How to Make Your Restaurant Prepared For The Holiday Rush

The festive season is one of the busiest in the year. This season comes with broad opportunities to make a significant connection with customers. This creates a brand image you would like customers to associate with your brand in the New Year. The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to grow your sales. Here are ways to prepare your restaurant to cash in on the holiday season.

Festive Decoration

To put your restaurant in a festive mood, decoration is necessary. There are various Christmas and New Year decoration ideas to include in your restaurant. The decoration in your restaurant should be visible by people outside with some exceptional decoration at the entrance. Include lights, Christmas tree, and muffins on all tables for a festive ambiance. Customers will love this as soon as they step into the door.

Special Menu

Give your customers something new during the holiday season. Prepare a special menu for the holiday season. Include special meals you have not been serving or include some of the mouthwatering favorites including salads and cold meat. For the older generation, prepare traditional roast meats, plum pudding, and baked vegetables. Don’t miss the traditional Christmas dessert made with meringue base with whipped cream and fruit topping. You can create a special Christmas menu and one for the new year.

Enough Supplies

The best way to avoid stress and frustration during the festive season rush in your restaurant is to have enough supplies. Now is the moment to order wholesale restaurant supplies online before the season heats up. A reputable supplier will have a range of supplies in various categories to match your business requirements. Ensure to purchase supplies wholesale to ensure that your stocks don’t run out during the festive rush and to benefit from special discounts.

Efficient Customer Relationship Management

Calls and sending texts to people on your client list is part of a customer loyalty program. Ensure to target people who came to your restaurant during last year’s festive season. Calling or texting them asking whether you can book them this season too is a great idea. Customers love businesses that warmly invite them. The efficient use of your CRM builds customer relationships and fosters better rapport with existing customers to encourage retention and loyalty.

Alternatively, avail a range of royalty offers to attract new and current customers. When contacting the customers, begin with a warm greeting before inviting them to your restaurant for your festive preparations. Talk about your royalty program to make your invitation more appealing. This will make you except customers and create better relationships with customers for brand loyalty.

Organize a Festive Season Event

Most people prefer spending the festive season with their loved ones. However, you can lure them to your restaurant by organizing special theme nights. These will attract a crowd on days such as New Year’s eve. Alternatively, you can organize special nights for celebrations until the New Year comes. People are fascinated by special musical nights or events for putting them in a celebratory mood. Such events are socially exciting and fun-filled to put attendees in a festive mood.

Offer Gift Coupons and Freebies

The Christmas season is filled with immense spending opportunities. These make most people run out of cash. Fortunately, you can lure people to come to your restaurant with a promise to help them spend less. Additionally, with the immense gift-giving during the festive season, there is no reason why not to give a loved one a gift or shopping voucher.

These will attract more customers to your restaurant. People love vouchers for offering flexibility and various options. Dining coupons at your establishment are a wonderful gift option to boost sales. Keep the validity if the vouchers and gift cards longer. This will keep people flocking your restaurant beyond the festive season.

Preparing for Chaos

People are usually in a celebratory mood during the festive season. However, some customers can get rowdy after some drinks. This is true when you host an event or party at your restaurant. So, it pays to plan for this chaos. This is very important since one rowdy customer can become unruly and disrupt the peace of other customers and the ambiance of your establishment.

Have someone to take care of such people before your place becomes a war zone. Hire some bouncers to keep a keen eye on whoever might have the potential to cause chaos at your restaurant. This will ensure that all your customers make the most of their experience. Additionally, it saves you from this extra stress of trying to keep things in order.

Bottom Line

The festive season is the busiest throughout the year making it a wonderful opportunity to make some good money. This requires adequate preparation to ensure serving customers without any mishaps. Buying supplies for your establishment in bulk at wholesale price is a proactive idea to save yourself the stress when the season heats up.

Hiring a Yard Clean Up Service

Keeping the inside of your home clean and tidy can be time-consuming enough—but maintaining your lawn and its landscaping can seem like a near-impossible task for many. From weeding and mowing during the summer months to leaf and debris removal during the spring and fall, there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with owning land.

In addition to hiring a yard care service, many busy landowners also choose to employ yard clean-up services to keep their lawns looking their best all year round.

What Does a Yard Clean-Up Service Offer?

Specific services offered by a yard clean-up company can vary, but most offer the same basic options that include some or all of the following.

Leaf/Debris Removal

If you have a lot of trees on your property, you’ll likely be faced with the large task of removing them all towards the end of fall. This can be time-consuming, especially if you don’t have a leaf blower and are relying on an old-fashioned rake and lawn waste bag to get the job done. A yard clean-up service can handle the removal of leaves from your property, as well as other debris (like fallen branches or other yard waste).

Weed Removal

Weeds are a more common problem during the spring and summer months. Not only do weeds detract from the appearance of your yard and the curb appeal of your home, but they can pose a threat to healthy grass and plants on your property.

A yard clean-up service can handle weeding your yard and landscaping beds so they can look their best. This can also be done during the spring months to give you a “clean slate” before you plant any flowers, shrubs, or other seasonal plants on your property.

Tree and Shrub Pruning

Many yard clean-up companies also offer tree- and shrub-pruning services to keep your plants and shrubs healthy. Pruning is typically done during the fall months, but this can vary depending on the types of plants or trees with which you’re working. A yard clean-up company will know how much to prune to keep your shrubs and/or trees healthy and encourage proper regrowth in the following seasons.

Mulch Installation

Adding a new mulch bed or refreshing an existing mulch bed can be a lot of work, which is why many people hire yard clean-up services to have this project taken care of. A new or refreshed mulch bed on your property can also add lovely curb appeal to your home. A professional company will have the tools needed to lay mulch and will save you the hassle of hauling it to your home.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Yard Clean-Up Service

Now that you have a better understanding of what a yard clean-up service entails, is hiring one right for you? If you’re still not sure, it can be helpful to weigh some of the possible pros and cons.

Advantages of Hiring a Yard Clean-Up Service

Perhaps the biggest benefit to hiring a yard clean-up service, as hiring a moving help service, is that it saves you an enormous amount of time and hassle. Depending on the size of your yard, you could easily spend hours of your valuable time each week taking care of your lawn. Combine the sheer amount of time required to maintain a lawn with the back-breaking physical labor that goes into it—and it’s easy to see why hiring a professional could be worth the money.

When you hire a reputable yard clean-up service, you can also rest assured that these are trained and experienced professionals working on your lawn. They’ll have access to some of the best tools, equipment, and other resources to get the job done efficiently and to keep your yard looking great.

Thinking of selling your home in the near future? A poorly maintained lawn can detract from your curb appeal, which may make it harder to sell your place. Many people looking to sell a home will hire yard clean-up services to freshen things up and make sure the home is presentable both inside and out before listing.

Potential Drawbacks of Hiring a Yard Clean-Up Service

As you can probably imagine, one of the biggest potential drawbacks of hiring a lawn clean-up service is the cost. DIYing your yard clean-up won’t cost you a thing (other than maybe the cost of a rake, some yard waste bags, and other basic supplies)—whereas hiring a professional isn’t cheap. Still, it’s important to think about the value of your time and energy when considering whether the cost of hiring a clean-up service is worth it. For many homeowners, it is.

When you hire a yard clean-up service, you’re also trusting the professionals to properly care for your yard and know what they’re doing. If you hire somebody who isn’t knowledgeable about a particular tree or shrub on your property, for example, he or she may end up harming or even killing the plant/tree by over-pruning it. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing an experienced and knowledgeable professional for this type of work.

How Much Does a Yard Clean-Up Service Cost?

If you’re thinking about hiring a yard clean-up service after weighing some of the pros and cons, you may now be wondering how much this type of work is going to cost you. Ultimately, the cost of hiring a yard clean-up service can vary greatly depending on the region where you live and a number of other factors. For example, you’re going to spend more on yard clean-up in the middle of New York City or the Bronx than you would in Seattle or Minneapolis, where the cost of living is lower.

In general, however, you should expect to spend around $700 to hire a professional yard clean-up service for several hours of work. Be sure to also consider some of the most common factors that may affect the rate you end up paying.

Hourly or Flat-Rate?

Most yard clean-up companies will charge by-the-hour, but this isn’t always the case, so it’s important to ask. If the service is being charged by-the-hour, make sure to find out if any other costs will be incurred (such as the cost for materials if you’re having a mulch bed installed).

Timing/Notice

The time of year you’re looking to hire a yard clean-up company and how quickly you need the work done may also affect how much you pay. Generally, the demand for yard clean-up is higher during the spring and fall months, so you can expect to spend more during this time.

If you need a quick turn-around on yard clean-up, you can also expect the work to be more expensive. This may be the case, for example, if a tree limb fell on your property during a heavy wind storm and you need it hauled away as soon as possible.

Yard Size/Services Needed

The exact services and the size of your yard that needs to be cleaned up will also have a major impact on the price you pay. Lawn size can play an especially big role in your price if you’re looking to have a service like all-over weeding of leaf-blowing done.

Tips for Choosing the Right Yard Clean-Up Service

As you begin exploring yard clean-up services in your area, you may be overwhelmed by the number of companies available. How can you choose the one that’s best for your exact needs and budget? By following these tips, you can “weed out” the less reputable companies and find the best yard clean-up service in your area.

Seek Out Transparent Pricing

Any reputable yard clean-up company worth your time should be happy to provide you with an on-site quote for the exact services you’re requesting. It is important that the company actually come out to your property to provide you with the quote in order to ensure its accuracy; if the company will only provide you with a non-binding estimate over the phone, it may be time to look elsewhere.

When you receive a quote from a yard clean-up company, make sure to find out exactly what’s included. The written quote should provide a detailed break-down of costs so you can see what you’re paying for. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about costs; a reputable company will be happy to answer them for you.

Consider Availability

If timing is a factor on your yard clean-up job, make sure the company you’re looking at is available when you need them. For example, if you’re planning to list your home for sale next week and need the work completed before them, you’ll want to be sure the clean-up crew is available for a rush job.

If you prefer to be home when the clean-up crew is working on your yard, you’ll also want to check the specific scheduling availability for the company. Many clean-up crews only work regular business hours during the week, whereas others may accept requests for weekend services.

Make Sure Workers Are Vetted

For your protection and peace of mind, make sure the company you end up hiring takes time to carefully vet their workers. This means they should be background checked. If a company cannot assure you that their workers have been vetted, then it’s time to move onto another business.

Get Peace of Mind With a Guarantee

Ideally, you’ll also want to choose a company that offers some sort of satisfaction guarantee on their services. This way, if you’re unhappy with the clean-up work for any reason, you can have the crew come back out and correct any issues or mistakes.

Check Out Reviews and Testimonials

Reading online reviews and testimonials is a great way to learn more about a yard clean-up company’s reputation within the community. Check for third-party reviews (rather than trusting reviews published on a company’s website directly), as these will tend to be the most reputable and honest.

If you’re thinking about hiring a less experienced company that doesn’t have a lot of reviews, don’t hesitate to ask for at least a short list of references that you can contact personally.

Find Out Exactly What’s Included

Some yard clean-up companies may try to lure you in with a low estimate/quote, only to nickel and dime you when it comes time for you to pay. Make sure you know exactly what’s included and what may not be included with your quoted price. For example, if you’re paying for leaf removal, be sure that the leaves will actually be bagged up and removed entirely from your property rather than left in bags on your lawn. Some companies may charge extra for hauling things away, so it’s best to check ahead of time.

Don’t Overlook Insurance Coverage

Liability insurance is a must when hiring any company to work on your property, so ask for proof. Never hire a yard clean-up service that cannot provide you with proof of liability insurance. It’s not worth the risk! Overall, hiring a yard clean-up service can be an excellent way to keep your yard tidy while saving you time and hassle. Just be sure to heed our tips and advice to find the right crew for the job!

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!

Refresh Your Living Space With Homemade Potpourri

Keeping your home smelling its best isn’t easy. Whether you’re notorious for forgetting to empty that kitchen trash can or you simply have pets who leave their signature scents throughout your home, unwanted and lingering smells are a problem many people deal with. Before you resort to buying harsh air fresheners or room sprays, however, have you thought about trying potpourri?

Better yet, you can actually make your own potpourri in just a matter of a couple hours—and the lovely scent can last for many months to come.

What is Potpourri, Exactly?

Specifically, potpourri refers to a mixture of natural ingredients, such as dried flower petals, herbs, and spices that are placed in an open bowl or other containers to release their natural scents. Potpourri is most often used in homes to add a pleasant fragrance to a particular room or living space, and it’s not uncommon for the scent of a single potpourri batch to last for months or even years.

Potpourri can be bought at many home goods stores and even some grocery stores, but you can also make your own at home using some simple ingredients.

Benefits of Making Your Own Potpourri

Why make your own potpourri when you could just pick some up at the store or use a traditional air-freshening spray? There are a few reasons, actually.

Keep Your Home Smelling Great

First and foremost, potpourri will keep your living space smelling fresh. A single bowl of potpourri can easily spread natural and lovely scents throughout a large space, and there’s no need to plug in an air freshener or spray an odor neutralizer. Simply pour the potpourri into a shallow bowl or other containers that will allow the scents to release and circulate throughout the room and you can enjoy the fragrance for many months or years to come without having to lift a finger.

Avoid Harsh Chemical Fragrances

When you buy an air-freshener spray, these often contain harsh chemicals and other questionable ingredients. Do you really want to be spraying those into the air that you and your loved ones breathe? Potpourri is all-natural, using ingredients such as dried citrus, flower petals, and spices—so you never have to worry about potential contact with dangerous ingredients.

Save Money on Store-Bought Options

Even if you find a natural air freshener or odor neutralizer, the cost compared to a batch of homemade potpourri can be very high. By making your own potpourri, you can save yourself some money—especially if you choose ingredients that you already have on-hand or that are in-season (and thus less expensive).

Customize Your Scent

Part of the beauty of making your own potpourri is simply being able to personalize your scent to suit your tastes. There are so many possibilities when it comes to potpourri scent combinations, such as a cinnamon-based potpourri for the holiday season or a citrus one for the summer months. Many people enjoy being able to pick and choose the exact ingredients that go into their batch of homemade potpourri for a truly one-of-a-kind home fragrance.

How to Make Homemade Potpourri

Now that we’ve convinced you to try your hand at DIY potpourri, where should you begin? Follow our simple step-by-step guide and you’ll be on your way to a fresh and fragrant creation in no time.

Choose Your Scents

Begin by brainstorming some scent ideas. What are some of your favorite types of fragrances? Perhaps you tend to gravitate towards food-based scents like citrus, rosemary, or cinnamon. Or maybe you’re more a fan of florals. You may also want to consider a seasonal scent based on the particular time of year. For example, some fresh tulips and daffodils could make an excellent base for a springtime potpourri.

If you’re stumped on which ingredients you should include in your potpourri to achieve your ideal scent, there are plenty of “recipes” to check out online!

Gather Your Supplies

Begin by making a shopping run for the ingredients you need. Make sure you have parchment paper and a large baking sheet, as you’ll need these to dry out your ingredients. Many potpourri ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, though you may need to head to a florist if you’re looking for specific flowers or other plants.

Spread Ingredients Onto Parchment Paper

Once you have all your supplies gathered, it’s time to spread out your first batch of potpourri onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. For flowers, it’s generally best to snip off the heads of smaller flowers before spreading them; for large flowers, you can even remove and spread individual petals if you desire.

Next, add some more scent to your potpourri by layering sprigs of fresh herbs, citrus slices, or both to your mixture. Spices, such as cinnamon sticks or cloves, can also be added during this step. If you’d like a boost of scent, you can also add some essential oils to a small spray bottle and lightly spritz the entire mixture for good measure.

Dry Ingredients in the Oven

Next, pop the entire baking sheet into the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93.33 °C). To completely dry out the ingredients,  you’ll probably need to leave them in the oven for about two hours. Keep a close eye on them, though, to make sure nothing begins to burn.

Spritz With Essential Oil

Remove the baking sheet once the ingredients are dried out to the point of being brittle but not charred. From there, you can add a little extra scent if you desire by spraying some more essential oils onto the entire pan. From there, simply allow the potpourri to cool completely before gathering it into a bowl or other open container to display openly and enjoy!

Other Ways to Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

Setting out some homemade potpourri is one of the best ways to keep your home smelling fresh. And of course, what is more beautiful than a carefully arranged bowl of potpourri? Still, if you’re looking for help in keeping your home smelling and looking its best, you may also benefit from hiring a professional maid service.

At Maid Sailors, an Airbnb cleaning service and professional cleaning service, are committed to helping you keep a clean and tidy home from top to bottom. Let us do the dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, and more so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy! Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 or book now using our online request form. Your satisfaction is always guaranteed, so you have nothing to lose (and a lot of free time to gain)!

Your Comprehensive Guide to Hiring a Cleaning Lady

These days, more New Yorkers are turning to professional cleaning services to keep their homes neat and tidy. Have you been thinking about hiring a cleaning lady? If so, then you may be wondering where to begin. With so many cleaning services scattered throughout your neighborhood, you want to figure out which is best for your specific cleaning needs, budget, and schedule.

Benefits of Hiring a Cleaning Lady

If you’re still not 100% sold on the idea of spending your hard-earned money on a cleaning lady, now is a good time to revisit some of the key benefits.

Free Up Valuable Time

Often times, people are hesitant to hire a cleaning service because of the cost. However, it’s also important to consider the value of your time! How many hours do you spend cleaning your living space each week? If you could free up that time, what would you do with it? When you really start to consider the true value of your free time, it becomes easier to justify the costs associated with hiring a cleaning lady.

Entertain With Confidence

If you’ve ever hesitated to invite a friend or loved one to your home because you were embarrassed by its cleanliness (or lack thereof), then it’s probably time to hire a cleaning service. This is especially true around the holiday season and other times of year where you may be planning to host parties or gatherings. By having your place professionally cleaned before guests arrive, you can entertain with confidence.

Cut Down on Sick Time

A cleaner home is a healthier home. With regular dusting and sanitation of surfaces, you can get rid of unwanted germs and bacteria throughout your living space. As a result, you may find that you get sick less often or that you can even breathe easier without dust and allergens floating around your indoor air.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Cleaning Lady

Now that you better understand why so many people use professional cleaning services these days, it’s time to begin your search for your ideal cleaning lady. As you begin narrowing down cleaners in your area, consider setting up an interview (whether in-person or over-the-phone) to ask some important questions that will help you reach your decision.

What Services Do You Offer?

Not all cleaning professionals offer the exact same services, so if you have something specific in mind, make sure that this is offered. For example, if you live in an apartment building but want the outsides of your windows cleaned, this is a service you may have a hard time finding a maid for. Instead, you may be better off hiring an additional worker to clean your windows separately. Or, if you are looking for someone who can do an office cleaning, you may want to find a maid service who can handle that.

Some of the more common cleaning services offered by maids include general house cleaning, deep-cleaning, and move-in/move-out cleanings.

What Days/Hours Are You Available?

Your schedule is probably busy enough as it is. The last thing you need is to have to re-arrange your schedule to work around that of your house cleaners. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to find out what your cleaning lady’s availability is like. Many maids work Monday-Friday, though some may also work weekends.

If scheduling is a concern, you may also be able to find a cleaning lady who will come to your home while you’re at work or handling other obligations. However, not all cleaning ladies are comfortable with working while you’re not there—so this can vary,

Will You Bring All Your Own Supplies?

Cleaning supplies can be costly, so finding a cleaning professional who brings her own products and other supplies can save you a lot of hassle and money. Most cleaning ladies will probably offer to use their own supplies at no additional charge. Some may even offer green-cleaning services, though you may end up paying extra.

If you want your cleaner to use a specific product in your home, make sure she will accommodate that request as well. In most cases, all you have to do is leave out the cleaner you wish to use and most maids will oblige.

In addition to cleaning products (such as window cleaner and disinfectant spray), you’ll also want to make sure that your maid will provide her own vacuums, mops, and other equipment if you don’t have your own. In some cases, you may need to give a heads-up to your cleaning lady ahead of time so she can bring the necessary equipment to your job.

What is Your Pricing Structure?

Price is a common concern when it comes to hiring a cleaning lady. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should automatically choose the cleaner who can offer you the cheapest rates. In general, you get what you pay for—so your goal should be to find the best value for a quality cleaning job.

Some cleaning ladies will charge by-the-hour, whereas others may charge a flat fee for your job. In addition to finding out how much your cleaning job will cost ahead of time, you’ll also want to inquire as to whether a deposit is required and what forms of payment are accepted. Don’t hesitate to ask about tipping policies as well. In general, if you’re hiring an independent contractor as your cleaning lady, you aren’t expected to tip. If you’re booking through a cleaning company, however, you may want to find out whether a gratuity is included with your price.

Do You Carry Liability Insurance?

Choosing a cleaning lady who carries liability insurance is an absolute must. While unlikely, there are many things that could potentially go wrong during a cleaning job. Your cleaning lady could accidentally damage something in your home, or she could be injured in a fall down the stairs. Either way, a liability insurance policy provides both you and your cleaning professional with extra protection so that you’re not held financially or legally liable in these kinds of scenarios.

Any reputable cleaning professional should be able to provide you with proof of liability insurance, so don’t hire until you’re sure.

Will You Submit to a Background Check?

Whether you’ll be present while your house cleaner is working or not, having a cleaning lady who has been extensively background checked is also a must. Any reputable cleaning company will require that all their cleaners pass a background check before being hired. If you’re hiring through a cleaning company, make sure that this is the case. If you’re hiring an independent cleaner, don’t be afraid to ask her to submit to a background check. There is nothing wrong with wanting to know that you can trust the person you are inviting into your home.

Do You Have a List of References?

Some cleaners may have a list of references to provide for people whose homes they have cleaned in the past. This can be a great way to reach out to past (or current) clients get a better feel for the type of work they received from your prospective cleaner. Even if your cleaner doesn’t advertise a list of references, it never hurts to ask.

If you’re hiring through a larger cleaning company, you may also be able to find some reviews online. Third-party reviews are a great way to find out more about what others have had to say about your cleaner’s quality of work, demeanor, and more.

Looking for the Best Cleaning Service?

If you’re still having trouble finding the best cleaning lady for your needs in your neighborhood, have you checked out Maid Sailors? We take pride in offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee with every cleaning service booked. We’re also competitively priced and offer a wide range of cleaning services to meet your needs, including recurring cleaning services at a discounted rate.

All of our cleaners are bonded, insured, and fully vetted for your peace of mind. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to schedule your first cleaning appointment or book online. We look forward to helping you end your search for the best cleaning lady!

Cleaning Quotes and Cleaning Sayings

Here are some relatable quotes for that love-hate relationship we all have with cleaning. Don’t feel like cleaning? Today, more busy and hard-working people than ever are turning to professional maid services to have their homes cleaned from top to bottom. Hiring a cleaning service allows you the satisfaction of coming home to a clean space while also freeing up more of your valuable time.

Yes, it will always be cheaper to handle your own household cleaning. However, when you factor in the actual value of your precious time, it’s easy to see why so many people turn to professional cleaning services instead. The small amount you’ll pay to have a maid take care of those tedious cleaning tasks can quickly pay off, allowing you to spend more time with loved ones and doing the things you truly enjoy.

Top Cleaning Quotes

P.J. O’Rourke

Everybody wants to save the earth; no one wants to help mom do the dishes.


Maid Sailors

A recurring cleaning will make you a happy person.


Cecil Baxter

You don’t get anything clean without getting something else dirty.


Shelley Malec Vitale

I think homes that are too tidy, neat and sparse look like nothing interesting is going on.


Rose Macaulay

At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.


Lisa Wingate

That’s the only thing you can do with a mess. Start cleaning it up, a little at a time.


Marcelene Cox

Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door.


Author Unknown

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.


Marie Kondo

The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.


Erma Bombeck

Housework, if you do it right, can kill you.


Evan Esar

Housework is what a woman does that nobody notices unless she hasn’t done it.


Joleigh Little

Cleaning with children in the house really is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.


Phyllis Diller

Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?


Kurt Vonnegut

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.


Erma Bombeck

Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter-productivity.


Terri Guillemets

Sometimes clean feels empty. A bit of clutter and dirt gladdens the heart and affirms a life in progress.


Katie Lee

I love cooking except for an annoying step – cleaning up.


Rosanna Barr

Excuse the mess but we are trying to live here.


Agatha Christie

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.


Radhika Mundra

Nothing inspires cleanliness more than an unexpected guest.


Jennifer Morrison

Cleaning is my favorite way to relax. I clear things out and get rid of the stuff I don’t need. When the food pantry and the refrigerator are organized, I feel less stressed.


Celia Cruz

I always clean before the cleaning lady comes. If not, when I come home, I can’t find anything. Cleaning ladies are always hiding things you leave out.


Rose Macaulay

At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.


Erma Bombeck

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.


Phyllis Diller

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.


Ann Oakley

Housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human self-actualization.


Bobby Berk

De-cluttering can be overwhelming, so start with that one small thing. Clean out your junk drawers. It can lead to so many more beautiful things. Start there, and you’ll find yourself cleaning the whole rest of the house.


Garrett Clayton

I love doing the dishes… not for the act of cleaning but because I get to put my headphones in, listen to music, and ignore the world for an hour, and it’s totally acceptable because I’m cleaning.


Louisa May Alcott

Housekeeping ain’t no joke.


Hoosier Farmer

Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.


Phyllis Diller

If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet him with, “Who could have done this? We have no enemies.


Ryan Adams

You could eat sushi off my bookshelf. My cleaning regime is like a battleground. I’m Genghis Khan and my cleaning products are my Mongolian army and I take no prisoners. The rest of my life is an experiment in chaos so I like to keep my flat neat.


Meagan Francis

Cleaning and organizing is a practice not a project.


Joan Rivers

I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.


Ruby Lou Barnhill

A bright person can always think of something better to do than housework.


Victoria Pendleton

People may think I’m crazy, but one of the ways I like to wind down my Friday is to get some of our household chores done, whether it’s cleaning or doing a big food shop, so the house is all nice for the weekend.


Chris Hemsworth

I have sporadic OCD cleaning moments around the house. But then I get lazy and I’m cured. It’s a very inconsistent personality trait.


Dave Barry

Dogs do not grasp the concept of house cleaning.


Maid Sailors

If you want your deposit back, never forget to book a move out cleaning.


Author Unknown

A clean house is the sign of a boring person.


Larry David

I don’t like people cleaning my room.


Marty Rubin

Sweeping only moves the dust somewhere else.


Mario Buatta

Dust is a protective coating for fine furniture.


Bette Midler

My idea of superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors.


Marcus Buckingham

We dream of having a clean house – but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning?


Roseanne Barr

Excuse the mess, but we live here.


Ernest Vincent Wright

A man thinks all dust stays outdoors.

Handy Storage Solutions for Planning a Move into a Tiny Apartment

Shall we leave it to the experts? Definitely yes! Because we can all agree that moving is a tedious task. From packing, loading to unloading, there is a lot that goes behind an effective move. But downsizing into smaller spaces is even more challenging. In this situation, you have to be both a mover and a good planner. Since it’s possible to be both, I am moved to believe that the actual problem is not if you decide to pack and move yourself. But, rather, the thought process that goes behind the whole thing.

So, how should you go about it? Especially now that you have decided to move into a tiny apartment. Have you figured out where all the extra clothes will go? Are you planning on hiring best movers in Brooklyn or the city you reside in? If not, here are handy storage solutions that will help you move into a tiny apartment.

‘Need’ and ‘Want’ are Two Different Things

Pack the things that you will need and be ruthless about selling or giving away things you desire. I know it will be hard to get rid of the things that hold sentimental value. But on the other hand, they will need extra space. So, be ruthless while making the list. You don’t need that extra piece of table or a set of chairs. This all looked good in your old house. Your tiny apartment will not permit you to keep anything extra. So, make sure you move and pack the items you need. Sell the things in your ‘want list’ or give them to someone who may need them more than you do.

Multifunctional Furniture Will Make Your Life Easier

The best thing about multifunctional furniture is that they help you store a lot of things. I saw a multifunctional bed in my friend’s apartment. So, this inspiration basically arrives from her. Plus I think it is one of the best ways to store belongings. You can easily store clothes, keep your hairdryer, curlers straightener, place your books, stuff pillows, bed covers, and bedsheets. As you can see there is a lot you can store in a multifunctional bed. So, begin by adding a multifunctional bed to your room.

Take Help of Bins and Baskets

Storing in bins and baskets is pocket-friendly and will help you downsize easily. The most vital part about baskets is that they can be stored anywhere in the house. You can keep them in the kitchen, in one corner of the room, on the shelves, and even on the entryway. Instead, the most interesting part is that bins and baskets come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. So, if a basket is lying in one corner of the house it will probably look like it is a part of the decoration. But experts are of the view that you should practice labeling each bin. It will help you find what you need when the moment arises.

Place Hooks Strategically

If you are looking forward to create maximum space in the house. Hooks is the word for you. They are easy to install. They will not burden your pocket and they are extremely handy. Not only this, but hooks will also help you create extra space in your tiny apartment. Now, you can install them in the kitchen, the entrance, bathroom, closets, pantries, and behind the room doors. So, go ahead and hang the towel, your clothes, hats, umbrellas, belts, wiper, broom, etc.

Wall-Mounted Utility Holders are Your Best Friend

This is one of the best techniques to store kitchen equipment and the items you keep in the pantry. You no longer need to throw your pantry items on the floor or stack a pile of cleaning items behind the door. Instead, you can invest in a wall-mounted utility holder. Place it on the wall and place all the cleaning items. From mop, wiper to broom, everything can be easily mounted onto the wall. These handy storage racks get easily attached to your wall and come at an affordable price.

Replace Normal Tables with Ottoman

Your living room is nothing without a good table. So, how about placing a good looking Ottoman in the center of your living room. It is a convenient option for people looking to store maximum things without compromising the quality of decoration. So, if you are planning on investing in the decoration of your house. Think practically and find things that will serve two purposes at the same time. Just like an Ottoman serves two purposes. One purpose is that of decoration because the market is filled with stylish ottomans. The second purpose is that of storage. An ottoman will definitely serve your storing needs. You can store pillows, magazines, and anything you deem fit for the ottoman to store.

Wall Racks Will Work Wonders for You

For those of you who don’t know what wall racks are, pay attention to this point. Because wall racks placed behind the door might be your savior in disguise. So, how about investing in a wall rack that can be placed on the wall, and behind the doors. Though some of the experts are of the view that a wall rack is the best fit for doors. But you can still mount them on the wall. A wall rack will help you keep all the items. From a jar of pulses to sauces, everything about a wall rack is convenient. So, make sure you place your wall rack right behind the kitchen door and use it for the purpose of storing items that require a drawer.

Use the Power of Shelves

There is nothing better than a mounted shelf. Whether in your kitchen or the living area, a shelf will definitely help you store a no of things. In fact, you can find ready-made shelves in the market and online. They come at a reasonable price and is one of the convenient storage options. So, how about placing a shelf in the bathroom instead of creating an extra space to keep toiletries and towels. You can also use them as a medium to place decorative items in the living area. At least the shelves will help you keep the floor space empty and you will find it easy to downsize into a tiny apartment.

If you are planning on moving into a tiny apartment, these are some of the vital points you need to keep in mind. Plus when it comes to living, bigger is not always better. Instead, tiny spaces have their own advantages like low maintenance and less space to clean. A tiny space will also allow you the privilege to decorate on a budget. So, congratulations on your tiny apartment and I hope you have a good time downsizing.

Hiring a Moving Help Service

If you’re like most people, planning a move isn’t exactly your idea of a good time. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, there are a lot of logistics to worry about before the big day. The good news is that you always have the option of hiring a team to help you with your move—and doing so can take some stress off your plate.

If you’re thinking about hiring moving help, this is something you’ll want to look into sooner rather than later. Moving companies can book up quickly, especially during busy seasons of the year (including summer). The sooner you decide on whether to hire moving help, the sooner you can get the ball rolling.

Not sure where to begin? Take a look at our guide to hiring moving help, which covers everything from determining whether you need moving help to what to look for when hiring a professional.

Hire Moving Help or Handle it Yourself?

Is hiring movers right for you? There are some potential pros and cons to think about for your next relocation.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Moving Professional

Hiring a moving professional can cut down on the stress involved in moving, especially when it comes to transporting your belongings from point A to point B. The right movers will have the experience, equipment, and know-how necessary to tackle your move efficiently. And of course, they save you from having to do any of the heavy lifting yourself.

Of course, hiring movers isn’t cheap. You can expect to shell out a pretty penny for professional moving services—and these costs can be difficult to justify if you’re already on a limited budget. Availability for professional movers may also be limited, so you may have a hard time finding help if you’re moving during a busy time of year (like a weekend in the middle of the summer).

Pros and Cons of DIYing Your Move

The main benefit to handling your own move without the help of a professional is that of saving money. By loading up all your own belongings and transporting them yourself, you’ll potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. And if you don’t have that much to move in the first place, this could be a wise choice.

However, you also need to consider the value of your time and labor. When you move yourself, you generally won’t have access to the same tools and equipment that a professional moving company would. You also won’t have the experience and expertise as somebody who moves furniture and boxes for clients on a daily basis. As a result, it could end up taking you several hours to do what a moving team could do in less than an hour.

When you begin to think of things this way, it can be easier to see why spending the money on a team of moving professionals may be worth it.

Tips for Hiring Moving Help

If you decide to move forward with hiring a mover, the first thing you’ll need to do is to decide when you would need moving services. Because moving companies can book out far in advance (especially in heavily populated areas), having some flexibility here will be helpful.

From there, be sure to keep a few key considerations in mind as you being exploring your options for professional movers.

Find Out What They Can (And Can’t) Move

Most moving companies will have policies on specific items they cannot handle or transport for liability reasons. Firearms, for example, are a common item that many moving companies will not deal with. The same may also apply for especially large or heavy furniture, such as pianos. If the company you’re looking at does handle these types of items, keep in mind that you may be expected to pay extra.

What Other Services Are Offered?

In addition to moving services, you may also be interested in other services to help you prepare for relocating. Some companies, for example, may offer assistance with packing in preparation for your move. If you’re looking to take a hands-off approach with your move and cut down on your stress, you may want to find a company that offers packing and/or unpacking services as well.

If you’ll need a storage unit after your move, you may also want to find a moving company that offers this as well. In this case, your movers may be able to drop your belongings off at your new place and then take any excess boxes or furniture over to your storage unit on the same day, saving you time and hassle.

Inquire About Their Pricing Structure

Cost is almost always a concern when hiring a professional mover, so be sure to find out how your moving company calculates their costs and how you’ll be expected to pay. For the most accurate estimate, you may want to find a company that can provide an in-home quote on your services; some other companies may provide a quote based on an itemized list of boxes and furniture that you provide.

Regardless of cost, be sure to also find out what type of deposit (if any) will be required of you and what types of additional expenses you can expect. For example, if your moving company doesn’t include gratuity with your quoted price, you may need to set aside some extra cash to tip your moving team. If you’re moving a long distance, keep in mind that there may be fuel surcharges added to your estimate as well.

Moving companies can also vary greatly in how they charge for their services. One company may charge a flat-fee for your move based on the amount of furniture and boxes you have. Another moving company, on the other hand, may charge an hourly fee based on the estimated number of hours your move will take.

Is Your Estimate Binding?

Speaking of pricing, it’s important to find out whether the quote/estimate you’ve received from your moving company is binding. If it is, then this means you should not end up with any added expenses or surprise charges. A non-binding quote, however, is meant to give you a general idea of the price but can fluctuate based on how long it takes your moving team to complete the job.

Ideally, you’ll want to find a company that will provide you with a binding estimate. This will help you avoid surprises down the road, which can help you avoid additional stress as you prepare for your move.

Ask What Equipment They’ll Use

A professional mover needs to have access to the right equipment to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and with no damage to your personal items. Don’t hesitate to ask a moving company for an inventory of their equipment. Furniture dollies can really cut down on moving time, so there should be at least one dolly available for each mover on your hired team. You may also want to ask what supplies will be used to protect your flooring or wrap your furniture items during transport, as well as what extra costs use of these materials may incur.

Make Sure They’re Fully Insured

Never hire a moving company without obtaining proof of liability insurance; this type of insurance is a must whether you’re moving locally or long distance. Specifically, liability coverage is designed to protect both you and your moving company in the event that any of your belongings are lost or damaged during the move.

With many moving companies, your quote includes basic insurance coverage for a specific dollar amount per pound of furniture/boxes. Make sure you’re comfortable with this amount, and don’t hesitate to ask for additional coverage if your moving company is handling anything especially valuable.

Find Out Exactly What’s Included

Always be sure to find out exactly what’s included with your moving estimate versus what may not be included before you book any services. After all, inclusions and exclusions can sometimes vary greatly from one company to the next.

For example, if you’re moving into a high-rise apartment building in New York City, you may need access to a freight elevator to move your furniture and other heavy items to your new place. Obtaining a reservation for an elevator is something your moving company should handle—though some moving companies may charge extra for this and some may not.

If any of your furniture needs to be dis-assembled and re-assembled, you’ll also want to find out whether this will cost you extra. With a moving company that charges by the hour, assembly should simply fall into the hourly rate. However, if you’ve received a flat-fee quote for your move, furniture assembly may end up costing extra.

Ask for References and Referrals

Ideally, you’ll want to find a moving company that has at least a few years of experience. However, a newer moving company can still be a great choice if they have great reviews and referrals. Don’t hesitate to ask a potential moving company for a list of references that you can follow up on, especially if they’re a newer company without a lot of experience.

A list of references can put you into contact with past clients who have used the moving company’s services in the past. This can help you get a better idea of what to expect from the company based on past clients’ experiences. Online reviews can also be useful for this, but it’s important to make sure the reviews you’re reading are legitimate.

What About Background Checks?

When you hire movers, you’re inherently inviting them into your home and trusting them to handle your personal belongings. With that in mind, it’s important to be able to fully trust your movers. Many moving companies will perform thorough background checks on the movers they hire for your peace of mind and protection. If you’re thinking about hiring a moving company, be sure to ask if they run criminal background screenings on their movers. If not, then you may want to find a company that does.

Other Services to Consider

Finding the right moving team for your upcoming relocation will take some time, research, and careful planning. At the end of the day, however, hiring a capable and experienced moving team can provide you with peace of mind and much-needed stress relief during this chaotic time.

To make settling into your new place go even more smoothly, you may also want to consider hiring a professional maid service. A move-in/move-out cleaning from Maid Sailors, for example, can save you the hassle of scrubbing your new place from top to bottom before you move in. Instead, let our team of professional cleaners take care of this for you so you can simply move in and begin getting unpacked!

What to Include in a Roommate Agreement

Living with roommates may not always be ideal, but for many living in New York City and the surrounding areas, roommates are a must. Having roommates can make it much easier to afford an apartment or condo in your ideal location while splitting rent, utilities, and other bills.

If you’re in the process of seeking out roommates for your next rental, one thing you may want to do is to draw up a roommate agreement. Having such a document in place can not only allow you to narrow down potential roommates to those who suit your lifestyle but may also help you avoid common headaches and conflicts associated with sharing a living space.

What is a Roommate Agreement, Anyway?

Specifically, a roommate agreement is a written document that outlines some basic “rules” for living in your shared space. All roommates who enter into the agreement are expected to follow the agreed-upon rules at all times in order to promote a happy, healthy, and conflict-free environment.

It’s important to understand that a roommate agreement is different than a lease agreement. While a lease agreement is a legally binding document that ties you to your rental unit and sets out specific requirements related to the property (rent, decorating, etc.)—a roommate agreement is drawn up between you and the people you live with, and focuses more on how you’ll co-exist with each other and maintain the property together.

There are many reasons to draw up a roommate agreement, regardless of whether you’ll be living with a few of your best friends or total strangers. A roommate agreement can be legally enforceable if it is signed by all parties; it can protect you in terms of finances and can also help you avoid conflict and disagreements with your roommates.

Key Components of a Roommate Agreement

Before you sit down to draft your roommate agreement, there are a few specific components you’ll want to make sure you include. Of course, each living situation is different, so there may be some components here that don’t apply to you, as well as some that are not listed here that you may want to include in your own agreement.

Names and Assigned Spaces

Any roommate agreement should have some basic details, including the address of the rental and the names of the roommates entering into the agreement. From there, the document should outline which roommates are assigned to which rooms and which rooms are considered to be shared living spaces.

For assigned spaces, proper etiquette should also be detailed. For example, are you expected to knock before entering another person’s room? Is anybody allowed to enter another person’s space when they aren’t home?

Rent, Utilities, and Other Expenses

Next, it’s time to get into the details of who will be responsible for paying what. In most cases, rent, utilities, and the costs of other shared services (such as cable or Internet) will be divided up equally. However, there are some possible exceptions. For example, in an apartment where one bedroom is a large master with its own en-suite, it is reasonable to expect the person who gets the en-suite to pay a little more in rent than those without their own bathrooms.

Groceries are another important expense to address here. Will you share grocery costs equally or will each roommate purchase their own groceries?

Guests, Quiet Hours, and Gatherings

You’ll also want to decide how to handle guests, parties, and other gatherings. More than likely, you and your roommates will probably want to have friends over from time to time. Are there specific hours of the day when you wish to permit visitors? Will any hours or days be off-limits? For example, you and your roommates may agree that no overnight visitors are permitted unless unanimously agreed upon in advance.

If a larger gathering will be taking place that will require the use of common areas (such as the kitchen and living room), how much advance notice should be given to other roommates? What other rules will be in place for gatherings?

As you draw up this section of the roommate agreement, be sure to refer also to your lease agreement. Your landlord or property management company may already have some specific rules in place regarding guests, parties, and the like.

Shared Items vs. Personal Items

In most roommate configurations, it makes sense to have some “common” items that everybody can use. Toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and dishes/silverware are just a few examples of communal items that you may want to outline in your agreement. Who will be responsible for providing each item, or how will the costs of these items be shared?

For personal items, will there be any system in place to ensure that one roommate’s personal items aren’t used by somebody else? If you purchase your own snacks, for example, how are you expected to label or separate them so they aren’t mistaken for a communal item and eaten by other roommates? These are some of the most common complaints people have when living with roommates, so having a system in place for avoiding this problem can save you a lot of hassle and annoyance.

The Process of Writing and Implementing a Roommate Agreement

Now that you have a better idea of what to cover in your roommate agreement, it’s time to get writing.

Drafting and Writing the Agreement

Whenever possible, have your roommates present for the drafting of the document itself. This may not be possible if you haven’t found your roommates yet, and that’s okay. You can absolutely use the rules set forth in your roommate agreement to more-or-less “filter” roommates.

Signing and Making Copies

Once the agreement is written and all roommates agree, everybody should sign and date a printed copy of the document. This is what will make it legally binding. Every roommate should be provided a copy of the signed document for their reference. You may even want to consider posting a copy in a common area for easy access.

Decide on a Process for Making Changes

No roommate agreement will be perfect, and changes may need to be made from time to time. Make sure to have some sort of plan in place for revising the agreement as needed.

What About Divvying Up Cleaning Tasks?

Don’t forget to also figure out a system for sharing household chores, such as cleaning if you don’t have a maid service near you. If you’d prefer to avoid this headache altogether, consider hiring a professional cleaning service! Maid Sailors offers dedicated and thorough cleaning services at competitive pricing.

How Much Does a Maid Service Cost to Hire?

If you’ve ever assumed that a maid service is too expensive for you to justify, think again. Today, more busy and hard-working people than ever are turning to professional maids to have their homes cleaned from top to bottom. Hiring a cleaning service allows you the satisfaction of coming home to a clean space while also freeing up more of your valuable time.

So, how much does it cost to hire a maid, anyway? Costs can fluctuate based on a number of factors, including the region where you live. In general, however, Maid Sailors estimates that most homeowners spend between $100 and $300 for a professional cleaning service.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Maid Service

Aside from your location, there are a few other factors that come into play when determining the cost of hiring a maid. BY having a better understanding of what these factors are, you can make an informed decision regarding whether hiring a cleaning service is right for you—and how you can possibly save some money in the process.

Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be some of the more time-consuming areas when it comes to house cleaning. Bathrooms often have nooks and crannies, such as showers and areas behind toilets, that take extra time and care to clean. Scrubbing toilets, disinfecting bathroom countertops, emptying trash cans, and cleaning baths and/or showers can also take a bit more time. This is why when you book a house-cleaning service, there’s a good chance the company will want to know how many bathrooms you have in your home.

The number of bedrooms typically isn’t as important, but it’s still something your cleaning company may ask about. This is especially true if you’re booking a cleaning service that includes making up beds and dusting.

Total Square Footage of Your Home

The overall square footage of your house may also come into play when it comes to quoting you a fair price on cleaning services. The more square footage your maid needs to clean, the longer the job will take. This is especially true when it comes to mopping, vacuuming, and sweeping floor space.

If you own a home and have an unfinished basement that doesn’t need to be cleaned as part of your services, be sure to let the company know so that this square footage isn’t taken into account when calculating your price.

Special Needs and Requests

If you have special requests for your cleaner that are not covered by the “typical” scope of service, you may be charged extra for these as well. For example, if you want your ceiling fans dusted but you have 12-foot ceilings in your home, you should expect to pay more because the maid will need to obtain, set up, and climb a ladder to dust your ceiling fans. Keep in mind that there are some requests your cleaner may not be able to fulfill, such as cleaning exterior windows on the second-floor to handling antiques.

Some cleaning services may also charge a little extra for homes that have pets. This is most common for homes with dogs, as dogs can be a safety concern for maids. Even a dog that is normally friendly can pose a threat and become territorial when an unfamiliar maid comes in to clean the home. Keep in mind that cleaning companies reserve the right to request that you keep pets (such as dogs and cats) crated or otherwise contained inside a room that does not need to be cleaned during service.

Cleaning Products Provided

The cost of your cleaning service may also depend on whether you’ll be providing your own cleaning products or requesting your cleaning company to provide them for you. Some companies may provide their own products at no additional cost to you, whereas others may charge you a flat fee. If you prefer your maid to use “green” cleaning products, you may need to provide these yourself or be prepared to pay more (though some companies will supply eco-friendly products at no additional fee).

In general, you should not expect to provide your own cleaning tools (such as vacuums and brooms). However, it’s always a good idea to check your service agreement before you sign it to be sure that your maid will be bringing these items.

Independent Maid vs. Cleaning Company

Another key factor that will influence the cost of your cleaning services is whether you’re hiring an independent contractor or booking through a reputable and established cleaning company. Generally, you’ll save money by hiring an independent contractor because these workers are usually more open to negotiating their fees. Independent maids can also be more flexible when it comes to their scheduling and their ability to accommodate special requests.

On the other hand, while you may spend more money to book through a cleaning company, you may be able to enjoy more peace of mind by doing so. That’s because cleaning companies will be licensed, bonded, and insured. They will also have multiple maids on their staff, so if the maid who was scheduled to clean your home falls ill or otherwise cannot make it, there should be no issues finding somebody to fill on their behalf.

Specific Services Included

Cleaning companies typically offer a selection of services to suit your needs, and pricing can vary depending on what you want to be done. For example, if you only need lighting cleaning and dusting done, you’ll certainly pay less than you would for a whole-house deep cleaning.

Some cleaning companies will have a few different packages that they offer, whereas others may essentially allow you to build your own cleaning package by hand-selecting the services you want to be done. Either way, you should expect to pay more as the number of services you request increases. Keep in mind that there are some cleaning services a maid may not be able to perform, such as washing your dishes or doing your laundry. This will all vary from one cleaning company to the next.

One-Time or Recurring Service?

In some cases, you may have the option to select your cleaning as a one-time service or a recurring one. Usually, if you enroll in a regular cleaning schedule/program, you’ll enjoy a modest discount on the company’s fees. If you do choose to enroll in a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cleaning service, keep in mind that you may be required to schedule a deep cleaning for your first appointment. This may cost you more money up-front but will make for quicker and cheaper cleaning appointments moving forward.

Hourly or Flat-Rate Fee?

Cleaning companies and maids may also vary with regards to how they charge for their services. Some cleaning companies may charge an hourly rate, whereas others may propose a flat fee for the specific cleaning tasks you want done. It is more common that independent contractor maids will charge by-the-hour and larger companies will offer flat fees.

Flat-fee pricing is generally preferred by those who want to know exactly how much they’re going to spend before they hire their maid, but you should do whatever you’re most comfortable with.

How to Save Money on Your Cleaning Services

These are just some of the most influential factors to the cost of a basic home cleaning service. If you’re thinking about trying out a cleaning service for the first time, of course you want to get the best value for your money. One thing to keep in mind is that many cleaning companies offer special discounts and other promotions for first-time customers. You may be able to save a percentage off your service or a flat dollar amount when you redeem a promotional code or discount offer. This is most commonly offered with a larger cleaning company than with an independent maid who charges by the hour.

Another way to potentially save money on your cleaning service is to enroll in a recurring plan. You can usually save a pretty penny on your cleaning services by committing to a few months’ worth at a time as opposed to only booking once. This may be a practical option if you’ll need your place professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Most cleaning companies offer weekly, bi-weekly, and even monthly plans to suit your needs and budget.

Last but not least, picking up a little before your maid arrives could also save you money. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true! Maids, especially those who are paid-by-the-hour, may need to spend a lot of time picking up clothes and other items off your floors and surfaces in order to vacuum, mop, dust, and clean. By simply taking a couple of minutes of your time to pick up before your maid arrives, you can help him or her optimize the job. Keep in mind that maid services charging a flat-rate fee may not pick up items that are impeding them from doing their job.

The Bottom Line on Cleaning Services

Yes, it will always be cheaper to handle your own household cleaning. However, when you factor in the actual value of your precious time, it’s easy to see why so many people turn to professional cleaning services instead. The small amount you’ll pay to have a maid take care of those tedious cleaning tasks can quickly pay off, allowing you to spend more time with loved ones and doing the things you truly enjoy.

Looking for a competitively priced maid service? Check out Maid Sailors! Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to learn more or to schedule your first service with us.