When You Should Hire a House Cleaner

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If you’ve every debated hiring a house cleaning service before, you’ve likely come up with a list of pros and cons.  It might seem like a luxury to many, but in fact, outsourcing your house cleaning is a way to more effectively manage your time and it can be affordable, even for people adhering to a strict budget. Whether you’re busy with your career or shuttling your kids to and from various extracurricular events, having a house cleaning service is one of the most practical and lifesaving services out there. Here’s how you know when you should hire a house cleaner.

  1. When you’re working full time.
    If you’re working 40+ hours a week, we’re sure that the last thing you want to do is vacuum or scrub toilets on your days off. Cleaning takes time that you could use instead for other fun activities. You might not need a daily house cleaner but setting a regular cleaning schedule of once a week or once every other week can be incredibly beneficial.
  2. When you have an incredibly busy family life.
    Soccer practice, dance recitals, family outings, and date nights – they’re all part of the fun of having a busy, growing family. However, the stress level can get intense when you’re continually on the go. Having a house cleaner can lower your stress level and can keep you feeling less frazzled each day.
  3. When you have guests coming over.
    Do you love entertaining, hosting a special event, or do you have family visiting throughout the summer? Keep cleaning off of your to-do list and save your time by hiring a house cleaner. They will clean before and after your event if you decide to do that, or if you have guests coming for the weekend, make sure to set up an appointment before they arrive, so they can more thoroughly enjoy their visit.
  4. When you want to treat yourself.
    Life is busy and sometimes you just need to take a break and treat yourself. Sure, a night out on the town or a relaxing afternoon at the spa is one way to do that but imagine the relief you’ll have when you open the door to a freshly cleaned home. Outsourcing your house cleaning is one of the best treats out there!

Life happens and having a reputable house cleaner to call on to keep your home looking fresh is important. We are proud to offer superior cleaning services for home and business 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!

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

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Spring has officially arrived and for many homeowners, it’s the time of year where they go into full cleaning mode. We have more daylight and that often gives people a little extra boost of energy to get things done around the house. From organizing closets and desks to dusting hidden areas that are often neglected, we have your spring season to-do list right here to help you get moving!

#1: Clean gutters and downspouts.
With longer days and more sun on the horizon, it’s a great time to get outside and get the exterior of your home ready for the springtime and summer weather. First up: get your gutters and downspouts cleaned and if there are repairs that need to be made, now’s the time.  Did you know that gutters and downspouts that are routinely clogged can cause wood around the eaves of your home to rot? This can lead to leaks and significant dry rot, which can be an expensive fix! In addition, rotted areas can bring uninvited critters into the attic space, which is never a great addition to your home!

#2: Dust hidden areas.
Dust accumulates quickly around your home and it can contribute to poor indoor air quality and increased asthma or allergy symptoms. Make sure to dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, tops of bookshelves, cabinets and ceiling fans. If you have drapes or curtains through your home, be sure to vacuum, wash and/or dry-clean the fabric regularly. If you have vinyl or wood blinds, use a damp cloth to clean them. Removing dust will help you have a healthier and cleaner home!

#3: Don’t forget the garage.
The inside and outside of your home are important, but don’t neglect garage cleaning and organization! Get rid of things that you haven’t used recently, throw away unusable items, and recycle as much as you can. If there are things that you no longer need, create a pile for selling or donating. To help with organization, purchase storage shelves and containers to help keep things consolidated and save space. Once you’re done organizing, dust and clean the space and consider painting areas that need a touch up. All of this will improve the function and look of your garage!

Our team at Fresh Nest recognizes that spring cleaning can take time and the to-do list might feel never-ending! If you don’t have time to stay on top of everything, let us step in and help eliminate the stress of keeping your home clean! We’ll work with you to get your home fresh and sparkling, so you can sit back and relax! Contact us today for an appointment!

Ways to Clean Up After Your Pet’s Messes

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Our four-legged friends are special companions and for many people, their pets are part of the family. But, they do require work and sometimes animals can make messes that make your house dirty. Here are some helpful ways that pet owners can keep their house clean.

#1: Clean the furniture:
Does your dog or cat have privileges to sit or sleep on the furniture? If so, over time, the cushions can get a little stinky. To combat animal smells, sprinkle baking soda on the cushions to freshen them, then vacuum it up. If you have pillows or other fabric covers on the couch, loveseat, or chairs, wash them regularly according to instructions.

#2: Stay on top of the fur.
Dogs and cat shed, some more than others. Be sure to stay on top of the fur by sweeping once daily or once every other day. If you have carpet, be sure to vacuum once or twice a week to keep the hair count reduced. Use a damp cloth to remove hair buildup in the corners or along baseboards.

#3: Mud, mud, go away.
The Pacific Northwest is known for rainy days, so when your dog or cat comes inside, it’s very common to see muddy paw prints. If you have linoleum or hardwood floors, wipe down the mud right away rather than letting it soak in, because it could take longer to scrub it out. However, if the mud is on your carpet, let it dry for a bit, so it can be easier to vacuum up. If there is remaining mud, blot it up with a mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid.

#4: Keep your pet clean.
Stinky dogs and cats translate to stinky odors in the home, so be sure to give your pet regular baths and stay on top of grooming. The fresher they smell, the fresher your home stays and pet odors are kept at bay.

#5: Stay on top of litter cleaning.
A full litter box can get quite smelly. Clean it daily if possible and make sure you vacuum up any messes that happen around the box. Messes that accumulate just take longer to clean and it can contribute to a smellier room.

Our team at Fresh Nest recognizes that pets make messes and sometimes you don’t have time to stay on top of everything. That’s where we can step in and help eliminate the stress of having a clean home! We’ll work with you to get your home clean, so you can sit back and relax! Contact us today for an appointment!

Steps For Deep Cleaning Your Home

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This year’s winter in the Pacific Northwest has been warmer than usual and we’ve had more sunny days! The sun may make you feel motivated to do some spring cleaning, even though springtime is still several weeks away.  Now is a great time to do some deep cleaning in your home or commercial building. Here are some tips on how to most effectively deep clean your space.

Tip #1: Organize.
If your space is cluttered or if there are spaces that are difficult to access because of accumulated items, it’s difficult to clean well. So, before you get your cleaning products out, start with some organizational efforts, first. Tackle one room at a time. Set aside a pile to keep, a pile to donate, and a pile to sell, either online or at a yard sale. Be vigilant about getting rid of things that you haven’t used in a long time. If it’s sat unused in your closet or cupboard for a year, you probably don’t need it.

Tip #2: Start cleaning high to low.
Start in the furthest top left corner of your room and work your way down. Dust the top ceiling corners to get rid of cobwebs and dust, wipe down walls, cupboards, and countertops next, then finish by mopping the floor. Everything that you’ve dusted or wiped down from the top will land on the floor, so it’s always good to sweep and mop at the very end to gather all of the accumulated dirt once and for all.

Tip #3: Start with the dirtiest room.
Did you know that the kitchen is the dirtiest space in the home? When you’re ready to dive into your deep clean, start in the kitchen. The oven is a great thing to tackle first. Remove the racks and set them in the bathtub to soak with soap and water. While they’re soaking, clean the inside of the oven with a Brillo pad and it will soon look like new! Take the racks out and wipe them down with a Brillo pad, too. Then clean the kitchen sink thoroughly and wipe down the outside of your cupboards and countertops.

If you dread the idea of deep cleaning, don’t worry. Our team at Fresh Nest are the pros when it comes to deep cleans for your home or commercial building, so you won’t ever need to deep clean again if you don’t want to. Our appointment slots are filling up quickly, so contact us today for a residential clean or commercial clean to make sure you get an appointment. You’ll be able to enjoy the end of winter and look forward to the upcoming switch to springtime even more with a clean space to live and work in!

New Year’s Resolutions: Time-Saving Tips That Can Keep Your House Clean

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If one of your resolutions for 2018 is to have a cleaner house, we applaud you! Our team at Fresh Nest believes that there’s nothing better than a clean space and we’re here to help make that happen. Here are three helpful time-saving tips that can keep your house clean.

Tip #1: Get rid of distractions.
Cleaning your house can be a chore sometimes and distractions can get in the way. So, when it comes time to buckle down and tackle a room, put away any distractions that can make things longer. Streamline your routine by turning off your phone or putting it on silent mode, turn off your computer and TV, and focus on the project at hand. This can save you time in the long run.

Tip #2: Pick up as you go.
If you clean and pick up as you go, rather than letting piles of dishes or laundry pile up, you’ll be able to stay on top of things more easily. For example, if you’re craving a fresh batch of warm chocolate chip cookies and you spend time in the kitchen baking, wash or load the baking pans and dishes in the dishwasher right when you’re done with them rather than just piling them in the sink. You’ll save time by not having to come back later and tackle a mound of dirty dishes. Little clean up jobs are always easier than big clean up jobs!

Tip #3: Make squeegees your friend.
If you hate scrubbing your shower or tub and don’t want to clean it as often, keep a squeegee handy and use it after each shower or bath. Wipe from the top to bottom, as well as the sides of the tub, which will help wash away shampoo or soap residue right away rather than leaving it to develop a film on it over time. If you stick to doing this regularly, you won’t have to scrub the shower or tub as often, which can save you time.

Of course, if you don’t have the time or energy to stay on top of regular cleaning, call our team at Fresh Nest for a quote on weekly or monthly cleanings. Together, we can make your New Year’s resolution a reality!

How to prepare your home for winter

By Brooke Strickland

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The first day of winter is officially December 21st. Is your home ready? The air is chilly and the winter weather is definitely making its way into our area, so here are some helpful ways on how to prepare your home for winter.

 


Tip #1: Make sure your outside pipes are protected.

This is a big one! When water freezes, it will expand and that means that any water that is left inside the pipes could cause your pipes to freeze too. This could risk significant damage to your pipes, as the pipes could crack or even burst. If you haven’t already done this, make sure all the outside faucets are drained and your hoses are disconnected. Then, cover the faucets with a quality foam insulator that will serve as a protective cover.

Tip #2:  Make sure your furnace system is ready to tackle the cold.
Nothing is worse than turning on your heater and not having it work! Make sure that your heating system is ready to tackle the cold weather by scheduling an annual service appointment by a professional heating company. They will clean the filters and make sure all the inside electrical components are working well, so you can be sure that you’re good to go for the whole winter season.

Tip #3: Clean, clean, clean.
The winter weather often brings flu viruses and other germs that cause sickness. Get rid of those germ-ridden areas by staying on top of regular cleaning throughout your home. Make sure your kitchen counter tops are cleaned thoroughly, as gastrointestinal viruses can be spread through contaminated food and surfaces. Reduce your risk of getting sick by sanitizing your space as much as possible, especially in your bathroom. The toilet handle and sink faucet handles are places that should be cleaned often. If you don’t have the time or energy to set aside time to clean the way you should, contact our team at Fresh Nest Cleaning today for a free quote on getting regular cleaning appointments set up.

Winter means that you’ll likely be inside a lot more, so it’s important that your space is clean and comfortable, and the feeling of having a clean home is like no other! We can help get your space clean and sanitized well, so you can head into winter with confidence.

The Importance of De-cluttering to De-stress

 

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Your home should be a space of relaxation and comfort, but if it’s cluttered all the time, it can actually cause more stress than you might think. Here are some ways that clutter can influence how your brain operates and how you can find ways to declutter to reduce the stress in your life.

How “stuff” influences your mind:
Over time, we buy things and they accumulate, especially in a world where consumerism is made central. Maybe your coat closet is stuffed with extra things that aren’t used regularly, or you have a garage or a basement that has accumulated so much clutter that you try to avoid it at all costs.

Sometimes, we hold onto things that we think we will use, but other times, we find it extremely difficult to get rid of items that may have emotional attachments to them. Surprisingly, researchers have found that we can sometimes experience pain when giving up a possession, because you likely have built some sort of emotional attachment to it. As we let this stuff build up around your living space, it can influence your ability to focus. If you have found it increasingly difficult to process information while you’re at home, take a look around and see if there is clutter. If there is a variety of visual stimulus happening, it’s hard for your brain to focus. This, in turn, translates to stress.

So how can you get rid of clutter, reduce unneeded stress, and retrain your brain to focus and process important information? Here are some important steps:

#1: Work to organize one area at a time.
Maybe you have multiple areas of your home that need attention. First, work together as a team with your family or a friend to help organize the area one space at a time. Get some bins and label each one accordingly: keep, donate, recycle, or garbage. Take the donation items to your local drop off donation center right away, so you aren’t tempted to start going through it again to change your mind in keeping anything. If there are items you think that would sell in a garage sale or online, make a pile for those things as well. The important thing to remember is to start small and tackle one area at a time. Once you do this, you can move on.

#2: Take action.
Form new habits that keep you on a track toward organization and cleanliness. For example, if it’s your office that feels out of control, get bookshelves, baskets, and other storage containers that can help you stay organized. Then you’ll probably need to retrain yourself to take action and use the items you have in place.

#3: Hire a professional.
Once the clutter is reduced and you feel more organized, call our team at Fresh Nest Cleaning for a deep clean of your home. Once we’ve cleaned it well that first time, set up a consistent cleaning schedule with us so we can stay on top of your home’s cleanliness. There’s nothing better than knowing that your home is organized and clean both for your family, but for your guests. And not to mention, you’ll reduce any stress you have about staying on top of the cleaning – we will do it all for you!

Our schedule for November and December is filling up quickly with the holidays coming. Contact us today to get your cleaning appointment set up!

Why You Should Clean Your Heating & Cooling System

Fall is here and the chilly mornings have returned. School is in full swing and it’s likely that the busy day to day routines have kept you occupied. Keeping things clean around your home is important, not only so things look great, but did you know that your heating and cooling system also needs to be cleaned? Here’s why.

#1: The air you breathe matters.
Clean air translates to a healthier home environment, and that means you’ll have less illness and germs transferred around. If your heating and cooling system is full of dust, dirt, and other debris, this will be pushed into your home through the vents. Keep air filters in your system clean by removing them and either replacing them or scrubbing them with soap and water.

#2: A dirty heating and cooling system could cause breakdowns.
Not only is the air quality affected by a dirty system, but the machine itself could be compromised over time if it’s not taken care of. Not regularly cleaning the air filters will cause your system to work harder and become less efficient. This will cause the air flow to slow down and it will take longer for your system to heat or cool your home. This means you’re wasting significant energy over time and you could see a spike in utility bills. In addition, having the system work harder could cause the machine and inner parts to work harder, ultimately causing a system breakdown. No one wants to have your furnace break down right when the cold air hits, so make sure to maintain things regularly.

Not sure if your heating and cooling system needs to be cleaned?
Filters should be changed every one to two months. Another sign that your filters need to be cleaned is if you notice a musty smell coming out of the machine. Also, if you have allergies and pets, you may want to consider cleaning the filters more often, as pet hair and dander can build up and clog the filter or vent, which could cause the system to become weak.

If you have a home with ductwork, call a professional duct cleaning company to help clean the ducts that may be clogged with contaminants. This could also push a lot of dust into your home, making it harder to stay clean. Once your system is clean, contact our team at Fresh Nest to set up routine house cleaning services. We’ll stay on top of everything for you, so you don’t have to worry about dusting or cleaning your home all the time.

Back to School: How cleanliness in your home can keep your family healthy

Back to school time can also lead to more exposure to germs, so it’s important to keep your home clean to help minimize illnesses that can cut into school attendance.  Here’s how cleanliness in your home can keep your family healthy this autumn.

Reason #1: Clean homes can reduce stress.
If you live in a messy and cluttered home, chances are, you’re subconsciously reminding yourself of all of the work that needs to be finished. Too much clutter can cause stress, especially if it means you’re losing things due to the mess. This means it could take longer to find things or you don’t have a place to rest comfortably, and over time, your stress level will rise. With increased stress, your immune system will weaken, and that means you’ll be at greater risk for getting sick this fall and winter.

Reason #2: Clean homes can reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
If your bedding, carpet, rugs, or other upholstery is dusty or full of pet dander, you could be inviting allergic reactions. Pet hair, mold, dust mites, and dirt can decrease the quality of air you’re breathing and this could trigger allergies or asthma. De-cluttering and making sure floors, carpets and other areas are cleaned regularly is very important.

Reason #3:  Clean homes reduce the spread of germs.
Germs – no one likes them! Rid your home of germ-ridden spots by staying on top of regular cleaning. The kitchen has been named as one of the dirtiest places in the home, so make sure the counter tops are cleaned thoroughly after every use, especially if you are preparing raw meats. Gastrointestinal illnesses can be spread through contaminated food and if your kitchen is properly cleaned and sanitized you will reduce your chance of developing food poisoning. The bathroom is another area that needs special attention on a regular basis. Be especially aware that the toilet flush and sink faucet handles can house lots of germs, so be sure to sanitize them on a regular basis.

Does the thought of cleaning your home regularly make you cringe? Or, perhaps you simply don’t have the time that it takes to keep your home cleaned the way you need. Contact Fresh Nest Cleaning today for a free quote on your home!

How to Teach Your Kids to Clean House

When it comes to getting your kids to help with chores around the house, you might have found that it’s hard to get them motivated. It can be a lot of work at the beginning to teach kids how to clean up their messes, let alone help you with actual cleaning around the house. But, it’s very important to teach them these important life skills, and we can help with some easy (and fun!) ways to get your kids to help you clean up your space at home. Here are some helpful tips.

Tip #1: Define what clean means.
Before you set out on putting your kids to work around the house with you, make a checklist of things that the kids can refer to with pictures if needed.  Determine which “to-do” items are the most important to complete and which ones you think they can do easily. Once they get that routine down, you can start introducing more later down the road. Some simple to-do items could be putting laundry in the laundry basket/hamper, put their clothes away, vacuuming the floor, or making the bed.

Tip #2: Make it fun.
If you don’t love cleaning your home and dread trying to get your kids to help with it, try making it fun. How? Crank up the music. In between completed checklist items, have an impromptu family dance party. Find things that your kids would enjoy along the way to encourage them to keep going. Even if it means giving them a reward like a piece of candy or an extra 20 minutes playing a computer game at the end of the completed task list, these can be ways that can help keep them motivated to finish the tasks at hand.

Tip #3: Set a good example.
Kids see what we do and they will model that. So, if you show that you take pride in your home and its cleanliness, they will pick up on that. If you show that you have a positive attitude about cleaning, they will also sense that.

Tip #4: Work as partners.
One of the best motivators for kids is to work together as a team with you. A child is less likely to stay on task if he/she is sent off to his room alone to tackle a cleanup. When it comes to chore time, work together at first until your child knows the routine and how to properly complete the task. If your kids know that you’re working alongside, they will likely be excited to show you their work and get some positive reinforcement from you along the way.

The lessons that you teach your children – both big and small – will build a solid foundation for their future and give them the tools to be a successful adult, especially when it comes time to move out to a place of their own. And remember, if you are looking for additional housekeeping assistance or regular deep cleans of your home, our team at Fresh Nest Cleaning is ready to help, so contact us today!