Lifehacking: Benefits of a Clean & Organized Home

A clean, happy, healthy home is the real deal, folks. Of course the idea of a clean, organized home sounds so appealing! Who wouldn't want that? But there's more to it than just surface-level appreciation of cleanliness or meeting an expected level of home decorum -- cleaning, de-cluttering, organizing your home has wonderful effects on your brain!

So, let me say it again: two words, six syllables: DE-CLUTTER and ORGANIZE!

Now, just seeing those words in capital letters “DE-CLUTTER” and “ORGANIZE” might stress you out… But don’t get stressed! To put things into perspective, you are not alone. According to a study conducted by UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF), “we are living in the most materially rich society in global history, with light years more possessions per average family than any preceding society.” While you may feel simultaneously comforted and overwhelmed to be in such good company, the fact that you’re even reading this article about organization likely puts you ahead of the curve in terms of keeping your head above water in our material-rich society.

So what’s the good news? Well, now that you’re considering starting down this path of ordering one’s household, you should know that there is a veritable cornucopia of benefits afforded to those who take the time to organize their home.

 

    • Better organization, better sleep

      To paraphrase the Sleep Foundation's Bedroom Poll:
      "It’s worth noting that those who make their beds every day or almost every day are more likely [...] to say they get a good night’s sleep every day or almost every day." 19% more likely, to be exact. We'll wager you'll be more inclined to make your bed in the morning if you wake up to a clean and organized bedroom!

 

    • Clean Home, clean Eating
      Clean-Eatingveggies
      According to a study conducted by  Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, "Cluttered kitchens are caloric kitchens. When stressed out females were asked to wait for another person in a messy kitchen -- with newspapers on the table, dishes in the sink, and the phone ringing – they ate twice as many cookies compared to women in the same kitchen when it was organized and quiet. In total they ate 53 more calories from cookies in 10 minutes time."
      Get that kitchen organized!

 

    • You'll be more diligent about sticking to your workouts

      It starts with an organized home, after which you'll be organizing all sorts of things! For exmaple, PsychologyToday.com cites this study to say "people who carefully plan their exercise regimen, set goals and regularly record their progress are more likely to keep up an exercise program than people who show up at the gym without a clear plan in mind." It's time to get organized!

 

    • It will boost your productivity

      MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller states that we are "not wired to multitask well... when people think they're multitasking, they're actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there's a cognitive cost." Now... Imagine that you are trying to get something done around the house, and every time you start on a task you get distracted by that pile of knick-knacks you need to sort through, or that pile of clean laundry you've been meaning to put away for 72 hours -- that stuff takes its toll!

 

    • Stronger relationships

      Check out this article "Dirty dishes and divorces" from Dailymail.com. It states that "it has been revealed that three in ten divorcing UK couples blame arguments over the washing up and their other halves not pulling their weight around the house for the demise of their relationships."

 

With all that being said, don't let all this new information stress you out. Just take it slow and steady, but also... get to it! You'll love your more organized, more productive, happier & healthier life! If you need a hand getting your home to a point where it's clean and ready to get to organizin', don't hesitate to reach out to us!

5 Nontoxic Methods of Pest Prevention!

The first day of spring is March 20, 2018 and that is right around the corner! Spring brings beautiful warm weather but spring can also bring bugs... into your home. The ants are waking up and the ants might be marching one by one straight into your house. Bugs, of course, are not an ideal situation to have in the home but we at World Class Cleaning think that spraying insecticides on the surfaces of your home and into the air you breathe is equally less-than-ideal -- perhaps worse than the bugs. So we've compiled 5 nontoxic methods of pest prevention. Let's check 'em out!

  • Repair or seal openings

    It's about to be really nice outside so why not spend some time patrolling the perimeter of your home in search of any sort of opening that pests can use to gain access? Look out for cracks and gaps in brick and cement and consider patching these yourself or hiring somebody to do it for you. The upside? You may be saving yourself heating/cooling costs in the long run, especially if any of these holes prove to be particularly drafty. Better energy efficiency means reduced carbon footprint, too! Also consider adding or repairing screens in windows and adding "sweeps" to the undersides of your exterior doors.
  • Repel ants naturally

    Ants use pheromone trails to follow one another to sources of food so why not clean up those "scent trails?" But not with toxic sprays or solutions but instead with something simple like soapy water or white vinegar. You can even try using spices that deter ants such as turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, mint, and red chili powder. Yum!
  • Move firewood away from your home

    Maybe you have a nice backyard firepit you use in the fall and winter; or a fireplace or even a wood stove inside your home. And maybe you keep some firewood nice and dry on your back porch or otherwise near your house during those cold months -- well... once it warms up, move that firewood! Those piles of dry wood are the PERFECT home for any number of insects. The closer this Insect Empire is to your home, the more likely they are to end up next to you when you sit down to dinner.
  • Controversial suggestion -- leave those spiders alone!

    You could jettison spray-poisons all around the air of your home to remove insects & spiders or instead you could  leave the latter alone and allow them to take care of the former for you. If you're afraid of spiders, is it because you're scared of spider bites? From LiveScience.com: "Most so-called "spider bites" are not actually spider bites, according to researchers and several recent studies. Instead, "spider bites" are more likely to be bites or stings from other arthropods such as fleas, skin reactions to chemicals or infections, said Chris Buddle, an arachnologist at McGill University in Montreal." Spiders in your house? Leave 'em alone and let them dine on the blood of your enemies (pest insects, that is)!
  • Get your house DRY

    Wet, damp surfaces --especially wooden surfaces-- are the perfect environment for insects to live and breed. Check your pipes and faucets for leaks and get on the road to a DRY home!
  • Try some of these all-natural, old school homemade remedies

    From lifehacker.com: "A mix of peppermint oil and white vinegar is a solid go-to for repelling several pests, especially spiders. But research from Auburn University suggests the mix is good for the peskiest of pests too. To make your own cockroach deterrent spray, Brittney Morgan at Apartment Therapy recommends dropping 10 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle willed with two parts water, one part white vinegar. Spritz it around cupboards, under the sink, in the bathroom, and anywhere else that roaches might want to hang out. You can also use straight peppermint oil to wipe down countertops. Not only will it keep pests away, it’ll smell nice too."

Well, there you have it! We hope you've learned a thing or two and we want to wish you a happy-almost-spring! If you're interested in enjoying the sunshine instead of spring cleaning, give us a call and let us do the cleaning for you!

Top Five Reasons to Go Green with your Clean!

When World Class Cleaning Services is finished cleaning your house and we're walking out your front door, we want your home to be a) completely spotless and b) completely free of toxic fumes and harmful chemical residues.

We're passionate about the natural cleaning products that we make and use, and there are good reasons for that passion! We've compiled for you a quick list of some of our reasons, let's check them out.

  • There is no petroleum in natural-based cleaners! You'll feel better about minimizing your impact to global warming.
  • Fewer antibacterial cleaners means fewer "super bacteria" resistant to antibiotics. The FDA now says that washing with antibacterial soaps is no better than using traditional soap. Triclosan, a common antibacterial agent, potentially messes with your thyroid as well as your hormonal system.


  • With natural cleaners you don't have to worry about corrosive substances; or inhaling toxic, combustible fumes. Nor do you have to worry about getting any of it on your skin.

  • Less toxic cleaning chemicals down the drain means less pollution in our waterways -- think about Nemo!

  • Go green and alleviate ASTHMA! According to WebMD, use of toxic cleaners can increase the risk of children developing asthma.

There you have it, folks. Just a quick list of some of our favorite reasons to go green with your clean! Consider giving us a call and we'll make your home shine without any of the harmful side effects of harsh, environmentally-unfriendly chemical cleaners.

 

Drafty Door or Window? Five Easy Ways to Stop those Drafts!

This Virginia weather has gone from frigid to somewhat agreeable to frigid to "Hey, it's not so bad out today!" And it will certainly keep flip-flopping! But when those frigid temps hit, and the evenings are in the single digits Fahrenheit, is your home up to snuff? Oftentimes strong drafts can seep in through improperly sealed doors and windows -- this can lead to an increase in your home heating costs as your HVAC system tries to keep up with those drafts. We've got five quick n' easy fixes for those pesky drafts. Let's check 'em out!

 

  • Check those hinges
    Image result for hinges
    Folks this first one is so easy! Check those hinges! A loose hinge causing your door to hang at a slight angle could be all it takes to allow that frigid arctic wind to seep into your home.
  • Replace or add weatherstripping 

    Weatherstripping comes in myriad forms, but most --if not all-- of it is fairly easy to install. The picture above beautifully illustrates the wonder of weatherstripping -- it obviously seals the draft allowed in through that space between the door and the door casing; but it also provides a nice, clean look! If this is an option you're interested in pursuing, but are uncertain how to get started, check out this video from Today's Homeowner.
  • Install a sweep
    Image result for door sweeps

    The basic steps are simple:
    1. Measure door width.
    2. Mark and cut to length (if necessary) the new door sweep.
    3. Drill pilot holes.
    4. Loosely attach.
    5. Tighten screws.

    Bada-bing, bada-boom! The sweep covers that gap left between your door and its threshold or sill. If you don't have a threshold running across the entryway of your exterior doors, that is also something to consider adding. Fun fact: door thresholds are called "door saddles" in the U.K. They're so wacky!

  • Not as elegant but highly effective: window film

    Stretch the film across the windows and casing, use a blow drier to shrink-seal that film over your windows, remove film come springtime. For the larger windows get somebody to give you a hand hanging the film! And last, but certainly not least:
  • Invest in insulated curtains

    Thermal curtains feature a layer of acrylic foam between the double or triple layers of fabric to provide insulation, making these curtains ideal for winter months or drafty windows. And if you like to "sleep in": thermal curtains can also dampen sound and block out sunlight. Furthermore, they'll prevent interior "heat gain" from all that sunshine you'll be getting come summertime. As a matter of fact, all of these tips work for keeping cool air in.

Well, that about wraps it up, folks. Like we told you, all of these tips are eezy-peezy! And with all of that money you'll be saving on your home heating (and summertime cooling!), this might give you a good excuse to give us a call -- we'll do the cleaning while you take back your weekends!

Top Tips to Set Up Your Home Office!

We're all about your home being as beautiful, clean, and organized as it can be. While we're in your home, let us do the cleaning; but in our downtime we're researching and writing articles like these to make your home shine. A well planned-out home office can be a bastion of productivity and efficiency. It can also be a relaxing space where you also happen to get a lot of stuff done. Trying to reach that ideal? Let's get to it!

 

  • Location, location, location

    When setting up that office try to give yourself as much wiggle room as possible! Obviously an office like that pictured above is out of a lot of people's budget, but the amount of space in that bad boy is stunning! If you're not feeling crammed and squeezed into your work space you'll surely feel more relaxed and, as a result, probably get a lot more done.
  • A GREAT chair

    If you're going to be spending a lot of time in that office, sitting, then you'll need a good chair! Check out these reviews from GearPatrol.com, their top pick for "Best Budget Chair" is "The Alera Elusion" From Gear Patrol:"[This chair] could be misconstrued as another simple office chair — that is, until you sit in it. The mesh back panel offers supreme comfort and allows for great breathability. The seat cushion features a waterfall edge designed to eliminate pressure on the legs. The Elusion is also infinitely adjustable and even offers forward tilt."
  • A nice view

    Ok, ok, we'll admit -- we were being a little cheeky including this image as our potential "nice view," as if this is what you could be looking at outside your window. But, the advice remains the same: try to set up your office in a room with a window, ideally one with a nice view of the natural landscape. Check out this article from the Harvard Business Review (yeah, that Harvard): "Research has found that gazing at something green — through a window, on a walk outside, or even on a screen saver — can help improve attention and performance in the workplace. Attention restoration theory suggests that natural environments have restorative benefits for us. Because nature captures our attention without requiring us to focus on it, looking at natural environments lets us replenish our stores of attention control."
  • Plenty of light

    This tip and our next one fall directly in line with our "nice view" suggestion. From the "Sustainability" program at NC State University, "Natural light leads to higher productivity:
    A study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that employees working in natural light recorded higher levels of energy than those working under artificial light. Another study showed 40 percent higher sales at checkout counters located beneath skylights. This data confirms what many studies have shown: natural light leads to enhanced productivity."
  • Get a dang plant!

    Last but not least, something we could all use more of in our lives -- plants! From Rodale's Organic Life, "In addition to perceived improvements in air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction, the researchers found that productivity increased 15 percent. They found that employees with plants in the office reported being more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved in their work." Does it get any better than that?!

To round things out we have here a graphic featuring The NASA Guide to Air-Filtering Houseplants, courtesy of LovetheGarden.com. Check it out! Thanks for joining us, and after you've got your office all set up, feel free to give us call to help keep it clean!