Tips for Composting in Your Apartment

Green living is now a way of life for many apartment dwellers and one activity you can practice is composting. Composting is a natural way to transform everyday table scraps into a nutrient-rich soil additive that you can use on house plants as well as outdoor container plants. There are many methods of indoor composting, but the simplest method is aerobic composting, where the organic manner is broken down by microorganisms that rely on oxygen. The aerobic method doesn’t attract bugs or emit nasty smells.

You can put waste like vegetable peels and scraps into your compost bin; what needs to stay out are dairy products, fats, and meat. These substances don’t compost well and will cause unpleasant odors. On the topic of odors, if you’re composting correctly, then you should only smell a slight earthy scent. The contents of a compost bin are broken down into two categories: green waste and brown waste. Green waste is well, anything “green,” which includes grass clippings, and most food waste. Brown waste is matter like dead leaves, twigs, sticks, etc. Alternately layer the green and brown waste and then add enough water to the pile so it is damp, but not saturated. Then, you need to aerate (or turn) the compost about two times a week.

There are numerous compost bins and other tools available online, as well as detailed discussions about different types of composting (such as using worms) with instructions. The best area for composting in an apartment is underneath the kitchen sink. Compost needs to be kept warm and would be unsuccessful if kept outdoors on a balcony in extreme Central Ohio weather. Once your compost is a rich, dark brown organic substance, you can use it. You can use it for your own plants or donate it. Some communities have compost piles to add to, or you could offer your compost to your local farmer’s market. Composting is an unusual hobby that requires some maintenance and patience but is also environmentally friendly and beneficial to our overall food source. So try your hand at urban composting!

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, our goal is to create comfortable apartment communities that are sustainably built. If you are looking for a new apartment and have a green thumb, give composting a shot at your new VC apartment. Put your security deposit to use on a new Vision Community apartment. 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. 

Essential Tools Every Apartment Dweller Should Have

It’s exciting to move into a brand-new apartment and one of the benefits is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance. All you have to do is go online and submit a work order. However, what if you’re trying to hang a print on the wall or assemble furniture? Those types of tasks are not covered by the apartment complex’s maintenance crew. Also, there are some simple DIY tasks that most tenants can take care of on their own, like clearing a drain or changing the batteries in their smoke/CO detector. That’s why it’s smart to assemble a basic toolkit before you move in. You can create a wish list and your family and friends can choose items as housewarming gifts. Win and WIN!

Here are some of the basics:

  1. Cordless screwdriver. The price points of cordless screwdrivers are very reasonable. Of course, you can choose manual versions, but the torque you get from the cordless model is very helpful when it comes to installing screws into a wall, putting together stubborn furnishings, etc. One end of the screwdriver is a standard head and the other is a Phillips head.
  2. Allen wrench. Speaking of furniture … A lot of self-assemble furniture comes with an Allen wrench. Those are those Z-shaped tools that have either square or hexagonal ends that come in the bag of hardware. Do yourself a favor and invest in a set of Allen wrenches. You can find a set of good-quality Allen wrenches of different sizes at any hardware or big box store or online. They will be more durable than those that come with furniture kits and you’ll always have some on hand when you need them.
  3. Hammer and rubber mallet. There are many uses for a hammer, so you want one that’s sturdy and has a comfortable handle. Hammers aren’t very expensive but spend the money on one that’s going to last. Cheap hammers that come in toolkits tend to be flimsy and fall apart after a few uses. A rubber mallet comes in handy when you need a lighter touch or don’t want to leave marks on whatever you’re trying to hammer.
  4. Step stool. No brainer. You need a step stool to change lightbulbs (even LED ones, eventually) and batteries. You can also use a step stool in the kitchen to reach high shelves in your cabinets.
  5. Plunger. Self-explanatory. You can use a plunger to unstop a clogged sink or toilet. However, don’t fall too far down the DIY plumbing rabbit hole. Do the best you can and if the problem still persists, it’s time to contact your apartment’s maintenance staff.
  6. Utility knife (aka box cutter). These come in very handy when opening boxes (think online shopping!) You can also use the utility knife to break down your boxes for recycling. It will spare your kitchen knives and scissors.
  7. Miscellaneous. Here are some more items that aren’t really tools but are the things you wish you had on hand when you discover you need them.
  • Good-quality retractable tape measure
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Super Glue/Gorilla Glue
  • Batteries in several sizes (Most smoke/CO detectors run on AA batteries)
  • Flashlight
  • Extension cords/Power Strips
  • String

You can always expand on this list to include items like an adjustable wrench or set of pliers. Once you have the basics, you can feel confident that you can tackle most move-in tasks, decorating projects, and simple maintenance on your own. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment, but your apartment management company will thank you for not submitting superfluous work orders that detract their maintenance staff from bigger, more pressing jobs.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. 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. 

Tips for Moving to a New Apartment

If you’ve been living in your apartment community for a while, you might decide it’s time for a change. Maybe one of your roommates is moving out or you’ve discovered that that coveted apartment with the view of the pool is about to become available. Or it could be that you’ve accepted a job out of town. In any case, it’s time to move. Whether you’re moving across the hall or across the country, moving is moving. Here are some pointers to ponder as you get ready to move into your next apartment.

  1. Contact the landlord. Whether you’re giving notice to vacate the entire apartment community or want to move into a different unit at the same location, give the notice as outlined in your lease. If you have your eye on another apartment in the complex, ask about getting on a waiting list.
  2. Transfer the utilities. Even if you’re just moving next door, you must alert your utility providers so they can switch your account over to your new address. If you’re just changing units within the same complex, you probably won’t need to pay a deposit. It’s another story if you are moving to a different state and you will have to pay deposits. If you have an apartment rented in your new city, ask your future leasing manager for guidance.
  3. Change of address. It’s the same concept. You will need to submit a change of address form to the post office. Even if you conduct all of your business online, there are still documents like voter registration/ID cards and driver’s licenses that are dispatched via snail mail. Don’t overlook this step.
  4. Insurance. Regardless of where you’re relocating to, you’ll need to notify your insurance agent of the change for both your auto and renter’s coverage. If you’re going out of state, you can usually stick with the same insurance company if it’s a major national carrier.
  5. Plan your move. If you’re doing an intra-complex relocation, ask the property manager if you can start moving your stuff early. That will save a lot of time. Get creative and use items like laundry baskets to transport your belongings. Hang your clothes inside of a trash bag (think dry cleaners) and they will be ready to immediately hang up in your new closets. You can also move room by room to keep things organized and minimize packing.
  6. Get help moving the heavy stuff. You can probably get by with using family and friends to do a short move, otherwise, you’ll need to hire a moving company. If you’re making a long-distance move, you’ll need movers that transport throughout the U.S. Make sure you get a bid that covers all expenses. For yourself, you’ll need gas, lodging, and food. If you’re moving with a pet, you’ll need to find places to stay that will allow them.
  7. Other considerations for an out-of-state move:
  • Voter registration
  • Driver’s license/Vehicle Registration
  • Medical/dental/veterinary records
  • Transferring prescriptions

“Moving is fun,” said nobody ever. But, if you’re organized and proactive, you can lessen the pain points of moving. It can be a great opportunity to get rid of stuff you no longer need or use (sell, discard or donate), and having a fresh, new apartment is always exciting, even if it’s just in the next building. Your cross-country move is an adventure and in either scenario, it’s the prologue to a new chapter in your life.

FIND A NEW APARTMENT IN A VISION COMMUNITY

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. 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. 

Setting up Your Home Office

While most companies have resumed working from their offices, some employees have opted for a permanent WFH arrangement. Maybe you’re one of them or do freelance or contract work where you’re based out of your apartment. Setting up shop at the dining room table may seem like the easiest option. But, if you live with roommates and get easily distracted by your surroundings, or procrastinate in general, establishing a simple home office will create an atmosphere of professionalism and help you remain focused on your work. Having a dedicated workspace also helps you to disengage from your job at the end of the day. Here are some of the basics to get you started.

  1. Establish a work area. If you have roommates who are in and out during the day or also work at home, the living and dining area is probably off-limits, which leaves your bedroom to serve as your home office. If that’s the case, then reserve a special area of your bedroom for work and work only. Even the smallest space can function as your home office. (If you live alone, then you can set up your home office wherever you like.)
  2. Get a desk. This will depend on the amount of space you have, your taste, and your budget. There are plenty of options in thrift shops, big box stores, furniture stores, and online retailers. Get a desk that’s the proper height and that has adequate room for your laptop — one with drawers is a bonus. Adjustable laptop stands can help with desktop ergonomics. Another idea is to get a rolling laptop stand where you can alternate sitting at your desk with standing while you work.
  3. Get a good chair. Don’t borrow a chair from the dining room table. You need good ergonomic support throughout the day. Adjustable mesh chairs are trending right now and are available at various price points. This is one area where you don’t want to skimp on quality and comfort.
  4. Chair/desk mat. If your workspace is carpeted, you will need a floormat for your chair. Try rolling around in your office chair on carpeting and you’ll quickly understand why you need one. You can find office floormats at office supply stores or online.
  5. Printer and stand. If the printer stand has a bottom shelf, use it as storage. You can stash extra copy paper, folders, and reference books. There are plenty of innovative office supplies you can find online that multitask, such as divided stands to hold folders and other documents.
  6. Lighting. Your rooms probably have overhead lights that don’t provide the illumination you need. Invest in some desk lamps or standing lamps to add extra light to your home office. Use a selfie ring light during Zoom meetings so you don’t look like a washed-out zombie to your coworkers or clients.
  7. Miscellaneous. Make sure you have adequate power strips and charging stations in your office, so you don’t run out of juice during an important call. To drown out the noise from your roommates and other sounds, pick some soundproofing strips for your door. As a bonus, you can save on heating and cooling as the strips prevent warm and cold air from escaping.

These are the basics to get your home office established. There are a plethora of versatile products for organization and saving space online. Get creative and design a functional space that will give you privacy, encourage productivity, and make it fun to get up and go to work — even if it’s just moving from your bed to your desk!

Join a Vision Community!

At Vision, our goal is to make your living experience as comfortable and seamless as possible. Our spacious floor plans give you the space you need to work remotely from the comfort of your apartment.

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. 

Communication Between Residents & Apartment Managers

It’s exciting to move into a new apartment, but once the initial shine has worn off, it’s time to get down to the realities of daily living in a rental. The day is going to come when you need to communicate with your property manager. It could be for a routine maintenance issue or something more serious, such as a problem that is jeopardizing the quality of living at the complex for you and possibly your neighbors. While we hope this never happens to you, here are some tips about how to effectively communicate with your apartment manager.

  1. Be polite and respectful. It doesn’t help the situation to lose your cool with the property manager, other office staff, or the maintenance team. Whether your interaction is verbal or written, maintain your composure and keep your emotions out of the conversation. Remember about attracting more flies with honey.
  2. Follow procedures. Pay your rent on time and if your property manager asks you to pay your rent online, then do so. Fewer and fewer property management companies like to deal with paper checks. The same goes for maintenance requests. Most apartment communities have online maintenance portals for this purpose. The plus side for you is that you will have a written record of your maintenance requests, should any miscommunication or disputes arise.
  3. Read your lease. Read your lease. Read your lease. Your lease should spell out how to pay your rent, submit maintenance requests, and state what minor repairs, etc., you are responsible for yourself. You will also find out what to do if you’re locked out, move-out procedures, how to operate any common security systems like a gate code, etc.
  4. Be honest. If you’re having problems paying your rent or accidentally damaged something in your apartment, inform your apartment manager and be truthful. Most property managers should be willing to work something out with you. In the long run, it’s cheaper for them to keep a good tenant, than to have to go through the whole process of renovating the apartment and looking for a replacement renter.
  5. Keep records. Keep a file of everything related to your residency. Along with your lease, keep copies of maintenance requests and all communication with your property manager. If they made a verbal promise, jot down a summary of the conversation along with the date and time. You should also follow up with them in writing and reiterate the conversation. You never know and it’s good to have documentation just in case.
  6. Be reasonable. You are not the only tenant in the complex and some property managers oversee more than one apartment community. Don’t submit emergency maintenance requests for something routine. Also, be patient. You don’t know the workload and priorities of the maintenance staff, although your apartment manager should inform you of any pending delays in resolving your issues and keep you updated.

Common sense and common courtesy will go a long way in forging an amenable relationship with your property manager. Follow the rules and document all interactions and you should have a comfortable, stress-free apartment living experience. And just in case … you will have all of the proof you need to support any claims or miscommunications.

Join a Vision Community!

At Vision, our goal is to make your living experience as comfortable and seamless as possible. We have onsite property managers who can answer your questions and get to the bottom of any issues.

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. 

Laundry Hacks for Apartment Dwellers

Few people enjoy laundry. Full. Stop. Every step seems like a chore —emptying the hamper, sorting the items, running the machine, drying, and even worse, folding and putting everything away. Use these hacks to alleviate some of the pain points associated with clothing and linens maintenance.

  1. Add a towel to the dryer. Add a clean, dry bath or beach towel to the dryer when you run a full load, especially if you are drying other towels. The additional towel absorbs excess moisture, which results in shorter drying time. This is a hack that professional laundry services use all the time.
  2. Spray clothes with vodka for an instant refresh. Fill a spray bottle with some of the cheap stuff and mist your less-than-fresh clothes for one more wearing. Just don’t overdo it, so you don’t smell like you’ve just come in from an all-nighter at the bars.
  3. Get a laundry folder. A laundry folder is a flat plastic gadget that you use to fold shirts and other items neatly and compactly, to reduce wrinkles. As a bonus, you’ll save space in your closets and drawers. You can purchase laundry folders online from multiple retailers.
  4. Trade in your dryer sheets for dryer balls. Wool dryer balls are on point right now. You toss them in the dryer with your wet stuff and let them work their magic. They reduce drying time because air circulates better. You can add a few drops of essential oil to the dryer balls to release your favorite scent.
  5. Hand wash items in a salad spinner. Most people have a salad spinner sitting around. It can act as a mini agitator for handwashing delicate items. Simply fill the salad spinner with water and a small amount of detergent and spin away.
  6. Iron clothes with a flat iron. Sounds crazy, but it works. A flat iron is perfect for getting in-between buttons on the placket of a shirt or blouse. It also works great for smoothing out hems in a hurry. Just make sure the flat iron is clean of any product build-up.

These hacks are great in a pinch and many of them can be used with items you already have in your apartment. While they won’t eliminate the need to do regular laundry, ironing, and mending, they can certainly pinch hit when you’re in a hurry. Try them and see what other laundry hacks you can come up with on your own!

Laundry Appliances are Standard at Vision Community

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. Our spacious, studio, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartment layouts provide cozy space plus full size washers and dryers to do your laundry in your apartment. 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. 

 

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Apartment

Spring is finally here and it’s a great time to give your apartment a deep cleaning. While it’s fun (said nobody), if you try a few hacks and get your roommates to pitch in, it can alleviate the drudgery and cut the time you spend cleaning in half. It’s worth repeating, but you really will feel a lot better once you’ve gotten rid of stuff and cleaned up. Open the windows to air the place out and get to work!

  1. Declutter and put away winter stuff. Now is the time to pack up all your sweaters, heavy coats, boots, etc., and store them away. It’s also a great opportunity to get rid of items that you no longer wear or use. Get some boxes for “keep,” “discard,” and “donate.” It will feel great to donate to charity and you will free up valuable space in your apartment.
  2. Stock up on supplies. Now is the time to take a quick inventory of what you need. Make sure you have a multi-purpose cleaner, microfiber cloths, trash bags, and rubber gloves. Empty and clean the vacuum canister. Use a shower caddy to hold all of your cleaning supplies to make it easier to transport everything from room to room.
  3. Try natural cleaning solutions. If you don’t want to use any chemicals in your apartment, opt for solutions made of vinegar, baking soda, and lemon. The combinations are unlimited. You can find plenty of recipes online on how to mix these ingredients for numerous cleaning applications.
  4. Work from room to room, top to bottom. By tackling one room at a time, the project won’t feel so overwhelming. You can spray down the tub/shower, toilet, and countertops and let the solutions soak in while you work in other rooms. Dust ceiling fans and furniture first, then vacuum last.
  5. Go big or go home. Meaning … this is a good time to hit those forgotten areas like baseboards and behind furniture. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can also clean out the fridge and cabinets. Collect any nonperishable food items that you bought during the winter and haven’t used and donate them to a local food pantry.

And when you’re all finished, you and your roommates can enjoy a cold (or hot) drink and sit back and bask in the satisfaction you feel. If you follow a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning maintenance schedule, your apartment will stay clean all summer and you won’t need to deep clean again until fall.  

Find a New Apartment in a Vision Community

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. Our spacious, studio, 2 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. 

 

Decorating Your Bedroom for Restful Sleep

We’ve all heard and read the reports about the downsides of poor sleeping: obesity, increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, brain fog, memory loss, and more. Plus, it just makes you cranky, tired, and irritable. There are many reasons why you can’t sleep such as insomnia, stress, or other health reasons. (In these cases, you need to talk to your doctor.) Or maybe you’re just a night owl or you live with a bunch of noisy roommates. However, in order to preserve your health and sanity, here are some decorating tips for your bedroom to help you get some quality zzzs.  

  1. Your mattress. This is one area where you don’t want to cheap out. Invest in a quality mattress. A new trend in mattress design seems to emerge every week, so you are certain to find a brand that best suits your body type and sleep style and is within your price range. Most major mattress and furniture companies offer monthly financing at reasonable rates. P.S.: While you’re shopping for mattresses, pick up a nice bed for your dog or cat. Sleeping with your pet may be cozy, but can disrupt your sleep.
  2. Lighting. You have heard all about the effects of blue light on sleep. Try to limit screen time before you go to bed. At the very least, adjust the settings to nocturnal level to help your brain transition to sleep mode. The same goes for TV if you have one in your bedroom. If you have windows in your bedroom, consider hanging blackout curtains.
  3. Temperature. This one is tricky if you share an apartment with only one thermostat. Numerous studies have demonstrated that cooler temperatures promote more restful sleep. You can help lower the temperature in your bedroom with fans and by using lighter-weight, lighter-colored bedding, such as cotton blends.
  4. Sound. If you need to drown out your roommates or other neighbors, you can buy an ambient noise machine. The bells and whistles will determine the cost, but you can block out sounds with nature sounds, such as gentle rain or crashing ocean waves. The same goes for waking up. Instead of being jarred awake by a blaring buzzer, consider being lured into consciousness by soft music.
  5. De-clutter. Being surrounded by piles of dirty clothes, shoes, boxes, and piles of random stuff can be unsettling to your psyche and disrupt your sleep. Do yourself a favor and get your bedroom organized. Donate or sell items that you no longer need or use. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and feel great if you’ve helped a local charity or added a few bucks to your bank account.

 

By making even a few small changes to your bedroom décor, you can enjoy a more restful sleep. You’ll have a tranquil place to retreat to when you want to get away from your roommates, and you’ll reap the benefits of more energy, greater productivity, and a better mood. Your roommates, coworkers, and your body will thank you.

Get a Great Night’s Sleep at a Vision Community

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. Our spacious, studio, 2 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. 

 

Tips for Saving on Your Apartment Energy Bills

As we eagerly anticipate spring and warmer temperatures, we also know that it won’t be long before the thermometer reading soars, and we’re figuring out ways to stay cool. With skyrocketing energy prices, everybody’s budget has taken a hit. What can you do to stay comfortable in your apartment without breaking the bank?

The approach you take depends on the age of your apartment building. Many of today’s new builds are based on green design principles that may include solar energy, tempered windows, and other features designed to work with the environment instead of against it. It may be a little more challenging with an older building, but it can work. Fortunately, most apartments come with central air conditioning and many still have ceiling fans which can work to your advantage.

Here are some tips for keeping cool during the summer.

Ceiling fans

Ceiling fans aren’t everybody’s idea of decorative lighting, but they can come in handy during warmer months. They can work in tandem with your AC to circulate the air in your apartment. Consider running the ceiling fan while you are home and have the air conditioning running. While it may sound counterintuitive to use more electricity to save on your electricity bill, it makes sense. If your ceiling fans, which use less energy than the AC unit, help circulate air, the AC will not have to work as hard, thus reducing overall costs.

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats are trending right now. These are thermostats that will adapt to your energy usage patterns and adjust the indoor temperature accordingly. For example, if you keep the temperature in your apartment lower from 6 to 11 p.m., the thermostat will lower the AC temperature during those hours. It will regulate the temperature to be warmer during the day when you aren’t home. Ask your property manager about installing a smart thermostat. Some utility companies will install smart thermostats for free or at a reduced charge. The catch is that you allow them to monitor your utilization as part of their overall seasonal trend data.

Draperies

Light-blocking curtains are handy for keeping it warm during the winter, but they can serve the opposite purpose during the summer. Consider drawing the curtains during the times you aren’t home to block out the sunlight and heat. And forget about the notion that all light-blocking curtain panels are black or other dark colors. You can find light-blocking window treatments in a variety of colors and weights to keep your décor light and breezy during the spring and summer. If your apartment is drafty and leaks heat during the winter, then cool air is escaping during the summer. You can block the space under your front door with a towel, blanket, or piece of fabric. Get creative.

LED bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs are becoming harder and harder to find and with good reason. LED bulbs, last longer, use less energy, and are much cooler than their predecessors. The good news is that the prices of LED bulbs have gone down quite a bit so you can afford to replace all of the light bulbs in your apartment. While the initial cost may be a little higher than what you’ve paid in the past, the LED bulbs will pay for themselves through reduced energy bills and not having to replace them very often.

Hopefully, these tips will give you some ideas for when it gets really hot. If you plan now, you can seamlessly transition to summer without compromising comfort and saving money as well. The good news is that all of these hacks incorporate either something you already have or items that you can pick up for little or no cost.

Get a fresh start at a Vision Community

At Vision Communities, we have floor plans to fit any budget or family size. Our spacious, studio, 2 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. 

 

Preparing Your Balcony or Patio for Warmer Weather

Warmer weather means spending more time outdoors and that means it’s time to get your balcony or patio in shape for spring and summer. Outdoor living has been trending lately and just because you have a smaller space doesn’t mean that you can’t transform it into your personal oasis. Patio furniture and décor have become more affordable and are crafted from materials that are lightweight, durable, and can withstand the elements. Plants and lighting can also do wonders to add some green space and color to basic brick and mortar and concrete surroundings. Here are some ideas to get your balcony and patio ready for the warmer months ahead.

Proper Cleaning

Clean the inside and outside of the sliding glass doors. Use a commercial window cleaner or opt for an all-natural product like vinegar. Next, sweep away any dead leaves, dirt, and debris that have accumulated over the winter. You can also use a mild cleaner to mop the balcony floor or cement patio (since the concrete is sealed it’s safe) with lukewarm water. Wipe down the railings and any other remaining surfaces that may be dusty and dirty.

Choose the Right Furniture

Now the fun begins! If you already have outdoor furniture, thoroughly clean all of the frames and cushions. If you need to replace any chairs or tables, now is the time to grab them as many retailers have sales early in the spring. Change things up with some plush new cushions and throw pillows in fun colors and patterns.

Add Some Plants

Every patio or balcony needs some plants and you can find an abundance of low-maintenance greenery, flowers, and even veggies, during this time of year. Ohio is in Zone 6, so some plants that do well in low light include hostas, coleus, impatiens, and petunias. If your balcony gets a lot of sunlight, then try geraniums, marigolds, snapdragons, and salvia. There are now many varieties of vegetables that were hybridized for containers if you are into some urban gardening. You can find plant pots and boxes in every size, color, and composition imaginable, but don’t limit your plants to ground level. Hanging baskets are beautiful and add a touch of drama to your surroundings.

Outdoor Lighting

Now that everything is coming together, you need some lighting. If you don’t have an electrical outlet on your balcony or patio, no worries. You can find LED lights to keep the party going long after dark. Choose LED lights in strings and garlands, candles, lanterns, and even chandeliers.

Miscellaneous

Some other ideas for your balcony include indoor/outdoor area rugs, galvanized buckets for beverages and ice, flags, and citronella candles to ward off mosquitos. You can also find outdoor decor to bring it all together. 

While your apartment complex probably has a pool and plenty of options for hanging around and socializing outdoors, sometimes, you need just a little personal space to hold more intimate gatherings.  A breezy, comfortable patio or balcony is a great way to entertain or to just get outside and enjoy some self-care and “you” time.

Vision Community has Balconies

At Vision Communities, we have balconies standard in many of our floor plans. Our spacious 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom apartment layouts are designed to provide spacious inside space and a balcony for you to enjoy with friends and family. Check out our luxurious apartment floorplans in one of our communities to enjoy life at the VC. 

If you are looking for an apartment with a view, many of our floor plans come standard with a private balcony. We have communities in Columbus and Ashland, with available units for you to tour.