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The Keys to Green Living in an Apartment Dwelling

2013-04-15 Green Living Tips - LIghtbulbs April 29, 2013 - PHOTOEveryone is talking about “going green.” But what does green living really mean to apartment dwellers? How can you live the “green” lifestyle and do your part to conserve energy? Here are a few tips for apartment dwellers to live green.

  1. Cut down on plastic bottle usage. By installing a water filter rather than stocking up on bottled water, you can save a great deal of space and plastic. Few people who purchased bottled water and sodas actually recycle and this adds to the growing waste problem. So if you do buy plastic, recycle, but consider getting a water filtration system instead.
  2. Unplug “power hogs.” Appliances such as televisions, large heaters, and other equipment use some energy, even if they are not turned on and being used at the time. Unplug high-use energy appliances when not in use to save resources for when they are needed most.
  3. Adjust your thermostat in high-demand months. Turning down the thermostat (air conditioner) in the summer months and the heat down in the winter can save a lot of energy. You don’t have to be uncomfortable. Just leave it at a reasonable temperature so that it will adjust to your surroundings without causing too much power consumption.
  4. Limit wash times and water consumption. Try to wash clothes at the same time every week rather than several times a week at different intervals. Check the settings on your washing machine to make sure water levels meet the requirements of your wash load. For example, don’t fill the water up completely if you have a small load.
  5. Cover windows. Lowering blinds and shades can cut down energy use substantially and keep the energy in. This keeps your apartment cooler in summer months, limiting the amount of time you have to run the air conditioner at high levels. And it keep the warmth in during winter months.
  6. Be literally “green” with fresh foliage and houseplants. Surround yourself with fresh green plants to replenish oxygen in the apartment and keep the air pure. It creates a healthy lifestyle for you and brightens up the atmosphere as well and promotes a positive mental perspective as well.

There’s no mystery to green living if you live in an apartment complex. It really involves just a few simple steps you can do to save energy, make your environment healthier, and contribute to a better way of life. We’re all in this together, and this includes apartment dwellers.

For more information on how you can live green, or if you would like more information on our apartments, contact us.


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Creative Ways to Maximize Storage Space in Apartment Rentals

iStock_000014814198XSmallOne of the down sides to living in apartment rentals is the fact that there often is not enough storage space available. Here are some things you can do to increase the amount of storage space you have, thereby helping yourself stay well organized.

Take advantage of every bit of space that’s available. Use hanging shoe bags for storing things on the back of doors, and consider placing your bed on risers so that you’ll have more room to store things underneath. You can also place shelves above doorways, or install hanging rods over top of one another in order to maximize your storage space.

Choose furniture that also includes some additional storage space. Coffee tables, end tables and ottomans can all provide space for storing, books, magazines and electronic media. A small microwave cart tucked into the corner of your kitchen can provide room for storing plastic containers or bakeware in.

Create additional cabinet space by adding a hanging rack for pots and pans to go on. Rather than placing your utensils in drawers, put them inside a decorative caddy where they’ll be easier to get to. You could also place a tension rod inside one of your cabinets to create a shelf for holding spices on. When it comes to storing canned goods, consider using soda dispensers in order to stack them neatly inside a pantry or deep cupboard.

Don’t forget to maximize your outdoor space by adding a vinyl locker or bench that contains room for storage underneath. Just be sure you keep them locked when they are not in use in order to prevent others from walking away with things.

You don’t have to do extensive remodeling in order to find the storage space you need. A little creativity will go a long way toward helping you make the best use possible of the space you do have. Contact us for help with finding your dream apartment.


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Budgeting for Your First Apartment

Budget words, American banknotes and calculator

Congratulations on getting your first full-time job. It’s time to say goodbye to the comforts of mom’s home and find your first apartment. Your buddies and your family have given you all kinds of furniture, cooking utensils, and dishes. So there’s no spending to fill your empty rooms. But you still need to budget for living expenses that you may not be familiar with.

It starts with the initial payment. To secure your place, you may need to pay the first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit. (The deposit is refunded to you if you leave the apartment in the condition you found it in.) The easiest way to find the actual amounts is to call your prospective apartment community and ask. Since the initial payment can cost a large chunk of change, stay at home until you’ve saved up enough money for it.

Next come the fixed monthly expenses. This includes rent, which is due on the same day every month, and services such as electricity. Your utilities can cost less than the average homeowner’s because some are typically included in the rent. Consider getting renter’s insurance as well to cover your possessions for damage or theft, and to shield you from liability. Your landlord’s insurance covers the building and grounds, but not anything you own. You typically want to spend no more than a quarter to a third of your income on your housing expenses.

Finally, there are variable expenses for food, clothing, healthcare, transportation, and entertainment. You can adjust these costs to fit your budget. Save as much as you can so you have a cushion for unexpected expenses or for larger purchases, such as a new car or a home.

For more information about renting your first apartment, or if you want to find a community that fits you, please contact us.


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Trends in Home Decor: Color of the Year

Modern Assorted Colored Rattan Sitting Room with Wooden Floors

Nothing adds freshness to your home decor like a pop of color, and if you like staying ahead of the trends than check out the color Radiant Orchid, recently named 2014 color of the year by Pantone Color Institute®.

For more than a decade, Pantone has been selecting a color of the year by exploring influences that range from vibrant art collections and popular culture to the latest technology and economic conditions. Executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, Leatrice Eiseman said, “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health.” Who wouldn’t want a space that feels that way? So, here are five simple ways to add Radiant Orchid into yourapartment home:

  • Toss a few throw pillows or a blanket on the couch in your living room or family room for a fun punch of color.
  • Add a small throw rug to your powder room or guest room. Chevron patterns continue to be a hot style for home decor and can be great for adding both color and pattern.
  • Fresh flowers in this springtime hue can make a dramatic statement on a dining table or in an entryway.
  • Put a small ottoman in your home office or family room.  It is an easy way to add color with less investment.
  • Towels and linens in fresh new colors can really brighten up a kitchen or bath area.

There are endless possibilities for using color to brighten your home. At Wood Partners, we thrive on offering apartments that you will love to call home. Contact us today for more information or to visit one of our communities!