How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Apartment

Whether or not you’re afraid of tiny critters, nobody wants to find an unwelcome little guest in your apartment. And it can be difficult to keep bugs away, so we’ve found a few ways to prevent bugs from settling in your home.

Check entrances

This means all entrances that bugs can use, not just the door that humans walk through. Make sure that all of your doors, windows, walls and pipes that tiny bugs use to access your home are sealed and have no cracks.

This is especially important if you live in an older place. If the windows frames are old, they often start to separate, leaving cracks. You should also check the weather strip at the base of your door to make sure it fills in the whole space. Add screens to windows and doors – especially if you ever leave them open – as an extra precaution.

Choose plants wisely

While most plants are bound to attract bugs, some attract more than others. Make sure that when you choose a plant, either indoor or outdoor plants, research it to make sure it isn’t appealing to insects. Avoid any type of shrubbery (they attract loads of bugs) and use a safe garden insecticide for extra insurance.

Take out the trash

Don’t let your trash overflow. If anything lands on the floor and isn’t cleaned up regularly, bugs will find it. Try to keep your trash cans clean, as well—wash them out every few weeks to make sure there isn’t anything left that will attract all the pests.

Diatomaceous earth

Don’t be afraid of the name – this is one of the best solutions for most bug problems. It’s a natural product that comes in the form of a white powder and is made from the remains of marine phytoplankton. It has a unique particle structure that’s rough and spiked and harmful to tiny bugs.

There are two kinds of diatomaceous earth – food grade and non-food grade. For the purpose of keeping bugs out, they work just the same. The best part about using food grade diatomaceous earth is that it’s safe for mammals. In fact, you can eat it and be just fine. If you have children or pets around, this is the safest solution for preventing a bug invasion.

Insecticide

Although you may not want to deal with a bad smell and weird chemicals, bug spray is such a popular solution for a reason – it works. If you’ve tried everything and had no success, you may have to resort to the method that stands the test of time. There are safer organic insecticides if you don’t want a strong chemical-based one.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Prevent Germs from Spreading in Your Apartment

Flu season is upon us once again. And kids – whose hand-washing skills are notably dubious – can be harbingers of doom to households that need to stay healthy.

How do you go about preventing sick kids from infecting the whole family? Read on for some tips on freezing your child’s cold dead in its disease-spreading tracks.

Vaccinate

girl getting flu shotgirl getting flu shot

If your child is in public school, then they’re already up-to-date on most vaccinations. But since flu shots aren’t mandatory, be smart and opt in. They’re “free” through many existing health insurance plans when you get them at your pediatrician’s office and often low-cost at supermarkets, pharmacies and other walk-in venues – where you won’t need an appointment and waits are short-to-nonexistent.

What’s more, some healthcare facilities offer the vaccine in a nasal spray form, which means needle-phobes can avoid anxiety while keeping illness at bay. While you’re at it, ensure everyone gets vaccinated. The best insurance against illness spreading germs in your home is an ounce of prevention.

Clean hands

child washing handschild washing hands

Sure, you’ve been telling them since they were old enough to understand, but hammer that message home. Even if your child is meticulous, the rest of the world, sadly, is not.

Germs spread like wildfire at schools and day care centers where kids share toys, crayons and restroom doorknobs. Get them in the habit of washing their hands and using the teacher’s economy-sized hand sanitizer regularly. Perhaps even get them a cute portable one they can loop onto their backpack zipper so it’s always at the ready.

Changing stations

baby changing tablebaby changing table

Do you have more than one child in diapers? If one is sick and the other isn’t, avoid germ spreading at the changing station by finding another place for one of them when it comes time to clean

Avoid sick kids and keep yours home

sick childsick child

It’s the bane of a working parent’s existence – the parent who still sends their runny-nosed child to Pre-K. It’s not just the height of inconsideration, it can be downright dangerous.

Per the CDC, kids who are vomiting, have sore throats, phlegmy coughs and fevers above 100 degrees should not be sent to school or daycare (or gymnastics, art class, karate or anywhere else)!

Disinfect and quarantine

disinfecting toysdisinfecting toys

Once your kid has a cold, try to prevent those germs from spreading by isolating as many of the germs as possible. Does the sick child have his or her own room? Try to contain the germs by keeping them there as much as possible, reducing the chances of toy, book, or – EW! – sippy cup sharing.

Wash their forks, dishes and tableware immediately and don’t forget doorknobs, handrails and table and counter surfaces. And if the kids have their own bathroom – let the healthy ones use yours until the worst of it has run its course.

If bathroom sharing is a must, keep that germ-killer handy and use it often. You’ll also want to do the laundry more often, washing clothes, sheets and blankets, and be sure to keep beloved stuffed toys quarantined, as well.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

What’s the Difference Between a Property Management Company and a Landlord?

When renting, the terms “Property Manager” and “Landlord” get used interchangeably. But, there are some distinguishing characteristics between the two.

We’ll tell you what they are below.

Property management companies

A property management company is an umbrella term for a person or company that manages both small and large-scale operations of a rental property on behalf of the owner.

Property management companies can be almost any size, and it’s not uncommon for one smaller company to report to a larger parent company. But in simple terms, a property management company is the middleman between you and the owner of the property – whomever that may be.

At properties operated by a property management company, lease agreements and rental terms are typically dictated by company policy as opposed to the preferences of the individual owner. Additionally, property management companies may have several properties and typically, the rental process and terms are uniform across all of them.

In terms of amenities and resources, property managers tend to have a more concrete system including maintenance, security and other staff on-site or on-call.

Landlords

Landlord is a term reserved for the sole owner of a property. They typically own individual rental houses but many also operate multi-family homes or small apartment complexes.

Because you’re dealing with one person, there’s typically more flexibility to waive certain fees, handle tenant requests or deal with disputes on a case-by-case basis as opposed to referring to a blanket policy.

Since the landlord-tenant relationship is more personal than the property management model, you may even be able to negotiate a reduced rate when renting directly from the landlord.

However, landlords typically don’t have the same resources as a full-fledged property management company. On top of that, landlords are responsible for knowing a ton of information on rental law enforcement. So much so, that occasionally a landlord could be misinformed about the law.

Which is right for you?

It all depends on what you’re looking for in your apartment hunt. Renting from a property management company offers the benefits of uniform policies and guaranteed services and amenities. Landlords offer a more flexible rental setup, but you also have no guarantees as all landlords handle renter situations differently.

Both have pros and cons, but hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the differences between the two.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

10 Ways to Save on Your Apartment Heating Bill

Cooler weather means sweater weather, hot drinks and shorter days. It also means you’ll have to turn on your heater. But staying cozy doesn’t always mean high apartment heating bills. On average, an American home spends around $112.59 on their energy bill every month.

Whether you’re looking to save some money or even just help the environment, there are small changes around your apartment you can do to lower your heat bill.

And none of them include wrap yourself in a blanket so you don’t turn into an ice cube, we promise.

Keep on reading to find out how you can stay warm this winter and not end up broke.

1. Seal up those windows and doors

window seals apartment heatingwindow seals apartment heating

If you live in a charming old home or apartment with older windows, you’d be surprised at how much heat escapes through your windows and doors. Heat gain and loss through those unsealed spots account for up to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy use.

Consult with your landlord before moving forward as they may offer to do it or replace the windows. Once you get the go-ahead, you can seal up those spots and leaks around your rental with weather stripping and clay rope caulking to winterize the apartment. Double-check that the window itself closes all the way.

You can also pick up a window insulation kit or magnetic window insulation that are easy to install to insulate the area. It’s a quick weekend project that will pay off in the long run.

2. Purchase a smart thermostat

smart thermostatsmart thermostat

It’s hard to remember when and what temperature it should remain on to save on heating costs during the winter. The solution? A smart thermostat. You can take it with you when you move out or have your landlord reimburse you upon purchase.

During winter, you’ll want to keep the thermostat set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and then 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. So you don’t forget, set your thermostat to remember when to switch off as it learns your daily patterns.

3. Add beautiful rugs to your living spaces

apartment rugs apartment heatingapartment rugs apartment heating

Sure, blankets and chunky socks are great to stay warm, but have you thought about rugs? A beautiful area rug can enhance your living spaces with patterns and vibrant colors and bring it all together. But it can also work like insulation and keep your feet warm.

In older units, especially those with hardwood floors, a large rug in the living room can help keep the heat in place and insulate the area, so there are no leaks. Smaller rugs in the bathroom or by your bed will make the space even cozier and help protect the area further.

4. Double check your current furniture layout

floor ventfloor vent

If you moved quickly, you probably didn’t pay attention to all the vents on the floor and along the walls. Go around your apartment and double-check that none of the furniture, including couches, side tables, beds and credenzas aren’t blocking any of the vents.

This will help your apartment heating unit work a little less as the room will get warmer, faster. This is a great time, too, to reevaluate your winter bedding to keep even warmer.

5. Turn down your water heater

water heaterwater heater

How high is your water heater right now? Yes, that contraption inside your utility closet. Check the temperature of your water heater and lower it by 10 degrees. If you need help figuring it out, ask your landlord to help you change it.

Turning it down to about 110 degrees will save you money month over month on your heating bill, and you’ll still stay warm while in the shower.

6. Keep the humidity high

humidifier apartment heatinghumidifier apartment heating

Every winter, it’s almost like someone sucked all humidity out of your apartment, and your skin starts to dry up. Dry air can affect both you and your plants around the home. Pick up a humidifier for your bedroom and the living room as higher humidity helps keep the apartment feeling warm. It’s a win-win for your skin and your heating bill.

7. Close doors to unused rooms

closing doorclosing door

Your apartment heating unit will attempt to warm up every nook and cranny in your home. But why is the laundry room getting warm if you’re not there? As soon as the temperature shifts outside, get in the habit of closing doors for unused rooms.

Close the doors to the bathroom, the closets, the guest room and the laundry room to allow the heating unit to concentrate on heating your living spaces and the bedroom. If possible, close the vents in there. It’s a simple trick that’s often overlooked but works like a charm.

8. Warm up (carefully!) with a small space heater

space heater apartment heatingspace heater apartment heating

First, a disclaimer. Space heaters can be hazardous if not used correctly. Before purchasing one, check with your landlord to make sure they allow them. The leading factor that puts you in danger is leaving them too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing or mattresses, according to the NFPA.

Never leave your small heater unattended, don’t plug it into an extension cord, make sure that it’s kept a safe distance away from flammables and only use them in walled-in rooms like your bedroom and turn it off before going to sleep.

9. Consider thermal curtains for your windows

curtainscurtains

Energy-efficient thermal curtains can quickly help heat up your apartment as they have layers that act as insulation and keep heat in and cold out. In some instances, according to Energy.gov, heat loss can be reduced by 40 percent or more with thermal curtains, that’s about 20 percent in energy savings. In the summer, they’ll keep your apartment cool as well.

These curtains are available as a set of two panels for one window, hovering around $30-$40 each.

10. Use your ceiling fan

apartment heatingapartment heating

You would think a fan would be counterproductive in keeping your space warm, but that’s actually far from the truth. The better the circulation and airflow, the more energy-efficient your home will be.

Having your fan spinning clockwise on the lowest setting will trap heat inside to keep rooms in your apartment warmer, making a world of difference!

Let’s winterize your apartment

Every single of these tips will help reduce your apartment heating bill over the next few cold months and keep your wallet happy. If a window or a patio door isn’t closing correctly, have the landlord fix it as soon as possible.

Start small and then increase measures as you see results month over month. Those pennies will add up. You’ll stay cozy through the winter and have some fun money once the weather warms up.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Clean Up Storm Damage at Your Apartment

Natural disasters are an unfortunate part of life that leave a trail of destruction in their path that can take months to clean up. Flooding is a prime example of the damage a natural disaster can cause.

Apartments are affected by natural disasters in different ways than a detached house would be, and some of the burden may fall on the tenants to get things cleaned up. So how do you know what you’re responsible for and what your landlord needs to take care of?

We’re here to clear it all up for you. Read on for everything you need to know about storm damage cleanup in your apartment.

Start with your “irreplaceables”

If you find your apartment flooded, whether from a hurricane or other severe storm, or even a damaged home water system, you may also find yourself in a race against the clock. The longer your belongings are in contact with floodwaters, the higher the likelihood for damage.

As soon as it’s safe to do so, remove your important belongings. This could include documents, photos, keys – anything you can’t live without and can’t be easily replaced.

Who is responsible for what?

Now it’s time to start cleaning up, a process that could take days, weeks or even months to complete. One of the hardest parts of apartment storm damage cleanup is identifying who is responsible for what repairs.

You may have a landlord that you know directly or maybe you rent from a large, impersonal property management company. Regardless, it’s likely that some of the cleanup burdens lie on them and not on you as the renter.

Landlords are typically only responsible for the structural components of the units they rent and not for the tenant’s belongings. Unless there’s a case of landlord negligence, it’s usually the responsibility of the tenant to repair damages to their personal property. That’s why renter’s insurance is so important. Among other things, it’s there to cover damages caused by a natural disaster.

If you’re unsure about who is ultimately responsible for specific parts of the damages, you can always consult your lease. If the answer is not there, you should contact your landlord directly and be honest and firm.

And if you’re still unsure or you’re at an impasse with your landlord, you can always contact a lawyer. You can even ask specific questions to lawyers online without having to step foot in a law firm. This is especially helpful if a disaster struck your region as local lawyers are probably busy with their own cleanup efforts.

Dry everything out

One of the most obvious causes of damage is the water, which is why it’s important to get rid of it as soon as possible. Whether this falls on your or your landlord’s shoulders, it’s important that you know the best and safest way to dry everything out.

If you live in a basement apartment, the removal of floodwaters is extremely important. Because the outside walls are pushing inward by the weight of water in the soil and the water inside your basement is balancing that pressure by exerting weight outwards, removing the water suddenly could cause the wall to cave in. Instead, you should remove two to three feet of water per day.

In all other apartments, the floodwaters should naturally recede as soon as your city’s infrastructure can handle drainage again. However, there are proactive steps you can take to make this happen as quickly as possible.

Check for debris in all the drains in your area. You should also clear all entrances to your home and move your belongings so they aren’t preventing the water from receding.

Please note that floodwater is often contaminated with diseases and bacteria and can even contain raw sewage particles. When you’re in contact with floodwater, you should wear protective gear. Also, never consume anything that came into contact with floodwater, even if it was sealed.

Take the next steps

After the water is fully removed from your apartment and your items are dried out, there’s still more to do. Flooding can stain drywall, warp structural components, permanently damage your floors and even affect the foundation of buildings. Again, most of this should be the responsibility of the building owner, but you may have to handle cosmetic cleanup if it’s in your lease.

If you’re pretty handy, you can undertake a lot of the cleanup on your own, if your landlord is in agreement. There are guides to DIY flood water damage cleanup including one from the American Red Cross that is impressive and completely comprehensive.

If you can’t handle your portion of the apartment storm damage cleanup efforts on your own, you can consider hiring a professional. Flood restoration specialists have the know how to get your apartment cleaned quickly, which could actually save you from potential losses – both financial and personal.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

What To Do If Your Apartment is Too Cold

The winter can be grueling in many places in the U.S. Unless you’re living in sunny California, having heat in your apartment is vital to get through the winter. Old houses and apartments may have issues that won’t keep the heat inside your place.

There could be several different things making your apartment cold. Some may be quick fixes that your landlord can take care of, but you may need to get creative with ways to keep your apartment warm this winter.

Here are seven things to do if your apartment is too cold.

1. Insulate windows

A common way apartments get cold in the winter is drafty windows. They can make for an expensive heat bill. You turn up the heat, the heat escapes, so you turn it up even more. The cycle continues and your apartment never stays cold.

You can break the cycle by making sure that your windows are properly sealed and insulated. One option is to purchase a window insulator kit, which are inexpensive and easy to install.

You can also buy a draft blocker, which is stuffed fabric that stops the cold from seeping in windows and doors. Additionally, you should keep drapes and blinds closed, except when the sunlight is directly shining through your windows.

2. Check your radiator

If your radiator is making a “hiss” sound, that’s a sign it’s broken. It’s likely you’re hearing air escaping from the pipes. You want to be sure your radiator is tilted back slightly toward the pipe it’s connected to.

If this is broken, you should contact your landlord immediately to replace it. It’s a quick and easy fix, but as a renter, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it yourself.

3. Focus the heat

If your apartment is cold, try to focus the heat in the room that you’re in. At night, you should try to trap heat in your bedroom and throughout the day, in whatever room you’re in. This saves energy and keeps you warm. Try closing the vent in spaces you aren’t using, so the heat goes into the rooms you’re in often.

4. Dress warm

This may be obvious, but you should keep yourself bundled when your apartment is cold. Break out your favorite sweatpants, sweaters and socks. Keeping yourself warm will also save money and energy since you won’t need your space to be as toasty.

5. Cover cold surfaces

Hardwood floors are wonderful for many reasons, but keeping you warm isn’t one of them. Rugs and carpets can help to trap heat. Rugs double as great decor, so find one you love that will keep you warm and tie your room together.

If you aren’t interested in investing in a rug, you can also use towels or blankets to cover the floor when it’s especially cold.

6. Keep your fan on

Having the fan on may seem counterintuitive, but it actually helps to keep your apartment warm. Reversing the direction of the fan can help to bring the warmer air down to where you’re cuddling up on your couch.

7. Electric space heaters

Space heaters aren’t exactly energy or cost efficient, but they’re helpful in a last-resort situation. If you absolutely cannot get your apartment warm enough, investing in a space heater can help.

You can move it to any room you’re using and it will surely keep you warm. They also have potential to be hazardous. Remember to never leave a space heater unattended and to turn it off before leaving a room or going to sleep.

Photo by Talgat Baizrahmanov on Unsplash

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Source: apartmentguide.com

6 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Rust

Everyone dreads rust — that brown, crusty substance that forms on metal, fabric and tile. Fear not, we’ve got you covered. Once you learn how to get rid of rust and remove rust stains from metal and other materials, it’s a game-changer for your cleaning routine.

How to remove rust from metal

Rust forms when metal is exposed to moisture and starts to corrode. Rust mainly grows on metals and you’ll see it on anything from your favorite kitchen knives to kids’ metal playgrounds. Luckily, there are many household pantry items that remove rust on metals.

1. Baking soda

Baking soda in the sink.Baking soda in the sink.

Baking soda is one of the most common ways to get rid of rust. It’s great because you likely have it in your house already and it works great on thinner metals and metals that have lightly started to rust. Here are the steps for using baking soda to get rid of rust:

  1. Make a paste of water and baking soda.
  2. Coat the entire metal with the paste and make sure the rusted part is especially coated with the mixture.
  3. Wait about 30 minutes.
  4. Take a rough sponge and scrub the rust.
  5. Rinse well.

Once you have gone through all the steps, make sure to dry the object well to prevent it from rusting again. Remember, rust starts in the first place when exposed metal experiences moisture and isn’t thoroughly dried.

2. Vinegar

White vinegar is the go-to for so many cleaning hacks and rust is no exception. Use this vinegar hack step to get rid of rust.

  1. Submerge the rusted object in a bowl of white vinegar and let it soak overnight.
  2. Take the item out and scrub the rust away. This might take a little extra effort to get the stubborn rust off.
  3. If all the rust wasn’t removed, repeat the process but let it soak longer this time.
  4. Once all the rust is gone, wash the items with soap and water and dry them thoroughly.

Vinegar works on almost all rust from your tools to rusty pipes. Keep this in mind next time you come across a stubborn rust stain.

3. Potato and dish soap

Potatoes are magical vegetables with endless possibilities. Not only do they make any meal delicious, but they also contain oxalic acid which gets rid of rust. Who knew? Here’s how you can use potatoes to get rid of rust.

  1. Cut the potato in half.
  2. Apply salt or baking soda to the potato.
  3. Cover the rusted object with dish soap.
  4. Use the potato to scrub the rust away.
  5. Rinse and dry well.

If you’re looking for a great, inexpensive, natural and non-toxic hack to remove rust, a potato is one of your best options.

4. Lemon and salt

lemon and salt to remove rust from metallemon and salt to remove rust from metal

Along with potatoes, lemons are another non-toxic way to get rid of rust. Get yourself a lemon or lime and you’re one step closer to a rust-free home.

  1. Cover the rusted item with coarse salt.
  2. Take a lemon and scrub the salt to remove the rust.
  3. Once the rust is gone quickly wash it off to prevent any damage.

Not only is this a great technique to remove rust but it leaves your items smelling citrusy and delicious.

5. Citric acid

Citric acid is another easy way to remove stubborn rust from metal objects. You can find this in most grocery stores on the baking aisle. Here’s how to use citric acid to remove rust.

  1. Add three tablespoons of citric acid to hot water.
  2. Let the rusted object soak overnight.
  3. Rinse and dry.

Keep in mind while citric acid is great for removing rust it also removes paint and other forms of coating. So, be careful what objects you use on it because you may remove more than just rust.

6. Rust-removing products

There are many products on the market that remove rust, such as Evapo-rust. Here is how you can use products like this to remove rust.

  1. Soak the rusted object in the product for 30 minutes.
  2. Scrub rust.
  3. Rinse thoroughly.

These products are typically easy to find and easy to use. They work on most metals and are proven very effective.

Removing rust stains on other materials

While rust primarily grows on metals, it’s important to know it can stain other things such as fabric and tiles. Here are a couple of tips for removing stains from those types of items.

Ceramic tile

Removing rust from tile is very simple and easy to accomplish.

  1. Cover with soap and hot water.
  2. Use a pumice stone to scrub the stain.
  3. Dry.

Note: Don’t use a pumice stone on a ceramic countertop as it could cause scratching.

Blue rusty pot.Blue rusty pot.

Carpet

If you happen to get a rust stain on your carpet there are a couple of ways to go about removing it.

  1. Use a carpet-safe stain remover.
  2. Use lemon, salt and hot water to scrub away the stain.

The type of carpet you have and your preference for the method will determine how you go about taking care of the stain. Both methods above have proven effective to remove said stain.

Prevention is the best method to get rid of rust

If you’re not one to enjoy cleaning rust in the first place then learning how to prevent it is the next best thing. Here is how you can prevent rust from growing at all.

  • Use stainless steel instead of other metals.
  • Apply oil to metals to slow down the rusting process and sometimes even prevent it altogether.
  • Store metals in low moisture and humidity-controlled environments.

Consider these methods before the rusting process begins to save yourself some trouble in the long run. If you do spot rust, though, these tips and tricks will make removing rust from metal a little easier.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

Apartment Cleaning Resolutions To Keep All Year

Over the past few months, we’ve been reminded of just how vital it is to keep our homes clean and fresh, both for our mental and physical health. And there’s no better time than now, when we’re stuck in our homes, to go over that apartment cleaning checklist you’ve been putting off and give your home the TLC it (and you!) deserve.

To help you kick things off, we’ve outlined a simple and effective list of apartment cleaning resolutions that will help you maintain the kind of cleanliness that makes your friends think you hired a cleaning service.

1. Out with the old to make room for the new

donating clothesdonating clothes

Carving out some time to carefully go through what you have and evaluate what you use and what you don’t is essential for keeping clutter at a minimum and making apartment cleaning even easier and less time-consuming. While this resolution might seem overwhelming to you at first, it shouldn’t.

Considering if and how you use each item in your kitchen, closet or even in that junk drawer (that’s more like a black hole) allows you to really think about what you want to keep, toss and/or donate. To prevent yourself from being overwhelmed by the task, commit to clearing out one room or area each month. You’ll find that your space has a lot more, well, space! Make Marie Kondo proud and eliminate whatever doesn’t bring you joy.

2. Don’t forget the fridge

woman getting food out of fridgewoman getting food out of fridge

While the idea of throwing away food is enough to make some people cringe, there might be no better feeling than having a freshly wiped-down, clean and organized refrigerator rid of jars of food that you haven’t opened in ages.

Check expiration dates on everything, and toss whatever looks questionable or unappetizing. Use a non-toxic cleaner to wipe down the shelves, and then put the older food closer to the front. After you have a clean slate, resolve to examine the contents of your fridge at the end of each week. You’ll constantly be going through your food, so you’ll waste less as the year goes on, and save money at the grocery store.

3. Get all the nooks and crannies

woman dusting cornerwoman dusting corner

There are some areas of the apartment that are just too easy to neglect (fan blades, air conditioning ducts, the top of the fridge, behind appliances, etc.), but dust and other airborne irritants can really build up in these places if they’re never cleaned.

There’s no need to do this weekly, but making a point to clean these hard-to-reach areas at least once every season is a cleaning resolution that only takes a few hours of your day. Schedule a weekend at the beginning of each season and put it in your phone’s calendar, so you don’t end up forgetting the time to do a thorough dusting has come again. Your allergies will thank you!

4. Clean those carpets, too

cleaning carpetscleaning carpets

While this resolution involves a little more labor than the others, steam cleaning your carpets with a machine you can rent at the grocery store can make your apartment feel fresher than it did the day you moved in. Your carpet will look like it just had a facelift, and you’ll be basking in the glory of your clean home.

Seeing how clean it is will motivate you to stop neglecting your once-a-week vacuum session, and your carpet will stay pristine longer because of it.

5. Don’t neglect your bathroom

cleaning bathroomcleaning bathroom

No one likes cleaning the bathroom, but don’t wait too long to clean the tile grout or wash your bath mat. Bathrooms are some of the most germ-infested places in your entire home and should be given proper cleanings on a regular basis. Thoroughly clean (and disinfect) your tub/shower, sink, toilet, floor, walls and mirrors, and wash and air out soft, fabric surfaces like bath mats, towels and shower curtains.

With all the moisture that hangs in the air in your bathroom, it’s bacteria central, so investing the time and energy in properly cleaning the space where you clean yourself is invaluable.

6. Disinfect frequently used surfaces

cleaning surfacescleaning surfaces

Another item for that apartment cleaning checklist is to keep nasty outside germs and allergens from taking up residence inside. It’s not enough to just clean frequently. Surfaces and objects that you regularly touch, like door handles, countertops and tables, should routinely be disinfected, as certain kinds of germs and bacteria can live from hours to days on surfaces. So, keep some disinfectant wipes or spray on hand.

7. Clean the air, as well

watering plantswatering plants

Make sure that the air in your apartment gets a proper cleaning, as well! Invest in a good, high-quality air purifier or, to bring a bit of greenery and plant life into your home, get some air-purifying plants for a more natural way to cleanse your indoor atmosphere of toxins and allergens and release oxygen.

8. Treat yourself to a cleaning service every once in a while

cleaning servicecleaning service

It can be hard to work up the energy and enthusiasm to really give your apartment a proper deep clean, but it’s important to do so for you and your health. And sometimes, you just gotta call in the pros.

So, when it’s safe to allow other people into your home again, hire an apartment cleaning service to come in and really give the place a thorough and proper cleanse once or twice a year. They’ll clean and disinfect all the hard-to-reach places, and you’ll get the comfort of knowing that your home received a professional level of care and attention.

A clean apartment promotes wellness

Since we’ve been spending so much time at home lately, we’ve been reminded that taking the time to properly clean and declutter our homes makes them safer and happier places to live.

Follow this checklist of apartment cleaning tips on a regular basis, and you (and your apartment) will thank you!

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Source: apartmentguide.com

6 Proven Ways to Get Rid of Ants in Your Apartment

You’re cooking up your favorite recipe in your apartment when all of a sudden – ants. You see ants lining up all over your counters and no matter how many you get with the so-called killer spray, they keep coming.

Instead of calling your landlord to ping the exterminator and waiting forever while watching the ants take over, you can try to get rid of them on your own. Watch the ants’ patterns before smashing them and try these six proven ways to get rid of them.

1. Clean, clean, clean

clean kitchenclean kitchen

Before you start any method to get rid of ants, you’ll need a blank slate. This seems obvious, but sometimes, a few unseen food crumbs or small spills can be the culprit.

Spend a weekend afternoon deep cleaning your apartment – sweep and mop all corners, take out the trash, clean out the inside of your trash can and clear out all food from counters. Lastly, spray any places where you’ve seen ants before – yes, they leave a scented trail for others to follow – with a one part vinegar with three parts water mixture in a spray bottle.

2. Lemon juice

lemon juicelemon juice

Lemons are incredibly useful beyond cooking. They can be used for cleaning as well as deterring ants from setting up shop in your kitchen. Squeeze a few lemons into a spray bottle and find any holes and cracks around your apartment where the ants may be sneaking through, followed by sealing them with caulk. The acid deters them as it messes with their tracking and encourages them to go elsewhere.

Lemon juice also works against roaches and fleas, as they hate the smell.

3. Cinnamon oil

cinnamon oilcinnamon oil

Grab a Q-tip dipped in high-concentrated cinnamon oil and draw borders around the apartment’s entry points and common areas where the ants are entering the home. It’s been proven by a 2014 study that it helps repel and even exterminate ants.

4. Peppermint oil

peppermint oilpeppermint oil

Grab a bottle of peppermint essential oil and add about 15 to 20 drops (plus a few of lemon oil if you have it) into half a cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle hard to mix everything and spray along the baseboards, any ant trail spots you’ve seen in the past and all entry points. Repeat every few days until the ants are gone. Peppermint also deters other pests like cockroaches – and even mice.

5. Chalk lines

chalk lineschalk lines

Chalk isn’t only good for the classroom. While a very temporary solution, drawing a chalk line outside your windows and around door frames and other entry points can disrupt the ant scent trail and warn them not to come in. You can pick up chalk paint in a squeeze bottle at your local hardware store.

In combination with another deterrent, it should keep the pests at bay while you wait for the landlord’s chosen exterminator to show up and review the situation.

6. Hunt down the nest, if all else fails

ant nestant nest

If you tried addressing your ant infestation with all of the above methods, then you’ll need to wait for reinforcements. The problem may be bigger than just your apartment. Let the apartment complex’s exterminator know the solutions you tried, ask if other tenants are having issues and if they suspect there’s an ant nest nearby.

Ants prefer damp areas like flooring with water damage, so be sure to check your walls and ceilings for any water leaks and alert the pest control team.

Other bug problems? Check out 10 Household Bugs and Natural Remedies for Ridding them or How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Find Where Cockroaches are Nesting in Your Apartment

We all deal with cockroach infestations from time to time. If you see a cockroach in your apartment, it’s likely that there’s more than one lingering around. Cockroaches take up occupancy in places such as shelves, boxes and magazines to protect themselves from humans.

People also frequently find them in their garages or basements where there’s a lot of clutter. But before you call in the exterminator, there are a few things you can do to solve the issue yourself. It’s essential that you first find out where the cockroaches are nesting in your apartment.

Let there be light

If you find a cockroach in your apartment, it’s safe to say you’re probably dealing with some sort of infestation. To find out where the cockroaches are nesting, you can use lights to get a general idea.

Flipping the lights on and off in a dark room and observing where the creatures run will let you know where the nest location is. You can use a flashlight or your phone flashlight to look under furniture and other areas of clutter.

You also want to make sure to look behind walls to see if roaches are nesting in them. If you find any roaches during this process, use a vacuum to suck them up.

Beware of other nesting signs

Live roaches are obvious, but you’ll also find signs of cockroach nests and this is what you want to pay attention to. Look for cockroach feces, which look like small black spots – kind of like black pepper.

If you see feces, it’s a sign that you’ve got a lot of roaches in your apartment. If you consistently smell something bad, that might also be a sign of a cockroach infestation. They give off a poor, musty-smelling scent.

Other signs of nesting include skins and remains of roaches on your floors. Any kind of remains or feces is an unfortunate sign that there are cockroaches nesting in your apartment.

Process of elimination

To locate and eliminate the cockroach nests, you can put out sticky traps. Your trap will fill up quickly if you’re in a prime nesting area. If it doesn’t, you may not be near the nesting area after all.

However, if the problem persists, you should call in a professional exterminator to figure out the source of the issue and get rid of it. It might be hard to fully eradicate the infestation if it’s spread quickly.

Keep it clean

Similar to the approach you’d take to keep bugs out of your apartment, cockroaches aren’t much different. Keeping your apartment clean and organized is the first step to eliminating cockroach nests and preventing them to begin with.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t leave any food or crumbs out
  • Clean any spills up quickly
  • Create more open space
  • Clean your apartment regularly
  • Organize your garage or basement
  • Regularly take out the trash

Remember, cockroaches love clutter. If you keep your home clean and, cockroaches are more likely to find another place to nest.

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Source: apartmentguide.com