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What You Need to Know for a Cross Country Move

Shaker Run - Monday, May 04, 2020

cross country driving

Moving is always a little complicated and stressful, but a cross-country move is on an entirely different level. It requires strategy, careful planning, and a willingness to go with the flow, as everything will probably not go exactly as you planned.

With the following tips, you can have the adventure and move of a lifetime!

Plan a Cross-Country Move in a Car 

Plan Your Route

Take some time to figure out how long the journey will be. You should consider if your car can handle the long drive, how many stops you’ll need to make, and where you’ll need to book hotels. Plan your stops and book the hotels in advance so you’re not driving around looking for a place to sleep. If you’re making the move alone, make sure you plan to stop often so you don’t fall asleep or get in an accident.

Know Your Way

You likely have a GPS on your phone, but you should have a plan B if your phone dies, breaks, or you lose service. Buy a map (you can still do that) or print directions before you set out on the first leg of your trip. It’s also a good idea to enroll in a roadside service company if you’re not already. Extra cash never hurts either!

What’s Coming with You?

Depending on your situation, you may have a lot to move. If this is the case, decide what’s coming with you and what you want to sell, donate, or trash. If you need to rent a moving truck or even a moving service, the cost of a cross-country move can quickly add up. Slim down your belongings by getting rid of things you haven’t used in the last 3 months or plan to use in the next 3. The less there is to move, the less the cost of a cross-country move will be.

Packing Up

Part of planning a cross-country move is figuring out to fit the most amount of stuff in the least amount of space. Instead of using suitcases for your clothes and shoes, use vacuum seal bags. They take up much less space and can be used in your new home to store sheets, blankets, and seasonal clothing.

Use any blankets or towels you’re bringing along as packing material to protect breakable items. Repurpose hampers, suitcases, and laundry bins for storing shoes and household items during the move. Lastly, keep a bag of essentials (snacks, extra clothing, chargers, etc.) in the front seat so you have easy access to the things you’ll need.

If you follow these tips to plan a cross-country move, you should have a successful and safe journey! Still need a place to move to? Explore our one, two, and three-bedroom apartments and find your new home in Colonie today.

Apartment Amenities for an Enjoyable Summer

Shaker Run - Friday, April 03, 2020

Shaker Run Apartments in Guilderland New York

Summer is one of the best times to be living at Shaker Run! The grounds are greener than ever, the pool is officially open, and we offer numerous amenities to fully enjoy the season. With private balconies and a tennis court right on the property, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of every last bit of daylight.

Summer at Shaker Run

Warm weather, outdoor parties, BBQS, iced tea…there is so much to enjoy during the summer! At Shaker Run we have some great amenities for our residents to use once the temperature heats up.

Our pool opens around Memorial Day weekend and is the perfect spot to get some sun, relax, and read a book. A lifeguard is always on duty to keep residents safe and allow everyone to enjoy themselves.

If swimming isn’t for you, you can still sit back and relax on your private balcony. A lot of our residents furnish the space with seating and a table before decorating with plants, an outdoor rug, lights, or pillows. Sip on your morning coffee, read your favorite magazine, or hang out with a friend or two!

The basketball and tennis courts located within our community are available for residents to use whenever they like. Enjoy a pickup game of basketball after dinner or practice your tennis serve on the weekend. We love seeing residents enjoy all of the amenities Shaker Run has to offer!

Lastly, the location of Shaker Run is an amenity in and of itself. Located across from the Crossings of Colonie, the beautiful 130-acre park offers trails for walking, running, and biking, a playground for kids to enjoy, and gazebos to rent for family parties. On Saturdays from, May 18th through September 28th you can pick up fresh produce at The Farmers Market at The Crossings.

For more parks in Colonie, visit our parks and recreation guide.

Make Shaker Run Home

Make Shaker Run your home in time to enjoy summer and all of our apartment amenities! We have one, two and three-bedroom apartments available that are ideal for individuals, couples, and families alike. Look through our floor plans or schedule a tour to view the community for yourself. We can’t wait to show you around!

How to Prepare Your Apartment Before Leaving on Vacation

Shaker Run - Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Flat-lay of a suitcase, camera, sunglasses, laptop and sandal

If you’re heading out of town for vacation you’re probably thinking about how fun you’ll be having, not about preparing your apartment to be left alone. However, if you don’t take the time to prep your apartment, you could come home to a less than ideal situation. Not a great way to end an exciting trip.

For peace of mind while you’re out of town, follow this checklist to secure your apartment and avoid any unfortunate situations.

Check the Weather

If you’re going away for more than a week the weather report won’t be too accurate. However, if it’s just a few days you can check the forecast and prep your apartment accordingly. If you are leaving for more than a few days, you should prep your apartment according to the season.

In the winter, make sure you leave your heat on and open the cabinet doors under the sink. If the temperature drops this will protect your pipes from freezing and bursting. In the summer, bring in any patio furniture or umbrellas that could get damaged or cause damage if a storm rolls through.

Clean Out Your Fridge

Coming home to a fridge full of rotten food is never pleasant. Eat or freeze anything that will spoil while you’re away or see if a neighbor may want it. Who would say no to fresh fruit or vegetables?

Take out the Trash

Forgetting to take the trash out will result in a smelly apartment. Take out the trash and recycling right before you leave so you can come home to a fresh apartment.

Unplug Your Appliances

There’s no reason to keep your computer, television, or toaster plugged in while you’re away relaxing on the beach. Unplugging them will lower your energy bill as well as reduce the risk of a fire. It only takes a minute or two but will save you a decent amount of money.

Check the Washer and Dryer

If you have a washer and dryer in your apartment, make sure there are no wet clothes left from a load of laundry you never finished. Leaving wet clothes in a small, dark space leaves them prone to mold, creating an unpleasant situation upon discovery.

Hold Your Mail

You can hold your mail for up to 30 days by visiting the USPS website. Request to hold your mail up to 30 days in advance or as early as the next scheduled delivery day. Everything will be help at your local Post Office and delivered once you’ve returned home. No need to worry about your mailbox filling up or someone stealing your mail.

Set up Animal Care

If you have a cat don’t forget to find care for them while you’re away. Have a friend come over, drop them off at a family member's house, or board them. If you’re only away for a night or two they may be okay with just extra food and water. Any longer than that though and you will need to find someone to care for and keep your cat company.

Lock Everything

Before leaving, check that all windows and doors are locked and secure. A secure apartment will ensure a worry-free vacation and allow you to enjoy your time away from home.

For more on apartment living, check out What to Include in an Apartment Emergency Kit and the Pros and Cons to Getting Rid of Cable TV.

Tips for Organizing Your Apartment Kitchen

Shaker Run - Wednesday, February 05, 2020

organized kitchen shelves above a sink

Welcome to Shaker Run! If you’ve just moved in, you’re likely in the process of figuring out how to organize all of your belongings. One of the rooms that requires the most organization is the kitchen. With kitchen gadgets, utensils, dishes, food, and cookware it can be a challenge to make it all fit in a way that makes sense to you. However, with a few tips and tricks your kitchen will appear spacious, organized, decorated, and easily navigable.

Organizing Your Pantry

Every kitchen at Shaker Run includes a pantry to store your dry goods. Good pantry organization allows room for the food you want and need and also allows you to grab items immediately. Designate space in your pantry for different types of items (baking supplies, canned goods, cereal), use storage bins, and commit to the system!

Read our more in-depth guide to an organized pantry here.

If you still need room, consider investing in a decorative shelving unit. You can put items like sugar, flour, pasta, and cereal in glass jars to make them more appealing to the eye. An over-the-door spice rack will also free up room in your pantry while keeping all those little jars organized.

Freeing Up Counter Space

Counter space is precious, we know. To make room for more chopping, dicing, mixing, and stirring, try the following tips.

  • Use a magnetic knife strip to store, you guessed it, your knives. Knife blocks can be big and bulky and when space is already limited, they’re the last thing you want on your counters. Just make sure the strip is strong enough to hold your knives, so they don’t go crashing to the ground.
  • A rolling island will provide more counter space for you to prepare your meals. You can also find options with cabinets and storage space to keep your pots, pans, and baking sheets.
  • Install floating shelves to keep smaller items off of the counter. Coffee mugs, plants, utensil holders, and cookbooks can pull double duty as décor while freeing up valuable space.

Create More Storage Space

If you buy every new kitchen gadget to hit the market or need a place to store your mug collection, we have some creative solutions for you.

  • Install cabinet inserts to add more shelf space. This is a great option if you don’t want to stack your mug collection 2 or 3 mugs high. It also creates more space for your bowls, plates, and glasses.
  • Purchase a shelving unit and keep your small appliances on it. Your crockpot, air fryer, toaster, toaster oven, and blender will no longer be taking up valuable cabinet or counter space.
  • Create a coffee bar with a rolling cart! Keep your coffee pot, coffee, mugs, and other necessary ingredients on the cart and keep bulkier kitchen appliances at the bottom. The coffee bar will also be cute décor for your kitchen.

Want to keep the organizing train rolling? Here’s how to organize your freezer and 6 organizational tools for your home.

How Much Should I Spend on Rent?

Shaker Run - Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Woman typing on a laptop

If you’re searching for your first apartment or considering moving to a new place, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is “how much can I afford to pay in rent?”. Living beyond your means will quickly become stressful and put you, and your bank account, through a lot of trouble. Thankfully, there are several methods to determine how much you should spend on rent.

Determining a Budget

For many, the cost is the number one factor in deciding whether to rent an apartment or not. This is especially true if you’re on a strict budget. $20 more a month than what you can afford doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s $240 a year that could be spent elsewhere.

A good place to start when trying to create a budget is your lifestyle and how much you’re willing to sacrifice. If you have to have an apartment that is $50 a month more than you can afford, are you ready to spend less in another area of your life? If you’re a homebody and really enjoy nights in with some snacks and a book, it may be worth spending a bit more on your rent. If you often go out with friends, stay the night at a significant other’s, or travel for work, you may want to consider not renting the most expensive place you can afford.

The 30% Threshold

The 30% threshold details that you should spend around 30% of your gross income in rent. To determine what that amount is, multiply your gross salary by 0.3. Divide that number by 12 to know approximately how much you should spend on rent each month.

While this is a good starting place, if you want a lot of amenities and a convenient location, you may want to spend 30-35% of your income on an apartment. If you’re always on the go and those things don’t matter as much to you, you may want to spend as little as 20-25% of your income on an apartment.

The 50/30/20 Budget

Another way to budget your income and determine how much rent you can afford is with the 50/30/20 budget.

The budget gets broken down as follows:

  • 50% of your income goes towards the essentials (rent, utilities, phone bill, any type of insurance, transportation, groceries, etc.)
  • 30% of your income goes towards your lifestyle and non-essentials (movies, concerts, shopping, dining out, etc.)
  • The remaining 20% should be invested or put in a savings account

The 50/30/20 budget is a simple way to categorize your income and see where your money is being spent every month.

How to Calculate Your Overall Rent

When calculating how much you can spend on rent, there are several things you should ask yourself and the landlord.

  • Are utilities included in the rent?
  • Does the budget you’re calculating include money to put towards utilities or is that a separate expense?

If utilities are included in your rent then that’s great! The 30% will cover the entire expense of living in your apartment. If utilities aren’t included, you’ll have to move some money around. If 30% of your income affords you $1000 a month on rent, approximately $150 of that should go towards your base utilities (gas, water, electric). So really you have $850 to spend on rent a month. 

Once you determine your budget, it’s time to start apartment hunting! At Shaker Run we offer affordable 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments for those looking to move to Colonie, NY. Schedule a tour today to view your new home!

Four Bedding Mistakes You’re Making

Shaker Run - Wednesday, December 04, 2019


Did you know that a third of your life is spent sleeping? If you like to watch TV and read books in bed as well, that means even more of your time is spent in bed. So, why wouldn’t you want to invest in a comfy mattress and high-quality sheets?

Creating a space that is comfortable and stylish is key to a good night’s sleep as well. If it’s too hot or too cold, or if your mattress is not how you like it, a solid 8 hours of shut-eye can be hard to come by.

Here’s how to style a bed and create a space that will guarantee the best sleep of your life.

Bedding Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

You Focus Too Much on Thread Count

There is a common misconception that the higher the thread count the better and softer the sheets are. What matters more is the caliber of the fibers.

Thread count simply refers to the number of threads woven vertically and horizontally into a square. A high thread count could be made up of low-quality fibers. Focus on the quality of the material instead, like Egyptian cotton and pure linen. These materials are high-quality and only get softer over time.

You’re Not Buying the Right Duvet

When picking out a duvet, you’re likely to choose the plushest one you can find within your budget. Is this what your body needs, though? You should focus on finding the bedding that works with your sleep preferences.

Do you sleep hot or are you often cold at night? Many companies make two different kinds of comforters, a lightweight and an all-season. Lightweight comforters are ideal for anyone who runs hot when they sleep, and an all-season option has more fill power and will keep you warmer.

Your Sheets are Boring

White sheets can give you the feel of a luxurious hotel, but they can also be boring. Instead, try mixing and matching fun prints and colors. Bedding should reflect your personal style, so have fun with it and create a combination that you love.

You’re Sleeping on a Hard Mattress

A bad mattress can really impact your sleep. It can also impact your well-being throughout the day. A stiff neck, back pain, and fatigue from not sleeping well will make you feel less than great.

If you can’t afford a new mattress at the moment, try flipping or rotating your current one. Sometimes this simple adjustment can make a world of a difference. You can also purchase a memory foam mattress topper if you suffer from a hard mattress. Your body will thank you!

Want more on how to create a bedroom oasis? Read up on how to clean your pillows and the importance of good sheets!

Pros and Cons to Getting Rid of Cable TV

Shaker Run - Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Person pointing remote at television displaying Netflix streaming service

Looking to cut costs? You may be evaluating your monthly bills and expenses and wondering where the best place to cut spending is. Maybe you eat out less or vow to not buy new clothing for several months. As you begin to crunch the numbers, cutting cable may seem like the best option.

While many people are doing exactly this, and claiming they don’t miss cable, it’s best to still weigh the pros and cons before cutting the cord.

Pros of Getting Rid of Cable

Cable Costs A lot

Cable is expensive, and the cost only seems to be rising. With monthly bills costing north of $150, many people are giving up the ability to channel surf for more money in their pocket. Many people combine their Internet and cable bill to save money but cutting cable and opting for a few streaming services is still more cost effective.

There are Cheaper Options

As of when this article was written, subscriptions to Hulu, Netflix, and HBO, will cost you a total of $30 a month. Each service offers multiple plans and different prices so you can choose which works best for you. You can also cancel whenever you’d like, no fighting with a service provider on the phone required.

Cable Can be Difficult to Use

You don’t realize what a luxury it is to search for the exact show you’re looking for is until you can’t. Channel guides can be tedious and glitchy and you often have to buy additional channels in addition to the $100+ you’re already paying per month. With streaming you can watch what you want when you want.

Cons of Getting Rid of Cable

While of all of that sounds well and good, there are still a few cons to consider before you call your cable provider to cancel.

Where do you Watch All Your Shows?

With cable, you have access to all your shows and channels in one place. You can hop from Fixer Upper on HGTV to Family Guy on Comedy Central with ease. With streaming services, you need to know what service offers what TV shows, so you know where to go looking when there is a new episode.

Several Tiny Bills

You’ll ultimately end up subscribing to several streaming services to be able to watch your favorite shows. With this comes several small bills being charged to your credit card at different times throughout the month. It can be challenging to stay on top of the numerous bills, although you can set them to auto pay. Just be sure to check your bank account regularly!

A Delay in Programming

Hulu’s big appeal is that it offers subscribers episodes of TV shows that are currently airing. The downside is that many of these episodes are available 12-24 hours after they air live on national television. You can pay more for a live TV function, but it’s a significant amount of money and we’re trying to save here. If you can be patient and avoid spoilers about that crazy season finale, you’ll be okay.

Streaming vs Cable

Ultimately it is your decision whether you want to keep cable or cut the cord. At Shaker Run we provide residents with cable and internet-ready apartments so you’re ready for whichever route you decide to go.

Schedule a tour with us today, we can’t wait to show you around!

Save Time in the Morning with a Better Routine

Shaker Run - Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Woman waking up in bed with pug dog to begin her morning routine

Getting up in the morning is hard. The moment we open our eyes we’re met with distractions that prevent us from starting the day on the right foot. While some habits are healthy rituals (looking at you, 6 am yoga class), other’s do more harm than good.

Here are eight things to kick from your morning routine to start the day off right.

Morning Routine Mistakes

Checking Social Media

Many of use the alarm on our phones to wake us up in the morning. After shutting the alarm off it can be so easy to open Instagram or Facebook to check up on your friends and favorite celebrities. The next thing you know 15 minutes have gone by and you’re running late. Mindlessly scrolling through your feeds is also bad for your mental health and can make you feel down about yourself before you even leave your bed.

Forgetting About Breakfast

Not eating breakfast can distract you from your work, cause your energy to be low, and make you irritable. Find a breakfast routine that works for you and stick to it. If you don’t have time to eat at home, make overnight oats to bring to the office, or keep English Muffins in the freezer in the office kitchen. Knowing the plan for breakfast will help you better anticipate your schedule for the rest of the day.

Not Doing Things the Night Before

Pack your lunch, plan your outfit, and pack your work bag the night before. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and time in the morning and help you mornings go more smoothly.

Hitting Snooze

Hitting snooze is actually bad for your health! It leaves you feeling groggy and only results in fragmented sleep. Try going to bed earlier the night before setting the alarm 5 minutes later if you’re a frequent snooze button user.

Waking Up at Different Times

A consistent sleep schedule will actually make waking up in the morning easier. You’ll also ensure you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night! While tricky to get used to at first, it will eventually become second nature.

Checking Your Email

Why would you want to be thinking about that nasty email from a client before you even got out of bed? Keep work at work and out of your morning routine by not checking your email. Experts say that by checking your emails first thing in the morning, you might be setting a stressful tone for the rest of the day. No one likes stress so ditch the habit and deal with you clients once you’re at work.

Drinking Coffee ASAP

Sorry, but that cup of coffee isn’t doing you any good. Research shows that consuming coffee before 10 am can mess with your cortisol levels, leaving you feeling groggier and more stressed than you would’ve felt if you had just waited. Patience is a virtue, my friend.

Making Your Bed Immediately

Yes, you read that right. Leaving your bed unmade to air for a while will help kill off dust mites that thrive in moist environments. Switch things up and make your bed right before leaving your apartment.

Make Your Mornings Easier

Mornings are a little easier when you live at Shaker Run! Enjoy light and airy apartments with spacious floor plans, walk in closets, a patio, a gourmet kitchen, and more. Read about the rest of our amenities or contact us today to schedule a tour.

Is it Better to Rent or Buy?

Shaker Run - Thursday, September 05, 2019


People wouldn’t buy homes if there was no benefit. However, owning a home isn’t right for everyone. If you travel frequently, have an active social life, are moving into your first place, or are simply not looking to take on a lot of responsibility, renting an apartment may be your best option.

Continue reading to learn if it’s better to rent or buy.

Renting vs Buying

No Maintenance Costs or Repair Bills

Apartment living is easy living. When you rent a property, your landlord is responsible for all maintenance, improvement, and repairs. If an appliance stops working or your roof starts to leak, you call the landlord, and it gets fixed. Homeowners, however, are responsible for all repairs and maintenance. While hiring a handyman is an option, repairs and renovations can add up quickly.

Access to Amenities

Have you always dreamed of owning a pool? At many mid-scale and upscale complexes this amenity comes with no additional charge to tenants. You’re able to relax by the pool without having to spend the time and money maintaining it. Other luxurious amenities such as a fitness center, club house, tennis courts, and basketball courts may also be available, no fees required.

No Real Estate Taxes

One of the major benefits of renting vs owning is that renters don’t have to pay property taxes. Real estate taxes vary by the county you live in and can be an additional couple of thousand a year. Property tax is determined based on the estimated property value of the house and the amount of land. With newly built homes getting larger and larger, property taxes can be a significant financial burden.

No Down Payment

The upfront cost of renting an apartment is far less than purchasing a house. While renting requires a security deposit, it can’t be any more than the monthly rent. A down payment is typically 20%, meaning to purchase a $200,000 home you need to have $40,000 before moving in. If you don’t have the money for a significant down payment, renting may be the best decision to make.

Flexibility to Downsize

By renting, you have the option to downsize into a more affordable living space at the end of your lease. This is particularly enticing for retirees who want a less costly, smaller alternative that matches their budget. When you own a home, it’s much more difficult to break free of an expensive house due to the fees involved with buying and selling a home.

Lower Insurance Costs

While homeowners need to have a homeowner’s insurance policy, renters only need a renter’s insurance policy. This policy costs between $12-$20 a month and covers furniture, computers, valuables, and more. Homeowner’s insurance ranges between $25-$80 per month.

Lower Utility Costs

Homes certainly vary in size, however many are larger than an apartment. The larger a space, the more money it costs to heat and cool. Electric bills will likely be higher in a house compared to a rental as well. Rental properties typically have a more compact and efficient floor plan making them more affordable to heat and power than a home.

Is Renting or Buying Right for You?

Owning a home may be beneficial for those looking to live in one place for a long time. However, for those who aren’t looking to take on that responsibility, the costs of upkeep, and the property taxes, renting may be a better option.

To schedule a tour of Shaker Run Apartments, get in touch today!

Why Your Credit Score Matters When Renting

Shaker Run - Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Person using a laptop to check their credit score

So, you’ve found the apartment of your dreams. Congratulations! Now it’s time to complete and submit a rental application, which often includes a credit check.

A question we hear often is “why does my credit score matter?”. The short answer is that good credit will make you stand out while bad credit may prevent you from renting your dream place. Keep reading to find out more!

Credit History Matters as Much as Your Credit Score

You may have a good score now, but has it always been that way? If there is a pattern of weak credit over a long period of time, that’s a red flag that a person isn’t good with money. However, one dip in credit score due to a divorce or illness is less likely to make a negative impact.

The details in a credit report, including late payments, evictions, and bankruptcies paint your financial story. A series of late payments combined with several evictions will raise major red flags in the eyes of a landlord.

A credit report can tell a good story as well! It includes information on on-time payments, social security number, and date of birth.

Own Up to Your Mistakes

Before you submit your rental application, run a credit report yourself. You can order a free credit report from each national consumer credit reporting company (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) once every 12 months. By running a report, you can know exactly what the landlord will be looking at as well.

If there are any red flags you can formulate responses and explain the reasoning behind them. Provide the explanations with the application so the landlord doesn’t have to ask for them. Owning up to your mistakes will show that you can take responsibility for your actions and have learned from them.

Start Working on Your Credit

There are things you can do today that will start to improve your score almost immediately. There are five major factors that influence your credit score. The two most important are your payment history and the amounts you owe. Make a habit of paying bills on time (you can even set up autopay) and try to only use a small portion of the credit that’s available to you. If you have a credit card with a limit of $5,000, try to keep the balance below $1500.

What to Do If You Have A Bad Credit Score

A clean criminal background, job stability, high income, a healthy savings account, and positive references from past landlords can help your case. If you have all of those and a poor credit report, you should still have a good rental application.

If you’re still concerned, a roommate with a good credit score can ease the landlords worries. You can also ask a friend or relative to co-sign the lease. Just remember, whoever you ask is responsible for the rent payment if you’re unable to make it.

There are several financial fixes you can take as well. Put up a larger security deposit, pay several months’ rent in advance, or set up automatic payments so your landlord knows they’ll receive their money. You could also agree to pay slightly more in rent each month if it’s truly your dream apartment.

Yes, Your Credit Matters

Long story short, your credit matters. However, with the right knowledge of your own financial history, it won’t make or break your application. Prepare explanations, start improving your credit score, and ask for recommendations so you can be on your way to moving into a new apartment!

Is Shaker Run your dream apartment? Start the application process today!

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