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.

Airbnb NYC Rules And Regulations: What You Need To Know

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

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

Benefits of Becoming an Airbnb Host

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

Bring in Additional Income

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

Flexibility and Versatility

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

Meet New People

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

Potential Drawbacks of Becoming an Airbnb Host

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

Income Can Be Unpredictable

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

Finding Renters Can Be Time Consuming

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

Renters Aren’t Always the Best Guests

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

Some Cities Have Strict Regulations on Rentals

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

Understanding Hosted vs. Unhosted Rentals

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

Hosted Airbnb Rentals in NYC

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

Unhosted Airbnb Rentals in NYC

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

A Note on Rent-Stabilized Buildings

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

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

What About Condominiums and Single-Family Homes?

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

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

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

What’s the Reasoning for These Restrictions, Anyway?

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

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

Potential Fines and Penalties for Illegal Renting in NYC

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

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

Making the Most of Your NYC Airbnb Rental

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

Stay on Top of Changing Laws

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

Hire a Professional Cleaning Company

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

Have a Plan For Maintenance Issues

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

Know How Much to Charge

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

Make Sure Your House Rules Are Clear

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

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

Best Laundry Services In NYC

If you live in New York City, then you know just what a hassle doing laundry can be. Few are lucky enough to have their own washer and dryer, and many end up lugging their laundry down to the local laundromat once a week or more to make sure they have clean clothes. If this sounds like a familiar struggle to you, then it may be time to consider using a professional laundry service.

A laundry service can pick up your dirty clothes, professionally launder them, fold them, and deliver them back to you at a time that’s convenient. Talk about life-changing! On the flip side, if your NYC rental does have access to a washer and dryer, you may also be able to schedule laundry service as part of your regular cleaning services as well. Don’t forget to check our our best apartment cleaning service guide if you are a true New Yorker!

Top Laundry Services In NYC

Not sure where to begin on your search for the best laundry services in NYC? We’ve got some recommendations.

1. Hangr Lane

This company is known for its excellent customer service and its substantial new-customer discount. You also have the option of setting up your pick-up using their app or doing so directly through their website. From there, you can choose a pick-up time and your laundry will be returned to you same-day, in most cases.

2. Hamperville

This particular company serves parts of Queens and Brooklyn, as well as all of Manhattan. They offer wash and fold services as well as dry-cleaning starting at about $1.50 per pound, which is pretty competitive. They also have a convenient laundry-tracking tool on their website that will let you know exactly where your clothes are in the laundering process.

3. Boomerang

Customers rave about the easy-to-use app offered by Boomerang, which keeps things simple by allowing you to press a large orange button to request laundry pick-up immediately. Once your laundry is done, you’ll be notified and you can press the same orange button to request delivery of your clean clothes—usually same-day or the very next day, depending on when you placed your order.

4. WashClubNYC

WashClubNYC is a popular laundry service that takes on both residential and commercial customers, and they currently serve both the Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods. Their services start at just $1.34 per pound but also include an 8% gratuity.

5. Cleanly

Customers love that Cleanly delivers your fresh laundry in sealed plastic bags inside of reusable laundry bags for extra convenience and freshness. Their app is also a breeze to use and makes it easy to customize your order, from designating low-heat drying to choosing warm wash versus cold wash. Cleanly is also known for their excellent customer service.

Benefits of Using A Laundry Service

Not sure whether a laundry service is right for you? There are a few key benefits to consider.

Save Time and Hassle

How much time per week or month do you spend at the laundromat? If you’re like a lot of NYC-dwellers, then you spend a fair share of your time lugging laundry to and from the laundromat—which is no easy feat on its own, let alone if you live in a high-rise apartment building.

With a professional laundry service, you can eliminate trips to the laundromat and enjoy the convenience of having your laundry picked up directly from your residence and brought back to you, clean and folded, when it’s done. This will save you the precious time (and of course, the hassle) of taking your clothes to the laundromat and dealing with crowds, broken machines, and other frustrations.

And when you consider how much your time is worth, it’s easy to see how a professional laundry service can be some of the best money you spend.

Take Care of Your Garments

When you leave your clothing and garments with a professional laundry service, you can also enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that your clothing is in good hands. If you have garments that need special attention while washing or drying, simply bring it to the attention of your laundry service and they will take care of it.

Having your clothing professionally laundered can keep your garments in great shape for much longer than if you were to launder the same items yourself. As a result, you may find that your clothing lasts longer and doesn’t need to be replaced as often, which can save you money.

Save Precious Square Footage

Even if you have an NYC rental with washer and dryer hook-ups, you probably know all too well that square footage is a precious commodity when it comes to NYC rental living. Rather than spending your money on a washer and dryer and sacrificing the square footage that comes along with doing so, why not leave your laundry up to the professionals?

Potential Drawbacks of Using a Laundry Service

Of course, hiring a laundry service does have some potential disadvantages, so it’s important to consider these as you decide on whether or not this is right for you.

Can Be Expensive

The most common reason people tend to give for not wanting to use a laundry service is that it’s too expensive. In NYC, most companies charge per-pound of laundry, and it’s not uncommon for rates to hover around $1.50 per pound. This may be outside of your budget, especially if you have a lot of laundry that needs done on a regular basis.

On the other hand, many laundry services offer special discounts that can make it more affordable. For example, some offer a first-time customer discount, and others may offer a substantial discount if you pre-pay. This can help to offset some of the costs. When thinking about price, it’s also important to factor in the time and hassle you save by not having to launder your own clothes or take them to your local dry cleaner.

Potential Delays or Errors

As with any pick-up/delivery service, there is always the possibility of there being errors or delays. NYC traffic can be unpredictable, so a laundry delivery could occasionally run late or be delayed until the next day. This can be a problem, especially if you were counting on wearing a specific outfit to an event. Fortunately, a lot of these kinds of problems can be avoided by simply choosing a reputable and experienced laundry service.

What To Look For In A Laundry Service

If you’re thinking about using a laundry service, of course, you want to find the right one for your needs and budget. As you shop around, then, there are a few things worth looking for that can help you make the best decision.

Specific Services Offered

Begin by making sure you find a company that offers the specific services you need. For example, if you need same-day pick-up and delivery, make sure you look for a same day service that offers this as a guarantee on orders placed by a certain time. If you have special garments that need to be laundered, such as delicates, you’ll want to go out of your way to find a service that knows how to care for them properly.

Laundry services can vary widely in the specific options they offer customers, so this is where you’ll need to do a little research. For example, some companies may offer wash and fold services only, whereas others may also offer dry cleaning and tailoring as well.

Subscription or One-Time Service?

There may be occasions where you simply don’t have the time (or energy) to make it to the laundromat; when this happens, having a laundry service you can turn to for a one-time wash and fold can make all the difference. Many NYC companies offer one-time laundry service, but there are a handful that require you to enter into a subscription in order to use their services. Be sure to consider your needs and find one that works for you.

Keep in mind, also, that many companies with laundry subscription services also offer discounts to subscribers. You may be able to save 10% on your services, for example, by having them done weekly or even twice a month. This can be a great option for those looking to save some money.

Schedule Limitations

NYC is the city that never sleeps, but what about your laundry service? Some offer 24/7 service 365 days a year, whereas others may have more rigid hours of business. You’ll want to consider how time-sensitive your need for clean laundry is when deciding on a service. If you tend to wait until the last second to do your laundry and then need it done ASAP, you’ll probably want to find a service that’s available 24/7, seven days a week. If you’re able to plan your laundry needs a little further in advance, you may be able to do just fine with a company that has more traditional hours.

Pricing Structure

In NYC, you will find that most laundry services charge by the pound—with per-pound rates averaging around $1.50. Be sure to confirm the pricing structure of the laundry service you’re considering, though. Some may charge additional fees for folding, delivery, or separating dark and white laundry.

You’ll also want to find out where a company stands when it comes to tipping, too. Some companies will automatically include a gratuity with their fees, whereas others may not.

Convenient App Interface

These days, using a laundry service is all about convenience. While any laundry service should be able to accept orders via telephone and through their website, not all have yet gotten on-board with having their own app. Using a laundry service with a user-friendly app can make your life even easier. You can use the app to request a pick-up, track your laundry throughout the process, and receive an alert when it’s done. From there, you can use the app to arrange a delivery time that’s most convenient for you.

Can A Cleaning Service Handle Laundry?

There are certainly many advantages to using a professional laundry service when you live in NYC. From saving the time and hassle of going to your local laundromat to enjoying the convenience of pick-up and delivery of clean, folded laundry, these services can make your life a lot easier.

Another option to consider, though, is turning to your cleaning service to handle your laundry. This option will be best for those who have access to either have a washer and dryer in their rental or have access to one in their building. By adding laundry services onto your existing maid service or nude maid service you can check one more item off your list. Not to mention, having your laundry done by your house cleaner means not having to worry about scheduling pick-up or delivery times. In many cases, it’s also more affordable to do things this way.

How Maid Sailors Can Help

At Maid Sailors, we’re proud to offer laundry services as part of our available cleaning services. All of our cleaners are laundry experts, and each customer’s laundry is carefully and diligently cared for. This service is available to all customers who have access to a washer and dryer either in their rental unit or in the building. Please be aware that this service is not offered as a standalone option; it must be combined with an existing cleaning service, and customers must provide both detergent and fabric softener.

Still, if you’re looking for a way to save time and money on your laundry services, Maid Sailors is here to make your life easier. Allow us to tackle that pile of laundry as we clean your apartment so you can come home to a clean apartment and freshly laundered clothes. By going this route, you can also avoid the hassle of finding a separate service to handle your laundry needs.

Ready to find out more about our laundry services or our cleaning options? Contact our team at Maid Sailors today! In the meantime, we hope this will serve as a useful guide to finding the right laundry services in NYC to make your life easier. At Maid Sailors, that’s what we’re all about.

10 Pros And Cons Of Living In A NYC Doorman Building

When it comes to the idea of living in a doorman building—especially in New York City—people generally love or hate the idea, but rarely is anyone indifferent about it. Without a doubt, there are many advantages and disadvantages, most of which can really only be learned with first-hand experience.

Regardless of your current opinion on doorman buildings—or even if you don’t have a current opinion yet—here are 10 pros and cons for you to consider before packing your bags and moving in (or out) of your current place of residence:

Pros Of Living In A NYC Doorman Building

1. Safety

Safety is always a plus, and a doorman is good at keeping strangers and unwanted guests at bay. See someone loitering outside your building?—the doorman will take care of it. Want the peace of mind that you’re never totally alone at night in your building?—rest easy. The doorman is at the front desk, and he has everything under control. Even just the presence of a watchful doorman is good at keeping unwanted or illegal activity to a minimum. A good doorman pays attention to who is coming and going and generally has a good sense when something isn’t right. They are also beneficial to let your apartment cleaner come in when you are not home.

2. Luxury

Without a doubt, having someone waiting in your building who will open the door for you or greet you as you enter is seen—at least by the general public—as a luxury. And having a doorman can certainly give a good first impression to family members who visit you or people who stop by your building for a visit. If your doorman also serves as a concierge of sorts—or if you have a separate concierge service in your building—pat yourself on the back. You are one of the lucky few who gets to live in a full-service building. Not too shabby! The doorman himself is perceived as a value add—let alone the actual value he brings in the services he provides.

3. Deliveries

With online shopping in the U.S. at an all-time high, having a doorman who is always available to accept deliveries—and then to keep an eye on those deliveries during the day—is a great bonus. You’ll never have to worry about the pesky neighborhood kid taking off with one of your packages from the front steps. Nor will you need to rearrange your schedule for your FreshDirect delivery or to meet the FedEx guy. If you need someone to sign for something, your doorman will be able to handle that.

4. Assistance

Living in NYC can require juggling acts to get from the front door of your building to the taxi waiting for you on the curb (and vice versa). Carrying groceries or balancing an armload of packages can be tricky at times. And luggage?—that can feel nearly impossible. A good doorman will take note of your troubles and try to help, which can be very, very handy.

5. Gatekeeper

If you live in a doorman building, you now have someone to whom you can direct your complaints or concerns. If the neighbor is playing his music too loudly (again!) you can call the doorman. If the front lobby looks like a herd of elephants came marching through after a mudwrestling tournament, you can tell the doorman. If you’re even concerned that you may have forgotten to shut off your stove before leaving for work, you can call the doorman. Bottom line: Your doorman is there to help you.

Cons Of Living In A NYC Doorman Building

1. Privacy

While it is good to know that the doorman is always there and is paying attention to who is coming and going, it can also feel like a violation of privacy that the doorman is always there and is paying attention to who is coming and going. His omnipresence can feel like a pro and a con, depending on the day and the situation. Some people don’t like feeling like every guest must first be trotted past the ever-present doorman, and some feel like they must explain why someone is coming for a visit and why he or she stayed the night. No deliveries or activities escape his notice. The doorman basically knows everything, and that can make some people feel uncomfortable.

2. Cost

A full-time doorman means a full-time salary (and generally benefits are included as well), and the cost of the doorman is typically added to the rent of everyone who lives in the building. So depending on how many units there are or aren’t can make a world of difference in how much you need to pay every month for the benefit of having a doorman. According to a Wall Street Journal article, those who live in luxury condos in NYC pay as much as 65% more per square foot in buildings with doormen. Which, depending on how valuable or not their services are to you could be worth it. On the flipside, buildings with doormen typically have a higher resale value than those without. So the investment is not without its potential reward. If you live with a tighter budget or you’re looking to save money month to month, living in a doorman building may not be your best use of funds.

3. Gossip

Let’s be honest. Most human beings are naturally nosey, and doormen are no exception. While it isn’t always the case, doormen have been known to gossip on occasion. And why not? They’ve seen and heard a lot on the job. Unfortunately, some doormen are known to talk amongst themselves—or to others in the building—about the things they’ve seen or heard. And if you have nosey neighbors who are happy to compare notes with the doormen, the combination can feel intrusive. If you’re a private person, living in a doorman building may not be right for you.

4. Chitchat

In reality, this one may actually fit in the “pro” category depending on your personality and preferences. If you like seeing a familiar face on your way in and out of your building and don’t mind the occasional chat about your day or your plans, then a doorman building may be a perfect opportunity for you. On the other hand, if you’d rather get from the curb to your leather or fabric couch as quickly as possible without so much as a “hello” to your neighbor, than you may not want to live where a doorman will always greet you. By the nature of their work, doormen can be pretty chatty.

5. Tips

As if the cost of having a doorman is not already high enough, it is typically expected that the doorman receives tips, especially during the holiday season. On average, the holiday tips run between $25 and $150 on average. A very small percentage of tenants don’t tip their doormen, and it is known to have a negative effect on them.

Doorman In NYC Overview

NYC is truly a city with endless opportunity, and whether or not to rent or own a place that comes with a doorman is one of the many exciting possibilities available to you. Your best bet is to make a list of your own priorities and determine whether or not the pros outweigh the cons.

The Ultimate Guide To Moving To NYC

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

Two To Three Months Before The Move

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

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

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

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

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

Six To Eight Weeks Before The Move

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four Weeks Before The Move

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

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

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

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

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

Two Weeks Before The Move

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

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

One Week Before The Move

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

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

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

Days Leading Up To The Move

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

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

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

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

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

Day Of The Move

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

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

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

How To Get Your Security Deposit Back In New York City

When you’re renting a residential dwelling in New York City, there’s a good chance you’ll need to place a security deposit at the time you sign your lease. The purpose of a security deposit is to cover damages to the unit that you cause during your stay. This may include anything from accidentally breaking a set of blinds or scuffing the floors. When you move out, your landlord assesses the property for damage and deducts any necessary funds from your security deposit to cover repairs. The remainder of the money should be returned to you.

Ideally, you’ll be able to get your full security deposit back when you move out—but that can be easier said than done! Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to maximize your chances of getting your full security deposit back and to do so without a headache.

Check The Terms Of Your Lease

Start by reviewing your lease so you know exactly what you agreed to when you signed it—especially if it’s been a while since you signed your original lease agreement. If you can’t locate a copy of your lease, contact your landlord or head down to the leasing office. They should have it readily available in their files and will be able to provide you with a copy.

As you review the terms of your lease, look specifically for any clauses related to your security deposit. Make note of exactly how much of a deposit you paid (a total of one month’s rent is pretty typical) along with what could cause you to forfeit some or all of your deposit upon moving out if you do not get a moving out cleaning.

In some cases, for example, breaking your lease for any reason could be grounds for the landlord to retain your full security deposit. Most often, however, deductions from a tenant’s security deposit will occur when damage has been done to the unit itself. Some common items that could result in lost security deposit funds include:

  • failing to patch holes in walls
  • failing to repaint to a neutral color before moving out
  • damaged window treatments
  • damaged or stained floors/carpeting
  • lingering smells or odors (from pets or cigarette smoke)

If any of these apply to you, you’ll want to go out of your way to make any necessary repairs before you move out. For holes in walls left by art/decor that you hung up, a small amount of spackle and patching paint can go a long way. You may even be able to inexpensively replace broken window treatments, such as blinds, before you move out.

Schedule A Professional Cleaning

One of the best ways to maximize your ability to collect your full security deposit upon moving out is to schedule a professional cleaning of your apartment. This cleaning should include such services as:

  • sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming
  • dusting of all hard surfaces and baseboards
  • window cleaning and disinfecting
  • deep cleaning of kitchen appliances
  • thorough bathroom cleaning and bleaching

A lot of times, lingering smells and odors may be eliminated with a deep cleaning of your apartment. In some cases, however, additional services (such as a professional carpet cleaning) may be required. Still, scheduling a professional cleaning is a great way to make sure your apartment is as clean (or cleaner!) when you move out as it was when you moved in. As a result, you may have an easier time getting your security deposit back.

When you opt for a professional cleaning service before moving out of your rental unit, you can also save yourself a lot of time and stress. More than likely, you already have enough on your plate when it comes to planning your move. You may be spending a lot of your time packing and trying to get the details of your move arranged (hiring movers, finding a new place to live, etc.). With all that in mind, the last thing you want to have to worry about is cleaning your apartment before you turn in the keys. In fact, you might even want to consider hiring the same company to deep clean your new place before you move in so you have one less thing to worry about!

Hiring a maid to perform a deep clean of your place before you move out can take a lot of the stress out of moving and save you valuable time so you can focus on other aspects of your move. Meanwhile, when you hire a professional, you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that only the best of cleaning supplies and equipment will be used to deep clean your rental unit from top to bottom.

Insist On A Walk-Through

When you moved into your rental unit, you should have been provided a checklist that allowed you to make note of any imperfections or damage to the unit prior to you moving in. The purpose of this checklist is to ensure that you’re not held responsible for any damage that was pre-existing. Before you move out, make sure to obtain a copy of this checklist from your leasing records and compare it to the current state of the rental unit. This will give you a better idea of any damage that may have occurred during your stay that you will be held responsible for.

When you hand in your keys, insist on a walk-through with your landlord or with a leasing agent from the property management company. This way, you can be present as they inspect your apartment and make any notes on your checklist. If you are living in a doorman building you may also ask your doorman. You can also avoid surprises when it comes to your security deposit by being present at the time of the walk-through.

In addition to doing a walk-through with your landlord, it’s also a good idea to carefully document the condition of the unit when you move out. This should include taking detailed pictures on your phone (and backing them up somewhere safe) so your landlord cannot claim that any damage done after you moved out was your fault.

Reach Out To Your Landlord

Keep in mind that while your landlord is required by state law to refund your security deposit (as applicable with your lease agreement terms) in a timely manner, you’ll actually need to be the one to reach out to your landlord or property management company with your new contact information. Otherwise, they won’t know where to send your check!

Specifically, be sure to provide your new mailing address or a PO Box where your security deposit check can be delivered, along with additional contact information (such as your cell phone number and e-mail address). In most cases, you should expect to get your security deposit back within 30-60 days.

If You Don’t Get The Full Deposit Back…

There are many reasons as to why you may not receive your full security deposit back. One common mistake tenants make is assuming that they can skip out on their last month’s rent because they paid a full month’s security deposit when they moved in. This is typically not the case, as the deposit is meant specifically to cover damages to the unit and not designed to cover rent. Check your lease agreement if this is something you’re wondering about, but if you didn’t receive your deposit back at all and didn’t pay your last month’s rent, this is likely why.

If your landlord needed to use any of your security deposit to pay for damages to the unit before renting it back out, these costs should be outlined in detail and submitted to you. For example, if your landlord needed to have the carpets deep cleaned to remove stains you caused while living in the unit, he or she should send you an itemized list of all expenses related to having the carpets cleaned. The same applies to any other repairs or services that may have been required.

You don’t have to (nor should you) take your landlord’s word for what these repairs and services cost! Don’t hesitate to ask for documentation or receipts if they aren’t automatically provided to you. After all, this is your hard-earned money at stake.

When To Seek Legal Intervention

In most cases, disputes surrounding security deposits can be worked out between you and your landlord with a little bit of communication. If you believe any of your security deposit is being unfairly held from you, however, you may need to speak with a lawyer and take the matter to small claims court. The same applies if it’s been more than two months since you moved out of your rental unit and still haven’t received any correspondence regarding your security deposit. If this is the case, start by contacting the leasing office to ensure they have your forwarding information.

If your deposit is being held for any reason you don’t agree with, it may be worth scheduling a consultation with an experienced attorney. He or she will be able to determine whether or not you have a case to go to small claims court in an effort to recover your deposit. The same applies if your landlord tries to return your deposit without any accrued interest; in New York, landlords are legally required to pay interest (usually a small amount below 1%) to a tenant if they own a rental building with six or more units.

The Bottom Line

It’s very common practice for landlords to collect security deposits from tenants before they move in. And as long as you take good care of the rental unit and follow the terms of your lease, you should have no trouble collecting your security deposit (plus a little interest) when you move out.

Leaving your rental unit in tip-top shape can make it easier to collect your deposit when the time comes, so consider hiring a professional cleaning company to handle this for you. Maid Sailors specializes in move-in/move-out cleanings for this exact purpose, and services include deep cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and so much more! Schedule your move-out cleaning today or contact us to find out more about our cleaning service options in New York City and the surrounding areas. We sincerely look forward to serving you!

How Much Rent Can You Afford In NYC?

Living in New York City certainly has its advantages—like being a part of the action in the “city that never sleeps,” and having access to a robust public transportation system that can get you just about anywhere you need to go.

If you’re thinking about moving to The Big Apple, though, you may be feeling a little uneasy about finding a rental that you can afford. After all, NYC is notorious for its high rent. In fact, depending on the specific neighborhood, you could easily spend well over $2,000 per month in rent alone on a studio apartment.

Not sure how much you can afford? There are a few factors to take into consideration that can help you get started. And no matter how large or small your budget may be, there are some additional steps you can take to make securing your perfect rental easier.

Determining What You Can Afford

The first step is determining what you’ll be able to afford in terms of rent based on your current earnings and expenses.

Inquire About Income Requirements

You’ll always want to check with a particular landlord or property management company to find out what their income requirements are for renters. As a general rule, however, most New York City landlords will want their tenants to make at least 40 times their monthly rent in gross annual income. This means that if you’re looking to rent out an apartment that costs $2,000 per month, your landlord will probably want your gross (before taxes) annual income to be at least $80,000.

If you’re looking to move with a working spouse or a roommate, you can factor both of your incomes into this equation as well. Either way, expect to be asked for proof of your income in the form of pay stubs, tax forms, and maybe even a letter from your employer as part of the screening process.

Factor In Other Living Expenses

Of course, rent isn’t the only expense you’ll want to take into consideration when determining how much rent you can afford in New York City. You’ll also want to inquire about utilities and a home cleaning service and who will be responsible for paying them. In most cases, the tenant will be responsible for all utility bills (gas, water, electric, etc.) in addition to monthly rent. This can easily add a few hundred dollars per month to your monthly living costs. In rare cases, you may be able to find a landlord who will include some (or all) utilities in your rent, which can save you a pretty penny!

Another potential expense you won’t want to overlook is that of renter’s insurance, which you’ll definitely want to have regardless of where you end up living. Specifically, renter’s insurance provides both liability and property damage protection inside your apartment.

This means if your apartment gets broken into and your new 50″ flat-screen TV is stolen, you’ll be covered. If you’re hosting a gathering in your apartment and one of your guests trips on your living room rug and breaks an ankle, you’ll be protected against financial liability there as well. Renter’s insurance is generally pretty inexpensive, but it’s more than worth the added peace of mind it will afford you.

Broker’s Fees and Other Up-Front Expenses

In addition to your rent and monthly living expenses, there are some other up-front costs that can make moving into your first NYC apartment rather pricey. Consider, for example, that you may have to pay a broker’s fee if you’re using a broker to help you find an apartment. Typically, the cost for a broker is around 12-15% of your annual rent or the equivalent of one month’s rent. This is nothing to scoff at!

It is also not uncommon for landlords to require a security deposit in addition to first and last month’s rent up-front before you can even move in. It’s easy to see how quickly these costs can all add up when you look at an example.

Let’s say you find a great deal on a studio apartment in Queens for $2,000 per month. You used a broker to find the listing, so you need to pay your broker $2,000 as soon as your lease is signed. Your landlord also wants a security deposit equivalent of one month’s rent, as well as first and last month’s rent up-front. With all this in mind, you’re looking at $8,000 of up-front costs just to move into your apartment. Of course, this doesn’t even include the cost of utilities or any furniture you may need to buy for your new place.

Ways To Stretch Your Dollar In NYC

If you’re feeling a little discouraged by high rent prices in NYC, the good news is that there are ways to stretch your dollar.

Consider A Guarantor or Roommate

If you’re having a hard time finding an apartment that’s in-line with your income or if you’re otherwise having a hard time getting approved for the apartment you want, you might consider securing a guarantor or finding a roommate. A guarantor is a viable option for those who have the money to afford an apartment, but other circumstances (such as credit history or short employment history) are making it difficult to get approved.

Remember that a guarantor is somebody who signs onto your lease to take legal responsibility, so if you fail to make your rent payment, they could be stuck paying it on your behalf. Ensure that your guarantor is somebody who understands this very serious responsibility before they sign.

Looking for a roommate can be another great option for stretching your dollar further in NYC. In fact, it is extremely common for people to rent with roommates, as you can secure a much better value on a two-bedroom apartment than you can with a one-bedroom or studio. There are plenty of online services that will even help match you with a roommate based on your living style and other preferences.

Explore Different Neighborhoods

New York is a large city with many different neighborhoods, including the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn (including Williamsburg). Keep an open mind when it comes to these different neighborhoods to increase your chances of finding your ideal rental. While Manhattan may be your dream location, you can likely find an apartment for half the price in the Bronx. And with NYC’s robust network of public transportation, you should never have a problem getting where you need to go.

Hopefully, you have a better idea now of what to expect when it comes to renting in NYC and how to determine what you can afford when it comes to rent and other expenses. Be sure that you also carefully read your lease agreement before you sign, paying special attention to what it will take to get your security deposit back. One of the best ways to get your deposit back in-full is to leave your apartment spotless, which you can do by hiring a professional cleaning service.

How Do I Throw Out A Mattress In NYC?

You and your mattress have had a good, long run. A lot of dreams and memories. But, now it’s lumpy. Maybe it’s got a few weird stains that you can’t even identify, or a sunken spot you can’t stop rolling into. Maybe you haven’t been sleeping so well on it lately. Or, maybe it’s just old and you know you need to let it go before some of these developments occur. But, who even knows the best way to dispose of a mattress in NYC? That’s pretty random knowledge. So, now what?

Why Is It Necessary To Throw Out a Mattress?

You can’t keep it forever. The mattress has been through a lot. It’s got to go. For one thing, think of the weight a mattress gains over the year, from mites, mite droppings, human dead skin particles, body oil and moisture. An Ohio State University study has published findings that indicate a shockingly hefty amount of poundage is added to a mattress over a ten-year period. Yuck!

There are also increasingly significant sleep-quality issues that can develop from a mattress that’s lost its integrity. Those can lead to quality-of-life consequences, making updating your mattress gradually a higher priority.

Benefits of Throwing Out an Old Mattress — Stuffing in an old, worn mattress can lose its elasticity, causing back, neck and hip pain, and sleep difficulties that can lead to reduced energy, irritability, loss of focus and poor performance. Throwing away and replacing an old mattress:

  • Improves sleep quality
  • Contributes to improved efficiency and mood
  • Helps protect overall health

Disadvantages of Throwing Out Your Mattress — People in the city who find themselves faced with disposing of an old mattress and replacing it with a new one discover that it’s not the quick and simple task they had once naively assumed it would be. Plus, a new mattress isn’t cheap. Disposing of a mattress means:

  • A time-consuming and laborious disposal process
  • Learning all the rules and protocols for mattress disposal in NYC
  • Parting with a lot of money for a new mattress

Throwing Out Your Mattress In The Big Apple

Getting rid of a mattress in New York City is a little more involved than just dragging it out to the curb. The rules for disposal of such big objects are stricter than you might expect, especially for mattresses. Rules for getting rid of used mattresses in the city aren’t just about loading large items onto the sidewalks. There are also regulations set up to help prevent widespread bedbug infestations. Yikes! Who would have thought about that! Compliance can actually be kind of challenging.

Rules About Throwing Out Mattresses In NYC

Mattress disposal is governed by the City of New York Department of Sanitation ( DSNY), and they have some strict rules about it. They’ll come and collect the old mattress for you when you leave it on the curb. But, you’re responsible for making sure that it’s sealed up properly in special mattress bag or covering. That’s to help prevent the spread of bedbugs throughout the densely populated NYC boroughs.

The DSNY doesn’t provide the bags or covers you’ll need, so you’re on your own finding a bag acceptable for the purpose. They’re available at some moving supply businesses, and home improvement and department stores.

What’s Involved in Throwing Out A Mattress In NYC?

If your mattress is under 4 ft. x 3 ft. in size, you can simply bag it and put it out on the curb for collection. You don’t need an appointment. However, if it’s larger than that, you need to schedule with the DSNY to have it picked up.

Next, you bag up the big unwieldy mattress, and the box springs too, if that’s your plan, and lug them both down to the curb, only after 4pm on the evening prior to the scheduled pickup date.

You must also ensure that the mattress is not placed in a way that impedes sidewalk pedestrian traffic, or that allows it to stick out into the street, or that imposes on neighbors’ properties. Failing to comply with one of the requirements, whether it’s improperly bagging the mattress, or placing it on the curb wrong, can cause you to get multiple citations and fines from the city.

Scheduling Mattress Disposal

Trying to work with the DSNY to set a pickup date can create real complications for people on tight schedules. Appointments may have to be scheduled 3 or 4 weeks in advance. That can leave you stuck paying an extra month of extra rent, if you can’t dispose of the mattress in time to meet your move-out date. Not a small price to pay at NYC rent rates.

Appointments are not available on City holidays. If collection is suspended during snow operations, appointments for pickup are also not possible. For a next-day pickup appointment, you must schedule with the DNSY before midnight on the previous day.

Don’t Accidentally Commit Mattress Disposal Crime

The City does not like bedbugs. In its mission to keep them from spreading, people are fined for improperly disposing of mattresses and box springs. To avoid a $100 fine, you must seal your mattress and/or box springs in a plastic cover or bag, before you put it on the curb for collection. You can get large plastic bags at department stores, home improvement stores, and moving supply centers.

Painless Option For Getting Rid Of A Mattress

As you can see, Option A—doing all the work yourself to get rid of a mattress—is not looking very good. It’s long. It’s laborious. It’s predictably frustrating. There’s even risk of unintentionally committing mattress crime, by making a mistake that results in citations. Ugh. So much time and money, tracking down the approved bagging materials, struggling to seal and carry a huge, hard-to-manage mattress, and trying to get a reasonable curbside pickup date, and making sure every rule is obeyed. It’s a lot.

Take heart. There’s a better way to get rid of a mattress in New York. You don’t have to go through all of the researching, shopping, bagging, scheduling, using brute force and worrying about the law. Instead, you can dispose of your mattress with just one quick phone call.

At Maid Sailors, we know how inconvenient it is for city residents to have to turn your attention to dealing with the whole affair of getting rid of an unwanted mattress. We recommend hiring well-trained technicians that provide white-glove removal service for mattresses or pretty much any other large waste items you need to have hauled away. Maid Sailors can then help to sweep and clean up the area afterward too.

To save yourself a pain in your back and risk to your wallet from fines, just call a mattress removal specialist to come and get your old mattress out of your life in a hurry! Completely painless and drama-free.

Reporting A Mattress Violation

If you see uncovered mattresses or box springs that’s been dumped somewhere in the city, you can call to have it picked up. If it has been illegally dumped, you are not required to seal it in an approved plastic cover or bag for collection. But, you’ll need to call 311 to request to have it picked up.

Why You Need A Cleaning Company

Maid Sailors is one of NYC’s premier cleaning services. We provide residents throughout all five boroughs with the full range of NYC cleaning services that you need to live your best life in the city. We offer regular cleaning, deep cleaning, organizing, laundry service, green/eco-friendly cleaning, move-out cleaning, Air BNB turn-around cleaning, and office cleaning. Call Maid Sailors NYC at (212) 299-5170 anytime, to discuss your cleaning service needs.

How To Sell, Donate Or Junk Furniture In NYC

One of the worst parts of living in NYC is moving. You can’t bring your furniture on the subway, a cab will never stop, and getting a moving truck near your front door is almost impossible. That’s why many New Yorkers simply buy cheap furniture and get rid of it when they have to move. But what exactly are you supposed to do with it?

Leaving Old Furniture On The Curb

Unlike in most neighborhoods, you can’t just leave your furniture on the curb for someone to take in New York City. To begin with, it’s illegal for someone to take items left on the curb. Anything you leave out becomes city property, and no one is allowed to touch it even if you leave up a sign saying it’s free.

You also can’t just leave your furniture out for trash collection. Bulk items require a special appointment for pickup. They’re free to schedule if you can get an appointment, but getting the right time can be difficult if you don’t want to be without furniture before your moveout date.

In addition, your landlord might have something to say about you leaving furniture out. They can set rules on how you bring furniture out of the building and where you can leave it. In many cases, they’ll simply ban leaving things out on the curb. Since they’re the property owner, it’s within their rights to do so unless you managed to have furniture disposal included in your lease.

Donating Used Furniture

New York City has a wide range of donation options available. This includes big names like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, local churches and charities, and other specialized non-profits.

If you don’t already have an organization in mind, you can check out donateNYC for a complete list of organizations that accept donations in the city. Some will come to you, while others won’t help you much because they require you to bring your furniture to them. More on that later.

Selling Used Furniture

You can also sell your used furniture on websites like Craigslist and Facebook, in traditional classified ads, to consignment shops, or directly to other people. The trouble here isn’t so much where to list your furniture but how hard it will be to actually sell.

Most consignment shops and other middlemen won’t come to you unless you have something very valuable. Even then, the pickup costs will reduce what you receive for your furniture.

If you go the private route, you could find a steady stream of lowballers, flakes, and just plain crazy people before you find a reasonable buyer. Remember, these are the same people you ride the subway with.

In most cases, you’ll be disappointed with how much you got for your furniture especially when you add up the hours it took to sell it all.

Why Is No One Willing to Pay for Used Furniture?

Remember how you took the ferry down to Ikea or just had everything mailed to you off of Amazon, Overstock, Walmart, or Wayfair? Everyone else had the same idea.

Assemble-it-yourself disposable furniture that comes in a nice little box right to your door is one of the most popular furniture buying options for renters precisely because of how cheap and easy it is. For just a few dollars more than buying used, you get brand new items with delivery included. There’s no hassle of dealing with strangers, trying to lug the furniture back to your apartment, or hoping someone’s Ikea handiwork doesn’t fall apart in the process. This type of furniture is so cheap now that it has almost no resale value.

Trying to get rid of furniture that’s a little higher end — maybe something you got from a relative? Nobody wants that, either. Traditional furniture, that’s heavier, more difficult to move, old, and brown, is out. Disposable furniture is in. Sure, some people might want your old, brown furniture but the demand is far less than the supply created by aging generations downsizing and finding out their kids don’t want their stuff. Unless your furniture is a truly high-quality antique or a top of the market piece, you’ll be lucky if you can get even pennies on its original purchase price.

Why Don’t Charities Want Your Furniture?

Charities don’t want your old furniture, either. In many cases, donations are sold through thrift shops to the same people that you’d be trying to sell to. If your furniture doesn’t sell, the charity has to spend time and money disposing of it. They also have to make enough money to cover the costs of picking it up from you — which is why many charities are now very picky about what furniture they’ll pick up for free.

For charities that directly use the furniture, they usually have better options than hoping someone’s old Ikea furniture doesn’t fall apart. This includes bulk buying new, cheap furniture or working with large estate sellers.

Simply put, charities are trying to further their own mission not provide you with a free way to dispose of your stuff. Many furniture donations would end up losing their money, so donations to charity don’t work out.

The Bed Bug Scare

Bed bugs are also another big reason why no one wants used furniture anymore. They can be almost impossible to detect within a cushion or pillow, but getting just a few into your home can mean almost literally burning it and all of your clothes and furniture to the ground. This makes it much harder to get rid of soft furniture, like sofas, and hard furniture, like wood tables, already falls into the rule of no one wants old, brown furniture.

The Risk of Damage When Selling Furniture
Whether you sell, donate, or give away your furniture, there’s the risk of damage to your apartment or the building’s common areas when someone comes to move it. Even if you didn’t directly cause the damage yourself, you’re still on the hook for it as the person who let them into your building.

When you’re dealing with a reputable furniture reseller, junk removal company, or charity, they should have insurance to cover potential damage. You should ask to see proof of insurance, and your building may require you to give management a certificate of insurance before any move or any move out cleaning.

If you’re dealing with an individual you met online, you may not have enough contact information to get them to pay up for any damage. Even if you do, it could take a small claims court case before you can get them to pay up.

If you do choose to roll the dice and hope nothing happens, you could still end up with a nosy super who is worried about damage trying to put a stop to your move — or ratting you out to management if there’s an “illegal” moving fee in your lease.

How to Stay Safe When Selling Furniture

If you do decide to sell your furniture, here are a few tips that can keep you safe.

  1. Try to deal with people you know — coworkers, friends of friends, etc. If you sell to strangers, use a third-party app that verifies the identities of people who sign up. Even if you don’t have their personal information, the police can retrieve it from the app if needed.
  2. Using a marketplace that has payment processing, like PayPal or an escrow system, can help alleviate concerns over handling large amounts of cash or getting a bad check.
  3. Never meet a stranger alone except in a public place such as a well-trafficked street or lobby. Don’t meet in a quiet side street, a lobby with everyone gone for the day, or your own apartment.
  4. Have the right number of people to lift the furniture plus at least one extra to hold doors. Don’t hurt yourself trying to lift too much.
  5. If the person taking your furniture is coming to you, have a helper so you can bring the furniture down to their truck rather than them coming up to your apartment. If they need to come up to your apartment, let your doorman or a neighbor know what’s going on ahead of time so they can keep an eye on things and check in on you if you don’t swing by to tell them everything went smoothly.
  6. If you’re dealing with a business or charity and aren’t sure if they’re legitimate, you can call 3-1-1 for assistance. You can also call 3-1-1 if you feel you’ve been ripped off or overcharged.
  7. When possible, schedule furniture removal after you’ve moved your valuables to your new home. This reduces the risk of theft during the move or if you meet with someone who decides to burglarize you.

Get Help Cleaning Out Your Apartment

If you need help getting furniture out of your apartment or just getting a final clean to make sure you get your full security deposit back, Maid Sailors is here to help. We provide a full range of home cleaning services by bonded and insured cleaning professionals. Call, text, or chat now for a quote.

The Old I Don’t Have Time To Clean Act

I Don’t Have Any Time To Clean

Why? Because living in this city feels like drinking intensely aromatic, full-bodied coffee from a firehose. While I haven’t left work before 6:30 (at night) this entire week, I’m not about to start complaining because I didn’t choose the busy life — it chose me.

Work isn’t the only culprit that captivates my clock. All my Post-It notes have been peacefully laid to rest because my to-do list has upgraded to Constitution-length parchment paper. Between conquering fitness goals (every day, no excuses), trying every Tapas restaurant in the city (I’m Paleo dieting between juice cleanses) and catching up with long-lost friends, I barely have any time for introspection and, her fraternal twin, self-reflection.

That’s why I spent all of Saturday exhaustively grappling tough questions I’ve avoided for far too long. Should I upgrade to Spotify Premium? Should I go to Darren’s 12:45 pm spin class in East Village or Stacy’s one o’clock in West Village?

I’m going Hamlet choosing between Darren’s holistic fitness experience and Stacy’s (ultimately) rewarding dungeon of perspiration. That reminds me — it’s time to set some reminders on Google Calendar. If I’m not super-duper careful, I’ll end up paying for Netflix in 3 months.

Honestly, I’m trying to responsibly reduce my dependency on Netflix. I got back into reading recently and have been on a total tear — I’ve already zipped through 5 heavy thinkpieces online. A guy who was once in my prom group (he’s fat, balding, and married now) benevolently shared one on Facebook during the workday. It had enough likes to warrant my complete semi-divided attention, so I took the plunge.

After getting through the first four words in the title, I was downright mortified. Did you know, that right now, at this very second, you’re probably dehydrated? I managed to hobble over to my Macbook and order a case of 36 Aquafinas via Amazon Pantry (has Pantry transformed your life yet?).

A cardboard oasis showed up to my six-floor walk-up in 36 minutes. I’m always left in a pool of inspiration after the delivery guy zips off into the Brooklyn wilderness afterward — how did he get to Williamsburg so quickly? If only OkCupid worked like that.

I’m out of reasons to be out of shape So I did something revolutionary: I started running. My body has basically adopted my Fitbit like a matching kidney. I’m training for a 5k (non-charity). It’s a warmup for a half-marathon (I need a new profile picture). I’m eagerly hoping the half will be for charity (100+ likes).

My calendar is actually eyes-wide-open for the next 20 minutes — or until the dryer stops hyperventilating. I force myself to make time for laundry every week. Sure, I can have some stranger pick it up and drop it back off in half the time it takes me to walk down six floors to my building’s basement, but how is that rewarding or civil? Not to mention, it’s grossly financially irresponsible (mom and dad, I hope you’re reading this).

I’m proud to say I’m getting better at making time for my parents — especially my Dad (my role model). I called him for the first time in a month and we had one of those natural, unscripted conversations. I finally feel like the nature of our relationship has evolved to “two grown adults” from “I can’t believe your mother and I thought you’d be a good idea.”

Here’s A Snippet:

Me: “Hey Dad”

Dad: “Hello stranger! Thanks for calling, how — ”

Me: “I’m busy but it’s ‘good’ busy, you know? I know we haven’t spoken in a whole month but I just called, to say, that you can now use Venmo to send my rent directly to the landlord and completely cut me out of the process. No more envelopes — paperless like its 2016.”

Dad: “Oh, ok. What’s — ”

Me: “I’m running late and my Uber’s here. Happy belated birthday!”

I’m surprised he didn’t ask about my relationship situation. The reality is this: I won’t have time for a significant other until my online dating routine becomes less taxing. I have gin cocktails tomorrow night, coffee on Friday afternoon and, for my ‘Sunday Funday’ weekend finale, a second date with the med-school student I had tacos with yesterday. Our chemistry is nuclear but I’m still worried things are moving too quickly — she’s already tagging me on funny (but true) Instagram memes.

Look’s Like The Dryer Is Winding Down

Soon, I’ll be in a trance-like meditative state as I transport this basket of springtime breezes to my bed. Hints of lilies meander into my nostrils as I gaze into the litany of garments splattered across my Casper mattress. I gently lift a lonely sock, warm-to-the-touch like a newborn brownie, and can’t help but ponder the duality of laundry.

So blissfully rewarding, yet so painfully arduous — every piece will require meticulous folding and appropriate storing. In an hour, there will be spotless serenity in my room, but right now, there’s chaos — the chaos of my life.

Still, don’t have time to clean? Call Maid sailors. That’s what we are here for.

This article received contributions from comedian Anish K. Mitra.