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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!

5 Easy Tips for Holiday Hosting

Shaker Run - Monday, December 17, 2018

The holiday season is underway and there are still plenty of opportunities to host your friends and family for holiday-themed dinners, cocktail parties, and gatherings. Whether this is your first time hosting, or you’ve done this a few times, it’s always nice to be prepared. We’ve gathered 5 tips to help you plan a successful evening. 

5 Holiday Hosting Tips

  1. Consider the Dinner Set: The holiday season is a special time of year which makes it the perfect time to use your good china and silverware. Whether it’s something you inherited from your great grandparents or a nice set you bought for special occasions, take it out of the cupboard and make sure it’s in tip-top shape for your guests!
  2. Beverages: Take your guests into consideration while creating your beverage menu. Some people prefer wine with dinner while others don’t consume alcohol. Having a variety of options will help your guests feel at home. As the host, you can even ask your guests to bring their favorite beverage to share with everyone. This will give your guests something to discuss other than the typical topics. Having a crock pot of hot cocoa warming for guests to enjoy is a nice touch as well. 
  3. Linens and Place Settings: Gather your items together well before your planned gathering date. This will give you enough time to get everything washed and prepped. It will also give you time to prepare for the inevitable “surprise guest”; everybody knows someone who forgets to RSVP or brings someone with them! 
  4. Centerpiece or Tablescape: We’re not saying these are a must-have for your holiday gathering, but, it certainly brings some festive cheer to the table! Whether it’s a modern piece, an old classic, or something DIY, a centerpiece or tablescape can take your table from “ho-hum” to “oh wow”! 
  5. The Menu: Above all else, plan your menu well in advance, make a shopping list and head to the store! This will help cut down on forgotten items or buying something you already have. Much like the beverages, having a variety that will satisfy all of your guests would be ideal. You can also ask them to bring a favorite dish to share with everyone!
We hope you found these 5 holiday hosting tips helpful and you can incorporate them into your party this season! 

Contact Shaker Run
If you’re looking for a new place to call your home, contact Shaker Run and schedule a tour. Our residents get to enjoy our community which is situated on 30 amazing acres in the Village of Colonie, walk in closets, intercom security entrances, basketball and tennis courts, and so many more amazing amenities!

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Cozy for the Winter

Shaker Run - Friday, December 07, 2018

The winter season is upon us, meaning it gets dark earlier and all we want to do is stay inside our warm apartment at Shaker Run. If your apartment is giving you the cold shoulder, follow these tips to make your apartment feel more inviting this winter.

5 Steps to Creating a Cozy Winter Home

  1. Create a Nook – Staying inside longer is the perfect reason to catch up on your reading! Pick a small space to get cozy and add everything you’ll need to create a relaxing environment. Add pillows, a warm quilt to keep you comfortable, and be sure to have something to set a cup of hot tea on. Now all you need is something to read!
  2. Add Layers of Lighting – Opening the drapes on your window will allow plenty of natural light to enter the room to keep your reading material illuminated, not to mention the added benefit of vitamin D. Incorporating table lamps and floor lamps with warm and cool lights will help to ensure that you can always get the lighting you’re looking for.
  3. Keep Blankets Handy – One of the easiest ways to make your home feel a little cozier is by draping blankets over your furniture. This added touch will make your home feel more inviting, and ensure that extra warmth is just an arm’s reach away.
  4. Incorporate Texture – Adding texture to your walls is an easy way to create a cozy feeling for your home. If your windows currently have blinds, consider adding drapes for additional texture, privacy, and a personal touch. Adding tapestries can also quickly fill a blank wall, while also creating a unique focal point and bringing warmth to a room.
  5. Personal Comfort – For those who are away from loved ones and find themselves getting a little homesick at times, this is a perfect project. Take the time to add some of your favorite images to your wall space, desks, or other areas that look a little bare. Whether it’s a family photo, photos from your college days, or your favorite album in a frame, looking at familiar images is sure to make your apartment feel a little cozier.
For more tips and insights, including the benefits of renting from Shaker Run and to take a tour of our community, contact us today! 

6 Organizational Tools Every Home Needs

Shaker Run - Monday, November 19, 2018

Whether you’re moving soon or you’ve been in your home for quite some time, there’s always room for better organization. Once you’ve become better organized, your move will be easier and you’ll have a better time finding items in your home. It can be as simple as finding a new spot for an item, or incorporating organizational tools into your home. 

Keep Your Home Organized with These 6 Tools 

1. Entryway Hooks: Even if you don’t use your entryway as anything more than a way to enter and exit your home, it can still be a spot that needs a certain level of organization. Installing hooks for things like car keys can keep them off your counter top and in a spot where you always know where they are. 
2. Lid Racks: Finding the right lid for your pots and pans can be beyond frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Lid racks can sit inside of your cabinets and make all of your lids visible and easy to access. You can also use these same racks to keep items like muffin tins and baking sheets organized. 
3. Spice Racks: Whether you purchase a rack for your counter top or cabinet, keeping your spices organized can really help step up your home-chef life. Spices can quickly become disorganized, misplaced, or labels face the wrong way which can hinder how well your recipes turn out. If you think you have the dried parsley a recipe calls for, but it’s actually mint, you’ll be disappointed. 
4. Vacuum-Sealed Storage Bags: In the great northeast we’re accustomed to bulky sweaters and scarves, but when it comes to storing them, they can take up a lot of space. Vacuum-sealing can take the air out of the bag which makes them less bulky, easier to store, and creates a better organized closet. 
5. Over-the-Door Organizer: From makeup, shoes, to ties, over-the-door organizers can be quite handy and frees up space in your home! Rather than storing makeup or brushes in a drawer, hang them up behind the bathroom door. Everything will be organized and you won’t have to scrounge through a cluttered drawer looking for a hair tie. 
6. Kitchen Drawer Inserts: They can keep much more than your silverware organized; these inserts can also keep your spatulas, tongs, and can openers from getting tangled or stuck. Contain your items and keep them in their proper place so you aren’t struggling to get the drawer open and you can find your items when you need them. 

Try incorporating these tools into your home today to help organize areas like drawers, closets, and cabinets. If you’ve tried these tricks and find that it’s still difficult to keep your space organized, it could simply be that your space is too small. With walk in closets, multiple floorplans to choose from, garages and additional storage available, you’ll have no issue finding a home for all of your belongings! Contact us today to schedule a tour of our apartments and find your new home. 

9 New Thanksgiving Traditions to Start This Year

Shaker Run - Tuesday, November 06, 2018

When it comes to most holidays, including Thanksgiving, it’s typically the same course of events each year. Wake up early, cook, possibly travel, eat, nap, and then indulge in more food. This Thanksgiving, try something new and start a new tradition. They don’t have to be boring or time consuming like people may think; these ideas are fun, easy, and family-friendly!

9 New Thanksgiving Traditions to Start 

1. Recipe Swap: This will be easy and fun, especially if you’re hosting as a potluck. If you are, ask your guests to bring the recipe for the dish they shared. If it isn’t a potluck, ask them to bring any of their favorite recipes. This will give your guests something to talk about aside from the weather and the game on T.V. 

2. Hold a Raffle: Ask each guest to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to a food pantry; each item gives them an entry into the raffle. Have fun with the prizes, first choice at the turkey or dessert, rights to the wishbone, goofy sunglasses or toys from a dollar store – the sky’s the limits, use your imagination!  

3. Guess the Thanks: Each year people tend to go around the table and share what they are thankful for that year. Instead, have your guests write down on a piece of paper what they are thankful for and put it in a jar. When it’s time to eat, you will each read a submission and take turns guessing the anonymous submission. 

4. Hand-Me-Down Exchange: Holidays are a perfect time to clean out the closet, especially if there are kids in your home. Encourage your guests to bring any items they are no longer wearing, winter coats, boots, shirts, you name it! Chances are one of your friends or loved one could use the item, or knows someone who’s in need! 

5. Ditch the Football: Okay, maybe not entirely, but keep in mind not everyone wants to watch football for six hours. Instead, add in some classic T.V. sitcoms – especially any that have Thanksgiving episodes. 

6. Those Who Cook Don’t Clean: If you cooked, kick your feet up after the feast is over; those who didn’t cook will do the cleaning! This can be viewed as more of a principal than a tradition, call it what you will, it is something that should be adopted in each household. 

7. Pre-Dessert Walk: Something so simple, we almost didn’t think of it. Rather than crashing on the couch and recliner, get everyone up and moving. Go for a walk in the park or down a peaceful road before having dessert. 

8. Bring a Game: Chances are, if your family plays a game – they play it every time they’re together. There’s nothing wrong with playing the same game, but, it’s fun to mix things up and try something new. Introduce your friends and family to a game they haven’t played before, you never know, it could become a new favorite.

9. Book Swap: Don’t think of this as a book club, simply a swap. Guests can bring a book (or two, or three) and pass them along to one another so that others can enjoy their favorites. This will help give your guests something to talk about and perhaps introduce them to an author they wouldn’t normally read. It will also help kids become comfortable if they aren’t as rowdy as some of the other young ones.

We hope you enjoy these new traditions as much as we do! If you have traditions that you do each year, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know on our Facebook (@ShakerRunApartments). For more tips, including our decluttering mantra and to schedule a tour of our community, contact us today!

How Often You Should Clean Your Pillows

Shaker Run - Monday, October 15, 2018

There’s something many of us are guilty of, forgetting to clean a household item or two. At the top of the list are the pillows we sleep on every night. Unclean pillows harbor dirt and dust – among other things we don’t want to think about – all of which can wreak havoc on your health. 

Washing Your Pillows

Having clean pillows to lay on each night is especially important for those who suffer from allergies. If you find that you’re frequently waking up sneezing, have a sore throat, or a headache your pillow might be the culprit. While it’s important, and helpful, to clean your pillow cases on a regular and frequent schedule, it is suggested to wash your pillows every three months. 

Before taking on this chore, be sure to check the label on your pillows. Many of them will have special care instructions. If it doesn’t, many synthetic pillows or down pillows can be machine washed and dried using low heat. It is also recommended to use a fragrance-free soap that won’t leave a residue. To give your pillows extra fluff while drying, add dryer balls or a tennis ball inside a sock before starting the drying cycle. 

Be careful not to over stuff your washer and dryer, doing so can cause the machines to become off balance and not give your pillows the level of clean they need. Cleaning them two at a time is optimal. 
Luckily for our residents, there are many apartments in our community with in-unit washers and dryers and many buildings with laundry rooms on the first floor. Both options allow residents the freedom to wash their pillows as needed without having to spend their day at a laundromat. If these aren’t an option for you where you live, it’s time to find a new place to call home! Schedule your tour of our apartments today!

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