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!

How To Clean A Coffee Maker

If you can’t start your day without caffeine, then your coffee maker is probably the most over-worked appliance in your kitchen or office. You may rely on it each morning to provide you with the energy you need to power through your day. Like most small kitchen appliances, however, your coffee maker needs a little TLC to keep it running smoothly.

When was the last time you cleaned your coffee maker? We’re talking a full cleaning of all its parts—not just emptying out and washing the carafe. If it’s been awhile or if you can say you’ve never cleaned your coffee maker, now is the time to make it happen. Deep-cleaning your coffee maker is a lot easier than you might think, and it doesn’t take long.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Coffee Maker

There are so many reasons to clean your coffee maker regularly. For starters, traditional coffee makers that rely on a water basin can develop mold over time. Even once your coffee is brewed, excess moisture and water droplets remain in the basin of your coffee maker. Over time, this can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mildew, and mold. And of course, all of that ends up in your coffee the next time it’s brewed. Yuck.

Cleaning your coffee maker can also help prolong the life expectancy of this important appliance. When your coffee maker isn’t cleaned often, it can develop scale and other build-ups over time that can cause premature wear-and-tear. As a result, you may need to replace your coffee maker prematurely. And unless you’re buying a very basic coffee maker, you’ll probably be spending a pretty penny on a new one! In this sense, taking the time to clean your coffee maker can save you money.

Last but certainly not least, a clean coffee maker can result in better tasting coffee. If you’ve noticed that your coffee tastes a little “off,” there’s a good chance it’s in need of a cleaning. Contaminants from the unwashed water basin or other parts of the appliance could be making their way into your coffee and affecting its flavor.

How Often Should You Clean Your Coffee Maker?

In addition to basic cleaning after each brew cycle (emptying and washing the carafe, as well as cleaning out the filter), you should be deep cleaning your coffee maker fairly regularly. The frequency with which your coffee maker needs to be cleaned can vary depending on how often you use it. If you use your coffee maker daily, then a monthly deep clean is recommended. If you use it less frequently, then you may be able to get away with a deep cleaning every few months or every time you get an office cleaning service. Ultimately, you should use your best judgment here and remember that there’s no such thing as keeping your coffee maker too clean.

Signs Your Coffee Maker Needs To be Cleaned

There are also some specific signs you can be on the lookout for that may indicate your coffee maker is in need of a deep cleaning.

For starters, check the water basin for signs of mold or mildew. Is there a musty smell coming from the basin itself? Are there water droplets present even after your coffee maker is done brewing? If so, then there could also be mold or mildew in your coffee maker that will require a deep cleaning to get rid of. As you can probably imagine, ingesting mold spores along with your morning brew isn’t good for your health.

Another sign that your coffee maker needs to be cleaned is a build-up of scale or mineral deposits. Over time, these can affect the performance of your coffee maker if not removed. Scale and mineral deposits are most common if your home has hard water. You may be able to avoid future build-up by using distilled or purified water when making your coffee.

Finally, if you’ve noticed that your coffee tastes “off” lately, this is another sign that your coffee maker could benefit from a deep cleaning. This is especially true if you haven’t changed anything else about your coffee-making routine, such as the brand of coffee grounds you buy. Taking the time to clean your coffee maker can help remove impurities that could be affecting the taste and quality of your brew.

Cleaning a Coffee Maker: Step-by-Step

Ready to give your hard-working coffee maker the deep cleaning it deserves? You’ll need just a few supplies to get started. The good news is that you probably already have most (if not all) of these supplies on-hand:

  • white vinegar
  • a sponge
  • a damp cloth or dish towel
  • a dry cloth or dish towel
  • a gentle dish soap

1. Empty and Clean Removable Parts

Start by emptying your coffee maker’s carafe and throwing out any used filters from the last brew cycle. Take some time to wash any removable parts, such as the filter holder and the carafe itself. If your coffee maker has a removable water basin, you will also want to take this out and wash it thoroughly.

If there is any heavy scale build-up, you may also want to use a clean toothbrush or other small scrub brush to remove it. Scrubbing gently in small, circular motions tends to get the best results.

2. Mix Up a Cleaning Solution

Next, it’s time to make your cleaning solution. All you have to do is mix one party warm water to one part white vinegar. The nice thing about this cleaning solution is that it’s completely safe and chemical-free, yet it is effective enough to completely clean out your coffee maker.

3. Fill the Water Chamber

Now that you have your cleaning solution, the next step is to fill up your coffee maker’s water chamber. Fill it completely, just as you would if you were brewing a full pot of coffee. The best way to ensure the right measurement here is to use your carafe as a measuring device. Fill it halfway with vinegar and halfway with water, then mix thoroughly before pouring into the water basic.

4. Start (And Stop, and Start) the Brew Cycle

Now that the water basin is full, it’s time to let your coffee maker take over and do a lot of the work for you. Start running a brew cycle, but shut it off halfway through. This will allow the vinegar cleaning solution to sit and work its magic, thoroughly cleaning all the internal parts of your coffee maker that you’d never be able to reach otherwise.

After about an hour, run the remainder of the brew cycle.

5. Run a Complete Water Brew Cycle

After the brew cycle with the vinegar solution is complete, your coffee maker will be cleaner than ever. However, you’ll still want to run a freshwater brew cycle before you make any coffee. This will remove any remaining vinegar that, while harmless, could affect the flavor of your coffee. You’ll also want to take the time to rinse and wash your carafe again.

If there is any lingering vinegar smell after you’ve run a water cycle, feel free to run a couple more cycles of just water through your coffee maker.

6. Enjoy Your Fresh Coffee!

You may also want to wipe down the exterior of your coffee maker once all the internal parts are cleaned. From there, your coffee maker should be good as new, and your coffee will likely be tasting better than ever. From here, just be sure to keep up with daily cleaning of your carafe and other removable parts. As needed, you can complete additional deep-cleanings to keep your coffee tasting its best and to prevent unnecessary wear-and-tear on this precious appliance.

Looking for more help with keeping your kitchen (and the rest of your house) clean? Our team at Maid Sailors offers an extensive range of professional cleaning services to suit your needs. From routine cleaning to deep cleaning and everything in between, we’re here to take the stress and hassle out of maintaining a clean home. Contact us today to find out more about our cleaning services offered or schedule your first cleaning online in as little as 60 seconds!

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.

Things to Do In Williamsburg, Brooklyn

On the north end of Brooklyn, the Williamsburg neighborhood lies along the East River, just west of Queens. This unique neighborhood is known for its diverse culture and local artists. If you’ll be visiting Brooklyn in the near future, be sure to set aside a day or two to immerse yourself in this little gem. From live performance venues to vintage shopping and clever mixology, Williamsburg has a little something for just about everyone. Want to check out things across the city? Check out our guide on things to do in Weehawken.

Top 7 Things to Do in Williamsburg

Not sure where to begin? Check out these top attractions to get a sampling of what Williamsburg has to offer.

1. See a Movie at The Nitehawk Cinema

Located at 136 Metropolitan Avenue, Nitehawk Cinema was established in 2011 and offers three big screens that show everything from the latest Hollywood flicks to cinema classics and independent films. Nitehawk Cinema also sets itself apart by being a dine-in theater; each film receives a specialized menu made with fresh, local ingredients—and meals are delivered right to your seat! Occasionally, this theater has even been known to bring in producers and other filmmakers for special guest Q&As.

While you enjoy your film, you’re also free to imbibe your favorite alcoholic beverage; according to the theater’s website, “Nitehawk Cinema is single-handedly responsible for the groundbreaking overturn of the prohibition-era New York State liquor law that made serving alcohol in motion picture theaters illegal.”

If you’ll be visiting Nitehawk Cinema with little ones, keep in mind that the theater is generally 18+, with the exception of some showings before 7 PM. Each week, the theater does host “Hawks with Babies” show times that are welcoming to those with children under the age of two years.

Overall, Nitehawk Cinema is a unique venue that offers an innovative viewing and dining experience. Be sure to check it out while you’re in Williamsburg!

2. Explore Food and Beverage Options

There are so many incredible places to eat and drink in Williamsburg that you’d likely need to spend an entire week (or more) here to get a sample of what this neighborhood has to offer. If you’re a beer-drinker, one place you won’t want to miss is the Brooklyn Brewery. This N. 11th Street brewery is known for revolutionizing the area’s beer industry when it first opened in 1988. Today, it’s a great place to enjoy a refreshing beer (though cider, soda, and water is also served up) in a fun environment.

The brewery also offers tours throughout the week, including Small Batch Tours on weekdays and free brewhouse tours every half hour on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-6PM. This is an excellent opportunity to see “behind the scenes” and learn a bit about the beer-making process.

If beer isn’t your thing but you’d still like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage during your visit to Williamsburg, check out the Skinny Dennis dive bar or Ba’sik, a popular bar among locals.

No matter what kind of food you’re in the mood for, chances are that you can find it without having to leave the Williamsburg neighborhood. From BBQ and pizza to Mexican, German, and diner-style fare, you’ll find it all here. Some of the more popular Williamsburg restaurants worth checking out include:

  • Acapulco Deli and Restaurant
  • Roberta’s
  • Mable’s Smokehouse and Banquet Hall
  • Fette Sau

3. Check Out The Brooklyn Bowl

Have you really visited Williamsburg, NYC if you haven’t been to The Brooklyn Bowl? Located at 61 Wythe Avenue, this mash-up of a venue offers (as you might have guessed from the name) bowling by-day, but unexpectedly morphs into one of the area’s hottest live music halls at night. Here, you’ll find musical acts ranging from up-and-coming local artists to world-famous names. The music venue itself holds just 600 people, so be sure to purchase tickets for shows in advance, as they often sell out.

When live music isn’t rocking The Brooklyn Bowl, people of all ages can enjoy a game of bowling during regular business hours. Family Bowl events are held every Saturday, and a DJ is on-site to spin some tunes throughout the day. Of-age adults can also enjoy a fully stocked bar with plenty of unique and classic concoctions. Parents should be aware, however, that all night shows at The Brooklyn Bowl are strictly 21+.

Whether you’re interested in seeing a live show or just want to enjoy a game or two of bowling in a fun environment, The Brooklyn Bowl is the place to be.

4. Spend the Day at McCarren Park

Williamsburg, despite its location in New York City, offers a surprising amount of parks and green space.  McCarren Park is perhaps the most popular gathering space for those looking to enjoy a day outdoors. This park is located at the intersections of Lorimer Street and Manhattan Avenue, between Bayard Street and Berry Street. Here, you can enjoy any number of activities, including:

  • soccer
  • kickball
  • basketball
  • football
  • tennis

This 35-acre park also boasts a beautiful playground that the younger kids will enjoy, as well as a pool that opened in 2012. Admission to the park (and pool) are completely free, so this is a great option if you’re looking for a way to beat the heat without spending a dime. There’s truly something for everyone at McCarren Park, including a number of barbecuing areas and eateries, as well as dog-friendly areas and even Wi-Fi hot spots!

From April through October, McCarren Park also becomes the site of the Smorgasburg Market, which runs every weekend and offers an excellent opportunity to try out some delicious food from local vendors. Other events, such as free movie screenings in the park, also take place frequently throughout the year—so be sure to check the park’s calendar frequently.

5. Enjoy a Live Performance

Whether you want to see your favorite artist perform or are more interested in attending a poetry reading, there is no shortage of performance venues across Williamsburg. In addition to the aforementioned Brooklyn Bowl, some other popular performance venues include The Music Hall, Glasslands Gallery, and Public Assembly. The Brick, located on Metropolitan Avenue, is another popular (and not-for-profit) theater where you can find everything from seasonal festivals to live plays from emerging and local artists.

6. Go Shopping on Grand Street

Grand Street is shopping central in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here, you can find any number of boutique shops that specialize in everything from vintage clothing, artisanal cheeses and Williamsburg cleaning services. Some of the more popular shops along Grand Street include Beacon’s Closet, which is a huge shop where you can buy, trade, and sell both vintage and modern clothing. AuH20 is another must-see shop that’s much smaller in size but still has a decent offering of vintage clothing. As a thrift store, it’s also a great place to find unique apparel and accessories at bargain prices.

7. Take a Stroll Along the Williamsburg Bridge

Avoid the crowds of the Brooklyn Bridge by taking a stroll (or bike ride) along Williamsburg Bridge instead. Often overshadowed by the famous Brooklyn Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge actually played a vital role in New York’s history by being the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1903. From that point on, the bridge has been relied on heavily for linking Brooklyn and Manhattan to the rest of the city.

Today, the bridge offers vehicle lanes, two subway lines, pedestrian lanes, and biking lanes. This is a fun area to explore; just be careful if you’ll be visiting the bridge during rush hour or other times of heavy traffic. While you’re on the bridge, be sure to take in the views of Williamsburg and other nearby neighborhoods.

Other Things to Do in Williamsburg

You’ve checked out our picks for the top seven things to see and do in Williamsburg. Now, how about some honorable mentions?

If you’re craving more time outdoors after a day in McCarren Park, try checking out some of the other great parks that Williamsburg has to offer. East River State Park is a waterfront park that offers some stunning views of the city, whereas Domino Park is better suited for families with its brand new playground and other activities.

Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up after a busy morning of shopping on Grand Street? Williamsburg has no shortage of cafes and bakeries where you can find home-baked goods, sustainable coffees, cold brews, and more. Check out Partners Coffee, for example, which is known for its latte art and cold brew. Enjoy watching your coffee being roasted and consider taking a class at their very own brew school! They offer classes on everything from cupping and making your own latte art to home-brewing your own coffee.

Brooklyn Winery is another popular spot to check out in Williamsburg. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed wine snob or don’t know the difference between merlot and Moscato, there’s something for everyone’s tastes here. This winery specializes in small batch, artisanal wines—and the venue is so pretty that space is often rented out for weddings and other special events.

Getting Around Williamsburg and Beyond

The Williamsburg neighborhood is located on the northern end of Brooklyn, in between Queens and Manhattan across the East River. The neighborhood itself is relatively small and easy to get around by bike, on foot, or by hailing a cab. However, if you want to get to any other neighborhoods in Brooklyn or beyond, you may be better suited using some of NYC’s public transportation offerings.

Consider, for example, grabbing a subway pass to get around Brooklyn affordably. In fact, you can get just about anywhere in the city on the New York City Subway; just be prepared for crowded stations and subway cars, especially during rush hour. In general, the subway system in NYC is relatively reliable, but you can still expect occasional delays. Still, many would agree that taking the subway to get around Williamsburg/Brooklyn and the surrounding areas beat navigating through busy street traffic.

Another option for getting around different neighborhoods in Brooklyn and across NYC is the Long Island Rail Road, which has its own line with various stops around the city ( including one in downtown Brooklyn) . If you’re in Williamsburg, you may need to take a cab or bike/walk to the Brooklyn stop before hopping aboard, but this is yet another relatively quick and affordable way to get around once you’re in the area.

Brooklyn and Williamsburg specifically also have an extensive network of buses; some of them are better suited for sight-seeing, whereas others are ideal for getting around. The B62 bus, for example, goes through both downtown Brooklyn, south Williamsburg, and north Williamsburg where the majority of the “must-see” destinations are located.

For shorter jaunts around Williamsburg, hailing a cab or utilizing a ride-sharing service is another practical option. Just understand that you’ll be at the mercy of local traffic, so you may need to plan for delays. If you have a bike, you’ll definitely want to utilize the Brooklyn Greenway Bike Lane, which connects East RIver Park and Domino Park while offering beautiful views of the city along the waterfront.

Considering a Move to Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Williamsburg is seeing an influx of new residents and a higher demand for rentals. This is especially true in the north end of the neighborhood, where many of the best bars, restaurants, parks, and other attractions are located.

If you’re looking to relocate to a young and hip area of Brooklyn, Williamsburg is definitely worth a look. Take some of the stress out of your move by hiring a professional cleaning service; at Maid Sailors, we offer move-in/move-out cleaning services for your new place and your current one. This saves you the time and hassle of cleaning during your move and ensures that your new place in Williamsburg is ready for you.

How to Clean Hair Brushes

Why It’s Important To Clean Hair Brushes?

So you love your hair, you take pride in your hair. You wash your hair daily, have regular appointments with your stylist to get it cut, colored, so on and on. It’s possible you spend far more than you even think you should on your hair. You love pampering your hair so much that you forget that your hair brush also needs pampering from time to time. Take some time to make sure you have clean hair brushes as they will have a clean office from a reputable office cleaning companies nyc

Imagine this, you just finished washing your hair. It’s all nice and clean such a great home cleaning. And then you take your brush or comb that you’ve used a million times before on your unwashed hair and use it on your freshly cleaned hair. Think about that for a moment. You’ve just taken your dirty hair that was left on the brush/comb and mixed it with your freshly clean hair. Now it’s not as clean as you may think it is.

How Do I Clean It?

Let’s face it, clean hair brushes and combs are a lot better than dirty brushes and combs. They collect debris of dirt and dead skin and its continuous build-up is not good for your lovely locks. The residue left behind by those lovely hair products, also your hair natural oils can leave your hairbrushes and comb look grungy.

Along with your own, hygiene it’s very important to keep tools of daily use like comb and hairbrushes clean. Your hair brush and combs are a tap of germs, conditioner, oil, dead skin and old hair. It may not seem like a very big deal but clean brushes and combs help the way you style your hair and keep them fluff free.

Wait! There is no need to throw out that old brush or comb and get new ones just because it has accumulated so much lint over the gap of months or years. Here are some very valuable tips to keep your hair brushes and comb clean and work like new.

1. Removing The Hair

It is recommended to do this in a bathroom rather than a kitchen as the kitchen is mainly used for cooking food and any loose hair can go into the food and make it unhygienic. First, remove all the hair with your fingers or a toothpick. Pick out as much hair as you can. You can also wet the hairbrush and comb under water this will soften the hair and it would be easy for you to remove them

2. Dampen The Brush

Place a small dab of shampoo onto the bristles of the comb or hairbrushes. Carefully rub the bristles together with your hands but make sure the points of the bristles do not hurt you.

3. Soak The Brush

For the remaining bits of hair and debris, soak the brush under warm water with a bit of baby shampoo or detergent. Generally speaking, baby shampoo is very good for cleaning makeup brushes. The warm water and detergent will soften the dirt and debris in the hair bristles. You can also use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning hair brushes and combs. Pour half cup of vinegar in half cup of warm water and soak all your brushes and comb into it for about half an hour. Wait till the dirt and hair get dampen and soft. Similarly, you can mix baking soda with warm water and soak in your hair brushes.But remember, an exception to the baking soda process is that, not to immerse certain types of hair brushes and comb into it.

The cushioned brush, the wooden bodied brushes, rubber brushes and comb and natural boar bristled brushes. Permitting water to get through the vent hole on cushioned brushes will erode the cushioning of the brush faster and it will reduce its shelf life. A wooden bodied brush or comb may cause wood to absorb water and may cause damage to the finish and make the body swell and break. While natural boar bristle brushes contain natural hair that would take in moisture as would other types of natural hair so the bristles can twist or curl if dampened.

4. Use A Toothbrush

You can use a toothbrush for cleaning the debris and leftover in the bristles of the hair brushes and comb. This will indeed be helpful in cleaning the hair brushes and comb till the end of their root inside the bristles. It would be advisable to use a new toothbrush rather than an old one. You cannot use the one for your hair that you used for your teeth; could you? Rinse the combs and hair brushes well.

5. Dry The Brush

Take a clean cotton towel would be preferred, dry the combs and hair brushes with the help of the cotton towel and let the remaining water dry on its own. Keep them in some clean place so that further dirt, grime and dust particles do not stick on it as this can easily happen when the combs and hairbrushes are wet.

6. Repeat

Now, after drying, again clean it with a dry towel so that the dust particles are removed if any are there in the hair brushes and comb. And VOILA, You are done! Your hairbrushes and combs are now clean and you can use them for keeping your lovely locks beautiful.  Washing the hair tools twice a month can be very helpful for your long tresses; it will not only keep your hair clean but also helps in keeping your hair healthy.

Bonus Tips

  • Throw away pieces of hair stuck in your brushes because that could build up oil in your scalp and this can damage your hair.
  • Remove your hair from your hair brushes and combs after each brushing
  • Always clean your hair brushes and comb gently so bristles do not break off.
  • Never use a finger to scrub a brush, it is very painful to get pinned in the finger by a bristle and even worse under a fingernail.

Hopefully, you’ve learned some awesome tips on how to keep your brushes and combs clean! If these worked for you, drop us a comment below. And if you have any other tips on house cleaning please leave us a comment below. We love to hear from our readers!

Designer Secrets For Turning Up The Style In Every Room

Often, homeowners get tired of their current design styles and want to make a change that doesn’t require much effort, time or expense. Consider utilizing these designer secrets for turning up the style in every room throughout your home. Top interior designers recommend choosing a design theme and main furniture pieces that are timeless in appearance to suit any era but will remain relevant for today’s fashion conscious consumers.

By using this ongoing design strategy, homeowners and house cleaners can keep the main furnishings the same throughout the year but can always opt to spice up their interior living spaces by adding new trending design elements to keep their home stylish through all of the changing seasons.

What Design Elements Can Be Changed Seasonally to Keep the Room Fashionable?

The beauty of creating a timeless design theme lies in the ease at which homeowners can spice up their preferred interior design spaces with newer trending elements that are generally used in the design process. This ingenious design tactic can create a whole new look and feel without much work effort, time commitment, budget expenditure or design talent required by the homeowner.

Some examples of changeable design elements include:

  • Introduce New Color Combinations on Walls, Accent Pieces & Fabric Details like Upholstery, Pillows, Drapes, Bedding or Afghans
  • Rearrange Furniture Groupings & Room Decor Features to Change Room Atmosphere – Think Intimate Conversation Seating, Cozy Warm Highlights or Cool Breezy Details
  • Use Different Textures to Create More Visual Interest, Change Mood Atmosphere & Add Increased Room Depth
  • Rethink Lighting Effects to Showcase New Style Additions or to Make Artwork & Decor Items Pop
  • Make Use of Accent Furnishings – Add an Intriguing Contemporary or Rustic Accent Chair, Change Living Room End Tables or Bedroom Nightstands
  • Switch Bathroom Shower Curtain & Towels
  • Upgrade Kitchen Cabinet Decorative Features
  • Pick Trendy Decor & Accent Items – Add a Vintage Light Fixture, Display New Artwork or Use Different Picture Frames
  • Incorporate Fad Patterns and Other Design Elements by Redoing Furniture Cushions, Painting/Refinishing Furniture, Add a New Luxury Feature or Introduce Another Design Style

Enhance Your Comfort & Promote Better Sleep by Adding the Latest Luxury Features Into the Bedroom

Put the “Ahhh” back into your amazing luxurious bedroom features that can promote better sleep and enhance your every day and night comfort throughout the year. When considering luxury additions for the bedroom, choose items that will create a virtual haven where you will love spending relaxing evenings and recharging energy levels with afternoon naps.

When considering bedroom luxury features, remember that this doesn’t have to cost much to get the desired effect. Some terrific ideas that promote deeper rejuvenating sleep and calm spirits could include:

  • Investing in a Brand New Comfort Mattress – Probably the Best Bedroom Luxury that will Last for Years
  • Purchase Luxuriously Soft & Cozy Bedding like Snugly Comforters, Cool Serenity-Inspiring Satin Sheets or Super Supportive Pillows that Encourage Deeper Rest & Comfort
  • Paint the Space with a Calming Color Combination & Repeat Hues, Patterns & Textures to Tie Design Elements Together
  • Make Your Bed the Main Focal Point & Avoid Clutter, Sleep Depriving Electronics & Loud Aggressive Colors or Fabric Patterns
  • Add a Gorgeous Light Fixture to Create Your Desired Mood
  • Consider Custom Window Treatments that Enhance Sleep by Blocking Light & Noise During Sleep Hours – Room Darkening Blinds or Shades and/or Better Drapery that Blocks Noise

Almost Effortless Ways To Dial-Up the Style In Kitchens & Baths

There are some almost effortless ways to dial up the style factor in both kitchens and baths that seem almost too good to be true. This year’s trending kitchen options include painting the floor-to-ceiling cabinets a muted color that has just a touch of warmth or cooler feel for a great upgrade on how to use more neutral color schemes.

Perfect hues this season include sea greens, aquamarine shades, deeper moody hues like rich violets, luscious medium intensity blues, forest-inspired ashy-undertone shades and mistier versions of previous year’s favorites. Consider adding a gorgeous behind range backsplash wall tiles to add drama into an otherwise elegant space, or dial up the excitement by including interest grabbing tile patterns reminiscent of southwestern and Spanish influences.

Try some of these currently popular bathroom design ideas to maximize the beauty and charm of the space while providing a sensuous retreat spot to unwind following long and busy days. Consider adding a water floor space with a spot for a spa-like tub and a separate space for a large shower stall. Designers are using clearer glass to open up the space making it feel airy and spacious.

Make use of natural sunlight in baths and every room by installing sunlight or enhancing an already existing window to showcase outside scenery. Other decor tricks include keeping bathing essentials hidden from view, utilizing custom or recessed storage and shelving options and generating instant interest by installing stunning sink vanities.

Even average citizens with no design or art background can learn to utilize smart design concepts. Every homeowner can keep their home stylish by following timeless decorating tips from design artists to create a personalized haven they will love forever.

Easy Tips To Create Wonderful Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is essential. If you’re selling a home, you’ll want to entice buyers from the moment they see your property. If you are planning to live in your home for as long as you can, you’ll want to make it as appealing as possible. It’s possible to make any home stand out and look fabulous. Think carefully about all the details of the house from every single angle. A few basic changes can create easy, long-lasting results you’ll love.

Defining A Walkway

One of the best ways to begin to create curb appeal is by creating a walkway. A walkway is both beautiful and practical. You want to make it easy to get to your home from the curb. You also want to make it easy to see the front entrance. Think about the best path to the front door. Set out a path following the natural lines of the home. Line it with elegant red brick or upscale slate tiles for an instant, incredibly welcome and easy to use the update.

Beautiful Flowers

Flowers add so much to any home. They’re full of color. Lean over and they give off pleasing scents. Planting a bed of flowers in front of your home and draw the eye to it immediately. When looking for flowers to plant, consider several factors. You want colors that work well with the overall colors of your home. For example, if your home is a pale yellow, add vivid violets to bring in welcome contrast on the other side of the color wheel. Color can also be used to highlight the home. Red roses stand out against white outdoor walls.

Trees and Bushes

Trees and bushes offer both privacy and curb appeal at the same time. Think about the kinds of trees and bushes you can use in front to add heft and keep prying eyes from your yard. Large bushes can be placed in front of your first-floor living room windows to help shade it from view. A series of smaller bushes are ideal in places where you want to provide a backdrop for the rest of the home. Make sure that all your trees are bushes are well maintained. They should be trimmed as needed all year long.

The Front Door

Your front door is another area that deserves careful attention to look fabulous. Consider what kinds of front doors appeal most. The best will combine security with lots of styles. Front doors are available in many materials including metal and wood. Many people prefer a combination of the two. Think about the color of the door. Painting a front door is an easy way to add a delightful focal point to any front curb. A bright blue or green door instantly stands out against the rest of the backdrop and shows off your exuberant personality and style.

A Place To Sit

Liven up the front door with a place to sit. A metal or wood swing adds instant charm and provides a great perch for people watching. Hang one on the top of your porch for kids to enjoy as they drink lemonade and eat homemade cookies. Place additional seating for guests. Look for materials that will stand up to the elements and still look fabulous. Wicker can be painted any color you like. The graceful curves are a good choice if you’re looking for something that’s also quite durable. Bring out a few tables so guests have someplace to set down a drink.

Your Windows

Windows form part of the overall look of the home. You want to keep lots of things in mind as you think about the sort of front look you like best. Consider the use of awnings. They are an easy way to keep out the heat in the summer. They are more difficult to clean though. You may need to consider hiring professional cleaning services to get them cleaned. They can also add pattern and an additional layer of privacy. Different types of windows exist. A bay window is one way to help bring in extra light to any room inside. It also makes the home look more attractive from the curb.

The Front Entryway

Some homes have a separate front entryway in the form of a covered entrance. This area needs special care when planning any front curb design. A decaying front porch can be very unattractive. Fortunately, this is an easy area to fix quickly. Create a color scheme for the area. A simple coat of white paint can do wonders. Make it even more interesting with other colors. Brown, pale gray and other neutral tones are a good choice for colors that blend in well with the rest of the landscaping. Place a welcome mat with similar colors and make it easy to keep the entryway clean even when it’s raining or snowing.

Seasonal Details

As the season’s change and the holidays come along, it’s easy to add lots of personal changes of your own and bring out even more wonderful curb appeal. Spring is the perfect time to celebrate with a set of floral cushions and lush hanging plants on the porch. Show off your love of country in July with a gaily hanging flag. When fall comes along, bring out the carved pumpkins and the fun Halloween decorations. Light up the winter night with fairy lights strung across the entryway and a bold wreath.

How To Maintain Timber Decking

Unlike living in an apartment in a residential building, living in a house means you probably have some outdoor space in front and/or behind your home. This also means you need to maintain this space regularly and invest some time, money and energy into it, especially if you want it to be visually appealing and practical. Having a timber deck in your back yard is one of the best ways to make the most of your outdoor area – this is the perfect space for spending time with your friends, hanging out with your coworkers, bonding with your family, or just taking a step back from your busy schedule and dedicating some time to yourself. So, how can you make sure your timber deck is in perfect shape, and what can you do to maintain it adequately?

Keep It Clutter-Free

This is the first thing you need to do if you want your deck to remain organized and attractive at all times. Decluttering it regularly is the only way to ensure it doesn’t turn into space where you store all your unnecessary possessions or an area for all the things you can’t fit into your indoor living space.

Although most people think this is a boring, tedious and exhausting process, decluttering your deck can be done in under 15 minutes, as long as you’re organized and know what you’re doing. Start by removing the things you don’t need – especially if they’re old, broken or dirty – and adding some new storage space, and then just keep repeating this process as often as you can.

Keep It Clean

Once you’ve decluttered your deck, it’s time to clean it. There are lots of techniques you can use to make sure your deck is shiny and sparkling, from doing it with a sponge to using a hose, so just pick an idea that works for you the most and add it to your list of weekly chores.

Of course, not all decks require cleaning every single week, so come up with the schedule on your own, depending on the amount of debris your deck has, the number of trees around it, and the overall weather conditions. What’s great about this process is that you don’t need any special equipment or knowledge to make your deck shine, and a simple broom and some power washer should do the trick.

Check the Quality

Maintaining your deck isn’t just about cleaning it regularly and making sure it’s not full of unnecessary items – it’s also about making sure it’s as safe, functional and reliable as possible. While installing it on your own might seem like a good idea at first, it’s actually much better to leave this job to professionals who have more experience and skills than you.

These people will install your deck properly and also keep checking up on it from time to time, just to make sure it’s still in the best shape it can be. Checking the quality of your deck is the only way to keep using it in the decades to come, so find a team of experts you can rely on to do this for you.

Protect the Furniture

If you’re an outdoorsy type of person and love spending time in the open, having a deck is the perfect way for you to pass your time and utilize your outdoor area to the fullest. However, this means you need to find some outdoor furniture that will provide you comfort and help you enjoy your deck on a much higher level.

This furniture needs some attention as well, and you should try to maintain it regularly. Cleaning it with a wet cloth, vacuuming it and covering it with a protecting cover may sound like boring tasks, but these will surely help your furniture stay new, so don’t be afraid to invest some time in them.

Oiling and Staining the Deck

These are two of the most complex DIY processes you could invest your time into, but they are also the best ways to protect your deck for a longer period of time. Covering it with a protective layer of oil, for instance, will help your deck resist harmful sun rays that cause cracks and other damage to the wooden surface, drying it and making it less visually appealing and safe than before.

If you opt for staining, though, you will give your deck a more polished look and accentuate all the patterns and colors of your timber, while also protecting it against UV rays. Whichever idea you go for, you’ll do your deck a favor and extend its lifespan.

As you can see, maintaining a timber deck isn’t hard at all – all you need is some free time, a few useful tips and a couple of experts who can help you protect your deck on a more professional level.

About the Author

Kevin is a new homeowner who chooses to tackle much of the work on his house himself. is tinkering has been overseen by his son, and today they are proud to live in a partly dream, partly nightmare home. You can read more of his exploits at PlainHelp

Simple And Easy Home Cleaning Tips That You Need To Know

For people who do not have time off from their busy schedule and time to clean their home, then cleaning of the home and working on other tasks at home can be overwhelming. Most of the people coming home from a stressful day at work make them spend their time lazing around without any craving to do some cleaning work at home. After your busy weekdays when you come home makes you feel terrible to find a messy house. To make the task easy, you can schedule or divide chores over several days. So it is time to do home cleaning.

Here are some simple and easy cleaning tips and tricks that you need to know.

Schedule Your Work

Schedule the days you want to clean your house. The weekend is also the best time to do some cleaning as you are free from office work. Divide your work as per your convenience so that you will complete your chores making the home look clean and tidy without getting tired. Also, make sure that you have all the required janitorial supplies available at home. You can stock up janitorial supplies in wholesale quantity at your home so that it is always accessible whenever you need it. Remember that the more you allow chores to pile up then it will make your weekend worst as you have an enormous task at hand.

Try Mini-Cleaning

Try mini- cleaning techniques at your home, it can reduce the accumulated dirt and dust. Remove unnecessary items from your table, kitchen, sofa, room. This can be easily done while you are listening to music or having a relaxed time. Do instant cleaning when you see some dirt pilling up at the corners. Some essential, simple and quick method of wiping and dusting can help you to eliminate dust and make your room look clean and better.  

Bedroom Cleaning

The dirty sheets in your bedroom can give you a musty smell. Dust also gets accumulated in your sheets. This can cause irritation and allergies to you. So clean your bed sheets once in a week with some liquid laundry detergent. This will eliminate dust and odors, making your bedroom smell fresher. Also buying liquid laundry detergent in wholesale will help you to manage your cleaning budget.

Clean The Home Ceiling Fan

Cleaning a ceiling fan is really a messy task and it becomes difficult not to inhale dust particles whenever doing the task. So a great and simple way to clean the ceiling fan is by taking an old pillowcase and just slide it over the blade, then draw the fabric. This will help the dust to remain inside the pillowcase and to keep away from the nostrils. The dust will no longer spread everywhere in your room. If you can’t do it yourself, get a professional cleaning service.

Use Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths trap the dust and help you to discard the dust particles all at once. On the other hand, normal clothes do not trap the dust, they just move the dust from one place to another and also make the dust to fly on the air.  You can also use a microfiber cloth for stainless steel appliances to give them a clean and good shine.

Rubber Gloves

You find a lot of hairs on your furniture, bed, carpets, sofa and also around your pets. Using a vacuum cleaner to remove the hairs may not completely work, so use a rubber glove and run it over the surface to trap the hairs completely.

Keep the Place Clean After Each Meal

Dirty worktops make your kitchen look disgusting. After having your meal or snack immediately wash the plates and cups used and load the dishes in its place, then wipe down the worktops in the kitchen with the help of a cloth and all-purpose cleaner.

Wipe Your Sinks and Taps

Soaps and toothpaste splatters, hairs, food residue etc in the bathroom looks awful. So use some disinfecting wipes and spend some time to clean the sinks and taps. You can just wipe off the things on the sinks and faucets every day and also teach your kids to this thing daily.   

Use Floor Mats

You can place floor mats in the entry of each room in your house as well as in the interior and exterior door. This helps in keeping most of the dust outside the house. And also train yourself and your kids to avoid wearing shoes in the house. Every few days you can shake or vacuum the floor mats outside your home to remove dust trap in it.  

Clean Air Vents

The air vents at the home are probably very dusty and dirty. First, remove the dust accumulated with a soft brush tool. Then take some soft cloth that you no longer use and soak them with a cleaning agent and wrap it around a small stick and clean the air vents.

Clean Your Pans

To clean your pans, simply put the pan in your sink with a soap solution, warm water, fabric softener and leave the combo for an hour, and when you pour water on it, then the mess on the pans will get easily wiped away.

Clean Your Computer

You can use a combination of water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle to clean your computer or use a screen cleaning spray. Spray the solution on the microfiber cloth and gently wipe it to remove the dust. Clean the keyboard and other things attached to the computer once a week. Use a paper shredder to arrange the paper works and other things properly which makes the room look clean and tidy, having some handy and small tools makes it easier to manage the tools.  

About the Author: 
Gene Moore is a Marketer working for an online wholesale cleaning supplies store and a passionate writer. He is a very adventurous and ambitious person having an interest in traveling, writing and reading blogs. His artistic background nurtures him in developing creative writing skill.