Monthly Archives: October 2015

7 Ways to Ready Your Home for Winter

preparing your home for winterNobody wants to utter the “w” word, but the fact is that every day Wisconsinites are saying, “Enjoy the weather now. It may be the last nice day.” With that steady drop in temperatures also comes the clicking clock on your chance to prepare your home for the inevitable Wisconsin winter weather. You don’t have to buy snow boots for your house, but you do have to do basic fall maintenance to make sure your house can handle whatever our Wisconsin winter brings:

  • Ready your floors for snow and mud. With winter comes the inevitable tracking in of snow, mud and ice. Spread rugs by doors to catch the dirt and water that comes in with your kids, pets and guests. If you have wood floors in your entryway, stash a rag or towel nearby to clean up water on the floor that could cause your wood floor to warp. Have your carpets professionally cleaned now—before you spend all your time indoors because of the cold—and give your hard floors a good cleaning in preparation.
  • Check your windows and doors. Check your windows and doors for wear and tear. Fill in holes around windows and doors with caulk. If your window seal is broken, or you question their efficiency, purchase plastic to install on the interior to keep drafts out or contact a contractor about replacement.
  • Have your chimney inspected. Prevent carbon monoxide build up or a fire.
  • Pressure wash your siding. Don’t be the ugly house on the block covered in mold and mildew. Clean your house before it’s too cold to run that pressure washer.
  • Have your furnace checked now before it has to work hard. Hire an HVAC technician to do maintenance at least biannually. Furnace maintenance saves you money in the long run because inefficient heaters run more, raising your utility bills.
  • Check your roof for loose or damaged shingles. Summer storms and high winds can wreak havoc on your shingles. If you only have a few damaged shingles, fix the problem for far less money than a full roof replacement.
  • Test your smoke detectors. Keep your family safe. Change any detectors with low batteries.

If you want to keep your floors clean throughout the fall and winter, and prevent any damage to your floors, contact a cleaning service to keep on top of floor cleanings. You, and your home, will be glad you did—especially when everyone starts saying the “s” word (snow).

How to Hire a Cleaner for Your Home

When you’ve decided you need help keeping up with house cleaning, have promised yourself that you’ve scrubbed your last toilet, or are ready to completely hand home cleaning over to the professionals, it’s time to start with the process of hiring a cleaner for your home (which is not as intimidating as it seems, we promise). You have two options: hire an individual or a cleaning service. Both have pros and cons:

Home cleaner (individual)

Pros: One contact for communication and feedback, familiarity, cost is usually less than cleaning service

Cons: no back-up if home cleaner is unavailable, extra verification needed for documentation (i.e. insurance, tax documentation if paid more than $1700/year), have to schedule cleanings around their availability, may have to increase home insurance if cleaner does not have insurance

Home cleaner (cleaning service)

Pros: Have back-up home cleaners if your preferred cleaner is unavailable, all home cleaners are trained to do professional home cleaning work, you can contact their company to deal with complaints, cleaning companies can often do cleaning beyond the “normal” cleaning tasks, most cleaning companies have insurance in case of damage

Cons: May not have the same cleaner for every cleaning, cost is usually more than an individual

Determine what you need

We had a friend who hired a home cleaner to clean her bathrooms. Another busy colleague hired a cleaning service to wash, fold and put away her laundry. What do you need help with? Make a list of cleaning tasks. One of the perks of hiring a cleaner for your home is the ability to decide what you need done.

Set a schedule

Cleaning services do the cleaning jobs that you request. Once you have your list of cleaning tasks you need done, determine the frequency you need cleaning at your home. Do you need a daily cleaning or weekly cleaning? You set the schedule. Also what is the optimal time for the cleaning service to begin and finish? Do you want the cleaning service to come in the evening? Early morning?

Request a Quote

Once you’ve got a final list of cleaning tasks that need to be completed, request quotes from local cleaning services. If you don’t know what cleaning services or home cleaners to contact, ask your friends for referrals. Because cleaning services do the cleaning you need done on a schedule you dictate, understand that the service is not going to be able to give you an immediate answer.

Be prepared to discuss the cleaning jobs you need completed with each company or individual, your preferred schedule and any other special request you may have. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from existing customers.

Enjoy the benefits

Once you’ve hired a home cleaner, enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, more organized home. Hiring a cleaning service gives you the freedom to spend your off-time off. If you travel for work, having outside cleaning help means a clean home, and someone to check in on your home (to make sure the pipes haven’t burst!), when you are away. The bonus: you don’t have to stress about entertaining—specifically about preparing for company. It’s a win-win situation for you, your home and your guests.

How to Keep Your House Clean Between Cleanings

Once you’ve made your mind up to hire a cleaning service, a new challenge arises: how to keep your house somewhat clean until your house cleaner comes again. Or if your house cleaner is you, how do you make your job easier until you can give your house a deep clean?

Do daily maintenance

If you wipe down your counters after every meal, or clean the toothpaste after you brush your teeth, you’ll have an adequately clean house ready for a periodic deep clean. Though it seems impossible, try to train yourself, and other members of your household, to clean up as they go about their daily routine. The result: a home that is picked up, bathrooms that aren’t gross, and a house ready for a regular professional once-over.

De-clutter

Give yourself less to keep clean in between professional cleanings. Be strategic about the amount of things collecting dust, and the amount of things to be picked up. To be clear, you don’t have to get rid of all your valuables or your knickknacks; just make sure you’re only keeping what you want to keep. Tour your home and rid your home of any items or furniture that has sat around for years without any use. You’ll have less to keep clean at the end of the day. In the same way, purge your closets, garage and basement so you don’t have to worry about excess items to clean and store.

Prevent the mess before it comes in

An ounce of prevention saves you time and effort. Place rugs by all the doors. Ask guests to take off their shoes at the door. Make sure your kids rinse off sand and mud before they come in. If possible, use a mudroom as a staging area for your kids, pets and visitors to shed the dirt and snow before they track it into your home.

If you feel you need more help with keeping your house clean, contact us about increasing your cleanings, or ask for a free quote. One of the benefits of a house cleaning service is they can do whatever you need them to do; assess what you need, and make a specific list of housekeeping tasks. The result is a clean house, a house with regular deep cleanings—and the feeling that you’re staying on top of the house cleaning, and not visa versa.

4 Reasons Why It Makes Cents to Hire a Commercial Cleaning Service

We’ve written about the decision about whether to outsource cleaning your business in a past blog post, but this time we’re addressing a more basic question: why should you hire a cleaning service for your business? The answer to the question is more complicated than just having a clean business, and can also have a surprising, positive impact on your bottom line.

Professional Image

No one walks into a business expecting it to be dirty, but plenty of potential customers walk out because of it. The condition of your business can be the difference between landing and keeping your customers, and missing out on another sale.

Another reason to hire a cleaning service? For the exterior of your business—if you hire a cleaning service than does parking lot and exterior maintenance as well. Curb appeal counts when customers stroll or drive by and form an impression of your business.

Safety

Dust piles up, water spills on the floor, mold grows in an unkept kitchen. Though these issues may seem minor, the impact on the health of your employees and customers can be a lawsuit or worker’s comp claim waiting to happen. This can be especially true for employees with pre-existing health conditions, such as allergies and respiratory conditions. Being proactive about maintaining a clean facility can save you a lot of headaches in the long run, and a lot of money from an unsafe work environment.

Employee Productivity

A clean work environment is a productive workplace, free of the clutter and distractions that slow down employee productivity. It’s also a workplace that keeps germs away, lessening the amount of employee sick days. This can be especially true when your business has turned into a Petri dish of germs, and is spreading from employee to employee (and from desk to desk). A commercial cleaning service can head off the bug before it takes down half your workforce with a thorough disinfection and regular cleaning.

A commercial cleaning service also has an impact on your business’ productivity by keeping your employees focused on what you hired them for: their job. If you hired a manager to manage, you don’t want them to be cleaning bathrooms—it’s a waste of money and expertise. Help your employees stay focused on customer satisfaction and your bottom line.

Long-term building condition

If you own your buildings, or are responsible for their upkeep, a commercial cleaning service—especially a service that does interior and exterior maintenance work—can save you thousands over the long-term life of your facility. Simply put, regular maintenance can extend the life of your interior and exterior systems and keep your building in peak condition. They can do the same for your parking lot, sidewalks and other surfaces that need maintenance to ward off complete replacement.

Want to find out how much the benefits of a commercial cleaning service cost? Use our recent blog post to choose the right cleaning service for your business. If you’re past the selection process, and ready to get numbers, contact us. Our cleaning service can give you all these benefits on a schedule you specify at a price within your budget, and you get all the benefits of a clean workplace.