I booked my annual trip over to stay with best chum in cyprus some months ago. In fact the cheap fares came out back in October and as always, I went into the panic ticket sourcing frenzy in the belief that if I didn’t book and pay for them there and then, I might miss the best bargain. Well that excitement well out of the way, I looik forward daily, to my two weeks of blissful warmth and relaxation. I don’t have any housework tasks over there but I do like to try and help. I clean the ensuite in my guest bedroom and sweep around the swimming pool – wipe around the patio set to get the daily dust showers removed. It really is so relaxing over there but to listen to my chum in the weeks preceding my arrival, it always sounds like a lot of hard work.
Ho ho what a joy this warmer weather is turning out to be. Only 3 days into a total improvement on recent weeks but of such magnitude that it’s almost worth making a song and dance of it! A relative has got two dogs. One is a tall but neatly slim labrador and the other is a shorter and compact border collie. They’re literally fit as a butcher’s dog – pun intended. They form the fast half of a quartet of flyball participants and go training every Saturday and Tuesday eve. So great dollops of wet mud and muck come trailling into the car, hallway, lounge . . . . . . . It is amazing though how much muck comes off the dogs just sitting on their rough blankets in the dog compartment of the huge family car. When they get home, it’s all hands on trying to get them into the house without shedding any mess. A professional carpet cleaning exercise ensues every month.
Nothing signals the need for a really good carpet cleaning session than when you’ve had your grand children over – well apart from having some dogs to stay who don’t normally inflict themselves on your calm orderly home! There is something amazing about the speed and the spread of the mess that occurs after a long walk out in the countryside when you’ve had a winter’s day full of rain and slushy mud. I have this double occurence occasionally – only twice a year it must be said, but by golly I need help then. I always engage the services of a dedicated carpet cleaning agency – they really do have the right equipment and the experience to get deep down, the hairs come off the furniture too with some of their know how. If I don’t do this, I’m forever finding a vacuum full of dog hair for the next month.
There hae been some truly amazing things happen in this house in the several years I’ve owned it. Children causing the odd food based issue and maybe the odd toileting mishap. Each of these were dealt with by way of swift bowl of warm cleaning solution and scrubbing brush. The same can be said for the many calamaties occuring when my partner used to take apart car engines in the integral garage and forget to leave the messy bits on the bench when he came in for a cuppa! The latest and interestingly, hardest to deal with, has been the mess when I’ve been pet minding for my son. Two great hounds and hey the house is filled with hair and the most incredible amount of mud. But I have a wonderful relationship with the best cleaning company in the world and they get the mess removed and condition my carpets, furniture and humour for a very reasonable fee!
We have a small family and we are rather spread around, no one lives close to any of the other members and so each meet up is rather special and takes quite a bit of organising. There’s always someone away or on duty when a date is suggested. That is why a particular gathering last Autumn was such a total success. It began as a suggestion for an only grandaughter to celebrate their 30th birthday with a small party. Just a handful of folk perhaps with a barbeque and buffet. Well once the list was made up of who the lass actually wanted at the party, it snowballed to include those who really should be there etc. In the end it was a fabulous reunion for 3 or 4 branches of the family . Exactly the kind of ‘do’ that needs the premises spotlessly clean and presentable. With the professional help available it was easy peasy, lemon squeasy, as they say.
All throughout the spring and summer months we rarely think about snow, ice, slushy dirty stuff that’s left around after the first hard snow of the winter months. Once the initial excitement has disappeared, the snowmen lean lopsidedly in the middle of a green and white patchy lawn, the slush ends up on boots, in boots, on cats, dogs, small children, and eventually in the house. It’s incredible just how far this mucky stuff managed to spread. The use of industrial granulated salt is critical to get driving or walking without slipping on the ice, but as that melts away, it all ends up really filthy and black. Trying to get that out of a cream or honey coloured hall carpet i s no joke. I have found the best method is to engage a dedicated carpet and home cleaning agency – it has revolutionised my entire being, such efficiency for so little outlay!
Oh the joys of having small children around. It can be alarming just how quickly a nine month old baby can eject herself around the room – from just sitting noisily in a bouncy chair where the tray could be wiped down constantly, the sofa and all she can survey have suddenly become one grubby and germ filled playground!
At this point we realised much more cleaning needed to be done – the baby had already found sticky bits of paper down the sides of the sofa – thanks to grandpa and his toffee habit. then there was the incident with the hot cup of tea on the edge of the coffee table. No harm done to either apart from the pool of hot wet liquid rapidly sinking through the carpet. Once baby and all her stuff had gone, I booked a professional total house clean so I could keep it pretty clean in between visits.
I have my daughter’s pups over quite regularly, they are a bit of a mischief it has to be said, but their unconditional love and affection back to me make up for any little indiscretions that occur. I have only ever had a cat in the past, not a lot of cleaning needed with old Tom. The odd ginger hair to be swept up here and there, but not the massive vacuuming job that I do when my two furry grandchildren have gone back home.
The way to keep the house in some sort of order is to confine the pupsters to just two rooms and not let them upstairs at all. I find this system helps me no end, I just keep them where there’s a hard floor, easily mopped, and their sleeping quarters are near the vacuum cleaner cupboard. Not letting them up on the bedrooms make great sense – Sorted!
One of the main tools for cleaning carpets and other flooring in your home is to use a vacuum cleaner. In years gone by, homeowners had to use a broom and a dustpan to collect dirt and throw it away. Vacuum cleaners have made the job much less hard work, and are more efficient at picking up dust and dirt.
A good vacuum cleaner will be powerful enough to suck up all the grime on your floors. If you have pets which shed pet hair all over, you’ll need to look for a cleaner which advertises as being good for pet hair. This is important for those with hair allergies – the vacuum cleaner can help reduce symptoms.
Another feature to look out for is the number of attachments it has. It is useful to have a crevice tool to help you get into narrow spaces, an extending hose and upholstery attachments. These will help you keep your whole house clean and dust free.
If you have stairs in your house, it might be worth looking for a ligherweight vacuum cleaner so it is easier to get up and down the stairs with it. Some upright cleaners are difficult to manoever on the stairs, so look for a more compact cleaner.
I was lucky enough to attend a family party held in the club house of a very nice, family friendly sailing club. It was a real treat to be able to spread ourselves about, outside on the decking, picnic tables and chairs along the verandah overlooking the huge lake made it an absolutely fabulous venue.
The drawback is the kitchen – it had facilities to cater for up to 150 people with all the crockery, cooking implements and everything stacked in massive great stainless steel cabinets, just as you would find in a hotel setting. The cleaning up is left to the hirer or committee members. There are not the same rules and regulations in place, just guidance notes on hygiene matters and all that. This is where a professional cleaning company does such a fabulous job – they steam clean from top to bottom, a thoroughly efficient job giving absolute peace of mind.
The need to clear up after a family has descended on your house is always a bit of a shock after the last of the gang has waved their thanks on their way home. You go back into the once calm and tidy sitting room and notice for the first time, all the crisps and sausage roll remains ground into the carpet. The odd glass of red that has gone over the carpet near the window. Then the unmistakable signs of food spread uncaringly around the stairwell and as you go back upstairs to the recently vacated guest rooms, there is all the stripping of bedding and laundry to attend to.
Well fear not. The best way to deal with this is to see to the guest bedding and laundry yourself but to get a professional cleaning company in to sort out the rest. Their expertise brings rapid results and calm is restored!
Party season can be quite busy in a household with several generations in it. I know one family where the youngest is 5 and the eldest is 95 years old – and they all share one massive great house. The intermediate generations are gregarious and seriously outgoing folk. A touch of celebrity about them comes from one grand-daughter who married a guitarist in a minor rock band – which helps maintain the family tradition of being party people.
I have been tere when they’ve celebrated big anniversaries, small baby ones, massive summer holiday picnic parties etc. etc. They have carpets throughout the lower floors too. They also have a fantastic household help and separate cleaning lady who between them keep the wheels firmly on the wagon. The 6 monthly special ‘bottoming out’ is done by an external agency of long standing. They have expertise in cleaning carpets and funishings to a fabulously high degree. And keeping this family partying is priceless!
Needing to get the home, and particularly well trodden fitted carpets spruced up for a possible house move exercise is quite a mind numbing proposition. When you think of the average sized family house, there is a heck of a lot of carpet to be dealt with. It is possible of course to hire one of the industrial sized machined and do the job yourself. I say it’s possible, but in reality, the amount of effort that is needed for this to be achieved anywhere near satisfactorily is qustionnable. There is the fetching the machine – lugging it to and getting it in the car. And out at your home. Then each area to be cleaned really needs expert vacuuming and sponging down first. The machines are hard work – very heavy and not easy to move.
Using a professional carpet cleaning agent is so much better – they do a fantastic job with carpets, soft furnishings and sometimes, curtains, coming up so beautifully – almost like new!
Far more dreadful things happen to my household carpets than I should really own up to. There are the instances where the children managed to sneak next door’s rabbit hutch in through the french doors to the dining room; that little episode ended rather badly – with more currants of rabbit pooh than any of us thought possible. The situation was not helped when the cat decided he didn’t like the look of the rabbit. Fur of all sorts and squeals galore were the order of the day.
Since that I have come home to find the older children holding an impromptu and definitely not permitted indoor picnic party to celebrate someone or other’s birthday – the first tin of cola over the floor was mopped up quite effectively, subsequent ones not, nor was the food scraped off too well. The answer here was a weekend visit by the best professional carpet cleaners known to mankind – heaven sent magic!
You cannot imagine the mess that seemed to land all over the place on a recent sleepover at my place. What? and How? are two valid questions here. The sleeper wasn’t a grandson or nephew, although with the amount of mess , you could be thinking that. No, this dirt depositor was in fact a teenage yellow labrador pupster. My word, having not been exposed to family dog ownership at all throughout my life, the mess generated during a visit stunned me.
It’s impossible to stay cross for long though, that look of innocent wonder at my sudden shouty hissy fit made me melt into fits of giggles when I came home from a quick shopping trip to find he had undone his safety gate and was now happily upstairs, mooching about my bedroom with the pale cream carpet! Thank heavens for professional cleaning companies – it was a booking to save my sanity and the fee was worth double!
The times when all the family are around in the same house at the same time is not often it has to be said. Mybe at Christmas, the new year, and always at Easter. There was always the regulation clear out in the school holidays – stuff that was not used in the last 12 months would have to be disposed of. Latterly this would involve carting filled bags down the high street to the relevant charity shop. So far so good. These bouts of fervent activity then extended to covering party time, such as when the great grand parents reached an amazing milestone of having been married for 60 years.
This caused massive fall outs amongst the more distant members of the clan – who were unable to help sort the house. The culmination of weeks of angst was to engage a professional cleaning agency who really got to grips with the problem. It was so good, the agency attends weekly – Absolute heaven!
That feeling you get when the wid is rushing through your hair, you’re out on a fabulously cobweb busting, spirit enhancing afternoon jaunt around the local country park or up in the hills. all that fresh air is filling the lungs with the joys of being outside and alive. what on earth could possibly bring the spirit down after that? Well regrettably, many a spirit has been well and truly downed when having got back home and safely in the front door, you realise you haven’t put down the dog’s towel and before you can summonse assistance, the pooch has raced through the lounge and dining room, up the stairs – amazing how quickly he can spread his joy!
This is the time when a professional carpet cleaning agency is just the ticket. They bring the machine to you, and have operative who really know about different carpets and the type of cleaning treatment to apply.
There is a young family near here who moved in a year or so ago. They are always on the go – one child does junior football on Saturday, Mum does Hockey on Monday, toddler joins baby gym and both parent work outside the home too. It really is a full on schedule of activity in that house. The parents seem to be superbly organised about everything – before they had the children, they discussed and agreed which domestic tasks could be outsourced – this was to allow quality parenting time when they were all at home. This arrangement includes grocery shopping and household cleaning.
Two ladies come every Wednesday afternoon and completely ‘do’ the house literally from top to bottom. Everything is cleaned, oven, cooker, washing machine and dishwasher inside and out. It always looks and smells fab in that house, with an the air of calm serenity of a well ordered house. Well worth the cleaning fee alone.
Well what happened to the summer then – there we all were lazing around, having a great time away on a sunny beach or in the country, renting a lusciously romantic cottage. The days seemed endless and the wonderful sunny weather brought much need cheerfulness all around. Cleaning up and sorting out the house or the office in better weather just seems that bit more fun doesn’t it. The windows trown open and curtains down for a good wash and air on the line. Window blinds are brushed off to within an inch of their lives and generally it all feels much easier to manage in good warm weather.
When autumn takes over from summer, in radiness for winter, this is a good time to clear out cupboards that do not get much attention through the rest of the year – get in there and lug out all that junk from the back of the corner cupboard in the utility room.
When you are responsible for keeping a home clean, it is important that you get into a good routine, for both hygiene reasons and to ensure you don’t get stacked up with chores to do! We have a good guide as to how often different rooms and things should be cleaned, as well as a basic schedule for you to try!
Daily Cleaning Tasks:
Bathroom and kitchen should be cleaned daily – disinfect counters, chopping board and sweep the floor. Wipe over the hob and inside microwave to keep everything clean.
Laundry: Try to do a small wash every day rather than piling it all up for the weekend
Make the beds! This makes a room look much tidier!
Weekly Cleaning Tasks:
Hoover throughout the home. You can split this over different days instead of doing it all in one day!
Thorough bathroom and kitchen clean – really clean everywhere in these rooms for good hygiene
Lounge clean – pick up random stuff and put away, hoover carpets and mop floors
Monthly Cleaning Tasks:
Check if curtains need a clean (once a year should be enough)
Defrost freezer and throw out any bad food
Cleaning the stairs is an important task in your cleaning routine, as the stairs tend to be a high traffic area of the house. It is easy for dirt to get trodden in and it can make your carpet look awful. Here are our top tips for brand spanking new looking stairs!
- Begin by dusting the skirting board and down the bannister to get any muck out.
- Wipe boards and bannister with a damp cloth and some cleaning solution (or use lemon juice) to make them really shine!
- Begin hoovering at the top of the stairs and work your way down. This way, dirt moves down with you, rather than being trodden in as you go up!
- Use the smaller nozzles on your vacuum cleaner to get into the edges.
- Don’t forget to clean the vertical tread of the stairs too!
- Go over the same step in several directions to get the most dirt up.
Relax and admire your newly clean stairway!
You might be worried about the impact your cleaning materials are having on the environment – and with good reason! Everytime we use chemicals in our cleaning routine, we are washing lots of dangerous things down our plugholes and into our water system. There are ways around using dangerous chemicals though, so try out our tips for using natural and kitchen basics in your cleaning!
Vinegar: Great for use with newspapers to clean windows and mirrors – streak free and shiny! Cuts through grease with ease.
Salt: A good item to add to other cleaning products to act as an abrasive.
Lemon: Another acid a bit like vinegar, but smells nicer! Cuts through grease and grime
Bicarbonate of Soda: A gentle abrasive, good for use with lemon juice to clean counter tops and cookers
Cornflour/Cornstarch: good for soaking up wet spills on carpets and upholstery before stain removing!
If you have decided to hire a cleaning company or maid service to keep your home clean, you may not be sure what to expect! Here are our tips to help you know what to do when you housekeeper arrives.
Make a list of chores you want doing. If you are paying by the hour, it is important that your cleaner knows what tasks they are to complete. If they aren’t given a list, they cannot fill their scheduled hours effectively, and this ends up wasting everyone’s time! It is simple as giving a quick list in priority order for them to work through.
Be there when they first arrive, but you do not have to stay. Most cleaners are happy to get on while you are home, but it is not necessary to stay in the house all the time. As long as someone is there to let them in and hand over a list of tasks, that should be enough. You might want to be there when they leave so they can debrief you on what they did and if there were any issues or problems.
Any time you have any issues with your cleaner, it is best to mention it to them and if you cannot resolve with them directly, go back to the agency. You do not want bad feeling to fester!
Lemons are a highly useful addition to your cleaning cupboard stash! There are a multitude of uses for this wonder fruit. Here are some great ways to use lemons in your household cleaning.
- Use lemon as a worktop cleaner: pour a little salt over your chopping boards and use half a lemon straight on top. The salt acts a bit like sandpaper and the acid in the lemon cleans your boards nicely.
- Use on mirrors and glass: mix lemon juice with a bit of water and spray onto mirrors and buff to a high shine
- Freshen up: the lemon scent is refreshing and ideal for spritzing about the house – mix with water and pour into a spray bottle and spray around
- Naturally whitening: use lemon juice as a natural whitening solution for white fabrics. Try soaking whites in lemon juice prior to washing
There are lots of ways to use household items instead of chemical cleaning products. Keep an eye out for the next wonderful idea in our blog!