Monthly Archives: August 2016

4 Things to Look for In Your Home Cleaner

happy family in clean house cleaned by home cleanerYou’re overwhelmed. Your schedule is too busy. You’re barely home. You want to spend quality time with your kids not cleaning. There are a million reasons to look for a home cleaner to help with cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms, or doing your laundry. Whatever home cleaning you need, don’t hire a home cleaner without using this list to hire the best home cleaner for your cleaning tasks.

Availability

Your home cleaner should be able to come on a schedule you specify to do the cleaning tasks you request.  If you have a limited availability, consider hiring a cleaning service which typically has more cleaners and, therefore, more availability to clean your home on your schedule.

Back-up cleaners

Consider those “just-in-case” scenarios when looking for a home cleaner. What happens when your home cleaner gets sick—or their kids get sick, or they are called away for an emergency? What do you do if your cleaner goes on vacation for two weeks during your kids’ birthday party? Ask your home cleaners about their contingency plan for those “just-in-case” scenarios.

Budget

To find out if home cleaning services is within your budget, contact the cleaners or cleaning service for a free quote.  If the quote comes back higher than anticipated, adjust your list of cleaning services to try to bring the price within your home budget.

Insurance

Whether you use an individual or a cleaning service, ask for proof of insurance—and be prepared to turn away any home cleaner that cannot provide one.  Don’t take no for an answer; proof of insurance is important in case of accidental damage to your home or your possessions.  Every cleaning service you contact should be able to provide proof, as this is a routine part of business; follow their lead and use it as a key part of hiring a home cleaner.

5 Ways to Get Ready for Back-to-School

Smiling schoolboy with backpack ready for back to school looking at cameraThe days are counting down until the first day of school, and so are your chances to get ready for the big day.  To make your job easier (and faster, in the interest of time!), we’ve given you a full list of cleaning and organizing tasks that’ll make the first day—and weeks—of school a little smoother.

Organize your mudroom.

Your entryway or mudroom is the proverbial “Ground Zero” for all the backpacks and gear that come with the first day of school (and all the days after it), so it makes sense to start here.  Purge out all of last year’s gear and clear the clutter for a clean start.  If your mudroom needs a deep clean, get out the cleaning supplies (or bring in the professionals for an thorough job).

If you don’t already have an organized system in your entryway, get out your pencil and paper to design a custom organization system.  Think about all the gear that comes in that area, and install storage solutions accordingly, such as hooks, cubbies, baskets, shelves, and buckets (if you want a rustic theme).

Prepare the laundry room.

We’re not sure exactly how this happens, but it’s really easy for a clean laundry room to turn into a disaster zone once school starts.  Suddenly mounds of laundry and uniforms pile up—and every piece needs to be washed before a game, practice, school photographs, or a “special” day of school.

Prepare for the onslaught with an organized laundry system designed so what comes in, comes out—and make sure everything is clean as you go.  Mop the floor, designate an area for the nastiest of clothes that need intensive spot cleaning, and clean down an area for easy sorting and folding.

Revamp your command center.

An organized command center can be a godsend for a busy family. Make sure your calendar and bulletin board are ready for school calendars, class notes, and practice schedules.  Clean out last year’s papers and create new folders and places for the papers and electronic notices that are sure to come.

Clean the homework area.

Get your designated homework area ready for nights of math and social studies.  Clean down the desk—or add it to your list of tasks for your cleaner—vacuum and clean the floor for a distraction-free area perfect for your student.

Inventory your school lunch stocks.

Get ready for the first day of school lunches by inventorying and stocking your pantry with snacks and foods perfect for stress-free lunch packing (and a smoother out the door in the morning).  If you want to REALLY make sure your cupboards are ready for school lunch assembly, add cabinet cleaning to your cleaning list (or your home cleaner’s list).

4 BIG Mistakes Companies Make When Hiring Commercial Cleaners

cleaning supplies used by commercial cleanersThe decision to hire a commercial cleaning service—and the process to hire the commercial cleaners—can be fraught with mistakes that cost your company time, quality cleaning, and money.  If you want to hire the best commercial cleaners for your company, avoid these common mistakes that companies make when hiring commercial cleaners.

Not evaluating company cleaning needs

Before you contact any commercial cleaners, evaluate your facility and compile a list of cleaning services necessary for daily, monthly, and annual operations.  Next evaluate what employees can or are performing these operations now.  If you need to hire additional employees to take on the tasks, do a cost comparison.  Will it cost you more in salary and benefits to hire employees than for commercial cleaners?  Are you going to have to pay your employees overtime or additional wages to work during off hours or over the holidays when it is the easiest to get cleaning tasks (i.e. floor cleaning) done?

If you need maintenance at your facility as well, be selective about the commercial cleaners you contact for quotes. Contact commercial cleaners that offer maintenance services such as parking lot maintenance and minor HVAC and electrical repairs.

Not being realistic about the cleaning schedule

One of the most common errors company owners and managers make is by being unrealistic about the amount of tasks, schedule needed, and the cost to keep that schedule.  Do you have the amount of employees you need to keep up your cleaning and maintenance schedule?  Can they realistically meet those needs?

When evaluating your schedule, consider dates for a deep cleaning, how often you need a complete cleaning of your facility, and the cost of bringing in employees versus commercial cleaners during plant shut-downs or during off hours. These tasks can be done on set dates during company shut-downs.

Not asking the right questions

Once you’ve got a final list of cleaning tasks and a realistic schedule to complete those tasks, request quotes from local commercial cleaners.  Be prepared with a list of questions to ensure you get a realistic cost that fits your expectations and budget:

  • Service specifics. Be prepared to discuss the cleaning jobs you need completed, preferred schedule, maintenance tasks, and any other special requests you may have.
  • Proof of Insurance. Ask the commercial cleaning service for proof of insurance, in case any items at your business are damaged.
  • Ask for references from commercial cleaners that can provide the cleaning and maintenance services you need at a price within your budget. Don’t miss this important step; hiring commercial cleaners that meet your budget but provides subpar cleaning service is not going to benefit your company in the long run.

Not reading the contract fine print

When you’ve narrowed your list of commercial cleaning services, request a draft of the contract for your company’s review and legal counsel if that is standard practice.  Make sure you read through entire contract and look for any terms that could cause conflict later.