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.

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)!

How To Shrink Clothes

There are many reasons you may find yourself needing to shrink your clothes. Perhaps you’ve recently lost some weight and your clothes are beginning to fit a little baggy. If this applies to you, congratulations! You should be proud of your weight loss success, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself to some new clothes. Of course, budgets don’t always allow for the shopping spree you’d like to take—so learning how to shrink your existing clothes in the meantime may make more sense.

You may also need to shrink individual garments if you ordered them online and they fit larger than you expected when they arrived at your home. In some cases, you may be able to simply exchange the garment for a smaller size—but some online retailers don’t offer free returns, so you may actually be better off shrinking your clothes than exchanging them or buying a new size.

Regardless of your reasoning for needing to shrink clothes, the good news is that there are some tried and true methods for making it happen. All you need is a washing machine, a dryer, and an afternoon of your time!

Benefits of Shrinking Your Clothes

Regardless of your reasoning for needing to shrink some clothes in your wardrobe, there are a number of benefits you can enjoy when you learn how to shrink your own clothes.

Save Money on Buying New Clothes

It’s no secret that buying new clothes can be expensive. If you enjoy the look and style of your current clothes but have simply lost some weight, then learning to shrink your existing clothes can save you a lot of money. Even if you plan on treating yourself to some new clothes the next time you find a good sale or have some extra money to spend, shrinking your clothes can save you some money in the meantime and keep you looking your best.

Shrinking your clothes can also save you money on professional tailoring services that you may otherwise need to use to achieve your ideal fit.

Save Time By Keeping Your Current Clothes

Even if you have the extra cash laying around to buy a few new outfits, shopping for new clothes can be a huge time sink. Traveling to the mall, picking out pieces to try on, and deciding on what to keep versus what to put back on the rack is time-consuming. If you already have a busy enough life and don’t love shopping, the last thing you may feel like doing is looking for new clothes.

Cut Down on Your Environmental Impact

Getting the most use out of your clothes can help you reduce your environmental impact if this is something you’re conscious about. Extend the life of your wardrobe and avoid contributing to unnecessary waste by shrinking your own clothes rather than buying brand-new ones.

Methods For Shrinking Your Clothes

Keep in mind that not all fabrics can be easily or successfully shrunk, but many commonly used clothing fabrics (such as cotton) can!

Shrinking Cotton

Cotton is one of the most commonly used fabrics in clothing today—which is good news if you’re trying to shrink your clothes because it’s also the easiest to shrink. To shrink something that is made of 100% cotton, all you need to do is run the garment through your clothes washer in a hot-water setting. From there, toss the item into the dryer and put it on high heat.

Keep a close eye on the garment as it dries, and be sure to remove it as soon as it has achieved your ideal size. From there, you can let it air-dry the rest of the way.

Shrinking Polyester and Other Materials

Other clothing materials, such as polyesters and blends, may require a little more time and care to shrink to your liking. That’s because these fabrics are usually blended with other fibers to help them retain their original shape and size.

Generally, the best way to shrink polyester clothing and other blends is to wash them in cold water before placing them in the dryer on high heat. You’ll want to avoid using hot water to wash these fabrics because doing so can cause damage to the fibers. While drying, keep an eye on the garment and either switch your dryer to a low-heat setting or remove the garment and allow it to air dry the rest of the way when it has reached the size you want.

When to See a Tailor

If you’ve followed the above steps with your clothing and are still not seeing the results you desire, then it may be time to see a professional tailor. There’s a chance that the material you’re working with cannot be easily shrunk in the wash. Keep in mind also that some garments are “pre-shrunk,” which means they won’t shrink anymore no matter how you wash them. Pre-shrunk garments are becoming relatively common, as they are meant to help protect consumers against accidental shrinkage in the wash.

You may also need to see a professional tailor if you’re attempting to shrink an older garment, as it is possible that it has already gone through the shrinking process and cannot be altered any further without a tailor’s help.

If you’ve never taken your clothing to get tailored before, it’s actually a lot easier and cheaper than you may think. A tailor can help you achieve the perfect fit on nearly any article of clothing, giving it new life. Many tailors offer reasonable pricing and have a quick turn-around time so you can begin wearing your new-to-you clothing with confidence as soon as possible.

Speaking of Laundry…

With all this talk about clothes and laundry, when was the last time you checked all your household chores off your “to-do” list? If you still have cleaning items looming on your list even after you’ve tackled your laundry and shrinking your clothes, then maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a professional cleaning service.

Maid Sailors provides quality cleaning services and laundry service at competitive prices—and your satisfaction is always guaranteed. Whether you need regularly scheduled cleanings or something a little more in-depth, our team of insured and certified professionals is here to serve you.

Find out more about our specific cleaning services offered by giving us a call at (212) 299-5170 or feel free to book your appointment online. We look forward to helping you tackle those items on your cleaning list so you can free up more of your own precious time!

How to Clean Wicker Baskets

Wicker baskets can serve a lot of practical purposes in any home. Not only can wicker baskets add a warm touch to your existing decor, but they can also be used to store just about anything in a decorative way. From living rooms and bathrooms to kitchens and bedrooms, you’d be hard-pressed to find a space where wicker baskets can’t come in handy. And because they’re made of relatively inexpensive yet durable materials, you can stock up on wicker baskets of various sizes at your local home goods store without breaking the bank.

Still, wicker baskets (just like any other storage container in your home) will need to be cleaned from time to time. By knowing how (and how often) to clean your wicker baskets, you can keep them looking great for years to come.

Reasons to Clean Your Wicker Baskets

Unlike a “traditional” plastic storage bin, a wicker basket naturally has a lot of grooves, nooks, and crannies. As beautiful as the woven design of a wicker basket can be, these small nooks can easily harbor dust, allergens, and other debris that you don’t want lying around your home. And because there are so many small crevices in the average wicker basket, a feather duster or other usual means of dusting may be ineffective.

Not only can this build-up on your wicker baskets be unsightly, but it can detract from the look and feel of your space as well. Over time, wicker baskets that aren’t cleaned will become dingy looking, which may mean you feel obligated to spend your hard-earned money on new storage solutions for your home.

Time to Clean Your Wicker Baskets?

The good news is that with proper care and cleaning, your wicker baskets can last for many more years before needing to be replaced. The key is knowing how to care for your wicker baskets with routine cleaning and when to spend the time on a deep clean.

Routine Care and Cleaning

The best way to keep your wicker baskets looking great in between deep cleanings is to simply dust and/or vacuum them often. While it won’t get rid of all debris, a quick dusting can help to remove dust from the surface. You can also use a vacuum with a hose attachment to draw out some more stubborn dust and debris. This should be done as part of your regular cleaning routine once every week or two for the best results.

Deep Cleaning Your Wicker Baskets

How often you need to deep clean your wicker baskets will depend on how dusty and grimy they get, as well as what you store in them and where they’re located within the home. Baskets used for storage of toilet paper rolls in a bathroom, for example, will likely accumulate dust/debris from the bath tissue rolls that will need to be cleaned more frequently than other baskets in your home. As a general rule, it’s good to aim for an annual deep cleaning of the wicker baskets throughout your home.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Wicker Baskets

Depending on how many wicker baskets you have to clean and how dirty they are, you can expect to spend about 30 minutes to an hour on this project.

Empty Them Out and Dust Them

Begin by completely emptying out the wicker baskets you plan on cleaning. This will make it easier to get rid of all dust and other debris. If you’re cleaning multiple baskets at once, make sure you have a way of organizing the contents of each basket so you remember where they go.

Once they’re emptied out, dust and/or vacuum them as you normally would. For smaller baskets, you may also wish to turn them upside down over a trash can to shake additional dust and debris loose from small crevices.

Create a Cleaning Mixture

Next, create a cleaning mixture for your wicker baskets by adding a couple of drops of your favorite dish-washing liquid to a bucket of warm water. From there, use a clean rag lightly dipped into the cleaning mixture to begun wiping down each basket inside and out. For the smallest crevices, you can use a toothbrush or even a bottle cleaning brush to achieve the best results.

The key here is to remember not to saturate the wicker with water, as this could cause permanent warping and other damage. Use just enough of the cleaning product to achieve the results you want.

Dry With a Microfiber Cloth

When you’re happy with the cleanliness of the basket, take some time to wipe it dry inside and out with a clean microfiber cloth. Thoroughly cleaning the basket will help protect it from moisture damage and potential mildew or mold growth. You may even want to set the baskets outside to air dry, or place them in front of a box fan to expedite the drying process before you put the contents of each basket back in place.

Keeping Your Wicker Baskets Clean

As you can see, cleaning your wicker baskets is a pretty simple job—and it doesn’t have to take much of your time. To keep the bottoms of your wicker baskets cleaner, you may also consider lining them with shelf liner that can be replaced as needed. Some people may also lay a hand towel down on the bottom of the basket that they can swap out with a fresh one every so often.

You can also cut down on the amount of dust and debris that ends up on your wicker baskets by making sure your home’s air filter is swapped out or cleaned at least once every 90 days. This can also help to improve indoor air quality and reduce the number of airborne particles in the air you breathe. As a result, you may find that you need to dust and clean your wicker baskets less often.

For More Help With Your Cleaning Tasks…

While cleaning out your wicker baskets isn’t a very difficult or time-consuming task, your household cleaning chores can quickly add up. More than likely, you have enough going on in your life to keep you busy, so now may be a good time to schedule a maid service so you can spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you love.

Maid Sailors offers cleaning services to hard-working people. We take pride in our competitive pricing and 100% satisfaction guarantee. Give us a call today at (212) 299-5170 to schedule your cleaning appointment or find out more about our team. You can also book your appointment right now using our online booking form.

Why You Need an End of Lease Cleaning

As you get ready to move out of your apartment, you’re likely faced with an intimidating “to-do” list. From making sure all your belongings get packed away to securing a moving truck and finalizing all the details at your new residence, there’s a lot to get done before moving day!

We hate to add to your list—but have you thought about how you’re going to take care of cleaning your current place after you move out? Check out your lease and you’ll likely find a clause that holds you responsible for leaving your rental in as good or better condition as it was in when you signed your lease.

This is where scheduling an end-of-lease cleaning (also commonly referred to as a move-out cleaning) can save the day. Many professional cleaning services, including our team here at Maid Sailors, provide specialized move-in/move-out cleanings so you can check one more item off that ever-growing “to-do” list!

What Does an End-of-Lease Cleaning Entail?

Specific services included with an end-of-lease cleaning can vary depending on who you hire for the job. At Maid Sailors, we offer:

  • an overall deep-cleaning and sanitizing
  • cleaning of inside cabinets and drawers
  • cleaning of inside of refrigerator
  • cleaning of inside of oven

In addition to these deep-cleaning services, we’ll also handle basic cleaning tasks, including:

  • cleaning and sanitizing of bathrooms
  • vacuuming/Swiffering of all flooring
  • wiping down of kitchen appliance exteriors
  • dusting and wiping of all reachable surfaces

Furthermore, if you need additional cleaning services as you move out of your lease, we offer the following services for an additional fee:

  • cleaning of interior walls and windows
  • cleaning of closets
  • cleaning of baseboards

With all of our cleaning services, we offer the option of using eco-friendly cleaning products at no additional charge to you. Please let our team know before your scheduled appointment if you would like to exercise this option.

And last but not least, there are a few things our team simply cannot clean as part of your move-in/move-out service:

  • high ceiling fans
  • mold and rust
  • animal waste
  • carpet cleaning/shampooing
  • any surfaces outside of arm’s reach

Benefits of Scheduling an End-of-Lease Cleaning

Now that you have a better understanding of what our end-of-lease cleaning services entail, how can you decide whether this service is right for you? The decision to spend your hard-earned money on something you could do on your own is not an easy one, especially for those on a tight moving budget. When you take the time to consider the potential benefits of having a professional end-of-lease cleaning done, however, the nominal cost becomes easier to justify!

Save Time and Energy

Moving is stressful and time-consuming enough as it is. Even if you’ve hired professional movers for getting your furniture and boxes moved from point A to point B, you still need to put a lot of time and energy into packing up all your belongings and getting them unpacked at your new place. And of course, there are all the logistical details (such as setting up utilities and changing your address) that will undoubtedly take up a lot of your precious time.

Once you’re moved into your new place, the last thing you’re going to want to do is haul an arsenal of cleaning supplies back to your old place and clean it from top to bottom. By hiring a professional for a move-out cleaning service, you can save your time and energy—which will be better spent getting settled into your new place and possibly even enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Depending on how far you’re moving from your current rental, a professional cleaning service could also save you money. This is especially true when you factor in the time and cost involved in a long commute back to clean your old place.

Cut Down on Moving Stress

It’s no secret that moving is both physically and emotionally stressful. Why add more stress to your life by tackling the task of cleaning your old place after you’ve already moved out? When you hire a professional cleaner, such as the certified professionals at Maid Sailors, you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that your place will be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom using high-quality products and supplies. Our cleaners always provide their own products and supplies to save you money and hassle as well.

Ultimately, our goal is to take some of the stress out of your moving experience while providing the highest level of clean in the process!

Get Your Security Deposit Back

Did you pay a security deposit when you signed your lease? If so, then you should be getting that deposit back after you move out. However, if the rental is left in unsatisfactory condition after you move out, your landlord or property management company may be justified in withholding some or all of your security deposit, as well as coming after you for additional funds.

Be sure to check your lease for specific information on your security deposit terms. However, hiring a professional for a move-out cleaning is one of the best ways to improve your chances of getting your security deposit back. When your landlord or property manager steps into your rental and sees that the place has been left in excellent condition, he or she will see that you have taken care of the property and that there is no reason to withhold any of your security deposit.

For added peace of mind, we do recommend taking photos of your rental after the move-out cleaning is done so that you have documentation of what the property looked like upon your leaving. You’ll also need to be sure to leave your new/forwarding address with your property manager or landlord so that your security deposit can be returned to you promptly.

Book Your End-of-Lease Cleaning With Maid Sailors

An end-of-lease cleaning can really cut down on moving stress while saving you time and maximizing your chances of getting your security deposit back. And when you book with a trusted company like Maid Sailors, you can always enjoy the peace of mind and confidence in knowing your move-out cleaning will be done by experienced and certified professional cleaners who are bonded and insured.

We’re also proud to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Contact us today to find out more about our cleaning services or to book your move-out cleaning today. We also offer move-in cleaning services so you can enjoy the same level of cleanliness at your new place and free up time in your busy schedule as you prepare to get settled in.

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.

How to Build a Temporary Wall in an Apartment

It’s not an uncommon practice, especially in urban apartment rentals, for tenants to add temporary walls to their living spaces. A temporary wall is most often used to “split” one bedroom into two smaller bedrooms, but there are many other potential uses for a temporary wall as well.

If you’re interested in adding a temporary wall in your living space, you may be wondering whether this is a project you can take on yourself. Depending on your level of skill with carpentry and the availability of tools/supplies, you may be able to build your own wall. In other cases, it may make more sense to hire a professional.

Benefits of Temporary Walls

There are many advantages to adding a temporary wall to your living space. If you’re like most people living in a big city, you’re a renter. This means you cannot make permanent structural changes to your living space. A temporary wall allows you the freedom to change up the layout of your apartment without making permanent structural changes in the process. In most cases, a temporary wall can be easily dismantled without damage when you move out.

If you have roommates, adding a temporary wall can provide you and others with more privacy. For example, you could add a temporary wall between your shared bathroom shower and the sink/vanity, which would allow one person to shower privately while another person uses the remainder of the bathroom to get ready.

In some cases, a temporary wall could even add an extra bedroom to your living space. This can be done by sectioning off a part of the existing common area or even dividing a large bedroom into two smaller ones. The end result here is that more people are able to comfortably live inside the apartment and have their own space. And when you consider high rental prices in big city markets, the ability to create your own two-bedroom apartment with the rent of a one-bedroom can save you (and your roommates) a lot of money.

Before You Build…

Excited to add a temporary wall to your rental? Before you do, there are a couple things you need to prioritize.

Check Your Lease Agreement

Start by checking your rental agreement to see if there are any rules against adding temporary walls to your dwelling. You may need to get explicit permission from your landlord or property manager to add even temporary walls; if this is the case, be sure to get that permission in writing (either in the form of an e-mail you can save and print or a physical letter). The last thing you want is to violate the terms of your lease by adding a wall that is not permitted, which could result in the termination of your lease or inability to recoup your security deposit.

Decide on What You Need

As you explore possibilities for adding a temporary wall in your apartment, you’ll need to make some decisions regarding not only the placement of the wall, but other components as well. For example, if your temporary wall will be used to create an additional bedroom, then you’ll probably need to factor in space for a separate door/entrance.

What about creating a multi-purpose wall? Some temporary walls can be built with shelving so that you can enjoy added storage space in addition to creating a separate room in your rental. Take some time to consider just how extravagant you want to get with your wall design before moving forward.

Temporary Wall Options

When it comes to adding a temporary wall to your existing living space, you can either build the wall yourself or hire a professional for help.

Build One Yourself

This option is only recommended if you have some experience with carpentry and working with power tools. This method is also best if you’re only looking to add a wall and don’t need additional accessories, such as doors or shelving. It’s also important, again, that you get written permission from your landlord before completing this project because it does involve some drilling into joists.

To build your own wall, you’ll need:

  • a power drill and circular saw
  • a stud finder
  • wood screws
  • two-by-fours and corkboard sheets
  • a tape measure

Begin by measuring the distance from the floor of your apartment to the ceiling; this will tell you how long you’ll need your two-by-fours to be cut. Subtract a couple of inches from this measurement to account for the horizontal support you will install on the ceiling. You can cut these yourself or have them cut to size at your local home improvement store for added convenience.

Next, cut and drill the horizontal supports into the ceiling; these are where you will drill your vertical two-by-fours into place using wood screws every two feet. When installing horizontal supports, make sure you’re drilling into the joists and not directly into the ceiling drywall.

Once the framing of the wall is complete, drill individual pieces of corkboard into the studs to complete your wall. You can use drywall if you’d prefer, but this will be more costly and difficult to remove. You can spruce up the appearance of a corkboard wall by hanging stylish wallpaper, artwork, or even using inexpensive contact paper to create a unique design.

Hire a Professional

If you’re not so comfortable with the idea of building your own wall, consider hiring a professional to do the work for you. There are a number of temporary wall installation companies that will not only build a temporary wall for you but remove it free-of-charge when your lease is up. These companies can often accommodate special requests, such as adding windows, doors, and even soundproofing as needed.

Some companies even offer temporary wall solutions that can be installed without nails or screws, which may be easier to get your landlord on-board with. These are known as non-pressurized walls and typically don’t run entirely from the floor to the ceiling, but can still be effective at separating space for an additional bedroom or another purpose.

Enjoying Your Refreshed Space

Adding a temporary wall to your apartment or office can be a great way to enhance privacy and even increase the potential to bring in more roommates (and cut down on your share of rent!). Just be sure to always get permission from your landlord or property manager before moving forward with a wall project.

Once your new wall is up, you can further enjoy your new space by hiring a professional cleaning service to handle everything from dusting and vacuuming to mopping and sanitizing. Contact Maid Sailors today to book your first apartment cleaning or office cleaning with our certified professionals!

Airbnb NYC Rules And Regulations: What You Need To Know

It’s no secret that the demand for vacation rentals and other short-term rentals in New York City is sky-high. After all, NYC is one of the biggest tourist travel destinations in the world. Not only can NYC hotels be expensive, but availability may be limited—causing many travelers to turn to services like Airbnb to find rentals. Many travelers also feel as though an Airbnb (or similar) rental provides a more authentic experience than a hotel.

If you live in New York City, you may be toying around with the idea of becoming an Airbnb host yourself to take advantage of this high demand for rentals. Before you do, however, it’s important to not only weigh the pros and cons of Airbnb hosting but to be aware of NYC’s strict laws and regulations that are in place regarding these types of rentals. Doing so can help you make a more informed decision and potentially help you avoid costly penalties or fines down the road.

Benefits of Becoming an Airbnb Host

There are several benefits to consider when it comes to becoming an Airbnb host.

Bring in Additional Income

Perhaps the biggest draw of Airbnb hosting is that of bringing in additional income. By renting out extra space in your home, you can earn extra money that may help to offset your monthly rent or mortgage costs. This can be a great alternative to taking on a second job or picking up more hours at your current job.

Flexibility and Versatility

Being an Airbnb host also offers a great deal of flexibility and customization. For example, you can choose to only rent your place out during peak times of the year, such as the holiday season. On the other hand, you can offer rentals year-round if you wish. Airbnb also allows you the freedom to decide on your own rental rates.

Meet New People

If you enjoy meeting new people, then becoming an Airbnb host can be a great way to do this. Not only will you have the chance to host new guests in your home on a regular basis, but you can act as a “tour guide” of sorts by making recommendations around the city. A lot of Airbnb hosts find this to be a very rewarding experience.

Potential Drawbacks of Becoming an Airbnb Host

Of course, there are some possible drawbacks to consider when it comes to Airbnb hosting as well.

Income Can Be Unpredictable

If you’re looking for a side-gig where your income is predictable from one month (or even one week) to the next, this may not be the best option for you. Demand for rentals can fluctuate greatly, and so can your income from hosting an Airbnb.

Finding Renters Can Be Time Consuming

Communicating with renters and potential renters can be a time-consuming task. You’ll need to make yourself readily available to respond to questions and inquiries about your rental. Even once you’ve secured renters for a particular time frame, you’ll need to be in frequent contact with them to provide the information they need prior to their stay. During your guests’ stay, they may need to get ahold of you with additional questions or requests. Don’t forget to get renter’s insurance just in case!

Renters Aren’t Always the Best Guests

You’re taking on a bit of liability when you open up your home to “strangers,” even if they are paying for their stay. Not all guests are as clean and courteous as you may expect, so you may end up with some cleaning up to do after they leave.

Some Cities Have Strict Regulations on Rentals

In New York City particularly, becoming an Airbnb host can be complicated due to the many laws and regulations that are currently in place. Whether you live in an apartment, condominium, or single-family home, your ability to legally become an Airbnb host can be muddled by confusing laws—and failing to abide by these laws can result in hefty penalties and fines.

Understanding Hosted vs. Unhosted Rentals

If you’re thinking about becoming an Airbnb host in New York City, the first thing you’ll want to do is familiarize yourself with the city’s laws regarding such rentals, including the Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL). Please note that this section on hosted versus unhosted rentals applies specifically to those living in a multiple-dwelling unit, which is classified as a building with three or more separate rental units. Those considering renting out a single-family home on Airbnb in New York City should check out the section below labeled “What About Condominiums and Single-Family Homes?”

Hosted Airbnb Rentals in NYC

A hosted Airbnb rental refers to one where the owner of the unit is present during the time of the guest’s stay. If you’re renting out your condo on Airbnb, then this means you’ll be present for the entirety of your guest’s stay, acting as a host. These types of rentals in New York City are permitted for any duration of time, provided that the guest has complete access to all parts of the unit.

Unhosted Airbnb Rentals in NYC

The main issue with becoming an Airbnb host in New York City is complying with the state’s strict Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL), which prohibits unhosted rentals of less than 30 days in “Class A Dwellings” (buildings with three or more units). This means that if you want to rent out your apartment to bring in additional income while you’re away for the weekend, you actually cannot do this legally.

A Note on Rent-Stabilized Buildings

If you live in a rent-stabilized unit, such as a co-op, keep in mind that there may be additional restrictions on how much you can charge for an Airbnb rental. In general, those living in rent-stabilized buildings are discouraged from becoming Airbnb hosts because even in situations where laws are followed, many landlords frown on having these buildings used for Airbnb rental purposes. Even if your co-op doesn’t have specific rules against short-term leases and using your unit for Airbnb hosting, you might still ruffle feathers with your landlord and other tenants who grow tired of seeing non-residents coming in and out of the building.

Furthermore, in a rent-stabilized building, you cannot legally make a profit on an Airbnb rental. In most cases, you’d probably have an easier time simply finding somebody to move in on a longer-term basis and take over half of the rent.

What About Condominiums and Single-Family Homes?

If you own a condominium and are thinking about renting it out as an Airbnb, remember that state laws take precedent. If your condo is located inside a Class A Dwelling, you will still be prohibited to conduct any unhosted rentals for less than 30 days. In addition to this, your condominium’s HOA may have specific bylaws in place that make it difficult to become an Airbnb host. For example, some may have minimum/maximum lease terms or even explicitly prohibit the use of units for vacation rentals.

If you have a single-family home in New York City, you won’t be affected by the state’s Multiple Dwelling Law. However, you may still be subjected to zoning restrictions that can complicate your plans to be an Airbnb host. For example, your home may need to meet specific building codes to meet the legal requirements of a “rooming house.” The best way to find out what type of zoning restrictions are in place for your property is to look up your Certificate of Occupancy. There’s a chance that you may need to obtain a certificate in order to have your zoning amended, and inspections may need to be performed on your home in order to do this.

Keep in mind, too, that renting out your home on Airbnb or a similar platform could also subject you to additional taxes, which could eat into your profits.

What’s the Reasoning for These Restrictions, Anyway?

As you can see, there are numerous restrictions and laws in place that can make it difficult to become an Airbnb host in New York City. However, these restrictions are in place for a reason. For starters, Airbnb was originally started to be used as a home-sharing service; it was not intended to become an income platform for commercial investors. Over the years, however, more commercial investors have been getting involved in the Airbnb market, which many New Yorkers claim has had a significant impact on neighborhoods by increasing prices and driving gentrification.

On the other hand, Airbnb claims that these services are actually helping the NYC economy by allowing residents to bring in more income and preventing hotel prices from surging. Regardless of what you believe to be the case, everybody in New York City is subject to the same laws and restrictions and can face serious fines by disregarding them.

Potential Fines and Penalties for Illegal Renting in NYC

Specific fines and penalties for illegally renting out a dwelling can vary greatly in New York City. For example, violations of the MDL can easily result in fines of up to $2,500 per day. In New York City, it is also against the law to even advertise illegal rentals as of October 2016. If you’re caught advertising an illegal rental, you can expect to face fines ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 (depending on how many violations you’ve had). Airbnb can also be charged these fines for allowing your advertisement on their platform.

Fines can be hefty, but the good news is that as long as you’re staying up-to-date on city laws and regulations regarding Airbnb and similar rentals, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Making the Most of Your NYC Airbnb Rental

If you’ve decided to become an Airbnb host in New York City, there are a few tips worth keeping in mind that can help you make the most of the experience.

Stay on Top of Changing Laws

First and foremost, stay up-to-date on new laws and changes to existing laws. For example, the city is currently trying to pass a law that would require Airbnb hosts to list their active rental addresses on the platform. The idea here is that this would prevent commercial investors from using the platform for profits. Airbnb is fighting this law as a violation of free speech, but you’ll want to stay on top of this and other proposed laws that could affect you so you don’t commit any violations as an Airbnb host.

Hire a Professional Cleaning Company

Keeping your rental clean is one of the best ways to ensure great guest reviews, which can, in turn, make it easier to find new renters and drive up your income. If you haven’t done so already, consider working with a local cleaning company to help you keep your place in tip-top shape. Maid Sailors is happy to offer a number of cleaning lady services to suit your needs in New York City and the surrounding areas.

Have a Plan For Maintenance Issues

In addition to having a cleaning company you can trust, it’s also wise to have an experienced contractor or handyman on-call so you can address any maintenance issues quickly during your guest’s stay. For example, if a pipe springs a leak while you have guests, you’ll want to be able to have this taken care of quickly and affordable.

Know How Much to Charge

Airbnb allows you to charge as much or as little as you’d like for your rental, but there are some important factors worth taking into consideration when it comes to pricing your property. A good place to start would be to look up current prices for similar rentals in your are and try to price yours competitively. When deciding on a price, be sure to also factor in things like cleaning fees to maximize your profits.

Make Sure Your House Rules Are Clear

Avoid issues with your guests by writing out a specific set of “house rules” that are clear. This should include policies on things like pets, children, noise/quiet hours, and similar items. Make sure your guests are issues a copy of these house rules prior to their stay so they can review them and address any questions or issues with you prior to their check-in.

Overall, becoming an Airbnb host in New York City will require some specific knowledge of the state and city’s laws regarding the renting out of dwellings. As long as you understand and abide by these laws (as well as any rules set forth by your HOA or landlord), you should be in good shape. From there, you can begin enjoying all the perks of being an Airbnb host in the Big Apple!