Fall Cleaning Checklist Revisited


Several years ago, we presented a Fall Cleaning Checklist. Now that the leaves are falling and cooler weather is blowing in, it is time to bring our checklist back out so you can make sure to have your home ready for the change in seasons. The Holidays will be here before you know it, and what are the holidays without a clean and organized home to celebrate in?

The Cleaning Crew Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist will help you prepare your home for the coming winter season:

Kitchen

  • Re-Organize and Clean Out Pantry – Throw away expired goods. Re-arrange as needed. Write out a pantry inventory and make a grocery list of the things you will need to stock up on. Keep in mind the fact that community food pantries are in dire need of donations during this time of year.
  • Clean Oven – Prep your oven for holiday cooking and baking. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, The Cleaning Crew can offer some quick and easy oven-cleaning solutions.
  • Wipe Down Kitchen Cupboards – Wipe down your kitchen cupboards. Wipe the insides and the tops, if you feel ambitious!
  • Deep Clean the Refrigerator & Freezer — Throw away all expired foods. Removed and scrub shelves, drawers, and other small pieces in order to deep clean. Replace filter on ice-maker or water dispenser.

Windows

  • Wash Windows, Inside and Out – This may be your last chance to clean the exterior windows before bad weather sets in.
  • Wash Curtains – Pull down any curtains that can be washed and clean them. If you can’t wash them, take them outside to shake the dust off.
  • Wipe Blinds – Wipe down the blinds of the interior windows. This is best done with a dusting glove.

Bedrooms

  • Bring Out Winter Things for Closets – Take this opportunity to reorganize. Clean out the closets and make several organized piles. One for donating, one for keeping, one for trash, and one for seasonal clothes.
  • Prepare For Holiday Guests – Guest rooms should be not only clean, but also inviting. Try setting out flowers or other special touches to make guests feel especially welcome.
  • Clean all Bedding and Bring Out Winter Comforters – Bring out heavier bedding and winter comforters for the cold days ahead.

Other General Cleaning

  • Dust or Wash Light Fixtures – Most light fixtures are removable and unscrew so you can dust or wash them. Make sure to turn the switch off and allow bulbs to cool before you do this!
  • Vacuum Furniture – Vacuum your upholstered furniture and/or dust & wipe down any wooden furniture.
  • Vacuum and Shampoo Carpets – Be sure your carpets are clean before all the winter mud and snow!  Schedule a carpet cleaning in early autumn.
  • Dust the House from Top to Bottom – This means everything from the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling to the baseboards. Go from room to room and dust everything! Dusting top to bottom is the most efficient way to clean.
  • Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Don’t skip this step, especially if you have any kind of wood fired heat. Just a simple push of a button is all it takes.

Brisk and breezy days are best for overcoming the deep-cleaning chores necessary for a clean, comfortable winter home and a wonderful autumn season. Happy Fall!

Fall Back In Love With Your Home


If you’ve fallen out of love with your home, let our team of talented house cleaners help rekindle the flame this fall season. Having a professionally cleaned home might be just the fresh start you need before the hectic holidays hit. Sometimes investing in your home is the best way to fall back in love with it.

4 Ways to Fall Back In Love With Your Home

  • Organizing your home will help you as the busy holiday season approaches. Whether you more space in your craft room to store and wrap gifts or an organized kitchen to cook gourmet meals for the family, The Cleaning Crew can help clean and organize to save you time. So, whether you’re into one-of-a-kind gift-wrapping or trying those recipes you found online, you’ll have more time for the things you love.

  • Decorating for fall means rich colors, warm throws and a welcoming feeling of coziness that is hard to match in other seasons. One of the simplest ways to add a touch of fall is to use lots of texture and vibrant warm colors. Clean up summer and pull out fall curtains, pillows & throws. Check out Pantone’s color report for the on trend colors for Fall 2018.

  • Fall Food is a treat for the eyes, not just the stomach. Start with a clean home, organize and put away the past season’s decor, and decorate your home inside and outside with gourds, leaves, pumpkins and nuts, place bowls of apples ready for a bite or for dipping in caramel. These fall aromas add enticing flavors to your autumn table.



  • Spices and smells are at the heart of fall. Wafts of freshly ground cinnamon, dried orange slices, sappy pine cones, and vanilla bean evoke a sense of coziness. Now that the weather is cooling down, bring some of those seasonal scents indoors. Just imagine the pure happiness you’ll experience when you’re cuddled up on the couch catching a fall flick with the fire going, inhaling those fragrant hints of pumpkin drifting through the air and clutching a mug of your favorite fall beverage.

So, don’t waste any more time in a stale relationship with your home. Let us revive your relationship and help get you excited about making memories in the upcoming months. Call us today for no hassle cleaning or organization quote.

 

Cleaning Tips For Furry Friends


No one wants to choose between their pet and a clean home, but no one wants the smell of urine or animal hair all over the place either. We’re here to share a few cleaning tips so that you can have the best of both worlds.

Urine Cleaner Recipes

Hopefully potty training your pet was easier than your toddler, but if not, we’ve got you covered. We know that accidents are the rule, not the exception when it comes to animals in the house. Here are a few DIY cleaner recipes you can try next time you find an unwanted wet spot.

  • Homestead Survival recommends 1/4 cup Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and a tiny squirt of Castile liquid soap.
  • Hills Pets has a similar solution, but suggests applying the cleaning agents on one-by-one rather than mixing them all together in a spray.
  • While these cleaners can help alleviate the smells, Catcentric.org claims that these cleaners can’t actually get rid of the enzymes that cause the odor and that spraying is not enough. They suggest an enzyme cleaner and “dousing, pouring, and soaking” any area that is effected by animal urine.

Managing Pet Hair

  • Diet–>Did you know that what your pet eats can dramatically effect the amount he or she sheds? Experts at PetMD advise to make sure your pet is getting all the necessary nutrients to grow a healthy coat of fur.
  • Grooming–>Use appropriate tools to brush daily, and schedule regular professional grooming to keep your pet’s hair under control.
  • Cleaning–> You can do what you can to minimize shedding, but ultimately, having a pet means you will have pet hair in your home. Dogtime.com did a survey of pet owners and respondents helped to compose a list of various cleaning methods. Using rubber clubs or a slightly damp sponge to help ball up fur topped the list.

Eliminating Pet Odor

  • Erin at Clean and Scentsible shares a great Carpet and Upholstery Refresher as well as several tips for eliminating odor:
    • Clean the litter box regularly
    • Add a few drops of lavender essential oils when bathing animals
    • Dry bathe animals with a baking soda
  • Wash animal bedding and toys on a regular basis (weekly). To make this task a little easier, make sure to buy beds that have removable covers and can be tossed in the washing machine.
  • Wikihow has several great suggestions on eliminating odor. You can use an air purifier or you can use deodorizers like baking soda or vinegar to help reduce odor.

We know you love your pet, but you also love a clean home. Don’t choose between the two. Use some of these helpful tips to keep your home clean and your pets happy.

Chores You Don’t Have Time To Do


Let’s face it. We don’t always have the time to clean our houses from top to bottom. We’re here to help you relax a little bit by knocking some items off your to-do list. Here are some things that can wait if you’re in a hurry.

Mopping

You don’t have to mop every single time you clean. Sweep on a regular basis, and spot clean messes as needed. Leave mopping as a monthly chore.

Dusting

If you take precautionary steps to prevent dust from forming, you won’t have to dust as often. Fabrics shed and create a lot of dust, and your bed can be one of the worst culprits of dust creation. Click here for a list of ways to prevent dust from forming in your house.

Windows

Unless your windows are cloudy or visually unpleasant, this is a chore you can put off for months at a time. We offer seasonal window cleaning if this is a chore you’d like to avoid altogether.

Pipes

Over-cleaning your pipes in the kitchen or bathroom can lead to unwanted erosion. Put this on a seasonal cleaning schedule instead of your regular to-do list.

Making The Bed

There are differing opinions on this chore. Making the bed is really just a cosmetic preference. If you need to save time, this is one activity you can skip.

Microwave

Unless you’ve got stuck on messes, you can skip scrubbing the microwave. You can prevent those messes by making sure everything is covered when heated. So, covering your dish=less work for you.

Hand Drying

Our friends at Apartment Therapy just made life a little easier…

If you’re a fervent hand washer (or a reluctant one—maybe the hand-wash life chose you due to the distinct lack of dishwasher in your apartment), you should know that you don’t have to hand-dry your dishes at all. In fact, letting your clean dishes air dry is probably better and more sanitary than towel-drying, unless you’re using a fresh clean towel for each dish. Invest a little (we’re talking $10) in a dish-drying rack and skip this chore until… forever.

Call Us!

Now that you have official permission to mark some things on your never-ending list of chores, you can take some time to relax. Or, if you’d like to completely hand your list over to us, we’d be happy to take care of it. Call us today at 541.601.6236 to get some chores off your hands.

Deep Cleaning Your Devices


We all know how to dust a table or scrub a toilet. Cleaning technological devices can be a little more tricky. Working around the small crevices, electricity, and screens you can scratch is difficult to do. We’re here to make this a chore you feel prepared to tackle on your own!

First and foremost, on top of doing an outward cleaning of your devices, it is important to periodically clean out and organize the data on your devices as well. Delete unused files and apps. Organize those that documents that remain. Run anti-virus software and get glitches repaired as necessary. Here is a detailed list of things you can do to Declutter Your Device from Asurion. Once you have taken care of the inner-workings of your device, you can begin the process of giving your device a good outward cleaning.

What You Need

You can spend more money than necessary buying specialty cleaning items, but the cleaning can be done with things you already have in with your cleaning supplies.

Micro-Fiber Cloth
This type of cloth is specifically designed to clean microscopic areas like all the tiny creases and crevices in your electronic devices. In addition, it will not leave fibers behind or carry dirt across the surface which limits scratching.

Cleaning Solution
According to an article in Popular Mechanics, 92 percent of tested cellphones were contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, and one in six tested positive for E. coli.” One of the most effective ways to combat E. coli is with a bleach or alcohol solution. Bleach is not the best chemical to use on your electronics, so we suggest using rubbing alcohol as a disinfectant. Although not as powerful, a water and vinegar mixture can also be used to fight traces of bacteria that might be on your device.

Canned Air
This can be purchased at virtually any local store for under $10. Compressed air is used to blow the dirt and particles from the unreachable areas of your devices like in between the keys on the keyboard or around cords or connections.

What You Do

Disclaimer: Try this at your own risk. We have done extensive research on the best ways to clean your devices, but we cannot take responsibility for any damage that may be caused to your device due to this process. Apple provides specific directions on cleaning their products on their website. They do not recommend cleaning with any sort of liquid.

If you decide to try disinfecting your device using a liquid mixture, it is imperative that you do not spray the mixture directly on your device. Simply wet your microfiber cloth in the solution and use small amounts to wipe down desired areas. When you have finished, use the dry part of our microfiber cloth to dry your device.

After you have finished cleaning your device, don’t forget to also clean things that are continually in contact with your device–stylus, cases, pop sockets, etc. It may also be a good idea to frequently replace screen guards and cases to reduce the amount of bacteria on your device.
Once your device is clean you can feel good about it touching your face or letting the kiddos play their games without risk of catching germs.

Unexpected Cleaning Tools That You Just Might Need


Every now and then we like to have some fun on the blog! We’ve done some research to bring you a list of few unorthodox cleaning supplies that you might want to add to your supply closet. We’ll start of with traditional items that some people are using in a non-traditional manner.

This list on Consumer Report’s website explains how to use every day items like toothbrushes and credit cards to tackle tough-to-clean items. Here are a few of our favorites:

Toothbrush


The rough bristles and small head of a toothbrush make for a fantastic cleaning tool in difficult to reach spots. It works well for cleaning grout, the corners of your showers, or even for scrubbing out stubborn stains. Next time you swap out your toothbrush, toss the old one in with your cleaning supplies. You won’t regret it.

 

Credit Cards


Use the straight edge of the credit card to scrape up stuck on messes on your stove or microwave. It even works wonders with dried wax. The plastic is hard enough to get things unstuck, but gentle enough not to scratch the surfaces.

 

Old Socks & Cloth Diapers

Both of these items can be used for dusting or wiping surfaces without the dangers of scratching. Author of the CR article, Mary H.J. Farrell suggests wearing the damp sock like a glove to wipe down the leaves of house plants. How brilliant!

Wacky Inventions

Apartmenttherapy.com listed several unique cleaning items in their article titled Odd, Weird, Wack (& Possibly Helpful) Cleaning Supplies, and we’ve found a few of our own. You can check them out at the links below!

  • The Foot Dustpan is just what it sounds like. A dustpan you can operate with your foot. It eliminates the need to bend over while sweeping up messes.
  • Cyber Clean is a ball of goop to roll around on your keyboard to catch all the loose particles stuck between your keys.
  • FOKI is a pair of cordless, battery operated floor cleaning shoes.
  • Baby Mop allows your crawling infant to sweep the floors instead of you!
  • Double-Sided Window Cleaner uses a strong magnet to save you time by allowing you to clean the inside and the outside of the window at the same time.
  • Bottle Cleaning Beads help ensure the inside of your reusable bottles gets as clean as possible.

What unexpected supplies do you use to help clean your home? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Why Hire The Cleaning Crew, LLC?


With a 4.9 rating on Google and countless positive referrals, we are your go-to for a green clean in the Portland area. Don’t take our word for it. Here are some reviews from customers:
They did a great job cleaning the house to prepare to sell the house!

 

I had all my windows cleaned perfectly, even the ones I had tried to do myself. I was given a lesson on how to do an acceptable job. I am grateful as my mood greatly improved. I have a gorgeous view. Now I can see it.

 

It was like a brand new house when they were done. Absolutely spotless!!
Our company used The Cleaning Crew when we bought some new investment property. They did a fine job of cleaning the units thoroughly, including the gutters and windows. They were on time, with a crew adequate for the size of the jobs. We will call them again.

 

They did a wonderful job. Called with a last minute job and they did everything to accommodate me. They arrived early and and were done in a flash. Job is very clean. I would hire them again.

 

The Cleaning Crew Team did a great job cleaning up my elderly mother’s home prior to putting it on the market for sale. It would have taken us a month to do the job they did. Thanks for great team work.
They did a good job. They were efficient, thorough and well-managed. I would recommend them. I especially appreciated that they were willing to come all the way out to my house which is outside of town.

Check out our mission and see if we are the right company for you! Then, call us to get a stress-free quote!

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?

Clean Like a Pro: The Secrets Revealed


If you’ve had us into your home, you know that a professional cleaner’s work can seem like magic. That would be fun, but it’s not very accurate. The pristine and time-efficient clean is a result of proper training and practice. Here are a few tricks of the trade to let you in on our cleaning secrets…We’ve even thrown in a few Speed Hacks from Organized Home!

Organization Is Everything

You’ve got to prepare the area that needs to be cleaned. De-clutter first by picking up and putting away anything that has been left out. This will save you a lot of time instead of picking up things as you go. This is a trick that hotel maids use. They start the cleaning off by emptying the trash and taking all dirty towels and linens into the hallway.  (Speed Hack: Professional Cleaners make every movement count. They stand in place and tackle everything in one spot before they move on to another area.)

Next, you’ve got to set aside a block of time. If you commit an afternoon to cleaning, you will get more accomplished than if you try to clean a little bit here and there. Plus, according to Rebecca at Charming Imperfections, “it is easier to keep kids, pets, and husbands out of the way.”

Make sure you have all of your supplies. Microfiber cleaning cloths, cleaning solutions, gloves, etc. Whatever you need, put it in a portable caddy that you can carry from room to room with you as you go. (Speed Hack: Simplify! You only need 4 products. Click here to check out the list.)

Lastly, you need to have a plan. Simple tricks like dusting and vacuuming before getting anything wet makes cleaning so much easier. Wet particles are not as easy to pick up as dry ones. Professional cleaners are also trained to clean from the top to the bottom of a room. That way things like dust from the ceiling fan will either be caught in your duster or fall to the floor which is cleaned last. Plus, it helps to eliminate germs. What would you rather clean first, the toilet seat or the toilet handle? (Pro Tip: Close the toilet seat on top of the toilet handle and let the brush drip-dry before placing it back into the holder.)

 

Get Focused

Cleaning is not a job that allows for multi-tasking. If you just get focused and stay focused on the task, it can be completed in no time. The difference between a professional cleaner and someone cleaning their own home is the fact that it is the professional cleaners paid job. They are not being interrupted by emails and phone calls or television program. Turn off your phone, put on some music, and conquer the task at hand.

Team Up

Cleaning done in a team of two or three is much more quick and easy. Professional cleaners often clean in partners or teams. This makes tasks like making the bed much easier. Knowing how to put on the sheets also gets the job done more efficiently. (Speed Hack: Tags on sheets go to the bottom of the bed. Use a fabric marker to mark left and right corners.) Even if you’re not a professional, make cleaning a family affair and get it done more quickly.

Or, you can skip all this and just call in the professional cleaning magicians. Give us a call today at 541-601-6236 to schedule a risk-free quote!

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