Tricks to Deep Clean Your Bedroom for Better Sleep

A good night’s sleep can set the tone for the next day. We all know sleep is important, so why not get the most out of your snooze sessions?

If you often find yourself waking up on the idiomatic “wrong side of the bed,” then these tips and tricks are for you.

De-clutter

There’s a certain peace of mind a cleanroom brings. When you’re in a slumber, you’re probably not paying any mind to heaps of clothes on the floor, but it’s one less thing you’ll worry about while falling asleep or waking up.

Everyone knows how much time is already spent dwelling on work and chores, so why let another thing enter the mix? Startup a favorite playlist and put those clothes where they belong.

Clean

For quality sleep, you’ll want fresh air and no dust. Bust out the vacuum for your carpet or a broom or mop for hardwood floors. Don’t forget about any fan blades, HVAC filters, and high shelves.

If you have allergies or asthma, then your immune system will thank you. Cordless hand vacuums work wonders for higher up surfaces, so add one to your cleaning arsenal if you want a good dust buster.

Wash

Slipping into a bed made up with fresh linens is bliss. The sheets smell wonderful and the comforter is cozy! It really is amazing how much satisfaction stems from something so attainable.

But most things are easier said than done, so washing linens and making a bed requires some diligence. The good news is if you take the first step of throwing your linens in the wash, then it forces your hand on the drying and folding steps. After all, if your sheets are wet, where will you sleep?

Aside from linens, see if your windows need a wash as well. Grime builds up throughout the seasons, and although it might not make its way inside, it diminishes the morning light which can help people wake up.

There you have it. It’s something we’re all familiar with but often overlook. Don’t let it take up your whole day; just start small and do one thing at a time. We hope you can rest easy with these tips!

Where to Find Home Furnishings from Secondary Marketplaces

There are many great benefits to buying home furnishings used. You can find excellent deals, score unique items no longer sold anywhere else, and more importantly, shop locally. Plus, you’re recycling through reuse, and in some cases, the money you pay benefits charity.

These are some of the best places you’ll find the decor you’re looking for in a secondary marketplace.

Secondary Marketplaces to Find Unique Furniture.

We made a list of five potential marketplaces for you to potentially find great pieces of furniture for even better deals. Keep in mind to practice safe delivery and pick-up when shopping on services like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace.

  • Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is quite a bit younger than other services, but since it’s part of Facebook there’s no shortage of users. It provides a friendly interface for finding what you need and utilizes Facebook Messenger as a built-in chat feature. Feel free to ask sellers questions about listings or even negotiate a fair price.

Filtering by location is simple since your Facebook account may already have the city you’re in as a default. If not, you can search by city or zip code and adjust the radius you’re willing to travel when you collect an item. Facebook eliminates anonymity since each listing is tied to a profile, which helps both buyers and sellers feel more comfortable.

  • Nextdoor

In case you’re unfamiliar with Nextdoor, it’s a hyper-localized social media platform for learning about things going on in your immediate vicinity. Each member must be address verified to ensure everyone indeed lives within the locale they claim.

Among many other things, Nextdoor includes a “For Sale & Free” section. Here you’ll find categories such as Automotive, Home decor, Neighbor services, and Tickets to name just a few. Listings include images and there’s a built-in chat feature for buyers and sellers.

  • Caboodle

Although it’s not your traditional marketplace, Caboodle is exclusive to Pittsburgh residents. It works like a “give an item, get an item” deal. Download the app on Google Play or the App Store and begin shopping for new treasures.

When you sign up for Caboodle, you’ll have 90 seconds to swipe through a variety of items. The first 90-second swipe session is free. Find something you like and it’ll be delivered to your address. But, it’s worth noting when you swipe past something, you can’t go back to it.

If you run out of time, you win whichever item you’re currently viewing. If you want to earn another swipe session, you must give an item of yours you no longer want or need. It’s a trade made simple and fun.

The Trading post is a central hub where you’ll take items to give away, and it’s conveniently located right in Shadyside. After you’ve parted with your item, the Caboodle team will select items of roughly equal value from their user pool, which is what you’ll swipe through in your next session.

It’s a novel idea right here in the neighborhood, so try it out! Plus, the more you use it the more it learns your interests and presents items more in line with your tastes.

  • Goodwill

A staple amongst thrifty shoppers, there’s always something new (but used) here. The Goodwill location on Centre Ave on the edge of Shadyside will have a myriad of things for your home.

This location is currently open, but you will need a mask while you browse and purchase. Goodwill varies in its furniture selection, so keep an eye out, and don’t hesitate when you find something you love!

  • Pittsburgh Furniture Company

This thrift store located in Shadyside will wow you with its inventory. It may not be as budget-friendly as some other secondary market outlets mentioned, but you’ll surely find furnishings you adore.

The folks here have a keen eye for style and they keep up with trends. Most of the inventory is used, but it’s all in top shape, so you may not even realize you’re not the first owner. They currently keep temporary hours on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. But, check their website for up to date info.

Steps to Deep Clean Used Furniture.

Now that you found a piece of furniture you love, it’s time to get it all shined up and new again! Secondary marketplace shopping can offer bargains and stylish pieces. As the saying goes one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

After you buy, it’s important to deep clean and disinfect the item before bringing it into your living space. Otherwise, you may end up bringing in unwanted odors, pet dander, bacteria, or pests.

First things first, the best time to pick up used furniture is on a clear, sunny day, that way you’ll have the opportunity to clean your new item outside. But the UV rays from the sun will also help kill any bacteria.

Of course, you can grab your vacuum cleaner and/or disinfectant wipes. But, if you want to get rid of any odors one great trick is using baking soda. For couches, upholstered chairs, or mattresses, The Spruce recommends sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda all over the furniture then let it sit for a few hours.

If you are out of disinfectant wipes, you can make your own disinfecting spray with common household ingredients. The Spruce offers a mixture of one part white vinegar and one part water to do the trick. If you need to remove a stain, simply add mild dish soap to the vinegar and water solution. Be careful not to oversaturate the furniture though!

Now you’re all set. Give these secondary marketplaces a look and find something fit for your own style. Remember, it’s okay to exercise caution and sanitize the items you buy before bringing them into your place.

Smart Home Gadgets to Liven Up Your Space!

There are plenty of ways you can make an apartment your own. Your design and decor is an extension of your own personality and interests. Spending some time on the aesthetic of your place will allow a level of comfort suitable for your lifestyle. 

After working on creating your ideal space, why not let that space work for you? Many pieces of smart home tech exist for your benefit, comfort, and ease. Here are some favorites you should check out.

Smart Home Speakers

  • Amazon Echo speakers feature one of the best virtual assistants available all within a small, space-saving device. If you don’t like fiddling with your phone when you play a song, then leave it to Alexa. It’s also great at compiling shopping lists for the grocery store.

  • Google Home speakers achieve many of the same results as Amazon Echo. The biggest perk here is the Google ecosystem. It’s no secret; Google has answers to almost any question you may have. All you have to do is ask with your voice rather than with your fingers. These speakers come in a few sizes including the Home Mini, which gives you all the same benefits in roughly the footprint of a hockey puck.

  • Sonos smart home speakers shine brightest where it matters most for speakers – audio quality. If you’re all about the music, then these devices will deliver. Gone are the days of wiring all your speakers via walls and ceilings. Simply plug in the speaker, follow the setup instructions on the dedicated app, and enjoy. A real bonus here is the availability of both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Exercising your preference is one of the many perks of a Sonos speaker.

Smart Lighting

Philips Hue lights are remarkable for creating your desired ambiance. These bulbs come in different shapes and sizes including LED light strips. 

Control them all with a dedicated app or play “scenes” with 3rd party apps. A scene simulates different effects with lights. This may mean the flickering colors of candlelight, the vivid explosions of fireworks, or the sudden flashes of lightning. 

You can even turn these lights on and off using the virtual assistant in your smartphone or your smart speaker.

Smart TV

Not all TVs are made equal, but an Amazon Firestick can change this. The same goes for a Roku or an Apple TV. Supercharge your TV with one of these if you haven’t already. 

You’ll get the best programming the world has ever known with a selection of streaming apps for your viewing pleasure. Sure, you know about Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, but how about Hoopla? A free membership from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Hoopla offers free access to its movie titles, music, audiobooks, and eBooks. 

Don’t just decorate your home. Make your space work for you using the latest in-home technology.

How to Get a More Satisfying Work-Out at Home

Some gyms have recently opened up again for business, but not everybody is hitting the gym just yet. If you’re eager to get back to your regular workout routine, know that the staff is likely taking precautions in ensuring you have a safe, healthy, and positive experience.

On the other hand, if you’re waiting until you’re 100% ready for a gym excursion, then check out some excellent ways you can get in your workout at home.

Resistance Bands

These economical pieces of equipment are great for a total body workout. These versatile rubber bands will work your legs, glutes, chest, shoulders, and arms. They take up very little space and you can even bring them with you for an outdoor workout or pack them up before your next travels.

Ready to get started? Here’s a guided 30-minute full-body routine from HASfit.

Exercise Balls

These are great for plenty of reasons. Need an extra seat while watching TV in the living room? Inflate one of these and you’re good to go. Tired of sitting on the same old desk chair for hours on end? Mix it up with an exercise ball. You can get a great stretch in, prop up your legs for some push-ups, or get a satisfying core workout.

Check out this full-body strengthening video from YogiApproved.com once you have your very own exercise ball.

Yoga Mat

One of these isn’t a must for yoga, but it makes the activity much more comfortable. Mats vary in thickness, but some of the more common ones are just thick enough for some padding, but thin enough so you can roll it up and store it away easily. Aside from the padding a mat provides, it offers insulation from the ground as well as a non-slip surface so you don’t slide around during your routine.

Time for a stretch! This yoga exercise from Makeba offers a great way to get started.

Stationary Bike

You don’t need a Peloton for an indoor cycling exercise. Any stationary bike you find will do the trick as long as it’s in working condition. A stationary bike with variable resistance will allow for a satisfying cardio workout. There are plenty of videos online you can follow along with. FitnessBlender has a ton of free workout videos including this cycling routine.

Already have a regular bike? Take a spin outside through many of Pittsburgh’s bike paths and trails. If you have a bicycle, not only do many Franklin West apartments have in-building storage lockers or bike areas to keep your bike safe, but one of our Shadyside area apartment buildings has a large bike room for our residents to use.

On the other hand, if you’d still rather stay indoors, you can convert your usual bike into a stationary one with a stationary stand, too.

Dumbbells

Get your hands on some dumbbells for a traditional strength training routine. You can get these on a rack with a variety of sizes, a bar with a selection of plates, or choose a set with a dial for inputting your preferred weight if you don’t have space for a rack. Check out the secondary marketplace if you have trouble finding dumbbells from your usual retailers. 

Dive right in with 21 upper body dumbbell exercises from Redefining Strength.

Medicine Ball

Medicine balls provide many of the benefits as dumbbells in a different form factor. Whereas with dumbbells, you may not be inclined to toss them around in the air, medicine balls are designed for this sort of maneuverability. There are fantastic core exercises, and it makes for a more interactive experience if you’re working out with a partner.

Hit the ground running with your medicine ball with this 30-minute workout from Qinetic Live.

Pull-Up Bar

The pull-up bar is another classic gym staple. But you don’t need to visit the gym to take advantage of it. These can be found in many shapes and sizes so you may get your pull-ups in at home. 

There are standalone devices that include a sturdy base with lateral supports and a bar up top. If you don’t have space, then a standalone bar for your doorway will work like a charm. You can even install one without drilling, nails, or screws, which is very convenient when renting. 

Aside from standard pull-ups, there are plenty of attachments available so you can add more variety within your pull-up bar routine. Need some pull-up inspiration? Watch this quick demo from Adidas Runtastic of 11 exercises you can accomplish on a bar.

Running

Maybe this one isn’t the best for an in-home workout unless you have a treadmill, but the outdoors await. Sure, there are plenty of parks and trails throughout Pittsburgh, but Shadyside is also known for its runnable community. 

Take advantage of a light run while practicing social distancing and getting some fresh air. The same goes for hiking, walking, or even biking! 

 

These pieces of equipment are perfect for apartment use. Don’t forget to clean your equipment after use! Wiping your equipment down after use, as you would at a gym, will help your things last longer, eliminate any odors, and kills any germs left behind after working up a sweat. 

With plenty of options available, hopefully, you’ve seen something that resonates with your workout interests. As always, please be courteous to your neighbors as you go through your exercise routine!

Add These 5 Fun Decor Pieces to Your Space Now

Whether you are settling into a new place, or you’ve lived there for years, some things just need to be changed up every once in a while.

If things start to feel like an old hat, then there are plenty of ways to spruce up your place and make it a breath of fresh air. Keep reading for some of the current trends and home decor people are using to liven up their spaces.

Neon Lights

It’s no secret that lighting can transform the mood of a room, and neon isn’t shy about changing the mood. Add some ambiance to your TV area or make a statement on your wall with some text or imagery. You could visit Etsy to shop for eye-catching LED decor. 

If neon is too extreme for your taste, then LED light strips might make for more subtle accents to ceilings and countertops.

Striking Rugs

Perhaps you like moving around your apartment by sliding across the floor a la Risky Business. But to make sure you don’t fall, put a few rugs down. 

Rugs are timeless pieces to include in your space. Find a vintage rug for a classic look, or choose something bright and bold with geometric patterns. Layer them if you have too many to choose from. 

Already have a carpeted floor? Hang a rug on your wall tapestry style. Don’t forget rugs can be used as a sound barrier from neighbors too. 

Plants

Indoor plants are the key to freshening up a living space, and boy, plants are definitely in right now! When deciding on a plant type, consider these three things first: the lighting of your space, the watering needs of the plant, and the upkeep it will require. 

If you don’t have a green thumb, some of the more forgiving plant types include aloe vera, spider plants, pothos, and snake plants. Plants that will need a little extra care, but can be worth the work, are monsteras, palms, and fiddle leaf figs. Check out the Shadyside Nursery for a range of indoor plant selections.

Gallery Walls

Bring the museum into your own home with the addition of a gallery wall. A collection of artwork and photos is an easy way to boost the personality of your space. 

Gallery walls can include anything from travel photos to colorful plates to mirrors. Visit one of the many local artists in Shadyside, or put your creativity to the test with self-made art using supplies from Brick Art Materials in Shadyside. 

Pillows & Poufs

These small touches are a sleek and easy way to add seating for guests. Poufs are sturdy pillows or ottomans that are available in styles and fabrics that range from eclectic to modern. 

On the other hand, throw pillows that complement the surrounding furniture can really make the room pop. Head over to Arhaus in Shadyside for a wide selection of different pillows and poufs. 

Now is the perfect time to make a few changes to your living space, but don’t forget to shop local too. Make your apartment your own with these 5 decor tips. Which will you try?

DIY Veggie Gardens & Local Markets for Apartment Life

When sourcing fresh produce for meals, big-box grocery stores are ever popular. Even now, supermarkets are evolving to cater to shoppers in various ways. But summertime is near, and it’s the time of the season for some DIY veggies and supporting local farms.

Here are a few simple kitchen garden veggies and herbs practically made for your windowsill. No worries if your thumb isn’t too green – we’ve got some recommendations for farmer’s markets in and around Shadyside.

Indoor Herbs

Quite a few herbs do well in apartments. It’s nice having them fresh and readily available, so plant away! Make sure they get the sunlight they need and keep the soil moist.

  • Basil – Pack moist soil into a small pot and sprinkle the surface with seeds. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and water gently.
  • Mint – Start with a seedling and transfer to a pot with drainage holes. Water it well after planting and keep in indirect light.
  • Chives – Add moist soil to a pot with adequate drainage and sprinkle seeds on top. Add about ¼“ of moistened soil on top and expect germination within two weeks.

Indoor Vegetables

Herbs aren’t the only edible plants you can maintain indoors. Some veggies are just as easily doable.

  • Carrots – Depth is important here, so use an 8” – 12” deep pot. Fill the pot to an inch from the top with moist soil and plant seeds ¼” deep. Once they germinate, separate them so they’re at least an inch apart from each other.
  • Lettuce greens – Fill a pot with moist soil and sprinkle around 10 seeds on the surface. Cover with ⅛” of damp soil and move seedlings apart when they germinate.
  • Arugula – Follow the same steps here as you would for lettuce greens and you’ll have harvest after harvest of scrumptious arugula. Just remember to pick the bigger leaves and leave the smaller interior leaves to grow.

Farmer’s Markets Near Shadyside

Farmer’s markets are terrific, open-air excursions with tons of variety. Get your fruits, vegetables, meats, and more at the Bloomfield Saturday Market and the East Liberty Farmers Market.

  • Bloomfield Saturday Market is located at 5050 Liberty avenue
  • East Liberty Farmers Market is located in the Garland Park lot on N Euclid Ave

Local vendors showcase the freshest foods you can get. Supporting these vendors helps local farms, bakers, cheesemakers, and more so check them out.

Keep in mind, these markets are doing their best in adhering to health and safety procedures. Refer to the Bloomfield Saturday Market Facebook page and the East Liberty Farmers Market website for more information regarding current restrictions.

5 Creative Hobbies To Try When You’re Bored

By now you have probably exhausted a lot of your regular hobbies, so why not tap into some new ideas! With the weather warming up, get fresh air with a short walk (and practice social distancing, of course), try your hand at painting, or start your own herb garden to pass the time.

We put together a few ideas to help you inject some creativity next time you are feeling a bit bored.

Painting

Watercolors or acrylics? Painting can be the perfect hobby to pick up right now. If you are a beginner look up some instructional videos on YouTube. Don’t have paint around the house? Places like Michael’s and Target are doing curbside pickup, plus you can also check out Amazon.

Not interested in the mess of painting. There are several great paint by number apps to try like Happy Color.

Reading

We always talk about how we never have time to read. Well, with this newfound free time, we can all pick up a good book.

Learn a new skill or get lost in another land instead of staring at Netflix for hours. Can’t decide? Do a quick google search for some best sellers or even check to see if your favorite celebrity has a go-to list out there.

Needlepoint

While needlepoint might seem a bit old fashioned, it is the perfect craft to keep your mind moving and leave you with a fun little home accessory.

From Amazon to Target, and even little local shops, you can buy needlepoint kits with everything you need. After you finish, put it into a picture frame for a great accent to a gallery wall.

Gardening

While you probably don’t have tons of land to garden on, there are a variety of ways you can grow fresh produce or herbs right in your own place.

If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, try an indoor herb garden kit, or even tomatoes if you get enough sun. Those with a small patio space but no grass, go for a raised garden bed in your outdoor area.

Still not confident of where or how to begin, visit the Shadyside Nursery new online store. If you’re new to plant life, this team can get you started the right way.

Tie Dying

Remember tie-dying as a kid? Find some white clothes and order a kit because this trend is back! Like the other crafts we discussed, you can look at places like Michael’s and Target who are offering fast delivery or curbside pick. Also, check Amazon (who seems to sell everything) for a non-toxic tie-dye kit!

Try something new this week! You never know what you, and even your family, might enjoy and pick up as your new go-to during this extra time at home.

How to Survive Quarantine as an Apartment Dweller

For people all across the US and the rest of the world, the COVID-19 predicament is felt in various different ways, but also with many commonalities. It’s not easy being cooped up in an apartment for weeks on end. As you handle your day to day, do what you can to look out for and take care of yourself, and don’t lose sight of the needs of your very own community.

Your Franklin West neighbors are all up against the same struggles, and there’s plenty of uncertainty as it is, but that uncertainty will meet the light of day and this will resolve. In the meantime, as tensions run high and you may not encounter your neighbors in the same ways as before, be mindful of them so that everybody may get through this as easily as possible.

To help navigate this brand new way of life that may feel like an assignment in a naval submarine, here are a few ideas that might just make this time a bit more bearable for everybody.

Be Patient with Your Neighbors

Deep breaths are important. This isn’t the wellness suggestion you may be used to seeing. We’re not actually talking about measuring air into your lungs, but rather timing your responses to things that may be bothersome. For instance, if one of your neighbors is entertaining their little ones with five hours of Baby Shark, then do your very best to wait just a short while before coming to them or the Franklin West staff with your complaint. 

The main idea here is to avoid a heat-of-the-moment debacle that erupts into a feud. Five hours of Baby Shark is rather excessive and enough to drive anyone up the wall, but a little bit of patience is better fuel for civil discourse than retaliation or nastiness. On the other side of that coin, if you’re thinking that hours of Baby Shark will be good for your toddler, then please do-do-do think of your neighbors’ sanity.

TIP: Take advantage of practicing the 24-Hour Rule. This great rule of thumb is actually a sports reference that says, “Parents/guardians are not allowed to confront a coach, team or league official to discuss any “negative” game or practice situation with the coaching and management staff until at least 24 hours has passed from the completion of the game or practice.”

When your neighbor has their tv turned up a bit too high or sounds like they are breaking in a new pair of heels, we ask you to apply the 24-hour rule and take a pause. Find out if the issue was a very small, isolated incident, or if it’s a recurring thing in need of addressing. Furthermore, waiting 24 hours before reaching out to your neighbor or Franklin West allows for the conversation to be calm and effective in solving the issue.

Coping Mechanisms

It’s silly to expect anyone to act completely normal through all this. And it’s completely okay if you recognize you’re not in your usual state of mind. That’s why it’s important now more than ever to find a way to cope with the stresses you’re facing. 

  • Exercise is a great coping mechanism. Find a workout video on YouTube to get your blood moving so your body doesn’t feel neglected. Do your best to free the stresses of your mind by allowing your body to help out. As always, please be cognizant of your downstairs neighbor. Even if you are exercising at “normal” hours, remember that everyone’s “normal” hours are different. If you have hardwood floors and high ceilings, remember that these attractive amenities can cause sound vibrations to be amplified. Simple jumping jacks can sound like a stomping parade to the apartment dweller below. One remedy is investing in additional rugs or mats to dampen the sound and vibration for the benefit of those below.
  • Laughing really is great medicine. Find something that tickles your funny bone and chuckle away! There’s tons of great standup on Netflix and YouTube as well as award-winning comedy shows ripe for the picking. You don’t need to go on a complete binge, but even just a small pick-me-up can brighten up your day and clear your mind.
  • Connect and re-connect with friends and family. You’re no doubt a frequent Zoom user now if you weren’t before. Make an effort to add time to your calendar that isn’t work-related to connect with an old friend group you haven’t spoken to in a while. Drop-in on your best friend or a sibling to see what they’re up to. You can even play some games over a video call. Check out Heads Up in the App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Take a nap! If stay-at-home measures have allowed you any more flexibility in your schedule, then listen to your body if it’s tired. Get some good shut-eye and perhaps you’ll wake up after twenty minutes feeling like a million bucks.

Sharing Facilities

When it’s chore day and you have all your laundry to do, be sure to give others their space. Of course, this always applies, but for the health and safety of our communities, it’s especially important now. If it’s a bit too crowded in the laundry room, then revisit later and go do some of your other chores. Don’t have any other chores? Offer to do someone else’s. Just kidding. If it’s nice out, go take a much-needed socially-distanced walk outside and smell the fresh air. In short, just go relax for the time being.

Much of the same applies to common areas as well. Leave space for others so that nobody feels uncomfortable or worried about potential exposures.

What to Expect Regarding Apartment Maintenance

If you have any issues in your apartment, then please submit your requests as usual. As always, we’ll be doing our best to fix any issues in a timely manner. Be mindful of the urgency of your requests.

Our maintenance personnel is dedicated and diligent, but they also want to limit their contact with others in the same way you do. If it takes longer than usual, then we do apologize, but we are trying to look out for everybody’s health and well-being.

That said, do not hesitate to submit your maintenance requests. We want to know of the issues you encounter and keep a record of them when they first appear. Just know that a toilet spewing water into the air like a geyser will likely appear on the maintenance to-do list before a loose knob on a cupboard.

Upcoming Scavenger Hunt

Another way to help with the shortage of things to do at the moment will be our upcoming Franklin West scavenger hunt. We’ll send out more info when it’s all ready, but you’ll have a week to complete it. The scavenger hunt will be composed of a mixture of questions based on walking tours and info available on the Franklin West website. If you have a keen eye for detail and a love for puzzles, then be sure to look out for this upcoming activity for all! (P.S. The winners will receive a gift card to a local shop.)

Keep Doing Your Part

In light of everything happening in the world, we want to thank you for participating in curbing the spread of coronavirus. It’s not a great hand that we’ve all been dealt, but by playing our cards right, we’re sure to come out on top with our communities as healthy as possible. We appreciate you and encourage you to let us know what more we can be doing at this time to make sure you’re as comfortable as can be in your home.

How to Give Your Home the Spring Cleaning It Deserves

We are all spending a bit more time indoors right now. As spring approaches it seems like the perfect time to get some extra cleaning done. Whether you are looking to get rid of the items collecting dust in your closet or to organize the pantry, we put together a list of tips to help you create a clean and organized home, within all the uncertainty. 

First, overhaul your cleaning supplies. 

Before you start cleaning, take inventory of the products you are using. Try to get rid of products with toxins and switch to clean, all-natural products that are still just as effective.

According to the American Lung Association, it’s particularly important to avoid air fresheners and choose products that do not contain (or have reduced amounts of) VOCs, fragrances, irritants, and flammable ingredients.

Franklin West would like to give a friendly reminder not to flush disinfectant wipes down your toilets, including ones that claim to be flushable. Doing so could clog the sewer system causing major damage to your space and the apartment building as a whole.

Kick that smell in the kitchen sink. 

If you have a garbage disposal, try running lemon rind through the drain and then following it with cold water to get rid of the smell. 

Disinfect your knife block. 

The best way to prevent bacteria growth within your knife block is to thoroughly clean and dry knives before returning to storage, but it’s also a good idea to do a more vigorous cleaning once a year, according to Viola Wüsthof, CEO of WÜSTHOF knives. 

For a deep clean:

  1. Submerge the knife block into a mixture of one gallon of lukewarm water and one tablespoon of household bleach. 
  2. Let the wooden block soak in the mixture for two minutes. 
  3. Turn upside-down onto a dry towel to air dry completely.

Dust your ceiling fans. 

In addition to keeping your house germ-free, it is also allergy season, so pesky allergens are also floating around. Protect your space by placing a drop cloth or an old sheet twice the size of the blade span, on the floor. Use an extendable wooly duster to wipe the span of the blades. Pick up the drop cloth, shake outside, and wash.

Clean your refrigerator. 

You probably wipe down your fridge’s interior shelving on the regular already, but don’t forget about the rest. Pop-out the door shelves and bins, and wash in warm, soapy water to get rid of food bacteria and spillage.

Clean windows on a shady day. 

To get those crystal clear windows you only see on commercials, wait to clean your windows on a cloudy day. When the windows are warmed by the sun, the cleaning solution can streak leaving unwanted marks. Save the window washing session for a good, cloudy Pittsburgh day. 

Clean the kids toys. 

Don’t overlook the dishwasher in dire times. It can be the perfect companion when washing kids’ (and even your dogs’!) toys. Choose the crystal or quick cycle and skip the heated dry. For stuffed animals, check the care tag first and then gather in a mesh bag or pillowcase and throw in the washer on a gentle cycle.

Purify the air. 

When the weather starts to warm up, leave the windows open for a few hours to release the stagnant air that filled your house all winter. Take this opportunity to swap out dirty filters and grab an electrostatic duster to clean grime from ceiling fans. 

Keep a clean mattress. 

Did you know we spend 3,000 hours a year in our beds? That’s the equivalent of four months! Keeping the mattress super clean, and rotating it a few times a year is important. To clean the mattress, vacuum the surface. Then, sprinkle on a mixture of baking soda and a few drops of essential oil (lavender promotes relaxation.) Let this sit for a couple of hours, then, vacuum the baking soda mixture away.

Scour the grout. 

Grout can get gross, but you don’t need harsh chemicals like bleach to get to the bottom of this mess. A homemade solution of warm water, ¼ cup of vinegar, and one tablespoon of dish soap should do the trick. 

Clean out bags or purses. 

Take everything out, toss trash, and organize items by category. Use organizers to keep small items in place, and wipe down the exterior with a disinfectant wipe while you’re at it. 

Don’t forget your cell phone. 

While we don’t always think about it, our cell phone is actually said to be dirtier than a toilet seat or the bottom of your shoe. Take the case off, swipe a disinfectant wipe over the entire surface of your phone. Then do the same to the case before replacing it.

Franklin West Resident Reminders

As guidelines change daily with COVID, Franklin West is taking extra effort to put the safety of our residents first. Here are a few reminders specific to our residents.

  • Trash Disposal – make sure trash is tightly sealed. 
  • Loaner Vacuum is Still Available – to borrow our “loaner vacuum,” call the office and we will have it placed right outside of your apartment door.
  • Laundry Rooms are Open – we are focused on maintaining a clean and sanitized laundry rooms in our building for your safety.

There’s a lot you can accomplish while at home to continue to feel productive when you can’t run your weekly errands. Focus on spring cleaning for fulfillment instead. Looking for products to help you get organized. Check out this article featuring the best-selling organizational products on Amazon.

Superior Apartment Living in Pittsburgh With Franklin West

On the hunt for a new apartment in Pittsburgh? Franklin West has every type and size from studios to townhouses and new construction to historic landmarks. Want an apartment with character? We got that! How about charm? Check! What about convenience to local shops, eateries, and amenities? Double-check! 

As Spring gets closer, our leasing season here at Franklin West picks up rather quickly. Many of our Shadyside apartments will become available now through May and are already being listed on our site.

If you’re searching for a new place to call home in a wonderful Pittsburgh neighborhood, look no further than our soon to be available apartments listed below!  

How to Tour Franklin West Apartments

Hunting for an apartment can be frustrating. It’s important to our team to keep our scheduling process easy as a breeze. There are two ways to schedule a tour with us:

  1. Send us an email inquiry directly through our website here
  2. Call us directly at 412-661-1151

Our priority is with inquiring eyes and our current residents. Not only do we make every effort to give our residents notice as to when their apartment might be shown, but having the opportunity to talk with you directly helps us learn what type of apartment suits your needs. This way we make the best use of your time and show you apartments that meet your criteria.

We schedule appointments Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Plus, at the start of March, we will also offer Saturday appointments from 9 am to 4 pm. Keep in mind, Saturday appointments book up well in advance. Don’t delay in scheduling your appointment!

How to View Available Apartments

As soon as we hear that one of our current residents move on, we promptly list the apartment on our website. 

Visit our available apartments in Shadyside here. You can search our apartments by price, the number of bedrooms, and move-in date. Plus, most of our apartments allow you to browse through photos and floorplans.

If you’re looking to move into a wonderful space in one of Pittsburgh’s best neighborhoods, give us a call or check out our website. We’re happy to help you find your new home.