Archive for June, 2008

Places to Take Unused “Stuff” that Serves as Clutter

By:  Cathy Green

I recently walked into a beautiful home located on a beautiful street in an absolutely beautiful neightborhood. The purpose was to complete an in home estimate to determine price for cleaning the house.

The second I walked through the door, the vision of beauty melted into a vision of clutter—too much stuff gone wild. All types of “stuff” on the tables and couches and chairs. Every room dissolved into a place for storage.

UpperCrust Maids, LLC envisions itself as more than just a run-of-the-mill cleaning company that cleans a home every two weeks and runs off to clean another. Part of what sets us apart is that we personalize each home. And as the owners of the business, my husband and I view each and every home as our own personal responsibility. Yes, we do turn the homes over to employees to take care of on our behalf—-but much like one would turn over their personal car to be cleaned. We never give up “ownership” of the houses that we accept to clean. They are “our” houses that we entrust to our employees to keep clean on “our company’s” behalf.

We do our part. We are quick to re-train or even dismiss an employee who does not take care of your home to the high standards that we set. However, in turn, we desire that our clients do their part. That is, once we share tips with you regarding your home, we ask that you follow through. And unlike most cleaning companies, we do share tips where necessary.

We don’t accept every cluttered house for cleaning. But when we do accept a cluttered home into our fold, we work one-on-one with the home owner to guide him/her towards becoming less cluttered or totally de-cluttered.

Clutter is not a good thing—which is why I write about clutter so often. Below are a few websites that offer places where you can get rid of at least some of your clutter:

Title Trader

Goodwill

Freecycle

Salvation Army 

ChanceXChange

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Cleaning the Eerie House

By:  Cathy Green

Every now and then my company encounters a home that falls into the category of “eerie”. Eerie in the sense that for no known reason, we cannot get it clean. I know that sounds strange. It is strange.

Generally, we can trace the etiology of difficult to clean spaces. For example, some homes never really look clean because the furniture or floors are in poor condition. Some homes are in need of a thorough paint job and the damaged, scuffed baseboards and walls give the impression that the house is in need of a cleaning. Other houses are cluttered, and even though it may be freshly cleaned, it may not appear that way because visitors cannot see past the clutter.

I am not talking about any of the above. What I am talking about is the fact that some houses are impossible to get clean and the reason behind it is unknown.

Early in opening UpperCrust Maids, LLC, my company took on a 1,500 square foot condo. It is difficult to describe the condo beyond saying that it appeared “lifeless”. It was clearly unkept. Nothing in it gave the impression that the person living there cared about the space and quite frankly, it occurred to me that only a person who is unhappy or depressed would live in such a drab residence.

The first crew went in to clean the place and reported that there was a never ending stream of animal and human hair all over the place and that the more they cleaned, the more hair appeared. Hmmm……eerie.

Soap scum on the bathroom soap dishes would not come off no matter how hard the cleaning techs tried. The glass tables and windows remained streaked after numerous attempts to clean them.

A second crew went back a few days later to try again—-since the home owner had called to complain that the place was not much different. We agreed! Crew #2 had no more success than Crew #1. The place looked a little better, but the crew left the house feeling defeated, as there was still too much hair and hair spray stains all over the place. Too many smudges on the windows and mirrors in spite of numerous tries and various products to clean them.

I had to advise the client to find a different cleaning company because it had become obvious that no matter how many different crews we sent in, that condo was never going to appear totally clean.

My hope is that I never again encounter an “eerie” house. And I sincerely hope that you have the type of home that readily comes clean with a little elbow grease. Give us a call today so that we may get you on schedule. We use all natural cleaning products for your protection. Our number is 301-322-7112

Working in a Clean Office

  

By Cathy Green

Very few people are able to concentrate and do their best work in an unclean work space. A dirty, dusty, spotty, cluttered desk does not bode well for the end result of the work being produced.

At UpperCrust Maids, LLC, part of what we do when we enter a home is ensure that the workspace is tidy and clean.

In order to clean your work space, we often do need to move things. To be honest with you, we would prefer that you move the very expensive items from your desk such as the computer so that we may really get in there and clean the desk to a sparkling degree! We want your entire work space to shine.

In addition to cleaning your desk, we take care of the windows and ledges while in your office and we do a quick dusting of the books. We don’t remove books from shelves but we do dust the backs of books. And as much as we can, we dust off the shelves, wipe down your pictures and clean your mirror. We check your light fixtures for dust and your floor of course is cleaned last. 

A few of our clients work from home. It’s up to the client to determine the order in which the office will be cleaned. We would be happy to clean it first or last. Your choice totally. But we do want to get it clean because we don’t want you to work in anything less than a beautiful space.

Give UpperCrust Maids a call today and we can get your home and office space estimated and cleaned. Don’t put off. Let’s get this on the calendar!

Phone:  301-322-7112

Switch from Bar Soap to Liquid Soap

   By Cathy Green

Are you still using the old fashioned bar soap?  If so, why?  I will get straight to the point and say that you honestly should throw out every bar of soap that you have in your home and the reasons are as follows:

a.  Bar soap collects bacteria and when shared, the bacteria passes from person to person. It’s not hygienic

b.  Bar soap creates a gummy mass which sticks to the soap tray and is difficult to clean

c.  Bar soap is out of style

Bottom line is this. You need to switch over to liquid soap. It is hygienic, easy to managage and does not add to the cleaning time.  It can be stored in pretty bottles to ultimately help decorate your bathroom or any other area where you use it.  You should keep some liquid soap any place where you have a sink, including your kitchen sink.

From the perspective of one who owns a cleaning company, I can tell you that clients who have bars of soap in their homes typically end up paying more to have their homes cleaned than do clients who use liquid soap.  Why, you might ask?  It boils down to time.  For first time cleans, we charge by the hour. Soap scum takes a good deal of time to get off and when bars of soap stick to various soap dishes, it may take two or three sessions to get it fully off…or it may never come off.

Why use bar soap? There actually is no good reason.  Where is your nearest trash can?  Go ahead and dump it!

By the way, are you in search of a first rate cleaning establishment to service your home?  Look no further. Call UpperCrust Maids at 301-322-7112 or go to our website at www.uppercrustmaids.com and search the home page for the “Book Now” button.  Doing so will take you directly to our appointment page where you may schedule yourself for an appointment.

We presently service the following areas:

Montgomery County:  Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Laytonsville, Rockville, Silver Spring, Somerset, Takoma Park, Wheaton 

DC – We service the following zip codes:

20001, 20007, 20008, 20009, 20011, 20015, 20016, 20017, 20018, 20019, 20057, 20064

Teaching Children To Clean

   By:  Cathy Green

 I’ll never forget an experience I once had when I went to complete an in home estimate in a home.

The fact that the home had stacks and stacks of out-of-date telephone books all over the place was one issue. The dirt all over the walls was another issue. The clutter was blinding. But what really gave me chills was the fact that every floor in the house was being used as a trash can.

Upon entering the bedroom of the child of the house (she was eight years old) I was struck by the trash and filthy condition of her bedroom. It was clear that the child had not been taught anything about hygiene or the importance of cleaning up after one self.

Children are like sponges. They take in whatever they are taught. And if a child sees his parents throwing trash on the floors, the child will learn to do likewise.

As soon as a child is able to get around and comprehend instructions, that child should be taught to do small things such as:

* Wipe up spills

* Put away toys

* Place dirty clothes in laundry basket

And for fun, allow the child to sweep the floor with a child sized broom. Buy the child a toy vacuum cleaner. The goal is for the child to become clean conscious. And it’s best to teach him/her about cleanliness when they are very young so that it will be ingrained in them as they grow older.

 

The “WOW” Factor in House Cleaning

By: Cathy Green

  One thing that I tell my employees is that before they leave a home after cleaning it, they should close or crack the front door, re-open it—-pretending to be the home owner, and take in the first impression.

The goal is for the homeowner to come home, walk in and think or say “wow” based on how clean and beautiful the home is.

At UpperCrust Maids, LLC, we care about our clients and about the overall appearance of their homes. Let’s face it. Our homes affect our mood. The color of the walls, the condition of the floors and the overall appearance affects us directly.

There is nothing like having a clean home. Nothing compares to coming home after a hard day’s work and stepping into a beautiful place that looks and smells terrific.

Are you looking to be “wow’d” when you walk through the door? Give UpperCrust Maids, LLC a call. We can be reached at 301-322-7112 or at http://www.uppercrustmaids.com

House Cleaning to Prepare Your Home for Sale or Rental

  Are you about to put your home on the market to either sell or rent? If so, you will certainly sell it quicker if it’s totally clean and presentable when prospective buyers stop by to view it.

If you are like most people, you won’t want to spend your time cleaning the home. After all, there are a trillion and one things for you to do when preparing to move out.

Look at your budget and determine whether or not you will be able to hire a professional company to clean your home. And unless you have been having regular cleanings, chances are that you will need to have your home “deep” cleaned.

Deep cleanings include:

a. Cleaning dirt, grime and dust from baseboards throughout the house

b. Cleaning all inside windows and frames

c. Thoroughly cleaning the closets (not typically included in regular cleanings)

d. Thoroughly cleaning out the refrigerator (not typically included in regular cleanings)

e. Cleaning all radiators and vents

f. Removing all books and items from shelves ad cleaning/dusting the shelves

g. Cleaning the fireplace

Etc., etc……depending on the house

Again, unless you are one who is really great at cleaning a home, it’s best to turn that task over to experts who can bring the home up to standard for a good showing to potential interested individuals.

Pick up the phone and call UpperCrustMaids, LLC today and we will happily do an on site estimate as soon as possible. No one wants to buy a dirty, grimy house. Let the professionals clean it for you!

By:  Cathy Green, Owner – UpperCrust Maids, LLC