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

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Hire a Real Cleaning Company and Avoid the Cleaning Ladies

      Most of us don’t just wake up one morning and decide we need some help in the home. It generally is a process.  Over a period of time it occurs to us that yes, it’s time.

It’s time to stop scrubbing baseboards. It’s time to stop dusting furniture. It’s time to stop mopping floors.  It’s simply time to turn it over to hired help.

There are several choices that a consumer needs to make when s/he finally makes the decision to bring in hired help.

I.     Hire a cleaning lady or a cleaning company?

II.   Hire the cheapest cleaning company out there or hire a reputable company that charges a little more?

Let us look at #1 first.  The cleaning lady.  Are you aware of the fact that cleaning ladies carry with them a tremendous amount of liability?

Check this out:

a.  Once you bring a cleaning lady into your home, you become her direct employer.

b.  You immediately are responsible for her taxes as well as her health. This means that if she slips in your home and gets hurt, you have to pay her medical bills. 

c.  If you are paying $1,400+ a year to her, you had better be taking care of the taxes. Otherwise, you are in a serious heap of trouble with the IRS if they ever find out that you are cheating them.

d.  Assuming that you are willing to work with the IRS for your cleaning lady, you will need to fill in form 926, located at  http://www.irs.gov

e.  You may also need to file for an employer ID number, as you are that person’s direct employer.

f.  You will need to withhold and pay 7.65%  [at this time] for the cleaning lady’s social security and Medicare taxes (check with your accountant to verify the percentage)

g.  You will need to withhold federal income taxes, as well as state (again, check with your accountant for direction)

h.  That’s not all.  There is something called “unemployment taxes”.  Guess who is responsible for paying that fee?  YOU are, if you hire a cleaning lady.

i.  There’s more.  Guess who is responsible for giving the cleaning lady her W-2 form at the end of the year?  YOU are.

BUT….if you hire a cleaning company, you are able to avoid all that!

II.  The legitimate cleaning company

If you have decided to avoid becoming an employer, then you have certainly chosen to avoid the cleaning ladies.

That means you have decided to seek out a cleaning company. Guess what? Some cleaning companies are not functioning legally.

Do the following:

a.  When you call around, ask the cleaning companies what type of insurance they carry.   Ask them what insurance company they use.  If they cannot answer, move on.

b.  A legitimate cleaning company will charge you a little more because insurance costs money and it is not cheap. 

Questions? Confused?  Give me a call!

Cathy @ 301-322-7112

Remember to Wash Your Hands!

By:  Cathy Green

With the Swine Flu outbreak, it is more important now than ever for people to remember the importance of hand washing.  Below is a video that will display the proper way to wash hands.

UpperCrust Maids Cleaning Academy

By:  Cathy Green

     House cleaning may appear to some to be an easy task but I assure you that professional house cleaning is far from easy when it is done correctly.

When people clean their own homes, 99% of them will target one or two rooms at a time. Very few people will clean their entire home in one session. Yet, employees of cleaning companies clean the entire home at once.

Because of  how overwhelming it can be to take on such a task, any cleaning company worth its salt will teach and provide ongoing training to its staff.

This company has created the UpperCrust Cleaning Academy and every employee is required to undergo extensive and ongoing training. They are trained in each aspect of house cleaning and taught what to look for in a home.

The Training Academy is an ongoing process and after the initial 3 month period where the most intense training takes place—there is updated training based on situations that arise. Training never officially ends because we want to perfect the art of professional house cleaning.

We also are on a continuous search for the best products and equipment to use in clients’ homes. And as we make changes, our employees are re-trained.

UpperCrust Maids, LLC is not a “perfect” company and never will be. However, our goal is to strive for perfection and to live up to our motto: White Glove Service on Us!

So when you hire us, rest assured that trained staff are in your home giving it the best cleaning they possibly can.

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.

 
 
 
 

Beware of Household Germs

By:  Cathy Green

People are often in no rush to clean their toilets for fear of germs, etc. However, would you be surprised if I told you that your desk at work, your keyboard at home and even your telephone harbor more germs than does the average toilet seat? Check this out:

A desk is capable of supporting 10 million bacteria and the average office contains 20,961 germs per square inch, according to research.

The key offenders are telephones, which harbour up to 25,127 germs per square inch, keyboards 3,295 and computer mice 1,676.

By contrast, the average toilet seat contains 49 germs per square inch, the survey showed.

Microbiologist Dr Charles Gerba, of the University of Arizona, who carried out the research, said: “When someone is infected with a cold or flu bug the surfaces they touch during the day become germ transfer points because some cold and flu viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours.

Source  

When UpperCrust Maids enters your home, we use a variety of products, including disinfectants. Keep in mind that we are a “green” company so we go for products that are as natural and safe for you and your household as possible. One of our favorites is the Odoban Germ Control  Link

We also love the Benefect products  Link  which fights a variety of germ types.

Concerned about germs and about finding a professional cleaning company that knows how to fight them? Give the pros a call. We may be reached at 301-322-7112. I look forward to speaking with you.