How to Clean White Shoes

Buying a pair of crisp, white shoes always seems like a good idea—until you accidentally step in a mud puddle the first time you wear them. The good news is that it’s possible to remove most stains from a white pair of shoes so you can keep them looking as fresh as the day you bought them. And of course, everybody deserves to have a nice pair of white shoes in their wardrobe. Not only are white shoes eye-catching, but they’re also versatile enough to be worn with many different outfits.

If you’ve been putting off buying that pair of white shoes for fear of not being able to keep them clean, relax! We’ve got some tried-and-true methods for cleaning your white shoes and keeping them clean.

Methods for Cleaning White Shoes

The specific methods you should use to clean your white shoes will ultimately come down to the material out of which they’re made and the materials/supplies you have on-hand. As a general rule, it’s always best to defer to the specific cleaning methods for the exact material your shoes are made of. This is especially important when it comes to fabric materials that may be easily damaged by harsh chemicals or cleaning methods.

Try a Magic Eraser

For non-fabric materials, a magic eraser can work wonders when it comes to removing scuff marks and other stains from the surface of your white shoes. Even if you do have fabric shoes (such as a canvas or mesh material), a magic eraser sponge can help to remove scuffs and other unsightly marks from the soles of the shoes.

Another tip about magic erasers; if you want to save some money, skip out on the “name brand” and purchase a supply of melamine foam online. This is the exact same material that brand-name eraser sponges are made out of—but you’ll get much more bang for your buck.

To use a magic eraser sponge, all you have to do is get the sponge slightly damp. From there, rub the sponge in circular motions around stains and scuff marks to watch them “magically” disappear! You can then rinse and wring out the magic eraser to use it many more times before replacing it.

Scrub With Soap and Water

If you have canvas, mesh, or other fabric materials that need to be cleaned on your shoes, you may have better luck washing them with good old-fashioned soap and water. For the best results, we recommend adding a few drops of your favorite gentle dish soap to a bowl of warm water.

From there, dip a clean washcloth (preferably microfiber washcloth) into the soap and water mixture and then scrub away in small, circular motions at any stains or discoloration on your shoes. You can then blot away excess water using a clean towel and leave your shoes out in the sun to expedite the drying process. It’s generally best to avoid putting your shoes in the dryer, as this could cause your shoes to lose their shape and become damaged.

Clean With Bleach

If your shoes are really looking worse for wear, the most effective method will likely be to clean them using a diluted bleach solution. Before working with bleach, it’s always a good idea to don some protective gloves. From there, while working in a well-ventilated area, mix one-part bleach to five parts water in a bowl or small bucket.

From there, dip a scrub brush or a toothbrush into the bleach solution until it is saturated. Scrub in small circular motions of your shoes, paying special attention to soiled and stained areas. As you work, you should be able to see your shoes become brighter and whiter. When you’re happy with the cleanliness of your shoes, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining bleach mixture and let your shoes dry in a well-ventilated area. For best results, place your shoes in front of a fan or even outside to dry completely.

How to Keep Your Shoes Clean and White

Now that you’ve got your shoes looking bright and white once again, you may be wondering how you can keep them looking clean for as long as possible. We’ve got some practical and effective tips for making that happen so you can get as much wear out of your white shoes as possible before needing to buy a new pair.

Deep Clean as Needed

When you notice your shoes starting to look discolored or dingy, it’s time to give them a spot cleaning with one of the methods listed above. The frequency with which you’ll need to clean your shoes will depend on how often you wear them and in what conditions. However, spot cleaning your shoes in between deep cleanings will help keep them looking great.

Use a Spray Protector

If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to invest in a spray-on shoe protector. These sprays are designed to repel liquids and stains from setting into the material on your shoes. You simply spray one or two coats on your shoes and allow them to dry; from there, you can begin enjoying extra protection against stains. For the best results, apply a new coat or two every couple of weeks.

You can find spray-on protectors for your shoes at most shoe stores, but you can also purchase them pretty inexpensively online.

Keep Them Properly Stored

Make sure your shoes are being stored properly when they’re not being worn. Leaving them out in the open is a sure way to cause discoloration and staining over time. Ideally, you should keep your white shoes stored in their original box or in another covered storage container. Keeping them separated from other shoes will also help reduce the likelihood of staining.

Treat Yourself to a Professional Maid Service

Depending on how many pairs of white shoes you own and how dirty they are, you could easily spend a few hours cleaning your shoes and restoring them to their original look. This, on top of all the other cleaning and chores you have to do around your home, can easily begin eating up your already-limited free time.

By hiring a professional maid service to tackle things like vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and more, you can free up more time to do the things you love. Maid Sailors offers dedicated cleaning services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Whether you need a deep-cleaning a regular cleaning or something in between, our certified professionals have you covered. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to get started or book online now!

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need a Clean Bedroom

Everyone needs to sleep. A lack of sleep for some people can have a lot of adverse effects on their physical and mental health. Losing just one night’s worth of sleep can make you cranky in the morning. You’ll also feel tired and very unproductive. With that said, people will do almost anything to have excellent quality sleep all the time. They might buy expensive mattresses, install a soundproof system, get dimmers, etc.

Of course, all these improvements can undoubtedly increase the chances of a person getting better sleep. What they don’t know is that there’s a sure-fire way to help you sleep properly, and that’s cleaning your bedroom.

So how does a simple clean up help you sleep well? Why can’t I just lay down on my bed? Do I really need to clean my bedroom? For one, a cleaner bed means there’s less clutter. Less clutter means you’ll feel more comfortable in your bed. Here are some more reasons why you need a clean bedroom:

No Creepy Crawlies

Some of the things that keep people up all night are pesky insects that bite or cause allergies. Insects such as ants, bedbugs, and dust mites are notorious for keeping people up for days. A clean bedroom eliminates anything that can attract this creepy crawlies.

For example, tiny food particles can attract ants to your bed. When you sleep, these ants can crawl all over you, and for sure, they will bite. Ant bites are very painful and are enough to wake up even the heaviest sleepers.

Bed Bugs and Dust mites are just as annoying. Bed bug bites might not seem painful at first, but after a while, the bitten areas of your skin can become itchy. Dead bed bugs and dust mite feces can cause allergic reactions for some people. To get rid of these insects, clean your mattress regularly, and avoid eating on your bed.

Clean Bedrooms Bring In Positivity

Aside from other stimuli that can affect sleep, negative thoughts can often keep people awake. They tend to stress things over, which can make it very difficult to sleep, even though they’re tired. To avoid adding to the negativity, clean up your bedroom and store any item that’s not being used.

Your bed should also be free from clutter. Put away any stuff that you leave on your bed. You could also try and fold your bed sheets properly so there won’t be any wrinkles for you to sleep on. Fluff your pillows as well to keep them from getting flat.

Being Tidy Keeps Us Healthy

When we clean up our bedroom, we also gather around our thoughts. A messy bedroom can represent a confused or stressed out psyche. This state is why famous authors and life coaches such as Marie Kondo emphasize tidying up as a major part of healthy well-being.

Makes Everything Easier

Since you’re sleeping inside a clean bedroom, everything you do afterward will be much easier. No more fumbling around looking for that remote control, no more messy searches for your favorite shirt. Since everything is neatly organized, you won’t have trouble finding your stuff.

A clean bedroom also makes everything more accessible when you wake up in the morning. Imagine having to wake up to a messy bedroom. Open drawers, pieces of clothing everywhere, food wrappers, garbage, it’s just a lot to take in when you wake up. Avoid stress and clean your bedroom before sleeping. That way, when you wake up, you’ll see that your room is clean and you can peacefully go on with your morning rituals.

Air Quality

Having a messy room can undoubtedly drop the quality of air inside. A messy room can have lots of dust particles and allergens that are freely floating all around you. If there are too many dust particles inside your bedroom, then the temperature inside will rise. This is the reason why most unkempt bedrooms often feel hot inside.

Using HEPA Vacuums

You can also use HEPA vacuums to clean up your room. HEPA means High-Efficiency Particulate Air Vacuums. These vacuums are very efficient at sucking in the dust. HEPA filters inside a vacuum can also reduce the allergens inside your bedroom. Dead bodies of dust mites and bed bugs, their eggs, and their feces can often cause allergic reactions if allowed to accumulate.

Lets You Remember Your Things

Before you can get a clean bedroom, well, you have to “clean” it first. When you clean up, you’ll get to see some of your things that often get misplaced. A lot of us often lose a sock, forget that favorite shirt, or just can’t find something that we’re looking for. Cleaning up helps us find those missing items.

Takeaway

Getting the right amount and quality of sleep is vital for the human body to function. If a person doesn’t get enough sleep, then he or she can develop a lot of physical and mental problems. Aside from reducing the effects of specific stimuli, having a clean home and a clean bedroom can make you sleep better.

 

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)!

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?

‘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. You can even have them pick up storage right from your doorstep so you do not have 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.