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!

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.

Ethnic Diversity in Home Cleaning: What You Need To Know

It is not at all uncommon these days for busy people to hire professional cleaning services for their homes. In fact, hiring a cleaning service can free up valuable time that could be better spent on other things. Of course, as certain services gain widespread popularity, competing businesses have to begin looking for ways to diversify and stand out. This increased competition has led to some pretty interesting business models for house-cleaning, including topless and nude cleaning services.

Does this sound like something that might appeal to you? More cleaning companies these days are beginning to venture out and offer these risque services to their clients—and while nude maid services may not be right for everyone, there is certainly a growing market for them.

For those who would prefer to sit back and relax while watching someone else take care of the cleaning, ethnically diverse maid services are also becoming increasingly popular. Just as a client hiring a professional dancer might request a specific ethnicity, this same option is being offered by some innovative cleaning companies to better please their clients.

Thinking about giving one of these cleaning services a try? There are some things you need to be aware of and keep in mind when it comes to ethnic diversity in house-cleaning services.

A Cleaning Service (And Then Some)

Nude cleaning services offer just that—professional cleaning services performed by women (or even men, though less commonly) either topless or completely in the nude. The scope of cleaning services included can vary from one company to the next. For example, some may offer light dusting, sweeping, and scrubbing. Others may offer more extensive cleaning services, ranging from laundry to deep cleaning.

As your maid cleans your home, you can feel free to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. And just as some cleaning services allow you to request a blonde maid or a maid with short hair, some even allow you to request a specific ethnicity for your house cleaner. Asian, Latina, and Russian maids are all popular options among clients. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference, and you’re under no obligation to choose a particular ethnicity or make any special requests at all.

The Beauty of Ethnic Diversity

Variety is the spice of life, so if you’re going to be hiring a topless or nude house cleaner, why not mix things up from time to time? Most of these house cleaning services will allow you to switch up your requests for each appointment—though if you find a cleaner you’re particularly fond of, you can certainly request to have her return. Just keep in mind that you’ll probably need to work around her availability in terms of scheduling.

Other clients may prefer a certain ethnicity but a different cleaner with each appointment, whereas others may enjoy the variety of a different ethnicity for each scheduled cleaning service. Therein lies the beauty of these services; they’re 100% tailored to your needs and preferences.

Not sure what ethnicity you’re most attracted to? Consider some of the most popular searches for ethnic maid services, including:

  • Asian maids
  • Mexican maids
  • Latina maids
  • Spanish maids
  • Russian maids
  • Black maids
  • Female maids
  • Male maids

And while maids often keep to themselves and are rather quiet as they perform their work, some clients do enjoy a particular accent or dialect in a  home cleaning service. For example, many clients find the accent of a maid who speaks Russian to be attractive. Others may enjoy a maid who speaks Spanish. Of course, not all ethnic maids may have an accent or even speak a language other than English.

Hiring an Ethnic Maid: Things to Remember

If you’re thinking about hiring an ethnic maid service, there are some important tips and things to remember before you book.

Don’t Make Assumptions

If you’re going to request a specific ethnicity for your house cleaner, it’s important to also check your assumptions at the door. There are a lot of stereotypes floating around out there for every ethnicity imaginable (we won’t go into detail here because we find these assumptions to be unfounded and ridiculous), and you could come off as extremely offensive if you’re not careful.

When an ethnic maid shows up to clean your home, remember that he or she is there to perform a service. You will receive the same level and quality of house-cleaning from any maid within the same company. If you’re concerned about saying or doing something offensive when it comes to interacting with an ethnic maid, take some time to read up on general etiquette for that culture before your maid arrives.

Speaking of assumptions, don’t assume that somebody will enjoy a house cleaner that is the same ethnicity as them. For example, if you’re looking to gift a friend with an ethnic cleaning service and he’s Spanish, you shouldn’t assume that he’ll automatically want to see a Spanish maid, Black maid, Mexican maid, or Latina maid. And actually, springing a maid service on a buddy as a surprise may not be the best idea, anyway. Avoid creating any awkward situations by talking to your friend about it first.

Look For Photos and Profiles

A lot of ethnic cleaning services have specific photos and profiles for maids on their websites. Others may have this information available upon request but may not publish it publicly on their websites. Either way, if you have something specific in mind in terms of the type of maid you’d like to see cleaning your house, requesting photos and profiles from your maid service is the best way to move forward.

Just keep in mind that if you do see a maid you’d like to have clean your home, that particular maid may not have a schedule that works with yours. Most cleaning services cannot handle special requests for schedule changes, so you may need to be a bit flexible in order to get the maid you want at your home.

Many cleaning services also won’t explicitly advertise that they honor requests for specific ethnicities (some may find this offensive, after all). However, taking the time to read maid profiles and check out their photos can potentially help you find the ethnicity you’re looking for, whether it be an Asian maid, Latina maid, Russian maid, or any other ethnicity you may have in mind.

Respect the Rules

Any reputable maid service will require you to sign or acknowledge a contract with terms of service agreement. Take time to actually read the document before you sign it so you can understand what’s allowed and what’s not allowed with your service. All too often, clients make the mistake of trying to take things too far with an ethnic maid. In reality, most of these services have strict policies against any sort of uncomfortable situations such as discrimination, touching, making advances, or even taking photos of your maid during your appointment.

Also, make sure that you fully understand the scope of work that’s included with your service. Many ethnic cleaning services are actually just a standard cleaning service, with an ethnic cleaner, you’ll want to clarify this and make sure it’s something that’s offered.

Follow Up on Special Requests

If you’ve requested a particular maid or a specific ethnicity for your house cleaner, it’s never a bad idea to call the company a day or two before your appointment to make sure any special requests can be granted. This is an especially good idea if you’ve simply entered your request in a “special request” form while making an online booking. These requests aren’t always guaranteed, though any cleaning company looking to satisfy its clients will do everything they can to honor them.

The Cost of Hiring an Ethnic Maid Service

It’s probably not a surprise, but you should expect to spend more money hiring an ethnic maid service than you would with hiring a traditional house cleaner. This is the case for a number of reasons. For starters, requesting a particular ethnicity, a particular sex such as a male maid or female maid, or requesting a nude or topless maid is extremely specific. The more specific your requests are for a house cleaner, the more it makes sense that pricing can increase. And of course, any time removal of clothing, in the case of a nude maid service, is involved, you can expect to pay more because you’re not just getting house-cleaning services; you’re getting entertainment as well.

Specific costs can vary greatly from one company to the next and will depend largely on what type of cleaning service you’re looking for. Some will allow you to hire ethnic maids by the hour, whereas others may charge a flat fee to complete a specific set of cleaning tasks.

Should you tip an ethnic maid? This is a common question clients have. In general, these maids are compensated pretty fairly, but they are still providing a service and therefore it is probably not a bad idea to tip your maid, especially if she exceeded your expectations. If you’re unsure, check your cleaning company’s policies online regarding tipping/gratuities before your scheduled appointment.

How to Book an Ethnic Maid

While it’s generally best to book an ethnic maid through a reputable cleaning company, keep in mind that there are “independent contractors” who may offer their own cleaning services outside of a traditional cleaning company. It may be easier to find a maid who meets your desired specifications if you go this route, especially if you have something very specific in mind. Just keep in mind that independent cleaners may not carry liability insurance and they may not offer the same level of customer service that a large company could. Ultimately, it’s all about what you’re most comfortable with.

The Bottom Line on Ethnic Maid Services

No matter what appeals to you, there’s a good chance you can find a cleaning service that meets your needs. From Asian maids and Spanish maids to Russian maids and any other ethnicity imaginable, you can find a house cleaner who will serve as eye candy while performing the cleaning tasks you need done around the house. Some clients who have a difficult time choosing a maid may even request multiple maids of different ethnicities to come by during the same appointment. This can be a great way to satisfy your tastes while having your house cleaned top to bottom; of course, it’s also one of the most expensive ways to clean your house!

Just remember, above all else, to treat your maid with respect and make sure you understand the terms of service you agreed to when you booked your cleaning appointment. And of course, if you’re a little uncomfortable with the idea of booking an ethnic maid begin with, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a traditional house-cleaning service to perform the work fully clothed. Please note that Maid Sailors is a traditional maid service and does not offer ethnic or nude maid services. This is an informational piece for those looking to hire these services.

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.

Raising A Family In Hoboken: What You Need To Know

Whether you’ve recently moved to Hoboken or are considering a move here, you probably have a lot of questions. These questions may be multiplied if you have children or plan on starting a family in the near future. Hoboken is a wonderful town and can be a great place to raise kids, but there are some things you’ll want to know.

You Might Be in the Minority With Kids

For starters, consider the fact that the average citizen in Hoboken is just 30 years of age, is not married, and doesn’t have children. In fact, children make up a very small percentage of the town’s 50,000 people. And while Hoboken can be a great place to start or raise a family due to its low crime and great schools, it is important to understand that you may be in the minority as a parent.

The good news is that there are plenty of online parenting groups that make it easy to connect with and meet other local parents not just in Hoboken, but in the nearby Jersey City and NYC-metropolitan area as well.

Finding Housing for Families in Hoboken

Another potential challenge to consider when it comes to raising a family in Hoboken is simply finding a residence that’s large enough to accommodate a growing family within your budget. The cost of living in Hoboken is already significantly higher than the national average—and housing prices are no exception. Whether you’re looking to buy or rent, you should be prepared to shell out top-dollar for a space that has enough bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall square footage for a family.

Median prices per-square-foot in Hoboken are well over $700, so if you’re looking for a place that has at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms with plenty of living space, you should be prepared to spend a pretty penny. Furthermore, because single-family homes can be difficult to come by in Hoboken, you may have a harder time finding a property in your budget that has yard space for kids.

The good news? There are plenty of parks and area activities to keep your kids entertained without necessarily having yard space of your own. Many condominium buildings have a common yard space that may even include playgrounds or parks. And as an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about doing any yard work or lawn maintenance, as this will likely be built into your monthly HOA cost already.

Hoboken Has Excellent Schools

There are more that 30 different schools across Hoboken, which is pretty impressive when you consider that the entire town of Hoboken consists of less than two square miles. This includes some colleges as well as elementary, middle, and high schools. Private schools can also be found across Hoboken, though the public schooling system here is excellent. Whether they choose to enroll their children in public or private school, parents can feel great about their children’s quality of education in Hoboken.

Family-Friendly Activities in Hoboken

While Hoboken is largely known for its nightlife in the form of bars, taverns, and breweries, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy in Hoboken as well. Because the town is situated right along the Hudson River, many families enjoy regular trips to the waterfront for activities such as fishing and walking. The riverfront also has some great parks that have activities for children of all ages. And of course, setting up a picnic along the water can always make for a great afternoon activity. You can also view our Hoboken activity guide.

Hoboken also has a movie theater, which is a popular spot for families. Here, you can catch the latest movies without having to go far from home.

Still, because of the nightlife in Hoboken, parents should be aware that noise levels (especially at night) can be higher than what you would find in other cities. The high population density, combined with the proximity of bars and clubs, means that the streets of Hoboken can get quite loud at night. Some parents with smaller children may have a harder time adjusting to this, but setting up a white noise machine in your child’s room can help to drown out any street noise. And if you have the ability to choose, you might opt for a unit on an upper floor of your condo or apartment building.

Tips for Busy Parents in Hoboken

Many parents who choose to raise families in Hoboken do so for a number of reasons. For starters, they may work in New York City but prefer to raise their children away from the hustle and bustle of a large city. Many parents are also drawn to the low crime rates in Hoboken, which have always been pretty low but have fallen even more in the past couple of years. All of this, combined with the smaller-town feel of Hoboken’s streets, can make it a great place to start or raise a family.

Still, there are some tips worth keeping in mind if you’re thinking about moving here with children of any age. For starters, understand that the majority of Hoboken residents don’t own cars and that parking can be a challenge. If you have a mini-van or other larger vehicle to accommodate your family, you will probably have a hard time finding a place to park it. Some condominiums or apartments will offer parking lots or parking garages for this purpose, but they will come at a premium.

With the availability of public transportation and the easy walkability of the town, many people get around just fine without a car all year-round. Even if you’ll be working in nearby Manhattan, you should have an easy time getting in and out of the city each day without a car. Meanwhile, you and your children will enjoy getting more exercise by getting around without a vehicle.

Another tip worth keeping in mind for busy Hoboken parents is to consider budgeting for a professional cleaning service. Doing so will allow you to maximize your time with your family while still keeping your home in order. Maid Sailors offers a wide range of professional cleaning services to suit your needs, including move-in/move-out cleanings, routine cleanings, green cleanings, and even deep-cleanings at affordable prices. We also serve NYC and the surrounding areas, including Hoboken.

Find out more about our wide range of professional cleaning services by contacting us today, or schedule your first cleaning using our online form. Either way, having a cleaning service at your Hoboken home is a great way to free up more time to spend with your family—and it’s more affordable than you might think!

DoorDash Tipping Guide: What You Need To Know Before You Order

These days, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to enjoy your favorite restaurant foods. Meal-delivery services such as GrubHub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash make it possible to order meals directly to your door from fast-food joints, sit-down restaurants, food trucks, and every option in between.

These services rely on drivers who work as independent contractors to pick-up food orders and make deliveries to customers’ doors—all while using their own personal vehicles and gas. Each service has its own unique policies and systems for paying its drivers, though all food-delivery platforms offer an option for customers to tip their drivers.

DoorDash has one of the more confusing driver pay platforms, which can make it difficult for customers to know whether they should be tipping their drivers (known as “Dashers”) and, if so, how much of the tip actually ends up in the drivers’ pockets. If you order on DoorDash regularly or are thinking about trying this service in the near future, having a better understanding of how their payment platform works can help you make an informed decision regarding how much to tip your delivery driver.

What Is DoorDash?

DoorDash is a food-delivery platform that began in Palo Alto, California in 2013 and has since expanded to more than 600 cities across North America. Users who wish to order food through DoorDash can create a free account and enter their delivery address to see a list of participating restaurants in their area. From there, users can order their food directly through the DoorDash app (or on the DoorDash website).

Once an order is placed, users can also track their order to see when it has been picked up by the Dasher and when it is estimated to arrive at their delivery address. Like many similar services, users can rate their experience with their Dasher after their order is delivered and provide other feedback. The app and website also give users an opportunity to leave a driver gratuity when an order is placed.

DoorDash delivery fees can vary depending on the restaurant from which the customer is ordering, as well as other factors. However, delivery fees are sometimes waived for special promotions and new customers.

Understanding The DoorDash Pay Structure

DoorDash revised its Dasher payment terms in recent years—and while these changes have resulted in overall greater retention and higher Dasher satisfaction, the new payment structure can be a bit confusing. Specifically, DoorDash uses a special algorithm that calculates a “guaranteed minimum” amount of money that a Dasher will make from completing a given delivery. This minimum is calculated based on a number of factors, including the complexity of the delivery, traffic, and more.

In addition to guaranteed minimums, DoorDash always guarantees that they will kick in an additional dollar for each completed delivery, as well as $100 of any tips provided. In any instance where the tip plus $1 from DoorDash doesn’t meet the guaranteed minimum, DoorDash will also kick in a “pay boost” to ensure that the driver receives the guaranteed minimum amount.

Should You Tip Your Dasher?

As you may be able to gather from the pay model, DoorDash seems to rely heavily on the assumption that customers will tip their drivers in order to meet their “guaranteed minimum” pay amounts. Some have argued that this is problematic because it appears as though DoorDash is using customer gratuities to supplement driver pay.

Regardless of how you feel about the DoorDash payment structure, the fact remains that you should generally tip your delivery driver. Not only do drivers rely on tips to make a decent living, but you must also take into consideration that these drivers use their own personal vehicles and gas to pick up and deliver your food.

At the end of the day, the decision to tip is entirely yours—but be sure to keep in mind how the DoorDash pay structure works and the fact that drivers are providing a valuable service to you. At the time you place your order, the DoorDash app will automatically calculate and prompt you to leave a 15% tip. However, you can adjust this as you see fit.

Recommended Tipping Amounts For DoorDash

If you’re going to tip your DoorDash driver, it is recommended that you follow general service-industry tipping guidelines. In other words, think about tipping the same amount you would tip your server at a restaurant or your pizza delivery driver. In most areas, this equates about 15%-20% of your total bill.

Of course, it’s not always this cut-and-dry. For example, DoorDash frequently runs special promotions that will give you a certain dollar amount off your order or waive your delivery fee. When you’re taking advantage of these kinds of discounts, you should still tip your driver based on the full amount before any promotions or discounts. For example, if you have a $20 order but use a promotional code to drop your total down to $15, you should still leave your tip based on the $20 total. If you’re tipping 20%, this will equate to a $4 tip. This is similar to Postmates tipping etiquette.

You may want to take other factors into consideration when tipping your Dasher as well. For example, if you know that your driver had to drive through heavy rush hour traffic to make your delivery, you might consider throwing an extra dollar or two his or her way to make up for the additional time, gas, and vehicle wear-and-tear. The same applies if your driver went above and beyond, such as by returning to the restaurant to retrieve an item that an employee forgot to put in your bag.

And of course, if you have an especially poor experience with your Dasher, you are justified in lowering your tip amount if desired. Just be sure that you aren’t “punishing” your driver for things that were beyond his or her control. For example, it’s not your driver’s fault if there was an accident on the freeway that caused your delivery to be a few minutes late.

When To Tip Your Dasher

Another common question people have when it comes to using the DoorDash platform is when they should leave their driver a tip. The DoorDash app prompts users to tip their drivers at the same time they place their order. However, some users may be uncomfortable with tipping before they know what kind of service they’re going to receive. For example, a user may not want to leave a 20% tip on an order and then regret it when they have a bad experience.

The good news is that DoorDash allows users to change their tip amount after-the-fact by visiting the Delivery Help page; here, tips can be adjusted as needed. This includes adding a tip when you did not leave one at the time you placed your order. If you did leave a tip but want to adjust it, you can increase or decrease as you see fit. Your delivery driver will be notified of any changes in your gratuity.

Benefits Of Tipping In Cash

For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of tipping through the DoorDash app or leaving a tip before they know what kind of service they’re going to receive, there is always the option of tipping Dashers in cash at the time of delivery. There is no requirement that drivers receive tips directly through the DoorDash app, and a cash tip can actually work out in the Dasher’s favor by increasing the total amount they make off your delivery.

Here’s how.

When you tip your Dasher in cash, DoorDash has no record of it. Instead, they see that the driver has not made the minimum guaranteed amount for the order, so they kick in the amount required to meet that minimum. On top of that, the driver receives the cash tip that you provided. This increases the driver’s total pay for the delivery without costing you an extra penny. In addition, paying cash makes the Dasher a happier person as they can readily use the money and not have to wait until payday. Tipping cash is common for the maid service industry. If you want to read about maid tipping etiquette, read our maid tipping etiquette guide.

Many drivers also appreciate cash tips because they’re able to pocket the money right away, rather than waiting for DoorDash to pay-out. And when you consider some of the controversy about DoorDash using tips to pay their drivers, tipping in cash can help to avoid this issue altogether.

If you do decide not to tip in cash but to use the app instead, feel free to let your driver know once he or she arrives with your order. This way, there won’t be any misunderstanding and your driver will know that you are leaving a tip. Just be sure that if you didn’t leave your tip in the app at the time you ordered, that you don’t forget to go back and add it. Unfortunately, this is something that happens all too often and can really ruin a driver’s day.

The Bottom Line On DoorDash and Tipping

As you can see, DoorDash has one of the more complicated payment structures for its drivers. As a DoorDash user, however, the most important thing to remember is that drivers rely heavily on tips to make a living. Not only are they putting wear and tear on their personal vehicles to make your deliveries, but they’re also paying for their own gas and often going above and beyond to ensure you get the food you want in a timely manner.

When it comes to tipping your Dasher, feel free to tip through the app if that will be most convenient to you. The tip amount will simply be charged to your credit card along with the rest of your order total (and remember, you can always adjust your tip amount after your delivery if you desire). If you can, however, most Dashers will prefer to be tipped in cash. A cash tip will increase the total payout the driver receives for your order while also putting some money in your driver’s pocket right away.

With so many different food-delivery platforms available these days, all customers should be aware of and follow general tipping etiquette. Tipping your driver can help to ensure excellent ongoing service while keeping these time-saving delivery apps in business. And remember, when you need a little help cleaning up after ordering all that restaurant take-out, Maid Sailors is here to help.  Book your professional cleaning service today!

Living In Jersey City While Working In NYC

Have you recently accepted a job in New York City? If so, then congratulations! As you prepare to begin your new position, one of the most important steps you’ll need to take is to secure a place to live near your place of employment (if you haven’t done so already). It’s no secret that New York City is one of the most expensive places in the world to live—but believe it or not, working in NYC doesn’t mean you have to live there.

In recent years, more people have begun moving to New Jersey and commuting to their jobs in different areas of New York City, such as Manhattan. Specifically, Jersey City has become a hot-spot for those who work in NYC but want to live somewhere more affordable, all while still being close enough to the Big Apple to commute to work daily.

Before you sign a lease on an overpriced studio apartment in Manhattan, then, be sure to at least explore your options in Jersey City. You may be surprised at how much more affordable it is to live here and how easy the daily commute to your job in New York City can be. By having a better understanding of what living in Jersey City is like, as well as some of the pros and cons of living there while working in New York City, you can ultimately make an informed and confident decision.

About Jersey City

Jersey City, New Jersey is situated along the Hudson River and part of Upper New York Bay. As the second most populated city in New Jersey, its population is estimated at 247,597 as of the 2010 United States Census. Some people actually consider Jersey City to be a “hidden NYC borough” due to the fact that the commute is significantly shorter between Manhattan and Jersey City than it is between Manhattan and many other NYC neighborhoods.

While not nearly as large as New York City, Jersey City is still a relatively large city and offers plenty in the way of arts and entertainment, dining, and more. Major employers in the city’s bustling downtown area include Barclays and Goldman Sachs.

Benefits of Living in Jersey City

Whether you’ve already accepted a job offer in New York City or are seeking employment in the Big Apple, there are many reasons to consider calling Jersey City home.

Lower Overall Cost of Living

Despite the proximity, the overall cost of living in Jersey City is significantly lower than any of the neighborhoods in New York City. According to Numbeo.com data, overall consumer prices in New York City are more than 25% higher than they are in Jersey City. Groceries, dining, and general consumer goods are also much higher in NYC than they are in Jersey City. If you’re looking to make your budget stretch as far as possible, then, you’ll get a lot more out of your money when living in Jersey City as opposed to an expensive NYC neighborhood like Manhattan.

More Affordable/Available Real Estate

In addition to the overall cost of living being more affordable in Jersey City, real estate (both rentals and purchases) is much more affordable and easy to come by in Jersey City. In fact, rent prices in New York City are estimated to be around 65% higher than rent in Jersey City.

Let’s look at a specific example for comparison. According to Business Insider, the average monthly cost of living in Jersey City is about $2,000. This includes a mortgage payment of about $1,300, in addition to property taxes and similar costs. In Manhattan, the average monthly cost of living is more than $4,500 per month, including a typical mortgage payment nearly $3,700.

With lower mortgage and rental costs in Jersey City, this may mean you’ll be able to afford a nicer/larger place or that you’re able to pocket that extra money that you otherwise would have spent on your costly NYC rent. Many people also find that they don’t need to find roommates to afford a place to live in Jersey City, whereas you may find it necessary to find one or several roommates to comfortably afford a place in an NYC neighborhood like Manhattan or Queens.

There also tends to be less competition for places to live in Jersey City, which could make it less stressful for you to find and secure a place to live. All too often, the biggest challenge of moving to NYC is finding and securing a place to live before it gets taken off the market.

Lower Taxes

The sales taxes in Jersey City are also much lower than that of New York City’s. Specifically, NYC has a whopping 8.5% sales tax, whereas Jersey City’s is just 3.5%. This means you’ll save even more money on the goods you purchase while living in Jersey City. New Jersey also has no sales tax on clothing/apparel items, so you can save money if you need to stock up on a new wardrobe for work.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

While there are plenty of advantages to living in Jersey City while working in New York City, there are some potential drawbacks to consider as well.

Commute Costs and Time

When you live in Jersey City and work in NYC, you’ll have to commute. Depending on where your place of employment is located and what time of day you need to travel in/out of work, you could end up spending a fair amount of time on your daily commute. Commuting can also add up in terms of cost. However, it is worth noting that even if you lived in New York City, you’d probably still have a commute to get to your work each day.

You may be able to alleviate some of your commute costs and time by inquiring with your employer about potentially working remotely one or two days a week. More employers are open to this option than ever before, though it may not be appropriate for all industries.

Different Vibe/Lifestyle

For those who love New York City and its unique vibe, the simple fact is that you cannot recreate the NYC lifestyle anywhere else. Jersey City, like living in Weehawken, has a lot to offer and has its own unique culture, but it is by no means similar to that of New York City. With this in mind, those who are really looking forward to becoming a “true New Yorker” may not be happy living in Jersey City.

Potential Tax/Withholding Confusion

Any time you’re living in a different state than the one in which you work, there can be some confusion when it comes to tax withholding and paying your state taxes. You may need to consult with a tax professional to make sure you’re paying the appropriate amounts to each state; otherwise, you may face underpayment penalties when it comes time to file.

The good news is that it’s extremely common for people to live in New Jersey while working in NYC, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to work this out and avoid problems.

Jersey City Real Estate

Now that you have a better understanding of the inherent pros and cons of living in Jersey City while working in New York City, you may be wondering what to expect when it comes to seeking out Jersey City real estate. Whether you’re interested in buying or renting, there are some important things to keep in mind.

Which Neighborhood is Right For You?

Start by getting a better feel for the different neighborhoods in Jersey City; this way, you can ultimately narrow down which neighborhoods will best suit your lifestyle and budget. For example, if you want the “big city” feel, then you’ll probably want to look in downtown Jersey City for your next home or you may want to check out Hoboken. There are plenty of condominium and apartment buildings in downtown Jersey City, though single-family homes here can be a little more difficult to come by. Still, downtown is a great place to live if you want to be within easy walking distance to nightlife, restaurants, and much more of what Jersey City has to offer.

Another popular neighborhood to consider is that of Paulus Hook; this particular neighborhood is the closest to Manhattan, making for the shortest commute if that’s where you’ll be working. It’s actually only one mile across the river from Paulus-Hook to Manhattan. This neighborhood also has a charming small-town feel with plenty of great local shops and restaurants.

The Bergen-Lafayete neighborhood is another one to consider, especially if you’re looking to live somewhere that is rich in culture and diversity. There are a lot of luxury rental options here, but if you’re on a budget, you’ll have options for both buying and renting as well.

Getting to NYC From Jersey City

If you’re interested in living in Jersey City while you work in NYC, you’ll want to take some time and research your transportation options so you know just how to get to work each day. Perhaps the most popular commuting option to get between New Jersey and New York City is the PATH train, which runs 24 hours a day and provides direct routes from Jersey City to Midtown Manhattan, downtown Manhattan, and most of Brooklyn.

In addition to the PATH train, there are also plenty of bus lines that run directly from Jersey City to different parts of New York City. These tend to be independently run, so prices can vary. Still, this is an option worth checking out. Just be aware that you may be prone to being stuck in traffic if you need to commute during popular times of day, such as rush hour.

Ferries across the Hudson River are another great transportation option—and depending on where in Jersey City you live, this could be the most practical and affordable commuting choice as well. And of course, you’ll enjoy beautiful skyline views (and no stand-still rush-hour traffic) when you take the ferry in to work.

Tips for a Smooth Move

Leaning towards moving to Jersey City and commuting to work in NYC? If so, there are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Hire a Team of Professionals

When it comes to loading and transporting all of your belongings, hiring a team of professional movers is one of the best choices you can make. This is especially true if you’ll be moving to or from a high-rise, where getting items in and out can be a real challenge. You will also need to hire a Jersey City maid service that is familiar with all the cleaning procedures in the city.

Consider a Broker or Real Estate Agent

While real estate is more affordable and readily available in Jersey City than it is in New York City, there is still some competition. By working with a real estate agent or broker, you may have an easier time finding a place that suits your needs and budget. These professionals will also help to ensure you’re getting a fair deal while serving as a line of communication between you and the seller or landlord/property management company.

Keep an Open Mind

If you have your heart set on living in a specific neighborhood in Jersey City, try to keep an open mind to seeing rentals or homes for sale in other parts of the city as well. Keeping an open mind can go a long way in taking the stress out of your home search and ultimately making it easier to find a place that works with your lifestyle needs and budget.

Inquire About Relocation Assistance

It never hurts to ask if your employer offers any kind of relocation assistance as part of your job offer. Some employers will kick in a certain dollar amount to go towards your move. This can help to cover the costs related to hiring movers or even furnishing your new place.

Don’t Overlook Professional Cleaners

Before you move into your new place, consider hiring professionals to perform a thorough move-in cleaning so you can save yourself the time and hassle of cleaning the place yourself. From there, you can move all your furniture in with confidence and not have to lift a finger when it comes to cleaning. Maid Sailors is proud to offer move-in/move-out services to take the stress out of your next move. If you’ll be moving out of a place in New York City, you can trust us with your move-out cleaning as well!

Overall, living in Jersey City while working in New York City can be a smart move—both from a budgetary and practical standpoint. You’ll be able to make your budget go further and have an easier time finding a great place to live.

Is Boston A Dog-Friendly City?

If you’re a dog-lover, then dog-friendliness is probably one of your top priorities when choosing a place to live. Not only do you want to make sure any apartment you rent out will allow your dog, but you’ll also want to live in a city where you can enjoy local dog parks, dog-friendly establishments, ample pet care options, and more.

When it comes to dog-friendly cities, Boston and Cambridge (outskirts of Boston) have been inching its way up the list for the last few years. While Boston may still not be the most dog-friendly city in the country, it has come a long way—with new dog parks and an increasing number of dog-friendly shops. If you’re considering a move to Boston and plan on bringing your canine companion, there are a few things you should know.

Shopping With Your Dog in Boston

There’s nothing quite like being able to bring your dog with you as you explore town or run errands. Unfortunately, dogs are not always welcome at privately-owned businesses (with the exception of service dogs, of course).

Boston still has a way to go when it comes to dog-friendly establishments. While there are certainly a handful of shops in Boston where dogs are welcome such as the Boston maid service, the majority of them still only allow service animals. Still, there are plenty of pet stores where dogs and other pets are obviously welcome. Some bars and taverns where food is not served also tend to allow dogs, especially if there is an outdoor patio area. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to call before visiting an establishment to inquire as to whether your dog will be allowed inside.

Dog-Friendly Apartments in Boston

Another important thing to consider is how easy it will be to find a dog-friendly apartment or another residence if plan on renting. Individual landlords and property management companies sometimes have strict rules and policies regarding dogs in their rentals. Some will not want pets at all, whereas others may require a non-refundable deposit and/or a monthly fee added onto your rent in order to have a dog in the unit.

Keep in mind that even landlords that allow dogs may have breed restrictions in place, so if you have a restricted breed (such as a pit bull or Doberman), you may not be allowed to rent with some landlords or property managers.

The good news here is that an increasing number of landlords in Boston are beginning to loosen up their restrictions on dogs. As more and more renters move to the Boston area with their dogs, the demand for pet-friendly apartments has been on-the-rise, and landlords have been responding appropriately so as not to lose out on business.

In addition to finding a rental that allows dogs, you’ll also want to consider the size of your dog and his or her space/exercise needs when choosing an apartment. For smaller breeds, your dog shouldn’t need a lot of space and you may even be able to train your dog to go potty indoors on a puppy pad. This can be especially convenient for high-rise apartment buildings or other rentals where access to green space is limited.

If you have a larger breed dog, however, keep in mind that you may need to compensate for this with a larger apartment. More square footage will give your dog the ability to get exercise without leaving the house. However, you’ll still want to make sure you’re taking your dog for regular walks as well. This is where having access to local walking trails or even dog parks can be especially helpful.

What About Boarding and Pet Care in Boston?

If you do a fair amount of traveling, it will also be important to find a reputable dog hotel or similar boarding facility that you can trust to leave your dog during your travels. Boston has a great selection of boarding facilities to suit your needs, and pricing can vary greatly depending on the size of your dog and the specific level of service you’re looking for.

For example, some facilities offer basic boarding services that include a kennel for your dog as well as daily potty breaks and playtime. Other facilities are more costly but include indoor/outdoor runs for your dog, more interaction with staff, spa/grooming services, and much more. Whether you’re looking for basic boarding services or something a little fancier, you should have no trouble finding dog boarding in Boston.

The main thing to keep in mind, however, is that these facilities can fill up quickly during busy times of year, such as holiday travel seasons. Be sure to book your dog’s boarding as soon as possible to avoid problems with vacancy.

Dog Parks in Boston and More

One of the challenges of living in Boston with a dog is that the climate isn’t very conducive to outdoor play year-round. Boston sees rather harsh winters, which can keep you and your dog indoors for a few months at a time. Still, during the warmer months of the year, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get outside with your dog. Boston has a number of great dog parks where you can bring your dog to interact with others and enjoy some exercise.

If you plan on taking your pup to a dog park, just be sure to bring a leash and proof of updated vaccinations. Many dog parks will require this paperwork before they will allow your dog inside.

Moving to Boston With a Dog

If you’re thinking about moving to Boston with a dog, there are a few tips worth keeping in mind. For starters, be sure that any rentals you look at are dog-friendly and have no restrictions on your dog’s specific breed. Always read the lease agreement and make sure you have in writing any information on pet damage deposits, monthly pet fees, breed restrictions, and the like.

When moving with a dog, it can also be helpful to board your dog on the day of the move. This way, he or she isn’t exposed to the stress of furniture being moved in and out. Instead, you can simply bring your dog over to your new place once everything is moved in. Going this route can also reduce stress on you.

And once you get moved into your new place, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to stay on top of all that dog hair! Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services, including routine cleaning and even deep-cleaning. We can help with keeping your floors and surfaces free of dog hair, as well as taking care of other messes dogs often create. Contact us today to set up your cleaning!