Pool Tips for Summer 2020

Pool Etiquette During COVID-19

Memorial Day weekend is the “unofficial” beginning of summer and signals the opening of pools around the country. However, this year, COVID-19 has definitely disrupted these plans. It’s a tough decision for property managers, who have to decipher regulations issues by the state, county, and in some instances, the city, which is not an easy task.  You can enjoy all of the outdoor amenities your community has to offer, but you’ll need to abide by the rules issued by your apartment management and use common sense.

  1. COVID-19 can’t be transmitted through water. This has been verified by the CDC. Chlorine and other chemicals used in the pool will kill COVID, so you’re safe while you’re in the pool. It’s what happens once you get out of the water, where you need to take precautions.
  2. Maintain social distancing. Pool deck furniture such as chaise lounges, tables and chairs need to be six feet apart. This furniture, along with other common surfaces, like railings, should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Don’t share goggles, water toys, floaties, etc., unless it’s within your immediate family.
  3. Wear a mask. Obviously, you can’t wear a mask in the water, but you can when you are socializing with people around the pool. It’s OK if you’re sunbathing and want to remove it, but once you start engaging with other pool-goers, you should put your mask back on.
  4. Cut out the horseplay. Sure, it’s fun to splash, do cannonballs, upend your buddy’s float, but use common sense. Not only does rough-housing annoy other swimmers, but it doesn’t help in the fight against spreading COVID. How? When somebody gets water in their nose or mouth, the first thing they do is get out of the pool and cough, blow their nose and wipe their eyes. Even with the benefit of chlorine, an asymptomatic person could unknowingly spread the virus as droplets can travel great distances and also linger for a long time on hard surfaces.
  5. Clean up your trash. Yes, there is always that person who leaves their trash laying around their chair. Trash blowing around the pool not only clutters the pool area but can increase the person to person spread of COVID-19.
  6. Wash your hands frequently. Even though you’re going to be in water, you still need to wash your hands before and after visiting the pool area. Carry your own hand sanitizer with you. On that note, the good news is that more local companies are making their own brands of “artisan” hand sanitizer, so the dearth is slowly being replenished. This advice is especially important if you use the restroom or shower in the pool area.

COVID-19 has put a crimp in everybody’s lifestyle but it is what it is.  Vision Communities is closely following the guidelines set by the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health. Our goal is to keep all residents safe while allowing them to enjoy the pool during the hot summer months. Be a good community citizen and do your part by keeping yourself and your fellow residents safe.

At Vision Communities, we encourage our residents to be smart this summer but enjoy the experience of living in one of our apartment communities. We take pride in the communities that we build and want our residents to feel the same way. We’ll take care of the maintenance of the facilities and your apartment, but the cleaning and assembly are up to you! With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family. 

Working from Home in your apartment

Successfully Working From Home

You may be among the millions of U.S. workers who have been abruptly transported from the office to working from home (WFH). While this may be second nature to many, to others, it’s a brand-new concept. If you’re new to WFH, especially if you share an apartment with roommates, you need to devise a plan to be productive, keep the peace with your roomies and maintain work-life balance. The following are some tips for setting up a WFH space that will work for both you and your roommates.

  1. Set up a dedicated work area. Since all of you can’t work at the dining room or kitchen table, the best option is to create a work space in your bedroom. That way you can close the door which will signal to your roommates that you are busy and will also shield you from the noise of other people working. You’ll need a desk or table and a comfortable, ergonomically-correct chair. This is one area where you don’t want to scrimp, as you’ll be spending a lot on time in this chair. You could check with your employer to see if they have any kind of allowance or budget to assist their WFH employees.
  2. Set boundaries with your roommates. Agree in advance about work hours and when they realistically begin and end. For example, if you need to work late for a conference call or to complete a big project, ask your roommates to keep the volume down. You should also have your own office supplies, or create a system if you’re going to be sharing a printer, paper, etc. Be considerate. If you use the last of the printer paper, load up the tray or replace an empty ink cartridge.
  3. Source the right technology. Make sure that your computer can withstand the extra workload. Is it fast enough? Can it accommodate company-issued software or other products you may need to download? You might also be connected to a company VPN, which is a good idea for keeping work separate from personal and also offers a measure of security. Talk to your company’s IT department to make sure everything on your end is good to go. If you and your roommates are all online during the day, bandwidth and speed might become an issue. It would be a good idea to have a group call with your ISP if you suspect there is going to be an overload.
  4. Create a schedule. Plan your workday just the same as if you were going to the office. The only real difference is that you don’t have to commute. Get up at the same time you normally would, have your coffee, eat breakfast, check your email, the news, etc. Then, start working at the same time you would as you would in the brick-and-mortar office. Allow yourself a lunch break and close up at shop at the same time you usually would at the end of the workday. Exchange schedules with your roommates. Set some grounds rules such as when is it OK to interrupt each other. Emergencies only? Advice on how to word a sentence in a report? Computer help?
  5. Schedule breaks. For your physical heath and sanity, schedule frequent breaks throughout the day. First of all, it gives you an opportunity to stretch and rest your eyes. If you can, go outdoors. Take a short walk around the property. This is also a good time to talk with your roommates if these is anything you need to discuss that had to be put aside due to work. Avoid any emotionally-charged issues until after work. You don’t need the distraction.
  6. Leave work at work. Even if you are just moving from your bedroom to the living room. Leave work behind. One drawback of WFH is called work creep. That is when the line between work and personal time start to blur. This can lead to burnout. If it helps, make a plan. At 5 p.m., make a plan with your roommates that you’re going to watch a show on Netflix, go for a run, start dinner, etc. The same thing can apply to the end of the work week. Plan something to look forward to when Friday afternoon rolls around. A lot of companies now have virtual happy hours. You could join in that or plan something fun with your roommates like ordering pizza or trying a new craft beer.

At Vision Communities, we encourage our residents to make our apartment communities home. We take pride in the communities that we build and want our residents to feel the same way. We’ll take care of the maintenance of the facilities and your apartment, but the cleaning and assembly are up to you! With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family. 

Learn plants that are great for apartments

The Best Plants for Apartment Living

Best Outdoor Plants for Apartment Living

If you think that living in an apartment means you can’t enjoy gardening, you’re wrong! Spring is here and now is the time to prepare your patio or balcony for the warmer months ahead. Container gardening is inexpensive and fun, plus, it’s not as labor-intensive as maintaining a traditional garden. You don’t have to dig, plant seeds or weed. Many plants species, including vegetables, can be successfully grown in containers. Central Ohio is in Zone 6, meaning that prime growing season is from that last frost to the first frost, roughly May 1-November 1. Some “crops,” such as lettuce and other leafy greens, are best harvested early and usually don’t grow as abundantly through the summer. Tomatoes should be planted as soon as possible but you’re going to have to wait until July or August to enjoy them. Flowers (annuals) can be planted any time and will last through the early fall. Herbs can be put out early and will last all season. As a bonus, you can bring them indoors during the winter, just make sure that they get plenty of light.

The key to choosing the best plants depends on how much light your patio or balcony gets during the day. Full sun means about six hours a day, partial is three hours, then there is full shade, but don’t despair if your apartment falls in the last category. There are plenty of shade-loving plants such as hostas. You can put plants in practically any type of container but make sure that there is adequate drainage, otherwise, the roots will get to wet and rot. If the container you want to use doesn’t have drainage holes in the bottom, that’s an easy DIY with a hammer and nails. Another benefit to having a container garden is that is will attract bees and butterflies and the occasional hummingbird. If you are interested in setting up a habitat to attract pollinators, you can check with your local university extension office or go online to learn which plants are native to this region and will thrive in containers.

Here are some popular flowerings plants and herbs that you can find at your local nursery or lawn and garden center:

  • New Guinea impatiens (low maintenance; like partial shade)
  • Lobelia (great for hanging baskets; partial shade)
  • Sweet potato vine (cascades from hanging baskets; full sun)
  • Caladium (greenery; partial to full shade)
  • Hibiscus (full sun; can winter over indoors)
  • Salvia (bees love it; full sun)
  • Hostas (greenery; full shade)
  • Marigolds (repels harmful insects; full sun)
  • Petunias (top-rated; full sun)
  • Roses (full sun)
  • Rosemary and basil (full sun)
  • Chives and cilantro (full sun)
  • Mint (full sun-partial shade)

These are some of the vegetable plants that will grow well in containers:

  • Lettuce (partial sun)
  • Spinach (partial shade)
  • Kale (full sun)
  • Chard (partial sun)
  • Tomatoes (full sun)
  • Green beans (full sun)
  • Jalapeños and chili peppers (full sun)
  • Zucchini (full sun)
  • Cucumber (full sun)
  • Radishes (full sun)
  • Sweet peppers (full sun)

You can grow practically anything you want in a container as long as you have the right sunlight, soil and container. It can help you feel productive and turn into an enjoyable hobby that requires little efforts. Flowers and plants add a pop of color to your patio or balcony, can help the environment and provide a source of fresh food. Add some comfy chairs, a table and some mood lighting (like fairy lights) and you can create an urban oasis to escape from the pressures of daily life. Relax with a good read, coffee, tea, wine or a mojito (made from your mint plants) and appreciate a little slice of nature in your own home.

At Vision Communities, we encourage our residents to make our apartment communities home. We take pride in the communities that we build and want our residents to feel the same way. We’ll take care of the maintenance of the facilities and your apartment, but the cleaning and assembly are up to you! With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family. 

Apartment living with pets

Apartment Living With Dogs

Are you and your canine companion looking for an apartment? If you are, you’re in luck. These days, apartment management companies realize the importance of accommodating their prospective tenants who are pet owners and now welcome them. Most Vision Community apartment communities have on-site dog parks, as well as doggie stations throughout the property so dog walkers can clean up after their pets. Before you and your dog sign a lease, or if you already have a lease and are thinking about adopting a dog, these are some important considerations. 

  1. Time. Dogs need to go outside several times a day to go potty, and they need exercise. If you work from home, that’s great. If you work a traditional 9-to-5 schedule, you should be fine, but will need to attend to your dog as soon as you get home. If you work longer hours or travel a lot, you can either hire a dog walker or dog sitter. You don’t want to have a dog that annoys your neighbors all day because he/she is board and barks constantly. 
  2. Breeds. It’s a misnomer that only smaller breeds are best-suited for living in confined spaces; it’s based on the breed’s temperament. Large dogs like greyhounds and Great Danes like to lounge around all day, so they would work well. Some smaller breeds like terriers and border collies, are high-energy and need to run around. If they don’t have the chance to burn off their energy, they will resort to destructive boredom-busting behavior like chewing on the furniture. In many apartment communities, there are breed and size restrictions for dogs, so keep that in mind.
  3. Desensitization. When your dog moves into your apartment, whether it moved with you or came from a shelter, it needs time to adjust to its new home. Take it slowly. Start with taking your dog on short walks around the property or nearby neighborhood so it can get used to the smells and sounds. You can also let it meet your neighbors and their dogs while you’re doing this. You know your dog and can gauge when it feels comfortable, intimidated or aggressive. There are also many resources for dog training, such as your local pet supply store. You could take your dog to classes for basic training and get it used to socialization.
  4. Clean-up and accidents. When you walk your dog on the grounds, please be courteous to your neighbors and clean up the poop. Owner negligence is one of the main complaints received by apartments managers, especially from the non-dog-owning residents. Do your part. Indoor accidents are unavoidable, so you should stock up on cleaning and odor-removal products designed specifically for pets. You should probably also just realize that if you own a dog, you might not receive 100% of your security back when you move out. Many apartment complexes have an additional pet deposit that you pay when you move in, for this very purpose and some places charge monthly pet rent, usually around $25-$30, and this may be on a sliding scale, based on the type of pet and its size.

These tips can go a long way in ensuring harmonious apartment living for you, your dog, and your neighbors. With a little extra TLC, training and common courtesy towards your neighbors, your dog will be as happy living in you apartment as you are!

Vision Communities welcomes pets in our Central Ohio apartment communities. We encourage residents to bring their pets into our communities. We have dog parks and plenty of space for them to run and stretch their legs. At Vision Communities, we pride ourselves in the communities that we build. We’ll take care of the maintenance of the facilities and your apartment, but the cleaning and assembly are up to you! With apartment communities near ClintonvilleDowntown Columbus, and Westerville, Vision Communities has the floor plan and amenities that you are looking for. To learn more, browse our Central Ohio communities and find the right floor plan for you and your family.