Once your car is smelling and looking good, here are three easy tips you can use to keep it that way:
- Keep a little trash bag or plastic grocery bag in or on the center console— a place to toss your tissues, receipts, straw wrappers, etc.
- Make a pact with yourself to empty everything out your car every time you arrive home. Pro tip: Never, ever leave your purse and/or key in the car, even when it’s inside your own driveway or garage. (Remember when I said I had to “borrow” “my son’s car” because we were down a vehicle? That was because *someone* in my family left the key fob in a car—and it was stolen in broad day light.)
- Schedule one day every month to vacuum out and wipe down the interior of your car (more frequently would be even better, but I’m realistic: if you’re reading these tips, you probably are not a clean freak.)
1. Clear ContainersThe majority of items that you’d store in your pantry come in containers or boxes that prevent you from seeing what’s inside. For those who keep their pantry well-stocked, you may find yourself searching for one particular food or ingredient. If it’d be easier to identify the food outside of its box or container, place it in a clear container instead so you can find it quickly. In some cases, though, it may be easier to leave the product in its original box (such as if the box often has a bright color).
2. Place Older Food Toward the FrontIt’s not uncommon for multiple grocery trips to push older food to the back of the pantry. But this leads to both rotten food and wasted money. This is especially true for grain products like bread and cereal after they’ve been opened. Instead, keep the food you’ve already purchased near the front of the pantry to ensure that you eat it before it goes bad.
3. Put Time Into MaintenanceAs with any type of household cleaning, you can’t expect things to stay tidy if you only work on them when they need it. Five or 10 minutes per day is all it takes to keep your pantry organized though, so make sure you put the time in. A great routine to get into is to tidy up your pantry while you’re waiting for food to cook. Creating a cleaning calendar can also help you stay on top of the mess.
4. Over-Door StorageProducts that hang over doors and provide additional storage space are perfect for pantries. Anything that takes up too much space on a shelf or doesn’t have anything similar it needs to be stored with are the main products you’ll keep here. Over-door storage products are also ideal for holding bags, as they’ll help them retain their shape.
5. Keep Ingredients TogetherIf you frequently cook meals that require a handful of specific ingredients, keep these together in your pantry so you can minimize the amount of time you spend searching for them. For example, if you make a particular stew or season your chicken a certain way on a weekly basis, a section in your pantry that has all these ingredients in one place will make cooking a much more enjoyable process.
Organizing Your Pantry Can Seem DifficultBut it doesn’t have to be. With the above information about organizing your pantry in mind, you’ll be well on your way to keeping everything neat and right where you need it. Most homes can benefit from a deep cleaning from a professional. Check out our home cleaning services to see if they’re right for you.
Divide Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Bi-Yearly TasksIn order to make a productive housekeeping schedule, you should write out a list of all the cleaning tasks you need to do. Write down the ones you cringe to even think about (like washing the windows or dusting the baseboards). Next, sort these tasks into one of four categories: daily, weekly, monthly, bi-yearly. Daily tasks might include making beds, wiping the kitchen counter, running the dishwasher and so on. Weekly tasks include things like cleaning toilets, bathtubs, changing bed linens and vacuuming and mopping. Monthly tasks might include dusting, cleaning vents, windows, and cleaning the inside of your fridge, stove, and microwave. Things you can do twice a year include changing the batteries on your smoke detectors, changing the filters on your furnace, washing curtains, vacuuming mattresses, decluttering the toy box and re-organizing the pantry. Twice a year is a good time to invest in a deep clean of your whole house!
Separate Weekly Tasks into Specific DaysOnce your list is made, you might wonder if you have to dedicate your entire weekend to those weekly items. You can do that if you want, but it is easier to stay on top of your cleaning if you allot one of those weekly tasks to each day. You might decide to wash bed sheets on Saturday morning but clean the bathrooms every Tuesdays. This way, you aren’t a slave to cleaning for an entire day straight. Instead, you do your daily tasks and one weekly task each day. You might want to appoint one day as a catch-up day to do any tasks that didn’t quite get done that week so you never fall behind.
Make Your Cleaning Calendar VisibleYou’ll never be able to keep on top of your cleaning if you can’t see exactly what you should be doing that day. Print out a cleaning calendar and put it over your desk or on your fridge so you can see it every day. You might even want to take a picture of it and make your wallpaper on your cell phone. Set an alarm on your phone if necessary to help you get the day’s tasks done.
Get the Family InvolvedWho says the household cleaning routine has to be all on you? Make your cleaning more efficient by getting everyone in the house to pitch in. You and your spouse might decide which tasks you are each personally responsible for. One might take out the trash each week while someone else can be in charge of lawn mowing. There are plenty of age-appropriate chores for little ones. Kids can make their own beds in the morning, tidy toys, fix throw cushions, unload the dishwasher and so much more. Not only will you teach them responsibility, but you will also instill in them the value of a neat and tidy home.
Final WordsThere you go! A simple, no-fuss way to get a cleaning calendar underway at your home. Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just plan out what works for you and stick to it. Of course, you can make adjustments and tweak it as you go. If you find that you simply don’t have the time for certain tasks, give us a call. We can provide you with a free estimate to help make your home an enjoyable, healthy place to live.
Though everyone knows about “spring cleaning”, making sure your home is thoroughly cleaned in the fall is pretty important too. Once the weather cools off, we’ll all be heading inside to get cozy. Snuggling up on the couch will be a lot more pleasant without the dust bunnies. Feeling excited about the upcoming holidays is a stress-free way to enter the season of many celebrations.
Here are the must-clean spots in your home for the fall:
It may sound like a daunting task, but cleaning out your pantry is an absolute necessity every once in a while. It’s best to take everything out and throw away any food items that have expired or gone bad. Vacuum the shelves to clean away crumbs and dust, and wipe them down with an all-purpose cleaner. When returning all of your pantry items to their proper place, ensure all opened items are sealed properly so they don’t spill and leave your pantry a mess all over again.
The fall season brings cooler weather, and now is the perfect time to make the switch in your wardrobe. Go through your summer clothes and donate any that no longer fit or that just aren’t your style anymore. Vacuum closet floors, baseboards, and door panels, and dust shelves before putting your boots, scarves, jackets, and other fall clothing into the closet.
One of the nice things about warm weather is that it allows us to open the windows in our homes and let in the breeze. The downside to this is that pollen and dust can get in through the window screens and stick to your window coverings. After summer is over, throw them in the wash and clean them according to the material they are made of.
Just like you did with the pantry, remove everything from your fridge and toss any foods that have expired. Check all of your produce for freshness and make a list of what foods, drinks, or condiments your family is getting low on so you can grocery shop more confidently. Wash all shelves and drawers to remove spills and sticky spots. A clean refrigerator is a great way to be prepared for the upcoming holiday meals and leftovers.
You’ll be spending more time indoors as the cooler weather comes. Giving your carpets a deep clean will ensure your living spaces are cozy, fresh, and stain-free as you wait for warmer weather to return next spring. Not up for the challenge? Don’t deny your carpets a thorough clean and call your local home carpet care professional.
Looking for a Cleaning Company in Eldersburg, MD?
You deserve to spend less time maintaining the household cleaning and more time relaxing and enjoying life! Immaculate Clean is your best resource for residential cleaning in Maryland. We’ve been serving our community of busy homeowners since 2004 and continue to satisfy our clients with consistent service with excellence. Contact us today and make sure to inquire about our “pre-holiday stress relief” specials!
Since I first wrote this blog post last year, I’ve had a dear friend get diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to what I learned by writing this blog, I was able to set her up with a cleaning session from Immaculate Clean, which she appreciated so much. I think it is worth reminding people of this amazing service offered by Immaculate Clean, so please share this info!
It’s Pinktober®, aka Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Founded in 1985, this campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer has been tremendously successful, at least from the standpoint of making the color pink synonymous with breast cancer. Think about it— these days, we all immediately recognize the meaning behind a pink ribbon, a pink 5K t-shirt, and even pink football cleats worn by an NFL player. Well-played, Pinktober marketing people, well-played. Hopefully, all the awareness spread over the past 34 years has saved many lives by encouraging women to get mammograms and leading folks to donate money toward finding a cure. All of that is important, truly good stuff.
But, having known some amazing women who have battled breast cancer and other kinds of cancer, I think I can safely say this: Awareness is cool—but action is cooler. A woman in the midst of undergoing cancer treatment is already WELL aware of it, thank-you-very-much. All of the pink balloons and pink socks in the world are not going to solve her immediate concerns that come from being thrust into an unfamiliar world full of doctors and pharmacists and life-or-death decisions, overwhelming fears about the future, and stresses about day-to-day issues that healthy people take for granted. Her thoughts at this time may look something like this:
What is going to happen to me? How is this treatment going to affect me? Is my insurance going to cover all of this? What if treatment doesn’t work?? What if the cancer comes back? I’m sick and the treatment is making me feel even worse; how am I going to continue to work and take care of my kids? How am I going to find the energy to cook meals for my family? How am I going to clean my house?
That is a lot to deal with, but, honestly, some of it should not fall onto the cancer patient’s shoulders at all. These women have to focus so hard on kicking cancer’s a$$ that they shouldn’t be burdened by concerns about things like cooking meals for their families or cleaning their house. My personal view is, if you really want to support a friend or family member who is facing a cancer battle, you should think about ways you can ease the burdens of daily life so they can concentrate completely on the one thing that matters: getting well.
This may mean offering to bring them a meal, buy groceries for them, walk their dog, or drive their kids to soccer. Anything that seems “routine” to you is probably something that they could really use some help with. Another thing you can do—and this won’t cost you a thing—is tell them about a fabulous program called “Cleaning for a Reason.”
The Cleaning for a Reason Foundation provides free house cleaning for women who are going through cancer treatments. Immaculate Clean is a proud and active partner of the Cleaning for a Reason Foundation, committed to helping women in the local community during their time of need by providing free cleaning services. The way it works is rather simple: A patient who is undergoing cancer treatments can register via the website at cleaningforareason.org. Based on a participating cleaning company’s availability, they will receive a total of two free general cleanings.
It may sound like such a simple thing, but in reality, to be able to give a cancer patient the gift of a clean home does much more than just ease a little of her workload. The peace that comes with a clean, uncluttered, fresh-smelling environment can do wonders for a patient’s spirit! It’s better for her health, too!
So, whether or not you’re wearing pink, I’m going to encourage you to spread some awareness about this important free service this Pinktober®, and take some action to help a cancer patient you may know in a meaningful way!
Following a routine weekly or biweekly maintenance clean schedule for your home, it is helpful not only for your sanity, but also for creating a clean healthy space for you and your family to eat, sleep, and live your daily life in harmony and happiness. Today, let’s focus on one room in particular that commonly gets a lot of use yet not enough care.
It’s one of the most frequently-utilized rooms in your home (unless you live by ordering takeout every night and dining on the couch). We wish we could say that wiping the counters down a few times a week could cut it, but the truth is that grime and bacteria accumulate in the kitchen rather quickly and often go overlooked amidst our busy lives. Avoiding routine cleaning of your kitchen is a recipe for disaster. Here’s why!
Behind Closed Doors
Your kitchen is full of appliances and cupboards that are kept closed the majority of the time. What’s behind them?
- Beautifully shined glassware
- Silverware you can see your reflection in
- Perfectly alphabetized spices
- Pantry items organized in groups of the meals you’ll be preparing over the next week
- Fresh refrigerated foods that are definitely not spoiled or making the shelves sticky
Okay, maybe that’s all just in our dreams. Realistically, it’s tough to keep every part of the kitchen clean 100% of the time. Why? Because we use it!
Some of us are in there at least three times a day just preparing meals. But when we don’t keep the kitchen clean on a regular basis, we’re essentially inviting bugs to move in rent-free and they begin to feed their little in size but large growing “family” of pest. These pests love to feed off our spills. Crumbs, food scraps, spilled drinks, and even old wet dishes in the sink can attract these little pests and foster bacteria.
So Much To Do, So Little Time
When you clean your kitchen, there are many areas that need your attention, including:
- Black splash
- Wall decor
- Light fixtures
- Blinds and window sills
- Large and small appliance exteriors
- Microwave interior
- Cabinet fronts
- Floors and baseboards
- Table and chairs
…and the list, unfortunately, doesn’t end there. Feeling overwhelmed? That’s why Immaculate Clean is here!
Don’t Sacrifice Your Valuable Time or Waste Another Beautiful Day Cleaning
Before we know it, summer will come to a close, fall will be in full swing, and the hectic holiday season will be lurking around the corner. Make the most of the remaining warm Maryland days and hire Immaculate Clean to ease your burden. Waking up to a fresh cup of coffee in a clean tidy kitchen is the first ingredient to a successful stress-free start to your day!
We are a family-favorite, trusted cleaning company in Eldersburg, MD with the expertise and tools needed to get even this important job done with success. Contact us to schedule your kitchen clean as well as any or all areas of your home today.
A couple of weeks ago, I spent the morning helping my son move into an apartment for his sophomore year at college. Later that same day, I went to the grocery store to do the shopping for my 95-year-old mother-in-law and helped her take out her trash and fold her sheets. The next day, my husband and I drove three hours to visit my own parents and help them with some tasks that they used to be able to handle on their own— things like fixing a sink and hooking up a printer.
Put it all together, and I do believe this makes us official members of the “sandwich generation,” sandwiched between being responsible for our almost-grown kids and our aging parents.
It’s kind of a tricky place to be. I mean, one of the things that gets a mom through the sense of loss and sadness of the impending empty nest phase is imagining all the newfound freedoms that we assume will come with it… Dreams of spontaneous weekend getaways, downsizing to a smaller home, and spending retirement years wintering in the south were sometimes the only things that kept me sane when I tried to cope with the thoughts about my babies moving out…
But it’s tough to pick up and leave for the winter, or even a weekend, when your parent lives on their own but can no longer drive… And it’s not a good time to think about downsizing if you worry that you might need to care for a parent in your own home someday…
And yet, we want to care for them. They were there for us through all of our ups and downs as we grew. They put up with us as colicky babies and tantrum-throwing toddlers and obnoxious know-it-all teenagers… The least we can do is show them even a fraction of the love, care, and patience that they’ve shown us from the day they brought us into the world.
Still, I think it is okay to admit that this stage of life can be pretty stressful. By this point, you may have figured out how to successfully juggle the demands of parenthood and a job and maintaining a home and a marriage… But as our parents come to depend on us more, we’re tossing at least one more “responsibility” ball and one more “worry” ball into the mix, and suddenly “juggling” turns into “struggling.”
For those of us who find ourselves in the “sandwich generation,” whether you’re a full-time caregiver or assisting a parent who lives independently, I think the best thing we can do is seek outside help whenever possible:
- Split up some of the responsibilities with siblings and other family members.
- Look into support groups that might be helpful; many retirement communities or hospitals provide support groups for people caring for people with specific conditions, like Alzheimer’s or cancer or diabetes; churches also can be a good resource for support groups. It can feel uplifting just to talk to other people who are dealing with the same thing.
- Finally, hire outside help whenever feasible; hiring a professional cleaner like Immaculate Clean can take one thing off of your plate—and when you’re already juggling so much, having one less thing to worry about can make a world of difference.
We’ve all done it before, at least once or twice, and for some of us, it’s almost a lifestyle. We’re busy doing things around the house and haphazardly toss a dirty t-shirt or wet towel into the laundry room, reassuring ourselves that we’ll take care of it later when our current mental to-do list is completed. By the following week, that t-shirt has morphed into a terrifyingly gigantic, and perhaps even threatening, pile of dirty laundry that seems to be as impossible to deal with as Mt. Everest seems to climb.
It’s a fine feeling to avoid the chore of laundry while we’re busy with other things, whether it’s getting dressed for a fun night out or scrambling to get the floors vacuumed before the kids get home from school and turn the house upside down all over again. “One less thing to worry about today,” we tell ourselves, promising to tackle the laundry another day, or even later that same evening if we’re feeling extra ambitious.
Yet when the final chore on our mental checklist is completed, do we run to the laundry room? We’re willing to bet you “accidentally” forgot about the laundry and fell onto the couch with an exhausted, audible sigh instead on more occasions than one.
So how do we quit this endless cycle of watching the laundry pile up for days or weeks and having to dedicate what feels like an entire day to doing the 6 loads of laundry that finally came crashing down all over the floor, telling us that our washer and dryer could sit empty no more? Here’s what we’ve got:
Tip #1: Make a Weekly Chore List – For YOU!
Many of us tackle things better when they’re written down on paper. Make yourself a weekly to-do list and split household chores up evenly throughout the week so that you avoid days where you’re overwhelmed with too much on your plate. Checking things off the list can be rewarding in itself, and seeing the things you’ve accomplished on paper can motivate you to do even more.
Tip #2: Get Help from the Kids
Children tend to enjoy helping out with “adult” tasks. They might not necessarily love laundry, but folding is a relatively simple chore that kids can handle if they are given direction. If you’re more comfortable handling the laundry yourself, give the kids some of the simpler tasks you find yourself spending time on when you should be attending to the mountain of laundry that awaits you.
Tip #3: Hire a Cleaning Company to Handle the Rest
If monotonous house cleaning tasks are keeping you from taking care of the laundry on a regular basis, lighten the load by hiring a professional cleaning company to take care of everything else. Say “goodbye” to vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, and scrubbing and “hello” to fresh, clean clothes and a spotless laundry room!
Looking for a Professional Cleaning Company in Maryland?
Immaculate Clean has been providing superior cleaning services to thousands of homeowners for over 15 years. We work with our customers to find the best cleaning schedule that best suits their needs at a fair and affordable price. Contact us for a free estimate or for more information about our “laundry with light cleaning” service plans. We’ll help you get your laundry under control.
Okay, my fellow mid-Atlantic dwellers, this is it. It’s August. It’s hot-hot-hot, but if you’ve lived here for more than a year, you certainly realize snow and sub-freezing temperatures are just around the corner. Back-to-school sales are in full swing, sunsets are happening earlier, and dare I say a few leaves have fallen from the trees in my yard… The summer of 2019 is rapidly passing us by, but I refuse to let it go without squeezing every last bit of goodness out of it.
As an almost-empty-nester, I do remember a few summers when we parents were counting down the minutes until school started again. My family always thrived on routine, and the summertime lack of a schedule could send us into a tailspin. No matter how organized, excited, and well-intended I was in June—“My kids will have summer chores! We’ll have nightly outdoor dinners! We’ll do fun crafts and science projects! And they’ll stick to a strict bedtime schedule and a budget!”—by July 4 it would all be falling apart, with bored kids testing boundaries, fighting with each other, making constant messes, and using me as a human ATM.
Still, I would love to have the last 18 summers back to do it all over again. A weird thing happens when you hit the age of 50. You really do face your own mortality; the passage of time speeds up exponentially. This year, I made a new year’s resolution to “Just Say Yes” more often—by which I mean, when an opportunity to do something fun or different presents itself, I resolve to accept the opportunity whenever possible. This does not come naturally to me as an introvert, but I’m realizing that now is the time to “carpe diem,” because, just like our mid-Atlantic summers, life is flying by far too quickly.
So as August begins, I encourage you all to join me in “seizing the summer” for these last few weeks. Now is the time to soak it all in. I get that we all have adult responsibilities that make it difficult to “Just Say Yes” to everything. We are busy, we have jobs, we have to tend to our families… It takes some effort, but summer is so short; you have to make the time to “carpe diem.”
Let some things go. Call Immaculate Clean so you don’t spend your free time cleaning! Give yourself the gift of time to do something that is hard to do the rest of the year. Go to the beach, go swimming, go for a hike, ride a bike, sleep in a tent, go fishing, grill hamburgers on your patio, play miniature golf, watch baseball, make s’mores, visit the farmer’s markets, see an outdoor movie or a concert, tend to your garden… Make some summer memories before it’s too late!
Moving can be a difficult and very stressful time. You need to pack everything up, hire a moving company, update your address, along with many other arrangements and coordination. You’ll also need to clean everything up, but this is one thing that you can take off your plate by contacting a professional cleaning company in Eldersburg. There are many reasons why you should have your home professionally cleaned, we wanted to discuss several today.
Take Away the Stress
Moving should be an exciting new change but the overall process can be overwhelming. Cleaning your previous home before the new buyers take ownership will be the one thing you think you’ll have time to accomplish. Unfortunately, cleaning usually ends up being the only thing you won’t have time or energy for. Cleaning an empty home can be more time consuming than cleaning a fully furnished home. Plan ahead to eliminate unnecessary stress by working with a professional Eldersburg, MD cleaning company. Do yourself a favor and eliminate as much stress as you can during the moving process.
Make Your Fresh Start a Clean One
You’ve finally moved everything and want nothing more than to just unpack and relax. You walk in to your new home only to discover that the previous homeowner did not have their home serviced by a professional cleaning company. Make sure to contact your local Eldersburg cleaning company.
When you hire a professional Eldersburg cleaning company you’re truly getting a fresh start, and without the hassle. Sure you could probably clean the house yourself, but you’re probably already tired, stressed and with very limited time or no time at all. You will be so glad you arranged for a professional move in/move out clean, you may even consider a recurring maintenance plan.
Work With an Experienced Eldersburg Cleaner
When you hire any service into your home, be sure to check references and reviews. Ask the home service company if they are insured and how long they have been in business. Hire integrity! Immaculate Clean prides themselves with the highest standards for integrity and for service excellence. You’ll be able to rest easy in your new home knowing it’s been serviced by professionals. If you’re in need of cleaning services in the Eldersburg, MD area, don’t delay, call us today. Our Team of cleaning professionals are standing by and are ready to help make your busy life easier!