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3 Ways to Save Time Planning a Party

April 18, 2014

Do you have a reason to celebrate? Planning on throwing a party? We can help!

Here are three ways to save time planning a party that will reduce stress and allow you to maximize the amount of time with your guests.

04182014 At a party 3 Ways to Save Time Planning a Party

  1. Set the table in advance. Most of your food preparation and cooking will take place the day of the party. One good way to save time is to set out all of the items that don’t need to be refrigerated a day ahead of time. This will allow you to relax when it’s time for guests to arrive.
  2. Ask for help. Believe it or not, most people enjoy feeling a part of something, even if it involves chore-like tasks. Use this to your advantage and ask a few guests to help you orchestrate a memorable party! Make it a team effort. There is no reason to feel stressed and do it all yourself.
  3. Make a signature cocktail in a pitcher. Making your very own drink will allow you to save time and money, and is often a big hit among guests. People appreciate creativity and thoughtfulness. Have fun with this!

Like to save time? Check out our What Is Your Time Worth? calculator to find out how much time Molly Maid’s cleaning services could help you save.

Looking to save time in other ways? Read our Ways to Save Time section on the Molly Maid website.

Have a time saving tip of your own? Tell us in the comments section below!

Motivating Kids to Clean & Do Chores

April 16, 2014

kids cleaning bathroom 300x203 Motivating Kids to Clean & Do Chores

In Molly Maid’s recent Cleaning Confessions Survey, more than 2,000 people responded and shared 80 percent of women do all the cleaning at home! Considering all the other tasks on mom’s never-ending To Do list, it’s time to get kids involved in the household chores.

Think about projects your kids can help with and hold them accountable on a chore chart so everyone at home has more free time to enjoy warmer weather that has finally arrived!

  • Microfiber dust cloths do not require cleaning solution and an 8-year-old can easily wipe end tables and the entertainment center.
  • Clearing magazines and catalogs from the living room makes your space much more visually appealing and kids learn to organize and put art supplies away in kindergarten.
  • Handheld vacuums make hair and debris removal on bathroom tile floors a breeze. Give your tween daughter the task that she will use into adulthood!

Making the chart is the first step and the closer is to promote why they should want to help with house cleaning! Try giving compliments for behaviors you want to encourage for the future. Think about the last positive remark someone made about you — receiving compliments fees great, is extremely memorable and kids love it.

In a Family Minute article, the No. 4 tip in “10 Compliments for Children is to tell them how much it means when they contribute to help the family. The author says, “kids need to understand that what they do make a difference, that the adults notice and that pitching in is a good part of family life.”

What ideas do you agree with and what works in your household?

3 Ways to Save Time at Work

April 11, 2014

Have you ever heard the saying “time is money?” Well this is especially true at work, which is why it’s important to improve your efficiency so that you can stay ahead of your projects. Here are three ways to up your productivity and save time at work…

04112014 At Work 3 Ways to Save Time at Work

  1. Prioritizing: Critical vs. Important  Do you have a lot of work on your to-do list? There’s an easy way to prioritize your work by dividing it up into two categories: critical and important. The critical tasks are the more time-sensitive jobs. Tackle these first before moving to the important tasks. This technique will not only help you manage your time better, but will also increase your work performance.
  2. Email Time Management  Most people leave their email open all day at work, and respond to messages as soon as they are received even if they are working on an unrelated project. This can be detrimental to your work efficiency. We suggest scheduling dedicated email times throughout the day. This will reduce distractions, making you much more productive.
  3. Planning Ahead – One of the best ways to save valuable time at you workplace is to have a strict game plan for the next day. This allows you to have a clear picture of what your day should look like. If you stick to the plan, you are certain to have a more productive day.

Curious about how many hours cleaning can add to your precious time? Use our What’s Your Time Worth? calculator to find out.

Complete List of Window Cleaning Supplies

April 8, 2014

cleaning supplies kit 300x256 Complete List of Window Cleaning SuppliesForget window cleaner and a roll of paper towel – you’ll just end up pushing dirt around and leaving smudges behind. Here’s what you need to really clean those windows this spring…

List of Window Cleaning Supplies

Soft-bristled brush — Before choosing a brush, hold it in your hand as you would when cleaning windows. Is it a comfortable fit? It should be, especially if you have a great number of windows in your home.

High-quality squeegee — Opt for one with a metal frame that will last for years to come and with a replaceable rubber blade. The size squeegee you get depends on the type of windows you have. For picture windows, a 12-inch tool works best. If you have multi-pane windows, measure the pane before you go shopping to ensure the squeegee will fit inside.

Strip applicator with cloth head — This tool looks like a squeegee but has a cloth strip instead of rubber. Again, get the size that suits your type of window.

Fine steel wool or cleansing powder with oxalic acid — Both will remove mineral stains.

Nylon scrubbing pad — If you have bug droppings or tree pitch on your windows, have one of these tools handy.

Bucket — Stick to a smaller size, one that allows you to easily move it from window to window and to carry it up a ladder.

Ladder — Choose a sturdy one with a platform on which to set your bucket.

Dishwashing liquid or white vinegar — Either will get the job done.

Lint-free rags — Use new rags to avoid leaving streaks behind or be sure to dry your rags without fabric softener, as it can transfer its residue to your windows.

Rubber gloves — Protect your hands from the drying effects of cleaning solutions.

Window Cleaning Image 300x107 Complete List of Window Cleaning SuppliesHow to Wash Exterior Windows

  1. Mix your cleaning solution. Add one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to every two gallons of hot water for a soapy cleaner. Avoid the urge of adding more soap – the more soap, the more residue could be left behind. If opting to use white vinegar, mix two cups water with 1/4 cup white vinegar.
  2. Use the soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt or webs from the window.
  3. Dip the strip applicator in the cleaning solution, then wring excess solution from the tool.
  4. Scrub the glass with the strip applicator, switching to the nylon scrubbing pad when necessary to remove all dirt and debris.
  5. Squeegee the window clean. How you do this depends on which method works best for you. Some find that starting at the top and pulling the tool straight down works best, while others prefer to work horizontally. Still others use the reverse-S pattern to clear windows of solution. Try each way to see which you like best, but with all be sure to start with a wet squeegee to avoid blade skipping, overlap passes and wipe the squeegee clean after each swipe with a lint-free cloth.
  6. Dry frames and panes with a lint-free cloth.

When washing windows inside, place a towel at the bottom to keep any dripping water from hitting your floors.

Budget five to 10 minutes for each side of a window in your home. If you have multiple stories or a significant number of windows, you may want to consider outsourcing this particular cleaning task. Working on a ladder can be dangerous for those not used to doing so, and you also may have other ways you want to spend your precious free time. More tips to wash windows like a pro!

3 Ways to Save Time on the Weekends

April 4, 2014
save time on the weekend

After a long and busy week, the weekend is fortunately just hours away.

The weekend is a time for us to rest, recharge and spend valuable time with those we love. However, do you often feel just as busy on the weekends as you do during the week? At Molly Maid, we want to help you feel relaxed and stress-free on your days off. You deserve it!

Here are three simple ways on how to save time on the weekends and make the most of your days off:

 

  1. Have a plan for next week. The weekend is a time for you to have fun, relax and totally unplug. By simply spending a few minutes of your weekend planning for the upcoming week, you can save a ton of time and stress when the new week arrives! Having meals planned, schedules organized, carpool set, etc. will save you hassle, time and stress down the road.
  2. Prioritize your weekend to-do list. Whether you like it or not, there are typically still projects that need to be done on the weekend. We suggest that you do the most difficult, time-consuming task first! Once you have it out of the way, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your weekend in peace.
  3. It’s okay to say “no”! Remember what matters most to you. By having your priorities in check, you will better understand how to allocate your time. When you say no, make sure you’re being transparent about why you need to say no, and most of the time, people will commend your honesty

For more of Molly Maid’s time saving tips, be sure to check out the Save Time section of our website.

Curious about how many hours cleaning can add to your precious time? Use our What’s Your Time Worth? calculator to find out.

Spring Cleaning Tips – 3 Quick and Easy Ways to Clean-Up Faster!

March 31, 2014

Cleaning Confessions logo 300x168 Spring Cleaning Tips   3 Quick and Easy Ways to Clean Up Faster!

The trick to tackling an overwhelming task is to make a plan and gather the tools for the job before you begin. In Molly Maid’s recent Cleaning Confessions Survey, nearly half of the 2,000+ respondents said they don’t typically spring clean their homes… wowza! In most areas of the country, windows and doors have been sealed shut for several months due to one of the worst winters in history. Molly Maid has three spring cleaning tips help you tackle the chore:

1. Prioritize the rooms and items to clean first while your resolve is high! The kitchen, family room and bathrooms are the most dreaded rooms to clean as clutter, dust and grime definitely build up over time. Approach each space systematically and remove toys, shoes, magazines and items left behind first. Then, clean and dust, lastly vacuum and sweep and mop floors to ensure downed debris is eliminated!

2. Cleaning tools such as a squeegee, microfiber cloths and mop, and empty laundry basket can save you a lot of time removing dust, gathering items left around the house and removing the dirty film from shower walls and outdoor windows. While everyone’s in the midst of college basketball madness, encourage kids of all ages in your household to take the laundry container to each room, and shoot and score with those socks, slippers and stuffed animals left on the couch!

3. Get everyone involved to save your sanity! This isn’t a job anyone should do on their own if you have roommates, kids or a significant other. Turn on some fun music. iTunes radio has so many stations including iTunes Weekly Top 50 – Pop, Country, Alternative, Rock and several options under Decades, as well, to name a few upbeat stations to help keep everyone’s energy and mood up! Kids as young as four years old are capable of pulling out a trash bag from a small waste can and six year olds love to sweep! Download a free kid’s chore chart and customize it with the tasks you need help with!

Spring Cleaning: The Comprehensive Room-by-Room Checklist

March 19, 2014

Why do we deep clean our homes each spring? Multiple theories exist, with popular ones pointing to the tradition of doing so for centuries in the Jewish faith and Chinese culture. No matter the origin, we spring clean because in most cases, it needs to be done. We tend to get a bit lazy in the wintertime, after all.

Use this comprehensive room-by-room checklist to ensure you don’t miss a spot this year:

Kitchen

This room requires the deepest cleaning, so start with it to ensure you tackle it when at full steam.

  • kitchen cleaning oven Spring Cleaning: The Comprehensive Room by Room ChecklistTake all washable items—dish towels, pot holders and rugs—to the laundry room and start a load. Bring any rugs you can’t wash outside for a good shake.
  • Dust any blinds and clean any windows.
  • Remove all food from the freezer and quickly wipe down surfaces with a cloth dampened with diluted cleaning solution; don’t forget the seals where food debris can hide. Toss anything past its expiration date and put remaining items back inside. Do the same with the fridge. Be sure to remove bins and wash them with soapy water. Wipe down the exterior of the appliance.
  • Remove all burner covers or pans from the stovetop and shelves from the oven. Soak them in soapy water in the sink. Wipe down all surfaces on and in the appliance. You may need a more heavy-duty cleaner for the oven, or you can opt to set the self-cleaning cycle but be sure to get kids and pets out of the house while it runs as the fumes can be a health hazard for them.
  • Place a glass bowl filled with diluted vinegar in the microwave. Heat on high for five minutes. This will loosen any spills and splatters. Remove the glass plate and place in the soapy water in your sink. Wipe down all surfaces on and in the appliance.
  • Wipe down all cabinetry and countertops with products made for their material.
  • Sweep and mop the floor, with a product made for its material, pulling appliances away from the wall to get to all areas.
  • Once your floors are dry, return to rinse off the stovetop, oven and microwave pieces and put the appliances back together. Replace freshly washed or vacuumed rugs and any other laundered items.

Living Room

  • canister vacuum cleaner 208x300 Spring Cleaning: The Comprehensive Room by Room ChecklistTake all washable items—furniture or pillow covers and rugs—to the laundry room and start a load. Bring any rugs you can’t wash outside for a good shake.
  • Dust entire room from top to bottom, including ceiling fan, ceiling corners, trim, tops of doors, blinds, all furniture and lamps. Clean any windows.
  • Vacuum all upholstered furniture.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor, moving furniture to get all areas. Dust mop if appropriate. Replace freshly washed or vacuumed rugs and any other laundered items.

Bedrooms

  • Take all washable items—comforter, sheets, pillowcases, mattress cover and rugs—to the laundry room and start a load. Bring any rugs you can’t wash outside for a good shake.
  • Dust entire room from top to bottom, including ceiling fan, ceiling corners, trim, tops of doors, blinds, all furniture and lamps. Clean any windows.
  • Freshen your mattress by sprinkling it with baking soda and letting it sit for an hour.
  • Vacuum all upholstered furniture. Take a break until you reach an hour after you put down the baking soda, and then vacuum it up.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor, moving furniture to get all areas. Dust mop if appropriate. Replace freshly washed or vacuumed rugs and any other laundered items.

Bathrooms

  • detailed bathroom cleaning2 Spring Cleaning: The Comprehensive Room by Room ChecklistTake all washable items—bath towels and rugs—to the laundry room and start a load. Bring any rugs you can’t wash outside for a good shake.
  • Sweep or vacuum bathroom floor.
  • Spray shower/tub walls and floor, and toilet, with desired cleaning solutions and let sit.
  • Dust any blinds and clean any windows and mirrors. Do the same for any countertop containers.
  • Wipe down all cabinetry and countertops with products made for their material.
  • Scrub shower/tub walls and floor, plus toilet, with a hard-bristle brush, then rinse.
  • Mop the floor with a product made for its material. Replace freshly washed or vacuumed rugs and any laundered items when dry.

Laundry Room

  • cleaning supplies kit 300x256 Spring Cleaning: The Comprehensive Room by Room ChecklistAfter your last load during spring cleaning, tackle this room.
  • Dust entire room from top to bottom, including ceiling corners, trim, tops of doors and any blinds. Remove items from any shelves to clean underneath and behind. Clean any windows.
  • Pull the lint screen from your dryer. Remove any lint, then place in a sink filled with hot soapy water to soak.
  • Run a load with just 1 cup of vinegar added to the water.
  • Wipe down your washer and dryer with a damp cloth.
  • Scrub lint screen to remove residue from dryer sheets, allow to air-dry, then replace in appliance.
  • Sweep and mop the floor with a product made for its material.

If you’re exhausted just reading this list or simply don’t want to spend your free time cleaning, consider hiring Molly Maid this year. Professional cleaners save the average family a full four days per year! Don’t believe us? Check out our What’s Your Time Worth Calculator

 For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

Family House Cleaning Schedule – A Weekly Schedule to Keep it Clean!

March 10, 2014

Utilizing a family house cleaning schedule can help make sure certain chores don’t fall through the cracks. For the days when Molly Maid doesn’t come to clean, those heavily trafficked areas of the home, like the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and living room, still need to be cleaned, washed, and/or picked-up.

Our kid chore charts are a perfect start to outlining a family cleaning schedule – adults can use them, too! Our charts include versions containing tasks/chores, and blank versions so you can fill-in your own like the one below. Just click here, download the PDF of your choice, and fill it out! Not sure what to put down for daily/weekly chores…? Keep scrolling for our suggestions…

KIDS CHORE CHART EDITS REV Family House Cleaning Schedule   A Weekly Schedule to Keep it Clean!

Some of the chores we recommend adding to your family house cleaning schedule include the following:

  • Loading/Unloading Dishwasher
  • Tidying Bedroom/Living Room
  • Taking Out the Trash
  • Starting/Folding Laundry
  • Feeding/Walking Pets

What are some chores you would need to add to your family house cleaning schedule? Tell us in the comments section below!

How to Clean Wood Floors | Best Dust Mops for Wood Floors

March 3, 2014

Hardwood floors add charm and beauty to any home. They require special care, though, to remain scratch-free and looking their best. Keep reading to learn how to clean wood floors…

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

The first rule of caring for hardwood floors is, “Dust mop often.” Dirt and dust particles can scratch your floors when dragged underneath shoes and trapped below rugs. Using a dust mop instead of a broom allows you to attract and collect dirt, as opposed to pushing it across the floor surface and potentially scratching it.

canister vacuum cleaner 208x300 How to Clean Wood Floors | Best Dust Mops for Wood FloorsYou can also use a vacuum on hardwood floors, but be sure to use the bare-floor setting, which lifts the beater bar, another potential cause of scratches. Dust mopping gets dust and debris from areas a vacuum can’t reach, and a vacuum has the power to lift the same from between boards, which a dust mop does not always do.

To clean sealed hardwood floors more deeply, use a damp mop with a solution of water and a hardwood floor cleaning solution of your choice. If you recently had new wood floors installed, the manufacturer can recommend products specific to the type of wood and finish.

Finally, to reduce the frequency of cleaning, and therefore the potential for scratches, place runners and area rugs with slip-resistant backings in entry and high-traffic areas. This cuts down on the amount of dirt and debris that makes it onto your floors. It also wouldn’t hurt to have residents and guests remove shoes at the door, especially during winter weather that brings with it the use of damaging road salt.

Dust Mops for Wood Floors

floor mop 300x223 How to Clean Wood Floors | Best Dust Mops for Wood Floors

Photo Credit: Rubbermaid Products on Flickr

As mentioned above, the best tool for cleaning hardwood floors is a dust mop, but you may be new to this type of flooring and this type of mop. A dust mop consists of a handle and base with a soft cover. The handle typically swivels, making it easy to move around the floor. Covers come in cotton and synthetic materials.

Cotton covers attract a fair amount of dirt and dust particles. There are cleaning solutions available that help to grab even more, but do not use them on hardwood floors as they leave behind a residue that actually attracts dirt and dust. You either shake loose what you’ve picked up or toss the cover in the washing machine.

Synthetic fiber covers contain yarn or plastic fibers, with microfiber using very fine fibers. This type of cover uses static electricity to attract more dirt and dust particles than cotton. They also shake loose or go into the washing machine for cleaning, and they get cleaner in the wash and last longer than the natural material. Cotton covers are less expensive than microfiber but cost more in the long run because of how much more frequently you must replace them.

No matter which type of dust mop you choose, start the floor cleaning process by taking all runners and area rugs outside to shake or into the laundry room to wash. Place the dust mop on the floor against one wall. Push the mop around the perimeter of the room, keeping it on the floor and working your way to the center.

Once at the center with all surfaces mopped, pick up any dirt and dust particles pushed there with a dustpan or broom, or you can vacuum as noted above with the beater bars off. Then carefully take your dust mop outdoors to shake, and then into the laundry room if it requires further cleaning. Replace runners and area rugs.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

What is Microfiber & Why is it a Superior Dusting and Cleaning Cloth?

February 26, 2014

We love microfiber at Molly Maid. It’s an excellent dusting tool that collects and traps dust and dirt. Instead of using the old-school method of feather dusters or cotton cloths where one is simply moving dust from one place to another – microfiber actually helps in removing dust from your home. But what is microfiber? And why does it work so well? Keep reading to learn more…

microfiber dust cloth What is Microfiber & Why is it a Superior Dusting and Cleaning Cloth?
The tiny wedges of the microfiber cloth are what allows the cleaning tool to trap dust and dirt. The simple diagram below outlines the difference between microfiber and a standard cotton cleaning cloth. Notice the dust and dirt particles actually collect within the microfiber cloth (top) where the cotton cloth (bottom) simply moves the particles as opposed to trapping and keeping them.

Microfiber vs Cotton What is Microfiber & Why is it a Superior Dusting and Cleaning Cloth?

Microfiber vs. Cotton

 

Not only does microfiber help with dusting, it also reduces streaking on glass and chrome. Because microfiber is made from polyester as opposed to cotton, there is less residue to leave on services. If you plan on using microfiber between Molly Maid cleaning visits, be sure to use a smooth textured cloth for glass and chrome. More heavily textured “scrubby” type microfiber cloths are perfect for cleaning areas like kitchen and bathroom countertops where stuck-on food particles and dried-up toothpaste require a bit more elbow grease.

Microfiber is great but there are a few things to note when washing them. Be sure to use a cooler setting for your dryer as hot air can ruin the microfiber texture and grooves. Also, don’t use fabric softener as this will reduce their dust trapping effectiveness.

What do you think of microfiber? Tell us in the comments section below.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area

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