Double Duty Décor

Shaker Run - Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or your fifth, your décor should be beautiful and functional. Instead of choosing pieces that only serve one purpose, pick decorative items that also act as storage or extra storage. You will also get more bang for your buck and save money with these double duty décor items.

Key Hanger or Entry Table

The first thing we all do when we come home is put our stuff down. Having a designated spot to do so will clear some clutter in your apartment. It will also help you avoid walking through your apartment with muddy shoes to put your purse in the bedroom.

If your entry way is smaller, chose a key hanger or coat rack that you can hang on the wall. You’ll be able to hang your keys, coat, and purse all in one spot. If you have a bit more room, consider an entry table. A table is great for putting mail, your purse, keys, and any other items you bring home every day.

Functional Ottoman

Ottomans are incredibly diverse pieces of furniture. They offer a comfortable place to kick up your feet after a long day at work. If you purchase a soft ottoman it can also be used as extra seating when friends come over. No need to keep extra chairs in the closet just for guests! Many ottomans also have built-in storage for throw blankets, games, pillows, DVDs, magazines and more.

TV Stand

A TV stand is a great place to display trinkets and memorabilia in addition to storing belongings. Keep any game consoles, remotes, games, DVDs, and books on the shelves. Bonus points if your TV stand has doors that allows you to hide the clutter.

Storage Bed-Frame

If it fits your décor style, find a bed frame that has built-in storage. Many frames have drawer’s underneath that provide the perfect place for storing extra blankets, pillows, or out of season clothing. If you want a metal bed-frame that is less bulky, put it on bed risers to create under-the-bed storage.

Sleeper Sofa

A sleeper sofa is great option if you don’t have a guest room or you’re just looking to have multiple guests stay over at a time. Thankfully, sleeper sofas have gone from less than appealing and uncomfortable to beautiful statement pieces that guests are happy to sleep on. Many local furniture stores have the option to customize a sleeper sofa so it will fit your design style perfectly!

If you’re looking for a new apartment to decorate and call home, contact us today! We have 1, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments that will fit your needs and wants. Conveniently located in Albany, you’ll love the safe and quiet environment.

Organize Your Pantry in Four Steps

Shaker Run - Wednesday, May 08, 2019


When you open your pantry, does food fall out? Or maybe you’re moving half-empty boxes and bags around until you find what you’re looking for. Good pantry organization allows room for the food you want and need and also allows for you to grab items immediately.

Read ahead to learn how to organize your pantry and stop digging for what you need!

Throw Away Old Food

The first step to an organized pantry is to remove all of the food. Go through and look at the expiration dates. Anything that’s expired (canned and processed foods do expire) should be thrown away. Anything that isn’t expired but that you won’t eat you should put in a box to donate.

Designate Your Space

Make a mental note of how you’d like your pantry to look. You can go one step further if you’d like and actually draw it out. Think about your eating and cooking habits and what will work best for you. Keep the items you use most often easily accessible so you don’t have to dig for the items you need.

Some ideas:

  • One shelf for baking and canned goods and one shelf for snacks and more daily items
  • One side for healthy food and one side for splurges (great for if you’re trying to make healthier choices)
  • Split the shelves up by breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Front of pantry for daily use, back of pantry for occasional needs

Invest in Storage Bins and Extra Shelves

Once you know how you’d like to organize your pantry, go out and purchase some containers and shelving. Consider a spice rack, baskets, canisters for dry food, little shelves to maximize space, and over the door hangers for more storage. Jars or baskets with chalk boards or white boards are useful if you like to label your items.

Commit to the System

Now that you’ve invested time into organizing your pantry, it’s time to commit! Keeping the pantry organized only requires a few extra seconds of your time. When you return things to the pantry, be mindful of putting them back where they belong. Having those storage baskets and shelves with labels will help you!

Looking for more organizing tips? Check out 6 Organization Tools Every Home Needs and 3 Tips to Help With Your Spring Cleaning.

How to Create A Stress-Free Work Week

Shaker Run - Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Ever get a case of the Sunday scaries? Once Sunday afternoon rolls around, many people stop enjoying their weekend and start worrying about the week ahead. While we can’t tackle that big presentation you’ve been dreading or put together the report that’s due on Monday afternoon, we can provide some tips on how to make your week a little easier!

Do Your Laundry

Start the week with an empty laundry basket and a full closet. Nothing is worse than realizing Monday morning that all your dress pants or uniforms are dirty and laying on your closet floor. Take a few hours on Sunday afternoon to wash your clothes, sheets, and towels all in one go. Knowing you won’t have to fit laundry into a busy workweek will lift some stress from your shoulders.

Meal Prep

Preparing your meals ahead of time has several great advantages! If you order lunch most days, you’ll save a lot money by bringing lunch from home instead. You won’t have to scavenge through the fridge and spend time putting together a lunch each night either.

Whether you want to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner or just one of the meals is up to you. You can also find meals that take only 30 minutes to cook or an hour depending on how complicated and fancy you want your meals to be. Oatmeal muffins, one-sheet meals, and burrito bowls are all quick and delicious meals that will keep in the fridge throughout the week.

Clean Up

While your laundry is in the dryer and your breakfast muffins are in the oven, take 15 minutes to do some cleaning. Vacuum the floors, straighten up your closet and give your bathroom a quick scrub. A clean apartment will make coming home after a long day feel even better.

With clean laundry, meals prepped and in the fridge, and a sparkling clean apartment, you’ll rest easy Sunday night knowing the week ahead will involve a few less chores. Once you come home to your Shaker Run apartment, you’ll be able to truly relax!

Six Things You’re Cleaning Too Often

Shaker Run - Wednesday, April 03, 2019


What if we told you you were cleaning too much? Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? While some items in your home should be washed daily, weekly, or monthly, other items are better left alone. Apply a less-is-more approach to the following six items and spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your apartment!

Cast iron Pans

Step away from the soap! Washing your expensive cast iron pans with soap and water after each use will strip away the seasonings that build up and ultimately ruin the pan. With no protective coating, your cast iron will rust and have to be disposed of.

Instead of soap and water, add half an inch of water to the bottom of your pan and let it come to a boil. Once the water has evaporated, scrape out the food remains with a plastic scraper and wipe dry with a paper towel.

Dishes

Stop wasting time rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. A dishwasher is there to clean your dirty dishes, not your pre-rinsed ones. Scrape any food into the garbage and then place your dishes right in the dishwasher, no preliminary rinse required!

Jeans

If you’re tossing your jeans into the wash after every use, you’re doing more harm than good. Jeans are made of durable denim and are designed to withstand long periods of time without washing. The material will actually break down and lose shape if cleaned too often! Put your jeans back in the drawer the next time you wear them instead of in the laundry basket.

Your Carpet

The more carpet cleaner, the better, right? Not really… Saturating a spill with carpet cleaner will break the fibers in the carpet down and lead to damage. For a more natural carpet cleaning solution, mix apple cider vinegar with water and keep in a spray bottle.

Wood Furniture

Wood specific cleaners will make your furniture dirtier over time if used too often. When used more than once a month, oil can build up which attracts dust and dirt. Use a microfiber cloth in between more thorough cleaning sessions to remove any dust or dirt from your furniture.

Your Hands

Yes, you’re washing your hands too much! Keep washing your hands after using the bathroom (please!) and before eating or preparing food. Otherwise, keep hand washing to a minimum. Washing too often or using hand sanitizer every half hour will strip health immune-building bacteria from your hands and make you more susceptible to catching a cold or virus.

Looking for more cleaning tips and tricks? Learn how to organize your closet or how to properly declutter your home!

How to Make Your Apartment Presentable for Company

Shaker Run - Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Does this sound like you: you’re enjoying a quiet day at home when a friend calls to let you know they’re nearby and will be stopping to say hi? All of a sudden, you’re rushing around your apartment to try and tidy up before they arrive. Fortunately, there are a few quick tasks you can do to make your apartment presentable and ensure your guests feel comfortable when they come over.

Clean the Bathroom

This should be the first thing you do. Nothing is worse than having to use a dirty, untidy bathroom.  Give the sink, counter tops, and toilet a quick scrub. Clean the mirror with some glass cleaner and then close the shower curtain. Lastly, put out a fresh hand towel. Five minutes later you have a clean bathroom that smells fresh and is presentable. 

Tidy Up

Fold any blankets laying around, put remotes, chargers, shoes and any other miscellaneous items away where they belong. Of course your apartment should look lived in but you also shouldn’t have it looking like a mess when people come over.

Do the Dishes

A dirty kitchen is the same as a dirty bathroom – no one wants to see it. Clean and put away any dishes you have in your sink or laying around the apartment. Dirty dishes can also make your apartment smell so it’s best to keep up with these on a daily basis anyways.

Light A Candle

A candle is a great way to freshen up your apartment and make it feel cozy and inviting. Be careful not to light one that is too strong, though. Some guests may be sensitive to strong scents. If you don’t have a candle you can spray some air freshener to ensure that your apartment smells nice.

As long as you have a 15-minute heads up, you should be able to tidy up your home in time for guests to arrive. They may love your apartment so much they’ll want to move to Shaker Run as well. Tell them to schedule a tour with us so they can find their dream home too!

10 Essential Items for An Apartment Emergency Kit

Shaker Run - Wednesday, March 06, 2019


As much we like to think or hope that emergency situations will never happen to us, they do. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods and blizzards can all cause prolonged power outages, creating an emergency you will want to be prepared for. 

Putting together an emergency kit is a great way to ensure you’ll always be prepared. Find a cardboard box or go to the store and purchase a plastic bin big enough. It’s important to keep the emergency supplies in a place that you can get to in the dark. If the power goes out and you don’t have a flashlight, you’re going to want to know exactly where to find one!

You should keep the supplies in the kit at all times as well. If your TV remote runs out of batteries, don’t take batteries from the emergency supply. If you do, make sure you replace them as soon as possible! The following ten supplies are what you should have in a basic emergency kit. You should have enough of each supply to last you and your family three days.
  • Bottled water – one gallon per person per day
  • Non-perishable food – canned goods, energy bars, cereal, peanut butter and trail mix are good options. Keep a manual can opener with the canned goods
  • First aid kit – band aids, Advil, rubbing alcohol and gauze are the bare minimum
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Candles
  • A lighter or matches
  • Power bank – your phone will only have power for so long. Keep a charged power bank on hand so you can still use your phone to call family and check for updates.
  • Hand Crank Radio – A hand crank radio is good to have for weather and news updates. You can find ones with built in flash lights and USB ports as well.
  • Utility knife – You never know when a small pair of scissors, a mini saw or a knife will be useful.

With these ten items on hand, you’ll feel prepared to take on any emergency. Residents of Shaker Run also have the added benefit of having our maintenance staff on call in case of an emergency. 


5 Things to Measure on An Apartment Tour

Shaker Run - Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Touring apartments can be a fun and exciting experience! What’s not so exciting is realizing on moving day that your couch won’t fit through the door. To avoid any moving down meltdowns, remember to measure these five things during any apartment tour.

Counter Height

Did you know counters can be different heights? It’s important to measure the counters if you’re looking to buy stools to provide some extra seating. Bar stools are 30”-32” high while counter height stools are lower at 24”-26”. A good thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to want 8’-12” of leg room between the stool seat and the counter.

Widths of Doors

You’re going to run into a real problem if you find out on moving day that your bed frame or couch doesn’t fit through the door. If you take the measurements and realize that’s the case, you’re either going to have to pass on the apartment or buy a new piece of furniture that will fit through the door.

Widths of Hallways and Staircases

We all remember Ross yelling “pivot!” at Rachel and Chandler as they struggled to get a couch up the stairs of his apartment building. Don’t let this be you! A quick measurement of the hallway and staircase could save you hours of grief.

 

The Size of The Bedroom

If you haven’t caught on by now, most of these measurements are to ensure that your furniture will fit in your new apartment. If you have a king size bed in addition to a few dressers and nightstands, measure the bedroom so you know it will all fit. It’s not the end of the world if a dresser or night stand won’t fit, but if the bed won’t then you may want to rethink renting that apartment. 

Height of the Shower Curtain Rod

While this isn’t an absolute must, it will save you an extra trip to the store! There is no standard height placement for shower curtain rods, only lengths of rods, so be sure to measure! You don’t want to end up with a shower curtain that is too long or too short.


Now that you’re prepared, grab your measuring tape and give us a call to schedule your tour

4 Things to Do in Albany This Month

Shaker Run - Wednesday, February 06, 2019



While February is the shortest month of the year, it can sometimes feel like the longest! With the excitement of the holidays well behind us, and the days still cold and dark, it’s hard to not feel the winter blues. However, residents of  Shaker Run  are fortunate enough to live just minutes from Albany, where there is so much going on this month, you’ll wish it were longer! 

Keep reading for some fun events going on this month to keep busy and ward of the winter blues.

Ice Skating at The Empire State Plaza Ice Rink

Enjoy ice skating in the heart of Albany at the Empire State Plaza Ice Rink. The ice rink is open all month long from Noon – 8PM and skating is free! You can rent skates for a small fee or bring your own. Skates are free to rent on Saturdays but be sure to arrive early as the rink can get busy! 

This is a great activity to do with the kids to get them outside and staying active. Stop by one of the many delicious restaurants in Albany afterwards for a bite to eat or a warm drink!

Steve Martin and Martin Short at Proctors

In need of a good laugh? Steve Martin and Martin Short are coming to Proctors on February 17th! The comedy show features new material in a variety of musical sketches and conversations. Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers joins the duo on stage for several of the dates. This is a show you won’t want to miss!

Winter Festival at Lawson Lake

Gather the family and get ready for a fun day at Lawson Lake! The Winter Festival is happening on February 23rd and is free to attend. Enjoy ice fishing, ice skating, crafts, hot chocolate, face painting and more! Snowshoes and cross-country skis will also be available to use. A day out with the family doesn’t get much better than this.

Albany Wine Festival

If the great outdoors isn’t your thing, consider attending the Albany Wine Festival instead! Also happening on the 23rd, the festival is the largest wine sampling event in the Capital Region. Enjoy sampling wine, food, joining the free “paint and sip”, shopping, dancing, playing games and more. Get your tickets sooner rather than later as this event has been known to sell out!


Discover everything happening in Albany this month by checking out this calendar of events. We hope you try something new and enjoy winter in Upstate NY before spring arrives!

Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Shaker Run - Thursday, January 17, 2019


Stumped on how to style your space? Whether you just moved in or simply want to refresh your existing space, knowing how to decorate smaller spaces can be difficult. There are some tips that everyone suggests, such as hanging mirrors and investing in multi-use pieces, but we’re here to suggest the not so obvious.

1. Clear the Clutter

A great place to start is to adopt a decluttering mantra and clear the clutter. We tend to bring clutter and unnecessary furniture from apartment to apartment and this can quickly make your space feel small. Devote a day to cleaning out your home and watch the space open up!

2. Play with Color

While apartment living doesn’t allow you to paint the walls, there are other ways to use color to brighten up a space. Set a color scheme for each room of your apartment and then go from there. Add pillows, blankets, fake flower and rugs to tie the room together and add visual interest.
 

3. Buy the Right Size Furniture

It may be time to ditch the oversized sectional from your college days and invest in a smaller, but better-quality sofa. Cramming too much furniture that’s also too big will make a space look and feel small. It will also have you stumbling around the room as you trip over end tables and chairs!

Spend some time measuring your space and putting some thought in to the pieces you’d like to have in your home. The result will be beautiful and sophisticated.
 

4. Use the Space Under Your Bed

The space under your bed can often be over looked. Use the space to store clothes and shoes you aren’t wearing at the moment. You can also store extra blankets, sheets, and pillows in organizing bins.


5. Install A Vertical Garden

The lack of yard is no problem when you install a beautiful vertical garden. The project can be completed with just some steel mesh, an empty wall and a few potted plants. The garden will add color to your space and bring the outside in!

Not sure what plants to add to your vertical garden? We’ve got you covered!

Now that you have some fun ideas on how to style your space, it’s time to design your Shaker Run apartment exactly how you want it.

How to Cut Your Utility Costs

Shaker Run - Wednesday, January 02, 2019


Whether it’s your New Years resolution or you’re simply looking to save some money, cutting your utility costs is always a good idea! In addition to saving money, using less energy is also beneficial for the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone! 

If you’re wondering where to begin when it comes to cutting energy costs, keep reading for a few of our favorite ideas.

1. Cut Phantom Energy

No, Shaker Run isn’t haunted. Phantom energy comes from appliances and electronics that are plugged in but not being used. Your toaster, coffee maker, TV and computer are all sucking energy even when you’re not actively using them. A simple solution is to use power strips and turn the strip off when you’re not using the items plugged in to it.

2. Use LED Lightbulbs

Yes, LED lightbulbs cost more up front, but they can save you quite a bit in the long run! A typical bulb costs about $8 and uses only 10 Watts. On average they last 25,000 hours, or 23 years! For a quick comparison, using incandescent bulbs for 23 years would cost $201 while using LED bulbs for 23 years would cost $38. That’s quite a difference!

3. Lower the Thermostat

Get in the habit of turning down the thermostat before going to bed and before leaving for school or work. There’s no sense in heating an entire apartment for 8+ hours while you and your family are gone for the day.

4. Turn Your Lights Off

This may seem like a no brainer, but when was the last time you looked around and realized that just about every light in your apartment was on? Get in to the habit of turning the lights off as you leave a room.

5. Only Put Cooled Food in the Fridge

Do you meal prep or often have leftovers from dinner? Let the food sit on the counter and come to room temperature before you put it in the fridge. Putting hot food in the fridge causes the fridge to work harder to regulate the temperature. 

Whether you’re looking for a new apartment or you’re already in the home of your dreams, these tips are sure to save you money each month!

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