Fall Apartment Preparations for Bozeman Living

fall mountains

Spring has sprung, and summer is passing quickly. Going into local stores around town I am sure you have noticed the fall preparations beginning. Yes, I know it seems that we just got through winter, but fall is fast approaching us. Getting your apartment ready for fall can be fun, and it does not have to be expensive. Take a look at some of these ideas to spruce up your festive side and prepare for fall fun.

autumn foliage1. You Shall Not Pass…

The first thing that people see when they enter your home is the entry way. This is the gateway into your home, and you have to ask yourself, “What do I want the first impression of my home to be to others?” Every entryway (even those that are almost non-existent) can be spruced up to be welcoming, fun, classy, and say something about who you are.

a) If you have a small entry area, you could place a small end table with a work of art hanging over it to add style to your space.

b) If you are like most people in Bozeman, as it gets cooler, the bigger clothing items (i.e. jackets, coats, snow gear, etc.) begin to trickle out. Don’t fret. You can take various wall hooks and design a creative, unique area for guests to hang their items as they enter your home.

c) If you like to recycle items to give them new life, try re-purposing a garden trellis to establish a new artistic coat rack for your space. Simply give the garden trellis a face lift with fresh paint, attach some eye hooks, and voilà. You have an awesome multi-functional wall organizer.

2. Fall Fakeover

Every season you are pushed to change everything in your life to “keep up” with the ever changing trends and decorating ideas. Who has the time or money for that? However, there are many things you can do to give that fake makeover (fakeover) look to your space without breaking the bank to get those warm touches of fall.

  • a) Get fitted covers for your couch and loveseat. You don’t have to buy a whole new living room set. You can simply pick up a couple of covers in the warm colors of fall, and fit them to your furnishings in your living room.
  • b) Change out your throw pillows. Simply picking up a couple of seasonal throw pillows can completely change the look of a room.
  • c) Change out throw blankets in the room with some warmer, more fall like, colors.
  • d) Make some creative decorations like a fall wreath to hang as a focal point in the room and/or spiced candles with pine cone accents.
  • e) Add a large mirror, or a collection of mirrors to a wall, to open up the room, reflect more light, or just add a touch of art.
  • f) Add some fall foliage to your space to bring about the warm mood.

3. Knock the Dust Off

Chances are good that when the warm weather came, you put that thick blanket away. As everyone who has lived in Bozeman for any amount of time knows, the weather here can change any second. I believe the saying is, “If you don’t like the weather here, wait 5 minutes and it will change.” Now is the time to start preparing for that unexpected cool night, and get those blankets washed and ready.

4. Ring Around the Rosie

closet with many bootsJust like with your bedding, your clothing should be rotated as well. Yes, the warm weather is still here (for the time being), but it is good to start going through your fall items to see what you need to purchase and what you would like to get rid of. Also by going through your fall clothes, shifting things in your closets and drawers, and beginning to have everything ready for the seasonal changes, you are ahead of the game. If you wait until you need that coat, but can’t find it or it has a hole in it, then you will cause yourself undue stress and frustration.

5. Is There A Draft In Here?

Living in an apartment in Bozeman, you have access to a competent and skilled maintenance team. Check under your sinks for any leaks, feel around windows and doors for drafts, and ensure that all appliances are working properly. Contact your leasing office if you find any issues so they can address the problems before the colder weather rolls into town. Having these concerns handled now instead of when you have icicles coming from your ceiling will make for a much happier and comfortable transition as Mother Nature shares her weather adventures with us.

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Apartment Battles: Resident-1 Bathroom-0

clean duckie

One of the biggest hurdles of residing in an apartment is space constraints. Making the most of your space can be challenging, but completely doable. There are so many options you may not even know are out there for you to try in your home to achieve the illusion of space without compromising the comfort and beauty you want. Although this could be a chapter book of ideas for the whole home, we are going to focus on the bathroom for today. Stay tuned for more ideas for rooms throughout your apartment 😉
apartment bathroom

  1. Some apartment homes allow you to paint your walls (as long as you return them to the original color when you vacate). This could be a great opportunity for you to erase that cold or enclosed feeling you get with stark white walls. However, you will want to avoid dark or heavy colors for the walls. You can save those for the accent pieces to decorate your bathroom with. The dark or heavy colors have a tendency to make the space feel more enclosed or smaller. By choosing lighter (not necessarily brighter) colors, the room will have a soft warm cozy feeling without feeling bounded.

 

  1. If you have a regular shower curtain in your bathroom or are currently the proud owner of frosted glass doors, try changing these out for clear glass doors. This will add the look of the shower area as part of the bathroom instead of adding another illusive barrier to space. If you are unable to install glass doors, you can also try using a tie back to decoratively hold the curtain to one side.

 

  1. Try to open up floor space. Yes, this sounds like a no brainer, but often times we close a bathroom in by cluttering the floor area that we have to work with. If you have a linen closet, try keeping your laundry basket in the closet instead of the bathroom. You can also store other items like cleaning materials in the closet as well. Another option for saving floor space is to store your trash receptacle under the bathroom sink instead of allowing it to take up floor space.

 

  1. Establish a focal point of your room. Don’t try to force too much into a small space. Choose maybe a couple of accent colors, and stick with that. Being too eclectic with your space can cause the feeling of being closed in as there is so much going on in such a small space. This also decreases the ability to have an even flow in the room.

 

  1. Add a floating shelf high in the shower, above the linen closet (if it is in the bathroom), or over the door area. This will allow for creative organizing without intruding on the already limited space of the room.

 

  1. Try using an over-the-door towel rack. One of the unfortunate things about drying racks for the bathroom is that they take up useful wall space and can make your bathroom look cluttered. By placing the rack over the door, you are taking that “eye sore” from immediate view thus opening up the room.

 

  1. Use an over-the-toilet storage option. Many stores and on line vendors offer these special shelving/storage option for the bathroom. These are great for opening up areas, adding functional yet appealing storage options, and can really add that certain something to your space. They come in several varieties, easily assembled (usually), and can be inexpensive.

These are just a few ideas you could try to enhance the illusion of space and the feeling of your bathroom. But be creative and enjoy your undertaking of a small home improvement task. We would caution that if you decide to paint or otherwise change the physical structure of the room, please check with your leasing office first. This will ensure a smooth transition and no issues with lease requirements.

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The Adventures of Grime Fighting: Destress to Success

Clean Bedroom

Do you get “cleaning anxiety” before you start a big cleaning project? This is very common as cleaning out the old to bring in the fresh uncluttered new can be a daunting task. Although the finished product of reorganizing and cleaning your home has definitely been shown to have relaxing and calming effects, getting there can be the issue. It is possible to clean AND have fun with just a few preparations and steps. Let’s take a look at some ways you can destress to achieve success.

Blueprint and Prep for Your Journey

Cleaning your ApartmentEvery big journey needs a map. Starting a huge task (like spring cleaning) is no different. Before you begin your journey, you can sit down to make a checklist of the tasks you would like to complete. You can put these in the order you would like to get them done, what is most important to least important, or just get them down on paper so you don’t forget. The ability to check off completed tasks on your list is gratifying, and they can help keep you motivated to keep moving.
Would you just get in your car, drive to the mountains, and begin hiking to go camping without any preparation at all? Probably not. The special care you would take to prepare yourself for a trip or an outside activity is just as important in this situation. Some things you can do to help prepare yourself and the environment for your cleaning event include:

  • Disinfect any cloth or sponge you intend to use. You can make this extremely easy by simply filling the sponge with water, set it on a microwave safe plate, and zap it for 2 minutes. If you prefer to use a cloth, you can wash it with bleach in only hot water, and dry it on the hottest setting.
  • Clean your vacuum and all attachments with a mild detergent and warm water (unplugged of course). If your vacuum has filters, you will want to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacing it or cleaning the filter. If you have a bag-less vacuum, just ensure to rinse out the canister before and after you use it. Those who have devices that use a bag, remember to change the bag before use.
  • Sanitize your mop if you are using one. There are so many different floor cleaning tools out there that it is sometimes hard to keep up with them all. However, the tried and true mop is still used. Those items can house bacteria that you would not want to spread around your nice clean home. You can sanitize your mop by simply using a bucket filled with hot water (approximately 1-2 gallons) and a cup of white vinegar. Now let your mop soak for 15 minutes, and voila!
  • Gather all of your desired cleaning supplies to ensure you have everything you will need to begin your journey.

Set the Scene

One of the most important things you can do for yourself to prepare for the huge undertaking of a big project (like spring cleaning) is to set the scene. This doesn’t mean you have to do anything extravagant, but you should make the environment feel as comfortable as possible. This could include ensuring the temperature of the room is comfortable, playing energizing or enjoyable music, and even turning your phone off (airplane mode works too). Yes, I know that could be very scary for some, but the consistent or constant interruptions can cause delays in progress, divert you from your goal, and even increase stress while you are cleaning. The goal is to remove anything that could increase the likelihood of stress. And honestly, do you really need up to the minute facts on what Suzy ate for lunch today? You will enjoy that information more after your home is refreshed and you can devote your attention to other things.

Enlist Help (if needed)

If you have found that you could actually have a starring role on “Hoarders” (TV series on TLC), don’t stress. You can always phone a friend, and make it a cleaning party! It is very common for you to save things throughout the years, but you will find that those things build up. Some of those things are very sentimental and important to you, while others you begin questioning what you were thinking when you saved it. Not only would having some help speed up the process of cleaning, but you could have fun with it too. If you do not have anyone who is super excited about cleaning with you, then you could also call in some professional cleaning services to assist. Either way, the help is out there if you find yourself too stressed to take on the spring cleaning task on your own.

Pace Yourself

Kingdoms were not built in a day. Set a start and end time for yourself with reasonable breaks built into your day. Don’t be discouraged if you are not able to get all of the tasks on your checklist completed on the first day. Experts recommend keeping breaks short, but also setting a stop point for the day. By keeping breaks short, you are more likely to stick to your task. However, if you have not set an end in sight, you may become too overwhelmed to continue. Basically, be fair to yourself.

Work Smarter Not Harder

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The Adventures of Grime Fighting

spring pond

Although there is still snow on the ground, spring is coming (I promise). With the brighter days ahead, we all want to open those curtains and windows letting that fresh clean air breeze through our home. However, opening those windows could stir up the dust that has been collecting throughout the winter while bringing attention to the clutter you forgot you had. Why not start this spring off right? Let’s take a look at why spring cleaning is so beneficial and some tips for getting a jump start on your newly decluttered home.

 

Why Should We Spring Clean?  

Most people dread the thought of a deep cleaning for anything, but research has shown some surprising positive correlations between thoroughly cleaning your home and an improved daily life. Spring cleaning does more for you than improving the smell of your home. Here are just 6 benefits you will experience through the simple task of cleaning and organizing your home.

  1. How many times have you spent time searching for a needed item, spent money replacing that item, only to find it tucked away in that “put away” spot you forgot about. When you clean your home, it can be like Christmas in March. You tend to find things that you forgot you possessed. By taking the time to re-organize your home, you could save yourself time and money. Moreover, the rise in productivity within your home creates an environment filled with increased energy and a more positive mood.

 

  1. clean duckieWilliam Shakespeare reminded us that, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” The time will come while you clean and organize your home, to determine if an item is still needed. Although we tend to want to keep everything, not everything should be kept. You can establish three piles for items as you go through the things in your home: Keep/Put Away, Trash, Donate/Sell/Give Away. Organization experts recommend that if you have not used something since last spring, or longer, maybe it is time to let it go. If you are like me, you hate to throw away something that is still useful (in some aspect). If it is time to part ways, but you believe the item is still useful, you could donate it, sell it, or give it to a friend.

 

  1. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) completed research noting the importance of spring cleaning and the direct correlation to a reduction of allergy symptoms. Although this is a great way to relieve allergy symptoms, everyone can benefit from decreased allergens in the air.
  1. Cleaning can make you happy. Yes, I know it is surprising, but researchers have found that the act of cleaning provides a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Thus, the achieved success of a clean home improves happiness. You should try putting on some of your favorite tunes and turn cleaning into a fun work out. Did you know that women could burn up to 1804 calories and men up to 2108 calories just by cleaning? Here is a cleaning calorie burning break down for you.

 

  1. Let’s be honest, we all feel better when the space around us is clean and functional. Cleaning has been shown to  reduce stress and has been viewed as therapeutic. Just remember the old phrase, “slow and steady wins the race.” Take a break if things become too much or overwhelming. The goal is not to win a race, but to find that de-cluttered balance in your home. Experts suggest that you should focus on one room at a time while cleaning. Becoming involved in trying to do to much in multiple rooms at one time will result in increased stress, decreased outcome, and hesitation in maintaining a clean home.

 

  1. Believe it or not, the act of thoroughly cleaning your home frees up brain space for other essential decision making tasks. In a study conducted by David Tolin, founder of America’s Anxiety Disorder Center at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living in Connecticut, a clutter filled home does more than just create a breeding ground for mold, dust, and debris; it wreaks havoc on the mental health and brain function of the individuals residing in the home. The study showed that those tested exhibited “stress overload” in the area of the brain that governs decision making (orbitofrontal cortex) when they were asked if they should throw away an item or keep it.

 

You have embraced the benefits of spring cleaning, completed the tasks needed to declutter your home, and now it’s time to reward yourself. You now can enjoy the warmer weather, get outside, and have fun without worrying about coming home to a messy cluttered filled home. Just kick back, relax, and have some friends over. You’ve earned it!

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