Unless you LOVE to clean . . . you hate it!

Cleaning can be one of the very last things you want to do after a busy day. When you are a person that hates to clean, you have the mindset that cleaning is awful, boring, and useless. What is worse than cleaning is being stressed out all the time because your house is always messy. The first step is realizing that not caring about your apartment being clean is not an option. You also do not want to go crazy with trying to keep it clean because again you hate cleaning!

Just say BYE-BYE-BYE

Let’s start with DE-cluttering your place—it is simple, the less stuff you have, the less cleaning you have to do! Clutter can be a revolving door. As humans, we are constantly getting rid of things but we are constantly buying new things. Say goodbye to those college text books that you know you’ll never use again and clean out those drawers full of pointless junk.


Invite your friends over, feed them Pizza and Pepsi, and turn those chores into a party. You hate cleaning but you love being around your friends. The solution is easy, make cleaning as enjoyable as possible and you are destined to get the job done.

A Dish a Day Makes the Mess Go Away

Make a short list of things that you want to accomplish each night before you go to bed—

(1) Do the dishes (2) Do a load of laundry (3) Dust

You can change it up each night of the week and TA-DA your apartment is still tidy by Friday and you can enjoy your weekend stress free!

Funny Fact:room-car


Are you in the market for a new apartment home?  Finding the best suited apartment home for you can be tricky and can often be at exactly the same time many other apartment hunters are looking for a new place to call home too! 

I like to call this “The Amazing Apartment R-A-C-E”


Here are some pointers on how to be first in line for that hard-to-find apartment home you’ve been searching for…


Be prepared. When “racing” for that perfect apartment home, you can often save a lot of time by knowing what apartment homes are available.  Ask the following questions:  Do you have any {floor plan style} available?  How soon can I move in?  What are the move-in costs?  Check online reviews for the properties you are interested in at:  www.google.com, www.apartmentratings.com, & www.yelp.com.

(A)ct Fast:

Once you’ve created a list of what is available, it’s time to ACT FAST!  The best time to start your hunt is as close to the first of the month as possible. This is because most apartment leases end at the end of the month.  Starting early will give you the first pick available. The perfect apartment homes do not last long! Schedule appointments immediately to tour these properties!

(C)an I Afford It?:

Now that you’ve toured your prospective new apartment home, the question is, “Can I afford it?”  Can you?  Make sure you have a budget in place.  The cardinal rule for renting is that your monthly rental amount should not exceed 30% of your monthly income.   


You’ve researched, you’ve toured, you’ve made a budget – the only thing left to do is to choose your new home!  Expectations are the key deciding factors.  What are your expectations?  Make sure whichever new apartment home you have chosen is where you’ll be the happiest. Remember—Home is where the heart is ♥!  Also, keep in mind that just as you have high expectations for your new apartment home, your landlords have high expectations for their new renters.  Be welcoming to the rules and regulations of your new community.



Mother Nature is the ultimate artist. With the outdoors as her canvas, her work is colorful and awe-inspiring. You can pay homage to nature’s unique decorating style and bring that landscape indoors by adding the natural elements of water, earth, fire, wood, and metal. Renters can incorporate these elements in their design schemes despite the limitations of apartment decoration. With a few decor additions, you can change the space of your apartment into a more eco-friendly and inspiring dwelling. bringing the outside inside. Inside-Out Decor


Clay pottery is a simple and ornate means of representing the earth element, which is associated with stability, security and the late summer season. Incorporating natural stone into your decor is also indicative of the element of earth, and a collection of river stones, grouped either as a table centerpiece or laced around the bathtub, can draw upon the positive and comforting qualities of earth.


A small indoor fountain or coffee table waterfall would be an ideal manifestation of the water, the winter element, in your apartment. The flowing water will create a feeling of serenity and peace even when present inside. Combine your water contribution with live, green plants to perfect the organic environment, though recognize that water and foliage in the house can attract fruit flies. To remedy this issue, simply clear any decaying materials from the area, keep the surface around the water and plants dry, and clean with all purpose solution. If you’re not sure where to begin with greenery, Apartment Therapy has a nice guide for the apartment-friendly plants.


In Chinese philosophy, wood is an element of energy and re-growth, and correlates with the spring season. To bring that energy into your domicile, try accents like bamboo window treatments, which give any room a dimension of texture as well as added style. A unique wood dresser or bedside tables can create a classy yet antique appeal. To maintain the wood, use polish or wax.


Fire symbolizes energy, luster, and transformation, and is the essence of summertime. This powerful element can be harnessed in your home through the presence of a fireplace or gas lantern. Even simple candles can bring the element of fire to any space. But when subsuming fire in the house, make sure to never leave an open flame unattended, place it out of the reach of children, and away from any hazardous or flammable materials.

The natural elements are powerful, ornate, organic materials to be admired and revered. Bring Mother Nature into your apartment and enjoy the peaceful, connected serenity.


It doesn’t matter if it is a large mansion or a tiny box; your home is your sanctuary. You go home to escape your busy life, and it is your place of solitude. It is where you can BE YOURSELF. The serenity of your home can quickly be spoiled by just one discourteous neighbor. Are you the bad neighbor or the annoyed neighbor?

Here are some tips to being the great neighbor everyone brags about:

1. Don’t “Pop Bottles” All Night Long…

Thinking about having an all-night kegger? Think again. Popping bottles and doing keg stands all night could sadly be keeping someone else up all night who has to be at work at 5am…NOT COOL! Be considerate of the noise level inside your apartment home. This will avoid an unpleasant letter from your neighbor or a violation notice from your apartment management the next day.

i like to party-naps

A few other ways to keep noise travel down:

1. Use the weekends or times when you know your neighbors work to vacuum or exercise in your apartment home. This kind of activity causes vibration and can be very annoying for your neighbors.

2. Create quiet time with your children. Teach them that when the sun goes down, play time is over. This will help not disturb neighbors with jumping and slamming doors as they are trying to wind down and go to sleep for the night.

3. Keep the volume on your electrics turned down so that you can hear it, but not your neighbors. Try to find walls to place your electronics that don’t directly connect with your neighbors. If high volume is important to you, investing in head phones could be a solution.

2. Be the Type of Person You Want to Meet…

being nice

Being a great neighbor starts from the moment you move in to your new apartment home. Show your neighbors a warm welcome and offer a helping hand. This will make it easier in the future if you need any help or if a concern comes up. Becoming great neighbors can allow each of you to come to the rescue when you have a dilemma or in the unfortunate case of an an emergency.






3. Parking Spaces are Prized Possessions in Apartment Life…

Parking can be one of the quickest ways to start a riot with your neighbor. If it is paid parking and you do not pay for the parking, DON’T park there. DON’T allow your visitors to park in your neighbor’s parking space either.

4. Quiet Pet = Happy Neighbors…

One of the biggest annoyances in apartment living is a neighbor’s pet barking all night long. Training your pet about apartment life can be essential in keeping your neighbors happy.

Tips on apartment living with a pet:

i dont always bark 1. Some breeds of pets are not suitable for apartment living and can develop frustration from being cooped up in a small space all day, which could lead to destructive behavior. Is your pet ready for apartment living?

2. Always have your apartment management provide you with a copy of your community’s pet policies to be sure you are abiding by the rules, such as leash regulations and cleaning up after your pet.

3. Having a pet live in an apartment home can take dedication. Be prepared to set aside time for activity with your pet every day; this will help with behavioral issues. Consider hiring a dog walker while you are at work can be beneficial to your pet too.

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.” –Jean Vanier

Nothing says summer like having friends over for a BBQ . . .  4th-blog-pic-1

Are you looking for ways to still host your Fourth of July BBQ in the luxury of your home without violating any grilling rules at your apartment community? Or waiting in line to share the community grill? Grilling can be a challenge in apartment living with city ordinances in place for having charcoal or gas grills on balconies.

Here are a few tips that can get the job done at your apartment home for your Fourth of July BBQ:

1. Check with your Apartment Manager

Ask about your community rules & regulations regarding grilling in your apartment. You don’t want to be a rule breaker, so consult with your management before proceeding to make sure they are 100% okay with electric grills.

2. Using the right equipment

Do not bring an outdoor charcoal or gas grill into the living room; you should not do that…EVER! Indoor Grillers can get the job done without breaking the bank! Now grilling can be possible in the comfort of your Apartment Home. Check out the Minden Anytime Grill for ONLY $49.99!

3. Fake the Flavor

Try Colgin Liquid Smoke! It has a rich natural flavor that allows you still enjoy the “Smoke Flavor” you get with traditional grilling!

4. Cooking Basic Hamburgers on your Indoor Grill



· 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck

· 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

· 1/4 teaspoon pepper

· 4 hamburger buns


· Combine the ground chuck, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly, using your hands. Shape the mixture into four patties, each 3/4-inch thick in the center and at the edges. (Even thickness ensures even cooking and prevents the edges from the drying out before the center is cooked).

· Place the patties on the grill. Grill for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once. (According to the US Dept. of Agriculture, all ground meat should be cooked to at least medium doneness – 160 degrees – or until the center of the patty is no longer pink.) Make a small incision in the center of the each patty to determine doneness.

· Toast the buns by placing them, split side down, on the edges of the grill grid for about 1 minute until lightly browned.

· Remove the burgers from the grill and serve on toasted hamburger buns.

5. Last but not least I’ll leave you with a creative decorating idea for a true Independence Day Celebration



It’s official: you’ve thrown your graduation cap, you’re starting your first real job Monday and the ink is still wet from signing the lease on that amazing apartment you’ve always dreamed of. All you want to do is take a celebratory weekend-long nap. But not so fast, buddy. You have to pack up, leave home and start decorating your new adult pad! Don’t worry, you don’t have to go it alone. The following three tips can help you transform your empty apartment into your first home away from home.

Slow and Steady Wins the Decorating Race

Unless your new apartment comes totally furnished, chances are you’ll be in the market for a wide variety of items. Even apartments that come with the basics like a couch and kitchen table typically don’t include linens, cereal bowls and artwork for the walls. While you may dream of living in a lavish crib from day one, decorating is usually a gradual process that takes several months or even longer to complete. Sometimes this is due to a lack of funds, other times it’s due to the fact that most people don’t want their place to look like page six of an Ikea catalog. With this in mind, the first thing you should do is take care of your basic needs. For example, you will need a place to sleep, towels for the bathroom and some basic cooking supplies like a few pots and pans. Focus on shopping for those things first, and know that in time, everything else will fall into place.

Create a Bedroom Retreat

One great way to take a dull apartment and make it your own is with color. Just make sure to check with the landlord prior to painting! Spend a weekend changing the color of your bedroom. If you don’t have a lot of extra money in the budget for paint, consider painting an accent wall where the head of the bed will be in a color that soothes you (we love sage green). You’ll likely only need a quart of paint. After painting, soften the room by splurging on a warm and cozy down comforter with an ultra-high thread count and plush hand-sewn curtains. You want to spend your money on the textiles in the bedroom so you know you always have a tranquil retreat to go home to

Budget Wisely

In order to be sure you have enough money to pay your monthly living expenses while still decorating your apartment, sit down with a hot cup of coffee and make a list of all of your bills. The list should include the fixed amounts that you will pay every month no matter what, like your rent, renters and car insurance, cell phone, electricity and car payments. As U.S. News and World Report notes, these set-in-stone amounts should be the center of your monthly budget. Next, jot down the fluctuating expenses like groceries, clothing and the amount you can spend each month on furniture, decorations and other items for your apartment. Add everything up and make sure the grand total is less than what you make every month at your new job.

Tall wall conundrum? You’re not alone. Say you’ve just moved into the home of your dreams and can’t wait to start decorating. Unfortunately, that cathedral ceiling that first lured you in soon becomes the bane of your existence as you struggle to find a way to decorate the space. Just how do you bring a cohesive look to a room that has unusually tall walls? We have some ideas:


Tall walls and hanging textiles go hand in hand. Under your vaulted ceiling is the perfect place to hang Great Grandma’s handmade quilt or that Native American blanket you couldn’t pass up. The art you use in these high spaces must be large and bold; otherwise, the space will feel more cluttered than decorated.

Photo by Wickerfurniture via Flickr

Photo by Wickerfurniture via Flickr


Decorative mirrors work well placed high on tall walls. Opt for something oversized with a graphic frame, like a sunburst or stag horns. If you’re a fan of mid-century modern décor, consider a mirror replicated in the atomic design. If a single mirror looks dwarfed against your expansive walls, make a grouping of related shapes or frames.

Photo by ...love Maegan via Flickr

Photo by …love Maegan via Flickr

Traditional Art

Traditional wall art like paintings, photographs and fabric stretched across canvas can also be used to decorate tall walls. The key lies in remembering to go big and bold. Use nothing smaller than 16 inches by 20 inches. In this way, you can create groupings that add geometric interest to your high spaces without looking like you were grasping at straws to fill the space.

Photo by mattwalker69 via Flickr

Photo by mattwalker69 via Flickr

Single Point of Interest

Use one really large, unusual element mounted tall on the wall to draw the eye upward and add interest to your room. Think huge clock, vinyl mural or a single plank shelf that houses a collection like white ironstone dishes, pottery pieces or vintage tin advertising signs. By using a single element, placed high up the wall, your space maintains a minimalist feel while looking fully finished.

Photo by Wickerfurniture via Flickr

Photo by Wickerfurniture via Flickr

When you use this technique, it gives you leave to incorporate the things you love and collect into the space. Many antiquities that weren’t designed for hanging, things like old dishes, vintage motorcycle parts, designer baskets, antique dolls or old tin toys easily go vertical with the simple addition of a shelf. And you’ll have the added incentive of keeping them safe from curious children and pets.


Author:  Deborah Jones

Deb is an interior designer who loves clean, modern lines and dramatic lighting. When she’s not writing about design trends she volunteers at her son’s school.

Aspen Square Management and Waco Wellington announce that as of January 7, 2014 Luxe at 1300, formally known as The Overlook has been approved to rent to people under the age of 55. Portrait of a group of business people laughing against white backgroundA decision that was two years in making finally came to a conclusion after a Waco City Council vote to approve the change in zoning for the land at and around Placid Circle Luxe at 1300 is a luxury, high end mid-rise apartment complex only a minute’s drive to Baylor University. Living at this luxury community allows residents to relax in the sun at the sparkling Infinity Swimming pool. Residents won’t even have to worry about going to your apartment to cook because there is a chef-style grilling area for you and your friends to enjoy. Residents and their guests can catch a movie at the fully equipped Cinema. They can also stay fit using the professional gym with yoga studio or use the walking trail around the beautiful lakes that surround the community. At the Internet Café, residents will have access to computers and free printing or can take advantage of using our free Wi-Fi in the community area. Luxe at 1300 will now open its doors to all qualified renters so residents can now be the envy of all your friends, family and co-workers by calling Luxe your new home.

If you are interested in more information about renting at Luxe at 1300, contact information is as follows: Phone: 888-448-9152 Website: www.luxeat1300.com Email: luxe@aspensquare.com


Nearly a quarter of all renters moved between 2012 and 2013, according to the US Census Bureau. On top of being something you just have to do, moving ranks as one of the most stressful life events. A 2012 MyMove.com survey of 6,300 people gave moving an average score of 7 out of 10 in terms of stress. Only terrible events such as losing a job, getting a divorce or having a loved one die, beat it on the stress scale. While you can’t cover your ears with your hands and wait for the day to be over, you can make a few plans to reduce stressors on the big day.

Send Your Cat (or Kid) Away for the Day

If you think you’re stressed about the idea of moving, imagine how your pet feels. You have a clear idea of what’s going on. Your pet doesn’t and some pets, such as cats, aren’t big fans of change. Arrange things so that your pet isn’t running underfoot or barking at the movers on moving day.

One way to make sure your pet doesn’t get underfoot or run away on moving day is to hire a professional pet sitter. You can use the pet sitter finder from the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters to find someone qualified in your area. Have the pet sitter spend some time with your pet before the big day, so that the two have time to bond.

Kids are another concern on moving day. Your child might react negatively to the move and be in no mood to help out on moving day if it means he or she will have to leave friends behind. A young child or toddler can be a hindrance come moving day. If possible, hire a familiar babysitter to look after younger kids on moving day. Let your older child spend the day visiting his or her friends and saying good bye.

Of course, if your child is excited about the move and wants to help, let him or her. Assign simple tasks, such as putting color coded stickers on the moving boxes, so that your child feels more involved in the moving process.

Have the Dumpster Come to You

Moving with cardboardIn some cases, it costs more to move your furniture across the country or to your new apartment than it does to invest in new pieces. If your furniture is old and worn out, it makes sense to rent a dumpster for the day of the move or a few days before. Next Day Dumpsters offers dumpsters for rent in several sizes. Instead of bringing your worn out furniture or other stuff you don’t want to the landfill, you simply toss it in the dumpster.

Do a Final and a First Walk-Through

If you paid a security deposit when you rented the apartment, you want to get it back after you move out. Increase the chances that you’ll get the full deposit back by cleaning up your apartment completely before you leave. It’s also a good idea to do a walk-through with your landlord, one last time, so that you’re both on the same page. If there’s any damage that wasn’t there when you moved in, document it. Leave your new address and ask your landlord when you can expect to receive your deposit.

When you get to your new place, do a walk-through before you start moving anything in. If you see damage, take a picture of it and send the picture, as well as a report of the damage, to your new landlord.

Household pets are an excellent way to always have a friendly face around the house, often times bringing hours of joy and entertainment. Although pets are fun, they’re a ton of work to take care of, something only multiplied when apartment living comes into play.

The first major hurdle to overcome is your individual landlord or apartment community’s rules in regards to pets. Some are very lenient, while others will only allow certain types of pets, certain breeds, or even none at all. Once you’re sure your favorite feline friend is allowed to live with you, check out our top tips to sharing your apartment with a pet.

1.    Get a variety of toys and playful stands
With a limited space in relation to most households, your cat or dog will often get restless. Cats must sharpen their claws and dogs must gnaw on things to keep their teeth sharp. If toys or playscapes are limited, your pet may turn your favorite bed set into a useless pile of rags. Many stands or play sets made for cats or dogs can be found cheap at stores or online, and will take up a small space in your apartment home.

2.   Make sure you have access to outdoor spaceDogPark2
Are you going to have a private space off your apartment, is there a common lawn to use for pets, or would you need to leave the community to walk your pet? These are all questions you must find out before deciding on a new pet. Mostly with dogs, some of them require ample space to run and play, while other, smaller dogs can make do with a smaller lot. Understand the requirements a pet will need before deciding on a pet, or even before picking an apartment. Because we are such animal lovers, many of Aspen’s properties include paw parks, perfect for your furry friend to run around and make some new friends.

3.    Take care of your pet’s bathroom needs
There isn’t much worse than an improperly-trained house pet doing their business on your brand new living room rug. Making sure your new pet is properly house trained before leaving them alone for extended periods of time is crucial to a happy living situation. Begin with a designated, wired pen for them to spend most of their time before you’re confident they understand how and when to use the bathroom. Also, be sure to keep a cat’s (or dog’s) litter box constantly clean and fresh to avoid foul smells. All of Aspen’s pet friendly properties also include pet stations throughout the community so be sure to grab a bag and pick up after your furry friend!  3101-Place-0897

4.    Keep your pet healthy
A proper diet and regular veterinarian visits are a must to maintain pet healthiness. Proper pet food is specific to your pet, gender and breed, and feeding them a wrong food option could create major issues. Along with that, regular veterinarian checkups will help keep both you and your pet healthy for a long time.

By planning ahead and having a solid background of what your specific pet will require it’s possible to maintain a happy, cooperative, healthy relationship between yourself and your furry friend.

-Benjamin Sawicki