Decorating Living Rooms Maid Sailors

The Beginner’s Guide to Decorating Living Rooms

Since your living room is the space where you spend most of your time, it deserves a ton of love, care, and attention. This is where you welcome your guests and hang out with your family, and that’s why your living room needs to be perfect. In order to make that happen, lots of homeowners hire professional decorators and interior designers to spice up their living room. While that’s a great idea, it’s not exactly the most cost-effective way to achieve your goals. Instead, you might want to try doing this on your own, even if you have no decorating experience. If this is something you’d like to try as well, here are a few ideas you should look into.

Focus on Your Furniture

Your furniture is the main feature of your living room, and it’s something that can make or break your design. There are lots of ideas you can explore, depending on the size of your living room and your furnishing budget. If you’re not willing to spend a ton of money, you can always find second-hand furniture in thrift shops or yard sales, and spice it up. In addition to that, you can always clean your current furniture, add some blankets and pillows, and spend almost no money at all.

Another thing you need to pay attention to is the layout you pick for your living room. You need to give every member of your family enough maneuvering space, but still keep everyone close by. Of course, you can change your layout as often as you want, and keep rotating your furniture until you’ve found a combination that works for you.

Spice Up Your Lighting

Whether you host your parties in your living room or just use it for an afternoon nap, you need proper lighting. This can transform any space from ordinary to amazing, and spicing up your lighting on your own is easier than most people think. It’s all about finding the right ideas and combinations that will work for you the most. Luckily, there are lots of different choices out there – pendant lights, floor lamps, chandeliers, string lights, etc. – and you just need to find the right setup.

What you should do first, though, is to determine the amount of natural light in your living room. If you have huge windows or live in a hot region with lots of sunny days, your interior will probably be full of natural sunlight all day long. If that’s the case, you’ll probably need to minimize your lighting as much as possible and keep it subtle. Or just use candles and add a new dose of elegance to your living room.

Open Up This Space

This is one of the oldest ideas in the book, but it’s still an effective way to introduce a massive change to your living room. Instead of being stuck in a tiny space, you can open it up and make your entire home look nicer and more appealing than ever. Doing this might not be easy, and it’s going to require quite a lot of work and time, but it’s all going to be worth it in the end. Keep in mind that open-space layouts require less decorating and furnishing because they already look inviting and cool simply because they’re so open.

One of the ways to do so is by knocking down a few walls. The wall between your living room and your kitchen, for instance, isn’t always necessary, and it’s better to connect these two spaces together. Another alternative is installing those amazing barn doors that are easy to handle and can open up your space even more. They’ll save you tons of space and add more charm to your living room, so it’s a win-win idea you might want to look into.

Keep It Personal

Your living room is the reflection of yourself and your family, and if you want to show your guests what an amazing host you are, adding a few personal touches is a must. These things don’t have to be too big or expensive, but they need to look nice and tell a story. Whether it’s your kids’ DIY projects, your sports memorabilia or your travel souvenirs, using these items as décor can go a really long way.

However, you should also include your family in this process and ask everyone to share their ideas. Your living room is one of the spaces you all use together, so everyone needs to be included in the design process. Once you do that, your family will enjoy the living room more than before, and that’s always good.

Decorating your living room isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not that hard either. Try to keep things simple and unique, and you’ll be able to do quite a lot in no time at all.

6 Books with the Best Cleaning and Organizing Tips

If you’re on the hunt for a book to help you start cleaning and organizing, you might not know what to be on the lookout for. The cleaning section at Barnes & Noble can be a confusing section to search through. We went ahead and did the dirty work for you. Get it? Haha, we love cleaning puns! Below are six books designed to give you the most effective cleaning and organizing tips:

Clean Like a Man by Tom McNulty

Clean Like a Man: Housekeeping for Men, and the Woman Who Love Them is a great book for anyone with a bachelor pad or Mr. Mom. In the book, Tom McNulty does a great job at appealing to men that need to clean quickly, efficiently, and effectively. He also does a wonderful job of keeping the reader’s attention throughout the book. You’ll almost forget that he’s teaching you how to clean. 

Haley’s Cleaning Hints by Graham Haley

In Haley’s Cleaning Hints author Graham Haley has provided you with everything you need to know about cleaning proactively and efficiently. Using her strategies you’ll be able to keep your home clean with ease.

How the Queen Cleans by Linda Cobb

This handy handbook teaches you everything you need to know about doing laundry, removing stains, and cleaning and maintaining your home. The queen, Linda Cobb, has taken several of her most popular housekeeping books and turned them into the ultimate guide. How the Queen Cleans is resourceful, practical, and an invaluable book to have in your home.

The Cleaning Encyclopedia by Don Aslett

The Cleaning Encyclopedia is an illustrated guide that helps you clean pretty much anything in your home. Don Aslett’s has laid out detail instructions making this book an invaluable resource for any housekeeper. He provides you with specific step by step instructions along with which cleaners to use for any appropriate task. You’ll be, as the title states, cleaning like the pros when you’re finished with this book.  

The Complete Household Handbook by Good Housekeeping

Ok who doesn’t love Good Housekeeping? They’re the ultimate resource for anything and everything. The Complete Household Handbook is a book that covers more than just the basics. It also covers cleaning, organizing, and maintaining the home.

Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook

Complete with a room guide, a materials guide, illustrations, charts, and tons of bonus tips, this book makes a great gift. Anything from Martha Stewart is simply fantastic. Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook is a must-read book for any homemaker.

What’s your favorite cleaning resource? Is it a book? Or maybe a blog? Share it with me below.
Installing a wheel chair lift

Installing A Wheelchair Lift In Your Home

Vertical wheelchair lifts are a must have for homes with disabled or elderly members. Most of these systems are typically powered by electricity or hydraulics. The system allows lifting or lowering you between different floor levels without the need to get off your wheelchair. The following guide will describe the benefit of installing wheelchair lifts and the different types you can choose from.

The major benefits of installing wheelchair lifts are:

Ease of Use

Wheelchair lifts are highly recommended compared to ramps because they are easier to use. In many cases, disabled individuals have limited upper body function. Even the elderly have problems using their arms. So ramps may not always be beneficial in moving between different floors. A lift will make it easier for you and your caregiver to move up and down the floors.

Freedom of Movement

You can install wheelchair lifts in your home and even in your vehicle. The system gives you more freedom when it comes to transportation. You could also move around on your own without someone’s help. Most disabled and elderly people prefer being independent, and these lifts can make your life much easier.

More Value to your Home

A home with wheelchair lifts has a higher value. Most families will want to have a new home that offers more convenience of movement to their elderly or disabled members. It will also make it easier to sell your house.

Why Are Vertical Wheelchair Lifts Valued?

They give you a better way in and out of your home. Even school and other institutions used them for main it easier for the disabled and elderly members to access the building. Many buildings that already have the standard elevators install wheelchair lifts for people with special needs. They are also perfect for buildings that don’t have enough space for ramps because they don’t consume as much space.

Types of Wheelchair Lifts

When planning to install new wheelchair lifts, you will come across multiple options. The most commonly installed types are as following:

1.Enclosed Lift

In this type of wheelchair lift, the occupants and the wheelchair remain enclosed within the cabin when moving up and down. It is recommended for installing outdoors due to safety and weather considerations.

2.Stage Lift

As the name suggests, this type of lift will just have a platform for you to sit on. It is typically used for short elevations, such as for lifting onto a stage.

3.Shaftway Lift

These types of lifts are designed to fit into existing walls. They are installed in both residential and public buildings. They are much like your conventional lifts.

4.Opal Lift

It is much like the enclosed wheelchair lift and has a platform enclosure within the walls. But it is different from others because it has a ceiling opening. So if you have an elderly or handicapped family member, you should consider installing the right wheelchair lift in your home.

A Complete Guide To Tipping Your Movers

It’s no secret that moving can be costly. This is especially true if you’re moving a long distance or if you have a lot of belongings to transport from point A to point B. For many people who are planning a move, however, hiring a team of professional movers can be some of the best money spent. When you hire movers, you can enjoy the convenience and peace of mind that comes with having experienced professionals handling your furniture, boxes, and other heavy items. Meanwhile, you don’t need to lift a finger on moving day!

Of course, hiring movers and home cleaning services can also be expensive. With many moving companies charging by the hour, it’s not uncommon to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on professional moving services. This, combined with all the other costs that come along with moving, may have you wondering whether you need to tip your movers—and if so, how large of a tip you should leave them.

Should You Tip Your Movers?

In general, you should plan to tip your movers. However, there are some (less common) circumstances where this may not be the case. When you receive an estimate from your moving company, check to see if a gratuity has already been included with your quote. Some moving companies will default to include a 20% tip. If this is the case, then you will not be expected to offer any additional gratuity to your moving team on the day of your move.

Some moving companies may include a tip with your quote but may not be as obvious about it. Specifically, look for a “service charge” on your estimate. If you see one, contact the moving company directly to find out what this charge covers. In many cases, it will cover gratuity and you will not be expected to tip anything additional.

Finally, if you’re hiring a small moving company to handle your relocation, you may not need to tip if the people coming out to handle your move are also the owners of the company. In these cases, it is generally expected that the owner would quote you a price that would include a gratuity.

Unless any of these uncommon circumstances apply to your move, however, you should expect to tip your movers. Even though most moving companies pay their workers an hourly wage, these professionals still rely pretty heavily on tips. And when you think about all the back-breaking work they’re saving you from doing, it’s only fair to throw a few extra dollars their way for a job well done.

Of course, if you receive especially poor service on your moving day or if your movers are careless enough to damage any of your items during the move, you may want to reconsider whether you wish to leave a gratuity. So long as you take the time to research moving companies and choose a reputable one with good reviews, however, this shouldn’t be an issue.

How Much Should You Tip Your Movers?

Now that it’s established that you’ll almost always want to tip your movers, the next question is, “how much should you tip them?” This can be difficult to decide and will really depend on the specific circumstances of your move. In general, however, you should expect to tip at least 10% of your total bill. This means if you’re spending $500 on your moving service, you should expect to leave about a $50 tip.

Of course, the complexity of your move and the quality of the service received should also be taken into consideration when deciding how much to tip your movers. If you had a relatively simple move across town from a small apartment into another relatively small apartment, then you probably don’t need to tip much more than the industry standard unless you received some really outstanding service.

On the other hand, if your moving team expertly handled a long-distance move or successfully moved you out of your four-bedroom house into another large home, you may want to throw some extra gratuity their way. The same applies if they handled any especially large, awkward, or difficult items without damaging them.

And since many moving companies charge by the hour, be sure to consider how efficiently your movers were when determining how much to tip them. If they seemed to be working hard non-stop for the entire time you hired them, they probably saved you a bit of money with their efficiency and may thus deserve a little extra gratuity.

When Should You Tip Your Movers?

While some moving companies include a gratuity with your quote, it is generally best to wait until after your move is complete to distribute any tips. After all, you should be tipping based on the quality of the service received. If your movers already know they’re going to receive a decent tip before they even get to work, one of two things could happen. They could be happy with the tip they’re anticipating and provide excellent service as a token of gratitude, or they could slack a little in their service with the knowledge that they’re going to be tipped the same amount no matter what.

With this in mind, it’s generally best to wait until after the move to tip your moving crew. If you’ve hired a moving company that has included a tip with your quote, don’t hesitate to ask them to remove the gratuity; let them know that you’ll tip your moving team at the end of the day based on the quality of service provided. Any reputable moving company should be happy to accommodate this request.

How Should Tips Be Distributed?

Another potentially confusing aspect of tipping professional movers is how to distribute the tips themselves. If you have a team of several movers, for example, you may be unsure as to whether you should tip them individually or provide a large tip to the supervisor to distribute at the end of the day.

The answer to this question can vary, but always be sure to use your best judgment. The best way to ensure that everybody on the moving team receives the tip amount you intended is to personally tip each individual mover. This can also be recommended if you noticed that one mover seemed to be going above and beyond; in this case, you might want to tip him or her directly and slip a few extra dollars to him or her.

Another idea to keep in mind is to tip your movers a little at the start of the day and offer an additional tip when the move is complete. This can provide them with some incentive to work hard and provide you with the best service possible.

Other Tipping Considerations

Each move is unique, so there is really no universal answer to the question of how much you should tip your moving team. As you reflect on the service you received from your moving team, there are some considerations to keep in mind that may help you decide on an appropriate tip amount. Check our Postmates tipping and maid service tipping guides to get a better idea about tipping considerations.

For starters, did the workers arrive to your agreed-upon located on time? Were they professional and friendly? You’ll also want to take note of how much care they exercise when handling and loading up your items. For example, if they took the time to lay down flooring protectors or wrapped your furniture to protect it from scratches, this might be considered going above and beyond and thus may warrant an additional tip.

If you’re paying by-the-hour for your move, did your moving team seem respectful of your time? For example, did they have you sign off on their lunch break to ensure that you weren’t charged for time when they weren’t working? Did they seem to be working diligently or did they seem to be taking their time?

Other Moving-Day Etiquette

In addition to providing a fair tip to your moving team, there are some other etiquette tips to keep in mind as your moving day approaches.

Start by making sure that you’re prepared for your move so you’re not wasting your moving team’s time (and your hard-earned money). This means you shouldn’t still be packing boxes when your moving team arrives. You should also make sure your movers have a clear and safe pathway to and from the door where they’ll be loading your belongings.

If your team has worked especially hard, you can also show them your appreciation by offering some light refreshments and/or snacks. This shouldn’t be done in lieu of a tip, but in addition to any gratuity. Even a few bottles of water will be very much appreciated by your movers on a hot day.

Make Your Next Move a Breeze

In addition to hiring professional movers, you can also streamline your upcoming New York City move by turning to Maid Sailors for your move-in/move-out cleaning services. Contact us today to request a quote or book your service online in as little as 60 seconds!

What Are The Best Home Security Systems For Every Budget?

Affordable home security means different things to different people. What is cheap and affordable to one person might be too expensive for another. That is why we have rounded up five affordable home security systems to help you as you make your choice.

Let’s look at them right away.

Fortress Security Store Alarm System Kit

Even this alarm system is rather cheap for just around $100, it still gives you the added security and convenience that a mobile app offers.  Whenever the system detects unusual activity, you receive an alert through your phone.

The only downside to fortress security alarm system kit is the lack of professional monitoring. While professional monitoring is the surest way of keeping your home safe, it comes with a monthly subscription. So for a budget of under $100 you will have to make that sacrifice.

Wink Lookout

If your pockets run a little deeper, you can start out with the wink control hub. This affordable smart hub runs a network of connected devices that manage home automation devices such as thermostats and lights, as well as home security.  It goes for under $200.

This affordable home security system also gives you a great foundation you can build upon later on.

On the downside, wink lookout lacks security cameras. You will have to dig deeper into your pockets. If you want to have cameras around.

Scout small pack scout preselected small pack has all the basics you will need to begin protecting your home. It also helps you to add professional monitoring to your home security package.

One of the most exciting features of this pack is the ability to add monitoring. With just $9.99 per month, you can add professional monitoring. This is quite an affordable monitoring option for anyone looking for an affordable home security system.

It’s disappointing to know that scouts small pack only has one monitor sensor. This sensor can detect motion for not more than 25 feet. It, therefore, won’t be enough if you have a larger home.

Simplisafe Hearth Package

No one will know you are working on a budget when they see this security system in your home. Simplisafe offers other more affordable home security packages, but if you have a little more to splurge, you will love the extras in the hearth package. With $375 you will get fire protection and a 105 dB siren, the two must-haves for a home safety plan.

Smoke detectors are lifesavers. They are even better when they are part of your home. when they detect smoke, the fire alarm activates your security alarm system. This ensures that even when someone is sleeping through the alarm, they can still get notified.

Although simply safe hearth package is a great and affordable home security system, it lacks smart home integration. Simplisafe products can be easily integrated with nest thermostats and August smart locks, but they are still not compatible with smart hubs such as Amazon echo.

Nest Secure Alarm System Starter Pack

Net is one of the big players in the home automation and security industry. They began by selling smart thermostats. They offer full-brown home security. Nest has a reputation for being expensive, so it is great that they have a $500 security starter pack.

All nest secure components are smart. That includes the nest guard system hub which has a keypad, alarm and motion sensor all together.  Nest also comes with smart window sensors that are linked up with all the other components of the system.

Compared to most do it yourself home security systems the nest secure starter pack is rather sparse. It lacks all the extra sensors and features you would be getting in another starter pack.

Frontpoint

Front point is well known for its exceptional customer service. They are also among the best companies you can buy from.  Since it was started in 2007, the company has made its employees and customers their top priority.

Front point offers security systems configured to fit your needs.  They can deliver a highly customized system as soon as tomorrow. Their security system gives you awareness, protection, and control.

These security systems are easy to set up, so you can easily do it yourself. And you can count on their superb customer care to come to your rescue anytime you run into problems.

Another impressive feature of Frontpoint security systems is that they are wireless. They are therefore a great choice even if you live in a rented space since you can always pack it up when you need to move. The system also lays a good foundation for adding more devices in the future.

Forefront also offers crash and smash protection that keeps your security system working even when your control panel is destroyed.

Final word

You don’t need to own a fortune to have a quality security system. Irrespective of whether you are trying to save by investing in affordable equipment or by self-monitoring. These five affordable home security systems will provide you with the needed security at a cheap price without compromising on the quality.

About the Author:

Sam Hoffman is a content marketing consultant who helps businesses reach the exact audience. Sam is passionate about research and analytics. He frequently writes about the latest trends in home security. 

How to Make Memo Boards for the Home

Everyone needs a place that they can designate to jot down notes and post reminders from time to time. Especially if you’re a business owner. Or if you work from home. Welcome to the wonderful world of memo boards.

Christmas cards, invitations, mail, coupons, recipes, business cards, art projects, and menus can easily pile up on the kitchen table creating a mess. Some of these things could probably be filed or thrown away. But they’ve piled up on the table so high that you don’t want to take the time to go through it now. Do yourself a favor and get organized by creating a memo board.

There’s no need to go out and buy an overpriced memo board. You can simply make one by making use of thrifty items you have around the house already.

Here are some clever ways to make a memo board that are simple and inexpensive: 

Bike Wheel Memo Board

Old fashioned bike wheels make wonderful memo boards. If you don’t have one you can find them at flea markets or on eBay for cheap. This is a good board to hang postcards, pictures, and business cards on.

Chalkboard Memo Board

By taking magnetic chalkboard paint you can paint a wall or a door to use as your own personal chalkboard. This board is ideal for anyone that will proactively use it on a daily basis. On this board, you can write, erase, hang things, and even decorate. 

Cookie Sheet Memo Board

Thanks to Sadie Seasongoods we now know how to create a fun diy cookie sheet memo board. It’s simple. Start by taking any old metal (not aluminum) cookie sheet cleaning it and painting it your favorite color. After that, you can create a backdrop by using colored paper, duct tape, or even fabric. This is a fun and easy project that anyone can do. 

Paper Roll Memo Board

Calling all list lovers! If you’re one of those people who love your list, this is the memo board for you. Instead of writing all of your lists out on sticky notes or on the back of a napkin simply install a roll of paper to your wall for a spot to jot. 

Shutter Memo Board

Did you know you can take an old shutter and restore it to make an awesome memo board? You do now! Just paint it and put it up wherever you’d like. This memo board is perfect for hanging outgoing mail, Christmas cards, and even your car keys. You could even use this memo board as a cute vintage housewarming gift.

Wine Cork Memo Board

There’s plenty of reasons to save your wine corks when you’re done with them. And one of those reasons is because you can make a memo board out of them. This is a really fun project to make to place in your kitchen, living room, or dining room and hang pictures on. You might need a lot of wine corks for this particular project depending on how big you want your memo board to be. So if you’re a wine drinker you better get to drinking!

Do you have a cool and innovative way to create a memo board? If so, share it with me below! I love to hear new ideas. And who knows your experience may end up in one of our blog posts!

Do You Need A Property Manager?

Renting out a residential property can be an excellent way to bring in additional income. At the same time, the responsibilities that come along with being a landlord can be taxing. Not only will you need to put time and money into maintaining the property, but you’ll also have to handle finding/screening tenants, filling vacancies, collecting rent, and everything in between.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all this responsibility, it may be time to consider hiring a property manager for your rental home, apartment building, or other residence.

What Does A Property Manager Do?

Specifically, a property manager is designed to handle all the responsibilities of a landlord—and then some. This includes dealing with your current tenants by responding to maintenance requests, collecting rent, and renewing leases. Responsibilities of a property manager may also include maintaining your property, collecting your security deposit, making repairs, and handling things like landscaping and exterior painting. Many property managers also handle evictions (when necessary) and marketing your property when vacancies become available, as well as screening applications for potential new clients.

Specific responsibilities of a property manager can vary from one to the next, and many offer customizable packages to help suit your specific needs and budget. Ultimately, though, the purpose of a property manager is to take most (or all) of the responsibility of managing your rental off your plate.

Benefits Of Hiring A Property Manager

When deciding whether a property manager is right for you, consider a few of the main benefits of hiring one.

Secure Higher Quality Tenants

Finding quality tenants who will reliably pay their rent on time and stick around can be one of your biggest challenges as a landlord. Working with a property manager can take this burden off your plate; these professionals know how to market your property to bring in the highest quality tenants so you can enjoy less turnover and maximize your profits.

Cut Back On Vacancies

When a vacancy does arise in one of your rental units, a property manager will stay on top of the game. He or she will see when a lease is due to be renewed and if the tenant doesn’t plan to renew, will begin working on filling the vacancy before it even opens up. This helps to cut down on lost profits and other costs you can otherwise incur when you have a rental unit sitting empty for any period of time.

Avoid Potential Legal Issues

When a tenant fails to pay rent and you have no choice but to follow through with an eviction, having an experienced property manager can make all the difference. He or she will know the necessary legal processes to follow in order to carry out an eviction properly while saving you the hassle and stress of dealing with it on your own.

Enjoy Possible Tax Savings

Often times, property managers can also work as consultants of sorts and help you maximize your deductions as a landlord come tax time. Your property manager may be familiar with specific write-offs you can make and credits you can take advantage of to save the most possible money on your taxes.

Free Up Valuable Time

If you’ve been working as full-time landlord at any of your rental properties, then you know just how time-consuming this can be.

If you have another job/career, have a family at home, or have any other major responsibilities in your life, you may simply feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to handle it all. When you hire a property manager, you can take most (if not all) of your landlord responsibilities off your plate, freeing up time for more important things in your life.

Cut Down On Maintenance/Repair Costs

Costs related to maintaining your property and making repairs can be high, especially if you’re finding yourself seeking out individual contractors for separate jobs. Most property managers have their own team of professionals that they turn to time and time again for this type of work, and they receive a discount that they can pass onto you. As a result, you may actually find that your maintenance costs are much lower with a property manager.

Potential Drawbacks Of Hiring A Property Manager

While hiring a property manager certainly has a lot of benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider before you make a decision.

Requires Relinquishment Of Control

One of the biggest challenges some landlords will have with hiring a property manager is the degree of control that it requires you to relinquish. Rather than having the ultimate say in the day-to-day operations of your rental(s), an experienced property manager will be making a lot of these decisions on your behalf. This can be a hard pill for some people to swallow, so working with a property manager may not always be the best choice if you’re what some would describe as a “control freak!”

Could Be Costly

Another challenge to consider when it comes to hiring a property manager is the cost. This is one of the most difficult things for some people to get past. Property managers are full-time workers, so they don’t come cheap. At the same time, it’s important to consider the many ways in which hiring a property manager saves you time and money. From the savings on general maintenance and repairs to the higher quality tenants and reduced vacancy times, property managers can really help you maximize your profits.

And of course, your time is also valuable. When you hire a property manager, you could be freeing up literally hundreds of hours a month of your time. Can you put a price tag on that?

Signs You Should Hire A Property Manager

Still not sure whether a property manager is right for you? There are a few “signs” that could indicate it’s time to hire a professional to help manage your property.

You Live Far From Your Rental Property

Managing a rental property is difficult enough when you live close by, but when you don’t live close enough to be there often, things get a lot more challenging for both you and your tenants. If you live far enough from your property that you’re not able to visit daily, then you’d probably benefit from having a property manager.

You Own A Large Number of Units

Maintaining a single rental unit can be difficult enough; things get exponentially more difficult when you own and manage more than one unit. The larger the property and the more units you have, the more tenants you have to deal with as well. Having a property manager may pay off here.

You Don’t Enjoy Dealing With Your Tenants

Speaking of tenants, they’re not always the most pleasant to deal with. From angry tenants demanding repairs to tenants who miss their rental payments, not all landlords enjoy this aspect of the job. This is where hiring a property manager can make your life easier and less stressful.

You Don’t Have Much Experience In Managing A Rental

Sometimes, you come into owning a rental property unintentionally. This can happen when you inherit a property, for example. You may not have the experience in managing a rental property or the desire to learn. If this sounds familiar to you, then it may be time to either consider hiring a property manager or even selling the property altogether.

Other Services To Consider For Your Rental

A property manager can generally take care of many of the services you’ll need as a landlord, from maintenance contractors to landscaping professionals. One additional service you won’t want to overlook, however, is that of professional cleaning for your rental units.

With a professional home cleaning service, you can make sure your rental units are sparkling clean before your new tenants move in or when you’re showing your properties to prospective tenants. This saves you the hassle of cleaning the property yourself. Many professional cleaning companies offer specific move-in/move-out cleaning options that include everything from mopping floors to dusting and cleaning appliances so you can enjoy added confidence that your tenants will be wowed when they move in.

And since cleaning generally isn’t a service included by a property manager, this is something worth looking into as a separate service to further save you time and hassle.

As you can see, there are so many benefits (and a few potential drawbacks) of hiring a property manager when you own a residential rental property of any kind. Now that you have a better understanding of all that working with a property manager entails, you can make an informed decision regarding whether this is right for you.

If you’re interested in adding professional cleaning services to your rental property, Maid Sailors is here to help. We offer thorough move-in/move-out services to make your life easier. Contact us today to find out more about our cleaning services, or use our convenient online form to schedule your next cleaning service in 60 seconds or less!

TV Mounting Service Maid Sailors ane Eames chair

Hiring a TV Mounting Service

You’ve just treated yourself to a nice, new flat-screen television with a crystal-clear picture and incredible sound. But before you can really sit down and enjoy it, you need to get it mounted to your wall. Mounting a television to your wall rather than placing it on an entertainment stand can free up square footage in your home; it can also create a cleaner and more streamlined look in any space.

Still, mounting a TV can be a time-consuming task—and if it’s something you’ve never done before, you may want to hire a professional for the job. The good news is that whether you decide to hire a pro or attempt to mount your own TV, there are some practical yet effective steps you can take to get the job done as quickly as possible. From there, you can get to binge-watching your favorite shows on your new television.

Hire a Professional or DIY?

The first thing you’ll need to do is to decide whether you’re going to mount the TV yourself or turn to a professional to have the job done. Each option has its inherent benefits and potential drawbacks, so consider them carefully as you make your decision.

Benefits of DIY TV Mounting

The biggest advantage of mounting your own TV is that it saves you money; aside from having to purchase the TV-mounting hardware, the only thing this DIY project needs to cost you is your time. And of course, when you mount your own television, you don’t have to worry about working around a professional’s schedule. As soon as you get your TV mount, you can tackle this project.

Still, DIYing this project is something you should only do if you have the right tools and experience. Common tools you’ll need include a power drill, stud finder, level, and wrenches. If you’re looking to mount an especially large and heavy TV, keep in mind that you’ll also need the strength to lift the TV up in order to mount it to the wall.

Advantages of Hiring a Professional

If you don’t have the right tools or aren’t totally confident with mounting your own TV for any reason, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional to get this job done. Doing so can free up your own valuable time while also saving you the money you would spend on acquiring the tools/hardware you need to do the job yourself.

When you hire a professional to mount your TV, you can also enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that it’s being done by an experienced worker who has likely mounted dozens or even hundreds of televisions in the past. You may need a home cleaning service if you do not want to clean up after.

Choosing the Right TV Mounting Hardware

Whether you end up hiring a pro or tackling your own TV-mounting project, you’ll need the right mounting hardware to get started. As you shop for a TV mount, there are a few tips that’ll help you make the right choice.

Consider Your Wall Material

If you’re mounting your TV to a traditional drywall, you shouldn’t have any issues finding a mount that comes with the necessary drywall anchors and other small hardware to get the job done. However, if you’ll be mounting your TV to another type of surface, such as plaster or brick, keep in mind that other hardware may be needed. Special drills and drill bits, for example, will be required to mount to a brick or cement wall. This hardware may or may not be included with your TV mount, so be sure to check and buy accordingly.

Choose the Right Weight Limit

The weight and size limit on your TV mount is vital; if your TV weighs more than your mount is rated to hold, the mount itself could end up failing—resulting in your TV crashing to the ground and potentially causing a serious injury. With this in mind, be sure to carefully research the size and weight limits on potential TV mounts and purchase one that is rated to hold at least the weight of your television.

Look for Other Features

You can find all kinds of clever features in today’s TV mounts. For example, some may come with the ability to tilt or pivot your television screen, which can make for easier viewing at different angles or even in other rooms of your home. Some TV mounts may also come with additional shelving for things like cable boxes, video game consoles, and Blu-ray players. Take some time to consider which features are most important to you when choosing a TV mount so you can more easily narrow down your options.

Tips for Mounting Your Own TV

So, you’ve decided to take the DIY approach and mount your own TV. Great! Before you get started, take some time to review these practical tips.

Know Your Limits

First of all, understand that mounting a TV can be quite the upper-body workout; this will be especially true if you’re mounting a large TV. Even though televisions have come a long way in the past several years and are more lightweight than ever, they can still be heavy and cumbersome to lift. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted friend for help in lifting the TV when the time comes to attach it to the mount. The last thing you need is to accidentally drop/damage your new TV—or to injure yourself!

Invest in a Quality Stud Finder

If you’re mounting your TV to drywall, you’ll need to drill into the studs. These can be difficult to find without a quality stud finder, so pick one up at your local hardware store or order one online. You can also locate studs in your home by looking for electrical outlets or light switches. Typically, these are installed directly on a stud, and studs are located anywhere from 16-22 inches apart from there.

Use Tools to Hide Wires

A mounted TV with wires hanging all over the place isn’t a great look. If you’re taking the time to mount your TV, do it correctly by hiding the wires. You can do this by either hiding them in the wall or even bundling and running them through a wire-hiding strip that can adhere to the wall. Most of these strips are designed to be painted to match your walls as well.

Don’t Forget the Level

Once the mount is installed, be sure to check and be sure that it is completely level before attaching your TV. If things aren’t looking perfectly level after your TV is attached, check the instructions that came with your mounting kit. Usually, these mounts are able to be slightly adjusted in either direction to achieve a level appearance even if your installation wasn’t 100% perfect or precise.

How to Find the Right TV-Mounting Professional

There’s no shame in saving your own time and hassle by hiring a professional to mount your TV for you. Just make sure you choose the right person (or company) for the job by following these steps.

Make Sure They’ll Use Your Mount

If you’ve already purchased a mount, start by making sure that the company you’re considering will use the hardware you provide. Most will, but some may insist that you use their hardware or purchase the hardware from them directly.

Ask About Hiding Wires

You’ll also want to make sure that the company you hire will take the time to carefully conceal any wires so they are out of sight after the TV is mounted. Find out exactly what the “game plan” is for hiding your wires, whether it be running them through the wall or using a concealing strip.

Request Proof of Insurance

You’re more-or-less hiring a stranger to handle your new (and likely expensive) TV, so it’s in your best interest to make sure the person/company you hire carries liability insurance. This way, in the event that your TV (or any of your other property) is accidentally damaged, you won’t be left to pay for it. The same applies if the person who is mounting your TV is injured on-the-job.

Inquire About Pricing and Timelines

Price is always a concern when hiring a professional for this type of work, so make sure your TV-mounting services are being fairly priced. Find out whether the company you’re looking to hire charges by the hour or charges a flat fee for the entire project. You may also want to find out how many people will be sent out to complete the job. For example, if you’re having an especially large TV mounted, you’ll probably want to make sure there are at least two people being sent out to get the job done safely and efficiently.

Don’t forget to ask about the timeline for the project, either. While most TV-mounting projects can be completed in the matter of just a few hours, it is possible that a busy company may not be able to come out to your home for a week or two. If you’re having your TV mounted for an upcoming event that you’re hosting at your home, you’ll need to make sure that you have plenty of time to have the project done before your scheduled event.

Read Third-Party Reviews

Before you hire anybody to mount a TV in your home, take some time to read third-party reviews from real customers who have hired them in the past. This will help you get a better idea of how other clients have enjoyed (or not enjoyed) their experience with the company or professional. If you can’t find reviews for a company you’re considering, don’t hesitate to ask them for a list of references or testimonials.

Keeping Your TV (And More!) Dust-Free

Once your TV is mounted, you can sit back, relax, and begin watching your favorite movies and television shows! From there, it’s simply a matter of keeping your TV clean and dust-free so you can enjoy crystal-clear picture each time you turn it on. Of course, this can be easier said than done. If you’re looking for help in keeping your TV screens (and the rest of your home) dust-free, it may be time to do yourself a favor and hire a maid service.

At Maid Sailors, we offer thorough house-cleaning services and office cleaning services to suit your needs and budget. From light cleaning and dusting to deep-cleaning and everything in between, our experienced professionals are here to serve you. Give us a call at (212) 299-5170 and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have or schedule your first service today. You can also use our convenient online form to book your cleaning appointment now!

mac book nyc

Best Facebook Advertising Agency

These days, having a strong social media presence isn’t just a good idea—it’s an absolute must for businesses of all sizes. From startups to large organizations, being active on social media can help you better connect with your target audience and raise brand awareness. It’s no secret that Facebook remains one of the largest and most widely utilized social media platforms in the world. In fact, each month, Facebook sees over 2.5 billion active users. What this also means is that if your business isn’t spending at least some of your advertising budget on Facebook ads, you could be missing out big time.

One of the key reasons business owners don’t engage in social media advertising (Facebook ads included) is a lack of understanding. You may feel intimidated by Facebook’s advertising platform and may not know where to begin. This is where working with a professional Facebook advertising agency can really pay off. Specifically, Facebook advertising agencies exist to help you optimize your marketing budget, boost your brand awareness, and ultimately increase your bottom line through the use of customized and targeted Facebook ads.

We’ve put together this guide to help inform you about what it is that Facebook advertising agencies do, and how to determine whether it’s in your company’s best interest to hire one. We also provide tips for choosing a Facebook advertising agency that aligns with your organization’s needs, plus useful information on typical pricing structures for these agencies. Ultimately, we hope this guide will prove to be a useful resource as you move forward with your company’s social media advertising strategy.

Top 5 Facebook Advertising Agencies

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top-rated Facebook advertising agencies out there today. This list can be an excellent starting point if you decide to move forward with hiring a Facebook advertising agency.

1. Voy Media

Voy Media offers a wide range of advertising services, ranging from Facebook and Instagram ads to mobile advertising and retargeting. The professionals here specialize in creating and implementing customized Facebook advertising campaigns to boost your bottom line. And when you work with Voy Media, you always have a dedicated account strategist to answer your questions and help you succeed.

2. MuteSix

MuteSix boasts a large team of more than 150 professionals working to take your Facebook advertising campaign to the next level. They use a personal-driving, ROI-focused approach to execute successful campaigns, running split-testing when needed to make the best use of your advertising dollars. In fact, 82% of their clients have doubled their revenue within their first year working with MuteSix.

3. AdvertiseMint

AdvertiseMint’s team of social advertising experts is here to help you yield the best return on your company’s advertising budget. When you work with them for your Facebook advertising, you have a team of copywriters, video editors, designers, and analysts working with you from day one. AdvertiseMint also offers month-to-month contracts, so you’re free to try out their services with no long-term commitment.

4. Abacus

When Abacus launched, it was a dedicated Facebook advertising agency. Today, it has grown into a full-blown social media advertising platform—but Facebook ads remain a large part of what these professionals are about. From helping you narrow down the scope of your audience to building ads that truly engage your audience, Abacus can help with it all.

5. Bamboo

Bamboo offers creative services, managed services, and strategy services for your Facebook advertising campaign. When they first launched, they worked with startup businesses to help scale their companies. Today, they continue to work with businesses of all sizes and scopes, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

Advantages of Using a Facebook Advertising Agency

Still not 100% convinced that working with a Facebook advertising agency is right for you in the first place? That’s okay. In reality, hiring a Facebook ad agency isn’t the right decision for every business at every stage—but it is a wise choice for many. By taking some time to review the advantages and potential drawbacks to working directly with one of these agencies, you can ultimately make the decision that best suits your business at this exact point in time.

Save Valuable Time

Many businesses haven’t thrown their hats into the Facebook advertising ring because they simply don’t have the time or resources to do so. Think about it; if your business doesn’t have a dedicated social media strategist or advertising professional, the amount of time you’d need to put into learning about how Facebook advertising works is substantial.

This is where working with a Facebook ad agency can really save you a lot of time and hassle. When you have these kinds of advertising professionals on your time, you don’t have to worry about learning the ins and outs of Facebook’s advertising platform. Instead, you can focus on other important aspects of your business while you let the professionals do all the work.

Maximize Your Budget

No matter how big or small your Facebook advertising budget may be, one fact remains: you want to stretch your dollar as far as you can while having the maximum impact. Again, this is where a Facebook advertising company can be extremely valuable. Many of the advertising agencies are used to working with startups and smaller businesses where budgets are tight—so they know what it takes to maximize each dollar.

Even if you have a larger budget to work with, a Facebook ad agency will ensure that none of that money goes to waste by creating and executing ad campaigns with the highest ROI possible.

Stay on Top of Changes

Facebook’s advertising platform, like anything on the Web, grows and evolves all the time. Changes are made often, and keeping up with these can be laborious and time-consuming. At the same time, staying on top of these changes is important because oversights can be costly and affect the success of your ad campaign.

Having a dedicated Facebook advertising team on your side is useful here because social media advertising is what these professionals do for a living. You’re paying them to stay in-the-loop when it comes to changes in Facebook’s advertising platform, so you can stop worrying.

Save on Onboarding/Training Costs

You may be wondering to yourself, “why can’t I just hire my own social media specialist to handle my Facebook Ads?” And truthfully, there’s nothing stopping you from going this route. However, there are some important things to consider when you think about hiring a part- or full-time social media professional for your business.

For starters, you’ll need to spend a fair amount of time searching for the right candidate for the job. From there, you’ll need to go through the costly onboarding process and, of course, make sure you’re offering the same benefits to your social media specialist that you are to the rest of your employees.

And if there’s any turnover in your social media position, you’ll need to repeat this process. You could avoid this hassle by hiring an outside Facebook advertising agency instead.

Grow Your Business

Last but certainly not least, understand that your business (no matter what industry you’re in…even a home cleaning service) has so much to gain from Facebook advertising. You could be just one campaign away from really taking your company’s success to the next level. There are many specific ways in which Facebook ads can grow your business (aside from the obvious conversions and returns on your investment).

Perhaps most importantly, successful Facebook ads create brand awareness and help target your ideal audience. By boosting your social media presence and spreading the word about all that your company has to offer, a well-executed Facebook ad can turn your brand into a household name very quickly.

Potential Disadvantages of Using a Facebook Advertising Agency

Now that you have a better idea of the many reasons why businesses enjoy working with Facebook advertising professionals, it’s a good idea to consider some of the potential drawbacks as well. From there, you can make an informed decision for your own business.

Up-Front Costs

All that knowledge, expertise, and customized service comes at a premium. Hiring a Facebook advertising agency is going to eat up a chunk of your company’s marketing budget; there’s no way around that. This cost can often be difficult for businesses to justify, especially for smaller businesses that may not have much in the way of a marketing budget to begin with.

At the end of the day, however, Facebook advertising is actually one of the cheapest and most effective ways to grow your brand. And when you start to see the kind of return on investment your business can achieve with the right Facebook ad campaign in place, it becomes much easier to justify those initial costs.

Security Concerns

Yes, hiring a Facebook advertising agency means you’ll inherently be trusting somebody you don’t know with your company’s social media account and its password. This can be unnerving for some, especially when you consider all the security threats on the Web today. Ultimately, however, you should have nothing to worry about in this regard as long as you have taken the time to properly vet the company you’re hiring to trust with your business Facebook account.

Lack of Control

Another obstacle some business owners face when it comes to hiring a Facebook advertising agency is the perceived lack of control over how their ad campaigns turn out. While it’s true that yes, you’re going to be giving up some control to the creative professionals you’ve hired, any experienced ad agency is going to take the time to ensure you’re 100% happy with the ads they’re going to run before they launch them.

This means not only will you be able to see a preview of ads before they’re launched, but your feedback will be taken into account before major decisions are made. Likewise, any reputable ad agency is going to speak with you extensively to find out what your preferences are and what kind of brand message you’re trying to create before they even begin brainstorming your next campaign.

All of this is to say that when you hire the right ad agency, you’ll still have plenty of control over the entire process.

How to Choose the Best Facebook Advertising Agency

If you’ve decided that hiring a Facebook advertising agency is right for you, be sure to check out the list at the beginning of this guide. This is a great starting point to help you find the agency that best suits your needs. Of course, your needs may vary depending on the size of your business, your advertising budget, and even the industry in which you operate. With that in mind, there are some additional steps you may want to take before you choose an ad agency for your business.

Know Who You’re Working With

Make sure you can get a true feel for who you’ll be working with throughout your campaign. Ideally, you’ll be assigned an account manager or other point-of-contact whom you can call, text, or e-mail with questions anytime. Other members of your team may include a design expert, strategist, and content manager. Regardless, be sure that you have all the names and contact information of the people who will be working on your team before you sign any kind of contract or formal agreement.

Check Out Examples

Any reputable Facebook advertising agency will likely have some case studies published to their website or otherwise readily available for you to review upon request. These case studies will provide you with some real-world examples of companies or other organizations they’ve helped to achieve success through Facebook advertising campaigns. These case studies can also be a great way for you to get a better feel for the kind of creative content the agency comes up with, which can help you further decide whether they may be a good fit for your organization.

Look for Certification

One of the first things you should do before you even think about working with a particular ad agency is to make sure they’re Facebook Blueprint Certified. This certification is offered directly through Facebook and requires the passing of an exam to receive. The purpose of this certification is to ensure that advertising agencies and other social media marketing professionals are proficient in Facebook’s advertising platform and how it works.

By choosing an agency that is certified, you can be sure that the professionals you’re working with are up-to-date on Facebook’s (and Instagram’s) advertising essentials. Having this certification also shows that the agency you’re thinking about hiring takes their work seriously, as earning this certification is not free.

Avoid Long-Term Commitments

If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of Facebook advertising, you probably don’t want to make any long-term financial commitments with an agency. Unfortunately, not all agencies offer short-term contracts, so this is something you may need to shop around a bit to find. Ideally, you’ll actually want to find an agency that will allow you to go month-to-month initially. This is a great way to see what the agency can do for you while having the peace of mind in knowing that you can stop using their services at any time.

Working with an agency that doesn’t require a long-term commitment also gives them more incentive to continue earning your business.

Make Communication a Priority

One of the most important aspects of working with a remote Facebook ad professional is communication. Being able to get ahold of a point-of-contact quickly and easily when you have questions/concerns is a must. You can “test” an agency’s communication by making note of how long it takes for them to respond to your messages or return a phone call at this stage. If you have to wait more than 24 hours for a response, then it’s probably time to move onto another agency.

Before you sign a contract with a Facebook advertising agency, you may also want to see if there is any kind of clause on communication. Are you guaranteed a response within a certain number of hours? Are you guaranteed to be able to get in contact with somebody 24/7? These are important things to look for when working with any kind of social media professional, as social media never shuts off!

Take Online Reviews Seriously

Don’t neglect to do some research of your own when finding out about an advertising agency’s reputation with their clients/customers. Taking the time to read some third-party reviews can truly give you a better feel for how past clients have been treated by the company and what kinds of results they have seen.

Be Clear About Pricing

Budget is most likely a concern as you look to hire a Facebook advertising agency, so you’ll want to make sure you truly understand what you’re paying for and how your payments will be handled. For example, some companies may require an up-front fee, whereas others may not collect any money until they achieve a return on your investment.

There are so many different payment structures out there when it comes to Facebook advertising agencies today, so be sure to read the next section thoroughly to better understand how some of the most common payment platforms operate.

Understanding Facebook Advertising Agency Pricing

The following Facebook ad pricing structures are outlined below in order from most common to least common. Be sure to shop around to find an agency that aligns with your preferences in this regard.

Agency Rate

An agency rate refers to a flat rate (often a percentage) that is charged for their services. This rate is typically a set percentage of the total amount of your advertising budget. For example, an agency with a 10% rate would charge $100 on a $1,000 Facebook advertising campaign. The nice thing about this type of pricing structure is that services are often all-inclusive with this type of rate; this means you likely won’t have to spend extra for creative services, content writing, or other add-ons.

Flat Rate

Another option is to go with an agency that charges a flat rate. This is usually a flat monthly fee that the company charges you regardless of how much you spend on Facebook ads that month. This can be appealing to small businesses or organizations with limited budgets, as it provides a predictable monthly cost.

Agency Plus Flat Rate

In some cases, you may find that an agency wants to combine the agency rate and flat rate model of pricing. This means you’ll pay a percentage of your ad spending directly to the agency, on top of a flat monthly rate. If you decide to go this route, make sure that what you’re spending on a combined agency/flat rate isn’t more than what you’d be spending with an agency that sticks to just one of these pricing models.

Revenue Share

Less common (but still an option with some agencies) is a revenue-sharing model, which means that your agency only gets paid based on the revenue or ROI that they generate for you. The nice thing about this kind of payment structure is that it gives your ad team more incentive to work hard and achieve results. However, some businesses don’t like the idea of paying directly out of their returns.

The Bottom Line on Facebook Advertising Agencies

If your business isn’t currently taking advantage of Facebook advertising, now is a good time to get started. And if you don’t have the time or resources to research and launch your own campaign, hiring an experienced Facebook ad agency can be one of the best decisions you make for your business. The key, of course, is finding the right agency for the job. Find a Facebook ad agency that treats your company’s marketing budget as if it were their own; driven to helping you maximize your Facebook ad ROI and building your brand’s reputation in the process.

The Ultimate Guide To Moving To NYC

Moving to New York City can be equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. Exciting because NYC is the beating heart of the U.S., and nerve-wracking because there’s so much to do to get ready for the big move. In order to make your move to The Big Apple just a little easier, we have put together a moving checklist, a breakdown that allows you to take care of one moving-related task at a time. You may also, consider staying in an Airbnb before you move into your new place to get it up and ready.

Two To Three Months Before The Move

__ Edit your belongings. As much as you may dread the task, there is something about sorting through your belongings that is deeply satisfying. Go through each room of your home and decide what you can’t live without, what you want to denote, and what needs to be tossed. Keep in mind that living space in NYC is at a premium and you’re unlikely to have the space to keep everything. Besides, wouldn’t you rather move only with the belongings you truly need or enjoy?

__ Call a Realtor or leasing agent. If you haven’t already established a place to live, now is the time to get a Realtor or leasing agent on the job. They’ll need to know what you’re looking for, where you’d like to live, and how much you plan on spending. It is vital to work with an agent who will dedicate himself to finding you what you’re looking for in plenty of time for you to visit and sign a lease.

__ Compile a moving binder. Keeping everything in one place may just save your sanity. It’s the perfect place to keep your moving estimates, home listings, an inventory of everything you plan to move, utility turn-off and turn-on schedule, and receipts you’ll need for next year’s taxes.

__ Research moving companies. Whether you plan to hire a moving company or rent a truck and move yourself, now is the time to gather quotes. Do not rely on a phone or online quote if you’re hiring a moving company. Request an on-site visit and a written estimate (with a “not to exceed” price). Make sure the company you’re working with has a U.S. Department of Transportation number. It’s also a good idea to check with your state’s Better Business Bureau to get a sense of the company’s reputation.

__ Research auto transport companies. If you plan on having your personal vehicles transported, now is the time to get estimates and schedule a pick-up. Ask how long the trip will take and get an iron-clad delivery date.

Six To Eight Weeks Before The Move

__ Choose a mover (or truck rental company). Now is the time to confirm your reservation and make sure you have everything you need – including the moving date and costs – in writing.

__ Visit NYC. Hopefully, your agent has a few homes for you to view. Ideally, you will find something you love and sign a sales contract or lease.

__ Take measurements. Once you’ve signed a sales contract or lease, measure the dimensions of your new home. Remember to measure the doorways in order to ensure your furniture will fit through. Because so many buildings in NYC are walk-ups and not doorman buildings, you’ll also need to measure how much room you will have navigate furniture up the stairs.

__ Eat up. Create a menu plan that allows you to use the perishable foods in your freezer.

__ Find a cleaning company. Ask anyone who has ever made a big move what their least favorite task was and they are likely to tell you that it was cleaning their old home before move-out and cleaning their new home before move-in. Hire a cleaning company to come in behind you as you’re moving out. The last thing you’re going to want to do is clean a home you’re no longer going to live in when you’re already tired from the move. At the same time, schedule a cleaning company to clean your new home before you move in. As much as you might hope that your new place will be spic-and-span on move-in day, that is often not the case. Besides, living in a new space is so much more pleasurable when every surface is clean.

__ Order moving supplies. Unless a moving company will be packing for you, you’ll need to gather bubble wrap, tape, boxes, and permanent markets. Don’t forget specialty boxes for items such as televisions, dishes, and your wardrobe.

Four Weeks Before The Move

__ Send change-of-address cards. It may seem a bit early to send your new address out to friends and family, but you’re likely to be too busy over the next month to find the time. While you’re at it, pick up a change-of-address package at the post office and have your mail forwarded. If you’d rather, you can change your address online through the US Postal Service website.

__ Begin packing. Place at least one box in each room of your home. As you pass an item you rarely use, wrap it in bubble wrap and slip it into the box. You may be surprised by how few items you actually use on a daily basis.

__ Make a list. Items like an expensive television, computer, or musical instrument may require extra insurance. Make a note of those items as you come across them.

__ Label everything clearly. The more clearly you label a box and its contents, the easier it’s going to be to find what you need in your new home.

__ Arrange for a transfer of records. If you have children, have their school records transferred to their new school district. Request that medical records be transferred for each member of your family. Finally, ask your veterinarian to provide you with a copy of your pet’s health records. Be sure to keep those veterinarian records with you as you travel with your pet(s).

Two Weeks Before The Move

__ Get tuned up. If you plan on driving to NYC, ask your mechanic which services are needed. At the very least, have your car(s) tuned up.

__ Contact moving companies. Call your mover, truck rental company and/or auto transportation company to confirm arrangements.

One Week Before The Move

__ Put together a safe box. Empty the contents of your safe deposit box and place them in the safe box. Add important items such as jewelry, passports, social security cards, and other vital information. You’ll personally transport the safe box on moving day.

__ Pack last minute items. Now is the time to pack the toaster, coffee maker, and other items used on a daily basis.

__ Have prescriptions refilled. Make sure you have enough of the medications you’ll need until you have a chance to meet your new doctor in NYC.

Days Leading Up To The Move

__ Pack your suitcases. You will need enough clothes to get you through until boxes are emptied. Now is a good time to get suitcases packed for every member of the family. While they may not have a suitcase, make sure each of your pets has the supplies they need packed and ready to go.

__ Clean the refrigerator and (if needed) defrost the freezer. Whether you’re taking it with you or not, make sure it’s empty and clean. If you’d like, this is one of the jobs a professional cleaning crew can take care of for you. Most of them specialize in move out cleanings that you do not have to worry about.

__ Get payments in order. Think of all the people you’re going to need to pay over the course of your move. In addition to the moving or truck rental company, you may have to pay for a hotel stay, and meals along the road. Go by the bank for any money orders, cashier’s checks, or cash you will need.

__ Enlist a babysitter. If you have young children or pets, make sure someone is looking out for them when the movers are there. Small children and pets are both tripping hazards for the movers and frankly, none of it is much fun for kids or pets.

__ Get generous. There are items — such as alcohol and plants — that a moving company cannot legally transport. Your current neighbors would probably love to be the recipients of both.

Day Of The Move

__ Verify moving company. If you have hired a moving company, make sure the USDOT number painted on the side of the truck matches the number on the written estimate. Verify that your not-to-exceed estimate is going to be honored.

__ Count boxes. Moving-related losses do happen. It’s not uncommon for moving companies to misplace a box or two. Carefully examine the packing slip before signing off on it. Do the same (with even more care) when your belongings are delivered. Once you’ve signed, you’re telling the company that they have delivered everything as promised. If you later realize that something was lost in transit you have no evidence to support your claim.

Like any journey, making the move to NYC begins one step at a time. The only task you need to focus on is the one right before you. Follow along with this checklist and you are sure to get everything done precisely when it should be.