New Employee Spotlight: Jared

employee spotlight blogd post

We’re excited to welcome a new member to our team! Jared Schmucker is one of our new maintenance technicians. We sat down with Jared to learn a little more about him.

Q: What 3 words would you use to describe Montrose Square Apartments?

A: Clean, cozy, friendly

Q: Where’s your favorite place to be (besides Montrose Square, of course!)

A: Gatlinburg, TN

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: Pizza

Q: Do you have any pets?

A: Yes, 2 dogs and 1 cat

Q: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

A: Pay off my debt

Q: What do you love most about Montrose Square Apartments?

A: The staff

Q: What’s a fun fact about you?

A: My dad’s side of the family is Amish. Also, I like to hunt and fish.

Now that you know a little more about Jared, be sure to say hi and welcome him to the community when you see him!

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6 Best Lakes Near Fort Wayne for Staying Cool

Summer is in full swing in the Fort Wayne area, and so is the heat and humidity! Luckily, there are plenty of lakes near Fort Wayne to help you stay cool this summer. Fort Wayne is in a prime location to head northwest to Lake Michigan or south and west to some of the other beautiful lakes on our list.

Read on to learn more about the various lakes in the area and start planning your Fort Wayne summer vacation.

1. Tippecanoe Lake

Tippecanoe Lake (or Lake Tippy, if you’re a local) is only 45 miles from Fort Wayne, making it a great option for a quick day trip. It’s the deepest natural lake in the state of Indiana and offers 25 different fish species, every water recreational activity you can think of, and plenty of boat launches to head out on the water.

There is also a very active homeowner’s association that works to preserve the lake and enforce responsible usage.

2. Lake Wawasee

Lake Wawasee, previously named Turkey Lake, as it’s in Turkey Creek Township, is the largest natural lake in the state of Indiana. It’s a popular summer vacation area for people all around the state and from Chicago. Located only 45 miles from Fort Wayne, it’s another easy day trip.

3. Lake Maxinkuckee

Lake Maxinkuckee is the second-largest natural lake in the state and is one of the best lakes for fishing, whether it’s summer or winter. Located about an hour and a half from Fort Wayne, Lake Maxincuckee is in Culver. There’s plenty to do on the lake and in the town, including water sports, golf, public boat launches, and public beach access.

4. Lake Shafer

Lake Shafer is about two hours from Fort Wayne, near the town of Monticello, and offers something unique: an amusement park that sits on the shoreline. There’s nothing like looking out over the lake as you’re about to go down the hill of a roller coaster!

There are also plenty of campsites and cottages around Lake Shafer as well as a water park, mini-golf, and plenty of opportunities for boating, jet skiing, and fishing.

5. Lake James

Lake James lies on the Indiana-Michigan border, about 50 miles from Fort Wayne. It is a natural lake and has the best water quality in the state. Check out nearby Pokagon State Park or spend your days boating, fishing, and water skiing.

6. Lake Michigan

We couldn’t leave Lake Michigan off of this list, as it is a Great Lake, after all. Lake Michigan is about two to two and a half hours away from Fort Wayne, depending on where you go, but Lake Michigan has it all. From beaches, to sailing, to speed boating, dunes, and more, Lake Michigan is the third-largest Great Lake by surface area and the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the world.

Lakes Near Fort Wayne for your Next Trip

These lakes near Fort Wayne all offer plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation. Whether you’re looking for a lake for boating, fishing, or just want to enjoy the view from the shore, Indiana has it.

Fort Wayne is in a great location to allow you to easily get to places in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. If you’re new to the area or looking to move, there are also plenty of options for housing. Check out our apartment offerings and contact us today for availability.

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5 Common Apartment Cleaning Tips to Kill Germs and Viruses

With COVID-19 and flu and cold season upon us, keeping your apartment clean and sanitized is very important. With our busy work and life schedules though, it can be difficult to create a routine cleaning schedule for apartment. Luckily, it’s easy to keep harmful germs and viruses out of your space with these 5 apartment cleaning tips to keep your home clean and safe! 

1. Keep Cleaning Supplies Accessible

Before you can do any serious cleaning, you’ll need to have all your tools ready. In order to maintain a regular cleaning schedule and be a tidy tenant, you should keep your supplies handy.

Stashing your cleaning supplies in an accessible cupboard or closet is ideal. They’re out of sight but easy to grab if you need to clean up a mess or do a quick dusting.

The fewer supplies you have on hand, the less likely you are to clean. Make sure you have a little bit of everything—general disinfectant, sponges, gloves, bleach—to get you through your next deep clean.

2. Two-in-One: Dusting and Vacuuming

If you suffer from allergies, you know how critical it is to keep a dust-free house. Your apartment is no exception, and you can knock the dust out with a dusting and vacuuming combo.

Plenty of people dust their furniture and ceiling fans from time to time. However, without a follow-up vacuuming, the dust just settles on the ground. Frequent dusting and vacuuming are important, as airborne viruses can travel on dust and particles in the air.

3. Hit High-Contact Points

Every day apartment cleaning tips are often overlooked, but they’re important! You won’t always have time to do a full-cleaning.

If you want to do quick cleaning each day, focus on high-contact points in your home. These are spots that you’re constantly touching and using. For example, it’s wise to wipe down doorknobs and cabinet handles, as well as stove knobs and light switches. Other high contact points include remote controls, computer keyboards, and faucets.

4. Apartment Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the apartment to keep clean. By letting dirty dishes build up in the sink, you’re creating a breeding ground for nasty bacteria.

Keeping your kitchen clean is as easy as loading dirty utensils in dishwashers, washing pots and pans immediately after use, and changing out your drying towels frequently.

Be sure to also keep food scraps and waste in the garbage. The last thing you want is to attract critters like mice, who can be carriers of diseases and viruses.

5. Keep Yourself Safe

In order to protect yourself from anything harmful, it’s important to clean safely. When cleaning, be sure to always use disposable or reusable gloves. If using reusable gloves, clean them properly before storing them away. After taking off your gloves, wash your hands thoroughly.

It’s wise to also use a mask while cleaning. You want to avoid breathing in any dust, as well as an excess of your cleaning materials.

Staying Healthy and Well

Keeping your apartment clean is crucial in order to stay healthy. The apartment cleaning tips above will help you stay healthy as you make your new apartment your home.

Check out our blog for more apartment living tips and tricks. Looking for your own apartment in Northeast Fort Wayne? Contact us

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6 Tips on Making Space for Babies in Your Apartment

Nothing will change your life quite like welcoming a baby into the family. Many people sheltering at home for the past few months are now expecting a baby. This can be a bit of a problem if your apartment is only big enough for your current family. Welcoming a new addition may take some creativity to make space in your apartment until you’re ready to upgrade to a larger space.

Need help? Check out these six tips for making space for babies in your apartment.

1. Get Rid of Clutter

>Before the baby even shows up on the scene, it’s time to cast a critical eye over your possessions. Now, you don’t want to get rid of everything you love, but Marie Kondo’s rules apply. If you can identify an item as clutter with no clear purpose or sentimental worth, it might be time to donate it.

2. Every Surface is a Changing Surface

When space is at a premium, practicality wins out. Any stable surface can be a fine baby changing station in a pinch. Simply cover it with a changing pad or portable changing station to protect both it and the baby, and get to work. This is the perfect old-fashioned solution to modern problems and is exactly what generations did before dedicated baby changing units were a thing.

3. Go Vertical

Going vertical is a true lifesaver in small spaces. When you think about it, there’s a surprising amount of unused floor-to-ceiling space even in small apartments.

Shelves, bookcases, and other tall storage options can free up a lot of floor space by increasing your vertical storage. It’s a cheap and effective way to make room for another occupant, whether it’s a baby or a new pet.

4. Double Up

Another excellent space-saver is to find double-function solutions. A bed that transforms into a couch could free up an entire room, turning a dedicated bedroom into the perfect nursery—and that’s just the most dramatic example. You can also buy beds, TV stands, chairs, and many other items of furniture with built-in storage, which is another perfect way to put them to work.

5. Fold It

Foldable furniture does more than transform itself—it also transforms the space it’s in. Replacing a few items of furniture with folding equivalents can turn one small home into several modular ones. You can then switch between them at need. A fold-up desk or couch can disappear to make space for play.

6. The Couch of Refuge

Every parent needs a break from baby duties now and then. Adding a sofa that can double up as a spare bed in a pinch will make it possible for one of you to take a break when it all gets too much. This brief respite can be a godsend after endless sleepless nights.

That respite could improve your energy levels, reduce tensions, and lift your mood. Not bad for a single item of furniture.

Making Space for Babies

With these six tips, you can make space for babies in a small apartment. It’s amazing how much space goes to waste so it’s all about looking at things with fresh eyes.

If you’ve tried to make it work but still need more space, it might be time to look for a larger apartment. Check out our apartments for rent.

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Apartment Goals: 5 Realistic New Year’s Resolutions for Your Apartment in 2021

2020 was a heck of a year. Did your plans and goals get derailed like the rest of us? Many took it as a way to reflect and prioritize what is important in our lives.

One of the biggest changes this past year was people working from home. Due to the pandemic, more and more people needed to become accustomed to working from home. For those of us who had to make the shift, we spent more time in our homes than ever.

Looking ahead to 2021, it’s time to take back control of our space and the best way to do that is by creating apartment goals. Your apartment is your sanctuary and safe space. It only makes sense to have it be in tip-top shape. A place where you can work, relax, and entertain, and enjoy it all the while.

Continue reading for the best apartment goals to start your new year off right.

1. Wash Your Dishes

There is something to be said about a clean kitchen. Not only does it make you feel good, but your food and cooking habits will improve as well. Don’t let dishes, pots, and pans pile high, why not make this year different and wash your dishes after using them? Make a schedule for yourself, the sooner you do them the better.

Doing dishes gets a bad rap as well. When you imagine doing the dishes, does it make you curl up inside? Think of doing your dishes as another form of meditation. You’ll be surprised by how relaxing it can be.

2. Set a Chore Schedule

Have a list of chores but it feels too daunting in your head? Having a routine you can stick to will help you mentally. When you have a clean and tidy space, you can breathe and think more easily. Write out all of the tasks you have. Block out time every week to stay on track. Setting aside time to complete your tasks and chores will keep you well organized.

3. Organize Your Space

Speaking of organization, let’s look to keep our spaces tidy. Have a space for all your belongings. Make it a plan for everything to have a home. When you do this you clear up mental space as well. Your physical space is a representation of your mental. For this reason, it only makes sense to keep it uncluttered. This is especially important for one of your small apartment goals. Your roommates and pets will love you for it.

4. Purge Your Stuff

Go through each room of your apartment. Look around you and notice all of your objects. Take stock of what you need versus what you don’t. The truth is you don’t need much. Is there anything you can give away or donate? This works especially well with clothes. If you haven’t used it or worn it in a while, it may be time to let it go.

Not only will this make you feel good, but now you will have even more space. Just don’t refill it with junk again. If you’re unsure if it should stay or go, ask yourself if it sparks joy.

5. Run Your Bills on Autopilot

Take the headache and pain out of paying your bills on time. Make your life simpler by automating your bills and expenses. When you do this be sure to have it in line with payday.

When you have less to worry about, your life will run more smoothly. You will be able to enjoy your downtime in your space. Happily check this one off your apartment goals list.

Start the Year Off  Right With Our Apartment Goals

2020 is finally over. Let’s put it behind us and look ahead to creating a better 2021. Refer back to our apartment goals list if you need inspiration. From there, you will create peace in your living space. Before you know it, you will be running a tight ship and feel inner peace as well.

For more apartment ideas, you’ll want to head on over to our apartment tips. Feel free to explore our blog and come up with some creative lists on your own. Whatever your living situation is now, develop strong habits to build on year after year.

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6 Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following For Apartment Decor Inspiration

apartment decor inspiration

If you live in an apartment, you’ll understand some of the challenges of decorating a smaller space so that it doesn’t look completely overcrowded. After all, there is a fine line between décor and what begins to look like clutter, especially if your apartment is on the smaller side.

According to RentCafe, the average size of most apartments across the United States sits at around 882 square feet. While this may not seem like a whole lot of space, there are plenty of creative ways to decorate. All you need is some inspiration.

Check out these incredible Instagram accounts and fill your feed with apartment décor inspiration.

Apartment Décor Inspiration Is Just a Follow Away

Instagram is an amazing platform for finding the motivation you need to do just about anything. And when it comes to decorating your apartment, there are far too many aesthetically mind-blowing accounts to mention them all. This being said, there are a few key accounts in the apartment décor category that are worth exploring:

1. @champagneandsequins

If you’re a city slicker, this is one of the best accounts to follow for chic apartment design inspiration. However, you don’t have to live in New York to learn a few tips from @champagneandsequins (whose real name is Disi Fei, by the way).

Her apartment is small, but she has a way of making it feel spacious, yet cozy, and oh-so-elegant all at once. She has an amazing eye for detail and implements super simple design principles. If you prefer an understated yet chic apartment interior, this is the account for you.

2. @citychicdecor

As the handle suggests, this is yet another account worth following if you love big city life.

Chelsey Brown has decorated her New York apartment to be a bright and inviting representation of your personality. She has utilized the little space she has in a smart and stylish way — and you better believe it’s impeccably on-trend.

3. @kerrylockwood

London is yet another beautiful and inspiring big city, and it’s also packed with apartment dwellers. Kerry is a wizard at decorating her small space and has perfectly curated each room for an intimate and cozy home.

In fact, you’d never say her apartment was on the small side. She uses light, greenery, and bright simple pieces to liven up her space.

4. @hothouse.jungle

Straight out of story-book San Francisco, @hothousejungle is exactly as it sounds — an indoor plant lover’s dream. If you need studio apartment inspiration and how to bring a little more greenery into your life, this account is it.

5. @thecrapflat

As an ode to the apartment itself, @thecrapflat showcases how to overhaul and decorate a space that would otherwise be, well, crap.

Emma Hopkinson has dubbed her apartment as a ”stubbornly crap rented flat” but does a great job of making it look otherwise! Follow this account if you prefer minimalist décor, hints of color, and intentional use of space.

6. @justbeingkatherine

If you are bound by a design budget, @justbeingkatherine is your go-to girl for DIY décor ideas. Some of her tips include simple painting projects, how to host multiple people in a small space, and so much more.

Her style is fresh, bright, and feminine, and includes plenty of greenery, too!

Find Your Ideal Apartment Rental With Montrose Square Apartments

Whether you’ve just moved into a new apartment or you’re looking for apartment décor inspiration to uplift the one you’re currently in, these Instagram accounts offer the helping hand you might need.

Situated in Fort Wayne, Montrose Square Apartments offer a peaceful way of life and are small pet friendly to boot. if you’re looking for a new rental, learn more about our apartment options here.

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Budget Decorating: How to Decorate for the Holidays Without Breaking the Bank

budget decorating

The holiday season is typically a time where people come together, put aside their differences, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s all about finding joy, being grateful, and spreading holiday cheer.

One way to spread holiday cheer is by decorating your apartment. However, if your budget doesn’t allow much in the way of decorating, these tips and tricks for budget decorating will help you learn how to join in on the festivities and the spirit of the season without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, or just the arrival of winter, keep reading for our best ideas on how to decorate for the holidays on a tight budget.

Take a Simpler Approach to Holiday Decor

First, understand that more doesn’t mean better. In many cases, especially where design and decor are involved, a minimalistic style is actually more attractive. Take a simpler approach this season to decorating your home. Create a couple of focus pieces, but don’t try to stuff each room with as much decor as possible.

Use Plantlife

You don’t need a Christmas tree to decorate, you can take advantage of any plants that you already have in your apartment. If you don’t have any, you can find super cheap indoor plants at places like Walmart, Home Depot, etc. As an added bonus, there are several benefits of growing plants in your home you may not know about.

Finally, collect pinecones from nearby trees or parks to get that Christmas-feel around the house. This is one of the easiest budget decorating tricks. You can also sprinkle the pinecones with essential oils for an extra aroma effect.

Create Your Own Decorations

Decorating on a budget means being more self-sufficient. In this case, it means creating your own decorations. Use common arts and crafts supplies like construction paper, tissue paper, popsicle sticks, and other materials and get crafty!

Buy Discount Holiday Decor

If you’re not creative or artsy, you still have options. You can find incredibly affordable holiday decor for your apartment at discount stores like the Family Dollar or Dollar Store. They offer a wide variety of fun holiday decorations.

Alternatively, learning how to decorate for the holidays on a budget can be accomplished by planning ahead. Once the holidays are over, large chain stores make a big push to get rid of their holiday products which allow you to find heavily discounted decorations for next year.

Use Household Materials Instead of Wrapping Paper

Finally, one of the best budget decorating tips is to use the stuff you already have lying around the house for wrapping materials. This can include old newspapers and magazines, leftover materials from previous projects, and more. Find creative ways to wrap presents for people without spending tons of extra money on wrapping paper that’s just going to be thrown away.

Want More Tips on Budget Decorating and Other Home Living Advice?

If you’re looking for more advice on home or apartment living, like budget decorating or being a good resident, we can help. Check out some of our other informative articles before you go. And if finding a new place to live is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you can fill out an apartment rental application right now!

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Staff Spotlight: Steve West

montrose square apartments staff spotlight

Steve West has been a groundskeeper at Montrose Square Apartments for the past year. You may have seen him around our community and at our resident events, but now’s your chance to get to know him a little better.

What 3 words would you use to describe Montrose Square Apartments?
Togetherness, vibrant, pride

Where is your favorite place (besides Montrose Square) to be?
With my wife

What’s your favorite food?
Cheeseburgers or pizza

If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you’d do?
Go to Italy

What is your favorite movie?

Do you have any pets?
I have a dog. A Maltese named Zooey

What’s a fun fact about you?
I’m goofy and fun-loving

Now that you know a little more about Steve, make sure you say hi next time you see him around the property. And, if you really want to get on his good side, share your pizza with him! 😉


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Apartment Checklist: 7 Things to Do to Get an Apartment Ready for Fall

One of the best things about living in a climate that goes through seasons is the change in scenery. In most places, fall brings a beautiful variety of different colored leaves and other plants. Additionally, the temperatures become more enjoyable as has the hot summer weather abandons its hold and makes way for the new season. 

However, fall quickly turns to winter and we find ourselves struggling to keep warm and scrambling to prepare our homes for cold temperatures. Get ahead of the curve this year and start getting your home ready for fall now.

Not sure where to begin? Keep reading for a quick apartment checklist. 

1. Cover the Windows

It can get cold in Indiana and cold air can push its way into our homes. If your windows are drafty, consider covering your windows in plastic or with thermal or blackout curtains. These will help keep the cold air out and increase the warmth of your apartment. 

2. Throw in Some Throw Blankets

Keeping heavy throw blankets on chairs and sofas not only give your home a look of warmth, but they’re also easy to grab when you’re feeling a little chilly. Fall themed throws can help get in the autumn mood.

3. Bring in Outdoor Summer Decor

Now that the weather’s getting cooler, it’s time to put away your outdoor furniture and bring in your potted plants for the winter. Any other items you have on your patio that won’t make it in the cold, you should bring in or put in storage.

4. Reverse the Ceiling Fans

If you have ceiling fans in your apartment, now is the time to reverse the direction of their rotations. In the summer, fans turn counterclockwise to push cool air down. In the winter, run your fans on low in a clockwise direction to pull cool air up and displace the warm air that settles at the ceiling. 

5. Replace Your HVAC Filter

If one of your tenant duties for your apartment is to replace the HVAC filter, it must be done before you start running the heat full time. This will help reduce the risk of fire. A clean HVAC filter will also help your system run more efficiently. 

6. Report Any Issues to the Leasing Office

To get ready for fall and colder temperatures, take stock of everything around your apartment and report any major issues to the leasing office. This includes things like gaps in the windows or doors, malfunctioning heating systems, pipe leaks, and more. They should be able to help take care of the repairs before winter sets in. 

7. Put Up Fall Decorations

For most people, getting ready for fall means putting up fall decorations. As noted above, fall is a time of brilliant warm colors that help make any apartment feel cozy. Take advantage of the season and give yourself an excuse to update your decor.  

Is Your Apartment Ready for Fall?

If your apartment isn’t ready for fall yet, you’d better get a move on. After all, it’s only a few short months until we’re in the heart of winter. If you need more tips on apartment living, be sure to check out some of our other articles for guidance. 

And if you’re looking for a new apartment to settle down into this fall, fill out an apartment rental application today. We’d love to provide a warm, safe place for you.

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Are You the Perfect Tenant? 5 Maintenance Duties to Keep in Mind

One of the most appealing aspects of renting an apartment over buying a home is the idea of having fewer responsibilities. While living in an apartment is certainly much simpler than homeownership, there are still some responsibilities that fall on your shoulders.

When you sign a rental agreement, you agree to certain tenant maintenance duties. These are often quite simple and a normal part of everyday living.

Do you follow the basics of being a good tenant and adhere to the following maintenance duties?

1. Regular Cleaning

As a tenant, one of your most basic maintenance duties is keeping a clean apartment or rental home. While it may not seem like a big deal to let clutter build-up, doing so can certainly lead to bigger issues.

For example, if you leave food waste lying around on the counters, floors, or overflowing from the garbage, it’s a good way to attract pests such as rodents and bugs. It’s especially important to engage in regular cleaning if you have pets in the apartment.

Additionally, avoiding cleaning duties for too long will make it that much harder when you finally get around to it. Dirt, gunk, and grime will build up and can even cause permanent damage.

2. Repair Anything You Damage

Another one of the most common maintenance duties as a tenant is replacing or repairing anything you’ve broken or damaged. This can be anything from a broken faucet, a hole in the drywall, or stains on the carpet.

You can ignore these items, but you’ll likely have to pay for them when it comes time to leave the apartment. There are certain things, such as an oven that stops working, that may be covered by your apartment community. Make sure you know what falls under your umbrella of responsibilities. If you aren’t sure, talk to the team in the leasing office.

3. Report Major Issues

As suggested above, there are a lot of maintenance issues that fall on the apartment community to take care of. If there are plumbing, electrical, or other major issues that inhibit a normal standard of living, it’s likely covered by apartments.

Report any issues immediately (even if you caused them) to make sure you get things taken care of. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to pay for the repairs yourself. However, it should all be outlined in your lease agreement.

4. Maintain a Safe Environment

One of the most important tenant maintenance duties is to keep the apartment safe and secure. For example, creating fire hazards not only puts your life at risk but also the lives of your neighbors.

The same goes for allowing harmful mold to grow due to a water leak or “inviting” pests into the apartment because you don’t keep a standard of cleanliness.

5. Complete Agreed Upon Duties

Finally, when you sign your lease, it should be made clear to you if you have any extra maintenance duties as the tenant. These are more common in home rentals than apartment rentals.

The duties could include any yard work such as raking leaves, mowing the lawn, keeping sidewalks clear of ice and snow, etc. Basically, all the duties you would have if you owned the home.

Ready to Take on Some Tenant Maintenance Duties?

Are you looking for an apartment and feel up to the maintenance duties of being a good tenant? If so, fill out an apartment application today or contact us with any questions. We look forward to providing a home for you!

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