Memories are made at the beach. Days spent splashing in the surf and building sand castles in the summer sun are treasured times. That is until it is time to leave and the sand comes with you – in your clothes, shoes, bags, coolers and eventually every square inch of your home. For many that leave near sandy recreational areas, it is an ongoing summertime battle to keep sand out of your home. Try our tips to win this fight.
Prevention is your biggest weapon – keep the sand where it belongs, outside.
Sandy items (and people) should be corralled together in designated spaces to stop sand in its tracks.
Grains of sand are so small, from two millimeters to 64 millimeters, that inevitable some will make it past your defenses.
Staying vigilant against sand will have you ultimately winning the war. When you’re ready to concentrate on summer fun, instead of cleaning, think about hiring The Maids. We will make your home or vacation home sparkling clean so all you return to is relaxation. Contact us for a free estimate!
Surprises are great – receiving a bouquet of flowers at work or being treated to lunch but there are some surprises that come with unwanted stress and anxiety. Take this example, your best friend from out of state calls to let you know she’s in town for the night (yay!) and then asks to stay in your guest room (uh oh). Of course, you say yes, even though your home looks like a tornado just came through. Dishes are stacked in the sink and counter, towels are heaped on the bathroom floor, the cat disappeared under a mountain of laundry a week ago and you could write your name in the dust on every surface you own. You start to sweat because it will take hours to get the house close to ready and you’re only one person, it’s not like you have a team behind you. Or do you?
Let The Maids be your team. We understand you get busy and cleaning sometimes gets put on the back-burner. We don’t judge. Instead, we offer solutions like our same day cleaning services.
With our staff size, equipment and team organization, we’re equipped to handle any last minute cleaning service. Simply give us a call, tell us some details and we’ll quickly assemble a team to come to your home and make it shine.
Our 22-Step Cleaning Process works the same way no matter if you call today or a week ago. It ensures all the rooms of your home get attention. Kitchen cabinets are wiped down, bathroom toilets are disinfected, counters are wiped and all floors are vacuumed.
Or maybe you have a special cleaning service request like carpet that is begging to be cleaned or windows that have lost their brilliance. We can even clean the inside of your fridge, your walls and furniture. All you have to do is contact us, tell us your needs and we’ll provide the solution.
A same day cleaning service isn’t just for getting out of sticky situations. Take this scenario, you keep your home neat and tidy most of the time but you’re planning a big party and between buying decorations, planning the menu and setting the table, you just don’t have a spare minute to clean. Call us off the bench and we’ll make sure your party is a home run with dirt, bacteria and grime called out. We can handle the cleaning while you focus on being the perfect hostess.
The best part is you’ll always know the cost up front. In fact, we’ll give you a free estimate over the phone. You don’t have to do it all. Let The Maids be your cleaning team.
Flowers, candy, jewelry, bath products, a fluffy robe – these are all great (but predictable) Mother’s Day gift ideas. They are so common, the mothers in your life have probably already received them numerous times. And, let’s ask ourselves, is this what mom really wants? Even if you just stick to traditional holidays – birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries – there are a lot of opportunities to give gifts that mom neither wants nor needs. Consider instead gifting mom with a housecleaning service. Hear us out, there are a lot of reasons a gift certificate from The Maids is the perfect present.
Why Buy Mom A Gift Certificate From The Maids
Purchasing a gift certificate from The Maids is easy on the gift giver as well. Just contact your local Maids office to purchase a certificate in the amount you desire. The recipient can then contact their local franchise to customize the cleaning according to their needs and schedule. Your loved one will be singing your praises, guaranteed. The Maids gift certificates can also be used towards special services such as carpet and window cleaning or pet hair removal. To find The Maids nearest you, visit www.maids.com.
Even if your new home looks clean, there could still be some hidden places harboring dirt, grime and germs. Since there’s no better time to clean a house than before you move in, it pays to inspect every nook and cranny when you’re doing your move-in house cleaning. There seems to always be a few extra cleaning jobs, no matter how great the place looks. You just have to know where to look!
Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures
Ceiling fans and light fixtures aren’t on most people’s everyday cleaning checklists, so they’re the perfect place to start your move-in house cleaning. Ceiling fan blades are notorious for having a residue on the top side and if it’s been a long time between cleanings they can take a bit of work. Be sure to vacuum those little openings all around the ceiling fan housing and make sure the fan is set to turn in the right direction for the season. Counter-clockwise keeps things cooler in summer and clockwise keeps your home warmer in winter.
Light fixtures can have similar build up that’s hard to notice until you get up there and get a close look. Most light fixtures have various parts you can remove for cleaning. Domes, covers and globes are often made of glass which is a magnet for everything from dust to cigarette tar. Remove them and clean them in the kitchen sink. Let them dry, reinstall them and let the light shine while you continue with your move-in house cleaning.
Light switches and other frequently touched fixtures may not get cleaned often enough and end up looking dingy. But it’s what you can’t see that should be your biggest concern. Germs build up on these fixtures and get transferred to hand after hand. Clean the switch plates and switches and disinfect them. Then add this cleaning task to your regular cleanings to prevent the spread of germs after you move in.
Door Knobs, Cabinet Pulls and Handles
These frequently touched areas are right up there with the light switches. Just think of how many times someone turns a doorknob or opens a cabinet in the course of a day. That’s a lot of dirt and germs getting transferred all around the house and onto your hands as soon as you touch one of them! Clean all these and give them a good disinfecting. Now is a good time to tighten up any loose knobs or handles too.
For wood, tile, and linoleum floors, use a vacuum attachment to clean corners and edges, and then sweep up all remaining debris. Finish up by mopping, making sure to use a product that’s safe for the surface you’re using it on and clean the baseboards while you’re at it. You can vacuum, but that won’t do much for removing allergens or improving the air quality. Move-in house cleaning is no time to cut corners. Splurge on a steam cleaner rental and get all those carpets fresh and clean.
Your new kitchen may look spic and span, but considering you’ll be storing food and cooking meals, play it safe and give the kitchen a good sanitizing. Equal parts water and white vinegar make a great sanitizing solution. Use this on the inside of the fridge after you remove all the shelves and drawers. Clean the drawers and shelves in the sink, let them dry and put them back in the fridge. Repeat for the freezer.
On to the rest of the kitchen. Start by cleaning the tops of cabinets and work your way down. Clean inside and outside of the cabinets and be sure to sanitize those cabinet pulls. Sanitize the counters and finish up by sweeping and mopping the floor with your sanitizing solution. Go ahead and clean the baseboards while you’re cleaning the floors.
Maid service pros say that bathroom cleaning is as much about disinfecting as it is about sparkling surfaces. Dish soap and a sponge are pretty much all you need for the initial scrub down of the tub and shower, but follow up with an antibacterial spray to get rid of any lingering germs. You could clean the toilet seats, but why not replace them instead. You’ll have newer-looking toilets and not have to worry about germs and bacteria. Clean and sanitize the toilet paper holder, faucets and door handles and finish up by cleaning and sanitizing the floor.
Follow this move-in house cleaning list, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your new place is clean, fresh and as germ-free as it can be. To keep everything nice and fresh, we’ve got plenty of house cleaning resources for all your housekeeping needs.
Tips To Keep Your Fridge Looking Fresh
Your refrigerator works hard. Its handles get grabbed with sticky, germy fingers. Its exterior is covered with reminder notes, photos and precious scraps of artwork. And it gets opened dozens of times of day and rummaged through for everything from quick snacks to dinner essentials. So, it begs one to wonder, why does it hardly ever get cleaned?
It could be due to the simple fact of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Or, it could be we really don’t have a great plan for cleaning the fridge. For example, where do we put all the food? And pull out crispers and drawers really don’t fit in the sink.
Never fear, we’re here for you. Try these tips by The Maids to keep your fridge fresh and clean.
Pet Owners: How to Keep Your Home Spotless
For many of us, our furry friends are our best friends. That’s not to say sometimes we don’t have beef with our little bffs. Pets are notoriously messy. Between shedding, dirty paws and house training accidents, it can feel like all we do is clean up after our pets. The good news is you don’t have to choose between the unconditional love of a pet and your love of spotless floors and clean furniture. Follow these tips to get the best of both worlds.
The biggest thing to remember is your pet means more to you than a ball of hair or muddy prints. Pets enrich and even lengthen our lives; don’t stress over every mess. Instead, call The Maids. We will leave your home so clean and fresh you’ll think your pet packed his bags and went on vacation. Contact us today for a free estimate.
How to Create a Cleaning Chart for Kids That Really Works
Getting the kids involved with routine cleaning chores is the perfect way to teach valuable life skills and get more done around the house. A cleaning chart for kids is a great way to keep track of the chores you delegate and create fun along the way. You’ll find a handy, printable weekly chore chart is a good start, but there are a few things you need to know to make your project a success.
The Right Job for the Right Kid
All children have different skill levels and age is just one factor to consider when matching kids with the right chores. Before you fill out your cleaning chart for kids, review the recommendations below and consider mental maturity, physical ability and level of interest besides age. When you take the time to pick the right job for the right kid, you both have a much greater chance of success.
Most toddlers up to around four years old love to help out with chores so making things fun and exciting is critical for keeping their enthusiasm high. Kids at this age need a visual reminder of their progress, and a sticker cleaning chart for kids is a terrific choice. You’ll probably have to spend more one-on-one time at this age level, but the quality time together and the positive habits you’ll create are worth the effort.
Around the ages of four or five, kids still love to help and crave quality time with their parents. The best part about this age group is, with a little hands-on help, most kids can quickly take over their responsibilities with little ongoing supervision. Since this age group is typically more mentally advanced than toddlers, they are motivated by rewards for completing chores. A sticker chart still works great at this age as long as it’s easy to understand and helps kids track their rewards to see how their hard work is paying off.
Six to Eight-Year-Olds
Children at these ages usually crave independence so keep that in mind when you assign their chores on your cleaning chart for kids. School-aged kids may have lost a little of their “blind” enthusiasm, but they make up for it with their quest for independence. This is also an age group that wants to make up their own minds. Try to assign them chores they enjoy or at least don’t hate! And don’t forget the rewards. Allowances, more tv time and other incentives work great at these ages.
Kids aged nine to twelve have a firm grasp of cause and effect, so keep those rewards coming. This age group is also developing an appreciation of routines with clear expectations. Letting preteens help with the scheduling and tracking gives them a sense of ownership and goes a long way toward keeping their interest. While you still want to use a cleaning chart, remember the goal is to get the kids to do their work, so don’t be afraid to change things up. Any of the chores above for younger children will work for this age group, but keep in mind the desire to prove their independence and increasing capabilities are strong. You may be better off giving them chores that require more effort and skill.
Most teens can take on nearly any chore as long as they know how to do it. But with this increased capability comes a hurdle parents must prepare for if they want to keep things rolling. Along with your cleaning chart, you’ll want to monitor your teens’ busy schedules and activities because you don’t want to overwhelm them. Even with the right incentives and good planning, teens can quickly come to resent chores if they feel overloaded. When you plan well and stay tuned-in to your teen’s frame of mind, you can delegate many “grown-up” chores successfully.
How Doing Chores Teaches Kids Valuable Life Lessons
Although each age group presents its own challenges, kids of all ages benefit from taking responsibility for chores. Research shows children who are responsible for chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible and are better able to deal with frustration. These benefits contribute to more success in school and in adult life later on.
The life lessons learned and increased self-esteem experienced by kids who grow up doing chores has a direct impact on their ability to function competently as an adult.
Making Sure Things Get Done
By making things fun and rewarding kids appropriately, you’ll have a better chance of success. But sometimes you’ll encounter resistance to your well-designed chore chart so here are tips to keep things moving.
Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination. If you want kids to learn those valuable lessons, then “good” has to be good enough. By taking a relaxed approach with your expectations, you can help children become more skilled while they realize it’s okay not to get things perfect.
Start early and build your child’s success. If you’re waiting until you think your kids are ready to take on responsibility, you’re missing the point because they learn by watching and doing. Even very young children can follow basic directions, and they naturally mimic parents’ behaviors. Your kids are more capable than you may think.
Praise even the smallest success. Kids love praise and for younger children that may be the best incentive of all so don’t wait until the chore is complete. Keep their enthusiasm alive by giving them an “A” for effort. Remember how patient and encouraging you were when your little ones were learning to walk? That’s precisely the praise and pats on the back kids need while they learn.
Consistency builds buy-in. You created the perfect cleaning chart for kids. You took the time to assign the most compatible chores and you’ve been patient, understanding and a real team player. Don’t mess all that up by being inconsistent with expectations and consequences. By sticking to your chore schedule, following up when chores are completed and making expectations (and consequences) as clear as possible, you’ll develop the consistency that helps children thrive.
We love a clean house, in fact, the cleaner the better. But we recognize while some things need to be cleaned daily and weekly, other chores only need to be cleaned once or twice a year. The problem is, these are BIG chores, i.e., the ones you don’t want to do (who wants to wash windows?). That’s why we created a handy list that breaks up the biggest tasks by month. Once you get into a monthly cleaning schedule those huge tasks won’t seem so daunting.
January: Clean your refrigerator.
Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to clear out all the leftovers in your fridge and give it a good disinfecting. Use a mild soap to wash shelves and drawers and disinfect the inside with a vinegar solution or a bleach solution. Allow to dry before putting your food back in.
February: Call The Maids for a Spring Cleaning.
Get a jump on spring and hire The Maids to give your home a top-to-bottom deep clean. The Maids will clear out all the old dust and allergens left over from a long winter and give you a fresh start.
March: Wash all your bedding.
We know sheets should be washed more than once a year but the rest of your bedding (the mattress pad, comforter, pillows and blankets) require it less often. Check all the tags and wash in the hottest water recommended.
April: Clean your vents.
This time of year your HVAC unit gets a little break so use it to clean your vents. Remove each vent and vacuum the opening. Wash the actual vent covers in warm water with a mild soap. The bathtub works great for large return vents.
May: Clean all your trash cans.
The only thing standing between your bin and smelly, slimy garbage is a paper-thin bag, which, let’s face it, doesn’t always withstand all the abuse. Remove the bag (and any solid materials) and spray the inside with an all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for a couple minutes. If your bin is too deep for your arms to reach, use the kitchen sprayer or even the garden hose to spray off any hardened gunk.
June: Organize your storage areas.
Replace broken storage bins and sell or throw out items you’re ready to part with (if you haven’t used it in 10 years do you really need it?). Dust or wipe down shelving.
July: Wipe down all your vertical surfaces.
Horizontal surfaces, e.g. tables, TV stands, etc., usually get some dusting love but vertical surfaces, not so much. Wipe down all your light switch plates, doors, moldings and cabinets.
August: Move your appliances.
You’d be surprised how easy big appliances are to move. Pull them out to vacuum and scrub the floor under them. Don’t forget to wipe down the sides too.
September: Wash your windows.
Like, really wash them. Remove and/or vacuum the screens and sills. Wash both the inside and outside of the windows. If you live in a two-story home and your windows don’t slide-in for easy cleaning, either hire a pro or find someone who’s comfortable on a ladder.
October: Clean out your bathroom vanities and medicine cabinets.
It’s amazing how dust and hair and get inside a drawer! Go through your vanity and medicine cabinet and toss any expired medications and old makeup. Vacuum out drawers and grab some plastic bins to help you organize your toiletries.
November: Wash your curtains.
Dust loves to live on the very top of your fabric curtains. Check the fabric’s label and follow the laundering and ironing directions.
December: Clean your lights.
The days get short in December so your lights need to be as bright as possible. Dust and clean your light fixtures and lamp shades. Unscrew any glass or porcelain housings and wash them in mild, soapy water.
Contact us today to see how we can fit into your monthly cleaning schedule.