Apartment Ideas: Independence Day Party Decorations

One of the perks of renting your own apartment is the freedom to throw parties whenever you want! And what better time or reason for a party than 4th of July? Independence Day is a time of national celebration, so it’s the perfect opportunity to go all out and be as festive as you want! Try these ideas for party decorations to host the best 4th of July blowout ever!

4th of July Apartment Party Ideas

Use the patriotic red, white and blue motif to your heart’s desire and purchase party decorations like a 4th of July garland, and decorate your house with red, white and blue flowers. Adorn your table with an American flag table cloth or runner, stars and stripes place settings, and red, white and blue star-shaped glitter. Use mason jars stuffed with red and blue bandanas to hold silverware for that extra touch.

4th of july decorations

You can even take your food to the next level. In addition to the 4th of July favorites like hamburgers and hotdogs, there are many ways to incorporate the American motif into your presentation:

  • Serve blueberries and strawberries with whipped cream for an edible pop of red, white and blue.
  • Create a signature summer cocktail using festive straws or drink stirrers for even more party flair.
  • Make a cake using blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream or go miniature and make cake pops with red, white and blue frosting.

4th of july decorations

Looking for an apartment to host fun dinner parties for the holidays, or any occasion? Check out the available apartments right now in the metro New Orleans area from 1st Lake Properties.

Apartment Living 101: What Not to Put in the Dishwasher

Some people living on their own for the first time have to learn the hard way. If you’re new to certain household chores, there can be a big margin of error. You’ll quickly discover common rookie mistakes like washing clothes incorrectly as well as the wrong way to wash dishes. Not everything is meant to be thrown in the dishwasher. To avoid damaging your dishes and cookware, here’s what you should avoid putting in the dishwasher and the proper way to clean these items.
Cast Iron – Because of its heavy duty nature, cast iron needs a little extra care than normal dishes. Cast iron can be properly cleaned with hot water and a sponge or brush and then towel dried. Stubborn stuck-on food can be removed by scrubbing with coarse salt and water.

Good Knives – Quality, sharp knives should not be washed in the dishwasher, as they could become dull quicker. It’s better to handwash your knives and dry with a tea towel.

Crystal – Expensive, delicate crystal dishware should be given extra care and washed individually by hand. Putting in the dishwasher can cause chipping or cracking.

Wooden Utensils – Some wooden utensils can be put in the dishwasher, put others could warp, crack or lose its finish, so check the manufacturer for directions.

Nonstick Pans – Putting non-stick pans in the dishwasher may ruin their effectiveness, so it’s best to hand wash them to be safe, or check with the manufacturer on the best way to clean.

Copper Pans – The main draw for these kind of pans is their beautiful color, which may be compromised if put in the dishwasher.

Soft Plastic – Soft plastic will melt if run through the dishwasher; hard plastic can be placed on the top shelf.

Disposable Aluminum – Aluminum trays that are reusable should be handwashed, otherwise they will flake if run through the dishwasher.

Anything with Adhesives – If any of your tuperware, glass bottles or any other dishes have adhesive labels attached, they should not be put in the dishwasher as they can come off and clog parts of the dishwasher.

Moving Tips: 5 Apartment Search Considerations

1st Lake Properties has over 9,500 excellent apartment options for you to choose from in the metro New Orleans, Northshore and Baton Rouge areas.

But, before you even start looking for your next apartment, make sure you are taking the proper steps.

In order to pick the best 1st Lake property, follow these guidelines:

welcome mat apartment search


This may seem like a no-brainer, but planning out what you can realistically afford each month isn’t easy. You need to think about all expenses such as credit card and student loan payments, groceries, car insurance and spending money. Once you’ve calculated these items, subtract them from your monthly income, find a realistic budget, and stick to it.


When you find an apartment you really love, it is easy to overlook the long commute. Don’t. Long commutes can translate into lost time with family and high gas mileage payments. Try to find a place close to your school or office.


One of the perks of apartment living is all the extra features that come along with your rental fee. What interior/exterior amenities are important to you? Do you want a washer/dryer, swimming pool, or fitness center? Many of our apartment communities have fantastic fixtures, so keep an eye out when apartment searching.


Location is one of the most important factors of apartment hunting. Some people want to be in quiet neighborhoods, while others want to be around a thriving nightlife.

If you aren’t already familiar with your future neighborhood, do as much research as possible. Consult our neighborhood guides to find the right location for you:

Excess Belongings

If you are serious about moving, even if you don’t have an exact moving date set, start getting rid of all of your excess belongings now so you’ll have less to do once the time comes.

If you found this article helpful, share it on Facebook or Twitter and ease a friend’s apartment hunting woes.

Related posts: Renting a Moving Truck, Moving to New Orleans, Space Saving Tips for the Kitchen.


Apartment Organization: Tips for Eliminating Clutter

Have you got too much stuff in your apartment than you know what to do with? It might be time to consider methods for getting rid of what you don’t need and organizing what you do. Here are some tools and tricks for elimination and consolidation to make life at home cool, calm and collected.

Remove the clutter

Before you can truly enjoy your apartment, it needs to be free of clutter. Clutter takes on a lot of forms. Clutter is something you have too much of, something you no longer use, or something that makes you feel disorganized. Removing these items will make your apartment feel relaxed and open. Not sure where your clutter is hiding? Junk drawers and hallway closets are a good place to start.

Reduce clutter on a day-to-day basis

After you’ve removed all of your pre-existing clutter, work to make sure it never comes back. Clean the kitchen and bathroom every time you use them. Whenever you move an item, return it back to its rightful spot. The worst thing you can do is let the clutter grow. Try to make cleaning up clutter your daily routine.

Use the shopping bag method
Rolling Cart Shelves

This is a smart rule of thumb, courtesy of the fine folks at Apartment Therapy, especially for those conspicuous consumers among us. For whatever number of new products you bring into your home, discard an equal amount. For example, if you come home with three new shirts, donate or give away three of your old ones. This will ensure you don’t have a collection of clothing or household items you don’t use and that you have enough space for your new additions.

Organize with rolling cart shelves and mirror cabinets

Rolling cart shelves are great organizing units to keep around the apartment for multiple uses. If you don’t have enough storage for Tupperware, shoes, towels, sheets, or practically anything in any room of your apartment, keep them in these convenient and portable shelves.

Need a full length mirror? Take advantage of that used space by getting a mirror cabinet that serves two purposes in one: a mirror and storage. Keep multi-use items in your apartment is a small space hack that will create extra storage while achieving its original function.

Create a location for your day-to-day essentials

Find a bowl, table or corner that is your designated “needs” area. Every day, place your keys, phone and wallet in that same place and you will never misplace them again! At first you will have to remind yourself to put things in your “needs” area, but after long it will be habit.

For another great way to use space wisely and keep your belongings neatly stored to avoid clutter around your apartment, check out our blog on how to best use vertical space!

If you enjoyed this article, please share on Facebook or Twitter.

Related posts:

Must Know Refrigerator Organization Tips

Apartment Spring Cleaning Checklist

How to Clean a Refrigerator: 5 All-Natural Fridge Cleaning Hacks

Apartment Energy Saving Tips

If you are looking to save energy costs, or just want to be environmentally conscious in your daily living, there are many tricks and shortcuts you can take to conserve energy. Use these energy saving tips in your apartment to lower your energy bill while also doing the environment a favor!
apartment energy saving tips
Energy efficient light bulbs – Energy efficient light bulbs are an easy way to save energy at home, as they typically use between 25% and 80% less energy and last much longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Although energy efficient bulbs usually cost a little more than regular bulbs, they will save you money over time.

Adjust thermostat – Another easy energy saving tip is to simply adjust your thermostat to an energy efficient temperature when you’re not at home. If you have a programmable thermostat, this can be done by simply changing the temperature setting during specific time frames that you are at work or know you won’t be at home. Otherwise, you can manually adjust the thermostat higher in warmer months or lower in colder months when you’re not at home.

Unplug power cords – When they’re not in use, make sure to unplug devices like phone chargers and mp3 player docks to save energy. Another convenient way to both organize cords and to save energy is to use power strips for plugging in multiple cords, and then simply switch the power strip off when the devices they are charging are not in use.

Short showers – Instead of taking baths or long showers, try to take showers in 10 minutes or less. Not only will you save on time, also on your water bill by using much less water.

Close shades and drapes in summer – During the warmer months, help cool your apartment by blocking the sun coming in from windows so you won’t have to use as much air conditioning to stay comfortable.

Washing clothes – Maximize your washing machine usage by washing full loads of laundry instead of more frequent smaller loads. To save even more energy when doing laundry, use the cold wash setting as much as possible.

Looking for a great new apartment to move in to? Check out our many excellent metro New Orleans apartments available now!

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