Daily 5-minute Habits to Keep a House Clean

Daily cleaning is a chore that many people struggle with. At the end of a long day at work, the last thing most people want to do is dedicate time to tidying. This is especially true for parents who feel as though their children undo the efforts in one room while another one is being addressed.

The best way to keep your house clean is to schedule quick, effective, five-minute habits. Here are some of the best quick chores to keep your home in order.

Do a Quick Sweep

You don’t need to stress about keeping your floors polished. Instead, create a daily habit of doing a quick sweep to catch any wayward crumbs or dust. Not only will this improve the general tidiness of your home, but it’s also one of the most effective natural pest control strategies. If there’s nothing to attract pests, they won’t show up.

Schedule this habit at the end of each day, just before bedtime. That way, you’ll wake up to a tidy floor and feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Make Your Bed in the Morning

Making your bed in the morning is a simple, intentional task. By doing this simple habit, your room will look remarkably tidier. This is also a great way to feel as though you accomplished something the moment you woke up.

If you’re in a relationship, create a mini competition with your partner. The rule is that the last one out of bed in the morning has to make it. This game will encourage you not to hit the snooze button so frequently.

Clean Your Counters and Sink After Breakfast

Like making your bed, the simple act of wiping down the sink and counters will make the whole room look clean. If you don’t have time to do the dishes or load the dishwasher in the morning, simply stack everything neatly for later and wipe around your organized piles.

This five-minute habit creates a clean space that will make it easier to come home and make dinner, rather than being greeted with an overwhelming mess. 

Schedule a Five-Minute Tidy

Five minutes of dedicated tidying can make a significant difference in the household each day, especially if there are multiple people taking part. Set a five-minute timer and have everyone do a round of speed cleaning before it goes off. 

Children can partake in this session as well and will enjoy the game-like experience of racing against the clock. This quick tidy acts as a form of preventative maintenance that keeps the clutter at bay over time.

Give the Bathroom a Wipe Down

No one likes a bathroom that feels gross or full of germs. Fortunately, a bit of daily maintenance can make it easier to stay on top of this undesirable set of chores.

Take five minutes each day to give the bathroom a wipe down. Wipe out the sink, clean spatters of the faucets and mirrors, spray the shower with leave-on cleaner, and give the toilet a quick swish with the brush.

By scheduling daily five-minute habits each day, you’ll be able to keep your home clean and tidy without feeling overwhelmed. Sure, maybe the clothes will never get folded and put away, but you can hide those in the laundry room when guests come over!

Six Reasons to Invest in a Sliding Wardrobe For Your Bedroom

Choosing the right wardrobe for your bedroom is crucial for both aesthetic and practical reasons. You must be able to store your clothes, shoes and other belongings properly, but you also need your wardrobe to look good and not take up so much space that it renders the rest of the room impossible to use.

Opting for a sliding wardrobe is a great way to meet the above criteria, as well as add a sleek, innovative and custom-made vibe to your bedroom interior design. Here are six compelling reasons why you should consider replacing your stand-alone wardrobes with custom furniture with effortlessly sliding doors.

Space Saver

Sliding doors offer the indisputable benefit of having doors that glide inside each other, rather than opening out into the room. This saves a lot of space, especially in smaller bedrooms. Wardrobes with sliding doors can be installed anywhere in the room, even right by the window or door with this huge design advantage. They are a safer option too, as the doors tuck away when the wardrobe is opened, rather than swinging out into the room and becoming awkwardly placed and a risk for people bumping into them, or causing a free-standing wardrobe to topple over.

Adaptability

Many bedrooms are awkwardly shaped, especially in older houses with sloping or low ceilings. Many standard sized wardrobes will not easily fit in an oddly-shaped room, or can only be positioned in a way that cuts off other valuable storage space, such as narrow alcoves, cubbyholes or chimney recesses. Sliding wardrobes are tailor-made and custom-built to fit precisely into the available space, however tricky or small. They can be as large or small, narrow or wide as space allows, and as the customer requires to fit their clothes and belongings inside. Sliding doors can also be fitted to existing built-in shelves or freestanding clothes rails.

Easy to Install

Sliding wardrobes are the ultimate easy customer furniture to install. There is no need to manhandle heavy furniture up one or more flights of stairs, nor negotiate large and bulky wardrobes around difficult corners. Simply take the measurements that you require, order your custom sliding wardrobes or doors and they will be installed easily and with minimum fuss. No need to take up the carpet, have castors fitted to the bottom of furniture or try to match the size and color of other items of bedroom furniture.

Choose Your Own Style

Another reason to choose sliding wardrobes is the massive range of styles, colors and finishes available. You really can have exactly what you want to suit your bedroom interior design. A popular option is to add mirrors to the doors to give you an added use for them, or frosted glass to reflect light back into the room and allow you to see what’s inside before opening the doors to select your outfit for the day. However, it doesn’t stop there. You can opt for traditional woods or veneers or make a statement with bold metals, plastics or even leathers or vinyl in crazy colors.

Organized Outfits

A free-standing wardrobe offers limited options for clothes storage – you tend to have to stick with the existing rail height, shelf space, boot storage space, etc. Sliding wardrobes allow endless versatility to position your chosen storage solutions and just the right height and to fit precise dress lengths, accessory hooks and so forth. You can add drawers for chunky jumpers or separate areas for spare bed linen. You can incorporate a laundry bin or add additional shelving or clothes rails at different heights. It is all entirely up to you.

Affordable Elegance

Finally, sliding wardrobes are not as expensive as you might think. You can balance the cost with the benefits of customization and work with your interior design experts to choose where to make savings in your design costs and what areas you wish to prioritize. You will gain a top-quality product that won’t wear out, break or topple over, meaning that you can enjoy your investment without worrying about how long it will last. Adding mirrored doors does away with the need for separate mirrors that can cost a great deal to purchase and install. Finally, your sliding wardrobes will not fall out of fashion, nor break up the visual line of your bedroom. They will remain an elegant, practical and highly enviable part of your bedroom and your inimitable style to be admired by visitors and appreciated by you and your family for years.

Handy Storage Solutions for Planning a Move into a Tiny Apartment

Shall we leave it to the experts? Definitely yes! Because we can all agree that moving is a tedious task. From packing, loading to unloading, there is a lot that goes behind an effective move. But downsizing into smaller spaces is even more challenging. In this situation, you have to be both a mover and a good planner. Since it’s possible to be both, I am moved to believe that the actual problem is not if you decide to pack and move yourself. But, rather, the thought process that goes behind the whole thing.

So, how should you go about it? Especially now that you have decided to move into a tiny apartment. Have you figured out where all the extra clothes will go?

‘Need’ and ‘Want’ are Two Different Things

Pack the things that you will need and be ruthless about selling or giving away things you desire. I know it will be hard to get rid of the things that hold sentimental value. But on the other hand, they will need extra space. So, be ruthless while making the list. You don’t need that extra piece of table or a set of chairs. This all looked good in your old house. Your tiny apartment will not permit you to keep anything extra. So, make sure you move and pack the items you need. Sell the things in your ‘want list’ or give them to someone who may need them more than you do.

Multifunctional Furniture Will Make Your Life Easier

The best thing about multifunctional furniture is that they help you store a lot of things. I saw a multifunctional bed in my friend’s apartment. So, this inspiration basically arrives from her. Plus I think it is one of the best ways to store belongings. You can easily store clothes, keep your hairdryer, curlers straightener, place your books, stuff pillows, bed covers, and bedsheets. As you can see there is a lot you can store in a multifunctional bed. So, begin by adding a multifunctional bed to your room.

Take Help of Bins and Baskets

Storing in bins and baskets is pocket-friendly and will help you downsize easily. The most vital part about baskets is that they can be stored anywhere in the house. You can keep them in the kitchen, in one corner of the room, on the shelves, and even on the entryway. Instead, the most interesting part is that bins and baskets come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. So, if a basket is lying in one corner of the house it will probably look like it is a part of the decoration. But experts are of the view that you should practice labeling each bin. It will help you find what you need when the moment arises.

Place Hooks Strategically

If you are looking forward to create maximum space in the house. Hooks is the word for you. They are easy to install. They will not burden your pocket and they are extremely handy. Not only this, but hooks will also help you create extra space in your tiny apartment. Now, you can install them in the kitchen, the entrance, bathroom, closets, pantries, and behind the room doors. So, go ahead and hang the towel, your clothes, hats, umbrellas, belts, wiper, broom, etc.

Wall-Mounted Utility Holders are Your Best Friend

This is one of the best techniques to store kitchen equipment and the items you keep in the pantry. You no longer need to throw your pantry items on the floor or stack a pile of cleaning items behind the door. Instead, you can invest in a wall-mounted utility holder. Place it on the wall and place all the cleaning items. From mop, wiper to broom, everything can be easily mounted onto the wall. These handy storage racks get easily attached to your wall and come at an affordable price.

Replace Normal Tables with Ottoman

Your living room is nothing without a good table. So, how about placing a good looking Ottoman in the center of your living room. It is a convenient option for people looking to store maximum things without compromising the quality of decoration. So, if you are planning on investing in the decoration of your house. Think practically and find things that will serve two purposes at the same time. Just like an Ottoman serves two purposes. One purpose is that of decoration because the market is filled with stylish ottomans. The second purpose is that of storage. An ottoman will definitely serve your storing needs. You can store pillows, magazines, and anything you deem fit for the ottoman to store.

Wall Racks Will Work Wonders for You

For those of you who don’t know what wall racks are, pay attention to this point. Because wall racks placed behind the door might be your savior in disguise. So, how about investing in a wall rack that can be placed on the wall, and behind the doors. Though some of the experts are of the view that a wall rack is the best fit for doors. But you can still mount them on the wall. A wall rack will help you keep all the items. From a jar of pulses to sauces, everything about a wall rack is convenient. So, make sure you place your wall rack right behind the kitchen door and use it for the purpose of storing items that require a drawer.

Use the Power of Shelves

There is nothing better than a mounted shelf. Whether in your kitchen or the living area, a shelf will definitely help you store a no of things. In fact, you can find ready-made shelves in the market and online. They come at a reasonable price and is one of the convenient storage options. So, how about placing a shelf in the bathroom instead of creating an extra space to keep toiletries and towels. You can also use them as a medium to place decorative items in the living area. At least the shelves will help you keep the floor space empty and you will find it easy to downsize into a tiny apartment.

If you are planning on moving into a tiny apartment, these are some of the vital points you need to keep in mind. Plus when it comes to living, bigger is not always better. Instead, tiny spaces have their own advantages like low maintenance and less space to clean. A tiny space will also allow you the privilege to decorate on a budget. So, congratulations on your tiny apartment and I hope you have a good time downsizing.

This Is How You Search For the Right Kind of Movers

Moving is a stressful experience without the added issue of figuring out which is the best moving company for you. Moving is an expensive ordeal. No matter what the reason, you can be pretty confused as to what needs to be done.

Checklists can only help you that much. 

There is a horde of movers and move out cleaning services out there, and the whole thing can get quite overwhelming. Truth be told, I have too had a hit and miss experience with most movers. But, in this entire experience, I have managed to figure out certain not so hard things you can do to ensure you have a pleasant experience. 

Recommendations Rule All  

Ask around. Your family, friends, and neighbors would have at some point moved and used a moving company to help them out. A recommendation from a friend is much better than going in blind as that will give you a holistic vision of the services offered by the company.  

The internet can be the right place if you don’t know too many people in the area, but the catch with online reviews is that they can be modified.  

Once you get your recommendations, now go online and check the business credentials. Check if the information listed online is accurate or not. After you have run a basic check, you can ask the ones you liked to come for estimation.  

Get an At-Home Estimation

Further, also pay attention if you need a specific kind of mover. There are specialty movers out there who help with the move. The type of mover you need also depends on the sort of furniture and stuff you own. 

Your antiques for understandable reasons cannot be handled the same way your dining chair is. 

A good moving company will always make it a point to come down and give you an at-home estimation. This is done by taking an inventory of everything that needs to be packed and moved, and weighing it. Ask the estimator to give a complete breakdown of how they are categorizing your payment and on what basis they are charging you the said amount.  

Three Strikes and Then You Decide 

Always follow the rule of three while zeroing down on the agency you want to hire for the move. Ask for at least three companies to come over and give you an estimation, as it is impossible to provide an evaluation without thoroughly gauging the volume of your belongings.  

A good company will always provide you with a guaranteed cap amount beyond which the final amount cannot increase. When an estimator comes over and gives you the estimated amount, show that you have been doing your homework. This will get you the best deal possible on the amount as they will know they are not the only ones in the market. 

But before you finalize a mover, do collect the below-mentioned information from each one of them.

  • Company’s full name and address, also ask if they operate under any other name (never a good sign though)
  • The phone number, website, and email address
  • References for you to double-check their previous clients
  • MC (motor carrier) and USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) license numbers 

At the same time, don’t go running behind the lowest bid. You don’t want to compromise on quality.  If you see extra costs figure out their sources. Call the companies if you want clarification. You can never be too sure.

Verify the License Numbers and Check Insurance 

It might be tough to believe, but there are a lot of companies out there who operate without a state-accredited license. You can use the number that you collected during their visit and check up saferys.org to get more information about the company. If you have accurate numbers, chances are you will get the right information.  

Additionally, you can call the FMCSA’s safety violation and consumer helpline to see if any complaints are registered against your company. If you want further peace of mind, you can always make your way to the physical address of the company. 

Select the Mover

Finally, all the hours of research have paid off, and you can select the mover you want.  Call them up and set the dates for your move. Ensure that you get a signed bill of lading and order for service.

Moving Day!

You are moving! Once all your stuff is loaded, and you have given the correct directions to the movers for your new address, get a movers inventory list. Also, get the driver’s number and give them yours. Just in case something happens during the move, you should be available on call.  

Your move should be a smooth experience, and one can never be too vigilant about their belongings. Some movers even have the option for you to track your goods as they move through different cities. Finding a mover is a tedious task, but I think with the right guidance, you should be able to make your way through the ordeal without any issues.

Cleaning Quotes and Cleaning Sayings

Here are some relatable quotes for that love-hate relationship we all have with cleaning. Don’t feel like cleaning? Today, more busy and hard-working people than ever are turning to professional maid services to have their homes cleaned from top to bottom. Hiring a cleaning service allows you the satisfaction of coming home to a clean space while also freeing up more of your valuable time.

Yes, it will always be cheaper to handle your own household cleaning. However, when you factor in the actual value of your precious time, it’s easy to see why so many people turn to professional cleaning services instead. The small amount you’ll pay to have a maid take care of those tedious cleaning tasks can quickly pay off, allowing you to spend more time with loved ones and doing the things you truly enjoy.

Top Cleaning Quotes

P.J. O’Rourke

Everybody wants to save the earth; no one wants to help mom do the dishes.


Maid Sailors

A recurring cleaning will make you a happy person.


Cecil Baxter

You don’t get anything clean without getting something else dirty.


Shelley Malec Vitale

I think homes that are too tidy, neat and sparse look like nothing interesting is going on.


Rose Macaulay

At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.


Lisa Wingate

That’s the only thing you can do with a mess. Start cleaning it up, a little at a time.


Marcelene Cox

Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door.


Author Unknown

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.


Marie Kondo

The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.


Erma Bombeck

Housework, if you do it right, can kill you.


Evan Esar

Housework is what a woman does that nobody notices unless she hasn’t done it.


Joleigh Little

Cleaning with children in the house really is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.


Phyllis Diller

Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?


Kurt Vonnegut

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.


Erma Bombeck

Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter-productivity.


Terri Guillemets

Sometimes clean feels empty. A bit of clutter and dirt gladdens the heart and affirms a life in progress.


Katie Lee

I love cooking except for an annoying step – cleaning up.


Rosanna Barr

Excuse the mess but we are trying to live here.


Agatha Christie

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.


Radhika Mundra

Nothing inspires cleanliness more than an unexpected guest.


Jennifer Morrison

Cleaning is my favorite way to relax. I clear things out and get rid of the stuff I don’t need. When the food pantry and the refrigerator are organized, I feel less stressed.


Celia Cruz

I always clean before the cleaning lady comes. If not, when I come home, I can’t find anything. Cleaning ladies are always hiding things you leave out.


Rose Macaulay

At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.


Erma Bombeck

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.


Phyllis Diller

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.


Ann Oakley

Housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human self-actualization.


Bobby Berk

De-cluttering can be overwhelming, so start with that one small thing. Clean out your junk drawers. It can lead to so many more beautiful things. Start there, and you’ll find yourself cleaning the whole rest of the house.


Garrett Clayton

I love doing the dishes… not for the act of cleaning but because I get to put my headphones in, listen to music, and ignore the world for an hour, and it’s totally acceptable because I’m cleaning.


Louisa May Alcott

Housekeeping ain’t no joke.


Hoosier Farmer

Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.


Phyllis Diller

If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet him with, “Who could have done this? We have no enemies.


Ryan Adams

You could eat sushi off my bookshelf. My cleaning regime is like a battleground. I’m Genghis Khan and my cleaning products are my Mongolian army and I take no prisoners. The rest of my life is an experiment in chaos so I like to keep my flat neat.


Meagan Francis

Cleaning and organizing is a practice not a project.


Joan Rivers

I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.


Ruby Lou Barnhill

A bright person can always think of something better to do than housework.


Victoria Pendleton

People may think I’m crazy, but one of the ways I like to wind down my Friday is to get some of our household chores done, whether it’s cleaning or doing a big food shop, so the house is all nice for the weekend.


Chris Hemsworth

I have sporadic OCD cleaning moments around the house. But then I get lazy and I’m cured. It’s a very inconsistent personality trait.


Dave Barry

Dogs do not grasp the concept of house cleaning.


Maid Sailors

If you want your deposit back, never forget to book a move out cleaning.


Author Unknown

A clean house is the sign of a boring person.


Larry David

I don’t like people cleaning my room.


Marty Rubin

Sweeping only moves the dust somewhere else.


Mario Buatta

Dust is a protective coating for fine furniture.


Bette Midler

My idea of superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors.


Marcus Buckingham

We dream of having a clean house – but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning?


Roseanne Barr

Excuse the mess, but we live here.


Ernest Vincent Wright

A man thinks all dust stays outdoors.

How to Get Rid of Water Stains on Wood

Oops! Somebody carelessly left a cold drink on your beautiful wood end table—and ugh, they didn’t use a coaster. Now you’re left with an unsightly and unfortunate ring on your table that you can’t seem to get rid of. Before you admit defeat, there are some simple yet effective methods you can try to remove water stains from your wood furniture once and for all.

Before You Get Started

One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to dealing with water stains on wood is assuming they need to completely replace or refinish their wooden furniture because of a little water spot. Yes, those stains are unpleasant to look at and they can certainly detract from the look and feel of your space. However, you should always exhaust all your options for getting rid of these stains before taking any drastic measures.

If you can’t stand to look at that water ring in the meantime, that’s okay. Place a lamp, vase, or other decorative items over the stain until you have the time to tackle the stain head-on.

It’s also important to perform a spot test before you try any of the following methods to get rid of water stains on your wood furniture. This is especially important if you’re working with antique wood or wood that has been previously treated with a varnish, paint, stain, or other finish. You can perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area (such as the inside of a table leg) 24 hours ahead of time to make sure there is no damage or discoloration.

Methods for Removing Water Stains

There are a number of tried-and-true methods for removing water stains from most wooden surfaces. However, we’ve picked out a couple of our favorites that we’ve found to be the easiest and most effective. And more than likely, you already have all the supplies and/or ingredients on-hand. If not, you can find everything you need at your local grocery store.

The Clothes Iron Method

If you have a clothes iron lying around, put it to work in ways that don’t involve getting wrinkles out of your clothes! Keep in mind that this method will work best if the water stain you’re dealing with is relatively new. If the stain has been set in for a while, you may be better off skipping to another method.

To try this method, all you’ll need is a clean microfiber cloth, a clean towel, and a clothes iron with no water inside the basin. Begin by wiping the wood clean with a microfiber cloth; otherwise, food crumbs or other debris could actually melt into the wood and cause further staining when heat is applied.

Next, lay down a clean towel directly over the stain itself. With the iron on its highest heat setting, run the iron over the towel for 5-10 seconds. The idea here is that the heat from the iron will evaporate the moisture out of the wood. Lift up the towel to see if any of the stain has lifted, then repeat this process a few times as necessary.

If you’re still left with staining after completing these steps, it may be time to move onto another method.

The Baking Soda Method

Another method that may be worth trying involves the use of baking soda to free moisture that has become trapped inside the wood itself. Just keep in mind that if you follow this method, you’ll likely need to apply a wood wax or sealant to the surface of the wood when you’re done. That’s because baking soda is abrasive and therefore can remove protective sealants and open up the grain of the wood.

To get started with this method, you’ll need a few microfiber cloths, baking soda, and water. You’ll also need some furniture wax or sealant to apply to the wood when you’re done.

Begin by mixing a small amount of baking soda and water together until you have a thick paste. After applying this paste to a microfiber cloth, begin rubbing the stained area of the wood in small, circular motions. Repeat this for several minutes until the stain has completely lifted. As you work, be careful to avoid any unstained areas of wood.

When you’re happy with the results, simply use another clean cloth to wipe away excess baking soda paste and apply furniture wax or sealant once the surface has completely dried.

Preventing Future Water Stains

Now that you’ve gotten those pesky water stains out of your wooden furniture, there are some proactive steps you may want to take to avoid future stains.

Set Out Coasters

Often times, water stains in wood occur when a cold glass is set down on a wood table without a protective coaster. Over time, condensation forms on the outside of the glass, which then drips down and permeates the wood. To avoid these annoying water rings on your wooden tables, make sure you have drink coasters set out for guests (and other members of your household) to use.

Lay Down a Table Cloth

Another option for protecting wooden surfaces in your home is to simply lay down a table cloth or place mats on your wooden table. Many of these cloths and mats come with a waterproof bottom layer to prevent moisture from seeping through. Tablecloths and placemats can also add a nice decorative touch to your space.

Use a Protective Finish

If you have wooden furniture in your home that isn’t finished, it will be more prone to water staining. You can take additional steps to protect the wooden surfaces throughout your home by applying a protective seal in the form of a stain/sealant, paint, wax, or varnish. These products are usually pretty easy to apply (just make sure to apply in a well ventilated area) and can add a layer of protection between your wooden surfaces and the elements.

For More Help Keeping Your Home Beautiful…

The next time you discover a water stain on your beloved wooden furniture, you’ll have a couple of methods in your back pocket to get rid of it. Looking for more help maintaining a beautiful home? Maid Sailors offers a wide range of office cleaning services and maid services to save you time and hassle.

Contact the Maid Sailors team today at (212) 299-5170 to schedule an appointment or find out more about how we can simplify your life. You can also use our quick and easy online booking form to schedule your cleaning service today!

Your Comprehensive Guide to Hiring a Cleaning Lady

These days, more New Yorkers are turning to professional cleaning services to keep their homes neat and tidy. Have you been thinking about hiring a cleaning lady? If so, then you may be wondering where to begin. With so many cleaning services scattered throughout your neighborhood, you want to figure out which is best for your specific cleaning needs, budget, and schedule.

Benefits of Hiring a Cleaning Lady

If you’re still not 100% sold on the idea of spending your hard-earned money on a cleaning lady, now is a good time to revisit some of the key benefits.

Free Up Valuable Time

Often times, people are hesitant to hire a cleaning service because of the cost. However, it’s also important to consider the value of your time! How many hours do you spend cleaning your living space each week? If you could free up that time, what would you do with it? When you really start to consider the true value of your free time, it becomes easier to justify the costs associated with hiring a cleaning lady.

Entertain With Confidence

If you’ve ever hesitated to invite a friend or loved one to your home because you were embarrassed by its cleanliness (or lack thereof), then it’s probably time to hire a cleaning service. This is especially true around the holiday season and other times of year where you may be planning to host parties or gatherings. By having your place professionally cleaned before guests arrive, you can entertain with confidence.

Cut Down on Sick Time

A cleaner home is a healthier home. With regular dusting and sanitation of surfaces, you can get rid of unwanted germs and bacteria throughout your living space. As a result, you may find that you get sick less often or that you can even breathe easier without dust and allergens floating around your indoor air.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Cleaning Lady

Now that you better understand why so many people use professional cleaning services these days, it’s time to begin your search for your ideal cleaning lady. As you begin narrowing down cleaners in your area, consider setting up an interview (whether in-person or over-the-phone) to ask some important questions that will help you reach your decision.

What Services Do You Offer?

Not all cleaning professionals offer the exact same services, so if you have something specific in mind, make sure that this is offered. For example, if you live in an apartment building but want the outsides of your windows cleaned, this is a service you may have a hard time finding a maid for. Instead, you may be better off hiring an additional worker to clean your windows separately. Or, if you are looking for someone who can do an office cleaning, you may want to find a maid service who can handle that.

Some of the more common cleaning services offered by maids include general house cleaning, deep-cleaning, and move-in/move-out cleanings.

What Days/Hours Are You Available?

Your schedule is probably busy enough as it is. The last thing you need is to have to re-arrange your schedule to work around that of your house cleaners. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to find out what your cleaning lady’s availability is like. Many maids work Monday-Friday, though some may also work weekends.

If scheduling is a concern, you may also be able to find a cleaning lady who will come to your home while you’re at work or handling other obligations. However, not all cleaning ladies are comfortable with working while you’re not there—so this can vary,

Will You Bring All Your Own Supplies?

Cleaning supplies can be costly, so finding a cleaning professional who brings her own products and other supplies can save you a lot of hassle and money. Most cleaning ladies will probably offer to use their own supplies at no additional charge. Some may even offer green-cleaning services, though you may end up paying extra.

If you want your cleaner to use a specific product in your home, make sure she will accommodate that request as well. In most cases, all you have to do is leave out the cleaner you wish to use and most maids will oblige.

In addition to cleaning products (such as window cleaner and disinfectant spray), you’ll also want to make sure that your maid will provide her own vacuums, mops, and other equipment if you don’t have your own. In some cases, you may need to give a heads-up to your cleaning lady ahead of time so she can bring the necessary equipment to your job.

What is Your Pricing Structure?

Price is a common concern when it comes to hiring a cleaning lady. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should automatically choose the cleaner who can offer you the cheapest rates. In general, you get what you pay for—so your goal should be to find the best value for a quality cleaning job.

Some cleaning ladies will charge by-the-hour, whereas others may charge a flat fee for your job. In addition to finding out how much your cleaning job will cost ahead of time, you’ll also want to inquire as to whether a deposit is required and what forms of payment are accepted. Don’t hesitate to ask about tipping policies as well. In general, if you’re hiring an independent contractor as your cleaning lady, you aren’t expected to tip. If you’re booking through a cleaning company, however, you may want to find out whether a gratuity is included with your price.

Do You Carry Liability Insurance?

Choosing a cleaning lady who carries liability insurance is an absolute must. While unlikely, there are many things that could potentially go wrong during a cleaning job. Your cleaning lady could accidentally damage something in your home, or she could be injured in a fall down the stairs. Either way, a liability insurance policy provides both you and your cleaning professional with extra protection so that you’re not held financially or legally liable in these kinds of scenarios.

Any reputable cleaning professional should be able to provide you with proof of liability insurance, so don’t hire until you’re sure.

Will You Submit to a Background Check?

Whether you’ll be present while your house cleaner is working or not, having a cleaning lady who has been extensively background checked is also a must. Any reputable cleaning company will require that all their cleaners pass a background check before being hired. If you’re hiring through a cleaning company, make sure that this is the case. If you’re hiring an independent cleaner, don’t be afraid to ask her to submit to a background check. There is nothing wrong with wanting to know that you can trust the person you are inviting into your home.

Do You Have a List of References?

Some cleaners may have a list of references to provide for people whose homes they have cleaned in the past. This can be a great way to reach out to past (or current) clients get a better feel for the type of work they received from your prospective cleaner. Even if your cleaner doesn’t advertise a list of references, it never hurts to ask.

If you’re hiring through a larger cleaning company, you may also be able to find some reviews online. Third-party reviews are a great way to find out more about what others have had to say about your cleaner’s quality of work, demeanor, and more.

Looking for the Best Cleaning Service?

If you’re still having trouble finding the best cleaning lady for your needs in your neighborhood, have you checked out Maid Sailors? We take pride in offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee with every cleaning service booked. We’re also competitively priced and offer a wide range of cleaning services to meet your needs, including recurring cleaning services at a discounted rate.

All of our cleaners are bonded, insured, and fully vetted for your peace of mind. Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 to schedule your first cleaning appointment or book online. We look forward to helping you end your search for the best cleaning lady!

Refresh Your Living Space With Homemade Potpourri

Keeping your home smelling its best isn’t easy. Whether you’re notorious for forgetting to empty that kitchen trash can or you simply have pets who leave their signature scents throughout your home, unwanted and lingering smells are a problem many people deal with. Before you resort to buying harsh air fresheners or room sprays, however, have you thought about trying potpourri?

Better yet, you can actually make your own potpourri in just a matter of a couple hours—and the lovely scent can last for many months to come.

What is Potpourri, Exactly?

Specifically, potpourri refers to a mixture of natural ingredients, such as dried flower petals, herbs, and spices that are placed in an open bowl or other containers to release their natural scents. Potpourri is most often used in homes to add a pleasant fragrance to a particular room or living space, and it’s not uncommon for the scent of a single potpourri batch to last for months or even years.

Potpourri can be bought at many home goods stores and even some grocery stores, but you can also make your own at home using some simple ingredients.

Benefits of Making Your Own Potpourri

Why make your own potpourri when you could just pick some up at the store or use a traditional air-freshening spray? There are a few reasons, actually.

Keep Your Home Smelling Great

First and foremost, potpourri will keep your living space smelling fresh. A single bowl of potpourri can easily spread natural and lovely scents throughout a large space, and there’s no need to plug in an air freshener or spray an odor neutralizer. Simply pour the potpourri into a shallow bowl or other containers that will allow the scents to release and circulate throughout the room and you can enjoy the fragrance for many months or years to come without having to lift a finger.

Avoid Harsh Chemical Fragrances

When you buy an air-freshener spray, these often contain harsh chemicals and other questionable ingredients. Do you really want to be spraying those into the air that you and your loved ones breathe? Potpourri is all-natural, using ingredients such as dried citrus, flower petals, and spices—so you never have to worry about potential contact with dangerous ingredients.

Save Money on Store-Bought Options

Even if you find a natural air freshener or odor neutralizer, the cost compared to a batch of homemade potpourri can be very high. By making your own potpourri, you can save yourself some money—especially if you choose ingredients that you already have on-hand or that are in-season (and thus less expensive).

Customize Your Scent

Part of the beauty of making your own potpourri is simply being able to personalize your scent to suit your tastes. There are so many possibilities when it comes to potpourri scent combinations, such as a cinnamon-based potpourri for the holiday season or a citrus one for the summer months. Many people enjoy being able to pick and choose the exact ingredients that go into their batch of homemade potpourri for a truly one-of-a-kind home fragrance.

How to Make Homemade Potpourri

Now that we’ve convinced you to try your hand at DIY potpourri, where should you begin? Follow our simple step-by-step guide and you’ll be on your way to a fresh and fragrant creation in no time.

Choose Your Scents

Begin by brainstorming some scent ideas. What are some of your favorite types of fragrances? Perhaps you tend to gravitate towards food-based scents like citrus, rosemary, or cinnamon. Or maybe you’re more a fan of florals. You may also want to consider a seasonal scent based on the particular time of year. For example, some fresh tulips and daffodils could make an excellent base for a springtime potpourri.

If you’re stumped on which ingredients you should include in your potpourri to achieve your ideal scent, there are plenty of “recipes” to check out online!

Gather Your Supplies

Begin by making a shopping run for the ingredients you need. Make sure you have parchment paper and a large baking sheet, as you’ll need these to dry out your ingredients. Many potpourri ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, though you may need to head to a florist if you’re looking for specific flowers or other plants.

Spread Ingredients Onto Parchment Paper

Once you have all your supplies gathered, it’s time to spread out your first batch of potpourri onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. For flowers, it’s generally best to snip off the heads of smaller flowers before spreading them; for large flowers, you can even remove and spread individual petals if you desire.

Next, add some more scent to your potpourri by layering sprigs of fresh herbs, citrus slices, or both to your mixture. Spices, such as cinnamon sticks or cloves, can also be added during this step. If you’d like a boost of scent, you can also add some essential oils to a small spray bottle and lightly spritz the entire mixture for good measure.

Dry Ingredients in the Oven

Next, pop the entire baking sheet into the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93.33 °C). To completely dry out the ingredients,  you’ll probably need to leave them in the oven for about two hours. Keep a close eye on them, though, to make sure nothing begins to burn.

Spritz With Essential Oil

Remove the baking sheet once the ingredients are dried out to the point of being brittle but not charred. From there, you can add a little extra scent if you desire by spraying some more essential oils onto the entire pan. From there, simply allow the potpourri to cool completely before gathering it into a bowl or other open container to display openly and enjoy!

Other Ways to Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

Setting out some homemade potpourri is one of the best ways to keep your home smelling fresh. And of course, what is more beautiful than a carefully arranged bowl of potpourri? Still, if you’re looking for help in keeping your home smelling and looking its best, you may also benefit from hiring a professional maid service.

At Maid Sailors, an Airbnb cleaning service and professional cleaning service, are committed to helping you keep a clean and tidy home from top to bottom. Let us do the dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, and more so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy! Contact us today at (212) 299-5170 or book now using our online request form. Your satisfaction is always guaranteed, so you have nothing to lose (and a lot of free time to gain)!

Hiring a TV Mounting Service

You’ve just treated yourself to a nice, new flat-screen television with a crystal-clear picture and incredible sound. But before you can really sit down and enjoy it, you need to get it mounted to your wall. Mounting a television to your wall rather than placing it on an entertainment stand can free up square footage in your home; it can also create a cleaner and more streamlined look in any space.

Still, mounting a TV can be a time-consuming task—and if it’s something you’ve never done before, you may want to hire a professional for the job. The good news is that whether you decide to hire a pro or attempt to mount your own TV, there are some practical yet effective steps you can take to get the job done as quickly as possible. From there, you can get to binge-watching your favorite shows on your new television.

Hire a Professional or DIY?

The first thing you’ll need to do is to decide whether you’re going to mount the TV yourself or turn to a professional to have the job done. Each option has its inherent benefits and potential drawbacks, so consider them carefully as you make your decision.

Benefits of DIY TV Mounting

The biggest advantage of mounting your own TV is that it saves you money; aside from having to purchase the TV-mounting hardware, the only thing this DIY project needs to cost you is your time. And of course, when you mount your own television, you don’t have to worry about working around a professional’s schedule. As soon as you get your TV mount, you can tackle this project.

Still, DIYing this project is something you should only do if you have the right tools and experience. Common tools you’ll need include a power drill, stud finder, level, and wrenches. If you’re looking to mount an especially large and heavy TV, keep in mind that you’ll also need the strength to lift the TV up in order to mount it to the wall.

Advantages of Hiring a Professional

If you don’t have the right tools or aren’t totally confident with mounting your own TV for any reason, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional to get this job done. Doing so can free up your own valuable time while also saving you the money you would spend on acquiring the tools/hardware you need to do the job yourself.

When you hire a professional to mount your TV, you can also enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that it’s being done by an experienced worker who has likely mounted dozens or even hundreds of televisions in the past. You may need a home cleaning service if you do not want to clean up after.

Choosing the Right TV Mounting Hardware

Whether you end up hiring a pro or tackling your own TV-mounting project, you’ll need the right mounting hardware to get started. As you shop for a TV mount, there are a few tips that’ll help you make the right choice.

Consider Your Wall Material

If you’re mounting your TV to a traditional drywall, you shouldn’t have any issues finding a mount that comes with the necessary drywall anchors and other small hardware to get the job done. However, if you’ll be mounting your TV to another type of surface, such as plaster or brick, keep in mind that other hardware may be needed. Special drills and drill bits, for example, will be required to mount to a brick or cement wall. This hardware may or may not be included with your TV mount, so be sure to check and buy accordingly.

Choose the Right Weight Limit

The weight and size limit on your TV mount is vital; if your TV weighs more than your mount is rated to hold, the mount itself could end up failing—resulting in your TV crashing to the ground and potentially causing a serious injury. With this in mind, be sure to carefully research the size and weight limits on potential TV mounts and purchase one that is rated to hold at least the weight of your television.

Look for Other Features

You can find all kinds of clever features in today’s TV mounts. For example, some may come with the ability to tilt or pivot your television screen, which can make for easier viewing at different angles or even in other rooms of your home. Some TV mounts may also come with additional shelving for things like cable boxes, video game consoles, and Blu-ray players. Take some time to consider which features are most important to you when choosing a TV mount so you can more easily narrow down your options.

Tips for Mounting Your Own TV

So, you’ve decided to take the DIY approach and mount your own TV. Great! Before you get started, take some time to review these practical tips.

Know Your Limits

First of all, understand that mounting a TV can be quite the upper-body workout; this will be especially true if you’re mounting a large TV. Even though televisions have come a long way in the past several years and are more lightweight than ever, they can still be heavy and cumbersome to lift. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted friend for help in lifting the TV when the time comes to attach it to the mount. The last thing you need is to accidentally drop/damage your new TV—or to injure yourself!

Invest in a Quality Stud Finder

If you’re mounting your TV to drywall, you’ll need to drill into the studs. These can be difficult to find without a quality stud finder, so pick one up at your local hardware store or order one online. You can also locate studs in your home by looking for electrical outlets or light switches. Typically, these are installed directly on a stud, and studs are located anywhere from 16-22 inches apart from there.

Use Tools to Hide Wires

A mounted TV with wires hanging all over the place isn’t a great look. If you’re taking the time to mount your TV, do it correctly by hiding the wires. You can do this by either hiding them in the wall or even bundling and running them through a wire-hiding strip that can adhere to the wall. Most of these strips are designed to be painted to match your walls as well.

Don’t Forget the Level

Once the mount is installed, be sure to check and be sure that it is completely level before attaching your TV. If things aren’t looking perfectly level after your TV is attached, check the instructions that came with your mounting kit. Usually, these mounts are able to be slightly adjusted in either direction to achieve a level appearance even if your installation wasn’t 100% perfect or precise.

How to Find the Right TV-Mounting Professional

There’s no shame in saving your own time and hassle by hiring a professional to mount your TV for you. Just make sure you choose the right person (or company) for the job by following these steps.

Make Sure They’ll Use Your Mount

If you’ve already purchased a mount, start by making sure that the company you’re considering will use the hardware you provide. Most will, but some may insist that you use their hardware or purchase the hardware from them directly.

Ask About Hiding Wires

You’ll also want to make sure that the company you hire will take the time to carefully conceal any wires so they are out of sight after the TV is mounted. Find out exactly what the “game plan” is for hiding your wires, whether it be running them through the wall or using a concealing strip.

Request Proof of Insurance

You’re more-or-less hiring a stranger to handle your new (and likely expensive) TV, so it’s in your best interest to make sure the person/company you hire carries liability insurance. This way, in the event that your TV (or any of your other property) is accidentally damaged, you won’t be left to pay for it. The same applies if the person who is mounting your TV is injured on-the-job.

Inquire About Pricing and Timelines

Price is always a concern when hiring a professional for this type of work, so make sure your TV-mounting services are being fairly priced. Find out whether the company you’re looking to hire charges by the hour or charges a flat fee for the entire project. You may also want to find out how many people will be sent out to complete the job. For example, if you’re having an especially large TV mounted, you’ll probably want to make sure there are at least two people being sent out to get the job done safely and efficiently.

Don’t forget to ask about the timeline for the project, either. While most TV-mounting projects can be completed in the matter of just a few hours, it is possible that a busy company may not be able to come out to your home for a week or two. If you’re having your TV mounted for an upcoming event that you’re hosting at your home, you’ll need to make sure that you have plenty of time to have the project done before your scheduled event.

Read Third-Party Reviews

Before you hire anybody to mount a TV in your home, take some time to read third-party reviews from real customers who have hired them in the past. This will help you get a better idea of how other clients have enjoyed (or not enjoyed) their experience with the company or professional. If you can’t find reviews for a company you’re considering, don’t hesitate to ask them for a list of references or testimonials.

Keeping Your TV (And More!) Dust-Free

Once your TV is mounted, you can sit back, relax, and begin watching your favorite movies and television shows! From there, it’s simply a matter of keeping your TV clean and dust-free so you can enjoy crystal-clear picture each time you turn it on. Of course, this can be easier said than done. If you’re looking for help in keeping your TV screens (and the rest of your home) dust-free, it may be time to do yourself a favor and hire a maid service.

At Maid Sailors, we offer thorough house-cleaning services and office cleaning services to suit your needs and budget. From light cleaning and dusting to deep-cleaning and everything in between, our experienced professionals are here to serve you. Give us a call at (212) 299-5170 and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have or schedule your first service today. You can also use our convenient online form to book your cleaning appointment now!

How to Clean an Oven

Whether it’s for experimenting with an intricate new recipe or simply heating up a frozen pizza, you rely on your oven fairly often to help you prepare hot and delicious food. And more than likely, a routine part of cleaning your kitchen is wiping down the outside of your oven and the stovetop to keep it looking shiny and new.

But are you extending that same courtesy to the inside of your oven? If it’s been a while since the last time you cleaned your oven—or if you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your oven, it’s probably time to give this hard-working appliance a little TLC.

Reasons to Clean Your Oven

Whether you use your oven daily or monthly, there’s a good chance it could benefit from a thorough cleaning. In fact, there are many reasons to clean your electric or gas oven on a regular basis.

Improve Your Meals

Over time, grease and food splatters can build up along the inside of your oven and become caked on. From there, each time you turn your oven on, you could be releasing unpleasant odors not only into the air but into the food you’re cooking. By cooking in a clean oven, you may actually find that the flavor of your meals improves as well.

Self-Clean Only Does So Much

Some ovens come equipped with a “self-clean” feature that works by simply heating up the inside of your oven to an extremely high temperature. The idea is that food particles and other debris will be broken down and, in most cases, turned into ash due to the sheer heat alone. However, self-cleaning features can only do so much and generally aren’t the best (or safest) approach for cleaning an oven that hasn’t been scrubbed down in a long time.

Prevent Smoke and Fires

In the case of an extremely dirty oven, you could even end up with a fire hazard. By cleaning your oven, you can get rid of debris and other particles that could cause a fire or heavy smoke the next time you turn on your oven.

How Often to Clean Your Oven

Let’s face it. Nobody enjoys getting on their hands and knees to clean out the inside of an oven. Still, it’s one of those things that really should be done regularly for the reasons listed above. How often you need to clean your oven will depend on how often you use it and just how dirty it gets.

Keep in mind that once you thoroughly clean your oven, you may be able to extend time in between deep cleanings by using the “self-clean” feature (if applicable). In general, however, you should aim to deep clean your oven at least once or twice a year.

Cleaning Your Oven: Step By Step

Ready to clean your oven? Before you reach for that store-bought oven cleaner that’s probably loaded with chemicals, why not try a more natural approach that uses the cleaning power of baking soda and vinegar?

Remove and Wash Racks

Begin by taking out everything that’s inside your oven. This includes any oven racks, cast iron pans, pizza stones, or other dishware. Oven racks can be washed by hand; if there is a lot of built-up grease on the rocks themselves, consider letting them soak in a mixture of water and dish soap overnight.

Create and Apply a Cleaning Paste

Next, it’s time to create a special cleaning paste that will break down grease and food residue inside your oven without the use of harsh chemical cleaners. To create this paste, all you need to do is combined half a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. The key is to create a paste that’s thick enough to spread onto the inside surfaces of your oven without dripping.

Once you’re happy with the consistency of the paste, use rubber gloves to apply it liberally to the inside of your oven. If you have a gas oven, be careful not to apply any over the gas valve inside the oven itself, as this can cause damage to the component.

Let It Sit Overnight

After the paste has been applied all over the inside of your oven, it’s time to let the baking soda work its magic. Ideally, you’ll want to let the paste sit inside the oven with the door closed overnight. If you cannot wait this long, however, be sure to let the mixture sit for at least a few hours to give it a chance to work.

Don Gloves and Scrub Away

The next morning, put a set of rubber gloves on and use a damp cloth to wipe away the cleaning mixture. By now, the mixture will likely have hardened a bit, so you may need to use some warm water and elbow grease to scrub it (along with grease and other build-ups) away. If there are any stubborn areas where there is still build-up, try spraying some white vinegar on top. This will create a reaction between the vinegar and baking soda, which should loosen up even the most difficult of build-up.

Rinse With Water

Once the baking soda mixture is scrubbed away, simply wipe down the interior of your oven with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove any remaining residue. Again, if you’re working with a gas oven, be careful to wipe around any gas valves or other sensitive components.

Dry and Replace Racks

All that’s left to do now is replace the oven racks that you cleaned earlier; by now, they should be dry. If they’re not, be sure to wipe them dry before you place them back into your oven. From there, you’re ready to get cooking!

For Professional Assistance…

As you can see, you don’t need to buy harsh chemical cleaners to get the inside of your oven looking like new again. A little baking soda, water, and possibly some vinegar is all you need to clean out your oven with minimal effort on your part.

Looking for help with cleaning other parts of your home? Maid Sailors offers a wide range of professional home cleaning and office cleaning services, and we’re proud to serve NYC and the surrounding areas. From kitchen cleaning to dusting, taking out the trash, and everything in between—we offer the services you need to keep a clean and tidy home while freeing up your valuable time.

Contact Maid Sailors today at (212) 299-5170 to find out more about our certified professional cleaning services or use our quick and easy online form to request your first appointment now.