5 Steps To Having A Perfectly Tidy NYC Apartment


Have you ever walked around your NYC apartment, picked up your things, one at a time, and asked yourself, “Does this spark joy?”

If not, you’re doing it all wrong, according to Marie Kondo, author of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  And you know what?  I totally agree with her.  Reading her book put a lot into perspective in terms of the cleaning/organizing/decluttering we all are constantly doing in our small apartments to keep them manageable.  It sometimes seems like a never ending cycle, doesn’t it?  According to Kondo though, it surely doesn’t have to.

Her method for tidying, which she dubs the KonMari Method, is not a mere set of rules on how to sort, organize, and put things away. It is a guide to acquiring the right mind-set for creating order and becoming a tidy person.  Here’s what we’re all doing wrong:

268e96de299bdaadb77b1d1d52450cfe1. Stop organizing, and start discarding.

That’s right.  If we organize, we’re simply putting our stuff (which we have too much of) into another place.  It’s only a matter of time before everything is a jumbled mess again, right?  Instead of putting stuff into another place, discard it.

2. Discard by category, not by room.

Kondo recommends discarding in this precise order: clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous, and things of sentimental value.

3. Do not put things in storage.  In fact, don’t have any storage.

Reverting back to point one, storage is not an option!  I know we so often hear, “put it in the garage for 6 months and if you don’t need it, then throw it away.”  But let’s be real: we’re New Yorkers and don’t have garages, and to pay for Manhattan Mini Storage is kind of a waste cause, if you don’t need it now, you probably don’t need it.  Granted, there’s always exceptions: those golf clubs or skies that you use perhaps twice a year?  I challenge you to think if you actually need them, or would be just as happy discarding them and renting them on the rare occasions when they’re needed.  After all, renting skies is way cheaper than paying to keep them in storage year round.

4. All of your possessions should have a home, so put them there, daily.

When you come in from work, you should have a set place for your keys, your coat, and your purse.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT continue the habit of throwing them onto the kitchen counter.  Take a few minutes and return everything to their proper home, thanking them for a job well down for the day.

5. Own only items which you can honestly say spark joy in your life.

If you can’t pick something up and feel a rush of happiness, it’s time to realize that the item’s due date is here, and it’s time to thank the item for a job well done and discard it (please note: by “discard” I’m referencing whatever method works for your particular things…you can give items away, donate to charity, sell things on Ebay, put them in the trash…no matter.  Just discard quickly and efficiently;-).  Now, this can get a bit tricky with items that were given as gifts or sentimental items, but again, let’s be real.  Do you REALLY need mementos from your friend’s wedding sitting around?  How many photos do you actually need to recall a family vacation (especially now that everything is digital?)  Yes, your college hoodie got you though some great times, but unless you wear it on the regular and it truly sparks joy, out with it.

I really loved this book, and can say using her method has brought both inner and outer peace to my daily routines.  I mean, when you’re surrounded by things that spark joy, how can it not?

Would love to know…is this method something you’d consider trying?  Let’s chat in the comments below!

||Photo Credit: 1||




UsedYorkCity Inspiration #18

unnamed^^The most delicious veggie platter at Prune in the East Village.^^

1. Are you a book junkie? This NYC blogger talks about borrowing eBooks from the library for free. (via Noted In NYC)

2. Love this mom’s response to the ex-NYC mom who stated, “raising kids in New York is a terrible, terrible idea.” (via Gothamist)

3. Stumped at what to grab at the wine store? This is probably the best description I’ve heard for aligning your preferred food tastes to bottles of vino. (via A Cup Of Joe)

4. 14 awkward weather situations New Yorkers will totally understand. Umm, understanding umbrella height differences? >>Right here.<< (via Big Appled)

5. A local’s guide to visiting NYC. (via Cultural Xplorer)

Share what’s been inspiring you this week below!






Turn Off Your Netflix And Go On These 5 Fun Dates!


Let’s talk about something totally applicable today (cause, Juno!): winter dates that get you out of the house but keep you out of the cold, too!  I totally get how it’s easy to be like, “date night?  orrrr we could just stay in with pizza and netflix!”  We’re guilty, too!  Especially during the winter, and especially during blizzards.


Today we’re gonna talk about bringing date nights back with a bang!  The hubs and I have been doing some hardcore date night research for you guys, bringing the very best ones to the blog!  And don’t forget, date nights aren’t limited to your significant other…they can be just as fun with your roomie, mom, random girl from yoga class…you name it!  Here’s our very favorites that we tried this month:

1. Speakeasy Theater + Cocktails

“Trust me, I get funnier with every sip, ” speaks actor/playwright Anthony Caporale in his entertaining show, The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking.  And it’s so true!  (But this guy and his talented ensemble would be funny even sans cocktails, I promise!)  The Imbible is an off-Broadway show playing in an authentic NYC speakeasy, which talks about the history of alcohol while serving the audience said beverages. Performed by a group of 4 insanely talented a cappella singers, these guys sing and dance about the 10,000 year journey of alcohol and the creation of the modern day cocktail.  You’ll have a whole new appreciation for the Old Fashioned after the night is over.  We watched live demonstrations of brewing beer and distilling spirits, learned the difference between cocktails and mixed drinks, and got to interact in answering trivia questions!  All while sipping cocktails which are included in the price of your ticket!  These guys are so, so passionate, it’s refreshing to see theater performed with such zeal, and to be a member of their audience.

unnamed-12. Attend Your 5th Grade Class Reunion in an East Village Apartment

Interactive theater?  Yes please!  Mrs. Mayfield’s Fifth-Grade Class of ’93 20-Year Reunion is like Sleep No More, only funny!  And with witty dialogue!  Part play, part party, and all a boat load of date night fun!  A group of former 5th grade classmates, now all in their 30’s, get together for an evening of reminiscing, complete with lots of alcohol and a handful of drugs.  Turn the 90’s music on, and you have the recipe for the best night, ever!  As an audience member, you’re also guests at the party (truth be told, it was sometimes hard to tell who was acting and who was an audience member, it all seemed so natural!)  You wander the apartment (the address is given to you after your reservation is made), perusing the kitchen, office, and yes, bedroom, getting involved in whichever scenes you fancy.  Upon entering, you get a name tag, red meaning “don’t talk to me” and green meaning “yes, pull me into your lair of 5th grade drama!”  The hubs and I went with red name tags, but that certainly didn’t stop me from jumping into the Free Willy “Will You Be There” flash mob.  You know, cause that was my 5th grade jam, too.

Oh! Alcohol can be purchased for $5 throughout the evening via the honor system, and vegan chili is available for free.  Prepped by one of the actors himself;-)

unnamed3. Get Your Downward Dogs On

Couples that play together stay together, right?  While yoga may not be playing in the same context as, say, squash, it’s still a great date activity! The hubs and I have been going to Sonic Yoga, which offers free community yoga and meditation classes, and also has a special of 2 months of unlimited yoga for $99 going on.  Which is A LOT of dates, my friends.

shutterstock950203604. Nosh Till Your Heart’s Content At A Food Festival

When we do opt for the more traditional dinner dates, we’ve been making a point to try new restaurants rather than our old tried-and-true.  There’s no better way to discover restaurants packed with potential than visiting one of the city’s food festivals, and tasting samples from the chef’s menu yourself!  Pair with entertainment, craft beer, wine, and liquor and you’re shooing to have a delicious date!  We’re pretty pumped for 2015’s Choice Eats, happening March 13th!

unnamed-15. Love-Themed Improv

Ever dream of having your love life (or lack thereof!) turned into a hysterical skit?!  Yeah, me either, but you can laugh your heart out as some other helpless New Yorker is interviewed on stage about their’s…and then watch the “What I Did For Love” improv unfold!  The Upright Citizen’s Brigrade puts on a fine show, and you can’t beat the $10 price point.

2-ucb-what-i-did-for-love_650What fun date nights have you been on lately?  Share below!




$20 And Under All-Inclusive Boozy Brunches In NYC

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You read the title right, folks.  It’s not an entree that costs $25, plus an additional $15 for unlimited drinks (which is what the trend seems to be at a lot of places around the city.)  Our first publication of this article has become quickly outdated…read: restaurants have jacked up their brunch prices!

So we did some digging and came up with an updated list of places in NYC that offer all-inclusive boozy brunches for $20 and under.  Keeping the weekends budget friendly, right?  Bottoms up, friends!

Bottomless-Bloody-Marys1. Epstein’s | Lower East Side

This cash only joint is currently offering one of the best budget friendly brunches in the city, with unlimited bloody Marys, mimosas or screwdrivers and your entree, all for $15.95.

2. L’asso | Nolita

This pizza joint offers a brunch entree and all-you-can-drink bloody Marys or Mimosas (1 hour limit) for just $20.

3. Three of Cups | East Village

An entree at this establishment comes with two drinks (most entrees go for $16.95), but $7 extra buys you unlimited bloody Marys and mimosas for two hours.

4. Harry’s Italian Pizza Bar | Financial District

Ok, we realize we’re stepping the bounds just a tiny bit by going over (sorry!), but we still think $20.95 is a pretty sweet deal.  It will get you your entree with unlimited bloody Marys and mimosas for 2 hours.

5. Calle Ocho | Upper West Side

Entrees start at $18, and come with an unlimited sangria bar which we think is just the bee’s knees!

6. Piper’s Kilt | Inwood

On Sundays from 12-3, your Irish brunch comes with bottomless domestic beer on tap, mimosas, and bloody Marys for $19.95.

What are your favorite spots for a cheap boozy brunch?  Share below!

Photo Credit: 1




So You Wanna Use Your City, NYC?

New York is a massive place, and even if we make a point to go to a different venue every day for the rest of our lives, it’s still doubtable that we’d hit them all.  Within the five boroughs millions of people swarm around, each having their own favorite haunts to visit and places to enjoy, sometimes falling victim to routine.  Even in a city like New York, being a creature of habit is something not easily broken, am I right?

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going to the bar where everyone knows your name (because, cheers!), I urge you to get out and use your city, too!  Today we’re talking 5 unexpected places to shake up your going-out routine.

105_reynard-brooklyn-interior1. Reynard | Brooklyn

Wooden beamed and deliciously decorated in a manner more representative of the 1890’s rather than 2014, Reynard is an eatery that’s proving immensely popular with the newly bewhiskered natives of the restaurant’s hood. This isn’t just another factory renovation turned place to be seen, as Reynard produces a very high standard of food, which are modeled upon well known brasserie classics- that is at all times rich, moreish and strangely inexpensive compared to other haute offerings from the area.

2. Apollo Club | Harlem

The well known Apollo Club is one of Harlem’s gems, and with the theatre celebrating it’s 80th anniversary the club has forgone it’s usual fancies for a short while, deciding instead to invoke the nightclub hilarity and excess of the 1920’s! Hot-stepping dancers, a grand big band orchestra and Boardwalk Empire’s Margot B are all featured!

3. Resorts World Casino | Queens

Casino in NYC?!  Who knew!  With online gaming on the rise worldwide in terms of fans and acceptability, lovers of gaming, when not enjoying winning on a few easy money slots at Europalace Casino, are whetting their appetite for physical gaming and heading to Queens.  Slots, roulette, craps- this casino has it all!

4. Bar 54 | Midtown

Rooftop bars will never go out of style in the vertiginous land of Manhattan, and Bar 54 is the city’s newest sky-high lounge, offering visitors views out over the city from the top of Hyatt Times Square. The bar features outdoor fireplaces, huge glass walls and cocktails with a local flair produced by the inimitable Julie Reiner.

5. Gotham West Market | Hell’s Kitchen

Similar to the far more well known Chelsea Market, Gotham West Market at first sight doesn’t appear to be just any usual food market, mainly due to the fact that there are only ever eight vendors serving up their dishes! Past vendors have included those offering pig’s head Cuban sandwiches, tapas and savory rye noodles, though there’s easily enough available to keep you occupied for a fair few hours.

We’d love to know…how have you used your city this week?  Share below!

||Photo Credit: 1||