Does Square Footage Matter?

Shaker Run - Wednesday, July 24, 2019


When you’re searching for your next apartment it can be easy to focus on the square footage. Most people look for the biggest apartment they can get within their budget. This isn’t always the best plan of action, though. Ultimately, the size of the apartment is not indicative of the experience you’ll have living there. There are a few other key factors you should consider when choosing your new home!

The Layout

Do you like an open floor plan or a bit of privacy with closed off rooms? A large apartment may feel small if there are too many walls and closed off space. Likewise, if an apartment has tall ceilings, large windows, and a lot of open space it will feel bigger than it actually is. The layout of an apartment usually ends up being more important than the square footage.

Consider the Size of Key Rooms

How do you plan to use your new home? Do you like to entertain friends and family? Do you need an at-home office or studio? Or maybe you like to cook! Look at the size of the rooms you’ll be using the most and consider if the size and layout will work for you.

If you like cooking, a small kitchen won’t be ideal. However, if you eat out most nights, sacrificing kitchen space for a larger bedroom may not be a big deal for you. Even large apartments can be less than perfect if key rooms are too small.

Visit the Apartment

Obviously, the best way to know if an apartment will work for you is to take a tour! You’ll be able to get a feel for how large or small the space feels and if it will suit your needs. Don’t forget to measure doorways to know if your furniture will fit, in addition to any stairwells or tight spaces in the apartment. Nothing is worse than realizing your couch or bed won’t fit through the door!

Shaker Run is proud to offer various floor plans with distinct layouts. Whether you work from home, love to entertain, or are raising a family, we’re confident one of our one, two, or three-bedroom apartment homes will be the right fit.

Get in touch today to learn more about Shaker Run and to schedule a tour!

How to Fit Decluttering into Your Morning Routine

Shaker Run - Wednesday, July 10, 2019


After a long day, no one likes coming home to a messy apartment. However, not many want to spend time cleaning after work either. So, when is the best time to clean without taking away from those precious relaxation hours after work? The answer: during the morning! Keep reading for a few small ways to fit decluttering into your morning routine.

Clean Out the Fridge

Instead of scrolling through Instagram or Twitter while your coffee brews, spend the time cleaning out the fridge. Throw out any expired items or leftovers and wipe down the refrigerator door. Now you have a cup of coffee and a clean fridge!

Take the Trash Out

Wait! Before you head out for the day take an extra minute or two to take the trash out. This is a simple way to keep things tidy (and smell free) without any extra effort on your end. The trash will have to go at some point, you might as well do it in the morning.

Clean out Your Closet

You know that one top you stare at every morning but never actually wear? Get rid of it! Each morning when you’re deciding what to wear, do a quick scan to see if there is something you can get rid of. It will feel good to have a closet full of only items that you love.

Clean out the Bathroom

Are you guilty of keeping empty shampoo bottles and old razors in your shower? Make a commitment to recycling or throwing out any empty products on a weekly basis. Your bathroom will be clutter free and can breathe a sigh of relief.

Pick Up Your Living Room

If you like to sit on your couch to enjoy your morning coffee, pick up your living room first. Fold any blankets, recycle old magazines, and put the remotes back where they belong. Your whole apartment will appear neater and you’ll be able to full enjoy that cup of Joe.

Make Your Bed

An unmade bed has the appearance of clutter. Make your bed right when you wake up to give your bedroom a neater look. It also feels so much nicer to slip in to a made bed at the end of the day.

Looking for more cleaning and organizing tips? Check out how to organize your pantry and six things you’re cleaning too often.

Tips for Organizing and Packing for a Move

Shaker Run - Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Let’s face it, as exciting as moving to a new home is, it’s also incredibly stressful. Planning and organizing a move on top of working, taking care of children, or possibly trying to find a job in your new city, is a lot to handle at once. With enough time and a little planning, you can make packing up your belongings much easier!

What Size Move do you Have?

If you’re moving from your parents’ home or into your own place after living with roommates, you most likely have a small move. If you don’t have any large appliances or more than one closet, you can pack with 8 boxes. Two closets full of clothes and couple of appliances will require around 18 large boxes. A large move requires around 25 boxes and consists of many electronics and appliances, clothes, shoes, and books. Try decluttering some of your stuff to make your move easier.

Time to Organize

Once you’ve figured out what size move you have, it’s time to get organized. Label the boxes on all 4 sides and the top with that’s inside. This way no matter how you grab a box when unpacking, you know where it goes. You should also label any boxes that contain fragile items, so you handle them with care.

Pack heavier items in smaller boxes so you can still carry them. Just because 50 pounds of books can fit in one box, doesn’t mean they should. Save the bigger boxes for lighter items like blankets, pillows, and small decorations.

Plan a Packing Order

Start packing up items in your living room or spare bedroom first. These rooms likely contain items you don’t need on a daily basis, making them safe to start packing a month in advance. If you still don’t know where to begin, pack up any decorations or trinkets first. A bare apartment will be boring for a month or so, but decorations aren’t necessary in our daily routines.

Next you can pack away any extra items you have. This includes extra blankets, sheets, towels, toiletries, makeup, and cooking utensils. Once you’re about two weeks out from your move you should start packing away anything that isn’t absolutely necessary on a daily basis.

The last thing you’ll want to pack up are your clothes. Take this as an opportunity to sort through your closet and dresser and donate or throw out anything you don’t wear anymore. Sorting through your wardrobe will making moving that much easier.

When you’re packing you’ll definitely find thing that you forgot you even owned. Chances are you’ll also find some items you thought were gone forever! Decide if these items are worth coming along to your new home and donate them if they’re not.

A word of advice: don’t get caught walking down memory lane. Looking through your old camp photos and home movies can wait until you’re settled in your new place. Still in search of an apartment? Call us today to schedule your tour!

Stop Making These Freezer Organization Mistakes

Shaker Run - Wednesday, June 05, 2019


Your freezer is a magical place where pints of ice cream and frozen leftovers coexist. While it may seem like you can just put things in the freezer however you’d like (which…you can), you will be better off if you know how to avoid these common organizing mistakes.

You Let Your Freezer Get Too Warm

We’ve all stood in front of our freezer with the door open, trying to decide what we want to eat. This can quickly cause the temperature to rise, allowing food to thaw out and go bad. Take a mental note of what’s in your freezer and decide what pint of ice cream you want before opening the door.

It’s also important to set the temperate of your freezer as cold as it can go. If you can’t find the dial, look inside the fridge!

There is Too Much, or Too Little in Your Freezer

If the only thing in your freezer is a bag of peas that has been in there for 3 month, it’s time to head to the frozen food aisle. If your freezer is empty it has to work harder to keep the food inside frozen. You don’t want it jam packed either, though. If there is too much the air won’t circulate properly, which can overtax the condenser and make it harder to keep your food frozen.

How does that one fairy tale go, you want your freezer filled just right?

You’re Not Labeling Your Food

“I’ll definitely remember what this is,” says anyone who has ever put leftovers in the freezer. Fast forward a month and you’re opening containers and Ziplock bags trying to figure out what the red stuff is (spoiler alert, it’s pasta sauce). Do yourself a favor and label your containers using masking tape and a pen. It’s also a good idea to put the date that the food was frozen so you know how old it is.

You’re Not Keeping Nuts, Seed and Flour in the Freezer

Up until now you’ve probably believed that nuts, seeds, and flours are all pantry items. These items contain oil, meaning they can go rancid if they sit around at room temperature. If you store them in the freezer they’ll last much longer!

You’re Keeping Your Ice Cream in the Freezer Door

No one wants melted ice cream. The freezer door is the warmest part, which means it’s a bad place to keep your ice cream. Move the pints to the back of the freezer and store your nuts and seeds in the door instead.

For more tips and insight on apartment living, contact us today!

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. 


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