Moving Checklist

 

The Ultimate Moving Checklist

So, you’ve visited one of our clean, comfortable, and well-maintained apartment communities, loved it (YAY!), applied, set your move-in date, and are ready to Love The Place You Live. We can’t wait. But now the grim reality of packing up your stuff, hiring a truck, deep cleaning your old place, schlepping your stuff, unpacking, decorating, and maybe even buying some new furniture sets in. It’s never easy, but we’re here to help you plan this next adventure so your move can be as smooth and stress-free as possible with our Moving Checklist.

One To Two Months Before Moving

Give Notice

First on our Moving Checklist is giving notice. The standard notice for most landlords is between 30 to 90 days. But this can vary by state and rental agreement, so be sure to check your lease/rental agreement. Ask your landlord/property manager to schedule a walk-through so you can be sure to do everything that’s expected for a full security deposit refund. An alternative is to photograph your empty place to prove you left it in good condition. Don’t forget to provide your forwarding address so there won’t be a delay in receiving your refund.

Schedule Cancellation of Utilities and Services

Contact each provider and let them know the effective date to terminate or transfer your service. Providers may include:

  • Water and sewer
  • Internet and cable
  • Gas and electric
  • Renters Insurance
  • Gym (if moving too far to continue membership)

Purge

A move is the perfect time to get rid of clothing, furniture, cookware, small appliances, and accessories you don’t use or no longer want. Why pay to move them?  Check our guide to assist you with purging your clothing.

Pick a Moving Company | Reserve a Truck Rental | Enlist a Friend with a Truck

Start now to ensure you have a truck for your planned moving day. If you’re using a moving company, be sure to check their reviews so you hire a reputable firm and get the best price. Large companies will be happy to provide you with an estimate, or you can get a ballpark price on many moving company’s websites. Confirm your moving company is licensed and insured by verifying their Department of Transportation (DOT) number.

Consider purchasing moving insurance to cover any damage. I learned the hard way (and by not reading the fine print), that most moving companies will not cover damages.

Create a Moving Binder or Digital Moving Folder

Key on our moving checklist is to use a three-ring binder or create a moving folder on Google Drive to keep track of everything—all your estimates, receipts, and an inventory of all the items you’re moving. Take photos of each room to assist you with the inventory. Photos and inventory will also come in handy if you need to file a claim for damaged goods.

Organize School Records

If you have kids, be sure to go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to their new school district.

Get Supplies and Start Packing

Having the right supplies will not only ensure you can pack all your stuff but also that it will fit well inside the truck.

Moving supplies are readily available from your selected moving company and truck-rental facilities like U-Haul. In addition to boxes, consider getting tape, Bubble Wrap, and permanent markers. Don’t forget to order specialty containers, such as dish barrels or wardrobe boxes. Be sure to label all your boxes with the destination room and contents. Consider color-coding by room. Be sure to mark any boxes containing fragile items as such. Remove light bulbs from all lamps.

  • Walmart has a deal for 36 boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper for $92. Using uniformly sized boxes can help make packing up a truck much more efficient.
  • For items to take in your car, consider inexpensive IKEA bags. And the best news – while you can go to IKEA to get them, they are also available to buy on Amazon. I’ve moved almost too many times to count, and IKEA bags are a dream. They hold a boatload of clothes, towels, and sheets – and you can nestle breakable or large, unwieldy items In between the soft items. But use these only in your vehicle – having sturdy, taped containers for the moving truck is best.

Electronics

  • Take photos of all your electronics so you’ll have a guide for hooking everything back up.
  • Back up your computer.

Change Your Address

Important on any moving checklist is to make a comprehensive list and add it to your moving binder. Make notes of the dates you speak to anyone on the phone and get their name. Also note anything the agent tells you, like if you’ll owe money beyond the termination date.

  • United States Post Office (USPS). Click here to change your address online.
  • Voter Registration
  • Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, IRS
  • Landlord/Property Management Office
  • Physicians, dentists, and veterinarians (be sure to ask that your records be transferred to any new providers).
  • School (for your kids or you if you’re at university)
  • Credit card companies and banks
  • Subscription services
  • Department of Motor Vehicles for your car registration and drivers license
  • Auto Insurance Company
  • Your Employer (for your W2 form)
  • Amazon, Chewy (or any store that delivers to you regularly)
  • Don’t forget your friends and family! To make it really easy, you can send out cute a postcard with your new address or you can send a  digital

Request Time Off from Work

Unless you are super-organized and don’t have too much furniture, you’ll probably need to allow more than just a weekend to move. Add moving dates to your calendar so there are no conflicts.

Eat Everything

Try and consume everything in your fridge, freezer, and pantry so you don’t have to pack your food. You especially don’t want to try and transport perishables. Donate any nonperishable food items to a local food pantry.

Moving Week

  • Confirm your moving date with the movers, rental truck company, or friend-with-a-truck.
  • Warn neighbors so your truck doesn’t block anyone in.
  • Confirm transfer of utilities and services.
  • Clean your old apartment paying special attention to kitchens and bathrooms. Remove all trash. Clean out closets and storage areas.
  • Organize personal items to take in your car like a couple of changes of clothing, toiletries, and medication so you don’t have to hunt through all your belongings to find what you need. You should also keep valuables with you such as jewelry and important documents like birth certificates and passports.
  • If you’re moving with a furry friend, make sure your pet has an ID tag, and arrange for a pet sitter.
  • Line up a sitter for your kids.

The Day Before

  • Remind your neighbors that there will be a truck taking up space the next day; say goodbye to neighbors who have become friends.
  • Get cash for tipping anyone who helps with the move and for the pizza delivery person on your first night. Trust me, pizza or other food delivery will make your first night in your new place much less stressful.
  • Go out to eat the night before your move so you don’t mess up your sparkling-clean kitchen and create more trash to take out.
  • Shop for snacks and drinks to have on hand on a moving day, and pack some paper towels, toilet paper, basic cleaning supplies, trash bags, and maybe even paper plates, cups, and plastic silverware.

Moving Day

  • Inspect your old place to be sure you haven’t left anything behind, including trash, and that the apartment is clean. Turn off all the lights, close the windows, turn the thermostat to 55 degrees, and lock the door behind you.
  • Check your mailbox one last time.
  • Turn in your keys! Many landlords will charge rent against your security deposit until they have possession of the apartment, meaning your keys are in their hands.

Your New Home

  • You’ve done it! Your first order of business should be to inspect your apartment and note anything that you don’t want to get charged for, such as a stain on the carpet, missing switch plates, bent blinds, or torn screen. Document in writing and take photos. Many apartment communities will provide you with an Inspection Form to use.
  • Don’t forget to update your driver’s license.
  • Go grocery shopping.
  • Meet your neighbors. Here’s a how-to guide.
  • Now for the unpacking and decorating. For me, it’s the best part. Opening each box is like Christmas morning. And finding new homes for all my thingy. Maybe I’m weird, but I love it. As you begin, check out our guide for hanging artwork in your new place.

Well done. You’ve survived the move. We hope that our moving checklist checked all your boxes. Welcome home.

 

How to Host a Potluck: A Complete Guide

 

A few years back, my boyfriend introduced me to his tiny, lodge-y, weekend getaway at a rural community on a lake. During my first visit, we attended a spur-of-the-moment get-together with some of his neighbors. It was a surprising night for me in two ways. First of all, everyone treated me like they’d known me forever. As a gal with definite introvert tendencies, this was most welcome and a great “note-to-self” for my own future hosting. Secondly, everyone brought their own drinks and a snack to share. Brilliant! Essentially, all the host had to provide was ice and toilet paper. Talk about stress-free entertaining! Piggybacking off this experience, here’s our complete guide on how to host a potluck.

Why Host a Potluck?
Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or a veteran resident, a successful potluck party can help create and solidify friendships and make you feel right at home in your apartment community. It’s a fun way to make memories and create long-lasting friendships. It’s a great way to host without breaking the bank, and it’s a no-brainer because people like to eat. And, hosting a potluck will create a foundation to build upon to eventually host gatherings where you provide everything…and do all the work.

Getting Started
Invite some people: your besties, relatives, coworkers, apartment neighbors – mix and match! Decide how many people your home/dining table can comfortably accommodate and plan your guest list accordingly. Consider how many place settings you have – plates and silverware. Do you have serving spoons? If not, be sure your guests know to bring one for their dish. How much guest parking is available near your apartment? Don’t forget to let your guest know where they should park. If your apartment community is gated, let your visitors know how to get in so there’s no awkwardness upon arrival.

Planning any kind of get-together can be daunting. How much food should there be? What drinks should be served, and how many will be needed? A potluck solves these problems. If everyone brings food to share there will be plenty. When they also bring their own drinks, you have no decisions to make about quantities or types of refreshments to have on hand. Do make sure you have plenty of ice and glassware.

Hosting a potluck that satisfies all appetites is easier if you create a theme. This will help make your meal complete and cohesive. Just make sure your guests advise you what they plan to bring so you can make sure there aren’t duplicates and that all portions of the meal are covered. Here are some creative potluck theme ideas to choose from for your next apartment gathering.

Apartment Potluck Themes

RESTAURANT COPYCAT

Have your guests pick a dish from their favorite restaurant in town to recreate. Who knows what you’ll end up with? Pasta, empanadas, cupcakes, tacos. So many possibilities. It’s a great theme if your guests are foodies as their contributions will assure a variety of interesting dishes that will spark conversation about the best restaurants and best foods in your area.

TEX-MEX

Who doesn’t like Tex-Mex? With simple recipes and affordable ingredients, you can’t go wrong with a Tex-Mex potluck theme. Mexican-American dishes are delicious, filling, and difficult to botch – even for the novice chef. Opt for a Tex-Mex Night and make sure that everyone brings a different dish so you don’t end up with six jars of salsa and bags of chips.

COMFORT FOODS

Everyone has a dish that reminds them of home. My mom used to make a dish she called Surprise Packages. She’d make foil pouches filled with sliced potatoes, a hamburger patty, a slice of onion, sliced carrots and peas. They were awful, but my siblings and I never tire of teasing her about them, and my father loved them. Maybe your friends have better offerings like their mom’s chili, dad’s Sunday gravy, Thanksgiving’s sweet potato casserole, or a family recipe that’s been passed down for generations.  Ask your potluck guests to bring a family favorite and prepare to enjoy a wide range of heartwarming foods along with a night of nostalgic memories!

SOMETHING YELLOW

Theme your potluck with this cheery color and be prepared for a night of mac and cheese, coconut curry with mango, buffalo chicken dip, and cornbread. Once you open your mind to seemingly random themes, the possibilities are endless. Colors, letters, and numbers are all great places to start. Be relatively lax about the “rules” and see what creativity your guests bring to the table. What might seem odd in the beginning could end up being your favorite potluck theme in the end.

FARMERS MARKET FAVES

If you’re looking for a way to make your potluck dishes more cohesive but don’t want to limit your guests to a specific cuisine, consider a theme involving where they shop for their ingredients. A farmer’s market theme is also an excellent way to support local businesses like Findlay Market in Cincinnati, Yankee Street Market in South Dayton, or Dallas Farmer’s Market. With dishes centered around in-season ingredients you’ll end up with similarities throughout your dinner spread — and high-quality ingredients, too!

THE VEGGIE

Have your meat-loving friends step outside of their comfort zones. Challenge everyone to add some type of vegetable to their dish — including the desert! A veggie tray would be a no-brainer, but there are many veggie dishes that are so hearty, no one will miss the meat. Like Alison Roman’s Spiced Chickpea Stew which went viral >> #thestew. And, who doesn’t like carrot cake or banana bread? The options are endless and delicious for a plant-based potluck theme.

HOME STATE ORIGINALS

A classic potluck theme, friends bring an iconic home state dish. In Kentucky, that could be a Kentucky Derby favorite, burgoo. How about a recreation of Cincinnati’s Skyline Chili? Dayton-style square-cut pizza is a fun option, or how about one of these seven classic dishes famous in Dallas? Not only does this potluck theme have the potential to be delicious, but it can also spark some great conversation between guests about their home states.

SALAD BAR

A wonderful theme for spring and summer months, a salad bar is easy, fresh, and tasty. There’s always plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available in season, but don’t forget about other warm-weather staples like pasta or potato salad! A salad bar theme is perfect for a light, refreshing dinner that will require no reheating.

CASSEROLE CREATIONS

Casseroles are great for cooler months. Hot, comforting casseroles are what everyone craves during the fall and winter. And, they tend to be easy to make. How about a gooey mac and cheese or a tater-tot casserole? For dessert, think apple crisp and or blueberry cobbler.

COOKOFF

Another fun idea is to have everyone bring the same dish and see who makes it best. Think a chili cookoff, taco night, or a chocolate chip cookie bakeoff.

So make a guest list, send out invitations, dust and vacuum, stock up on toilet paper, set the table, light some candles, and let the potluck party begin! If you and your guests have as much fun as I think you will have, consider a monthly rotation from one person’s home to another. Eat and drink your way to closer friendships and better neighbors.

 

Best Dogs for Apartment Living

 

For years I tried to discourage my daughter from adopting a pup. She lives in New York City, and to me, NYC apartments are too small and everything there costs too much to add a dog to the mix. But there are large parks, and many dog-friendly shops and restaurants, and she did need the comfort only a dog can bring. So she adopted a pup with my blessings (not that she really needed them). She found a person who was fostering a litter of what were supposed to be part-Chihuahua puppies who were all part of the Berry family – Blueberry, Cranberry, Raspberry, Strawberry, and Blackberry. Cranberry soon became her bestie and although there’s definitely no Chihuahua in him, he’s shaped up to be a perfect apartment dog.

So what makes a perfect dog for apartment living? If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, you may be wondering how a dog will fare in an apartment, and what kinds of dogs are best for apartment living. Important considerations! As an apartment dweller, your first step is to check with your property manager to make sure your lease allows dogs and to determine if there are any restrictions on size or breed. Other factors, besides size, to consider when researching apartment-friendly dogs, include the breed’s personality, activity level, grooming needs, and how much noise the pup will make. I have a friend with a Basenji that never barks. Heaven! My little dog barks when leaves fall off trees or when a doorbell rings on TV. Not an ideal candidate for an apartment.

You can search for dogs by breed on websites such as Petfinder or Adopt-A-Pet, or click here for the top 10 best pet adoption websites. To further assist you, read on the learn the best large and small dog breeds for apartments, and how to be a good dog owner in a multi-family setting.

 Great Dog Breeds for Apartment Living

 According to the American Kennel Club, apartment residents have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a furry best friend. They say, “Apartment dwellers have many dog breeds to choose from when selecting a pet. The size of your living space isn’t the only consideration because many large-breed dogs have lower activity levels and are more than happy to lounge on the sofa. There are dog breeds that require high energy and plenty of space, so they may not be best suited for a smaller apartment. Some small dog breeds with high energy are satisfied with indoor playtime or a brisk walk. Just make sure to consider your neighbors when choosing a dog: You’ll want a pet that doesn’t bark incessantly and is polite when meeting other people, in the elevator, on the stairs, or in the lobby.”

Click here for Highland Canine’s comprehensive list of the best breeds for apartments; below are a few of their top-rated.

Basenji: My friend’s Basenji is a delight. This low-shedding, short-haired dog breed was originally used for hunting, so they definitely like to chase, fetch, and play. Basenjis are primarily known as a “bark-less” breed, as their larynx only allows them to “yodel.” Weighing around 25 pounds, they are slightly larger than other small dog breeds for apartments on this list, but they’ll do fine in a smaller space as long as they get some daily exercise.

 

Bichon Frise: My dog was supposed to be a purebred Maltese, but he’s most definitely part Bichon. While he does like to bark, we’ve been able to control his barking with training. Bichon’s are part of the poodle family – fluffy but smaller. Like Basenjis, Bichon’s don’t shed, so they’re considered hypoallergenic. They don’t bark too much, and at 11 pounds, they’re among the top small dogs that are good for apartments. Bichons are playful, so they need regular exercise and walks. They’re also highly trainable, can learn tricks, love to cuddle, and are great with children.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: These sweet-faced dogs are small in size (13 to 18 pounds) so they don’t require a palace. King Charles Spaniels are smart, very trainable, and friendly with humans as well as other dogs. They love to be near their owners, so while King Charles Spaniels are perfect for apartment living, they don’t like to be left alone for long periods.

 

 

French Bulldog: Smaller than their standard Bulldog cousins, French Bulldogs are small in stature (usually around 11 to 12 inches tall) but have big, goofy personalities. They have short hair, so you won’t have to groom them much, and they rarely bark, making them ideal small dogs for apartments. A daily walk or two should suffice for exercise.

 

Greyhound: These lanky dogs are much larger than the other breeds on this list (females can reach 75 pounds, while males can weigh more than 80 pounds) but they are gentle giants who love a good snuggle. Bred originally for racing, Greyhounds need regular exercise such as daily fetch sessions – but they are true couch potatoes at heart. They also don’t bark much, which will make your neighbors happy. Best of all, many organizations find homes for retired racing Greyhounds, including Greyhound Welfare.

 

 

Apartment Dog Owner Etiquette

 When living in an apartment community with a dog, a little etiquette – we call it petiquette – goes a long way. While you may love and adore your fluffy companion, that doesn’t mean your neighbor will. You can encourage positive neighborly relations by following a few simple tips. Click here for our Perfect Pettiquette post.

  • Always pick up after your dog. It’s easy if you have the right bags and a bag dispenser.
  • Always keep your pup on a good leash unless at a dog park.
  • Be cautiously sociable and let other people know if your dog doesn’t like attention.
  • Make sure your dog gets plenty of outdoor exercise.
  • Train your dog, especially if Fido exhibits extreme barking, separation anxiety, or aggression. You may lose your permission to have a dog if neighbors complain about excessive noise or aggressive tendencies.

Dogs Welcome Here

Getting a dog is a big step, whether it will be your first dog or you’re a seasoned dog parent, especially if you live in an apartment community. Financial and emotional responsibility are key when opening your home and heart to a pet. You also have to be willing to put in the time and effort to train your dog to live in an apartment. And know that life will be different when you have a dog waiting for you at home. There will be sacrifices to your time – like going home after work to walk Spot instead of having a beer after work with co-workers.

Almost all Fath Properties communities are pet-friendly and a few even have dog parks. Start your search for a community that will welcome your furry friend here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullying

About Bullying.

Bullying or cyberbullying is when one child repeatedly taunts, teases, intimidates, or torments another child. These actions can be physical, verbal, or social. Bullying can occur at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, over the Internet, or through mobile devices like cell phones. Being subjected to bullying is a horrible experience for anyone, but especially difficult for a child.

With school back in session in a few short weeks, we thought it might be helpful to bring this important topic front of mind.

WHEN YOUR CHILD IS BULLIED

There are several steps you can follow in the event your child is subjected to bullying.

  • Alert school officials and work with them in person toward a solution.
  • Teach your child when and how to ask a trusted adult for help, and to be comfortable with doing so. Ask them to identify who they can ask for help.
  • Acknowledge your child’s feelings about being bullied and recognize the serious nature of bullying.

Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:

  • Look the bully in the eye.
  • Always stand tall and stay calm despite the difficulty of the situation.
  • Walk away.
  • With your child, practice saying, in a firm voice:
    • “I don’t like what you are doing.”
    • “Please do NOT talk to me like that.”

What you can do as a parent:

  • Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
  • Support outside activities that interest your child.
  • Find an adult who knows about the situation and can watch out for your child’s safety and well-being when you cannot be there.
  • Monitor your child’s social media or texting interactions so you can identify problems before they get out of hand.
  • Document everything.

WHEN YOUR CHILD IS THE BULLY

This is tough on any parent but cannot be ignored.

  • Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
  • Teach your child to be a buddy, not a bully.
  • Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.
  • Ask your child how they would feel if the tables were turned, and they were subject to torment.
  • Teach empathy for other children by asking them to consider how the other child feels.
  • Be a positive role model. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening, or hurting someone.
  • Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
  • Praise your child when their actions are positive, such as helping or being kind to others.
  • Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, school social workers or psychologists, and parents of the children your child has bullied.

WHEN YOUR CHILD IS A BYSTANDER

Witnessing a bully torment a friend or classmate can be frightening for any child. Be sure you and your child talk about bullying so they understand that it may happen, and what to do if they witness it.

  • Practice with your child how to find and tell a trusted adult about what is happening or has happened. Knowing what to say in advance will be helpful when/if the need arises.
  • Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.
  • Help your child support other children who have been or may be bullied. Making friends with these kids and including them in activities will make them feel less alone and know they have a friend they can count on.

For more information or assistance, please reach out to these resources:

Let’s work together to keep our kids safe!

 

Be Cool At The Pool

Be Cool At The Pool illustrated by cool water and pink flamingo floatie

Summertime….and the livin’ is easy…especially if there’s a sparkling pool where you can chill on a hot day. But chillin’ only happens when everyone is mindful of their own behavior and are kind to fellow chillers. So here are some guidelines on how to Be Cool At The Pool.

Running, jumping, diving, pushing, roughhousing, and/or weapons are the epitome of uncool.
Activities that may send you – or someone else – to the ER are off limits and totally uncool.

Be cool about saved chairs.
Sorry, lounge chair monitors. Saving a seat around the pool is just fine – within reason. Respect that a chair with a towel is taken. But chair savers need to be respectful of others too. It’s not cool to save yourself a seat hours ahead of time, save an entire umbrella table for just yourself, or save half a dozen chairs. Only use chair space you need for sitting; your stuff doesn’t need a seat. Looking for a great pool towel that’s beautiful, dries quickly and takes up very little space in your pool tote? Click here.

Shower before getting in the pool.
No one wants a layer of another person’s body grime floating around the pool. Rinse off in the shower before taking a dip, especially if you’ve been running or working outside all day. If you’re sick or have an open wound? You know what to do – stay out of the pool entirely.

Dress appropriately.
Yes, we all noticed you spent all winter working on your beach bod. But, no one wants to see your downstairs outline or extreme cleavage, especially when there are kids around. Be respectful, dress confidently but modestly, and keep the G-string and banana hammock for the beach. Be cool at the pool; save street wear for the street and wear swimwear to swim. Wear pool shoes or flip-flops everywhere in the pool area (except in the water) and in the restrooms.

If it’s breakable, leave it home.
Glass of any kind and other breakable items are strictly prohibited. Folks will be barefoot for heaven’s sake! Choose from one of a boatload of uber cool, environmentally safe non-breakable drinking vessels and beverage carriers instead.

Keep your music to yourself, use your indoor voice, and watch your language.
It’s nice that you love your music and want to share with the world, but the world didn’t ask. Keep the tunes low enough so only you can hear, or wear ear buds. If someone asks you to turn down your music, do it. Some venues do not allow audible music, so check the rules and be sure to bring your headphones (check out waterproof headphones here) or waterproof earbuds.

Follow established pool rules.
All pools will post rules somewhere along the fence or on the gate doors stating what is permitted and prohibited at the pool, safety rules, and pool hours. These rules apply to everyone including you, your family, and your guests.

Clean up after yourself, you animal.
Bringing snacks and refreshments are usually allowed at most apartment pools (no glass of any kind ever). But don’t abuse the privilege by leaving wrappers, food, cans, and trash around your seating area. Be cool at the pool and keep things clean around you by making frequent trips to the garbage/recycling.

Spray with caution.
Many people prefer the spray over lotion sunscreens of easy application. While SPF is a must, spraying everyone around you is not. To contain the contents and mist, spray in your hand and apply where needed. If you must spray, walk to an area away from others to spray. Click here for the best sunscreens of 2023.

Keep the gate key or gate code to yourself.
Your community’s pool is a private pool for you and your neighbors. Inviting friends over for a swim is totally acceptable (provided you follow the guidelines for guests), but giving your access key or pool code out to everyone you know is not – and you may be violating terms of your lease.

Let kids have fun safely.
Splashing and screaming is second nature to children, but you and your kids still have to be courteous and considerate of other pool-goers. If your kids start to get rowdy, run at the pool, or get overzealous with the splashing, have them take a break until they have calmed down.

Don’t take your eyes off your kids because this could allow annoying behavior (everyone wants and deserves a peaceful environment) and potentially be very dangerous.  Know your kids’ swimming ability and be with them at all times. You birthed ‘em; you’re responsible. Here’s a great article about kids and pool safety.

Be nice.
Be cool at the pool; treat others with kindness and courtesy so everyone has a good experience in and around the swimming pool and sun deck.

Now get out there all you cool cats and enjoy some fun in the sun, tanning, swimming, and chillin’ poolside.

 

 

 

Laundry Room Etiquette

Oh no they didn’t…!

“I want my laundry day to go that ^^^ way!” said no one ever. Laundry is a chore even when you’re fortunate to have a washer and dryer in your home. But doing laundry in a shared laundry facility – whether a public laundromat or apartment community laundry center – adds an additional layer of things that can make this chore even less fun. From the wait for machines, to unkind or rude fellow launderers, to noisy kids, to blatant disrespect for you, your stuff, and the place – whew. It makes you wish we could all just spray on our clothes or be naked all the time, right?

So what can we do to make this task less tedious for everyone? Well, you could always pay someone to wash your clothes for you. But, if like most of us, you’d rather spend your money on a long weekend in Florida, a shopping spree to jump start your spring wardrobe, or just a nice dinner out with adult beverages, let’s establish some Emily Post-ish laundry room etiquette we can all use. Typically, laundry etiquette can be tossed out like an old dryer sheet, especially in a communal setting. Whether you’re an apartment newbie or an experienced renter, sometimes airing your dirty laundry in a public space can leave everyone’s patience stuck in the spin cycle.

Be prepared.  Yes, channel your inner Boy or Girl Scout and be prepared:

  • Sorting your stuff before you leave your apartment.
  • Pre-treat stains in advance so you won’t need to lug an extra product with you.
  • Check your pockets for loose change, that winning lotto ticket, tissues, or anything else that you’ll regret washing.
  • Get enough quarters to wash and dry all your loads.

Be courteous. Hello Emily Post, and Philip Galanes.

  • Don’t play Monopoly with the machines; in other words, don’t hog them all or leave your stuff in them after the cycle is complete.
  • Set a timer on your phone if you go to errands, go for a coffee, or go for a brisk walk. Washing a load of laundry typically takes 30 to 40 minutes, and drying takes 45 minutes to an hour. Time yourself to return before the cycle ends.
  • If someone else’s clothes are sitting in a stopped machine unattended for more than five minutes (10 if you’re exceptionally kind), move them with care. Neatly place the clothes on a clean surface above or near the machine. If rolling carts are available, you could place the clothes in one. Do not place the clothes in a dryer (clothes are easy to ruin, and you don’t want to be responsible for the shrinkage of their merino wool sweater) and certainly don’t place them on the floor (unless you want to be forever known as “that a$$hole).
  • Clean the lint screen after using the dryer. Shared lint = ew.
  • Use the appropriate amounts of detergent, bleach, or fabric softener so as to not leave soap or bleach residue which could affect the next person’s load of laundry. They also might be allergic to your detergent or have a thing for some scents.

Be clean.  I know, your there to clean, but people can be dirty while simultaneously trying to be clean. To wit:

  • Wipe up, rinse, and dry any and all spills.
  • Toss empty detergent, bleach, fabric softener, and stain remover containers in the trash can.
  • Toss used fabric softener sheets in the trash.
  • Toss lint from your dryer in the trash.
  • Don’t bring you cat or dog to keep you company especially if they shed.
  • Don’t throw everyday trash in the laundry room bins especially if that trash is food-related garbage.

Be mindful. Most people don’t enjoy doing laundry, but you can improve the experience for everyone by staying in a good mood and being polite.

  • Offer to help anyone struggling to use the equipment or fold that king-size fitted sheet (here’s how).
  • Resist the urge to gaze deeply at someone else’s underthings.
  • Use headphones or earbuds to enjoy music, a video, or a podcast.
  • Leave the room to take or make a call. No one wants to listen to a one-sided conversation.
  • Make sure there are seat for everyone by not filling seats with your supplies, coat, purse, or backpack.
  • If you bring your kids along, keep them as quiet as possible and seated. Tough, I know!

SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEEED

.When it comes to lugging laundry, smaller is better!

  • Fill a smaller container from your larger detergent or bleach bottle to reduce carrying weight.
  • Take a small laundry basket to leave on or next to your machine. That way, there’s a place for your stuff if someone need to move them after the cycle ends. Did you know that the big blue bag from IKEA makes a great laundry basket? It folds flat for each storage and it’s easy to carry with the dual shoulder straps. The bag is also virtually indestructible and cheap. If you don’t live near an IKEA 1) I’m sorry and 2) you can get one on Amazon!
  • Payment method. Your laundry room may use cards you can pre-load, so make sure you bring that and a payment method along to reload your card if needed. If the machines still take coins, save a trip back to your apartment (or the bank!?!) by bringing double the number you expect to use.

So there you have it. A few simple suggestions about laundry room etiquette that will make this chore less annoying. Now go separate your colors from your whites, grab some detergent and some quarters, and get that pile of dirty clothes washed, dried, folded, and put away. You got this!

 

 

Eggs-actly Perfect

Eggs-actly Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Sure, sure hard boiling eggs seems like a fairly simple task. Boil, peel, and eat. Until, that is, you discover they are almost impossible to peel with the shell taking chunks of the white flesh with it. Or the yolk is unappetizingly undercooked or has an unsightly greenish edge.  All equate to big fails when trying to make deviled eggs where the white is a beautiful vessel for luscious filling.

There are hard-boiled eggs in my house at all times. Not only do they make an easy (and transportable) quick breakfast, but they are also a healthy, low-calorie snack full of protein, and tasty addition to salads. (We eat a lot of salad in the summer when I just can’t bear heating up the kitchen.) Plus, whipping up a batch of deviled eggs to bring to a spontaneous picnic or cocktail party is a breeze.

After boiling literally hundreds of eggs over the years, I’ve [finally] found a method that produces eggs with perfectly firm whites, creamy yolks that are a lovely consistent shade of pale yellow and, most importantly, easy to peel.

You’ll need:

  • six to 12 large eggs (older eggs ultimately peer better than fresh ones)
  • a pot – large enough to hold a steamer basket – with a lid
  • afore-mentioned steamer basket
  • a large bowl filled with ice and water
  • a timer

Pour and inch or two of water into the pot, insert the steamer, and add the eggs. Heat over high. When the water begins to boil, reduce to medium, cover, and cook for precisely 15 minutes.

While the eggs are steaming, fill your bowl with ice and add water. Your bowl should be large enough to hold all the eggs and allow them to be fully submerged in the ice water.

When the timer goes off, immediately transfer the eggs from the steamer basket to their ice water bath. Then walk away. Let the eggs soak for at least 15-20 minutes so they cool completely – right to their core. Once cool, drain and either refrigerate for later use or peel.

If you plan to use the eggs immediately, fill your now empty bowl with cool water. Peel the egg while it’s submerged. You can also peel under running water, but results are consistently better with the dunk. The shell should separate from the white of the egg in nice big pieces leaving the egg unblemished – perfect for your deviled eggs.

Deviled Eggs

Whether you choose a pretty platter (best for home use) or a  practical platter with lid (best for transport and storage), choose the number of eggs right to fill your plate. Mine has 12 indentations, so this recipe will be for a half dozen eggs yielding a dozen deviled eggs.

Deviled eggs usually call for a dash of Tabasco sauce, but I prefer the less spicy, but zestier horseradish sauce. The addition of softened butter – thank you Julia Child – adds a wonderful, rich silkiness to the yolky filling.

Traditional garnishes include a sprinkle of paprika, a slice of pimento-stuffed olive, chopped chives, or a sprig of dill, but you can kick your garnishes up to a whole new level by adding a small piece (about one inch or so) of crispy bacon, crisped prosciutto, or crisped chicken skin (pictured). These crispy bits add a lot of textural interest, flavor, and visual appeal to your eggs.

The Parts

The Procedure

Cut the eggs in half length-wise and gently scoop the yolks into a bowl or a mini food processor. Place the whites on your platter. Blend the yolks with the remaining ingredients either in a small food processor, or mash together with a fork.

For a fancy finish, use a piping bag or a zip-lock bag with the corner cut out to pipe the yolk mixture into the whites. For a homemade look, simply spoon the filling into the egg whites. Garnish.

Don’t you just love it when things turn out eggs-actly perfect? And you can enjoy your hard-boiled ot deviled eggs without egg on your face.

 

Petiquette For Perfect Pups

Petiquette For Perfect Pups

 

If you are a pup parent, chances are you think that your pup is perfect. Mine certainly is. Seriously one of the best dogs there ever was. As hard as it is to believe for us dog lovers, however, not everyone loves dogs (GASP!) and not everyone thinks your pup is perfect (WHAT?!?). As responsible pet parents, it’s up to us to make sure that our fabulous furry friends don’t interfere with our neighbor’s right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes. Whether you reside in an apartment, condo, or single-family home, there are things you can do to help everyone love your pup as much as you do. We call it PETIQUETTE. noun. The customary code of polite pup behavior in society to ensure endless love from your friends and neighbors.

OUTDOORS

Leashes. Unless you and Rover are at the dog park, keep your pup on a leash. You know your dog like the back of your hand, but you don’t know all the other dogs, people, and events you may encounter that might trigger unusual behavior in your dog. Leashing your pup keeps him and all the other critters and peeps safe. Plus, Rover’s leash can tell the world what kind of pup he or she  is – adventure dog, princess, fashionista, bad to the bone. The possibilities are truly endless.

Poop Bags. I was just at a nice, well-maintained dog park last weekend and came home with poop on my shoe. UGH. WHY? Pay attention people! Don’t leave home without this essential and use them every time your pup poops. Dispose of the bags in a thoughtful manner – tie them up securely and place them in a designated container or common trash can. A carabiner clip on your leash can not only hold your poop bag dispenser, but also your house key, and a used poop bag. So handy if clean up duty comes mid-walk so you don’t have to swing a full bag the whole way home. Just remember to toss the bag before entering your home! Lesson learned the hard way. P.U.!!

Vaccinations. Show your pup some serious health love. Keep up on your dog’s vaccinations according to your vet’s recommendations. Don’t forget monthly heartworm treatments and flea and tick prevention. Fully vaccinated pups make for better pup friends.

Exercise. Dogs are a big-time commitment. Critical for keeping pups happy and healthy is to make sure they get regular exercise – and by regular, think several times daily. Learn more at the AKC website.

While living in an apartment, your dog is somewhat confined. He or she isn’t going to have a lot of room to run around, let out energy or play. Not only can this make little Buddy feel cooped up or frustrated, but it could also cause him to let out his energy in not-so-constructive ways (like chewing up your furniture, digging into your walls or doors, or barking).

Training and Socialization. Expose your dog to different people and settings regularly. Take him to the park, to the pet store, on a walk through town. Check out the Bring Fido app or website for a plethora of pet-friendly places that will welcome your dog. Praise him for behaving calmly around strangers and other dogs, or any other strange dog triggers. I once had a dog that had a very negative reaction to men in hats and to Siberian Huskies, but literally loved everyone and everything else. So weirdly selective.

Praise him lavishly for obeying commands and behaving well. Using positive, rather than negative, reinforcement will help your dog enjoy training.

ID Tags, License, Registration, Microchip. Be sure to get a dog license in the county where you reside. Registration fees are nominal, and the tag will help others to identify your furry friend if she decides to go on an adventure solo. Microchipping your dog is the ultimate, as a tag is removed when your dog’s collar is removed, but a microchip is there for the life of your dog. There are also sites where you can register the microchip number; again, so helpful if your dog becomes lost or stolen. Check out Home Again or Free Pet Chip Registry.

Spay, Neuter. Unless you intend to breed your pup, spay or neuter. It’s ultimately better for your dog’s health and disposition. And he really won’t miss his boy parts. Quit anthropomorphizing.

INDOORS

Control the Bark. Keep your neighbors in mind. Be courteous and consider that many people are sharing the space around your home. A dog that barks a lot will not be best received in an apartment with shared walls or a front door that is in a high traffic area. Ask your veterinarian about behavioral training if your dog is a barker. You can invest in a hand held barking deterrent, or a device that sounds when you are not at home.

Deal with Separation Anxiety. Some dogs, like my perfect pup, suffer from separation anxiety. I envisioned him being totally miserable every time I left home. Then I purchased a dog camera that allows me to see his activity on my phone and even speak to him. Turns out I was anthropomorphizing; he mostly slept after a minute of barking to let the world know he was not happy being left alone. There are even dog monitors that will allow you to remotely dispense a treat and are compatible with Alexa. Aww, way to reward your good boy or good girl.

Create a Doggie Haven. Dogs find it easier to relax and wind down if they have their own space, so make Miss Toes her own little haven in a corner of your apartment. Put a calming dog bed, a few toys, and her food and water bowls in his corner to give her a place to retreat when she needs a break. Or if she’s crate trained, make her crate as comfortable as possible. One of your used t-shirts can provide comfort, too.

Proactive Damage Prevention. Pet Proof. Even perfect pups can occasionally find it hard to resist temptation. Or get even. When Bosley came into my life, I bought him a shiny red raincoat with a yellow duck on the back. His humiliation the first time wearing it forced him to take a nice chew of my best Italian leather loafers. I learned my lesson.  So you won’t have a hard lesson to learn, move breakables or “chewables” to higher ground. Make electrical cords inaccessible to curious paws and noses. Block off any area of the house that’s off-limits. Block access to (or give away) any house plants that are toxic to dogs.

Potty walks are essential! Potty stains on the carpet, along with chewed doors, trim, and walls will present a financial issue for you when you eventually move. When your perfect pup has an accident (that was probably your fault, haha), be sure to clean it up right away using a cleaner that will remove the stain and neutralize the odor.

Playtime and Companionship. We all need a daily dose of fun for our mental health. So does Buster. In addition to outdoor exercise, Buster will love a game of toss or tug with you – his favorite thing in the whole wide world. She’ll also appreciate a play date with others of her own kind. You know, other perfect pups. A play date with a neighbor’s dog, a visit to the dog park, or an All Day Play session at your local pet retreat can work wonders. Playtime can also reduce stress-induced destructive behavior. It’s a win-win!

Good Eats, Drinks, Treats. Who doesn’t love dinner, drinks, and snacks? Of course you are going to feed and water your dog, but strategically offered snacks can encourage and reward the best pup behavior as pups tend to prefer treats over good boy stickers.

Groom. Fur sheds. Hair grows. Whichever you pup possesses needs frequent attention. If you opt to brush outside to avoid a mountain of fur inside, do so a respectful distance from your neighbors and common area, and bag up the inevitable mountain of fluff for the rubbish bin. Be sure to keep fur cleaned up from your carpets whether you brush indoors or out.

Find a Sitter. A sitter can be heaven-sent in terms of keeping your pup happy when you’re away working or having (GASP!) a life outside of your dog. Check out local dog resorts for day care or boarding, or Rover or Wag! for pet sitting or walking.

So, so many things to do and see to as a perfect pup parent, right? But aren’t they worth the effort? And won’t it be just grand when your neighbor welcomes your furry friend with some scritches (maybe ones even good enough to get that back leg going) instead of a harsh glare.

 

RESOURCES: Pet Safe, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Kennel Club, Apartment Guide, Human Animal Support Services

 

Neighborly Neighbors

Neighbors Meeting Neighbors

I’ve lived in many places over the course of my life. I’ve lived in many kinds of places, too. Apartments, condos, and single-family homes both in urban and suburban neighborhoods. I’ve lived in these places as single person, with a roommate, and as part of a family. In the suburban neighborhood in which I currently reside, a place I’ve called home for three years, neighbors are folks I wave to and occasionally have a brief conversation with – usually about the weather. I know what kinds of cars they drive, if they have kids and/or dogs, and if they do their own yardwork. It’s fine, but there’s no real sense of community, of belonging. It can be a bit lonely, especially if my partner is travelling, and my friends are busy.

I hadn’t thought about it too much, until I learned the story of a friend’s daughter who moved from her city apartment in another state to her childhood home in the suburbs to settle her father’s estate. She’d not lived in the house for a decade, and many of the neighbors had changed since she lived there last.  She was there alone, but within months, knew all the neighbors, their kids, and their pets by name. And she could count on several of these neighbors to give her a lift somewhere (being a city girl, she’d never learned to drive), check for packages left on the front porch, pet sit her dog, keep an eye on her house when she traveled, or join her for a glass of wine. And she would babysit their kids and watch their pups. Before heading back to her city apartment for the holidays, she delivered homemade treats to all these new friends.

Which kind of neighbor are you? Do you know your neighbors? Do you want to know your neighbors? After comparing my most recent neighbor experience to that of my friend’s daughter, I found myself a bit envious. Although I am an introvert, the idea of having people nearby who could do more that nod their head in passing has great appeal. According to NPR’s Life Kit podcast, a 2018 Pew Research study found that roughly a quarter of adults under 30 report that they don’t know any of their neighbors. So I am not alone!

Research says that there’s a sense of comfort and safety that can come with knowing your neighbors — and building a safe and caring community is a valuable way to stay connected to the place you live. So how exactly does one go about becoming neighborly?

Say More Than Hi

Get out of your comfort zone and make an effort to learn the names of your neighbors, what they do for a living, if they have kids or pets. Not only is this a great first step in getting to know them, it a great frist step in know how to be the kind of neighbor they will appreciate. You’ll know if there are times you need to keep the volume down because of their work schedule or baby’s sleep schedule. And if you are respectful of their needs, they will probably reciprocate.  If you feel comfortable, let them know that you’re there to help, if they ever need another hand.

It doesn’t take a lot of money or a grand gesture to be a good neighbor. You don’t have to show up with a fresh apple pie (although that would be awesome). It’s truly as simple as saying hello, introducing yourself and asking an open-ended question. If all your neighbors have been around for a while, this may feel like an awkward activity, but can be easily resolved with a simple conversation opener like, “Hey, neighbor! We’ve shared a wall for months, but I don’t even know your name. I’m John; what’s your name?”

Practice Small Kind Gestures

Life Kit suggests that another way to take care of your neighborhood, and to show your neighbors that you care, is by making small acts of kindness a daily practice. Even apartment dwellers can get in on this concept by picking up litter, cleaning up missed pet poop, or bringing your neighbor’s package up from the mailroom. Maybe you can offer to pick up mail, walk a dog, or pick up milk and bread for a neighbor who is ill, or a new parent who is harried.

Being Connected Feels Good

Life Kit goes on to say, “It can feel so easy to just go home, close your door and turn on the TV without having to make small talk, but connecting with others is worth the effort. As nerve-wracking as it is, reaching out to new people can actually boost your mood in the long run. According to an article by Emma Seppälä, “social connectedness … generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.”

This can be the first step in the concept of Paying It Forward we’ve all heard about. Marta Zaraska, who is the author of Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100, shares that once in 2013, “there was an instance in Winnipeg at a local Tim Hortons, where one driver decided to pay for the meal or the coffee of the driver behind him at the drive-thru. And that driver was so grateful, he decided to pay for the driver behind him.” According to reports on this incident, the chain of kindness went on for more than 200 drivers! This phenomenon continues onto this day. How can you incorporate this idea into being a better neighbor?

Expand Your People Horizons

It’s easy to stay within our comfort zone, keep our heads down, and avoid interaction with those who live near us. As kids we’re taught about “stranger danger”; perhaps mistrustfulness of folks we don’t know is a carryover from our youth. But taking the initiative to know your neighbors can have so many benefits. It can open the door to easing conflicts such as loud music, stomping, barking dogs, etc. as these kinds of issues are always more easily resolved with a friendly conversation than getting management involved. It could also lead to making new friends.

Check Your Bias

Looking out for your neighbors is an important part of creating a sense of community. But, as Life Kit points out, “before you go all “neighborhood watch” on someone, if something is making you feel unsafe, take a deeper look at the power dynamics at play: Why do you feel like someone doesn’t fit in?” If you are inclined to report someone to management, or call the police, ask yourself why you feel uncomfortable and unsafe, rather than putting the blame on your neighbors. Getting to know your neighbors and taking care of your community are valuable ways to feel safer in your community. Even if your goal is not to make friends with those who live around you, it’s important to treat everyone with respect and care.

And you never know, new friends and better neighbors can be right next door.

 

 

Staying Safe in Summertime Heat

Hot summer sun causing heat wave

Hot Sun in the Summertime

Unlike Sly and The Family Stone’s Hot Fun In The Summertimea heat wave is no fun. The extreme heat of this summer can take all the fun out of the season if we’re not careful. Let’s chat about staying safe in this summer’s heat.

But first, some background. I grew up in a small ranch-style house in northern New Jersey without air conditioning. On hot summer nights, my brother, sister, and I would sleep – or try to – on folding lounge chairs on the back patio; sometimes our friends from next door would join us in a make-shift pajama party. The huge oak tree next to the patio made us feel like we were under a leafy cathedral ceiling. We used pieces of cardboard to fan ourselves while trying to find the Big Dipper and the North Star until we finally dozed.

My folks had a box fan in one of their bedroom windows, and dad had it set to pull the hot air out of the room. To keep their room as cool as possible, their door was kept shut and the curtains were pulled. Drapes were drawn in rest of the house too, and the windows kept shut to keep out the heat and hot air. Hot summer days in the house were dark, close, and still; hot summer nights were dark and still as well and the quiet was disturbed only by the drone of mosquitos and rhythmic call of katydids.

My 87-year-old mother has lived her entire life in homes without air conditioning, and actually has trouble adjusting to air conditioned environments. But, with the extreme heat the entire country is experiencing this summer, she’s here with me in my air conditioned Kentucky home.

Despite the access to AC, this unprecedented heat wave presents other challenges to keeping our cool and enjoying the summer. What do we watch out for, how do we keep safe, and how can we still have hot fun in the summertime?

What to watch out for

 Health risks associated with heat exposure can range from milder conditions such as heat cramps to heat strokes, which can be fatal. Let’s get familiar with the symptoms of heat-related illnesses to head off potential problems.

  • Mild dehydration and heat cramps — muscle pain or spasms — may be early signs that your body is not reacting well to the environment, said Matthew Levy, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Heat exhaustion symptoms are more worrisome. These can include heavy sweating, elevated heart rate, nausea and vomiting, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and generally feeling unwell. Some people who are experiencing heat exhaustion might also faint. “This is where things are getting dangerous fast,” Levy said.
  • If heat exhaustion is left untreated, it may progress to heat stroke, which means the body’s core temperature has reached the point where cellular damage may start to occur.
    • The key feature of heat stroke is central nervous system dysfunction – confusion and possible seizures.
    • Another sign is lack of sweat. A dry person who’s not thinking clearly is at big risk and should seek help ASAP.

 How to stay safe

  •  Keep cool and hydrated.
  • Stay in spaces with air conditioning. If you only have a fan, experts recommend misting yourself with a spray bottle of cold water.
  • Spend time at indoor public places such as malls or libraries.
  • Go to a park, which can be five to 10 degrees cooler than indoor space.
  • When outdoors, dress in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and protect yourself from the sun with hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of water, but don’t guzzle it; drinking too much water could cause a potentially fatal condition known as hyponatremia.
  • Don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol or caffeine, both of which can be dehydrating. A good way to know whether you’re adequately hydrated is to pay attention to the color of your urine. Dark yellow is not good; very pale yellow or clear is ideal.
  • Limit outdoor exercise to less intense workouts, and do them early in the morning or in the evenings.

 Who is at increased risk?

 Although anyone can be negatively affected by hotter temperatures if they’re not careful, certain populations are more vulnerable, including the elderlyyoung childrenathletespeople who have chronic medical conditionspregnant people and those who may be struggling with mental health issues.

If you know anyone who might be at increased risk, check in on them during heat waves and make sure they’re equipped to stay safe.

  • Invite an elderly relative to stay with you (like me and my mom!).
  • Help someone get to a community cooling center.
  • Stop by people’s homes to make sure their air conditioners are working or to bring them cold drinks.
  • NEVER leave young children or pets in cars on hot days, even if the windows are open.
  • Pets are at risk, too! Click here for tips on keeping your pet safe in the summer.

 What to do if you or someone else is sick from the heat

  •  Get into a cooler environment — preferably some place with air conditioning — as quickly as possible.
  • Lower the body’s core temperature by removing clothing and wetting skin with cold water.
  • Hydrate with cold fluids, such as water or electrolyte drinks.
  • For more severe problems like heat stroke, seek medical help immediately.
    • While waiting for assistance to arrive, it’s critical to take action. Get the person out of the heat and either into air conditioning or shade. The fastest way to cool someone down in an urgent situation is cold-water immersion — the colder, the better. If that’s not possible, pour cold water on the person’s head and clothing.

Ideas to have fun despite the heat

  • Go to a pool in your community if available. Bring water in non-glass containers.
  • Visit your neighborhood library or indoor shopping mall
  • Go the movies
  • Visit a local museum
  • Stay inside and read a good book
  • Eat ice cream
  • Go bowling
  • Try an escape room

Above all, remember that cool fun in the autumn-time will be here before you know it.

How about another shameless plug for our hard-working team of Fath Properties service professionals who are always there to keep your place cool so you can Love The Place You Live?

Resources: Washington Post, CDC

Don’t Be Them

Frowning Mom and Son Sit on Couch with Closed Eyes and Plugged Ears from Upstairs Noise

What’s Going On Up There?!?

As an apartment dweller, you share at least one wall with another resident. And, you probably hear your neighbor from time to time. It’s to be expected. Have you ever seen the video Everyone’s Upstairs Neighbor? Back when it was created, The Washington Post wrote:

            Chances are what’s causing the movements of humans above you to sound like a giant’s conga line is a thin or poorly-insulated ceiling. But when the thumping begins at all the wrong times, you know you can’t help but wonder: are they doing that on purpose?

The experience is universal enough that when comedy writer Matt Moskovciak pretended the answer was yes, it’s on purpose, he created the most successful online video of his career.

Of course the video is hilariously exaggerated, but it does make one wonder: “Is that how I sound to my neighbors?” Yikes.

Keeping that in mind, strive to be the neighbor you wish you would always have.

  • Offer a smile and a wave to your neighbors when you see them.
  • Step outside your apartment and listen to the volume of your music, TV, gaming, etc. If you can hear it, bet your neighbors can, too. Consider using headphones after 10:00 PM and before 9:00 AM if you like to pump up the volume.
  • Planning to throw a party? Let your neighbors know what to expect and for how long – and perhaps extend them an invitation to join in the fun.

These simple steps can go a long way toward shared enjoyment of life in your apartment building and apartment community.

On the other hand, what can you do if it’s your neighbors making too much noise and commotion on their side of the wall? The simplest (though not always easiest) solution is to knock on their door and ask them to keep down any noise that they can control (electronics, a barking dog, etc.). You can explain you need your sleep, that you’re working from home, etc. A heart-to-heart with your neighbor will always be better received than getting management involved. But if you are faint of heart, another option is to contact your management company and ask them to issue a general email to all residents about noise. This keeps you (or your neighbor) from being singled out, but ideally will get the message across. If that fails, you can have your management company contact your neighbor directly, without implicating you. A good set of ear plugs and a white noise machine or app on your phone can also work wonders.

Be a great neighbor and get one in return. Without the bowling balls.