5 Tips For Notoriously Late New Yorkers

Perhaps the biggest relationship struggle the hubs and I have is the issue of tardiness.  Put two people together, one who believes in being 15 minutes early and the other fashionably late (I’ll let you guess who is who!), and you’re bound to have some issues getting out the door without WWIII a tiny yet civil argument erupting.

Running Late!

Being tardy is something that I’ve found to be, let’s say, a bit more acceptable in NYC than in other places.  Have you guys found that too?  It’s so easy to blame the crazy lifestyle–got stuck at work, got stuck on the subway, got stuck in traffic–that being late is more the norm than the exception.

While we can’t always control things like not being able to hail a cab at 5pm or the F train getting stuck between stations without cell service, here’s a few tips I’ve integrated into our home to make getting out the door a bit easier (hubs, you’re welcome.)

Running Late!

1. Have a catch-all station right at the door.

One of the biggest problems with getting derailed last minute is the awful habit of coming in and dropping stuff at random as you go–talk about the quickest way to misplace keys, wallet, and cell phone!  Instead of creating this insanely irritating trail of stuff, I put a big bowl RIGHT by our front door, where all the little things get dropped immediately upon coming in.  This way, when we’re rushing out somewhere, the hubs knows exactly where to find his sunglasses and credit card.

2. Have one calendar for work + real life.

Before, the hubs used to keep two separate calendars, one for work and one for social activities.  This popped up as a problem when work drinks would collide with a dinner date we had preplanned months in advance, because the calendars weren’t synced.  Now, I make sure to send social invites digitally to him so he can automatically add it into his work calendar, making the likely hood of overlap a lot less.

3. Always leave the house 15 minutes earlier than you think you should.

…because there will be traffic, and there will be stalled trains.  And hey!  If there’s not, you get extra bonus points for getting there early–I’ll give them to you myself!;-)

4. Lay out your complete outfit ahead of time.

And by complete outfit I mean: outfit, shoes, tights (check in advance for snags!), accessories, and exact shade of lipstick.  It’s those little things, like realizing too late that you need to iron/steam your dress, or you can’t find your navy purse–that often leads to getting out the door late.  Having stuff prepped the night ahead helps a ton!

5. And for the love of God, if you know you’re going to be more than 15 minutes late, let people know as far in advance as possible.

Dinner scheduled downtown at 7pm and you’re still in the midtown office at 6:50?  Chances are, you probably knew around 6:15 that it was gonna be tough to get out on time, so rather than waiting til 7 to text your date, shoot a text out at 6:15 with a more accurate arrival time.  I, for one, would much rather fiddle around my house for an extra hour rather than sit solo at a bar ordering drinks and thumb twiddling, just saying;-)

Would love to know…what are your tips for combating tardiness?  Share below!

||Feature Photo Credit: 1||


  • All good advice. Yes, it is almost expected to be late in this city, ESPECIALLY for social events. I’m so guilty of this and absolutely have a reputation amongst friends…It’s cause I can’t lay out my outfit ahead of time! Haha, I can do all the others you list but my cat makes it a mission to cover everything possible in cat hair.
    Mary Lane @NewYorkCliche recently posted..Attend the Tale of Sweeny Todd: Outdoor Musical Theatre in BrooklynMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Haha I have a little white/blonde chihuahua, so totally understand that frustration! At one point I was all “I’m never wearing black or navy again!!!” (Obviously, not practical in NYC, though;-)

  • I am routinely 5-10 minutes late for just about everything (which is actually a big improvement over my working-in-an-office days when I would often show up anywhere from 15-30 minutes late.) Just yesterday I was literally sprinting down the street to catch the bus before it pulled away from the stop. I just can’t leave my house on time! I have organizational spots for all my essentials, and I’ve even tried setting all my clocks ahead to no avail. I just tend to get lost in an article online, or underestimate how long it’s going to take me to get ready, or spend too much time eating my breakfast, or it’s raining out and I’m dragging my feet…the reasons are endless. It’s a very hard habit to break! One thing that helps is having all my friends tell me a meeting time 15 minutes earlier than when they actually want me there.
    Heather @ Ferreting Out the Fun recently posted..The 15 Best Restaurants in RigaMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Hehe it’s funny cause I just read an article today that says optimists tend to be late for everything, and I’d definitely put you in the happy camp, Heather!:-)

  • Kemkem says:

    Spain is much worse than New York! They are late..late..late…
    Kemkem recently posted..Seville Cathedral and La Giralda – stunning ode to excess in AndalusiaMy Profile

  • Agness says:

    I had no idea that New Yorkers were such late people! I personally hate when people are late but I do it as well. Great tips. I bet they can help some people in New York and me in Amsterdam :-).
    Agness recently posted..Quick and easy pre-workout meals and snacksMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Hehe I don’t think we have a higher rate of being late per say, just that we have a lot more excuses for it, so it becomes more acceptable–which, if you’re always on time, can get annoying;-)

  • #3 is a biggie. I have trained myself to do this. All of your tips are great, Jess. I think I’d like to set a rule with a friend of mine, next time she’s late she buys me a drink. My girlfriend is almost always late for our lunch dates because she takes public transit. But I mean really, why don’t you leave earlier? She was half hour late last time and didn’t even apologize.

    New social rule; whoever is late buys a round of drinks!
    lisa thomson-the great escape recently posted..Jumping OffMy Profile

  • Tamara says:

    Oh man – it’s so different here. I am sometimes late because the car didn’t start.. or because there were literal chickens crossing the road.. true story there.
    I usually just say, “I have young kids! May be late!”
    Tamara recently posted..Currently, Lately.My Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Haha the kids are truly the best excuse of all, nobody can argue with that!–although I really love the chickens crossing the road!;-)

  • Joanne Theodorou says:

    So hard to travel NYC these days, we seem to be busting at the seams, the subways and streets are so packed, it takes far more time to travel then we usually allow. The convenience of actually living in Manhattan is disappearing as we lost the “heads up” and easy commuting edge since the population has exploded here. Just LOOK UP, you will see what I mean. How can we all get to the same place at the same time?! We no longer fit on the sidewalks let alone the subways.
    Anyhow, problem with unexpectedly running late is people don’t leave their phones on, or THINK they are on, and so they never receive the “I’m running late!” message! OY!

    • Used York City says:

      Gah, so true! It’s really a lot more challenging when you have to rely on public transportation or walking to get everywhere…and cabs are not any better with the traffic! In the burbs where there’s not much traffic, I think people have a lot less excuses for arriving severely tardy to places!

  • Some great tips here, I didn’t realize that New Yorkers were known for tardiness 😉 In the UK, most people are quite timely though I admit that’s not always the case for me. I like the idea of laying your outfit out beforehand
    Suze The Luxury Columnist recently posted..Celebrating Summer – Bloom Gin Cocktails at One AldwychMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Hehe, well not ALL New Yorkers, but I think we all know a handful of people who are regularly “fashionably late”;-)

  • Kemkem says:

    I always manage to be perfectly on time. Not late, not early…exactly on time. Federico likes to be there earlier, and that’s usually what we argue about.. 🙂
    Kemkem recently posted..Seville Cathedral and La Giralda – stunning ode to excess in AndalusiaMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Kudos to your punctuality! How is it generally in Spain? Do people run on time or is it a slower pace to life?

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