5 Ways to Add Personality to an Apartment WITHOUT Painting the Walls

add personality to an apartment

add personality to an apartmentDid you know that research indicates that your home decor can have a significant impact on your mood? Creating a residential space that is uniquely your own can make you feel comfortable and help you unwind at the end of the day.

Of course, this can be admittedly difficult to do when you live in an apartment. Your landlord may have regulations that prevent you from painting the walls or hanging photos. But these restrictions don’t have to stop you from creating a space you’ll love.

Check out this guide to learn how to add personality to an apartment without breaking your lease agreement.

1. Removable Wallpaper

Think that wallpaper is only for your grandmother’s house? Think again. Modern wallpapers with trendy designs can be a great way to add a personal touch to a room.

Of course, traditional wallpapers are not an option for apartment living, as they can leave residue on the walls. But luckily, removable wallpaper offers a way to decorate your walls without damage. With this product, the wallpaper will easily peel off, leaving no trace.

2. Add Curtains

Generic white blinds can make your apartment look boring. That is why another great way to add color to the walls in your apartments is to hang window treatments.

Curtains are both a functional way to keep light out of the room and an attractive way to make the room look more interesting. Consider choosing curtains in a bright color to add an accent to your walls.

3. Hang Artwork

Just because you can’t put holes in the walls doesn’t mean that you can’t hang artwork. Using command strips or wall putty can make it easy to hang paintings or family photos without damaging the walls.

Hanging pictures with different colors in them can help draw attention to a certain part of the wall. Another creative idea is to choose multiple pictures of different sizes and arrange them in an interesting way.

4. Make Bookshelves a Focal Point

Bookshelves are obviously a good place to store your books. But that does not have to be their only function. You can also place decorative items on top of the bookshelf or arrange knick-knacks, flowers, and photos on the shelves. This can be a good way to display artwork without having to hang it on the walls.

5. Rearrange Your Furniture

Want to make your living space more interesting? Consider arranging the furniture in a different way. For instance, instead of pushing furniture up against the wall, use your couch to divide the room into two separate spaces.

Add Personality to An Apartment Today

With these tips in hand, you will soon be able to add personality to an apartment and make it your own.

Ready to get into an apartment you will love? Apply online today to take the first step to getting in your new home.

5 Single Mom Budgeting Ideas To Help You Save More Cash

single mom budgeting

single mom budgetingDid you know there are around 80 percent of children in the United States are in single mother households? Are you the head of one of these households and looking for ways to save money every month? Look no further. Here’s a list of the best ways to save with single mom budgeting.

Single Mom Budgeting Using Weekly Ads

You know those annoying junk ads you get in the mail every week that take up space in the mailbox? Those can actually come in quite handy for budgeting. Weekly ads can have savings for anything ranging from food to clothing, and even oil changes! If you keep an eye out for the right deals, you’ll save even more.

Budgeting with Coupons

Along the lines of weekly ads, you can use coupons. Coupons can be collected and used along with store sales and discounts. Check online for deals and online coupons. There are even websites that offer coupons, so check around.

Make a Food Budget

Another way to make it as a single mom is to make a budget for your grocery bill. Experts say the best way to figure out your food budget is to use six percent of your income toward groceries and then you can use five percent of any unused money toward eating out.

Using coupons is also a good way to help stretch those dollars. As is finding recipes that don’t require a lot of ingredients. You can really make your groceries go a long way when you plan your menu right.

Save Money on Living Arrangments

By living in an apartment, you can save yourself a lot of money too. Not only do you save on property taxes, but you can also save on repairs and lawn equipment. Of course, if situations get dire, you can always enlist the help of roommates to pick up the slack on the rent. That isn’t the easiest thing to do when the mortgage of a house is placed solely on your shoulders.

Single Parents Advice About Debt

Of course, budgeting is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you and your family can thrive in a single parent home. But it’s easy to get into debt if you’re not careful. So, the surest way to make sure you are keeping yourself afloat is to pay off your bills on time and don’t accumulate too many credit cards.

Apartments to Make Your Family Feel at Home

If you’re looking for a place to call home, Willow Creek Crossing has affordable apartments for you and your family that we’re sure you’ll love. Give us a call today to schedule your tour!

If you liked reading about single mom budgeting try, “Apartment Budgeting Tips for First Time Renters [Budget Worksheet]“.

Spring Cleaning Tips You Need to Try in Your Apartment

spring cleaning tips

spring cleaning tips

Spring is here! And you know what that means. It’s time for spring cleaning.

This annual cleaning frenzy is a worldwide occurrence that is actually rooted in ancient Jewish, Iranian, and Chinese cultures. And when you think about it, it makes sense why this tradition would have spread all over our modern world. After all, Spring is a time for rebirth and regeneration.

So get your cleaning products ready and your work clothes on! And don’t let this seemingly big undertaking stress you out. By following these simple spring cleaning tips, you’ll have an organized plan that can’t fail.

Clean One Room at a Time

There’s no easier way to get overwhelmed and set yourself up for failure than by starting a bunch of little tasks and not finishing them right away. For example, if you’re organizing your closet and realize you need the duster to clean off a shelf, so you walk into the kitchen only to remember that you were going to take all of the fine china out for cleaning, so you start doing that… well, you get the picture. It’s a mess!

By focusing on one room and one task at a time, you’ll be managing your time appropriately and keeping yourself focused mentally. Having a bunch of half-finished projects all over the house is sure to leave you feeling frazzled.

Make a List

And speaking of going one room at a time, it’s a good idea to plan your attack strategy ahead of time as well. Walk through each room of your home with a notepad and jot down each task that needs to be completed before you begin cleaning.

This will help you stay on track and give you a realistic time frame of how long your spring clean may take. Cleaning on multiple days is a great idea!

Get Others Involved

If you live with your family or roommates, get them involved! After all, why should you be the one doing all the work if everyone will be enjoying a nice clean home as a result?

After you’ve made a plan for each room in your home, sit down with your co-inhabitors and assign appropriate tasks to each person. Or, better yet, get volunteers for tasks which they don’t mind undertaking. And don’t forget to share these valuable spring cleaning tips with them for extra efficiency!

Don’t Forget These Often Overlooked Tasks

It’s easy to forget certain tasks when you’re cleaning your apartment. Check out this handy list of commonly forgotten activities!

Flip Your Mattresses

In each bedroom in your apartment, flip those mattresses! It will help everyone sleep better.

Check Smoke Detector Batteries

And change them if needed. Here’s how!

Check Expiration Dates

This doesn’t just apply to the condiments in your fridge. Check the prescriptions in your medicine cabinet as well and properly dispose of anything that has expired.

Stick with These Spring Cleaning Tips for Success

If you follow the tips above, you’ll experience an organized, thorough, and rewarding spring cleaning experience. Just remember to make a list, take it room by room, get the whole gang involved, and don’t forget those easily overlooked tasks!

If you need multiple days to complete your spring clean, don’t stress. Just take each task in turn and watch the list dwindle until your apartment is sparkling clean!

Want more tips and info? Check out our blog. Or, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us anytime.

5 Clever Small Bedroom Closet Ideas for Apartments

small bedroom closet ideas

small bedroom closet ideas

Living in a smaller space after downsizing can be a challenge when it comes to storage. But this doesn’t mean you should live in an overstuffed apartment and trip over piles of clothes and shoes. There are clever hacks you can use to create extra storage space, even in the tiniest of homes. And with a little bit of effort, you can have a clean, organized bedroom closet in no time.

You may be wondering how you can add space in an already packed apartment. To help you out, we gathered the most genius small bedroom closet ideas. By implementing our suggestions, you’ll have more room to store seasonal items and neatly organize everyday clothes.

So keep reading to discover the easiest ways to get extra storage out of small closets.

1. Use Woven Baskets

Woven baskets are the modern way of storing things you can’t find a suitable place for. You can use them for clothes, socks, underwear, linens and even shoes. They’re also stylish and fit easily into almost any decor, so you’ll have everything tucked away neatly. The baskets can also act as drawers if you place them in a row on a bookshelf.

2. Hang Items On The Closet Door and Empty Walls

Even in a small bedroom closet, empty spaces can be easily turned into storage. Consider hanging some of your things on the inside of the closet door. You can use hooks, rods or over-the-door organizers to store shoes, belts, accessories, socks or other small items.

3. Get a Bed Frame With Storage Space

If you can, shop for a new bed frame with included storage space. This can be done by under-the-bed drawers or headboard storage. These bed frames provide extra space for seasonal garments like jackets, boots, sweaters, and blankets. But you can also use them for linens, duvet covers, extra pillows, and towels.

4. Use Shelf Dividers and Under-Shelf Baskets

If you have closet shelves extending from wall to wall, use shelf dividers to maximize the use of space. This way, you won’t have stacks of clothes, but a nice, organized closet. You can use the dividers to keep your bags straight or place woven baskets for added storage.

Under-shelf baskets are another great addition to your closet shelves. Simply hang them under the shelf and you have even more storage space for keeping smaller things like accessories, underwear, socks etc.

5. Use Tension Rods to Hang Your Shoes

The walls in your closet (or even bedroom) are considered potential storage space. So if you’re wondering where to put all your shoes, the solution is to hang them on the wall using tension rods. Other than shoes, you can also hang other lightweight items like shirts, pants, workout gear and more.

Now Go Put These Small Bedroom Closet Ideas into Use

Squeezing out some extra storage space when downsizing is not a walk in the park. But with our simple suggestions, you can easily make more space in your small bedroom closet.

Do you have any small bedroom closet ideas to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Decorate Your First Apartment: 5 Stylish Tips

first apartment

first apartment

Renting an apartment is a great way to gain independence without busting your budget. Finding your first apartment is always exciting, but how do you make it your own?

Decorating Your First Apartment

If this is your first time renting, you may be nervous about making any changes to the space. But while you probably won’t be ripping out cabinets or tearing up carpets, there’s actually a lot you can do to make an apartment feel like home.

1. Sort Out Your Storage

Adequate storage is a must, especially if you’re downsizing from a house. Take a good look at the items you have, and what types of storage will work best. If you have a lot of books and movies, shelving units are a great option. For general clutter (or an oversupply of shoes and accessories), woven baskets are an attractive way to stash away these items.

2. Find the Right Furniture Fit

Don’t start shopping for furniture before you measure each wall and doorway of your apartment. Determine how much space you have, and how much room each item will occupy.

If you have a small living room, take that into account when couch shopping. Also, remember to factor in issues like staircases and elevators when it’s time to move furniture inside. Even if a sofa will fit in your living room, that doesn’t mean it’ll make it up the stairs.

3. Remember Texture

Most items in your first apartment will serve a specific function, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have character! Size isn’t the only thing to keep in mind when choosing furniture. Consider different upholstery options to see what you like. And regardless of whether your apartment has carpeting, hardwoods, or tile floors, an area rug can add new life to a space.

Get a feel for different materials, colors, and styles when choosing room accents. And remember to pick something that you’ll want to use! A bold, flannel couch might make a statement, but is it comfortable to sit on?

4. Entertaining Options

No matter what size your first apartment is, you’ll want room for guests to get comfortable. In addition to seating, find tables that can be placed within easy reach of each guest. Coffee tables are common in a living room, but accent tables and end tables also work well throughout a space. And even if you don’t have room for a dining room table, consider collapsible options or side consoles that can be pulled out for larger gatherings.

5. DIY Flair

Renting your first apartment is a significant milestone. Create something that bridges the gap between where you’ve come from, and where you’re going. Create a piece of art using leftover paint or other supplies from your move. Or, find a map of your hometown and frame it on the wall if you’ve moved further away.

It can even be as simple as repainting an old dresser to give it new life. Either way, it’s about finding ways represent yourself in your new home.

Taking That First Step

Moving in and personalizing your first apartment is an exciting time in anyone’s life. But first, you need to find that apartment! Browse our available apartments to see what’s right for you.

How to Save Money on Your Utility Bill: 5 Simple Solutions

utility bill

utility bill

Are you looking for a way to cut down on monthly costs but not sure how? Sometimes, the promise of a cheap rent can be spoiled by the reality of high utility bills. While some prices, like internet and tv, are set in stone each month, many utilities fluctuate from month to month and could break your budget. And although you may think you have no control over these fluctuations, you have a lot more than you think. You can save money every month on your utility bill, you just have to be smart about it.

So how do you outsmart the bill? Read this article to discover 5 simple solutions for saving money on your utility bill.

1. Sniff Out the Vampires

It’s time to channel your inner Bella from Twilight and ward off some vampires. Don’t worry, no strings of garlic will be needed. All you need to do is take a quick walk around your house and unplug all of those devices that aren’t in use. Leaving devices plugged in 24/7 is a huge energy sucker. In fact, these “vampire appliances” take up an average of 10 percent of your bill for the year.

If you’re not using it, unplug it!

2. Temperature

Instead of reaching for the thermostat next time you’re cold, reach for a sweater. For every one degree you lower your thermostat, you can save three percent on your heating bill. That may not seem like a lot, but by consistently lowering the thermostat a couple degrees and you can save hundreds of dollars every year. And, that goes the same for the Summer months too! Keep your air conditioner turned up a couple of degrees to save money.

3. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

Remembering to drop or increase the temperature in order to save money is a lot easier task if you have a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you don’t have to worry about switching the temp when you’re running out the house in the morning. Installing one is fairly simple, so talk to your landlord about making the switch. If for some reason they won’t budge, just set reminders on your smartphone to stay on top of it.

4. Keep Your Appliances Efficient

Some of your appliances may actually be the culprit in your high energy bill, even if they are in perfect working order. For example, you can save money on your water bill by skipping the hand rinse before putting your dishes in, as most newer models can tackle the full clean for you. Switching to air-dry instead of heat-dry is another dishwasher trick that can save some money.

When it comes to laundry, wait until you have a full load to wash and make sure to remove the lint from the dryer every time. Doing so means better air flow and faster dry times. Not to mention, too much lint can be a safety hazard.

5. Contact Your Utility Company

Believe it or not, your utility company also wants to help you save money. Many of them have programs and incentives in place to encourage energy-efficient consumption, so contact yours to get the details.

Utility Bill Wrap Up

All these savings may not seem like a lot on their own, but by incorporating all of these practices you can save some serious dough. Got any questions about making energy-saving decisions? Drop a comment below. And, be sure to check out our selection of apartments if you are currently on the look out in Fort Wayne. 

Declutter Your Apartment and Make Money!

where to sell your stuff for casg

where to sell your stuff for casg

Where to sell your old stuff for cash

We all know we have more stuff than we really need. But the thought of cleaning out closets and drawers can seem overwhelming. What if you think about how much cash you can get from all that stuff that’s just sitting there gathering dust? That’s a motivator, right? So, if you’re ready to do a little early Spring cleaning to simplify your life, there are loads of ways to unload your unwanted possessions — and make money at the same time!

Sell Your Stuff Locally

Consignment Stores

We all have clothes in our closet that we never wear. Why not turn them into cash! Sell your gently-used, in-style clothes to a consignment store.  Some consignment stores also take gently-used furniture and home decor items.

Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are a great place to sell electronics and musical instruments that you no longer need.

Craigslist

You can also find local buyers with Craigslist for almost anything in your apartment. However, always exercise caution when meeting a potential buyer. If you can, don’t meet them at your apartment. Instead, meet them in a public place. Some police departments let you meet buyers in their parking lot. Stop in and let them know you’re there before meeting the buyer.

Facebook

Facebook is not only a great place to catch up with friends, it’s also a great place to sell your stuff! Join online garage sale groups (search for your city) or you can post items for sale to your Facebook friend list.

Sell Your Stuff Online

Of course, it’s also easy to sell stuff online. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Swap.com  – “The Largest Online Consignment and Thrift Store for Women’s, Men’s, Baby & Kids’ Clothing and Accessories”
  • eBay – the original Online Auction site for just about everything
  • Bonanza –  similar to eBay with lower seller fees
  • Poshmark –  sell designer clothing
  • LetGo – “sell used stuff in the US”
  • Buffalo Exchange – “New and Recycled Fashion”
  • IDO/NOWIDONT – sell used wedding or engagement rings
  • Swappa.com – “for gently used mobile tech”
  • Gazelle – “giving new life to used cell phones and other tech”

A good way to get ready to sell is to go through all your stuff and pull out things that you haven’t used in at least two years. Consolidate them in one spot, then using the sources above, sort them into the selling categories that work best for you. Happy decluttering and enjoy the new cash flow!

5 Creative Ways to Keep Cool and Still Enjoy Summer

three rivers festival downtown midway

5 creative ways to keep cool and still enjoy summer

Fort Wayne is Feeling the Burn!

Remember back in January when we were complaining about how cold it was? Well, not that we’re complaining about the hot, near 90-degree temps we’ve had this week, which we’d take any day over anything below 50-degrees, but we do need to make sure we keep cool during these hot Summer days. So, we’ve put together a list of some great ways to enjoy the heat AND keep cool in Fort Wayne.

5. Sprayground

waynedale splash pad

Did you know that Waynedale Park has a Splashpad? In addition to Waynedale Park, there’s also Splashpads at 8 other parks around Fort Wayne! What a great and fun way to cool down in the Summer heat!

4. A cool drink

fruit ice cubes

Turn your favorite fruit into refreshing fruit cubes and add them to your water (or sangria!)

3. Go for a spin

three rivers festival downtown midway

Head to one of the local Fort Wayne festivals or fairs like the Three Rivers Festival Downtown Midway. Hop on a spinny ride, and enjoy the breeze!

2. Grab a cool treat

carousel ice cream fort wayne

Cool down with a cone (or bowl) from one of the many Fort Wayne ice cream parlors. One of our favorites is West Central Microcreamery downtown (and their parent company, Carousel Ice Cream on State Street). They have all of your favorites from vanilla to chocolate and even bubblegum. They make their own ice cream so selection varies. And, our vegan residents don’t need to feel left out – they also have some tasty vegan ice cream such as Orange Pinapple and Banana Rum!

1. Hit the pools!

wcc apartment swimming pool

There’s no better way to keep cool than by jumping into one of our two swimming pools here at Willow Creek Crossing Apartments!

Apartment Spring Cleaning on the Fly

apartment spring cleaning

apartment spring cleaning
With the colder weather we’ve add this week, it may seem like Spring will never get here… but it is Fort Wayne and it always comes eventually! An apartment Spring cleaning session may be just the thing to beat the end-of-winter blues. And it’s probably a good idea to put the time in now before the weather turns warm and you’d rather be outside! But if the thought of spending your whole weekend cleaning doesn’t sound particularly appealing… we hear you! Here are some suggestions — organized room by room — for quick spring cleaning tasks that you can tackle on your own terms: one every morning, one or two a night, spread them over a couple of weekends, or do them all in one no-holds-barred day-long session. Whatever works for you!

Kitchen

  • throw out “been open too long”, “never going to eat that” or “can’t identify” items from the freezer
  • throw out similar items (and include any outdated condiments) from the fridge
  • if you have any dry or canned goods in the cupboards or pantry you don’t plan on eating, put them in a bag and donate them to the food pantry or the rescue mission
  • remove and scrub the the drip pans on your stovetop
  • pop the stove hood filters into the dishwasher to get them clean

Bedroom

  • if it’s not a pillow-top mattress, flip and turn it for even wear
  • wash the mattress pad and pillow covers
  • pack away winter bedding and bring out the lighter sheets and blankets

Family Room

  • following the manufacturers’ instructions, dust and clean your TV and computer
  • go through piled-up DVDs and video games; give away or trade-in what you no longer like
  • give the upholstered furniture a thorough vacuuming: take the cushions off, turn and fluff (any loose change you find goes to your vacation fund!)

Bathroom

  • purge old/never-used items from your medicine cabinet, toiletries, and makeup stash
  • wash makeup brushes and hairbrushes
  • wash the shower curtain (or buy a new one)

Outside

  • pull out any outdoor furniture or pots and planters: give them a rinsing off and a wipe and set them up for use when warmer weather hits
  • give your front porch,  patio, or balcony a quick sweep then rinse off salt and grime with a bucket of water
  • remove any out-of-season decorations and store or dispose of properly

Reminder, if you have allowed items to collect on your apartment patio or balcony, or in your common hallway, it’s time to clean it up! Season appropriate items such as patio furniture, planters, etc. need to be neatly placed and maintained. Nothing may be stored in common hallways that impede the entrance/exit of any resident.

General

  • use a broom to sweep cobwebs from the ceilings and corners in every room
  • give shelves, blinds, vents, and light fixtures a dusting
  • spot clean rugs
  • vacuum each room after the spring cleaning tasks for it are done — take the time to move the furniture and get to all the edges of the room
  • replace the vacuum bag

Like we said, take it a task at a time — or a room at a time. Whatever makes sense for you. Then reward yourself! Head out for a walk around the apartment community or buy yourself a new patio set to enjoy the warmer temps.

Parking Lot Safety Tips: How to keep your stuff safe

parking lot safety tips | Willow Creek Apartments Fort Wayne

parking lot safety tips | Willow Creek Apartments Fort Wayne

There are two kinds of people in this world – those who have had their car broken in to, and those who haven’t yet. I say “yet” because it is an unfortunate reality that with shared parking – like a parking lot – comes a higher likelihood that it can happen. Even the safest of neighborhoods can have a quiet criminal lurking who might take valuables out of your car or even the vehicle itself! Follow some basic protocols for better parking lot safety and you’ll be less likely to be a victim.

Secure your vehicle

We’ll start with the obvious: lock your doors and roll up your windows. Most parking lot criminals go from car-to car flipping handles to find the easy target. If your car door isn’t locked then it’s basically an open invitation to these people to hop in and help themselves to your belongings. We read a statistic recently that said 50% of all thefts and burglaries could be prevented simply by locking your car. Don’t make it easy for them! Locking your doors and rolling up your windows are your first line of defense against theft.

Place valuables in your trunk

Before you get out of your car, pause for a moment and take a quick inventory of what’s visible in your vehicle from the outside. Is your laptop in your car? Packages? Leaving your purse in there? Your vehicle has a higher chance of getting broken in to with easily accessible and easy-to-see goodies on display in the front or back seat. If you can’t take your valuables out with you, then do the next best thing and put them in your trunk. This way your car looks empty, boring, and not worth their time.

Hide papers with personal information

In today’s world, identity theft has become a rapidly growing problem that is plaguing the country. If a criminal can peek in to your car and easily see something like your registration, they already have enough information to do basic identity theft. Sensitive documents like work or school papers are very attractive to thieves. Even if there isn’t enough identifying information, just the appeal and possibility of obtaining some juicy information is all it can take for someone to decide to break in to your car.
It doesn’t take much to secure your car and protect yourself from parking lot theft. Next time you’re rushing to hop out of your car and go on with your day, slow down and consider your valuables.