Something From Nothing: Create More Storage Space in Your Home Today

Photo by KAROLINA GRABOWSKA via Kaboompics

Every New Yorker knows that living in such a vibrant, happening, and culturally-rich environment comes with a cost. Per square foot. While your apartment may be tinier than your dreams, heart, or family – that doesn’t mean should you put up feeling cramped or disorganized. These simple tips from our founder should point you in the right direction.

Getting Started

From storing kitchen and bath items to streamlining your closets and organizing your bedrooms and living rooms, it can be difficult to find a place for everything. “Shelves and containers are cornerstones to organization, so if your home is not designed with enough cabinet or closet space just create your own,” says Jim Ireland, owner of White Glove Elite, a cleaning company, who recommends buying a portable wardrobe to store clothing and using a shoe rack to keep shoes off the floor.

Cute Cubes

Storage cubes, which are available in a variety of colors, patterns and materials, can be a quick and stylish storage option around the house. Canvas containers fold flat when not in use. Use them to store anything: seasonal clothes, toys, papers around your home office and more. Ireland suggests using fabric bins for under-the-bed storage, saying they provide “a softer, more elegant look.” Another option: consider building your own cube shelves, typically made of laminate or plastic. They can be used alone or stacked together to create a modular shelving unit. Those canvas foldable cubes can be stored inside these shelving units.

The above tips were originally featured in the Glen Clove Herald Gazette, in an article written by Kristen Castello. The original article may be found here.

We hope the knowledge on this blog helps you treat your home with care. However, sometimes it’s great to have help – otherwise we wouldn’t be in business. Book service online today or call us at 212-684-4460 to schedule an appointment with New York City’s top-tier housekeepers.

COVID-19 Cleaning Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Home Cleaning and Disinfecting from the CDC for Coronavirus

House Cleaning in the era of COVID

White Glove Elite has provided housekeepers to New York City households and businesses since 1992. The Covid-19 infectious disease has raised many questions and concerns regarding best practices to maintain a clean home, proper disinfection techniques, and what products are best suited.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has produced numerous guidelines and recommendations addressing these concerns, however the information is spread between multiple sources – so White Glove Elite has created this blog to simplify and consolidate the relevant information in one place. Providing the knowledge necessary for maintaining a clean home, while also prioritizing safety and sanitation, is the primary goal of this article.  

*WGE Editor’s Note*: Of course the easiest way to clean your home is to hire someone else to do it for you. 😉  If that is your inclination, skip to the last section on a few important safety tips when hiring a cleaner.

Jump to Section:

Before You Clean – Safety Considerations

General Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines

Cleaning Hard (Non-Porous) Surfaces

Cleaning Soft (Porous) Surfaces


Cleaning Electronics

Recommended Cleaning and Disinfecting Products

Additional CDC Resources

Tips for Hiring a Cleaner

Before You Clean: Safety Considerations

Plastic Gloves
Photo by Clay Banks

When doing the cleaning yourself, wear reusable or disposable gloves for routine cleaning and disinfection. Disposable Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.

woman with fair complexion and green eyes wearing face mask
Photo by Ani Kolleshi

Wear facial coverings and follow proper prevention hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and using alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

Additional key times to clean hands include:

  • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After using the restroom
  • Before eating or preparing food
  • After contact with animals or pets
  • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)

General Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines

Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure. Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight will reduce the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.

Disinfection using EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 can also help reduce the risk.  Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.  

Photo by Branimir Balogović

High touch surfaces to disinfect include: Tables, hard-back chairs, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed if you use the right products. EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. Each product has been shown to be effective against viruses that are harder to kill than viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.

When EPA approved disinfectants are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used.

For example:

  • 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • 70% alcohol solutions. *WGE Editor’s Note*: this is higher than the minimum 60% solution recommended for hand sanitizing.

Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together. This can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in.

Cleaning Hard (Non-Porous) Surfaces

If hard surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Disinfectant cleaning spray bottle
Photo by Clay Banks

For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. Keep surfaces wet for a period of time for adequate disinfection (see product label – often 5 to 10 minutes)

Take Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Cleaning Soft (Porous) Surfaces

For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes.

Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.

Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

Soft Surfaces may also be disinfected with an EPA-registered household disinfectant, if appropriate.

Vacuum as usual.


For clothing, towels, linens and other items.

Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

*WGE Editor’s Note*: Regardless of how much quarantines, shutdowns and joblessness have got you down, DO NOT stick your head in the dryer.

Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.

Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.

Do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.

Cleaning Electronics

For electronics such as cell phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, and keyboards, remove visible contamination if present.

Consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

The efficacy of alternative disinfection methods, such as ultrasonic waves, high intensity UV radiation, and LED blue light against COVID-19 virus is not known. Therefore, EPA cannot confirm whether, or under what circumstances, such products might be effective against the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC has provided an exhaustive list of EPA approved disinfectant products for use against viral pathogens and the Coronavirus.

WGE recommends the use of the following:

Product Kill Time
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes 4 minutes
Lysol® Disinfecting Wipes 10 minutes

Clorox Clean Up Cleaner + Bleach 1 minute
Fantastik® Multi-Surface Disinfectant Degreaser 5 minutes
Windex Disinfectant Cleaner 5 minutes
Lysol® Brand All Purpose Cleaner 2 minutes

Peroxide Disinfectant And Glass Cleaner RTU 45 seconds

Lysol® Brand Bleach Mold And Mildew Remover 30 seconds
Lysol® Bathroom Cleaner 5 minutes
Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner 10 minutes
Lysol® Brand Cling & Fresh Toilet Bowl Cleaner 30 seconds
Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach 10 minutes

Soft Scrub with Bleach 3 minutes

Lysol® Brand Deodorizing Disinfectant 10 minutes

White Glove Elite cleaners do not travel with cleaning supplies or equipment, and will make use of the cleaning products you make available, so please ensure you have the recommended products.

Additional CDC Resources

The above information is largely culled from the following official resources. More information about cleaning and disinfecting your home can be found here:

Cleaning and Disinfection for Households

Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home

Household Cleaning & Sanitizing

List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

Tips for Hiring a Cleaner

Perhaps the most challenging and important safety precaution when hiring a cleaner is to exercise social distancing.  Here are a few tips:

  1. Wear a mask while sharing your home with your cleaner.
  2. Try to schedule your cleaner at a time when you will not be there or a time when you can show them in and leave.
  3. If #2 is not practical, try to schedule errands to run to get you out of your home while your cleaner is working.
  4. If #2 and #3 are not practical, coordinate time and space with your cleaner so that they are not cleaning in the same room you are occupying.  Ventilate rooms as much as possible (windows and fans) and close doors between you and your cleaner whenever possible.  Remember to close doors gently and save the slamming for any housemate(s) you may have. 😉
  5. Refer to above section on Recommended Cleaning and Disinfecting Products so that you can set your cleaner up with proper products.
  6. Wipe down with disinfectant any shared equipment (such as your vacuum) before your cleaner arrives and again after they leave. Or better yet, ask them to put it away and don’t touch any such equipment until their return. 😉
  7. Tip your cleaner well 😉

Should you need a good cleaner for your home, some of the most excellent cleaners in the city work with us.  Call us at 212-684-4460 or click here to book service online.

8 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Winter

new york city snowy street

As the thermometer slowly works its way downwards, the best of us are already thinking ahead to frost filled mornings! Not to savor in flushed cheeks and shivers (unless you’re into the sort of thing) but rather to ready their home, making the transition to winter more comfortable, enjoyable, and easier on the wallet. At least when your in doors!

Familiarize yourself with these tips ahead of time and put them to use when winter calls.

  1. The good sheet. Now’s the time to swap-out those sexy silk sheets with cozy flannel… or at least change your sheets to a higher thread count. 
  2. Don’t get cold feet. Break-out the mats!  Make sure you have cozy-warm mats in front of your sinks!  Your kitchen and bathroom floors are about to get chilly.
  3. Go old school. Change the accents in your home to include candles. If you have a favorite autumn or winter time scent, such as pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon, knock yourself out. 
  4. Rub a dub dub. Give a little more time to your regular tub cleaning.  A nice clean tub my entice you to take a hot bath over your regular shower.
  5. Free Your Fridge. The first cold day is a great time to defrost your fridge and run that self-clean cycle on your oven.  Pack the contents of your fridge into a bag and set it outside. In New York City, I’ve hung a bag of cold goods from my window!
  6. Hot air. Save money and energy by disconnecting the exhaust of your clothes dryer and covering it with a stocking to filter the lint. It’s already shooting out a ton of heat- that, unlike in summer time, you want to KEEP the HEAT inside. 
  7. Missing moisture. If you have radiant heat, invest in some decorative ceramic bowls, fill them with water and place on the radiator in each room. This will keep the humidity in your room at a comfortable level and prevent those lips from chapping. 
  8. Daft Police. Now’s a good time to replace the weather stripping around any window A/C units and get a cozy cover for the front of each unit.

We hope the knowledge on this blog helps you treat your home with care. However, sometimes it’s great to have help – otherwise we wouldn’t be in business. Book service online today or call us at 212-684-4460 to schedule an appointment with New York City’s top-tier housekeepers.

Easy as Pie Tips for Moving!

black and brown Dachshund standing in box

Whether you’re moving for work, snatching a too-good-to-be-true deal on rent, getting more space to start a family (the reasons are endless) – the process itself is rarely fun. Imagining your future life in a new home is wonderful – you just have to get all your stuff there first. (Though we do wish that physical reality could move in lock-step with our daydreams…at least sometimes.)

And like everything with a lot of moving pieces, moving is easy to screw up.

Worst fears include damaging items, scratching the floors, or even losing treasured possessions. While accidents can still happens, we have some tips from White Glove Elite founder, Jim Ireland that are easy to implement and can save you a lot of struggle so you don’t have to resort to that Ibuprofen bottle after both your back and your head hurts.

Hold that run to laundromat.

With the exception of undergarments, dirty laundry is a much more effective packing material than packing paper and the trees will thank you! Use it for your most fragile items.

Repeat things you enjoy, not things your don’t.

Don’t waste time wiping or cleaning items before you pack. You’ll just be doing it again when you get there.

If you’re paying to rent a truck or van, use a little thought beforehand.

The greatest tetris expert can easily be foiled with just one quick start against a tightly packed stack if the stack is not level across the entire bed of the truck.

Use what you almost certainly have to lug heavy items.

Everyone knows to use blankets in the truck to protect un-boxed furniture, but few people use moving blankets within their apartment for the moving of furniture and boxes. Pack your boxes on top of a moving blanket and slide the stack of boxes where you need by pulling on the blanket. Place blankets under furniture and never scratch your floor again. Save your back and your security deposit! Moving blankets are very low-friction and are an amazing tool to help you move with ease.

With this knowledge in mind, save yourself some grief and make the most out of this big moment in your life. Your wallet, peace of mind, and schedule will thank you.

P.S. White Glove Elite would be glad to help you out with the move-out/move-in cleaning….

We hope the knowledge on this blog helps you treat your home with care. However, sometimes it’s great to have help – otherwise we wouldn’t be in business. Book service online today or call us at 212-684-4460 to schedule an appointment with New York City’s top tier housekeepers.

1 Rule to Avert Your Very Own Hoarding Horror Story

books and papers spiral

WGE Founder Jim Ireland spent over 15 years cleaning New York City apartments as a supplement to his career as a stage and screen actor. Having seen inside both the glitziest and grimiest abodes Manhattan has to offer, we asked Jim to share some of his cleaning horror stories.

This one in particular stood out.

I once arrived to clean an apartment in Midtown with another cleaner. The woman met us out in the hall to warn us that her place was “very messy”. She stood in the hallway with her door ajar as if she was hiding her home from us. When she invited us in, she squeezed through the narrow door opening, as did we, with the stunning revelation that she was not hiding her place but had hoarded so much stuff that she could barely open her front door. We literally stepped up into her apartment and were walking so high off of the floor on her “stuff” that we had to duck to get through the interior doorways. In the bedroom there was no sight of a bed, only the gradual rise and fall of a magazine mound.

Don’t live in a landfill! (Well unless you’re into that sort of thing – you know what they say about one man’s trash…)

While we’ve shared with you Jim’s 7 Second Rule for preventing messes from accumulating in the first place. However that ship has long sailed if you find yourself in a situation such as the one Jim found our friendly neighborhood hoarder in. Even if it’s not that bad, recognizing that the clutter is reaching an unacceptable level is the first step to taking action. What do you do if the problem is HOW DO I GET RID OF ALL THIS STUFF? There’s a reason (psychological, sentimental, laziness) you held onto these things in the first place, so Jim has a helpful rule to cut through the uncertainty, set down some boundaries, and make it easy to get down to getting rid of all this junk.

The 2 Year Rule: If you haven’t worn or used something this season or last season, give it to someone who will. And if you’re holding onto it because you’re thrifty, give it to a not-for-profit organization, get a receipt for it and deduct it from your taxes.

If you can’t think of someone who would make use of these things, or if they aren’t suitable for anyone else – then there’s only one appropriate action: disposal (don’t forget to recycle if that’s appropriate.) There you go – if you’re holding onto something for the mere sake that it might come in handy some day at the expense of comfort in your present living space, then either you’re delusional or you need a storage unit. Follow this rule (you don’t have to blindly terrorize yourself, a FEW exceptions are allowed) and you will find yourself de-cluttering your space, your mind, and gaining square footage you totally forgot about!

We hope the knowledge on this blog helps you treat your home with care. However, sometimes it’s great to have help – otherwise we wouldn’t be in business. Book service online today or call us at 212-684-4460 to schedule an appointment with New York City’s top tier housekeepers.