Save Time in the Morning with a Better Routine

The Woodlands - Friday, October 11, 2019

Woman eating breakfast in bed as part of 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 The Woodlands! Enjoy light and airy apartments with spacious floor plans, walk in closets, 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?

The Woodlands - Monday, September 09, 2019

renting vs buying an apartment and home

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 The Woodlands, get in touch today!

How to Be Courteous when Living with Roommates

The Woodlands - Friday, August 23, 2019

Three roommates walking up the stairs carrying plants and pictures

Roommates. At some point or another we have all had them. Whether by choice or necessity, roommates are almost an unavoidable part of life. And while you may wish you could be living by yourself, there are ways to live peacefully with others and still be friends when all is said and done.

9 Tips for Living with Roommates

Don’t Hog the Fridge

While you each may have your own bedroom, you only get one fridge. Be mindful of how much you buy when you’re shopping and keep your food in your area of the fridge. To save space consider making the milk, ketchup, bread, and juice communal items. You all pitch in to buy the items and everyone is happy!

Do Your Dishes!

Leaving your dirty dishes in the sink to “soak” for five days isn’t cool. They’ll start to smell, grow mold, and get in the way of other people trying to use the sink. Clean as you go and no one will have any problems.

Keep the Noise Down

Once you live with your roommates for a while you’ll start to pick up on their habits. If you know they like to go to bed around 10, keep the noise down once they’re in their room for a night.

Don’t Eat Their Food

No one, and we mean no one, likes coming home to find that their favorite snack has been eaten. Unless the item of food in question is for the whole house, stay away! Ask if you really want something or wait to see if they offer to share.

Keep Communal Areas Clean

Your bedroom is yours to do with what you will, but communal areas should be kept clean. Come up with a schedule so the same person isn’t stuck cleaning the bathroom each week. Pick up in the living room each night and clean the kitchen when you’re done cooking.

Be Careful!

Try not to break your roommates’ things. If you do drop a plate or break a spatula, replace it with a similar item. Enough said.

Don’t Be Passive Aggressive

Talking to your roommates directly can go a long way in solving any issues or disagreements. Avoid leaving passive aggressive sticky notes on the fridge or being loud and annoying to try and prove that you run the place. Those types of antics should be left in freshman year of college.

Discuss Who is Buying Household Items

Garbage bags, tin foil, cleaning products, toilet paper, and paper towels are all household items. Figure out who is responsible for what as soon as possible so you can avoid any disagreements.

Finding the Right Apartment

Still need an apartment for you and your roomies? Our 3-bedroom apartments offer the right amount of space and amenities for roommates to live together peacefully and happily. With multiple bathrooms, a large kitchen and living room, and walk-in closets, you’ll hardly realize you have roommates at all. Schedule your tour today!


The Best Cat Breeds for Apartment Living

The Woodlands - Friday, August 09, 2019

Grey and white cat laying on the floor in an apartment

At The Woodlands we love your cat as much as you do! They’re a friendly face to come home to after a long day and can easily adapt to our busy lifestyles. Still, some cat breeds are better suited for apartment life than others. Let’s take a look to see what some of the best cat breeds for apartment living are.

What Makes a Good Cat Breed for Apartments

When you’re looking for your new furry roommate, there are several traits to consider and look for.

  • Adaptable, easygoing disposition
  • Soft-spoken
  • Doesn’t need be to highly active to be happy
  • Not overly territorial
  • Sociable
  • Is okay with being alone for up to eight hours at a time

You should also consider your own lifestyle when thinking about which cat breed is the best. If you have people over often make sure the cat you choose is okay, and even enjoys, new people. If you often go away on the weekend choose a cat that can go more than 8 hours being alone. While some cats are okay being left with enough food and water for the weekend, other’s need human interaction as well.

Best Cats for Apartments by Breeds

The following breeds are known to thrive in an apartment setting. While personalities and temperaments will vary, in general these breeds are good options.

  • British Shorthair – Known to adapt well to apartment life. Quiet and friendly and ideal for those looking for a cuddly pet.
  • Persian – Persians are a good fit for those who live in apartments but who are home often. They also provide grooming on a daily basis to prevent mats in their fur. Their placid demeanor and affectionate personality make it worth it though.
  • Russian Blue – The Russian Blue breed is affectionate but independent, making it well suited for working singles. They can be shy but are loyal to their owner and love to play!
  • Ragdoll – Ragdolls are laid-back and have a gentle temperament. They make a good lap cat and aren’t particularly demanding. They should be kept indoors only, which makes them ideal for apartments.

Adopting a Cat

If you choose to adopt from a shelter (a decision we fully support), try to pick a cat who is over the age of 3. By this time their personality will be fully formed and the shelter staff can help you find a cat that suits your lifestyle. Adopting an elderly cat is also a good option as they tend to be particularly calm. They would love a warm and welcoming home to live out their lives!

If you are away a lot, consider adopting two cats. They can keep each other company while you’re gone, and you’ll receive twice the amount of love and affection once you return.

Find the Cat that is Right for You

In the end, it’s not the breed as much as the personality that is the most important factor. Whether you’re working with a breeder or shelter staff, be honest about your lifestyle so they can help you find a cat that is right for you.

Need a new place for you and your cat to call home? Our pet friendly apartments will be perfect for you and your cat. Contact us today for current availability and to schedule a tour.

How to Fit Decluttering into Your Morning Routine

The Woodlands - Friday, July 26, 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 closet and six things you’re cleaning too often.

Moving Hacks for the Big Day

The Woodlands - Friday, July 12, 2019


Ask anyone if they enjoy the process of moving and they will tell you “no.” It’s time consuming, hectic, expensive, and strenuous. There are about 20 other adjectives we could use to describe moving, but we’ll stop there. Fortunately, there are several genius hacks to make the process a little bit easier.

Color Code Your Boxes

We love a good color-coding system. Adding a bright piece of colored tape to each box will help you quickly figure out which room each box belongs in. When you get to your new place, place a piece of tape on the corresponding doors. Any family or friends who are helping you move will be grateful for the handy system. Without having to ask where each box goes the process will go a lot quicker.

Pack Your Suitcase

This one is so obvious and yet so easy to forget. Pack any suitcases or luggage with just about anything that will fit inside. We recommend shoes or books. Bonus points if your luggage has wheels – heavier items will be much easier to move this way.

Put Hanging Clothes in Garbage Bags

Don’t waste your time taking all of your clothes off of the hangers. You’re just going to hang them back up in your new place so what’s the point? Instead, put a garbage bag over the clothes and then lay the clothes on top of a flat surface inside the moving truck, such as a table or couch. When you get to your new apartment just hang the clothes up and take the garbage bag off. Voila! You’re halfway to being unpacked.

Protect Breakables with Soft Household Items

Forget the packing peanuts and bubble wrap, use towels and blankets instead! This will save you space when packing in addition to being a more environmentally friendly solution. If you run out of towels and blankets you can place a pillow at the bottom of a box for some padding.

Bag Up All Items That Can Spill

Imagine opening a box after a long day of moving and seeing that a bottle of olive oil has spilled everywhere. We’d understand if you just threw the whole box away, contents and all. Prevent this from happening by putting any item that can spill in a Ziploc bag. This includes cooking oils, hair care, skin care, perfumes, and lotions.

Tape Cables to the Electronics They Belong To

Avoid the frustration of finding the right cable for the TV by taping it to the TV before moving. Neatly wrap up any headphones, phone and tablet chargers or other small wires and place in a bag. You’ll be grateful you won’t have to spend an evening untangling wires.

Keep A Box of Valuables and Important Documents Near By

God forbid the moving truck gets lost you will not want anything valuable in there! Pack up all of your expensive jewelry, valuables, and important documents into one box and keep it close by. Your trunk is probably the safest place. Don’t take the box out of your trunk until everything else has been moved into your apartment. This way you can keep track of it at all times. 

Large private entries and accommodating property managers makes moving to The Woodlands easy! Contact us today to learn more about the community and schedule a tour.

Stop Making These Freezer Organization Mistakes

The Woodlands - Friday, June 21, 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!

Move-In Day Necessities

The Woodlands - Friday, June 07, 2019


We feel you, packing up everything you own and moving is a pain. There’s a lot to organize, it’s time consuming, and potentially costly if you need to a hire a team of movers. As hectic as things may be, there are a few things you’re going to want to have on hand almost as soon as you walk through the door of your new place.

Keep the following items in a bag in passenger seat of your car or in an easily accessible box. You’ll thank yourself later!

Checks or Cash

Either you haven’t paid the first month’s rent yet or you want to order pizza for everyone who has helped you move. Either way, there is something you haven’t paid for yet. Don’t think you have it all covered, either. Something is bound to come up that you will have to pay for.

Paperwork

Paperwork is one of the easiest things to misplace. That being said, don’t misplace the paperwork for your apartment. Keep it in a brightly colored folder so you can keep an eye on it and it doesn’t get damaged. Keeping your paperwork handy will eliminate one more thing that can increase your stress.

Toilet Paper and Soap

These two are very easy to forget and very necessary. You’re going to have to use the bathroom at some point before you’re able to head to the store. Grab a roll of toilet paper and that half empty bottle of soap in your bathroom before you move and bring them with you.

A Water Bottle

No one wants to tackle a full day of loading and unpacking boxes without anything to drink. Fill up a water bottle before leaving your old place and then keep it close by throughout the day. It’s going to be a while before you unpack and remember where your cups and glasses are.

Snacks!

Snacks are very important for moving day. You’re going to get hungry, and unpacking, signing papers, and dealing with the people who came to help is a lot to handle on an empty stomach. You can always go out for lunch or order delivery, but having snacks on hand is a lot more convenient. We recommend granola bars, fruit, and packages of nuts.

Ready to make the move but still need a place? Contact us today to schedule a tour!

Organize Your Pantry in Four Steps

The Woodlands - Friday, May 24, 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 9 Ways to Organize Your Closet and 3 Tips to Help With Your Spring Cleaning.

How to Improve Concentration at Home

The Woodlands - Friday, May 10, 2019


Even if you don’t work from home, there are undoubtedly times when you need to sit down and get some work done. It could be your taxes, planning a vacation, applying to jobs, or researching a new vehicle to buy. If you find it hard to concentrate on these things while you’re at home, it could be your décor or room setup that’s working against you.

Read ahead to learn how to improve your concentration at home.

Adjust Your Lighting

Lighting can make or break your ability to focus. A lack of lighting can affect your concentration, inhibiting your ability to get your work done. Add lighting that resembles natural lighting, as it’s the most soothing to the eyes. If you can, add dimmers to the lights so you have flexibility as well.

Sit So You’re Facing the Door

When you sit with your back to the door, your brain enters protection mode. It’s on alert for anyone who may enter the room and surprise you, causing your stress levels to rise. Reposition your desk or workspace so you’re facing the door. You’ll have peace of mind that no one will be able to sneak up on you.

Decorate with Brighter Tones

Calming colors like mellow greens and soft blues are great for the bedroom or living room; they’re not good for an office. Softer shades will cause your brain to switch into relaxation mode which is not conducive to being productive. Instead, decorate with brighter colors through pillows, blankets, picture frames and rugs.

Don’t Look at Your Bed

Your bed is for sleeping and relaxing at the end of the day. When you have a view of your bed, you’re more likely to want to take a nap than complete your work. Either move to a different room or reposition your desk so you can’t see you bed.

Don’t Face the Window

Just like facing the bed, facing the window won’t do you any favors. Things are constantly happening outside, even if it’s just a car driving by or someone walking their dog. These constant distractions will ultimately hurt your concentration. Complete the items on your to-do list before heading outside or enjoying the view.

Don’t Use Lavender

Whether you burn a lavender scented candle or use lavender essential oils, the scent is hurting your ability to focus. Save lavender for bed time and use rosemary instead to encourage concentration and focus. The aroma of lavender has also been proven to impair memory; not good if you’re studying!

Put the Electronics Away

Electronics don’t just mess with your sleep, they interrupt your concentration as well. The constant sounds and notifications coming from your devices will pull you away from your work. Electronic devices all emit Electric & Magnetic Fields that affect energy levels and ability to focus. Tuck them away out of sight and take intentional break to check your phone every hour.

The Woodlands is located in a quiet and peaceful community in Latham, NY. In addition to our spacious apartments, we also have a community clubhouse available to residents to gather and work. Contact us today to schedule a tour!

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