Part 2 What Your House Cleaner Wishes You Knew

Last week we started a list about what we wish our client’s knew. This week, we continue that theme. House cleaners must possess a lot of soft skills in order to be successful. The number one skill is an ability to effectively communicate and to set our clients at ease to they are comfortable communicating with us. Our hope is that whether you are reading this because you are considering a house cleaner or you already have one, that this list helps open up conversation and strengthens your professional relationship.

  1. We don’t mind your kids or pets. Our staff is made up of parents and pet owners so we really understand how it is. Kids are curious and dogs are nervous. However, sometimes, it is easier if you choose to go to the park when we get there. For the most part, communication is most important. We have no problem sharing our comfort levels with you during your free consult.
  2. Talk to us about what you want and your expectations. If you’re paying for a service and there are specific problem areas that drive you crazy, please point them out to us. We are incredibly thorough but we want to be sure that we address what is going to bother you the most.  
  3. Expectations versus reality can sometimes differ depending on what you’re paying for. Which is why it is important to communicate what specific areas drive you crazy. We will tailor our cleaning to meet your needs and stay within your price range. However, if you’re paying for a basic clean, we won’t be hitting all the areas that are typically covered in a deep cleaning session.
  4. Sometimes we adjust our price after we gave you a quote. This is especially true if we didn’t get a chance to do a walk through and you raise your expectations once we have gotten there. Or if the house is a bit dirtier or there are conditions we previously were not aware of- like that you smoke in your home or have pets. However, we will always be upfront and won’t catch you off guard if we have to raise our prices.
  5. You may think you are saving by not having regular cleaning but that will actually cost you more money. We have to do a deeper cleaning when we only come once a month or less often. It is, honestly, the most cost effective to have us come bi-weekly or more often.
  6. We don’t mind that you look up other people to work for you. But keep in mind that we are incredibly considerate about our costs. We are licensed and insured. We also pay our employees a fair wage. Often, cheaper companies are cutting costs somewhere and it is usually with their employee’s wages. We want to make sure that the individuals who clean your home are doing it because they are happy. Happy employees are the best employees and will produce the best results. Additionally, we take in to consideration that we are providing our own cleaning supplies and gas to travel. It may seem like we are profiting on your job, but after overhead, it’s about the same as any other job. If you do use a different cleaner, we suggest you make sure they are licensed and insured, trustworthy, thorough, and use quality products.
  7. We assume there are cameras, everywhere. But we know you’ll only catch us dancing silly or tripping over our two feet. The only snooping we enjoy doing is reading the titles of the books on your shelf.
  8. Our job is just as important as any other job. Sometimes, house cleaning comes with a stigma. Fresh Nest exists because this is where the owner found happiness in how she spent her day. Often when having conversations with others, people get uncomfortable when one of us expresses what we do for a living. Our job is just as valuable as anyone else’s and we have been successful enough to accomplish most of our financial goals.
  9. We don’t expect tips but boy do they make our day! What REALLY helps us out are online reviews, though. Our clients send us the nicest emails and texts all the time, if only they posted those exact comments on our google page. This allows us to be more prominent in the online world for others to find us. Social media helps, as well, but often google rules.
  10. We will go above and beyond for some clients. If you noticed some extra areas freshened up that were outside of what was listed in the consult, just know that we appreciate you being our client just as much as you appreciate the extra help. We genuinely love the idea of you coming home and being surprised and relieved that your nest is fresh and clean. We know you deserve it.

 

There are a lot of people who hire professional house cleaners for lots of different reasons. No matter why you are having us, we want to be sure that your experience is positive. We are always open to talking more in depth about any questions. Schedule your free consult with us so we can create a personalized cleaning plan for you.

Part 1 Things Your House Cleaner Wishes You Knew

Fresh Nest Cleaning recognizes the privilege of working with our clients to create a personalized cleaning plan for either a one time or ongoing cleaning maintenance plan. We clean everything! Although our most appointments are residential homes, we also clean commercial buildings, airbnbs, move outs or move ins for tenants and new home homeowners and also new construction/remodel clean-up.

Although a majority of our clients are incredibly comfortable with the idea of having us clean their homes, we also know that there are some that are uneasy or embarrassed. Although we consider each cleaning appointment to be unique, we have probably seen it all in the cleaning industry. For this week’s blog, we decided to create part 1 of a list for clients of what we wish you knew about us cleaners.

  1. As uncomfortable as you are about having a stranger in your home, we are also feeling uncomfortable being a stranger in your home. You may not know us, but we don’t know you, either. The only difference between us is that we have more practice and experience. Our similarities is we both choose to work with one another. When we do a walk through or communicate online, we are feeling one another out and making sure that both of us are comfortable working together. A lot of our clients work from home and will be regularly interacting with us while we clean. We want to be able to communicate well and be professionally friendly with one another. 
  2. You can choose to stay or be present when we clean your space. It’s a mixed bag on this one. As mentioned, many of our clients work from home and will be present while we are cleaning. For some of our deep clean appointments, our client’s prefer to be elsewhere. In move-outs or move-ins, we have had client’s request to work alongside of us! We even have had parent’s ask if their kiddos can grab a clean rag and dust! Our job is to adapt and make your experience comfortable. We just ask that you communicate with us, ahead of time, so we know what to expect.
  3. You don’t have to clean before we come over, but we do ask that you have your home tidy enough for us to easily get to the areas we need to. Each situation will be different, but for most of our cleaning appointments, the floors should be clear of clutter so we can easily vacuum and mop. Clean linen should be easily accessible if we are making your beds- we don’t want to have to look for it in your cupboards and if not sat out, we will assume you don’t want us to to change them. For commercial buildings, we won’t typically move furniture or clean on top of desks, unless specifically asked. 
  4. Your mess doesn’t surprise us. We have really seen it all. Really. We understand that life gets in the way and you may not have dusted for months or had the chance to clean the bathtub in awhile. This is why you hired us, so we can help you out. No need to be embarrassed or apologize. All we are invested in is getting your nest clean and fresh so you can enjoy it.
  5. Please don’t cook us! We know that the temperature may be comfortable enough for watching T.V. or working on the computer, but we are moving around and -even in moderate temperatures, breaking a sweat. In the winter months, we wish you would turn your heat down, slightly, and in the summer months we ask that you keep your air on so we can stay cool. If we are in a space that someone does not live in, please provide us the information so we can turn on the air ourselves.

We know that for some of our clients, having a cleaner is a occurrence for special occasions. For others, having a cleaner is a part of regular home maintenance. Whether you’re reading this list because you are nervous or you have gotten comfortable and need a refresher, this is what we wish you knew. Next week, we will expand and add a few more things to the list. Stay tuned!

Staying On Top Of Chores

We know that not everyone can afford to hire a housekeeper, at Fresh Nest Cleaning, our goal is to help you improve your quality of life by keeping a clean and tidy environment. That’s why we have included a list of tips and tricks we have found to help you stay on top of your chores while also working or managing a family.

Write a List
Sometimes it is helpful to write down a check off list of all of the tasks that should be done in each room. Then, determine which should be done daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Daily
tasks should not take more than 15 minutes to complete.

Small Goals Equal Big Success!
If you are feeling overwhelmed, start small. Decide what one task is manageable and start there. Don’t attempt to re-organize all of your paperwork when your laundry has not been put away. Begin with easier, shorter tasks that can be maintained with little effort.

Put Away Distractions
Set your phone to “do not disturb” or “airplane mode.” Turn off/log off your social media accounts on your devices to eliminate notifications that may prompt you to want to take a break and respond.

Pick Some Tunes
Music has been shown to boost productivity. Pick something that keeps you moving and motivated!

Set a Timer
Many experts suggest setting a timer for 15 minutes and trying to get as much as you can done, within that time frame. Often, I find that encourages me to want to complete the rest of my daily tasks for that room.

Maintain It
Resist the urge to put off small daily tasks for later. When your laundry is done, put the load away in the drawers and the closet. The 10 minutes to do so will prevent you from having to spend 30 minutes putting away multiple loads, later. Removing clean dishes from the
dishwasher and putting them away, will prevent dirty dishes from piling up in the sink. Cleaning up after yourself always makes it easier in the long run.

Give Yourself A Reward
Plan so you have some time to reward yourself for your effort. Perhaps, you enjoy a nice long shower or bath in your clean bathroom or you fix yourself a quality meal in your organized
kitchen. You deserve it.

Do you have suggestions on how you stay on top of cleaning and chores? Let us know in the comments below!

Cleaning For Company

“April showers bring May flowers!” That may be what the saying is, but April showers also keep company from being able to enjoy the outdoors when they come to visit. With winter finally
shedding its cold coat, many are eager to get out of the house and visit with friends and family.

But is your home company ready? Washington Post suggests that you prepare for company all year round and has provided suggestions you may not even think to look for, such as plumbing
and guest beds.
(https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/companys-coming-is-your-house-hospitality-re
ady/2014/11/03/818ef32e-48e0-11e4-a046-120a8a855cca_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term
=.9a7b53e4a9ef )

Many sites have given tips about cleaning in a hurry. One tip is to not worry about cleaning what others won’t see. Although it may be true that a party guest isn’t going to check behind your shower curtain while visiting for a birthday party, it creates peace of mind to do a thorough job. Additionally, it allows you to feel confident no matter what comes up. Your master bathroom
may be upstairs and typically unused, but in a pinch, you don’t want to worry about an untidy bedroom and dirty toilet.

Another quick cleaning myth is to just pick up clutter. The idea is that if the room is picked up, guests may not notice if it is clean or sanitized. Fresh Nest recommends you think about the
details. You may forget about discolored sinks and cobwebs in the corners, yet dust on the baseboards can make the whole floor look dingy and a discolored sink isn’t inviting when wanting to wash up.

A closed up home may develop smells, especially if the weather hasn’t allowed you to open up windows and shake out rugs. Check to make sure that your garbage can hasn’t developed any funky odors. The kitchen is a major culprit of holding odor so check the fridge and sink, as well.

Don’t forget the bathroom! The floor around the toilet often develops a stink, and is overlooked during regular cleaning. Without proper cleaning, attempting to mask these smells with sprays will not eliminate them, but will definitely make it worse. If you have pets, make extra time to do a deep clean in rooms the pet may spend a lot of time.

Last but not least, try to schedule time to do deep cleaning throughout the house all month long, to prevent a last minute rush.

If you don’t have time, that’s what Fresh Nest Cleaning is for! We offer deep cleaning and regular maintenance cleaning schedules that are personalized to fit your needs.

Don’t let a dirty home get in the way of your peace of mind when having friends and loved ones over.

We are offering spring cleaning deals, all month long. Schedule your free consult, today.

Spring Cleaning With a Chronic Illness

Spring has officially arrived! You know what that means? Baseball, flowers, allergies, LOADS of rain (if you live where I do!) and SPRING CLEANING!! But when you live with a chronic illness, such as Kidney Disease, even keeping up with the day to day chores can be a burden. The idea of dedicating an exceptional amount of time to get into the crevices of cobwebs and yearly
cleanings can be too much to think about.

Spring cleaning may feel like an optional tradition for those who are too busy healing, but according to kidney.org, it is a necessity to health.
Kidney.org states that keeping your environment free of compromising bacteria allows you to be protected while taking immunosuppressant drugs
(https://www.kidney.org/newsletter/transplants-chores-kidney-changing-magic-tidying). Immunosuppressant medication protects new transplant organs from being rejected by the
body. They can also be used when diagnosed with other more common chronic illnesses such as lupus, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis
(https://www.healthline.com/health/immunosuppressant-drugs).

Kidney.org provides a helpful list of trouble areas that can hold compromising bacteria that will
affect your ability to be healthy on immunosuppressant medication. Last week, we discussed keeping the home clean with pets. Others included on the list are the kitchen and garden.

Good Housekeeping has also put together a great comprehensive list that many can reference for their spring cleaning to-do’s on their article, “33 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for a Sparkling Home” (https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/g3345/spring-cleaning-tips/).

We at Fresh Nest enjoy meeting with our clients and discussing what will ensure you keep a clean and sanitary home for your ongoing health and wellness. We offer a free consultation that allows you to have a personalized plan for either a one-time, comprehensive spring cleaning
session and/or an ongoing cleaning maintenance schedule. Many of what is included in Good Housekeeping’s spring cleaning list is included in our deep cleaning and/or regular maintenance
cleaning recommendation and options for you.

March is National Kidney Month and we are committed to bringing awareness regarding chronic kidney disease. That’s why 10% of all profits for the month of March will be donated to The National Kidney Foundation.

Pets and Chronic Illness

We at Fresh Nest Cleaning, LOVE our furry friends and yours! Our pets become a part of our family and we know that when life gets hard, that’s when our pets can bring us the most joy.

When facing major life changes, such as a chronic illness, having pets can make it feel that we are always behind on our cleaning. Whether you’re wanting a moment of peace to sit down and
read a book, sans dog hair, or you’re needing your space to be free of cat dander before an upcoming in-home medical procedure, let us take care of the dirty work.

Fresh Nest Cleaning uses pet friendly and quality cleaning supplies, leaving your space spic and span and smelling good. (That is some quality alliteration, in my opinion!)

I recently learned the importance of a clean and sanitary environment while reading an article by Azura Vascular Care. Although the article stresses that infections between pets and patients are rare, it is still a possibility and completely preventable by following tips outlined in the article. The tips include keeping yourself clean AND keeping your home free of cat and dog fur (https://www.azuravascularcare.com/infodialysisaccess/peritoneal-dialysis-pets/)

When loved ones are going through treatments, it can be exhausting for even a caregiver to attempt to take on extra shared chores, such as cleaning. When it is you that is healing from
chronic illness, it can sometimes feel impossible.

There are many benefits of keeping your home clean. Some of them are for the sake of improving your mental health when already facing stressful situations, and some are more
practical and important such as keeping a sanitary space.

No matter what your reason, Fresh Nest Cleaning wants to help you on your path and help improve your quality of life.

We are dedicating March to spreading awareness of Kidney Disease and donating 10% of profits toward The National Kidney Foundation. Book your free consult, today, and let us come
up with a personalized one time or ongoing cleaning schedule that fits your individual needs.

Tips on organizing children’s clutter

Children and mother collecting toys

Kids can be full of energy, fun and excitement and with that, comes lots of messes.  Whether its arts and crafts, toys, or clothing in all different sizes, if you have kids, you know how quickly things can accumulate. Here are some helpful tips on how to sort and store your children’s items.

Tip #1: Know what is used and what isn’t.
Take note of what your kids actually play with. If there are select toys or crafts that your kids play with a lot, then keep those easily accessible in one designated area. If there are things that they are done playing with, have grown out of, or have never had any interest in, sell or donate the items. Keeping favorite things around will help the kids not notice that extra clutter is disappearing, too.

Tip #2: Allocate a play space.
Don’t have a playroom in your home? That’s ok. You don’t need to dedicate a full room to playing, but toys do need a place to live. For many people it’s a corner in the child’s bedroom, or a place in the living room. That way, when the toys come out and they are moved around to all areas in the house, they don’t have to be left there – there is one specific spot where they return. Be sure you invest in the right storage pieces, too. Make sure they are big enough and versatile enough. For example, if you have a small house, get a toy box that could double as a bench or sitting area.

Tip #3: Get your kids involved.
Sometimes it is hard to resist the urge to just do all the cleanup yourself because it’s faster and more efficient. However, bringing your kids into the process is very important in helping them learn how to stay organized as they get older and gain more responsibility. Partner with your child to help keep them on task, showing them how to efficiently clean up and organize, and give them small jobs in the process such as sorting toys into different bins and giving them a say on which toys go where.

Once your home is organized and clutter is picked up off the ground, call our team at Fresh Nest to get your home sanitized and sparkling clean. We can do a one time deep clean, or even better, we can set up regular housekeeping on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Our team at Fresh Nest Cleaning is ready to help, so contact us today!

How to prevent germs from spreading during back to school season

eead

September is the time of year when kids are heading back into the classroom. But for many unfortunately, schools can be full of germs and your kids will inevitably be exposed to some. Here are some tips on how to prevent germs from spreading.

#1: Properly disinfect.
Know your main areas of contact, including those spots where places are frequently touched or handled by multiple people. These are generally door knobs, refrigerator handles, stair rails, toilet flush handles, or light switches. Be sure to clean those surfaces with household cleaners and disinfectants regularly, then wipe the surface to remove any residue. If you’re using Lysol or other similar disinfectants, make sure to read the label to make sure you’re using them properly. They’re only effective if you use them the right way.

#2: Don’t share towels or blankets.
If someone in the home is sick, wash blankets regularly and do not share bath or hand towels. Coughing or sneezing can easily spread germs to these items and once that happens, other people in the family are bound to catch the virus. When you’re doing laundry, wash the items in hot water to help kill any lingering bacteria.

#3: Wash cleaning supplies.
Your cleaning supplies should be washed regularly, especially if someone in the home is ill. For microfiber products, soak them in hot soapy water for several minutes and rinse with warm water, laying flat to dry. If you keep using cleaning supplies without washing them, you will end up just spreading germs everywhere.

And finally, teach your kids to wash their hands frequently while they’re at school and at home. They should wash with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. If you don’t have time to keep up on cleaning your home or office space, our team at Fresh Nest Cleaning offers superior cleaning services for homes and businesses all around Clark County and parts of Portland. Contact us today at 360.721.7757 or info@freshnestcleaning.com! We can provide a quick, free quote or to set up an appointment to walk through your space for an estimate!

Summer cleaning checklist

31310675_1041260442681330_343607910644842496_n(1)

We often hear about spring cleaning and we might even make it a routine to do some deep cleaning during the spring, but what about the summer? Summer is a busy time of year for many people, with vacations and lots of adventures planned outdoors. But with all that fun, summer cleaning or chores can sometimes get neglected. Before the summer is over and the daylight starts getting shorter, follow this summer cleaning checklist to get your house sparkling clean.

#1: Floors.
Maybe you’re coming in and out of the garden or the kids are running back and forth from being in the pool or sprinkler. No matter what’s happening this summer, your floors will see plenty of foot traffic and that means you will need to sweep, vacuum, or mop your high traffic areas at least once a week. Investing in a good doormat at each entrance/exit point can help reduce the amount of dirt and debris you track in.

#2: Food.
Summertime means lots of barbecues and long nights on the porch and patio enjoying the fresh fruits, ice cream cones, and refreshing drinks of the season. Keep plenty of cloths handy, near the sink and pantry area so you can be ready for any spills that might happen. Cleaning up right when the spill happens will help you avoid having to scrape off sticky messes later.

#3: Laundry.
Laundry never stops piling up, but you can take advantage of the warm breeze and hang some laundry to dry instead of using your dryer’s electricity. In addition, you can get your kids involved in the folding and putting away of the towels and clothes that tend to pile up, adding it to their list of chores.

#4: Trash.
Warm weather tends to bring out the stinky smells of your trash can, so be sure you not only empty your trash often but wash the trash can regularly as well. If you plan on leaving for vacation for a few days or longer, be sure to empty the trash cans around the house so you when you return, you don’t open the door to the smell of rotting garbage.

If you want to enjoy the rest of the summer season without worrying about keeping on top of regular summer cleaning, our team at Fresh Nest can get you on the track towards a clean home this summer! Contact us today for information on getting regular cleaning services set up so you can sit back and relax the summer season.

Dirtiest household objects & how to clean them

clean33

Your home: it’s the place you can kick back, relax, and be yourself. But it’s also a place that you must keep healthy and clean. Unfortunately, life gets busy and it requires time to keep your clean free of germs and dirt. Wondering what the dirtiest household objects are or the dirtiest places are in your home? We’ll tell you and we’ll provide tips on how to get them clean, so you can live in a clean home once again!

#1: Your actual cleaning supplies.
Your rags, scrub brushes, and sponges are full of germs. When was the last time you washed them thoroughly? Run sponges through the dishwasher or microwave them on high for a few minutes to kill the germs.

#2: Pet feeding station.
Your pet food station can get dirty easily and if you don’t clean it regularly, you could risk your pet getting sick. If there is any spilled food or water, be sure to clean it up right away so it doesn’t attract ants. In addition, wash bowls regularly and put bowls on a place mat that can be washed as to protect your floor from unnecessary bacteria.

#3: Doorknobs.
The bacteria that builds up on doorknobs will build up quickly so it’s important to clean these regularly! If you have small kids in the house, it’s especially important to wipe these down regularly. Use a rag with hot, soapy water or use wet wipes and/or Lysol to clean them. Do this at least once a week, or more if people have been sick in the house.

#4: Kitchen sink drain.
Your kitchen is probably one of the busiest, most-used parts of the home. Your sink is put to good use day in and day out and all sorts of things go down the drain there. Food debris can get caught in the drain and cause bad odors over time. If you have a garbage disposal, cut up a portion of fresh lemon and grind it in there to help with odors. To clean it, you can put some vinegar and baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a minute, then rinse it with boiling water.

Feeling overwhelmed with the amount of cleaning that needs to be done in your home week in and week out? Having a reliable house cleaner to call on to keep your home looking fresh is important. We are proud to offer outstanding cleaning services for home and businesses around Clark County and in various parts of Portland. Contact us today at 360.721.7757 or info@freshnestcleaning.com for a free quote or to set up an appointment!