If you can’t feel comfortable in your own home, where *can* you? While we at World Class Cleaning are happy to come in and tidy up for you... what is something that you can do to feel good about your home and, as a result, feel good about yourself?
Two words, six syllables: DE-CLUTTER and ORGANIZE!
Now, just seeing those words in all caps “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! It's not just the "made bed," though, it's being able to sleep better because you're less distracted by numerous things you want (or need) to organize.
- Clean Home, Clean Eating
According to a study conducted by Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, "[C]luttered 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 published in the Journal of Obesity, wonderfully entitled, "Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies to Increase the Adherence to Exercise in the Management of Obesity." They state, "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."
- Reduces stress and depression
According to a study from Huffpost.com, "Worrying my home isn't clean or organized enough" is one of the FIVE most common stress triggers. As we stated in the beginning, "If you can’t feel comfortable in your own home, where *can* you?"
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!
Spring is almost upon us! According to the Smithsonian Institute, "At any time, it is estimated that there are some 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive." And, according to logic, SOME of those ten quintillion insects are likely to end up in your home. What are some bonafide, non-toxic, tried-and-true methods to keep those critters outside your home and off your kitchen counter? Check out this list to find out!
Top Ten Ways to Pest-Proof Your Home Without Using Toxic Chemicals
1. Repair and/or Seal Openings
Insects can *definitely* gain access through cracks like these
It's about to be really nice outside so why not spend some time perambulating 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.
2. Don't spray flies -- make a homemade fly trap
Sorry, fruit flies!
Having fruit flies in some of these old Richmond homes seems almost an inevitability during warm spring/summer weather. Instead of spraying tons of toxic chemicals in the air and on the surfaces where you prepare food, why not make your own fly trap?
Three good examples:
a. Add a few drops of dish soap to a shallow glass of apple cider vinegar. Flies will be attracted to the vinegar but that bit of soap will prevent them from extricating themselves from their soapy situation.
b. Got an overripe banana? Make banana bread! OR.. mash it up in a jar and cover that with plastic wrap. Flies will fly in... they will not fly out.
c. Or instead of bananas, use some old red wine in a jar!
3. Repel Ants Naturally
♫The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah♫
Ants use pheromone trails to follow one another to sources of food so why not clean up those "scent trails" 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!
4. Move Firewood Away from your Home
Your stack of firewood -- pop. 1,000,000 ants
Maybe you have a nice backyard firepit you use in the fall and winter. And maybe you keep some firewood nice and dry on your back porch or otherwise near your house -- well... DON'T! These 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.
5. Controversial Suggestion -- LEAVE THE SPIDERS ALONE
You wanna step on me?!
Why spray or otherwise use toxic chemicals to remove insects and spiders when you could just leave the latter alone and allow them to take care of the former? Is it because you're scare 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)!
6. Marvel at Mosquito Mitigation
Bzz Thanks for leaving that backyard kiddie pool filled with stagnant water all summer long! Bzz
If you have any standing pools of water around the exterior of your home, turn them over -- right now. It's about to be prime mosquito breeding time and you'll be doing yourself and your neighbor a favor by overturning that empty trashbin filling with water or that empty, rusting paint can that screams "Mate in me, mosquitoes!" Won't you be a good neighbor?
7. KEEP. THAT. KITCHEN. CLEAN.
Prime example of a kitchen that is NOT a "bug buffet"
After you prepare food wipe all surfaces (including the stovetop) with a wet, soapy sponge and give the kitchen floor a quick sweep. It takes forty-five seconds and could save yourself a world of trouble down the road. If you need a hand getting your kitchen to a good "maintenance point," I hear World Class Cleaning does a HECK of a job tidying up.
8. You keep *your* eating area clean -- what about your pets'?
Is your pet's dining area as clean and tidy as the Obamas' was?
We haven't invented a way to get pets to clean up after themselves (yet), so be sure to clean up after them to prevent that pet kibble from attracting ants or even worse... roaches (gasp!).
9. Get Your House DRY
If this is what it looks like inside your bathroom cabinet, you may have some uninvited guests
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!
10. Try Some of these All-Natural Old School Remedies
A good example of a tried-and-true classic
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."
As always, consider bringing World Class Cleaning into your home to take care of the bulk of your home cleaning solutions, this will give you plenty of time to put all of these suggestions into practice!
Of the many things we at World Class Cleaning understand, it's the need for a CLEAN home. And, we get it -- you're busy! So when it comes time for you to buy cleaning agents for your home, you're most likely going to grab the biggest, brightest bottle that makes the biggest, boldest claims. While we have no doubt that those big, bright bottles of cleaning chemicals will get the job done, our concern is that those chemicals are going to build up in your home, over time.
With those concerns in mind, as well as the *positive* advantages, we've compiled a list for you!
Advantages of using natural cleaning products in the home:
1. Keep your furniture and flooring lasting longer by no longer using corrosive, toxic cleaning agents in your home.
2. According to the EPA, the air inside our home can be two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. Toxic cleaning agents play a huge factor in this.
3. Non-toxic cleaners are safe around children which means you can take those safety locks off of the cabinets in your house!
4. Go green and alleviate ASTHMA! According to WebMD, use of toxic cleaners can increase the risk of children developing asthma.
5. Investing in an environmentally-friendly cleaning company is an investment in the future!
6. There is no petroleum in natural-based cleaners! You'll feel better about minimizing your impact to global warming.
7. 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.
8. Even toxic cleaning agents in SEALED containers can continue to adversely affect indoor air quality.
9. 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.
10. Less toxic cleaning chemicals down the drain means less pollution in our waterways!
With all this in mind, consider bringing World Class Cleaning into your home to tidy up -- we'll bring the natural cleaning products!
Thanks for joining us and keep us in mind for your home cleaning needs!
Hey, friends! While we at World Class Cleaning are beautifying your home, we were wondering... What are some fun things *you* can do in the 3-4 hours it takes us to get our job done?
So here is a list of SEVENTEEN fun things you can do in that timeframe!
- Get yourself a new wardrobe-- did somebody say Retail Therapy???
- Where's the best tea in Richmond? You tell us!
- You'll have more than enough time to get all your grocery shopping done, maybe you can browse a local farmers market? South of the James Market is always a hit!
- Catch a museum-- top picks include VMFA, the Valentine, and the Science Museum of Virginia
- Hand-write and send five thank-you notes to people who support you.
- Begin your plans for world domination -- with a clean home you'll feel like you're already halfway there!
- Park your car at the Great Shiplock Park in Shockoe Bottom and take the Canal Walk to Browns Island and then walk across the new Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge
Working at home is serious business, and it can be nerve-wracking to trust that area of your life to a third party. We’ve heard horror stories of intricate processes being disrupted because a cleaner “replaced" piles of books onto a shelf, or the shredding of a box of important papers that were mistaken for recycling.
Effective and safe cleaning of any part of your home—but especially one containing sensitive material—requires clear communication between client and cleaner. The following are tips we recommend you take to lessen your anxiety about letting your cleaner into your home office.
- Communicate via notes
Take the time the night before your cleaner is due to arrive to leave as many notes as necessary. Label piles “Do not remove” or “Do not disturb.” Provide instructions, like “Empty the shredder into the recycling bin, but do not take recycling to curb.” The more guidance you give us, the less likely we are to make a mistake.
- Establish and label zones
Labeling bins for recycling, shredding, and trash is a necessity, but consider also clearly labeling zones. Perhaps your work in progress looks like a mess to an eye that’s untrained in your personal process. Consider leaving those piles of paper, supplies, unfinished paintings, etc. in one spot, consistently. Then establish that zone as a “Do not touch” zone.
- Do some prep work
The night before your scheduled cleaning, make it a point to take care of your shredding, your sorting, and your processing of mail. “Cleaning before cleaning” isn’t always necessary, but in an office, it could mean the difference between “Wow, this place looks great!” and “Where’s that document I need?”
- Give us a list
Pay extra attention to your office when we do your initial consultation, and don’t be afraid to get detailed with your instructions. We’ll follow that list every time, until you tell us differently. If something changes at the last minute, just handle it using your brand-new note-leaving system (see item #1).
- Request the same cleaner for each visit
We assign each client one regular cleaner, but if he or she is sick or has an emergency, we might send another one of our cleaners instead. At the point at which we begin service, let us know if you’d rather us just skip the office cleaning until your regular cleaner is available. That way, you can be sure that you’ve got someone cleaning your office who knows exactly how you need it to be done.