t a terrible idea. Although it’s less practical, it’s only temporary. Dogs can be anxious in new environments, causing them to do things they normally wouldn’t. Once you know your dog’s personality better, you’ll be able to move your things back how you like them. The most important thing, though, is giving your pet the chance to adjust to the new home.

Crates

The effectiveness of house training techniques varies from dog to dog. If you plan to use crates to train your dog, use it early and often. Most dogs respond better to training with crates when you begin immediately. Don’t let your dog sleep on the couch or bed and then use a crate. Then you’ll just irritate your dog. When used early, however, they are one of the best ways to deter dogs from using your lamp posts as fire hydrants.

Parties in Small Spaces

parties in small spacesWho doesn’t like seeing old and new friends gathered in the same place? Sometimes, this gathering may seem impossible because your lawn isn’t large enough, or your living room seems fit only for three or four people: not seven or eight. But there are ways to get around this mental, and sometimes physical, barrier. Here are some tips for having a get-together without leaving your small space.

Arrangement

We place couches, televisions, and tables around the living room based on how we usually want to live. For instance, the couch might be placed in front and center of the TV, because we want all attention on that new Netflix series. And the coffee table is placed directly in front of the couch, to hold our food and phones. That pretty much fills most of the open area in the average living room.

But think of a get-together as operating by different rules. The arrangement of your living room furniture should be different as well. Instead of arranging it based on your daily routine, open up the space. Maybe move that old recliner to your bedroom to open up the area. Just move it back after the party. And place that coffee table along the wall. Then you can use it to create a small buffet area.

Use Windows

Any gathering of people can make a small space hot. A cheap way to lower the room temperature without breaking the bank is by opening the windows. The cross breeze can easily cool the room without using electricity. Also, the added sunlight can brighten the party naturally, without the use of a million different lighting fixtures.

Kitchen Sink Cooler

Will there be a variety of drinks? Don’t worry about shoving them in the fridge you haven’t cleaned since last year. Prepare ice ahead of time and, once the party comes around, throw it all in the sink. It’s a quick and easy way to fit and cool all the drinks without making space in or cleaning out your fridge.

Get-togethers are a great way to keep in touch and have fun with your friends. Don’t let a small space cramp your party. Comment and let us know how you use small spaces for big events!

Celebrate the 4th at Your Apartment

4th of JulyWhen you think of the 4th, you think of fireworks. Firework explosions in the sky. A ridiculous amount of different colors. But you also think of the people you experience it with. Here are some ideas for having all the colors and lights, without the explosions.

Holiday Lights

Replace your sparklers and fireworks with holiday lights! This way, you’ll have all the colors without any of the noise. It also makes for a good setting to host people. And you won’t have to shout to talk.

Color-Coded Food

A fun way to bring in the red, white, and blue is to separate food offerings according to color. For instance, cut-up watermelons and strawberries are great for summer parties. And they look reddish. Marshmallows, sour cream and onion dip are white colored foods. Use blue tortilla chips and blueberries to represent blue. But there are plenty of other foods to use, at a low cost. Mix it up!

USA Clothing

That’s right. Wear the USA flag inspired T-shirt. And don’t forget the matching pants. Why not?

Invite Your Neighbors

This is a great way to get to know everyone! You don’t even have to throw the party in your apartment. Maybe there’s a grilling station, pergola, or community clubhouse your property managers might let the community use for this occasion.

Whatever you do, do it with other people. And celebrate!