Archive for the ‘General’ Category

In home estimates

estimateI went to a potential client’s home a few days ago for an in home estimate and she shared with me how another company that she had called had refused to complete an in home estimate.  The person gave an estimate over the phone.

That is not unusual.  There are many, many companies out there that are willing to send their workers into strange homes, knowing that they have not personally eyeballed the home.

I cannot understand how a person could give an estimate over the phone.  I’m referring to a firm estimate.  First of all, seldom will a person who has a cluttered or particularly dirty home admit that fact.  My experience has been that people are not comfortable admitting that their home is in bad condition.  With that in mind, it is very important to go out and look at the home.

My advice to clients is, do NOT hire a company that refuses to perform an in home estimate.  If they won’t perform an estimate, it speaks to how the owners run their business.  Such a company will disrespect its clients because clearly they lack in the area of customer service.  If they won’t come out for an estimate, what will happen if you need them to handle a problem for you? 

First impressions are important.  I perform in home estimates 99% of the time.  When I don’t it’s not because I don’t want to. Rather, it’s because the client needs the home cleaned in an emergency and I’m too booked to make it out there on short notice. 

When you are searching for a cleaning company, definitely rule out companies that refuse an in home estimate.  That refusal will foreshadow the way you will be treated in the future by that company.

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Does your adult “child” live in your home?

By:  Cathy Green

    From time to time I receive a call from a person who mentions that their adult child still lives with them. In almost every instance, they warn me that their adult child keeps a sloppy room.

I’ll go out, perform an estimate—and I see the bedrooms of these grown “children”.  Clutter.  Dirt and dust build up.  Dirty clothes strewn all over the floor.  Trash in the room.

The advice I always give to parents is that if their adult child wants his/her room cleaned, they should pay for it themselves.  I inform the parents that it is not their obligation to have the room cleaned of an adult. I further tell them that due to the condition of the bedroom, it will be charged separately and on its own merit/condition.

Fortunately most parents of these adult “children” opt not to add their adult child’s bedroom to the bill.  And ironically, there has not been one instance where an adult child has agreed to pay to have their room cleaned.

My tip to consumers today is as follows.  After your offspring reaches adulthood, you are no longer responsible for the condition in which they choose to live. 

If they want to live in a bedroom in your home that has the odor of dirty socks or spoiled milk, that’s their choice. But you should not foot the bill to have their room cleaned. They need to take on that responsibility for themselves.

NOTE:  After writing this article, I happened upon an article on this very topic.  PRESS HERE

Does Your Cleaning Company Offer You a Consistent Schedule?

By:  Cathy Green

    I’m the first to admit to you that UpperCrust Maids is far from perfect; however, we strive for perfection. At all times I’m searching out ways to perfect the cleaning process and to ensure that clients have a home that is in top condition.

If one were to ask me about the strengths of this company, I would have to point out the personalized, customized service. My clients have my cell, home and business numbers, as well as email address. They have no problems reaching me.

Another thing my clients have is a set schedule. They are not a number. We treat every client with respect because they are important to us. Never will you find us offering impersonal service or dehumanizing a client.

While surfing the web and checking out other Maryland/DC cleaning companies, I happened upon a website which had the blurb below:

Your service is scheduled for a specific day. Unfortunately, we cannot predict a specific time the team will arrive, nor can we make appointments.

Upon reading that, I was left scratching my head. They are a professional cleaning service, yet are unable to offer a ball park time of team arrival and they don’t make appointments? Huh?

Look again at that company’s policy:

a. They cannot offer a time. That means that the consumer is at the mercy of the company, and has to sit around the house hoping that they will show up. Well suppose the client has other obligations? Who has the time to sit around wondering when a service will arrive?

b. They do not offer appointments. I cannot help but wonder how such companies stay in business. Rest assured that UpperCrust Maids offers you both an appointment as well as a consistent day and time to expect services. So for example, if you receive services biweeky, we would assign you a stable day, such as a Monday. And a stable time, such as 8:30 a.m. or 12 noon. You “own” that timeslot and day as long as you desire. And you will be assinged the same cleaning tech or team unless there is a substitute.

Believe it or not, it’s not unusual for cleaning companies to refuse to offer their clients regular schedules. I have no idea how such companies stay organized but I assure you that it’s not to the client’s advantage to deal in such chaos.

Are you looking for a quality company that cares about your home and are wiling to offer you the stability of a schedule? Call us at 301-322-7112

Housecleaning Vs. Housekeeping

By:  Cathy Green

We live in a fast paced, busy society and consequently, home owners are looking for help. Recently UpperCrust Maids has been receiving calls from consumers who are in search of tasks that would fall more under house “keeping” than house “cleaning”. At this time, we are only able to offer house cleaning services.

Here are the differences:

House keeping (which we don’t offer at this time)

Tasks

In addition to general house cleaning duties they also do some or all of the following: 

.  Replace light bulbs in homes

. Replenish supplies such as paper towels, toilet paper

. Wash dishes

. Wash clothes and iron clothes

. Transport linens, towels, etc. to laundry room [we offer this service but we won’t wash them]

. Running general errands for family

. Other tasks as necessary

House cleaners:

UpperCrust Maids is a house cleaning company. What we do is clean, dust, scrub, polish. We also will change one set of linen (due to time constraints) and additional linen would cost extra to change.

If a family so requests, we are willing to take dirty clothes to the laundry room but we do not wash clothes. We also prefer not to get into the changing of towels and rags in bathrooms. Why? Because it takes more time.

We are a “one maid per home” business, except in cases where a house is very large or complicated in some way (multiple animals and animal hair, for example). People rarely understand how much labor it takes to clean a home well. We bring our own supplies and equipment which must be transported. The cleaning techs must remember which products to use for which houses. And even within a house, they treat granite or marble differently than they treat other material. There is much to remember. If there is a dresser full of items, they must carefully remove each item, dust and put the items back. It takes time.

There is no way that they can do all that cleaning then turn around and do other household tasks.

Before calling a cleaning company, first determine your needs. Do you need someone to wash your clothes for you?  If so, don’t call a house cleaning company. Their workers do not wash or iron or fold clothes. You would need to find a housekeeping company.  There is a huge difference, believe me.

If my company were to offer house keeping services, we would charge so much more because I would have to assign the cleaning tech to the home for a minimum of 8 hours at a time. But there is a problem. I’d have to do so much more training because if you are washing clothes, there is a liability issue. If you are ironing clothes, there is the chance of even more liability. So I have zero interest in expanding into housekeeping.

There are some housekeeping companies out there. Look around. But if you know ahead of time that housekeeping is what you truly need, search out such a company before looking in to a house cleaning company.

 
 
 
 

Discounted and FREE Cleanings!

By:  Cathy Green

REFERRALS DO PAY!

FREE CLEANINGS!   Did you know that it is possible for you to never have to pay for a cleaning—and that you can actually earn free cleanings?

1.  If you enjoy our services, tell your friends. If the person books with us, your next cleaning will be FREE.

2.  There is no end to how many FREE cleanings you may earn.  So if you like us, spread the word!

The “Process” House

 By:  Cathy Green

   I talk a great deal about cluttered houses. However, there is another type of house that needs to be discussed. I term it the “process” house.

In short, a process house is one that needs to be cleaned over a period of time.

What qualifies a home as a process house?

a. Exceptionally dusty or dirty baseboards that clearly have not been cleaned and/or dusted in over a year.

b. Extremely dusty or dirty window ledges

c. Houses where every single picture is dusty

d. A house that has a great deal of clutter

What home owners need to understand is that it did not take their home one day to get into that condition and it’s not realistic to expect that one deep cleaning will miraculously return the home to glory.

Process houses could easily take anywhere from 3 – 8(+) cleanings before they meet an industry standard of cleaning.

Every cleaning company is different. At UpperCrust Maids, LLC, we charge a deep cleaning fee for the first cleaning of a process house. Afterwards, we advise the family to allow either us or another company to clean the house weekly or biweekly until it is brought up to standard.

Other cleaning companies may charge several deep cleaning rates until the home comes up to standard. It just depends on various circumstances.

Before calling a cleaning company, take a careful look at your home. Have your baseboards ever been cleaned? What about the window ledges? How long has it been since the top of your refrigerator was cleaned? What about your windows? Every little thing takes time. Do you ever dust your furniture?

To find out if your home is a process house, give us a call and we will work with you to get it cleaned.

 

 

 

The Beautiful Shaggy Rug

 

    Are you a shaggy rug person? If so, who can blame you. Shaggy rugs are beautiful, soft, luxurious, and classy. However, they tend to shed. As a homeowner, if you choose to have shaggy rugs in your home, be aware of the fact that they have the same effect on a home as having a long haired cat. They shed and you will constantly have balls of fur floating through the air and settling in various places throughout your home. 

Of course having a cleaning company take care of your rugs is the ideal. But you also need to know how to care for your rugs. Below is some advice:

Caring for your shag area rug properly can extend its usable life indefinitely. Typical maintenance can include regular cleaning with a vacuum and occasional cleaning with a steam machine. Using your vacuum on a regular basis is important with shag area rugs because the vacuum picks up particles that can damage the carpet fibers. As well as reducing the level of dirt caught under the fibers, vacuuming helps to keep up the look of the shag area rug. It is essential to vacuum at least once a week. You should vacuum twice per week in areas that have heavy foot traffic.

Additionally, it is important to keep your vacuum in good working order to maintain a higher level of clean. Because the vacuuming can only catch surface dirt, your shag area rug may need another method of cleaning periodically. A wet cleaner, like a steam machine, is best to remove deep carpet soil like oil or grease. This can be done through a small rental machine or through a professional service. The level of frequency you complete this type of cleaning depends on the shag area rug you have purchased. For most, though, you should complete a deep cleaning every one to two years. Shag area rugs are a nice addition to any home with the proper care.

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