How to prepare your home for winter

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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!

Why everyone should have a housekeeper.

If you’re crunched for time, or you simply just hate cleaning your home, it’s okay to ditch the dust pan and vacuum cleaner and spend more time on things you love doing. Your life is busy enough, so alleviate some of the pressure and consider hiring a housekeeper. It’s a worthwhile investment that will minimize your stress and keep your home looking beautiful. Here are some of the primary reasons why everyone should have a housekeeper.   

Reason #1: It reduces stress.

Does the thought of cleaning your house day in and day out make your blood pressure rise? Maybe it’s just a few things that you hate – scrubbing the toilets or the tub, or the time-consuming task of mopping all of the floors in your home. Many people get stressed just thinking about the fact that they need to clean their house. If you have a house keeper, you’ll instantly reduce your stress and you’ll be able to concentrate on things that you care about.

Reason #2: It saves time.  
After a full day, the last thing you want to do during your down-time is clean the house. Cleaning your home can deplete your energy and it can limit your availability to enjoy other activities. You might not need someone to come and clean everything for you on a daily basis, but having a housekeeper come once a week or even a couple times a month can make a huge difference in saving you time and energy.

Reason #3: You deserve a break.
Even if you don’t mind cleaning your home, you deserve to give yourself a break every so often. Pamper yourself by hiring a housekeeper to clean your home! Once a month or once every few months is a great way to reward yourself and give yourself some extra time to enjoy what you want. You’ve earned it!  

housekeeper-640x230Remember those times when you were a kid and your parents gave you chores to clean around the house? Those were good training sessions, but if you don’t actually remember the ins and outs about how to clean a home effectively, your home likely needs a professional touch. If you don’t know how to properly clean your home, hire a housekeeper. Housekeepers have the proper cleaning tools to get the job done efficiently and they have the experience to do it quickly with great results.

The bottom line: a great house cleaner will help transform your dirty home into a fresh, clean and inviting space. Our team at Fresh Nest Cleaning is growing and appointments are continuing to fill up quickly, so contact us today for a quote!