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!

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

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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!

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!