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Living in NYC

How to clean & organize your NYC apartment: our tips and tricks

I’ve already shared here on the blog a post about our apartment in New York – you can click here and check out a photo tour and here to watch a video tour. Today I want to talk a little about our cleaning and organization routine. Many things are different between living in a house and living in an apartment – and many other things are different when you live in a city like New York. In recent years, I think we have significantly optimized the tasks in general to save time. You see: Thiago and I prioritize, within our reality, everything that brings more practicality to our life and makes us spend more time doing what we like. That is our philosophy. I’ll divide the post by topics!

Laundry

I have already mentioned on several occasions that not all apartments in NYC have a wash & dryer. Therefore, when looking for an apartment in the city, there are three possibilities: units with a washer & dryer, units with laundry in the building, and units without any of these options. And believe me, this is more common than you think. You can, for example, find apartments with a dishwasher but no washer & dryer. We have already lived in all three situations: there was a shared laundry in the building in our first apartment. In our second apartment, there was neither a washer & dryer or laundry in the building. So, we had to use laundry services. And now, in our current unit, we have a washer and dryer inside the apartment. We do laundry usually twice a week: once to wash the sheets and bath towels and once to wash the week’s clothes. They say that one of the signs you made in New York is when you conquer your apartment with a washer and dryer. Jokes aside, everything is a matter of priorities. I’ve met people who, even with wash & dryer at home, preferred to pay for external services. As I said: priorities.

Laundry services

When we didn’t have a washer and dryer, we’d started using the laundromat nearest us. These are self-service places: you have to do everything. Using coins or cards, you schedule the machine to wash and then to dry – you have to bring your products; the price is calculated by time. Washing clothes in these places is a lot of fun in the beginning when you’ve never had the experience. The truth is that after a while, it becomes boring to walk with your clothes back and forth – not to mention that your time is compromised. After a few weeks, Thiago suggested that we’d use a drop-off service – another laundry concept, where you take your clothes, leave them there, and pick them up the next day. In this case, the charge is by weight. Yes, obviously it is more expensive, but Thiago told me that my time is worth more. As we could afford it, we always did drop-offs until we moved out of that apartment. But, I confess: I was not 100% satisfied with the services of that laundry and, if we had not moved to an apartment with wash & dryer, we would start using Laundryheap. Laundryheap I like to explain Laundryheap as uber for laundry. Founded in 2014, it is a leading company in laundry and dry cleaning services on demand, with free collection and delivery within 24 hours. It works like this: you download the app, select the services (laundry, dry cleaning, and ironing), choose the date and time of collection, and that’s it. Laundryheap picks up clothes at your place and also brings them back, free of charge, in 24 hours. Here at our apartment, as I said, we have a washer & dryer, but we use the app for other services like dry cleaning – especially for our winter coats – wow, they look new! It’s very convenient and saves a lot of time – not to mention that you can track everything through the app – and we don’t have to worry about taking or picking up the clothes. It’s just one less thing to worry about, you know? If one day we move for an apartment without a washer & dryer, this will definitely be our choice for laundry. Besides, I think Laundryheap can be a great service for those visiting the city and need clean clothes – after all, time is something that cannot be wasted during a trip to the Big Apple.

  • Oh, and there’s more! In addition to New York, Laundryheap serves the cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Doha, Kuwait City, Dublin, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Singapore, Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Manama.
  • Use the code LA10LH for $ 10 off on your first order on Laundryheap.

Apartment cleaning

You may know that services here in the USA are expensive. In fact, nowadays, I don’t even like to refer to services as expensive – I think what happens is that these professionals are underpaid in many countries. There is no maid culture here, but some people hire a cleaner once a week, for example. For me, this was not even a “shock”, because my mom never had a maid; she would do everything at home and didn’t miss the chance to get us involved when she had the chance lol. When I left home to go to college and moved to another city, I already knew what taking care of a house looked like …, and the same thing happened here in New York. Well, but you know, with our lives becoming busier and busier, I found many products to make this routine more practical.

When it comes to cleaning the house, our mantra is the more automated, the better!

As the years have passed, we invested in cleaning solutions that were aligned with our priorities: saving time. Our first investment was a Roomba, the robot vacuum cleaner; it does everything on its own. It has a base to charge the battery, and when you turn it on, it goes around the house, vacuuming everything. Roomba is smart: it knows how to dodge furniture, detect stairs, climb not-so-high rugs and go under a lot of furniture. Besides being great for cleaning dust and hair, it is also excellent for those who have cats or dogs. Besides, you can schedule it to clean at a specific time. After it finishes, it returns to the base alone. Is it a wonder or not? Obviously, it is not perfect, but I think it helps maintain the house clean! It keeps working while I do other things – like right now, while writing this post. Click to buy it. After a few years with the robot vacuum cleaner, I discovered that there are also mop-cleaning robots. We thought about buying for years – I confess, I had my doubts about it. After moving to this current apartment and watching many review videos on Youtube, we decided to buy Braava, also from iRobot, the same brand as Roomba. Triple-pass mopping action and damp mopping cloths help get everyday dirt and grime. Dry sweeping cloths efficiently pick up dust, dirt, and hair. After using it and enjoying the results, we decided to buy a second one, as its battery lasts less and, with two, we could optimize cleaning. Every week, we use the vacuum cleaner robot and then the robot with a dry, wet cloth.

 
 
 
 
 
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Uma publicação compartilhada por Bona (@bonafloorcare)

 

And just like that, so we keep the house clean – we also turn on the vacuum robot inside the bedroom and bathrooms other days of the week to help with this maintenance. Also, we do a heavier cleaning from time to time, using our Bona Hardwood Floor Premium Spray Mop – with a reusable and washable cloth and space to put water and cleaning product. It has a valve to spray the liquid on the floor. It is super practical because it also excludes that function of being around with a bucket filled with water. Again: our motto is practicality! Click here to buy.

 
 
 
 
 
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Uma publicação compartilhada por Dyson (@dyson)

  Last and not least, our newest investment was on Black Friday when we bought the Dyson V8 Absolute. A friend had bought it – and she also had the robot vacuum cleaner – and she said so many good things about it that I convinced myself. “But, what do you mean, Laura, so you don’t like the robot vacuum?” No, it is not that! I love how the robot is convenient. But there were corners, furniture, and small accidents that the robot could not clean, so we thought it would be better to have a portable vacuum too. The Dyson V8 Absolute is cordless – just take it off the charging station and use it. Not to mention that it comes with several accessories that allow it to be used in various circumstances – from vacuuming the floor to a table. Also, the suction power is incredible.

More cleaning habits

  • I think it is worth highlighting some circumstances when we talk about cleaning our apartment. For reference, it is about 1000 square feet. We have no children or pets.
  • Our apartment is shoe-free. We have an area at the entrance to take and put on shoes – and slippers for exclusive use at home.
  • What is dirt? What does it mean to be dirty? What does it mean to be clean? Here at home, we are talking about dust, hair, and food crumbs. We keep our house clean, but we are not neurotic about scrubbing and polishing.

Meals

Although Thiago and I love going out to eat, this is a type of thing that is more reserved for our weekends. During the week, we cook our own meals, and we have acquired some habits and an organizational routine so that we can have healthy lunches and dinners. Of course, everything has to be convenient; after all, we both work, and especially lunch, needs to be something quick to be prepared. Here are some of our habits that maybe can inspire you:

  • We keep a lot of frozen stuff like beans, brown rice, chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa. We cook these beans as they run out. We use our
  • Intant Pot– it is a multipurpose cooker that helps us a lot.
  • I use Pinterest to search and save easy recipes. I create boards and save recipes that we like. I also use Pinterest to look for specific recipes with some ingredients I may have.
  • Sometimes, we plan the week’s meals on Sunday – we got recipes from Pinterest, and we list what we need to buy for those recipes.
  • As for grocery shopping, Thiago usually takes care of this task – we have some options around our building. But, when we’re out of time or too lazy, we use Instacart. You place the order through the app, choose the delivery time and the items! Someone from Instacart will not only do your grocery shopping but also deliver it to your door. You can even follow everything through the app and even add some last-minute products. Click here and get $ 10 in credits for your first order!

And you? How do you optimize your home routine – whether in NYC or anywhere in the world?

This post was sponsored by Laundryheap.

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