Hitchiking House Bugs

Fresh Nest is committed to the best experience for our clients when providing quality cleaning. Our last two blog posts were dedicated to sharing what we would like our clients to know about us and our services. We invite our clients to always feel comfortable with their questions and concerns. One customer thoughtfully reached out to us to inquire about our practices in
preventing hitchhiking pests from spreading between homes. It was such a great question, we decided to research the answer and dedicate an entire blog post on it!

Prior to researching this answer more thoroughly, we already took considerate precautions in preventing the spread of household bugs. We watched for tell-tale signs during our walk throughs and purchased one of the best vacuums on the market that has an amazing filter
system. Additionally, we pack supplies specific for each job, leaving no left over rags. This ensures that rags brought in to one home will not be carried into another home. Dirty rags are transported in a tied off plastic bag and washed in high end laundry detergent in hot water. We also do not make beds unless given clean sheets. Fresh Nest follows a strict sanitizing and cleaning schedule of our supplies to ensure that they are in proper condition to be used in our client’s homes. Lastly, if we were to see any type of indication that a home has an infestation, we will cease to continue and immediately leave the home. Our supplies would be sanitized or disposed of and replaced. However, it is safe to say that although these precautions are consistent with other competitors practices, there may be room to improve and meet higher standards.

This topic encouraged us to do additional research. Some learning points included the reminder that all homes are not immune to the possibility of infestation. Even with proper and consistent cleaning, some bugs cannot be eliminated or prevented without extermination or vigilant
prevention. Although we often use our own vacuum, it is best practice to consider using the client’s personal vacuum for their own home. M Additionally, we will relook at our current schedule of sanitizing supplies and determine if changes are necessary. One change that we will consider
implementing, in the event that we use our own vacuum, may include cleaning the vacuum on site prior to loading in our vehicle to go to the next client’s home. Some bugs travel on an individual’s clothing. From this, we have determined that we will be
more diligent in keeping our personal belongings and jackets in our vehicles rather than allowing them to be stored in our client’s homes during our time cleaning. Another upcoming change will
include front loading our new clients with information and expectations upon scheduling a free consult. This information will allow a more open dialogue with our customers regarding possible concerns of previous infestation and our policies if we should come upon an infestation within
the home during a cleaning.

We are grateful that we were given this opportunity to improve our knowledge on this subject. We have also spent time researching the signs of infestation of common household bugs so we are more competent in identifying them when we do our free consult/walk throughs or as we continue cleaning our client’s spaces. This week we share helpful links on this topic with the hope that our clients may also benefit from this useful knowledge. As always, if you would like to add to this conversation, please reach out!

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!

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.

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.

National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month, sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation, and here at Fresh Nest Cleaning, we take kidney health seriously. National Kidney Month was created to, “increase awareness of kidney disease, promote the need for a cure, and spur advocacy on behalf of those suffeing with the emotional, financial and physical burden of kidney disease”
(https://www.personalizedcause.com/health-awareness-cause-calendar/national-kidney-month)

It is estimated, by the National Kidney Foundation, that over 26 million American adults have kidney disease and a large percentage of them do not even know that they have it until the
disease has progressed significantly and symptoms begin to present themselves.
Kidney Disease is not always preventable but there are ways to assist with prevention or at least, slow progression and assist with treatment.
(https://www.kidney.org/news/national-kidney-month-take-five-your-kidneys)

Last week, we discussed how living with a chronic illness, such as kidney disease, can cause an individual to feel helpless over many variables that are outside of their control. Yet, the good news is that there are many factors that are within your control, such as quality of life and a healthy, clean environment that can positively impact your mental health.

For the remaining weeks of March, we will discuss other topics regarding National Kidney Month and how Fresh Nest Cleaning is excited to be apart of contributing to the research and
awareness of Kidney Disease by donating 10% of March profits towards the National Kidney Foundation.

How A Clean Home Makes It Easier To Live With A Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness or living with a loved one with a chronic illness impacts your entire life. A couple years ago, one of the loved ones on the Fresh Nest team experienced a chronic illness that resulted in his second life saving kidney transplant. However, while we waited for his match, we had to undergo daily medical procedures that were incredibly stressful and time consuming. It affected all of us in all areas of our lives. Financially, spiritually, time, physically and emotionally. Many of the areas impacted were outside of our control. From interaction with others experiencing similar situations, we know that we are not alone in this experience. How you or your loved one is feeling physically and the resulting physical limitations, can perhaps be comforted and assisted with symptom management, but cannot be remedied.

But you do have control over many things, and it is important to feel empowered in those areas.

It is easy to measure and acknowledge our physical limitations, we don’t really have a choice in the matter. If you’re physically bed-ridden, for example, you won’t be expected to perform a task that would require you to be out of bed. Yet, we often ignore our mental health and the importance of caring for our emotional well-being during trying times of chronic illness.

One area, we often neglect to contribute to our mental health is our environment. A 2016 in-depth study by researcher, Catherine A. Roster, found that, “Clutter has a strong negative impact on feelings of security, safety and other positive emotional benefits derived from a sense of psychological home…including subjective well-being.” Roster, Catherine & Ferrari, Joseph & Jurkat, Martin. (2016). In other words, it would be difficult to maintain a positive outlook about factors outside of your control, when in a cluttered and dirty environment.  

With Fresh Nest, we believe that an orderly and clean home is a key factor in health. We want to assist others in improving their quality of life. We strive for open communication to create personalized plans of either one time or weekly, bi-weekly and monthly cleaning that not only ensures a sanitary environment but assists with tackling the details of cleaning so you can focus on the more important things going on in your life.

Whether you are occupied with caregiving for another or are experiencing an illness, yourself, you have a lot going on and deserve to have a stress-free, clean and sanitary home. Take control over one area by delegating the cleaning to Fresh Nest. We are honored to be a part of your process in healing.

 

How to prevent germs from spreading during back to school season

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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!

Reasons why you should hire a housekeeper during the school year

BackToSchool

August is flying by and the stores have all the back to school items displayed and ready to go. Many families are planning on going back to school shopping soon to get ready for the new school year, but in the chaotic preparations that often happen with going back to school, parents and guardians can neglect housework. That means once the kids are gone during the day, you’re left scrambling to clean up and get the house back in order.

That’s just the beginning, though.

August and September can be busy with back to school events, but the rest of the year is bound to get even more crazy with meetings, sporting events, music lessons and anything else that your kids are actively involved in.  If the idea of cleaning your house in the middle of crazy school weeks brings you a sense of dread, we can help! Here are some reasons why you should hire a housekeeper during the school year.

Reason #1: You’re overloaded at work.
Once the kids are done with summer break, chances are, you’re able to get back into the swing of things at work a little more. If you’re working full time, it is likely that the last thing you want to do is scrub toilets or floors on your days off. Having a house keeper come once or twice a month can be incredibly beneficial in reducing your load and minimizing your stress.

Reason #2: You’re not home that often.
Dance recitals, family events, late work meetings, and sports practice…sound familiar? Having your kids in school and in several activities at the same time, while balancing work life can be a lot. The stress level is bound to increase when you’re not home often and unable to decompress as much as you’d like. Having a house cleaner will help reduce your stress level, keep you less frazzled, and will allow you to check one of the regular house cleaning “to-do” off your list, which means you have more time to do what you need to do.

Life happens fast. There is always something going on to occupy your attention and sometimes it’s just easier to not have to think about the cleaning that needs to happen in your home. Besides, what’s better than coming home to a freshly cleaned home? We argue that there’s nothing quite like it. Our team at Fresh Nest Cleaning offers superior cleaning services for homes and businesses all around Clark County and parts of Portland. So, before school starts and you’re in the midst of school drop offs and pickups, 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

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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

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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!