7 Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, August 22, 2019

women extinguishing a kitchen fire

Between trying not to burn the chicken and making sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot, cooking can be a stressful activity! While trying to manage several things at once, it’s easy to put a hand towel or food too close to the stove and not even realize what you’ve done. The next thing you know the smoke alarm is going off and your stove top is on fire.

While accidents do happen, there are several things to be mindful while cooking to prevent kitchen fires.

How to Prevent Kitchen Fires

Stay in the Kitchen

According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. If you have to leave the kitchen for whatever reason, turn the stove off and move any pots and pans to a cool burner.

Keep the Stove Top Clear

Move anything that can catch fire away from the stove top. That means oven mitts, towels, napkins, dry pasta, and other dry food items.

Put on Your Cooking Clothes

Okay, not really, but make sure you’re wearing close-fitting clothes and roll up your sleeves. Loose clothing can come into contact with burners and open flames easier than you think. If you have long hair put it in a pony tail or up in a bun.

Wipe up Spills

Grease fires are incredibly common and hard to control! Clean your stove every time you cook and wipe up any spills as soon as possible.

Don’t Overheat Oil

Oil that is too hot can start to smoke and bubble up, causing it to spill out of the pan and ignite. As a quick reference, butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees F, canola at 400 F, olive oil at 410 F, and peanut oil at 450 F. Want to know more? Check out this helpful guide.

Wait for Grease to Cool

Pouring hot grease into your trashcan can quickly become a disaster. Wait for it to cool before tossing it in the garbage. You can also pour it in an old food can or container and harden it in the freezer.

Keep Your Smoke Detector Working

If a kitchen fire does occur, a smoke detector is your first line of defense. At Partridge Hill, we recommend testing the smoke detectors twice a year to make sure they’re functioning properly. If your smoke detector is not working properly, call the maintenance staff to schedule an appointment for service.

Dreaming of a new kitchen to cook in? Our apartments feature large kitchens perfect for cooking up your favorite meal or baking a delicious dessert. Contact us today to schedule your tour.

Clean Your Apartment with Natural Cleaning Products

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, August 08, 2019


Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t start and end with the food we put into our bodies; it also includes the products we use to clean our homes. Many cleaning products found in stores contain chemicals that can be harmful to our overall health and wellness. Even products that are labeled “organic”, “natural”, or “pure” can include some questionable ingredients.

Learn how to clean your apartment with natural cleaning products and say goodbye to harmful chemicals.

Vinegar is King

Did you know that basic vinegar can be used to clean almost every surface in your apartment? A bucket of warm water and a splash of vinegar can clean cabinets, walls, mirrors, glass, the inside of your refrigerator, and many other hard surfaces.

You can also clean you floors with vinegar by adding a big splash to a bucket along with warm water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The vinegar smell will go away as it dries, and you’ll be left with clean floors!

If you don’t want to mix up a solution every time you clean, you can keep a spray bottle of your natural cleaner nearby. Simply fill your spray bottle with one-part vinegar and two parts water.

To clean your microwave with vinegar put 1 cup in a glass microwaveable bowl and microwave it on high until it’s boiling and has covered the walls of the microwave in condensation. This will take about 5 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before removing the bowl of vinegar. With a cloth or paper towel wipe the microwave clean. Voila, that tomato sauce is gone!

Wondering how to clean your toilet with natural cleaners? Put straight vinegar in a spray bottle and set the nozzle to stream instead of mist. Squirt the vinegar right under the rim and then scrub the bowl with your toilet brush as usual.

Cleaning with Baking Soda

Baking soda is great at eliminating odors and using on hard to clean surfaces. For smelly drains, sprinkle some baking soda down the drain and follow with a couple cups of warm vinegar.

In the bathroom, sprinkle the tub, sink, or grout with baking soda. Use a spray bottle filled with vinegar to spray over the area and then let sit for a minute or two. Scrub the area clean with a brush and then rinse with water. If you prefer a foaming scrub you can spray the baking soda with hydrogen peroxide instead.

For baked on messes, mix some baking soda in small bowl with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Use a sponge to scrub at the mess until it’s gone. This also works on rust stains, soap scum and dirty grout.

Making a Natural Disinfectant

If raw meat gets on your counter while cooking, you’re certainly going to need to disinfect the area. Tea tree oil, or Melaleuca oil has antibacterial qualities. Place some in a spray bottle and use when you need to disinfect an area.

One thing to keep in mind is that tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. While it’s still safe to use in the home, you should keep it away from children or pets. You should also keep other cleaning products away from little hands, whether they’re natural or not.

Want more cleaning tips? Read about some our favorite cleaning hacks and how to organize your cabinets.

Long Distance Apartment Hunting

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, July 25, 2019


As if apartment hunting isn’t hard enough, throw in moving to a new city and suddenly the task seems impossible. Without knowing your way around your new city, how are you supposed to find an apartment you like enough to call home? You may have to spend a bit more time and effort hunting for the perfect place, but long-distance apartment hunting is possible!

Let People Know You’re Looking

You know that Facebook feature that allows you to ask friends and family for recommendations? Use it! Let people know you’re moving and in need of apartment recommendations.  You’re bound to be connected to someone who knows your new city and will be able to point you in the right direction.

Let people know what you’re looking for so you can receive quality recommendations. Factors like budget, commute times, demographics, and lifestyle all influence the place you will choose to live in.

Do Your Own Research

After you (hopefully) get some recommendations from friends and family, do a bit of your own research. What types of things would you like to be near? Do you enjoy going downtown for happy hour or is a suburban setting more your style? Maybe your number one priority is to have a short commute. Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews, in addition to looking at apartments on a map, will help you understand a neighborhood.

Think about the amenities you’d like in an apartment as well. In-unit laundry, a pool, on site parking, a fitness center, and spacious layouts are all commonly sought-after features. Make a list of amenities you’d like from most to least important to help inform your final decision.

Visit the City if You Can

While this may not be possible, especially if you’re moving across the country, visiting your new city will make apartment hunting much easier. You’ll have piece of mind knowing exactly what you’re getting in to.

Stonegate is located in Rensselaer, NY, only 7 minutes from Albany, 16 from Troy, and 25 from Schenectady. Public transportation is also readily available, and the train station and airport are close by. Some of the best schools, shopping, and restaurants are also just minutes away, making Stonegate an ideal community.

Ready to move in? Submit your application today!

How Much Does It Cost to Move Out?

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, July 11, 2019


Are you itching to move in to your first apartment? Before you pull the trigger and find yourself in an apartment you can’t afford, take the time to do some planning. There are a lot of upfront costs that makes moving expensive. Save enough money for these five expenses before you sign the lease on a new apartment.

Security Deposit and Rent

Be prepared to pay the first months rent and a security deposit on or before you move in. The security deposit is often equal to your monthly rent but check with your landlord to know exactly how much you’ll owe. In addition to the security deposit and rent, you’ll likely have to pay an application fee. Know how many apartments you plan to apply for so you can save money.

Utility Costs

Your monthly rent is not how much you’ll be paying to live in your apartment. Unless your rent includes utilities, you’ll need to estimate how much you’ll be paying for renters insurance, heat, water, cable, and internet on a monthly basis. If you’re unsure, plan to pay 20% of your rent.

Moving Costs

If you’re renting a truck to make the big move, this is another cost you’ll need to consider. Even if a truck is advertised for $20 a day, that cost does not include all of the fees you’ll need to pay as well. If you’re moving to a new state that will cost more money than a small, in-town move. Get a cost estimate before making your reservation and shop around for the best deal.

Furniture

There’s no way around it, you’re going to need furniture for your new place. To save money, ask family and friends if they have any pieces they’re looking to get rid of. You can also search on Facebook, Craigslist, or visit your local Habitat for Humanity for inexpensive furniture. Before heading out to buy the remaining furniture you need, set a budget is realistic and that you can stick to.

Starter Pantry and Supplies

Be prepared to spend a lot of money on your first trip to the grocery store. You’re starting from nothing, meaning there is a lot to buy. Some important items include:

  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Basic spices
  • Cleaning products
  • Tin foil and/or plastic wrap
  • Coffee filters
  • Sandwich and/or snack bags
  • Cooking oils
  • Sugar
  • Flour

The good news is you won’t be spending that amount every time you go shopping. Many of the items will last you a long time, only requiring you to repurchase every so often. Set aside around $200 for your first trip to the grocery store.

Join Our Community!

Stonegate apartments are large, centrally located in Rensselaer, NY and affordable! Call today to learn more about our community and to schedule a tour. We can’t wait to show you around

Apartment Perks That Make A Difference

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, June 20, 2019


When you begin apartment hunting you probably have a list of things you have to have. Two bedrooms, pet friendly, and close to your office are all requirements if you’re going to sign the lease on a new apartment. What about the little things, though? While not necessary, there are amenities and perks that can make one apartment community more appealing than another.

A Dishwasher

You’ve had a long day at work, and after coming home and cooking dinner, the last thing you want to do is wash all of the dishes by hand. You could wait until tomorrow, but they’ll have to be washed at one point or another. You don’t realize how helpful dishwashers truly are until you don’t have one.

Walk-In Closets

There is something about walk-in closets that seems luxurious. Apart from a feeling of luxury, walk-in closets are more spacious, allowing for more storage. Your clothing is easier to see and there’s more room for shoes, purses, and other accessories. Oh and there’s even room for your partners clothing…well, maybe.

Fitness Center

Having a fitness center in your apartment complex is convenient and will save you money. With a gym so close it’s hard to make excuses for not going. You’ll be able to stick to your fitness goals and meet people who live in your complex! You’ll also won’t have to pay $30 a month for a gym membership as many apartment complexes don’t charge a membership fee.

Swimming Pool

If you’ve always wanted a swimming pool of your own, now is your chance! Finding an apartment with a pool gives you all the relaxation benefits without having to maintain it. It’s a win-win for you. Instead of cranking the AC on hot summer days, you can go relax poolside with your favorite book.

A Wall Mounted Microwave

This one may seem odd, but we have a good reason for making it a perk. A wall mounted microwave frees up counter space for either prepping food or fun kitchen gadgets. A wall mounted microwave also means you won’t have to put yours someplace inconvenient, i.e a cabinet or on top of the fridge.

These perks and amenities are just the beginning for Stonegate. Check out all of the amenities we offer and schedule your tour today!

9 Things in Your Closet to Get Rid Of

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, May 09, 2019


One of the great things about living at Stonegate is the spacious closet in each master bedroom. They’re perfect for storing all the shoes, purses, and clothing that you’ve acquired and love. However, the bigger the closet the easier it is to keep things that you no longer need. To help you declutter, we’ve put together a list of 9 things in your closet it’s time to get rid of.

Old Costumes

When was the last time you wore that Crayola crayon costume? Probably not since you bought it five years ago. Donate it to a friend who needs a costume or get rid of it. We guarantee you’re not going to miss it. The same thing goes for all of those dance and theater costumes from high school. While they may be sentimental, they’re not benefiting you by staying in your closet. Time to say goodbye!

Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaid dresses are expensive, which makes them hard to part with. You know you won’t ever wear that orange, floor-length gown again though. Into the donation pile it goes.

Stretched Out Clothing

It’s stretched out, old, and doesn’t look right on your body. Let it go.

Uncomfortable Shoes

Boots, flats, high-heels, dress shoes, sneakers, it doesn’t matter. If the shoes leave you limping, give your feet blisters, or are collecting dust because they don’t even fit, let them go. You’re literally hurting yourself by wearing them.

Items You’re Keeping because You Spent A lot of Money on Them

You know that one thing in your closet that you splurged on? Maybe it’s a pair of shoes you saw your favorite celeb wearing, or a jacket that you told yourself you would wear every day. If the item still has the tag on it 8 years later, or you can count on one hand hoe many times you’ve worn it, let it go. You’ve already spent the money, keeping the item will only make you feel guilty.

Cheap Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry is fun when we’re in high school and college. It’s a cheap and easy way to keep up on trends and refresh our closets. Those necklaces are probably more green than silver now. Throw them out and spend some money on timeless, higher quality pieces you’ll actually wear.

Free T-Shirts

What we wouldn’t do for a free T-Shirt back in college. Keep a few for painting, to wear to the gym, or to sleep in and then let the rest go. You didn’t wear them back then, you’re not going to wear them now.

Free Tote Bags

Just as free t-shirts were “the thing” in college, free tote bags are the popular SWAG to receive now. Put some in your trunk to use at the grocery store and when you run errands and get rid of the rest. You’ll never use them all.

The Fix it Pile

Somewhere in your closet, probably in a deep dark corner, lurks the fix it pile. You know the one. The one you put that ill-fitting dress in, shoes that need to be resoled, and the purse that needs a new strap. If those items meant that much to you, you would’ve fixed them by now. Either fix them in the next two weeks or say goodbye!

Fingers crossed that after going through this list you now have a beautiful, organized closet! If you’re still in need of a bigger closet, contact us today to schedule a tour. Our 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments all include spacious closets for you to store your most beloved items.

5 Ways to Welcome New Neighbors

Stonegate Apartments - Monday, April 15, 2019


Even if you never intend to be best friends with your new neighbor, it’s always a good idea to introduce yourself and make them feel welcome. You never know when you’ll need a helping hand or someone to water your plants when you go on vacation.

Start the relationship with your new neighbors off on the right foot by welcoming them in one of the following ways.

Apartment Introduction

While an apartment tour is informative while looking for a new home, having a current resident show you around once you’re moved in is even better! You can tell your new neighbors about any insider tips and tricks and introduce them to other residents. This also provides your neighbors an opportunity to ask any remaining questions they may have.

Write a Handwritten Note

In a time of short text messages and phone calls, a handwritten note goes a long way. Introduce yourself, let them know what apartment you’re in, and offer to answer any questions they have. They’ll be happy to know they have someone to go to if they need any help.

Give the Gift of Greenery

A plant is a low-cost gift that will breathe some new life into your neighbor’s apartment. Do some research on low maintenance plants in case your neighbor doesn’t have a green thumb. Send along a note with care instructions for the plant so the recipient isn’t left wondering how often to water it.

Neighborhood Cheat Sheet

Put together a list of helpful information you can give to your neighbor along with the handwritten note or house plant. Include the best places to get delivery from, where the good coffee shops are located, and reminders like when garbage and recycle pickup days are. The small effort on your end will make the transition into a new home and area easier on your neighbor.

Neighborhood Introduction

Discovering all the best places to go in a neighborhood can take months or even years. Invite your new neighbor to a restaurant in town and tell them about the best places to go. They’ll appreciate learning about the best parks, coffee shops and bars from someone who knows the area well.

Know someone who would love to move in to Stonegate? Have them schedule a tour today!

Seven Spring Cleaning Hacks You Need to Know About Now

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, April 02, 2019


The season for cleaning is upon us once again! While your list of items and places to deep clean may seem endless, it’s an important thing to do (hopefully) every year. We’ve put together a list of seven hacks to make the process a little less painful, get your apartment sparkling clean, and remind you of a few things that you forgot may need cleaning.

    1. Set A Timer

Set a timer for 10, 20, or 30 minutes and see if you can beat the clock while still doing a thorough job. Turning cleaning into a game can make it seem more fun, or at least not like the most awful thing in the world. This is a great way to get kids to participate in the cleaning as well.

2. Steam-Clean the Microwave

If you can’t even recall the last time you cleaned your microwave, chances are high that it’s a mess inside. To remove caked on food and stains, steam the inside of the microwave before you start scrubbing. The steam will loosen everything up, requiring less elbow grease from you.

Fill a microwave-safe container with 1 to 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Heat the mixture in the microwave for five minutes and you’ll have a clean microwave in no time.

3. Sort Through the Medicine Cabinet

This isn’t a hack necessarily, but it is an area of the home that often gets forgotten about. Go through your medicine cabinet, cosmetics and toiletries and toss out anything that is expired. Everything from Advil to makeup has an expiration date, you just have to know where to look for it. Check out this list to learn when to get rid of things.

4. Clean Your Dishwasher

You can’t clean dishes in a dirty dishwasher! Place a cup of vinegar on the top shelf and run the hottest cycle your dishwasher has. Once the cycle is complete, sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom and run a short cycle using hot water.

5. Put A Lazy Susan in the Fridge

After you’ve cleaned the shelves and thrown out any expired food in the fridge, add a lazy Susan to one or two shelves before putting everything back inside. A lazy Susan will make condiments and frequently used items more accessible. It will also prevent food from being pushed to the back of the fridge and your mind. Say goodbye to spoiled food!

6. Wax Your Stove top

One of the worst things to clean is the stove top, as it’s a frequent offender of cooked on food. After giving your stove top a good cleaning, apply a thin layer of car wax, and then buff it off with a microfiber cloth. Future spills and cooked on food will be much easier to clean up!

7. Clean Your Shower head

If you have a detachable shower head, put it on the top rack of the dishwasher to give it a deep cleaning. If that’s not an option, fill a sandwich bag with vinegar before securing it around the shower head with a rubber band or hair tie. Let the shower head soak overnight.

Armed with these tips and tricks, you’re sure to have the cleanest apartment at Stonegate!

How to Have An Apartment That Cleans Itself

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, March 21, 2019


For many of us, the weekends are our time to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. The weekend is also when we run errands and clean our homes. If all the cleaning is left for Saturday or Sunday it can be time consuming, taking away from time we could be using for other, more fun things.

One way of cutting down on weekend cleaning is to create a cleaning schedule. Cleaning a little bit each day frees up time on the weekend and will have your apartment looking cleaner overall. Depending on how organized/clean you are in general, this schedule may have to be tweaked for your own preferences.

Monday

Vacuum floors
Mop floors

Tuesday

Clean bathrooms

Wednesday

Dust surfaces
Clean glass doors and windows

Thursday

Clean kitchen appliances
Clear out fridge of old food
Vacuum

Friday

Tidy up bedrooms

Saturday

Wash sheets
Wash towels

There are also a few rules you should keep in mind to make the schedule work best!

Don’t be Too Rigorous

Keep each task to under 15 minutes. You don’t have to get every surface spotless as you’ll be cleaning it again next week. As long as it’s cleaner than before you’re good!

Keep Cleaning Supplies in One Place

If your cleaning supplies are all in one place it won’t take long to gather them together. Better yet, keep them in a caddy that you can easily bring from one room to another. A good cleaning kit should have some rags or paper towels, a glass cleaner, a multi surface cleaner and wood polish. Keep supplies that are only used in one room (like toilet bowl cleaner or stainless-steel cleaner) in that room; i.e. toilet cleaner is kept in the bathroom.

Be Strategic

Vacuum and mop the floors all in one day so you’re not hauling the vacuum out multiple times a week. The same goes for cleaning bathrooms and dusting. It’s easiest to dust the whole apartment at once than breaking it up into multiple days.

At Stonegate we offer dishwashers, large closets and additional storage to keep your home clean and tidy. Paired with a great cleaning schedule you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying life at Stonegate! Schedule your tour today.

Apartment Gym Etiquette

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, March 07, 2019


One of the many perks of living at Stonegate is that there’s a fitness center right in our community! Having a gym on site means you can workout whenever is best for you, whether that’s before work, on your lunch break or after dinner! Just like any gym, you should always keep good gym etiquette in mind so you don’t make the wrong impression or upset other residents. 

Here are some etiquette tips to make sure you get the most of your workout and the fitness center!

Wear the Right Clothing

You should always wear sneakers when working out, not sandals, boots or flats. You should also wear moisture wicking clothing that will keep you comfortable while you’re at the gym.

Limit Your Time on Machines

If the gym is particularly busy, keep your time on cardio equipment to 30 minutes. In addition, don’t place a towel on a machine to save it while you use another. You never know who is wanting to use the same machine or piece of equipment as you.

Rerack Your Weights

Along the same line, make sure you rerack your weights. If you leave weights on the floor someone may not know that you’re done with them. It also keeps the gym looking neat and ensures that no one will trip over dumbbells. 

Keep the Noise Down

Whether it’s loud conversations or unnecessary grunting, chances are that other residents don’t want to hear it. Keep your conversations short and the noises to a minimum. It’s also considered rude by many people to play your music out loud. Make sure you bring a pair of headphones so you can listen to your music without bothering others.

Wishing you had a gym in your apartment complex? Schedule a tour with us today and move into a community that supports your healthy lifestyle!

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