Three Steps to Spring Cleaning


It has been a long, cold winter, but spring is officially upon us. Now that the weather is warming up, the sun is shining, and we all make our way out of winter hibernation, you’ll want to straighten up inside so you can enjoy a guilt-free spring and summer in the great outdoors.

Here are three easy steps to ensure a great Spring Clean!

Clean Out

Start by purging anything you don’t need. All that extra clutter can make your home feel dirtier than it is. Create space in your home for the things that you actually use by getting rid of the things that you don’t.

We’ve written about this before. There is a very simple way to purge: Piles!

Pile 1: Trash

The trash pile consists of things that are broken or damaged that cannot be reused or sold. Think about those things that you’ve thought about getting repaired or reusing, but haven´t–it´s time to part with them.

Pile 2: Sell/Donate

This pile is for things that are in good shape, but you do not want or use anymore. These can be sold in a yard sale or donated to a local organization for a tax write off. Most of us have more than we could ever need. Have some good will and donate those things to someone who could benefit from them.

Pile 2: Keep

This pile is only for those things that you cannot live without. Things in this pile make you happy and are meaningful or useful to you. It should not go in this pile if you have not used it in the last six months.

Clean Up

After you have made your piles, get rid of the trash, have a yard sale, or donate the other items. Then, you’re only left with one stack.

Make sure that everything in the ¨Keep” stack has a place. De-cluttering your home before you clean is essential to increase cleaning efficiency. If you are constantly picking up and organizing as you are trying to clean, the cleaning job will take much longer than necessary and can seem discouraging.

If necessary, invest in organizational storage to help create more usable space in your home. Under the bed storage, closet organization, or new shelving could make a huge difference in how clean and organized your home feels.

Clean Deep

After you have de-cluttered, it´s time to deep clean. We’re talking move the furniture and scrub the baseboards kind of clean. A deep spring clean will involve the regular nook and cranny cleaning, but also includes things like window washing, ceiling fans, air vents, wiping down walls and ceilings, as well as cleaning rugs and upholstery.

If that isn’t something that sounds fun to you, we can definitely help. Call today to get your hassle free quote from our professional cleaning staff.

Clean Sweep: Choose the Right Broom and Bristle


The broom is the most traditional of floor-cleaning tools, but are you certain you have the right broom for the job at hand? Here we’ll take an in depth look at different types of brooms and the purpose for each.

Large Brooms

Let’s begin with simple descriptions of each type of broom. There are many options when it comes to this tool.

  • Lobby Brooms. This is the type of broom we are most familiar with. There are several versions of this product, but typically it has plastic bristles. They can be cut flat or shaped at an angle to reach into corners.
  • Soft Brooms. They are typically made in a fan shape and have soft bristles for use indoors. The purpose of these is to push dust and dirt into a pile to be swept up or vacuumed. They differ from an angled broom because they are made with natural-plant based material.
  • Hard Brooms. With much stiffer bristles, a hard broom is made to use outdoors. The primary purpose of this broom is to get dirt and dust out of cracks.
  • Push Brooms. This wide broom is perfect for pushing large debris and cleaning large areas. Primarily, push brooms are used in areas like garages, driveways, and other areas outside the home.
  • Electric Brooms. Very similar to a vacuum, this broom uses electricity to suck up dirt rather than push it into a pile. It is smaller and easier to maneuver than a typical vacuum. If this is something you’d be interested in getting then you can compare electric brooms available here.

Small Brooms

If you are looking for a smaller option, there are hand-held brooms that are miniature versions of angled brushes. Typically, they have plastic bristles and come with a small dust pan. On the more natural side, a wisk broom is a small, hand-held broom made of plant-based materials that is perfect for dusting small areas like shelves and table tops.

Bristles

Besides the length of a handle, the bristles are just about the only other identifying feature of a broom. The type of bristles on your broom do make a difference.

Bristle Materials

  • Natural & Soft. According to the experts at Kleen Floor, soft bristles are made “from a variety of sources, which include corn husks and grass. Corn brooms are not as soft as grass brooms produced in other countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Corn brooms are usually used in areas outside the house such as garages, driveways, and patios. But their softer grass counterparts can be used to clean indoors.” Tampico is another popular soft and natural fiber used in broom bristles.
  • Natural & Hard. Hard bristled brushes are made from a more rough material like Palmyra or coconut sticks and used for outdoor purposes.
  • Plastic. There are several different choices when it comes to plastic bristles. Polypropylene and Nylon are the two most popular. Both can be used wet or dry and are resistant to most chemicals and oils. You can read more about these products here.

Types of Bristles

  • Flagged. These bristles are frayed at the ends which allows it to be more effective in picking up small debris and dust particles.
  • Unflagged. These bristles tend to last longer than flagged bristles and are better at moving larger debris, dirt, and dust in open areas.

One of the biggest benefits to hiring a professional cleaner like us is we can save time and money because know the right tools for the job. Call us today to get your hassle-free quote.

Places You Shouldn’t Forget to Clean, but Probably do!


We all get into a cleaning routine, and sometimes we can find ourselves taking shortcuts or completely forgetting to clean certain parts of our home. Here is a list of the top 8 places that people forget to clean so you can avoid making the same mistakes:

Ceiling Fan

Not many of us spend much time staring at the ceiling. Probably the only time you think about it is when you lay down at night, and well, that’s just not the time you feel like getting up and doing it. The Krazy Coupon Lady lets us in on a fun secret: Clean fan blades with a pillow case. 

Washing Machine & Dishwasher

To avoid smelly laundry or dishes, it’s important to clean your washers every now and then. Once a month or so, run it on a hot cycle with a cup of vinegar. It should eliminate any germs and odor that are trapped in the machine and stop any hard water stains.

Light bulbs/Lamps

It’s actually hazardous to let dust build up on lamps or light bulbs, so make sure you clean these items regularly. Wipe down cool bulbs with a damp cloth, and use a lint roller on the shade. Make sure to clean the switch or pull string, too.

House Plants

Whether you use a hair dryer, toothbrush, or damp rag, house plants need regular dusting. If they are live plants, dusting is necessary for their survival. If they are just for show, it will help keep allergens to a minimum and your plants looking nice.

Trash can

Think of all the gross things that go into a trash can. Even if you use a liner, drips are inevitable. Rinse and scrub your trash can regularly to keep from a gross build up.

Refrigerator

We all often wipe down the insides and the door handles, but how often do you clean underneath or on top of your fridge? Maybe it is time to move it out of it’s place and do a deep clean, all those tall people in your life will appreciate if you take the time to get up on a stool and wipe down the top.

Light Switches, Door knobs, and Handles

This is the top way to combat the spread of germs in our houses. These are things that are constantly being touched. Make sure they are clean. It only takes a few minutes with a cleaning rag to make the rounds and get it all wiped clean.

Cleaning Supplies

As silly as it sounds, we need to make sure to clean our cleaning supplies. Toilet brushes, dusters, cleaning rags, sponges, and all of your other cleaning supplies can be home to an alarming amount of dirt and germs. If you continually reuse them without sanitizing, all you are doing is spreading nastiness around your home. Clean or replace these items frequently.

Now that we’ve brought all of these forgotten places to your mind, let us know your forgotten spot in the comments! Where do you forget or hate to clean the most?

Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is approaching. You probably have one of two opinions on the holiday: You either think it is a great opportunity to show some love to your significant other, or you believe it is a commercial ploy to capitalize off of romance.

Either way, it’s probable that you will want to express your love in some way or another to those that are closest and most important to you. We’ve gathered some quick and easy ideas that don’t cost much, but are worth more than you will ever realize.

Cook Dinner

As simple as this may seem, your significant other will appreciate the thought. After all, the way to the heart is through the stomach. Even if you aren’t the best cook, you could pick up dinner or order take-out. Bonus points for a delicious dessert!

This is particularly meaningful if dinner is normally your significant other’s responsibility. Make sure not to leave a dirty kitchen behind–doing the dishes as a follow up is a must for this to be a success.

Write a Love Letter

If you start with a meaningful greeting card, make sure to finish up with some special words of your own. You could even skip the card and write your own love note on stationary. You could mail it to their work place, slip it in their lunch, or hand deliver it with a warm embrace. No matter how it arrives, it is sure to be a keepsake!

Let Them Choose

While many people think of a date night as a Valentine’s gift, your significant other may want to choose what to do with their time. Give them several choices on how to spend the day and let them decide. Give an option where you spend time together and an option where they get to spend some time alone. Maybe they would prefer a trip to the spa instead of a night out on the town. You’ll never know until you give them the option.

Another fun idea is to create a date idea box for more long-term use. Write down fun ideas of things you can do together or special treats for them on their own. Then, have your significant other draw from the box on special (or not-so-special) occasions.

Clean the House

Coming home to a freshly cleaned house is an incredibly pleasant surprise if someone is used to having to taking care of that chore themselves. You could spend the day and put in the hard work cleaning it yourself, but it will make just as much of an impact (and be a lot easier) if you let us do it for you. We can surprise your significant other, or you could wrap up a gift certificate and allow them to specialize their cleaning.

 

We’d love to help make your Valentine’s Day a meaningful one. Contact us today at 541-601-6236 to schedule your cleaning or purchase your gift certificate.

Quick Cleaning: Efficient and Effective Tips


One of the most difficult things about cleaning is staying focused long enough to get it done (and done well). Some of you may find yourselves hopping from chore to chore and never quite completing any one task. Others might get lost in a magazine or old box of random items. We’re here to share with you some of the easiest tips from professional cleaners that can keep you focused and on task until the job is done.

Task by Task

Most professional cleaners, including Lisa Romero who was featured in this Women’s Day article, recommend working on a task by task basis. Cleaning by “zone” can be much more time consuming because it is easy to get lost in the little things that need to be done in each area.

For example, instead of trying to tackle everything in the bedroom, start by stripping all the linens in the house and putting the load in the washer so it can wash while you’re doing other parts of your job.

Top to Bottom

Professionals also recommend cleaning top to bottom, upstairs to downstairs, and top of the room to the floor. This is the first tip that you will find on almost any search for cleaning advice. This saves you a lot of extra work and wasted time. Who wants to wipe dirt and dust off the counter onto a freshly vacuumed floor?

Work Until Completion

Hopping from one task to another can leave you feeling unaccomplished and your house in even worse shape than when you started. Whether you chose to work room by room or task by task (like this Wiki How article recommends), completing one thing before beginning another is imperative to getting the job done well.

Stick to a Schedule

One of the most common sense tips we have found is to stick to a schedule. Pencil in cleaning time on your calendar, or you will never have enough time to do it. If you want to have a well cleaned house, it can’t be an afterthought. This is probably one of the most convincing reasons to hire a professional cleaner that will come in on a regular basis. If that is something you’d like to do, you can call us today at 541-601-6236 to get a free quote!

Easy and Effective

There is a plethora of cleaning advice out there, but here is a final list of some of our top tried and true, easy and effective tips:

  • Wearing comfortable shoes and clothes that you can move in
  • Listen to music or a book on tape to keep you entertained while you work
  • Have your supplies stocked and ready without having to refill or replenish
  • Finish everything in one spot before you move
  • Spray with one hand, scrub with the other
  • Let your cleaning products do the work–spray and let them soak
  • Don’t clean with dirty supplies. Clean or replace brushes, sponges, and rags as needed.

Cleaning a little bit every day helps to keep the cleaning job from getting too overwhelming. If you dedicate ten to fifteen minutes every day to do a quick pick-up, then your house should be prepped for an effective and efficient deep clean whenever you have time to schedule it in.

A Resolution Guide: Make 2018 Count


It’s that time of year again. We all know what’s coming.

January 17 is officially Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day. This year, you don’t have to participate in the failure fiesta. Here is a guide to making–and keeping–fruitful and meaningful New Year’s Resolutions.

What is your why?

In a day and age where New Year’s Resolutions have become more of an April Fool’s joke, why are you really trying to make one? The number one way to make sure you keep your resolution is to only make one if you are serious about committing to it. If you start out half-heartedly, you’ll be lucky to make it to the 17th. If you are really passionate about your goal, it is much more likely to come true.

We’ve surveyed a few resolution makers, and their answers vary from “Being healthy for my kids,” to “Improving my quality of life.” No matter what your “why” is, you need one.

What is your plan?

If you go on a road trip without a map, it is highly unlikely you will reach your destination without getting lost, if you reach it at all. Similarly, if you set a goal without making a plan, the odds of meeting your goal are slim to none.

Making SMARTER goals is an easy way to ensure you have a fool-proof plan in place to help you meet them. SMARTER goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound
  • Evaluate
  • Re-assess

You can read more about SMARTER goals here.

What is your focus?

Setting goals is great, but if we only focus on the result we end up very disappointed. So many elements of life are out of our control that the final result is often a lot of effort mixed with a bit of luck.

So, let’s turn that upside down. Focus on the effort, not the end product. If you make effort based resolutions, you are likely to feel more successful which will help you to stay dedicated to them.

What’s your resolution?

We want to know what you are going to do this year to make 2018 the best year ever. Share your New Year’s Resolutions in the comments!

Should You Schedule Professional Cleaning Services?


At some point or another, this question has probably crossed your mind.

Whether it was a hectic schedule or disability that prevented you from having time to clean on your own or a move or renovation project that left you with an overwhelming mess, almost everyone has encountered a situation where hiring a professional cleaning service like Santa Barbara House Cleaning sounded like a pretty good option.

Hiring a regular professional cleaning service is not for everyone, but we do sincerely believe that our job is to help lighten your load so that you can take care of the most important things in life–namely your sanity. Whether you’re in need of house cleaning or commercial cleaning, we can provide services to suit you. If you’re looking for commercial cleaning in your area you could have a look at Commercial Cleaning Newcastle to get your commercial spaces looking spotless. But we are here to do the hard work for you and we are more than happy to offer out are various cleaning services to those who need it. So, here are several things we know we can help with. If any of these apply to you, maybe it is time to give us a call or get a quote!

Traditional House Cleaning

The foundation of our business is traditional, regularly scheduled home cleaning. If you find yourself too busy to keep up with a daily cleaning regimen, it might be helpful for us to take that off your to do list. On the other hand, maybe you know someone who just can’t quite physically handle cleaning the house like they used to. That’s the perfect time for us to step in. We can schedule weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cleanings to keep your house spic and span. If you think this option may meet your needs, you can check out more details here.

Office Cleaning

Do you own a business? Are you looking for a reliable cleaning service to keep your office presentable and welcoming? You can take some stress off our your employees by hiring our professional commercial cleaning specialists. We offer a variety of cleaning options, you can see our full list on our website.

Real Estate Cleaning

We have a crew of professional cleaners that can help you prepare a home for sale or clean rental properties. Whether you own rental property or are trying to get the best value for your home that is on the market, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss a specific cleaning plan that best fits your needs. We try to travel to all sorts of locations to do our best job at keeping your house clean. However, if you are outside our areas of service be sure to visit this cleaning company auckland instead.

Additional Services

You can also check out our services page to see the variety of additional and seasonal services we offer including window washing, gutter cleaning, new construction dust removal, organization, and pressure washing.

Maybe you don’t have a major need for a cleaning service. Maybe it just sounds like a convenience that would improve your quality of life. Either way, we would love to talk to you today about a plan that can make your life easier. Call us now at 541-601-6236 to get a hassle free quote!

What’s Your Winter Plan?


If you haven’t already, it is time to prepare your home for winter. The cold weather and precipitation can do some real damage if your home isn’t properly prepped. We’ve checked some of the leading blogs and saved you time by gathering the top tips for winterizing your home.

Winterizing Basics

While almost all the lists include the traditional winterizing elements like changing your filters, reversing your ceiling fans, and caulking, several lists have some extra ideas to help protect your home (and wallet) against the harsh elements.

Heater and Fireplace

First, there are several ways for you to save money this winter. Popular Mechanics has an entire blog dedicated to the energy efficient benefits of winterizing your home. Changing your filter can help your heater run more efficiently, but it may be easiest to call in a professional to give your heater a quick tune-up. That way, you know everything is in proper working order and safe for your home and family to use.

Also, while your fireplace may be a great option for warmth and a gathering place during the holidays, it is one of the biggest wastes of heated air when it is not in use. Make sure to use a chimney balloon or screen when your fireplace is not in use to avoid the draft. However, if you don’t have a traditional fireplace setup in your home, you might want to have a look at an easy install fireplace that’ll help you stay warm during the cold months, without any unnecessary stress.

Gutters

Next, like Bob Vila, we take our gutters seriously. The first tip on this list is to make sure your gutters are completely cleaned out and everything is flowing properly. If not, ice and snow can do some real damage. Let the professionals take over this task. Call us today to schedule your winter gutter cleaning before the weather gets too bad.

Emergency Resources

In addition, one step to winterizing that is often overlooked is making sure you have resources for emergencies. Having a generator on hand can be very helpful if the power is knocked out by a winter storm. You can find reasons for owning a generator on Lowe’s list for winter preparedness. Home Advisor also adds the need for stocking up on canned goods and water, plus having a snow shovel around to dig your way out in an emergency.

Pipes

 

Finally, one of the most frequent issues when it comes to cold weather is problems with pipes. Lowe’s has an excellent plan for preventing and repairing frozen pipes. Interestingly enough, pipes in southern climates are more susceptible to damage because those owners don’t typically take the steps necessary to protect them from freezing.

Don’t be left out in the cold. Use these tips to prepare your home for the long winter ahead. Call us today and we will help you prep those gutters and maybe even throw in some window washing while we’re out there!

Holiday Cleaning Checklist


With the holidays upon us, let’s revisit a popular theme for this time of year. Focus areas for cleaning during the holidays. Believe it or not, you can accomplish your house cleaning and organizing needs for a holiday-ready home without much effort.

If you break it down into manageable parts, your holiday cleaning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. House cleaning this way can help keep you focused and calm, allowing you to enjoy a stress-free time with your family and guests this holiday season. If you have already done a thorough job of household cleaning and organizing each quarter (like we highly recommend), you will have less housekeeping to do for the holiday season.

If your whole house is due for a house cleaning overhaul this holiday season, decide which rooms are the most important to have cleaned and start there. If you are not expecting overnight guests, the spare bedroom is probably not a priority.  This will leave you with the option to simply shut the spare bedroom doors.

Common Areas

As always, the main priority is high traffic areas. Guests are likely to be in your kitchen, living room, and bathroom or sitting at your dining room table. Begin your housecleaning routine in the main common areas of your home. If you have extra time, you can focus on organizing the bedrooms or cleaning the office.

Start household cleaning with a top to bottom dusting of walls and ceilings. This cuts down on the dust level in the house throughout the coming year and is a helpful all natural house cleaning method to keeping your home dust free. Dust off and clean your tables, counters, bookshelves, entertainment centers and other surfaces before thoroughly cleaning the hidden areas and nooks. Wipe over all woodwork, doors, windowsills and baseboards. Pull out furniture that has not been cleaned behind recently and clean the surface by hand wiping or vacuuming. Clean the floors in the high traffic areas of your home last, as you want to keep this step as close to the arrival time of your guests as possible. Clean floors make a big impact.

Restrooms

Clean restrooms are a must in order to be ready for visitors. Begin by wiping down the counters and giving a good scrubbing to the toilet and shower. Place out an extra roll of toilet paper so guests won’t have to go hunting for it, refill the hand soap, and putting out fresh hand towels.


Passageways

Organize the hallways and staircases, areas that tend to gather clutter as family members drop and disperse their belongings from one room to the next. Sweep or vacuum up any debris in this area before company comes. If there are any side rooms or closets that you don’t have time to clean, walk through your clean home just prior to your guests arrival and make sure the doors to these areas are closed.

Kitchen

Enjoy your clean home and start the holidays with a clean kitchen. Guests are likely to enter your kitchen, whether to gather and help you prepare the meal or to help set the table. Clean the counters and appliances by wiping them down, then mop and clean the floors before guests arrive. Make sure you have an empty dishwasher on the day of the event so you can quickly and easily place dirty dishes away, keeping them out of sight as soon as they accumulate. With any extra time, hose down your trash can and use a pleasant scented garbage bag so the trash won’t add any unwelcome odors to the day’s festivities.


We know you can manage cleaning your home this holiday season, but if you would rather let us do it for you, call us today at 541-601-6236 for a quote or a gift certificate.

Cleaning Today Keeps the Doctor Away


In addition to the hundreds of natural remedies to prevent, heal, and help recover from illness, it is important that we remember the role that cleaning can play in the preventative process.

Keeping your home clean and sanitized can help stop the spreading of germs and bacteria that can wreak havoc during this time of year. We all learn that covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze and washing our hands frequently is important to help stop the spreading of germs, but there are other ways you can help keep sickness at bay.

A tissue box may become a staple in your home during cold and flu season, but germs don’t have to be. According to this germy info-graphic, buttons and handles are some of the most germ infested places. Stopping the spread of germs can be as simple as making time to regularly wipe down and disinfect areas like the sink knobs, soap dispensers, microwave buttons, or refrigerator handles. It is good practice to disinfect common areas like these as often as possible, especially if someone in your home has been showing signs of illness.

Laundry seems like an obvious necessity, especially if bodily fluids have been involved in the illness. However, doing your best to launder things like stuffed animals, couch upholstery, or the mattress can sometimes be forgotten. Use your choice of disinfectant spray to wipe down furniture and mattresses and let them air dry before allowing others to use that space. Germs can hide in the fibers and spread easily.

We recommend this recipe for an all-natural antibacterial spray from One Good Thing:

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar
  • 5 Drops Each of Wild Orange, Melaleuca, and Lavender essential oils

Jenn at Clean and Scentsible compiled a list of 10 Things to Clean After the Flu. Our favorite tip is #3. If at all possible, confining the sickness to one bathroom will make clean up much easier afterward. We also recommend her method for cleaning your toothbrush if you can’t just throw yours away. Simply soak it in hydrogen peroxide to kill any bacteria still lingering.

Being sick is miserable, but the misery doesn’t have to have company. Don’t allow sickness to spread in your home. Practice good hygiene and routinely disinfect to make sure it is a safe place for you and you loved ones this cold and flu season.

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