Category Archives: home cleaning

5 New Year’s Resolutions That’ll Keep Your Home Cleaner

happy new year resolutions graphicThe New Year is the time to make promises that improve your life: to work out so you are healthier, to get your finance in order, to go into the year with a clean and organized home. If your resolution is the latter, remember that an ounce of prevention can go a long way when trying to win the war. Just a few minutes of cleaning every night (and resolutions to do them every day), can get your home in shape, and cut down on your hours of cleaning.

I will wipe down my counters every day.

Depending on your schedule, wipe down your bathroom countertop after you get ready in the morning and evening or do a general countertop cleaning before you go to bed. For your kitchen, make sure you wipe down your counters at the end of the day, or after every meal.

I will wash my dishes.

cleaning suppliesMake washing and drying your dishes, and wiping out your sinks a daily habit. Not only will you have cleaner dishes, you also won’t have to face the pile of dirty dishes every day and a dirty and stained sink. You also won’t have to—and we’re not saying you do—go into a panic about drop-in guests seeing your dirty dishes.

I will clear the clutter.

This resolution can apply to two different kinds of clutter: the pile of papers, toys, and miscellaneous items that litter your house or the “extra” items you don’t want to store or keep out any more. For the daily items, go through and sort your mail every day. Develop a filing system so your papers are organized and put away. And who could forget about the toys that get left out? If your kids are old enough, make picking up their toys a chore that needs to be done every night, or make a quick run through the house to gather up all the items you don’t want to step on that night.

If your resolution revolves more around de-cluttering extra items (i.e. décor, clothes, etc.), take a few minutes every night to go through a box, or a shelf of items that you want to sort. Put items you don’t want in a box to donate to a thrift store, and make regular runs to get the items out of your home. If you plan to rid your home of these items via a rummage sale, sort your items into organized boxes so you are prepared and ready in the spring.

I will put rugs by all my exterior doors.

What’s better than keeping up with your daily cleanings? Not having to clean at all. There are two benefits for putting down rugs by all your exterior doors: 1) the rugs can catch the water, gravel, and dirt that your family and guests track in so you don’t have to clean; 2) using rugs as a catch-all for debris protects your flooring from stains and scratches.

I will hire a cleaning service.

If you feel like you fit any more into your day, hiring a cleaning service. There’s no shame or blame in asking for help (and you don’t even have to tell people, we won’t) when your calendar is full. You can hire a cleaning service to do certain cleaning tasks around your home (i.e. laundry, bathrooms) or hire a cleaner to give your home a deep clean. To make sure that you are successfully fulfilling this New Year’s resolution, do your homework when choosing a cleaner (we’ve written about it here). Whatever decision you make, don’t let this New Year’s resolution become another resolution that you didn’t keep; contact a cleaner to get your home cleaner now and throughout the New Year.

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.

5 Common Cleaning Mistakes You’re Making

Cleaning your house is as simple as…cleaning your house, right? Unfortunately, the answer is no. We’re all guilty of making small mistakes in our cleaning routine that don’t achieve the clean, sparkling goal we set out with. Or worse, we damage surfaces because we don’t know any better, and make these common cleaning mistakes:

  1. Washing windows on a sunny day. It’s so tempting to wash those windows when the shining sun reveals the dog noses, fingerprints and streaks that you don’t normally see. Unfortunately, the sun is also the enemy as you wash windows. The sun dries out your cleaner before you get the job done.
  2. Scrubbing carpet stains. Do you apply some serious elbow grease into scrubbing those pet stains, spilled juice or muddy footprints? You may be damaging your carpet fibers. Next time you need to clean up carpet stains, don’ scrub. Blot at your carpet with a moist cloth to remove the spill.
  3. Mopping your wood floor with water. Repeat after us: water and wood do not mix. Sitting water is the enemy for wood floors, causing water damage and warped floor boards. To clean your floors, use a cleaner and soft dust mop to clean up spills and give your floors a new shine.
  4. Being unintentionally abrasive. Is that sponge the right tool for your cleaning? What effect will that cleaner have on the surface you’re working on? Don’t go into a cleaning job without knowing if you are going to damage that flooring, counter top, table or other surface you’re cleaning.
  5. Stressing out because you can’t do it all. This is one of the worst cleaning mistakes: not taking time for yourself, or spending all your free time trying to keep up with the daily and monthly cleaning tasks around your house. Contact a cleaning service to arrange a schedule that works for you, giving you a clean house so you can keep up with your busy schedule and still have a clean house.

Remember, hiring a cleaning service does not have to mean that you give up cleaning your house. If you need a cleaning service only before you entertain guests, contact a local, reliable cleaning service. Another option is to give your cleaning service a specific task, such as laundry or bathrooms. It’s easy to do: just call the cleaning service and give instructions about what you want done. The cleaning service will send out a cleaner who won’t make common cleaning mistakes, and you can have a brand new home.

Having no luck hiring a quality home cleaner?

You shouldn’t need luck to hire the right home cleaner. We’ve all heard the horror stories about someone who hired a friend of a friend to clean their home, and the arrangement ended in disaster. The friend of a friend didn’t show up. The friend of a friend didn’t do their job. The friend of a friend broke in with other friends. So what should you look for when you hire a home cleaner? We’ll give you a hint: it’s not a lucky rabbit’s foot, it’s a home cleaner with the following qualities:

  • Dependable cleaner(s) that show up. One of the disadvantages of hiring an individual to clean your house is the “just-in-case” scenarios. What do you do just-in-case your cleaner gets sick? What do you do just-in-case your cleaner goes on vacation for two weeks when you have your kids’ birthday party schedule? A cleaning service has back-up cleaners available to come clean when those just-in-case scenarios kick in—back-up cleaners with the same attention to detail and cleanliness.
  • Flexible cleaners. We’re not talking about acrobats; we’re talking about cleaners who can do what you want when you want it. Hiring a cleaning service gives you the flexibility to bring in cleaners when you need to do the cleaning tasks you need.
  • Cleaners that fit your budget, and your schedule. Your home cleaner should be able to come when you need. If you want to minimize the cost of the home cleaner through a home cleaning service, shorten your list of cleaning tasks. A cleaning service can adjust the schedule and scope of work easily, so you can be easy on your budget and still have a clean house.

Hire a home cleaning service with home cleaners that have all these qualities and can provide quality service in your Dodge or Jefferson County home. ZBM Clean has professional home cleaners that can keep your home clean no matter how busy you get, whenever you need. All you have to do is contact them to set up a schedule today.

5 Valentine’s Day Gifts Your Sweetheart Will Love

All right all you Valentine’s-Day-gift-procrastinators: time is getting short, and it’s time to decide on a gift for your sweetheart. If you’re racking your mind for a gift idea, we have some traditional and unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas your sweetheart is guaranteed to love:

  1. Flowers & chocolates. You can’t get more traditional than this. Stop on your way home or have the flowers and chocolates delivered as a surprise.
  2. Tickets to her favorite activity. Does she like the theatre? A day at the spa? A sporting event? Is her favorite band coming to town? Surprise her with tickets (perhaps hidden in a box or flowers).
  3. No housecleaning! Give her the gift of not doing a weekly cleaning, or doing laundry, or mopping the floor. Call ZBM Cleaning and pre-pay for weekly or monthly cleanings, and let your sweetheart set up the cleaning schedule. She can even choose what cleaning chores she wants to the cleaner to do.
  4. Jewelry. Again, you can’t more traditional than a beautiful necklace, ring or bracelet for your favorite Valentine.
  5. A vacation to your cabin without the spring cleaning. Is your sweetheart stressed about finding the time to spring clean your cabin before your summer trips up north, or before your renters arrive? Contact a local cleaning company about setting up a cabin cleaning without your or your sweetheart having to travel.

We can’t help with the flowers and chocolates or gifts 2 & 4, but we can assist with gifts 3 & 5. Call ZBM Clean to set up your sweetheart’s gift (without her finding out!), and make her Valentine’s Day a special, clean-free day.