As promised here is another handful of housekeeping tips to reduce the time you spend in the laundry room.
- Keep a bath towel in your laundry room to throw in the dryer with something that needs “ironing.” Set your dryer for a 10 minute spin, and you are good to go. (If the wrinkles are bad, lightly spray the item with water or put a damp wash cloth in the dryer with the item).
- Clothes dry faster if you pop a tennis ball or two into the dryer with the wet clothes.
- Have pants that can’t go through the dryer? Hang them upside down. The weight of the top of the pants–which is now at the bottom ;-)– will pull out all or most of the wrinkles.
- Keep a bag or box in the laundry area for those lone socks that always seem to show up in the wash. At the end of the month you will have the joy of witnessing socks reunited with their mates. Hey, you’ve gotta get joy where you can find it!
- Vinegar makes a superb fabric softener. Just pour a cup into the fabric softener section of your washer. Vinegar also makes your towels more absorbant, and actually deoderizes your wash too. (I know that’s counter-intuitive, but it’s true–trust me!)
- Yes, you can keep your dark colored clothes from fading. Before the first wash set your washer to the small load setting and add 2 cups of salt and 2 cups of white vinegar to the water, agitate and then add the clothing item. Run it through the wash cycle and then launder as usual.
Now, it’s your turn. What makes “laundry day” easier for you? Please share.
As the summer is approaching rapidly, we all get swept away with vacations, managing busy schedules, and taking children to and from activities. Here are some tips to keep up with self-love and self-care.
- Do one thing at a time – during these busy months, it is easy to get carried away, but it is essential to take things one day at a time in order to avoid overwhelming yourself
- Do it slowly and deliberately – “say what you mean, mean what you say” this should apply to every part of your life, try and catch yourself when you find that you’re doing things without a purpose
- Do it completely – don’t leave things unfinished, because they can turn into a burden and eventually, your life will end up consumed by the things that you left unfinished
- Do less – in order to stay sane, only take on what you can chew. Simply because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should do it.
- Make space – as the saying goes, “cluttered house, cluttered life”, start picking out the necessities and don’t worry about the rest
- Smile – it’s scientifically proven that when you smile, you automatically feel happier, and healthier too!
- Make cleaning and cooking a time for meditation – these everyday tasks may seem like a chore, but use the time to enjoy yourself and to be alone with your thoughts
Simplifying shouldn’t be complex. Little changes in both behavior and thoughts make the greatest impact. Here are a few steps to help get you started.
- Breathe – this may seem to be the simplest of tasks, but too often it goes over looked. Just by taking 5 minutes to focus on your breath, you are allowing yourself to take a break from everyday life. Simple breathing exercises clear your mind and enhances focus and productivity.
- Slow Down – life is busy, we’re always running around and often we find ourselves performing tasks without thinking about it. With such a busy world, it becomes difficult to step out of our comfort zones and truly think about what is necessary for our personal happiness. Therefore, eat slower and savor each meal, walk slower by getting to know your surroundings, and simply put more effort into living in the moment
- Drink Water – such a simple and little change that simply doesn’t occur to many people. When you add water to your daily routine, you’ll feel better, and even look healthier… The benefits are endless
- De-clutter your surroundings: How can you have a clean mind with a dirty house? This may seem like a daunting task however, The Clean Sweep is here to help make the process easier and our housekeepers have even passed along a few tips and tricks in earlier posts… Check them out!
- Volunteer – they say “it is in the giving that we receive”. The best way to reach a clear mind is to help others – it is good for the community, for the people who you are helping, and it is even good for yourself. By helping in little ways, you can make new friends and you might even find a new passion.
While you take care of your mind, let The Clean Sweep, an East Bay referral agency; take care of your household needs. We are here to support you, from a traditional housecleaning to window washing, to move in/move out cleaning.
We’ve just come through the busy bliss of the holidays and often times – our bank accounts, nerves, and homes reflect it. With the New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions and one of the famous ones is the resolution to keep a clean home. For some, this can be a daunting and time consuming task and that’s why The Clean Sweep is here to help. In addition to professional help, our housekeepers have crafted a list of things that can help you clean your home one step at a time.
- Downsize – While Christmas has come and gone, we’re sure that it has left a mess in its path. With new toys, clothes, shoes, and books for each member of the family – rooms can appear to be a bit cluttered. Consider instituting a new post-holiday rule, for every new item received, two items have to go. By implementing this rule, you will cut down on holiday clutter and be able to donate your unwanted items to families in need.Once you’ve finished with gifts – move onto holiday decorations. Were there any decorations that you didn’t use this year? Or do you have any decorations that have been worn down by years of use? Chances are you won’t need them next year.
- Organize – Divide and conquer! Before you hop to it, dividing your home into sections makes the task much more manageable. Once you’ve decided where to start, take each room one at a time.Here are some general organization tactics that our housekeepers recommend.Label – when you know what’s in boxes, it is much easier to find things and to know where to put items when they are no longer needed.
Donate – As you’re going through the house, it is almost guaranteed that you will find some things that are no longer useful or necessary, these items are perfect for donation! Gently worn clothes, toys, and shoes, are perfect items for donation.
Throw out – Get rid of items that are no longer useful to you – and that would not be useful for others. If you longer need something, or if it no longer has a place in your home, get rid of it.
- Set a Schedule – Now that you’ve organized and cleared out clutter, cleaning should be a breeze. When cleaning, clutter is what makes cleaning seem difficult and overwhelming. We recommend starting your organized new year cleaning routine by setting aside an hour multiple days a week to get the job done.For example: Laundry is Monday nights; bathrooms are Saturday morning; trash is Sunday nights, etc. This ensures nothing is overlooked. It also spreads the work out into more manageable chunks of time throughout the week.
I don’t know about you, but the holidays always sneak up on me every year. No matter how early, or how late I start, there is always someone that I forgot to buy a gift for, or in making my grocery list – there is something that I left off. Can you identify with my angst?
So. after Christmas last year – I made a list of everything that I needed to remember for Christmas this year. It has made such a difference in how I approach the Holiday season, so I thought that I would share it with you.
- Who do I need to buy gifts for outside of my family (gardener, teachers, friends, co-workers, etc.)?
- Do I need to restock any gift supplies (tissue paper, ribbon, wrapping paper, gift bags)?
- Do I need to buy anything to decorate the house with for next year?
- Did I run out of something I need to replace?
- Are there appointments I need to make? Like getting your housecleaned for instance…
- What worked or didn’t work this year that I would like to do better next year?
- Did I come across any decorating or food ideas that I would like to try next year? (Write them down before you forget!)
- Are there any gift ideas that I want to remember for next year?
Now, the most important step: record your answers, ideas, etc and put them somewhere safe! So that when next year comes around, you will be a pro. I think that these tips are rather useful and may I be the first to wish you Happy Holidays, 2015!
Houses seem almost magic during the month of December, with seasonal music, warm blankets, and family surrounding you – being at home is the most enjoyable thing to do. When you’re cozying up on your couch with a hot tea and a good book, we want cleaning to be the last thing on your mind. While The Clean Sweep Housekeeping Agency offers many services to assist you during this wonderfully busy season – but here are some tips our housekeepers recommend in between housekeeper visits.
Start with the most difficult room and make your way back to the easiest room. Additionally, set at timer and stick to it – it will make your cleaning more efficient and give you more time to do other things
Always save sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping until the very end. It will make your house smell, appear, and feel clean.
This is a season full of guests, so in order to make sure that your guests are seeing a clean house – stand in your front door and identify cluttered or problem areas and tackle those first
Our housekeepers cannot emphasize keeping a clean bathroom when hosting an event. Start with the mirrors, wipe down the counters, and scrub the toilet clean
The holiday season is one of the busiest seasons of the year and there is essentially no time for de-cluttering. Therefore, find a quick place to store all unwanted clutter and pick a date to go through and clean it out once the holiday rush is over
Our housekeeper understand how daunting after party clean up can be. Especially after dinner – dishes, pots, and pans seem to form mountains in sinks. One highly recommended tip is to purchase a stainless steel sponge (a sponge made of stainless steel, not made for) and let dishes soak for about 10 minutes before scrubbing them down with your sponge. This trick is guaranteed to save you time and stress
Here are a few of our favorite time-saving tips. Because we know that even if you have professional housekeeping help there’s still plenty of things to do in between visits.
- Once every six months or so give your wood cutting boards a good oil-down with vegetable oil. Let it stand overnight and wipe off the residue in the morning, the oil keeps the board from staining.
- Do you have lint on your dark colored clothes? Remove it by adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash, and stop putting towels in with black shirts! Also your black clothes will not fade as fast if you wash them inside out
- Cleaning silk flowers is easy: just put them in a paper bag with some salt and shake, shake, shake. The salt with absorb the dust and leave your flowers looking like new.
- Spray your Tupperware with Pam before pouring in a tomato-based sauce and there won’t be any stains!
- To remove stuck-on food in your casserole dish, fill it with boiling water and add a few tablespoons of salt or baking soda. Let it stand overnight if necessary.
- To remove rust from baking pans, scour them with a cut potato dipped in powdered cleanser.
- Brown grease marks on your pots, chrome burner rings, etc.? You can soak them in ammonia overnight to get rid of the stains.
- To remove a water stain from a glass vase, simply fill with water and drop in a couple of Alka Seltzer tablets.
- Get rid of the smell of garlic on your hands by rubbing them on stainless steel- you would have never guessed.
- Boiling a cup of water in your microwave oven will loosen the particles and all you have to do is give it a quick wipe.
- Use liquid body wash in the shower instead of soap and never deal with soap build-up again. How easy is that?
- Make quick work of getting out a blood stain by using hydrogen peroxide available at any drug store.
Okay, that’s the dozen for the day. What housekeeping tips can you add?