5 Innovative Tips On Living In A Small Space With Kids

living in a small spaceAre you feeling overwhelmed by all of your kids’ stuff that seems to be taking up your entire apartment? Is living in a smaller space with all of their stuff overwhelming you?

Don’t worry! There are some pretty simple ways of making your life easier and keeping both you and your kids happy. From storage to decluttering, you can make your apartment life easy. Just keep reading!

1. Declutter

Having small kids means you’re going to be inundated with potential keepsakes. But you don’t have to keep every piece of artwork or craft project your kids come home with. Throwing things away will help limit clutter in your small space and it will give you the chance to feature the really special pieces you may like in the future.

The same goes for getting rid of old toys and clothes your kids may have outgrown. Nostalgia is great. But not when it’s taking over your life and your home. Donate old baby clothes and toys.

If you seem to be drowning in old books and movies, maybe consider donating them to your child’s daycare or preschool so other kids may use them.

Donating unused items is a great way to keep your home clutter free!

2. Organization is Key

It’s important to have spaces for all of your kids’ belongings. Shelving, storage cubes, and designated play areas will keep toys out of the way in your living space. It will also help teach your kids how to be responsible.

Giving each child their own special basket or bin for their items will make them feel special and will help keep your apartment tidy.

3. No Multiples

Having a million sippy cups or plastic plates may seem like a good idea, but in small kitchens, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by multiple dishes. A few items for your kids is really all you’ll need. Let them pick out their favorite characters or designs and use those.

Donating the rest of your extra dishes will de-clutter your kitchen and free up a lot of space.

4. Use Your Neighborhood Amenities

Do you live near a park or a trail? Taking advantage of the great community amenities surrounding you is a great way to get your kids out of your apartment for a little while.

It’s also great to research the public transportation services located near you. This can give you the chance to get your kids out and into the community without having to bother with your own personal vehicle.

5. Give Your Kids the Master Bedroom

Kids and their stuff can take up a lot of room. And if your kids share a bedroom it may be a good idea to give them the larger bedroom in your apartment.

While this may seem like a big sacrifice, it really isn’t. Giving kids a larger space gives you the opportunity to keep their belongings organized better. And it lets them grow up in a space that doesn’t feel too claustrophobic.

More Ideas for Living in a Small Space

If you would like some more advice for living in a small space with your kids, visit our blog.

We offer many different apartment styles and pet-friendly options. Our low rent also makes us a great option for families too.

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How Do Monthly Renting Costs Compare To Owning A Home?

renting costsTo own or to rent. When considering housing choices, there are benefits and downsides to both.

When you rent, if something breaks, you just call maintenance and they fix it. When you own a home, a leaky roof means a huge out-of-pocket expense. But you can decorate however you like and any home improvements can help you get a great price if you decide to sell your home.

Money is a huge factor when making this important life decision.

To help you choose between home ownership vs renting, we’re sharing with you how monthly renting costs compare to owning a home.

Renting Costs Vs Home Ownership

The truth of the matter is that if you look at the short-term costs of renting an apartment vs buying a house, it’s more expensive to own a home. Nationwide, each month it costs 54% more to own than to rent.

In Florida, the median cost to own is 33% higher. Florida has the lowest premiums in the US. In New Jersey, the cost is 93% higher than renting. But that doesn’t mean that buying a home is just a money pit. There are advantages to buying a house versus apartment living.

The Benefits To Buying A Home

The long-term benefits of buying a home are numerous. You’ll have financial security and stability. There are also tax deductions and you can use your home as a vehicle for saving for retirement.

You can build equity to leverage if you need a loan or a line of credit in order to make home improvements or use for a financial emergency. And any home improvements you make boosts its value.

The Benefits Of Renting

There are fewer surprises to your finances associated with renting cost. That’s because most of the expenses are fixed.

You won’t have to worry about a tax hike hitting you or worry about how you’re going to afford to replace your dishwasher, furnace, roof, or air conditioner. Maintenance will do that for you, at no cost to you. You also don’t have to worry about mowing or snow removal which means you have more time to relax and to do the things you enjoy most.

When you purchase a house, you have to put down 20% of the cost of the house. When renting an apartment, you only need the first and last month payment along with a security deposit.

And, one of the biggest reasons many choose apartment living over buying a house is the monthly cost. Typically, monthly rent is less than the cost of a monthly mortgage payment.

Consider Renting Here

If you’re looking to keep your costs down, look no further than Poplar Ridge Apartments. We are conveniently located on the Southwest side of Fort Wayne. Close to shopping, entertainment, dining, and I-69.

Check out our apartment availability to find your new home today.

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How to Throw a Great Apartment Party Without Ticking Off Your Neighbors

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, throwing a get together for friends and family is always a good time. However, when you are in an apartment, there are normally close quarters and it’s important to be considerate of your neighbors. You can still host a fun party in your apartment while still respecting those living around you.

Here are some etiquette tips and tricks for when you are throwing your next apartment party.

Damage Control

One way to take some preventative measures before even having your party would be to get in touch with some of the neighbors that are psychically closest to your apartment. This is a great way to give them a heads up that you are planning on having a party at your place so that they aren’t taken off guard.

This is also a great time to let them know that you are doing everything you can to make sure things don’t get out of hand.

Have Your Apartment Party Early

Many problems arise when having a party in an apartment late at night because neighbors could be trying to go to sleep. This could be an even bigger problem if you have neighbors with small children. Don’t worry, you can still host a fun party earlier in the evening!

A cool party could still be a morning brunch, a dinner party, or a housewarming party even if they aren’t late at night.

Limit the Alcohol

With increased alcohol intake comes increased volume and noise. To make sure that your guests are as behaved as you want them to be, limiting the alcohol will help solve these potential problems. This way you won’t have to worry about getting any noise complaints or causing trouble with your management.

Instead, try to make sure your guests are occupied with other activities and games.

Make sure you have enough food and water if you do still plan on drinking, that way your guests don’t get as drunk as they would without filling their stomachs.

Keep the Guest List Down

Losing control of your party is not a good thing. Keeping the guest list for your party low is an easy way to make sure that you have better control of those who are partying in your apartment. The fewer people who are invited, the more each of those guests are more likely to be responsible for their actions and be more respectful of the space.

Not to mention the fewer people who are there equals more space for each guest! This will have everyone comfortable and not cramped. Fewer guests also mean that the party-goers will not be forced to take the celebration out of your space and possibly annoy any neighbors.

Turn Down the Music

Be respectful to your neighbors and make sure the music isn’t so loud that it will bother them. If the music is low your guests won’t feel the need to yell to talk to each other over the volume of the music.

This is an easy way to have control over your apartment party.

Have Fun

These tips will make sure the small setting doesn’t stop you from having fun during your apartment party. This party etiquette from you and your guests will guarantee a good time without annoying the neighbors!

Check out our blog for more apartment options and tips.

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Memorial Day 2018: What to do Around Fort Wayne

memorial day 2018 fort wayne

Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who died in military service for our country. It’s also the unofficial start of Summer. If you’re looking for ways to honor the brave men and women who lost their lives and ways to enjoy your long weekend, take a look at these 8 things to do this Memorial Weekend around Fort Wayne.

  1. Veteran’s Memorial Shrine Watchfire

    The Veteran’s Memorial Shrine located at 2122 O’Day Road will light their annual Watchfire on Friday, May 25 at 9 pm and will burn until Saturday, May 26 at 9 pm in honor of our fallen. Everyone is welcome to throw a log on the fire to honor a veteran who has passed.

  2. Memorial Day Parade

    This year’s annual Memorial Day Parade theme is “Women in the Military”. Bring a lawn chair to watch the parade. The parade starts at 11 am at the corner of Parnell Avenue and State Boulevard and will travel down Parnell to the Memorial Coliseum. A ceremony follows outside the Memorial Hall.

  3. Catch a Movie at the Drive-in

    Load up the car and head to the drive-in to catch a movie. Fort Wayne is lucky to be close to two drive-ins — The Huntington Twin Drive-In and the Auburn-Garrett Drive-In. This weekend’s movies include Solo and Deadpool 2

  4. Music, Wine, Food, & Fireworks

    Love wine? Love music? Head to Two EE’s Winery on Saturday for live music from one of Fort Wayne’s favorites, James and the Drifters, on the outdoor patio while sipping wine. They’ll also have food trucks and fireworks after the show.

  5. Cool Off at the Lake

    We’ve been waiting for warmer temps and they’ve finally arrived. This weekend, the temps will reach close to 90 degrees. Head to one of the nearby lakes (or ponds) to cool off! Fort Wayne is lucky to be within a short drive to many lakes including Winona Lake, Chain O’ Lakes, and the Dunes. Fox Island even has a pond, beach, and dog beach!.

  6. Support Local Businesses at the Farmer’s Market

    The YLNI Outdoor Farmer’s Market started back up on Barr Street last weekend and runs every Saturday through October from 9am-1pm. While veggies are great, there’s so much more! Grab some guacamole and chips from Young Urban Homesteaders or bite to eat from one of the local food trucks. Enjoy live music and yoga. Shop for veggies, meat, baked goods, soaps, and more at one of the many vendors.

  7. Hit the Trails

    Fort Wayne has over 100 miles of trails which are great for walking, running, and biking! Grab your dog or a friend and hit the trails!

  8. Grill ‘n  Chill!

    You can’t celebrate Memorial Day without sparking up the grill! So light up your own electric grill or on one of our community charcoal grills and start cooking!

Happy Memorial Day from all of us at Poplar Ridge Apartments!

 

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5 Cool Apartment Gadgets Every Renter Needs

Apartment living has surged in the past several years, thanks to the millennial generation boom. According to CNN, millennials currently outnumber baby boomers by 11 million, which means by the year 2020 one out of three Americans will be millennials.

Not only are millennials renting more, they are investing in their spaces to make them more comfortable and efficient. Whether they are figuring out the perfect small space hacks or living with a less-is-more minimalism mentality, they are optimizing how to live their best lives with what they have.

Smart technology’s heavy influence on transforming one’s living space has created an exciting ripple effect that has simplified once complicated tasks with ease. We think the five cool apartment gadgets below are a great way to start your smart apartment life out right!

Check Out These Five Cool Apartment Gadgets

Nowadays, everything is smart. Smartphones. Smart thermostats. Smart home hubs. With one swipe of a finger, you can easily change up the mood, security, and lighting of your home without interrupting your flow.

Smart technology helps free up your time so you can be doing more of what you want to do instead of changing out light bulbs and running home to turn off the toaster oven. Check out the five cool apartment gadgets below and get back to enjoying your free time more!

5. Smart Plug

Smart plugs are the latest way to upgrade your apartment’s tech vibe without costing you a fortune. A smart plug is basically a device that plugs into a wall socket that allows you to control whatever is plugged into it. Not only are smart plugs able to turn your interior lights on if you’re running late but they can check to see if you left the stove on and turn that off, too. Additionally, they save energy too by allowing you to turn off multiple appliances at once through an app on your phone.

4. Smart Smoke Alarm

Upgrade your everyday smoke alarm by changing out the regular battery and replacing it with a Roost 9-volt smart battery. What makes this such a great invention? For starters, the smart battery syncs with your smartphone and notifies you of any potential problems.

If your smoke alarm ever goes off, you can also remotely turn off the alarm. Regular testing intervals and a five-year guarantee make this smart smoke alarm a steal at only $35.

3. Smart Lock

No keys? No problem. Never get locked out of your apartment again with a smart lock. The Lockitron Bolt (a great deal for $99), uses an automated proximity sensor that integrates with your smartphone technology you’ll be tempted to throw away your keys for good!

Most smart locks also have a remote option to let someone else into your home if you’re not there. The Lockitron Bolt option costs an additional $60, but just think of the money you’ll be saving if you had to call a locksmith in case of an emergency.

2. Smart Light Bulb

Imagine being able to use your smartphone like a dimmer switch. With smart light bulbs, your wireless wish just came true. Not only do smart light bulbs allow you to adjust the brightness of your light source but you have the option to change the color too.

A variety of bulbs exist, ranging from LED to the regular white bulb, and can be wirelessly controlled through wi-fi or Bluetooth. Smart light bulbs are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to try out smart technology in your apartment.

1. Video Doorbell

Thanks to hybrid smart technology, the video doorbell is an apartment dweller’s security dream come true. Although the SkyBell HD looks like an average doorbell, it does so much more. With 1080p crystal clear night vision, in color no less, this system records detailed video footage both before and after an incident.

Easy to use with most smartphones, the SkyBell HD also provides cloud storage at no extra cost to save all of your recorded videos. The video doorbell is a discreet and compact way to keep an eye on your apartment.

How Many Smart Apartment Ideas Will You Try?

With so many affordable cool apartment gadgets to try, you might very well be able to do all! Just be sure to speak with your leasing team before making any updates to your apartment.

We hope you’ll continue checking back with us for more great apartment living tips. For all of your apartment needs, please drop us a line and let us know how we can help!

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The Best Home Organization Tips for Apartment Dwellers

home organization

Keeping clean and organized is a secret key to health and happiness. It may seem counterintuitive – doing chores to feel happier. But it’s true. One study at Indiana University found that people with clean homes were happier than people with messy homes. A separate study found that being surrounded by clutter actually made it harder for people to focus on a particular task.

This is why home organization is key. Below, we’ve provided some tips on how to avoid the clutter and keep your apartment looking neat.

Part With Your Belongings

On this quest for home organization, clutter is your enemy. It doesn’t matter how neatly you arrange everything if you simply have too much stuff. Compulsive hoarding affects around one million people in the U.S., and trust us, you don’t want to be one of them.

So do some spring cleaning. Go through your belongings, and see what you can part with. Chances are, you’ll find things you haven’t even thought about in years. You can give it all away, toss it, or sell it. Your home will look more organized immediately.

Use Height To Your Advantage

Now that you’ve gotten rid of some of your stuff, you can begin storing it. In doing this, you’ll want to keep as much of your stuff off the floor as possible to make your apartment feel more spacious.

So we suggest investing in some shelving units to place on the walls around the apartment or utilizing the existing space in your apartment you haven’t thought to use. For example, the space above kitchen cabinets is typically underutilized for storage in most people’s apartments.

Door Space Is More Space

On top of using height, the backs of your doors can be incredible space-savers when used correctly. For example, you can add towel racks to your bathroom doors and command hooks to your closet doors to hang coats or shoe racks.

This tip is also great to keep in mind for your pantry. Adding a rack to the door of your pantry closet can potentially double your space and all the sweet treats it can hold!

Create Designated Spaces For Your Kitchen Equipment

The insides of kitchen cabinets are often a major hindrance to home organization. Most of the time, people just toss all their stuff in there with no regard for the actual neatness of the space.

One cabinet is a mess of cups haphazardly stacked on top of each other. Another is a precarious tower of pots and pans. The cabinet under the sink is often a pile of cleaning supplies with redundant products.

It doesn’t have to be this way. To remedy this problem, remove everything inside your cabinets and start anew. Place things not just according to type, but shape and height as well. Cabinets can be difficult to store kitchen appliances in, but a little thoughtful rearranging can go a long way.

Conquer Your Home Organization

Decluttering your apartment can be a daunting task, but hopefully, with these tips, it won’t be. If you liked this article, check out how to further maximize the storage in your living space.

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Top 5 Small Space Living Hacks

More and more people are beginning to see the appeal of downsizing their lives. Minimalism is basically the philosophy that less is more. It can be a great feeling to clear the clutter from your apartment and realize that much of the stuff you’ve collected over the years isn’t needed.

Downsizing to embrace small space living can be one of the most liberating decisions you’ll ever make. Sometimes it’s challenging living in a material world where we are bombarded with marketing that tries to convince us that we need more stuff in order to be happy.

But if you still have more than what your space allows, there are ways to organize so that you won’t miss having more square-footage.

Top 5 Small Space Living Hacks

1. Electronics Charging Station

Electronic devices have become a major part of many of our lives. Both at home and at work. From smartphones to laptop computers and tablets – electronic devices are everywhere. Because of this, it’s a headache when batteries run low and you have to search for an outlet.

Rather than string charging cords everywhere, consider a concealed charging station where multiple devices can be charged at once.

2. Disappearing Desk

If your primary office tool is a table or laptop, consider a fold-away desk. This is basically a shelf that folds down when not in use. Office supplies can be stored on tidy shelves on the wall above or beside the desk.

3. Fold-Out Dining Table

Like the disappearing desk, a fold-out dining table is a way to create space by swiveling the table out of the way between meals. The dining table can also be a multi-purpose surface, doubling as a work desk if you’d rather not take up space with both. A fold-out table makes the kitchen feel bigger and provides more walking area when you have guests.

4. Herb and Spice Drawers

This tip is all about organization and consolidation. We recommend transferring all of your herbs and spices to uniform glass jars with labels on top. Store these in stackable plastic or metal trays the size of your drawer.

5. Use Mirrors to Create the Illusion of Space

This is an old decorating trick. Reflective surfaces on the walls is a great way to create a feeling of space in a small room. You will be amazed at how easily a few well-placed mirrors can create the illusion of openness.

Click here for more tips on making your apartment feel spacious.

The Benefits of Minimalism

Small space living is a way to leave a smaller imprint on the world. It helps us to greater appreciate what we have, and to take our focus off of buying and having more. The popularity of minimalism is growing rapidly. Smaller apartments are also more affordable and help you to save money!

Once you’ve embraced small space living, you will realize you haven’t really given up anything at all.

Contact us with any questions you have about apartment living.

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3 Facts to Help You Settle the Apartment vs House Debate

Are you currently looking for a new place to call home? Are you trying to decide whether you should rent an apartment or take the leap and invest in buying a home? Are you ready to give up avocado toast for good?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, you’ve got a lot of different factors to consider.

To help you make the apartment vs house decision, here are 3 facts why renting an apartment may be a better option for you than buying a home.

1. You Have More Freedom in an Apartment

When you own a home, you can’t easily leave for extended periods of time and not have anything to worry about.

However, when you’re renting an apartment, you can pick up and leave at the drop of a hat without having to alert anyone if you don’t have a pet. You won’t need to have your neighbor get your mail, or monitor your home security system remotely. Better still, you won’t have to worry about deterring intruders by pretending that you’re home with internal and external lighting or leaving the TV and/or radio on.

When you live in an apartment, there’s always someone nearby with a watchful eye.

2. Apartments Have Fewer Expenses Associated with Them

Do you need to have funds available for a hefty downpayment to secure an apartment? No. In most cases, all you’ll need are rent for the first and last month and a security deposit. And if something starts leaking or other issues arise, you won’t be held accountable for paying for them out of pocket.

When you’re looking to buy a house, you’ll need to have a certain percentage of the total cost set aside for the downpayment. Not to mention, you’ll need to have additional funds saved in the event that there are internal or external issues. And, you’ll either have to fix them yourself or pay someone else to.

3. Apartments Are Easier to Maintain

If you choose to live in an apartment, you won’t have to waste your precious time worrying about things like mowing the lawn and or fixing your old water heater when it inevitably breaks. And, even though it will come at the cost of less space, there are plenty of ways you can maximize the space you have. Once you’ve done that, cleaning will be a breeze.

Settle the Apartment vs House Debate Once and for All

Now that we’ve established what makes apartments so great, it’s time for you to settle the apartment vs house debate for good. If you’re the type of person who places a great deal of importance on being able to travel as you please, are budget conscious, and don’t want to worry about maintenance, it should be apparent that renting an apartment is the most obvious choice here.

If you’re in the market for an apartment in Fort Wayne, Poplar Ridge Apartments are in a great location close to work and school and has plenty of options for play. Don’t wait, contact us to schedule a tour.

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5 Tasks to Put on Your Apartment Spring Cleaning Checklist

72% of Americans participate in spring cleaning. It may seem daunting, but making a spring cleaning checklist can make the project more manageable.

Make sure you add these five places in your apartment to your spring cleaning checklist.

1. Under the Stove Tops Our Spring Cleaning Checklist

Start by moving your stove forward. You will be able to better see what’s going on under there. Grab a flashlight if you need it.

If you can’t move the stove, take the bottom drawer out. Removing the bottom drawer will give you a lot more room, and allow you to clean without moving the stove.

Don’t just clean under the stove, clean around it too. Grease, food, and grime get in the space between the stove and the counter.

Take a butter knife and wrap a damp cloth around it. Run the butter knife between the stove and the counter.

2. Ceiling Fan Blades

Ceiling fans harbor dust and dust mites. Not only is this gross, but they also are an allergy aggravator. You shouldn’t be waiting for once a year spring cleaning to wipe down your ceiling fans.

Do use a damp cloth or microfiber cloth. You want to use something that will catch the dust and those pesky mites.

Do not use A feather duster or regular dry cloth. You will only accomplish moving the dust and the mites around.

3. Garbage Can

You have a weird smell in your kitchen, so you take out the trash. The smell didn’t go away. You clean your kitchen as part of your spring cleaning checklist, don’t let the dirty garbage can ruin it.

That gross smell is coming from your garbage can. You are filling it with trash, some of it messy and trash bags leak. After emptying your garbage can, use some water and antibacterial soap to wash out the inside and let it air dry.

Before you put a new trash bag in it, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom. This will help absorb odors and keep it smelling pleasant into the future.

4. Light Switches

You touch your light switches every day, multiple times a day. Dirt and bacteria from your hands build up on your light switches and plates.

Wiping down your light switches shouldn’t just be on your spring cleaning checklist. It should be a regular part of your cleaning routine, especially during cold and flu season. If there is no visible build up of dirt of grime then use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the switches.

If there is visible build up use a 50/50 water and vinegar mix to wipe them down.

5. Baseboards and Windowsills

If your baseboards and windowsills just need a dusting grab an old sock or a broom to sweep or wipe down. We recommend the sock method. Using the sweeping method means you will have to vacuum afterward.

For a more thorough clean, use a magic eraser and some water. Wring out the eraser before you wipe so that you won’t have too much water.

Get more tips on the tools you need to get cleaning.

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Guide: The Ultimate Empty Nester Home Plan

Kids. You can’t live with them forever, but you can’t live without them.

Many parents spend years trying to get their adult children to move out, but forget to plan for what happens after that.

If your kids have left home, you might be feeling a little lost. After years of your life revolving around other people, what do you do now that they’re not around?

You need to fill the void with something new. Otherwise, empty nest syndrome could start to set in.

Don’t let that happen to you. Create a new life with an empty nester home plan.

What Now? Start Your Empty Nester Home Plan

If you’re wondering what to do now that your children have flown the nest, here are some ideas.

Find a Hobby

Now that you don’t have to worry about taking care of other people so much, it’s time to start focusing on yourself. What do you want to do with your free time?

If you love to exercise, get yourself a gym membership. If arts and crafts are your thing, find some classes in your area. Learn something new by taking a course, or give back to the community by doing some volunteering.

Find out what’s going on in your community and get involved. You could even start something of your own. Holding a book club or weekly afternoon teas at your place would give you a way to fill your home and enjoy playing the host.

Redecorate

Finally, you have total freedom to do what you want with your home.

For many parents, the first step of an empty nester home plan is to redecorate certain rooms, or even completely renovate!

Have you always wanted to have your own office at home, but never had the space? Use one of the empty bedrooms! Now that you don’t have to cater to the tastes of your children, you can take back control of the rooms that were once theirs.

Think About Downsizing

When your children have left home, it can start to feel like a big empty space.

Rooms that were once full of life and activity are now bare, and you might start to wonder what you’re going to fill them with. Being surrounded by so much empty space could make you start to feel lonely.

If you don’t know what to do with all those rooms, consider downsizing to a smaller apartment.

After all, without so many people to look after, you’ll be more suited to a smaller living space. You’ll cut your costs, and you’ll also have less cleaning to do!

It’s Time to Focus on You

It can be hard to adjust to this new phase of your life after your kids have flown off the nest, but look on the bright side. There’s so much for you to enjoy!

From now on, there’ll be no more constant cooking or cleaning for other people. Instead, you can enjoy your ‘me time’ and focus on what makes you happy.

Grab your newfound freedom with both hands and enjoy the benefits of having your own space.

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