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How to Find Bargains at Thrift Shops

Part of the fun of moving into a new apartment is furnishing it. But if you’re on a budget, then Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel excursions might need to be put on pause. But, you can source some great pieces to mix with your IKEA builds at thrift and consignment shops. No longer the graveyard for obsolete items (read: junk), second-hand stores are a treasure trove of perfectly good home furnishings and household items that with a little TLC, can be nice additions to your new home. While it’s true that discards at the end of their lifecycle are among the inventory in thrift stores and consignment shops, oftentimes, pieces are donated because the previous owners are redecorating or downsizing. Unsold items from estate and garage sales often end up at second-hand stores and flea markets.

Here are some pointers for finding bargains at second-hand stores:

Identify your decorating vibe before hitting the shops

If you have a particular aesthetic in mind, then find sources that cater to your style. In other words, don’t hit up a farmhouse-themed vendor if urban minimalism is your thing. Get to know the proprietors and vendors so they can alert you to new stock or work with you to lower their prices.

Look for real wood

A LOT of moderately priced contemporary furniture is made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) overlaid with veneer. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with such pieces, they aren’t known for their longevity. Natural solid wood products are more durable and retain their value longer than manufactured wood products. Don’t be turned off by scratches or chipped paint. If you like a challenge, you can strip wood furniture and stain or paint it however you like.

Check upholstered components

With a sofa or chair, inspect the upholstery for stains, tears, and signs of excessive wear. If the seat cushions have zippers, check those along with nail heads, trim, tufted buttons, etc., to make sure they are securely attached and that none of them are missing. Give a hard “no” to any furniture that smells like mold or mildew or shows any signs of pest infiltration. If you have a knack for reupholstering or replacing buttons or nail heads, go for it if the bones of the piece are viable.

Miscellaneous household goods

You can find some great sets of dishware, glasses, cutlery, and cooking gear at thrift stores. If you’re lucky, you can find entire sets, or mix and match to curate a bespoke tableware collection. The same goes for decorative items. If you’re buying a small appliance or lamp, make sure that the cords and plugs are secure and you can ask the shop owner to plug the item in to test it. Steer clear of anything with frayed cords or if it would be cheaper to buy a new product than taking a risk on a used one. (Remember the used Crockpot that caused the fatal fire in “This Is Us.”)

Don’t be afraid to negotiate

Vendors are often eager to move inventory so they can bring in new merchandise. If something has been sitting around for a while, make an offer.

With an open mind, an eye for an item’s potential, patience, and a little elbow grease, you can find some great bargains at thrift stores and consignment shops. Who knows? You might just find that gently used posh leather Pottery Barn sofa that somebody donated, and save a bundle. It’s worth a look and a fun way to get to know your new city.

Decorating your new VC Apartment

The great thing about living in a Vision Community is the space is yours to decorate and make it your own. So whether you decide to buy new or hit the local thrift shop, your apartment is yours to create, decorate, and furnish with whatever fits your style.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Planning a Spring Patio/Balcony Garden

A great way to pull yourself out of the winter slump is to start thinking about container gardening for your patio or balcony when spring arrives. Central Ohio is in zone 6, which means you can start planting after the last frost, which occurs around mid-March. It’s safe to keep plants outdoors until mid-November; however, given unpredictable Midwest weather, you’ll want to play it by ear. You can use practically anything as a planter as long as you allow for proper drainage, which in some cases, may mean drilling holes in the bottom of the vessel, or adding a special medium to allow excess water to escape.

You will also need to factor in the daily sun exposure your patio or balcony gets each day and plan accordingly. Fortunately, the selection of shade-loving plants continues to increase each season as new varieties are introduced. For even more incentive to become a container gardener, there are recommendations for planting a pollinator container garden. Do double duty; enjoy the beauty of flowering plants while simultaneously fostering the bee population. Another tip is that bright pink and red flowers attract hummingbirds if you don’t want to deal with the maintenance of a special hummingbird feeder.

Vegetables

You can enjoy tender, leafy baby greens without having to pay supermarket prices. Plant lettuce, arugula, and kale, along with radishes in the early spring and harvest them in just a few weeks. Unless you start seedlings in your apartment, most nurseries and other stores don’t start putting out herb plants until April. Basil, mint, parsley, chives, and lavender all do well outdoors in zone 6. However, don’t bother with cilantro. It’s fiddly and difficult to grow in this climate. You can grow all of the other ingredients for a salsa garden in containers, though – bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.

Flowers

There are plenty of flowers that do well in containers in Central Ohio. Choose petunias, marigolds, dahlias, dianthus, salvia, and begonias. All of these varieties thrive in varying degrees of sunlight, are low maintenance, and also fare quite well in hanging baskets. Just mix in some trailing ivy, dusty miller, coleus, or sweet potato vines to create a balanced, eye-catching arrangement.

Pollinator plants

Some flowering plants mentioned above, such as lavender and salvia attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. When choosing flowering plants specifically for pollination, choose varieties that are nectar-rich, such as coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, cosmos, lantana, and verbena. You can consult with gardening center staff, your local conservation society, or search online for suggestions.

Thinking about reactivating your green thumb can brighten up dreary winter days and give you something to look forward to. In the meantime, you can scour flea markets and thrift shops for interesting containers and start planning your floral color scheme or edible harvest. Growing plants gives you a sense of accomplishment, especially if you can give back to nature by nurturing vulnerable species such as bees.

Gardening in your new VC Apartment

One of the perks of our apartment plans is the spacious balcony to house all of your plants. Make this year the best year yet in a Vision Community apartment and bring your pets and plants with you.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Safety Tips for Winter

Being in the throes of winter means that it’s a good time to review your winter safety plan. It’s reassuring to know that you can stay warm and cozy in your apartment once you’re in for the night, but getting to and from home, as well as being safe once you get there are worth considering. Some of the benefits of apartment living are that the maintenance team is supposed to stay on top of issues like carbon monoxide (CO) monitors and furnace filters, but there are still steps you should take to make their job easier and your daily life during the cold months safer and more comfortable.

CO monitors

In some complexes, the maintenance department is responsible for taking care of these, in others, it’s the responsibility of the resident. Make sure your CO is positioned in the right area of your apartment and that you maintain the batteries. Always pay attention when your CO monitor alerts you and take it seriously. In many cases, the beeping means the battery needs to be replaced or the monitor was triggered by excess humidity. If it continues to beep, call your emergency maintenance department or 911, open the windows, and go outdoors until the situation can be assessed.

Space heaters

Spaces heaters are a major contributor to fatal house fires each winter. If you use a space heater, spend a little more money to buy a reputable brand that has a UL rating. Don’t place the space heater close to furniture, window treatments, or other flammable objects. Likewise, don’t cover the space heater or store objects on top of it, and never leave a space heater unattended.

Driving

The “3 Ps” of winter driving are: prepare, protect, and prevent. Make sure your car is well-maintained; that means fuel levels, brakes, head and tail lights, tire tread, wiper blades, and fluid. Maintain and safe distance between your car and the ones around it and stick to a consistent, safe speed limit. However, don’t drive so slowly that you impede other vehicles such as buses. Leave plenty of room for snowplows and emergency responders. If you start to slide or skid, turn into the skid and lightly tap your brakes instead of slamming on them swerving.

Commuting

If you take a form of public transportation to work, expect delays and be patient. If you’re an infrequent or first-time commuter, plan your route and know the stops and transfer points for your arrival and departure trips. Have your bus fare ready in cash. Dress in layers as you may find yourself standing in the cold for long periods and doing more walking than usual; wear warm, waterproof boots with a deep tread and carry an extra pair of socks with you in case your feet get wet.

While few people will declare winter as their favorite season, know that it will soon pass, especially if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow on February 2!  Common sense and taking extra precautions will keep you safe during inclement weather – both indoors and out.

Coming Home to Your VC Apartment

Your VC apartment should be your refuge, and we encourage our tenants to find ways to create all of the comforts of home in their apartments. So whether you are commuting or working from home, you’ll find the comfort of home in your Vision Communities apartment.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Christmas Tree disposal tips

Green Ways to Dispose of Live Christmas Trees

Christmas is over. The halls are undecked.  So what do you do with your Christmas tree? If it’s artificial, then simply pack it back up and store it until next season. Disposing of a live tree is a little more complicated. First, burning your Christmas tree can be problematic, since the sap is highly flammable.  Throwing your tree in the dumpster and let the municipal or private trash service deal with it may be an issue because your trash service may not pick up Christmas trees with the regular trash pickup. Check with your building support staff to see if there are special pickup days for Christmas trees. 

Here are some environmentally friendly ideas for disposing of your Christmas tree:

Donate the tree to a nature habitat. Wildlife and birds can use the discarded tree as shelter and the tree will biodegrade in its natural surroundings, thus enriching the soil around it.

Donate the tree to an area lake. Leftover Christmas trees can be submerged in lakes or ponds. They provide shelter and safety for fish and any algae that grow will serve as a food source for underwater life.

Donate the tree to your town or city. In some cities, the public works department will collect discarded Christmas trees. The trees are mulched and used in municipal parks, gardens, and median planters.

Donate the tree to a community garden. This is a great way to get rid of your tree and help feed your community. At the public allotment, the trees will be mulched and used to feed herb, fruit, and vegetable crops that can feed those living in food deserts.

Consider purchasing a live potted fir tree. You can find these at nurseries. Simply take care of the tree like you would any plant. After the season, you can donate it to a Christmas tree farm, park, or forestry service for replanting.

You can still enjoy the splendor and delightful fragrance of a fresh Christmas tree during the holidays, especially if you have a plan on what to do with it after all the festivities have concluded. By being sensitive about live Christmas tree disposal, you can complete the cycle by giving back to nature.

Celebrate This Christmas in a new VC Apartment

Whether you choose a real or artificial tree, where you place it is what really matters. When you live in a Vision Community, you have the freedom to make your space your own, and that includes decorating your apartment to celebrate the holidays.  

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Getting to Know Your Neighbors

The Importance of Knowing Your Neighbors

One of the advantages of apartment living is that you have an automatic built-in network of neighbors, and possibly, friends. Where to begin? Many times, the ice is broken for you, as your new neighbors may reach out to introduce themselves and welcome you. You can also reach out to people you encounter in common areas like by the mailbox, in the elevator, or in other shared spaces like the coffee bar or fitness center. Simply greet the person, introduce themselves, and if you have questions about the apartment community, ask them. Most people enjoy an informal chat and you can pick up valuable information about your new surroundings; as a bonus, you may make a new friend.

Even if you crave privacy, it’s still a good idea to get to know the people who live around you. Here are a few reasons why:

Safety in numbers. Having trusted allies in your building can be helpful if there is a problem tenant whose actions are disturbing the peace of several residents. That way, you have a unified front to present to the apartment manager. As well, just having somebody looking out for you and vice versa goes a long way in promoting safety.

Source of assistance and support. Have you run out of a key ingredient for a recipe or need something simple like a Band-aid? It may sound clichéd, but it happens. It’s nice to know that you can pop next door or across the hall to borrow what you need and save a trip to the store for a single item. Or maybe you need a hand in assembling a piece of IKEA furniture with 1,000+ parts. That’s what a good neighbor is for.

Pet care and package pickup. It’s great to have a trusted neighbor to look after your pet if you go out of town. They can also take care of your houseplants and pick up any online deliveries that arrive while you’re away.

Companionship. It’s nice to have a close friend who’s next door or on the floor above you. You have built-in companionship to watch a big game, binge-watch your favorite show together, or go out to dinner.

Obviously, use good judgment, but give people the benefit of the doubt. If you pick up uncomfortable vibes from someone or they seem standoffish to you, that doesn’t mean they are a bad person or dangerous. They could be having a bad day or just not interested in making new friends at the moment. Meeting your neighbors and making new friends in an apartment complex takes a bit of work and ingenuity, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

We are Vision Communities

Community is in our name. At Vision Communities, we work hard to create the space and amenities to give you community spaces to connect with others. Your apartment is your own cozy space, but our coffee bars, gyms, dog parks and other common areas are designed to help you meet and make friends within the complex.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Moving From a House to an Apartment

There are a number of reasons why you may be moving from a house to an apartment. Perhaps you’re an empty nester. Maybe you’re downsizing. You could be a recent college graduate who shared a house with roommates. Regardless of the reason, it is a big adjustment. What you may be giving up in space and privacy, you will recoup with no maintenance hassles, a smaller space to keep clean and organized, and the numerous perks that go with apartment living. On the other hand, you’ll need to adjust or readjust to communal living with shared spaces and in some instances, a higher noise level, especially if you’re relocating from a suburb to an apartment in the city. If you’ve decided to make the transition, here are some steps to getting prepared.

Measure the floor space in your new apartment. If possible, see if your new landlord will let you get into the unit or an empty one with an identical layout, so you can take photos and measurements. This intel will be invaluable in helping you decide what you need to pack, purge, or purchase.

Get organized. Take inventory of what you own and if/how it will fit into the floor plan of your new apartment. Be intentional. If you haven’t worn it or used it for a long time, get rid of it. If the item is broken beyond reasonable repair, stained, ripped, outdated, etc., then throw it away. The rest? Have a garage sale, and what you don’t sell, you can donate to charity. If you’re not in a hurry to move, you can sell belongings that you no longer need or want online.

Think about storage. One downside of apartment living is that you don’t have an attic, basement, or garage for storage. Most apartments have some type of onsite storage units, but those are limited in size. When shopping for furniture and décor, choose items that can double as storage, such as a cool antique trunk that can double as a coffee table or ottomans that you can open and stash stuff inside of.

Once you’ve completed the move, you can settle into your new apartment and take advantage of all it has to offer. Check out the pool area, clubhouse, fitness center, and other amenities. A bonus is that you may meet some of your new neighbors in the process. Since you won’t be spending your free time mowing the yard, raking leaves, or shoveling snow, you can enjoy all of the benefits apartment living has to offer.

Explore Vision Communities in Central Ohio

If you are looking to make a move to a new apartment, Vision Communities has floor plans and amenities that you will enjoy. Our state of the art communities provide luxury apartments that give you space to make your own.

If you are exploring apartment options, be sure to put a Vision Community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Getting Your Pet Ready for Winter

Winter Pet Care Tips

Getting Your Pet Ready For Winter

When you’re preparing for the upcoming winter months, don’t forget about your pet. Even though they have a coat of fur, dogs and cats need to adjust to fluctuating temperatures. Keep your pet in your apartment as much as possible and run humidifiers to prevent them (and you) from suffering from itchy, dry skin. Offer plenty of water as well and make sure your dog or cat has a warm, dry bed to sleep on (even if it’s yours!) Here are some suggestions to keep your pet, safe, warm, and healthy during cold weather and … the over-arching rule of thumb is … if it’s too cold for you to be outside, then it’s also too cold for your pet.

Dog walking. If you have a short-haired dog, bundle them up in a cute dog sweater (NEVER try this with a cat!). They will stay warm and look stylish during their visit to the dog park. Salt and other harsh de-icing chemicals can irritate your dog’s paw pads, so liberally coat them with petroleum jelly before your walk or buy some dog booties. If you are walking near water, keep your dog on a leash. There are too many news stories about rescues of dogs that are stranded on or in frozen/icy lakes or ponds. Don’t be one of them.

Cars. Antifreeze has a sweet odor and attracts dogs and cats. Ingested even in the smallest amounts can be fatal. Avoid any areas in the driveway or parking lot, where there are puddles or residue of colored liquid that are most commonly bluish-green or purplish-pink. If your dog doesn’t wear any type of paw protection outdoors, then it’s a good idea to thoroughly wipe down their paws once they’re back in your apartment. Outdoor and feral cats like to take refuge in car engines during the winter, so it’s a good habit to loudly knock on your car’s hood before starting it up in the morning.

Grooming and bathing. Pets of both species will rejoice! Don’t bathe your dog as often in the winter to protect its skin. As indicated, heated indoor air can cause a dry, itchy coat. The opposite approach to pet hygiene cats. Even though they are “self-cleaning,” their fur (like dogs) gets thicker in the winter. You’ll need to brush your cat more frequently to slough off dead hair and skin cells, which can lead to itching and scratching. Unless your cat hates grooming, this should be an enjoyable interaction for both of you.

Feeding. Staying warm in the winter expends more energy, so it’s OK to increase your dog’s food intake. They require more calories during colder months but don’t overdo it. Consult with your vet on the best winter weather diet for your dog, based on its breed, weight, and level of activity.

Few people relish winter but cuddling with your furry friends can make it much more bearable. By taking a few precautions and consulting with your vet when necessary, both of you can experience a cozy, healthy, and safe winter season.

We Love Pets at Vision Communities

At Vision Communities, we know that your pet is part of your family, which is why our communities were designed for pet owners. We have dog parks and plenty places to walk your furry friend.

If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Winter Driving Tips

Winter Commuting Tips

Tips for Winter Driving

With winter rapidly approaching, or in some cases, already here, your commute to work is destined to take longer than usual. Ohio winters aren’t known for being mild, so delays and cancellations are inevitable. If your presence in the office is a must, you’ll need to be prepared for traffic snafus, long waits for public transportation, and overall hazardous traveling conditions. Since you presumably have experience in driving in inclement weather, how to dress, and how to prepare your car, (this is OHIO after all!) here are some extra tips to help make your journey to and from work a little easier and a lot safer.

Driving. Since you can’t control how quickly the streets and major thoroughfares will be cleared, or how other people drive, you can make sure that you and your vehicle are primed and ready to face the elements. If you don’t have covered parking at your apartment complex, you can cut down on scraping and brushing time if you purchase a car cover. You can easily find these online for all sizes of vehicles at all price points. Nothing like getting smacked with a drift of snow while on the interstate! Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, your phone is fully charged, and you have an extra charger in the car. It also is helpful to keep ice scrapers and snow brushes in the car as well as your apartment.

Ride Sharing. One of the best ways to save on gas and get to where you need to go is ride-sharing. Find a handful of people that work in the same area and carpool to work. You can take turns driving, which saves on gas, road fatigue, and mechanical expenses. Obviously, you need to find car-mates that have a similar schedule, but the economics alone are worth looking into. Ride-sharing can help with winter driving by reducing the number of cars that are on the road.

Public Transportation. Central Ohio has reliable public transportation options to choose from. The buses in Columbus run like clockwork and can get you where you need to be with a little patience. Learn the best bus routes and get into a routine of bussing to and from work. This provides extra time to read, listen to podcasts, or watch a show while you are commuting to work. 

Commuting to work during the winter is unpleasant but often necessary. With careful planning, you can make the experience a lot less stressful.

Choose Where You Live

At Vision Communities, our goal is to create a space you can make your own, and we have communities that are conveniently located near the place you work. If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

Items for your apartment medicine cabinet

Medicine Cabinet Essentials for Apartment Dwellers

Must-Have Medicine Supplies

Even if you are blessed with robust health, you never know. During cold weather months, when we’re indoors a lot more, you are exposed to more illnesses, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard if a cold or another type of virus attacks. Here are some medicine cabinet essentials you should have on hand in your apartment.

Thermometer. You can find digital thermometers online or at any major retail pharmacy.

Pain relief. Aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. Whichever works best for you and plays nicely with any prescribed medications you are taking.

Gastro. Pepto-Bismol, Imodium-AD, or their generic equivalents help when a stomach bug hits. It’s also wise to keep some extra electrolyte drinks stocked up to stay hydrated. If you have gastro problems of the other variety, keep some laxatives on hand. For occasional upset stomachs or reflux, there are plenty of OTC remedies.

Colds, flu, and coughs. Nighttime cold products can help you sleep and ease congestion and coughing. You can also pick up cough syrup and cough drops to stifle a cough and soothe a sore throat. There are also effervescent tablets and dissolvable gel strips you can take when symptoms first appear. They can shorten the duration of the cold or flu. If you are prone to cold sores, Abbrevia and generic equivalents are a must.

General first aid. Isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial ointment, and a variety pack of bandages can clean, protect, and disinfect minor cuts and scrapes. Liquid bandage works like a charm if you get a cut on an area where it’s difficult to apply an adhesive bandage.

Seasonal allergies. There are numerous OTC (name-brand and generic) allergy remedies. Choose which one works best for you. You can also pick up nasal sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants. Just make sure to double-check the label to make sure it’s non-drowsy if you’ll be taking it during the workday.

Eye care. Allergies can also trigger itchy, watery eyes. Keep eye drops on hand for allergies and a moisturizing variety if your eyes get dry and tired during the winter. Having a bottle of eye wash solution with a cup can quickly rinse out stray eyelashes and other irritants.

Miscellaneous. You can pick and choose products according to your needs. Gauze and tape, oral gels for tooth pain, tweezers, pill cutter, masks, COVID test kits, tweezers, and topical pain relief rub.

By keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet, you will have peace of mind that if you are hit with a minor illness or injury, you have everything you need at your fingertips. Of course, for more serious injuries or lingering illnesses, contact your doctor or visit the nearest ER or urgent care clinic.

Stocking Your Medicine Cabinet at Your New Vision Apartment

When you move into your new Vision Community apartment, these are just a few of the things you’ll want to bring with you.

At Vision Communities, our goal is to create a space you can make your own. If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live. 

How to Minimize Indoor Allergens

Don’t Let Allergies Get You Down

Allergies are usually attributed to changing seasons, typically in the spring, but they can cause you misery at any time of the year. In the spring and summer, the main culprits are grass, pollen, mold, and ragweed, but allergens are present year-round. When you first turn on the furnace in the fall, it stirs up dust, dust mites, and other irritants that filter through the system. And if you or your roommate have pets, then pet hair and dander contribute to your symptoms of a scratchy throat, itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing.

There are a few steps you can take to minimize the presence of allergens in your apartment and breathe easier all year.

  1. Vacuum frequently. This is especially true if you have pets. Even if you have short-haired dogs or cats, it’s amazing how much they shed, and many people are especially sensitive to cat dander. Before you banish your furry roommates, make an effort to vacuum at least once a week, more frequently if you have long-haired pets or more than one. In addition to the carpeting, vacuum the sofas, chairs, and other soft furnishings. Using a HEPA filter on your vacuum will help.
  2. Dust regularly. Your apartment may seem more dusty during the winter and that may be due to a dirty furnace filter. Check with your maintenance staff about how frequently furnace filters are changed in your building. If you can, DIY, as you can buy furnace filters practically anywhere and you can find them at all price points. If you live near any major streets or highways, expect more dust – period. Keep all surfaces as dust free as possible.
  3. Keep your bedding clean. Wash and dry your sheets, blankets, comforters, pillowcases, etc., weekly to get rid of dust mites, pet hair, and dander. While it’s comforting to have your canine or feline friends sleep with you, they may exacerbate your allergies. Try to coax them into sleeping in a special pet bed on the floor. Shutting them out of the bedroom can lead to many sleepless nights as they get used to it, but if you can stick with it for several nights, it will help you get a more restful sleep.
  4. Indoor air filters and plants. There are many types of air filters available to fit any budget that you can order online. Just place them in your main living areas and bedrooms. Some models even serve as white noise to block out sounds and help you sleep better. Plants are always a nice addition to any indoor space. Many plants such as philodendrons, lady palm, and dracaena are attractive, low-maintenance, and known for their air-purifying properties. Plus, you can buy these varieties anywhere year-round.

Obviously, if your symptoms persist, see your physician. These are just some suggestions for changes you can implement in your apartment to help reduce indoor allergens. The good news is that the ideas listed here are all relatively low-cost or free!

FIND A NEW VISION COMMUNITY APARTMENT

At Vision Communities, our goal is to create the space you are proud to come home to. If seasonal allergies are an issue for you, we invite you to bring your air purifiers, plants or whatever you need to love your space. If you are looking for a new apartment, be sure to put a VC community on your list to tour. We have floor plans for you to view virtually or in person. Our spacious, studio, 1 bedroom2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities and enjoy life at the VC. 

Schedule a tour today and see why Vision Communities is a great place to live.