Wednesday, January 1

Straight from New York City, ringing in the year 2014: the fun, history & then the clean up

Happy New Year 2014!
Today, I offer historical views and snapshots 
from New York City during the New Year Celebration in Times Squarepast and present with the back story of the clean up  this year!  As far back to the inception of New York when the Dutch Settlers rang in the new year by paying their neighbors a visit with spirits and smoking tobacco, the New Year has been celebrated with vigor in the Big Apple.
The "Big Ball Drop" tradition didn't start in New York though, and has a long history, beginning in 1833 in England. The ball was hung on England’s Royal Observatory at Greenwich,  dropping daily at 1 pm to signal ships captains to synchronize their navigational chronometers.  However, New York City took that concept and ran with it...cut to the year 1907 and the first “ball drop” in Times Square, which soon became an annual tradition.  The ball has been dropped at midnight on New Year's Eve every year since, with the exception of 1942 & 1943 when it was suspended due to the war and electricity “dim out” policy.  Even during that time, the crowds still showed up in Times Square to celebrate.
1956 Times Square New Year
Back then the famous Trinity Church would chime its bells, the waiters in nearby restaurants would convene on the sidewalks and cheer, and everyone celebrated with fanfare.  Over the years the ball has morphed with various brands building modern balls offering the latest technological advances until the permanent Big Ball was created.  At 6 tons and 12 feet in diameter, the Waterford Crystal illuminates the NYC sky with over 32,000 LED lights and now is on display year-round hanging over Times Square.
Like many of you, I grew up tuning in to watch Dick Clark ring in the New Year from Times Square.  This year, millions traveled to the Big Apple to join in the celebration.  The 2014 party was bigger then ever with live streaming, a Chinese cultural performance, hourly countdown, lots of musical performances, a tribute to ABC's Dick Clark New Years, and lots more, which I am sure you viewed, or at least caught glimpses of during the evening! Studies have shown that nearly 6 out of 10 American households watch part of the Times Square coverage on television.
photograph via Huffington Post
Then there's the day after -- the dreaded clean up -- 
and it's not the glamorous part, but oh so essential to keep our city in stellar shape.  Here we are today recovering from the celebrations of last evening.  Just looking around at my home after the big party, I have lots to do -- can you imagine the mess in Times Square?  With an estimated 50 tons of confetti, party hats and other debris this is a big job, and until now not the story we usually hear about.  I am excited to have been invited to report on this massive clean up lead by the Times Square Alliance with the DSNY who uses 22 trucks, 24 mechanical sweepers and 37 backpack blowers to put Times Square back to its original state.  Procter & Gamble's Mr. Clean was on the scene to assist with the clean up as well.  Check out the Clean Up Times Square video
illustrating today's hard work and introducing their new product,

Mr. Clean takes on Times Square
  As part of its launch for this new uber cleaning product
P&G assembled a 25-person fun and productive group to help with the clean up.
The new Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle is a gel formula, multi-surface cleaner with 2.5 times more power than other cleaners in every drop.  It's good for all surfaces including floors, and lifts stains faster than before, fighting tough grease stains, plus  you only need a small drop.  For more information on the Times Square clean up check out 
It is available in a variety of scents -- crisp lemon, Febreze Meadows & Rain, Gain Original Fresh Scent or Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle with the Grease Fighting Power of Dawn. It launched today during the clean up showing its powerful effectiveness. You can follow the conversation on Twitter at #NewYearsClean for more details.
Blogger, Julie Edelman, the “Accidental Housewife  reported today from Times Square while cleaning up, and offers her clean up tips to use at home for readers as well.  
1. TACKLE HIGH TRAFFIC ZONES FIRST: Divide your home into MUST DO and CAN DO LATER zones. The must do’s are bathrooms, kitchen and bedrooms which are bacteria, allergy (dust mites) and germ magnets AND should be cleaned regularly. Can do later zones are areas such as family rooms, guest bedrooms, and hallways.
2. MAINTAIN YOUR SANITY, START SMALL: As Oscar Wilde said “Man (and woman!) was made for something better then disturbing dirt.” So put cleaning your home in perspective and don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed. Start with the smallest room in your home, and work your way to the largest room in order to streamline your cleaning process.
3. SPREAD OUT CHORES THAT BORE: Once you’ve tidied up, make a weekly TAH–DO LIST  (as in The Accidental Housewife!) to keep rooms clean enough. If you follow up on little cleaning projects each week, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy and squeaky clean home, and manicures, all year long.
4. BLEND CHORES THAT BORE INTO EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES: Housework can be boring, so staying focused while doing it can be a chore. ‘Blend’ i.e. ‘work’ tasks into everyday activities and routines. Next time you’re chatting on the phone with your BF or mom, chat while cleaning counter tops, door handles and sinks.
5. SAVE YOUR ENERGY: Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle can handle anything, especially if it can clean up Times Square after New Year’s Eve! Save your elbow grease and simply squirt a drop of the powerful new formula onto counter tops, appliances and more to clean up after your own New Year’s Eve party.
6. STREAMLINE YOUR CLEANING TOOLS WITH MULTI-TASKERS: There’s no need to have countless cleaning products clogging cabinets. Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle can be used directly on tough dirt or used as a dilute to handle big or small messes on hard surfaces such as tables, counter tops, sinks, stoves and even floors.
7. TAKE THE GUESS WORK OUT OF ‘HOW MUCH’: Thanks to its innovative one-dose cap, Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle delivers the perfect amount of cleaning gel with every squeeze – that can be applied directly to surfaces or diluted in water as a cleaning solution. Similar to tasks like dish washing and laundry, buy single, pre-measured packets. This will certainly help you prevent wasting product and in the end, also save you money!
8. DANCE WITH DUST BUNNIES: No one said that you have to make cleaning a chore, so put on those headphones or crank up the music and dance with your vacuum as you suck up those dust bunnies or wash your floor! It will also turn your cleaning routines into a workout, so you’ll be multi-tasking once again—cleaning and toning your bod!
9. ENLIST PINT-SIZED HELPERS: If you have young kids, they are perfect for helping with kid-friendly home-keeping chores like vacuuming and laundry. If you don’t have any children, I’m sure friends and family who do will be happy to lend out theirs so they can enjoy an hour or two of free time!
10. GIVE YOURSELF AN i.O.ME! Don’t wait for your birthday or Mother’s Day. Give yourself a ‘me day’ or at least a few ‘me’ hours. You’ll be amazed how it will give you a new perspective on that next load of laundry waiting for you!
Let's get cleaning so we can plan for the next celebration!
Happy New Year
Happy Nesting
XO Tamara

note:  Mr. Clean sponsored in part the makings of this post