1st Lake Blog

Spring Cleaning Apartment

Spring is finally here and that means change and new beginnings, not only with the weather, but in your own apartment, too. Part of making room for the new is getting rid of the old, and one of the best ways to do that is to take inventory of your possessions and evaluate what you want to keep and what your don’t really use anymore that you can pass on to others in need. After you’ve gone through your drawers and closets and sorted your discarded items in a donation section, decide where and how to give them away. Use these places below for ideas.

Shelters – Community shelters in your area are a great option to donate your clothes and household items. Shelters can always use donations and there will always be people who are in need of clothing and other items.

Online – We live in a digital era where most things are done online. Freecycle, Craigslist and EBay are free and easy online tools to use to give away your old clothes or appliances. You can manage the entire process by listing the items you want to give away for free or sell, and coordinate your own shipping or delivery.

Clothing Swaps – Another great way to pass on your unwanted items to someone who might be happy to take them, plus discover some new treasure of your own, is to participate a clothing swap. A clothing swap is a gathering of people who all contribute clothing that doesn’t fit or that they don’t need anymore, and anyone can take someone else’s clothing if they choose. If you don’t know of anyone having one, host your own and invite family and friends!

Salvation Army – The Salvation Army is always a great option that accepts all types of donations to sell for a discounted price to underprivileged people, or anyone looking for a bargain. Check your area for Salvation Army drop-off locations.

Looking for a great New Orleans area apartment? Check out what’s available at our Metairie, Kenner and River Ridge locations!

Dust: The Silent Killer

A little dust here and there might not seem like that big of a deal, and some of us admittedly go longer than we should without giving our apartment a good dusting, but a little dust can cause a lot of damage in the long run. Not only can dust be unsightly and cause allergies in humans, but can be very bad for household electronics as well.

Most common associations with the destruction of digital and electronic devices are liquid and over heating, but dust is also among the most harmful. Dust in fact in a lot of cases is the cause of excessive heat, as it can clog filtration in computers, cable boxes, and a number of other devices.

Detailed Dusting Tips

So what can you do about all this dust? Dust unfortunately is a fact a life and is unavoidable, but there are ways to control the situation and prevent dust from building up.

Laptops and desktop computers are maybe the most susceptible machines to accumulating dust. At least once a year, use compressed air to remove dust from the back or side vents and then wipe down the surface with a microfiber cloth. Make sure to dust both the fan and the vent.

Televisions also attract a lot of dust. Many large TVs will have a fan on the back, just like a computer, to keep it from overheating. Check the fan every six months or so for dust and use compressed air to remove any as needed. In addition, routinely wipe down the screen with a cloth to remove surface dust.

Keyboards on computers will become sticky if too much dust or residue accumulates underneath. To prevent that from happening, unplug the keyboard and blow on it routinely. If there is excess dirt and dust to remove, use an air compressor and then finish the job by wiping it down with a paper towel and hand disinfectant.

Looking for a great New Orleans area apartment? Check out the available apartments from 1st Lake Properties!

How To Maximize The Space In Your Apartment

The secret to mastering the art of apartment living is maximizing space. There are many ways to achieve this, and one of the most effective is creating multipurpose rooms in your apartment. This way, you can strategically use all of the available space in your apartment to meet all of your at-home needs. Here are some tips and tricks for optimizing your apartment’s floor plan to get the most out of where you live!

Maximizing Apartment Rooms

Enjoy the sunrooms and bonus rooms at Willow Creek apartments!

Bonus room: 1st Lake offers a lot extra space in many of their New Orleans area apartments, including new sunrooms at the Cypress Creek and Willow Creek apartments in River Ridge, the Lakes of Chateau Estates South apartments in Kenner and the Camelot Court and Windmill Creek North and Windmill Creek South apartments in Metairie. These rooms can be converted into whatever might be missing in your apartment – just use your imagination. Some ideas are a home office, fitness room, guest bedroom, children’s play area, a music room for instruments or home recording equipment. It’s up to you!

Studios: Studios are ideal for one person who has an active lifestyle looking for an affordable living space. Because of their open floor plans using furniture or room dividers to create private space is always an option. Deciding to divide studio space depends on what you want out of your apartment. Separating different areas based on their uses such as sleeping, eating and entertaining can organize the floor plan and section off private areas.

1st Lake has many excellent studios that provide accommodating floor plans to work with and amenities like full washer and dryers, sun rooms and storage space to make studio living a great and comfortable experience.

DIY Projects On A Budget Homemade Citrus Cleaner

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to create homemade materials and craft projects to spruce up your apartment. Often times, you can use items you already have, which makes D.I.Y. projects fun and affordable! Here is one cost effective and handmade product you can make right at home on your very own.

Citrus Cleaner – Instead of buying overpriced cleaning spray full of chemicals, you can make your very own, environmentally friendly batch that will last a long time using items you probably already have at your house. This recipe from Apartment Therapy will make a powerful natural cleaner in no time! In addition to keeping your apartment clean, this D.I.Y. project will have your house smelling of fresh citrus as a bonus!

Citrus Peels
Distilled White Vinegar
Water (optional)
Airtight Glass Container
Spray Bottle

Measuring Cup


1. Collect citrus peels and store them in an airtight glass container.
Note: citrus fruits contain d-limonene, a natural solvent that chemically reacts with oil to break it down.

2. Once your container is full, cover the peels with white vinegar.

3. Date your jar, and let it sit for about 2 weeks.
Note: when ready, the vinegar should have a strong citrus odor and be yellowish in color.

4. Strain the peels.

5. Dilute with water if you so desire. 
The concentration depends on your intended use and preference. I used a 1:1 ratio.

6. Pour into a spray bottle and use.
While I have been using it mostly in my kitchen to clean up stove top grease, this makes for a great, all purpose cleaner.

After your citrus solution is ready, pat yourself on the back for completing this craft project and enjoy your homemade cleaner at one of 1st Lake’s New Orleans apartment rentals in Metairie, Kenner or River Ridge or on the Northshore at 1st Lake’s apartments in Mandeville and Covington!

If you’d like to make your cleaner even more fragrant, try adding rosemary, like Steve Parente does in the instructional video below! He walks you through every step of the instructions above. Enjoy your new craft project

Getting Cords Under Control In Your Apartment

Have you found yourself in a situation where the various cords in your apartment have become tangled and out of control, causing eye sores and even a fire hazard? You may be a victim of cord chaos, but not to worry. We have easy cord control solutions to make the exposed electrical wires in your home as out of sight and out of mind as possible.

Charging Stations – For mobile and portable devices, like cell phones and tablets, charging stations with multiple adapters will charge a variety of smaller electronic products. One carrier of these kinds of charging stations is Great Useful Stuff.

Ties – A common cause of cord dysfunction is loose cords laying or hanging free without any organization. Basic plastic zip ties or twist ties like Velcro bands offer an easy solution. By safely consolidating nearby cords together, you can eliminate a mess of intertwining cables.

Cable Storage – Do you have a drawer somewhere in your apartment that is a little haywire (pun intended)?  An easy and inexpensive way to store away cords and cables is to wrap them up and insert them inside a cardboard paper towel roll or poster canister.

Cord Identifiers – Often times, it’s not locating the cords you need, but knowing which one goes with each device. A typical area where you might encounter such a situation is the entertainment center or cable box. A clever and colorful way to identify several cords in one place are circular dot IDs, like the ones from Dotz.

Looking for a new apartment? Check out 1st Lake Properties’ many great New Orleans area apartments in Metairie, Kenner, River Ridge and on the Northshore at Mandeville, Covington and Slidell!