5 Kitchen Organisation Tips

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in any home and, unfortunately, that also means it can be one of the messiest.

The key to keeping your kitchen clean is organisation, read on for five kitchen organisation ideas that can help you keep even the tiniest of kitchens clean.

1. Utilise all kitchen space

This is the cardinal rule of kitchen organisation and the answer for anyone wondering how to keep a kitchen organised.

There’s so much surface area that goes wasted in the kitchen, resulting in cluttered cabinets and drawers. Here are some organisation ideas to help you take back that space:

  • Free drawer and cabinet space with a rack that suspends pots and pans from the ceiling or walls
  • Install shelving above the stove or near prep counters
  • Place stackable shelves under the kitchen sink so you can double your storage space
  • Use magnetic hooks to keep potholders and kitchen towels on the dishwasher or fridge
  • Open up drawer and cabinet space by installing a pegboard to hold pots, colanders and kitchen utensils
  • Invest in a magnetic strip to hang knives over prep areas

2. Use dividers to organise kitchen drawers

Using dividers in your kitchen drawers can work wonders for organisation:

  • Boxes of foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Sandwich bags etc

You can also use dividers to compartmentalize kitchen utensils like spatulas, whisks and serving spoons. Filing racks are another great means of freeing up space, you can easily use them to separate different-sized baking sheets or cutting boards.

3. Use containers for decluttering purposes

Use containers and bins to declutter your kitchen counter.

Fruit bowls are a given, but you can also use decorative containers to keep counter space clear, like a colourful coffee canister or a unique jar to hold wooden spoons or spatulas. Place items like napkins or teabags in rustic-looking baskets. If your post tends to get dumped on the counter, hang a small wall-mounted organiser nearby.

You can also use bins to group items in your cabinets and fridge, or to keep cleaning products contained under the sink.

4. Keep everything within reach

Naturally, many kitchen messes occur while meals are being prepared, therefore, decreasing spills and clutter, and upping your kitchen organisation game by storing items can help with this. For example, keep the blender in the cabinet nearest the electrical outlet where you’ll plug it in, and hang pots and pans near the stove if possible, you might want to try keeping plastic containers for leftovers in the drawer under the cabinet, as well.

The object is to decrease the amount of space food and ingredients have to travel, doing so cuts down on the opportunity to spill and in addition, it saves you time.

5. Get lazy with a Lazy Susan

These magic discs can take your kitchen organisation to a new level with their ability to maximize the usable surface area in the smallest of nooks, and they also make awkward spaces functional. You can get a Lazy Susan in a variety of sizes, use smaller models to hold your spices or baking necessities, and larger ones for organising the cabinets where you store mixing bowls and measuring cups.

Adding kitchen organisation to your to-do list is well worth the time, an orderly kitchen tends to be cleaner, and you’ll find that having everything in a sensible place makes your meal prep more efficient, too.

Are you looking for regular maids to clean your kitchen and other rooms in your home? Then find your nearest Merry Maids and contact us today.

News Story – Working safely throughout Covid-19

World-renowned domestic cleaning company Merry Maids share how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way that they operate to ensure the safety of their customers and employees remains of the utmost importance.

Following the government announcement a few months ago, we were unable to deliver our professional domestic cleaning services to the thousands of customers who rely on us for a clean and hygienic home each week. Instead, we stayed home, stayed safe but kept in touch with our customers and staff, whilst developing ways to resume our services safely and sensitively when the time came.

Keeping homes clean and hygienic has never been more important. It is proven that the spread of the virus can be reduced through strict hygiene controls, as well as rigorous cleaning and sanitisation regimes, something that we are experts in.

Now that we have re-opened, much to the delight of our loyal customers, we have changed the way that we operate to ensure that our professional domestic cleaning service is safe and effective, whilst also taking in to account our customers’ individual requirements.

Such as;

  • Working with all of our customers to create customised cleaning regimes based on their new requirements
  • Retraining our employees on extra cleaning disciplines such as, ‘high touch point’ cleaning
  • Wearing PPE throughout customer homes and maintaining social distancing
  • Using specialist anti-viral products effective against germs, bacterial and enveloped viruses (such as previous strains of Coronavirus)
  • Calling ahead to customers to ensure that they do not have any symptoms and have not been in contact with another person displaying symptoms or with a confirmed case of Covid-19 before allowing employees to deliver a service
  • All employees to confirm on the day of work that they do not have any symptoms and have not been in contact with another person displaying symptoms or with a confirmed case of Covid-19

The above points are just some of the extra measures that we are taking.  For further information regarding how we are working safely and compliantly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,  please visit our dedicated page here, or contact your local Merry Maids business.

“We have adhered to government guidance throughout, and so we are delighted to be able to return to doing what we do best, making homes clean and hygienic. It goes without saying that we have always, and will continue to, put the safety of our customers and employees at the forefront of what we do.”

– Steve Morris, Merry Maids Brand Manager.

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd and was created to flood the world with hope, optimism and action, all around our beautiful planet Earth.

The first Earth Day was introduced back in 1970, therefore, celebrating its 50th Birthday this year, and now has over 75,000 partners working together to drive positive action.

Why does Earth day matter?

Our planet is currently facing two crises, one is the current COVID-19 pandemic and the other is climate change.

There is some good that has come out of a lot of countries being put on lockdown, here are a few of those good news stories:

  • People in India can see the Himalayas for the first time in decades, as air pollution reduces
  • China’s carbon emissions during February dropped by an estimated 25%
  • Venice’s canal water is cleaner than it has been for a long time
  • Global Carbon Dioxide output is forecast to fall by around 5%, which is the largest amount in over 70 years.

You can do your bit for Earth Day to ensure we come out of the current pandemic better than before by continuing to reduce your carbon emissions and recycling.

“Remember, this is our planet, this is our future.”

How can you help save our planet?

Going green and doing your bit to save our planet is easier than you may think. There are lots of little things you can do every day to help save our precious planet.

Save water to save the world

Conserving water is important because according to theworldcounts.com, if we continue the way we are, freshwater will run out by 2040!

Here are a few ways that you can help save water:

  • Turn the tap off while you’re brushing your teeth and shaving
  • Have shorter showers, also turn off your shower while lathering yourself in soap
  • Take baths when possible, however, only partially fill your tub, this will use less water than even those short showers
  • Only boil the amount of water you need for your cups of tea and coffee
  • Collect rainwater for your garden by using a water butt, or another rainwater collection system (this can save up to 5,000 litres of water a year)
  • Use a watering can or regulated sprinkler system where you can, instead of a hosepipe

There are plenty more ways you can help save water, you can find a few here at Volusia.org.

Plant trees to plant happiness

You can give a little gift to mother nature by planting a tree in your garden, this will increase happiness as well as helping the environment.

Trees and other plants are vital to Earth’s survival, so do your bit and plant trees in your garden.

Here is what your trees will do for the planet:

  • Absorb carbon dioxide and provide us with oxygen
  • Improve air quality
  • Help conserve water
  • Preserves soil
  • Helps support wildlife

“The little things that we can do to help save the environment, are the ones that make the biggest difference.”

Buy local or grow your own

Buying local produce like fruit, vegetables and meat from your local farm shop instead of your local supermarket will have a positive impact on the environment:

  • Will help reduce air pollution because of the decrease of goods being transported across long distances
  • Many local food producers grow their food organically, meaning they’ll use natural pest repellents and no chemically produced pesticides
  • Buying locally will help preserve farmland and reduce the amount of space for industrial and commercial development

Growing your own vegetables and fruit where possible will decrease air pollution even more. As you will only be walking into your garden or allotment to pick the produce. It’s as easy as pie, maybe an apple one!

Check out the RHS website for tips on growing your own vegetables.

 

You can learn more about Earth Day and how you can help on the Earth Day website.

“If we stand together, we can make the world a better place for all today and for those to come”

7 tips for a dog friendly home

If you’re a dog owner, you already know that having a fluffy four-legged friend around can bring an incredible spirit of joy and companionship into your home.

Unfortunately, for pet owners, dogs are known to be mischievous and mess is usually their middle name, especially those adorable puppies.

If you didn’t know already, April is National Pet Month, so our cleaning experts have decided to help and share 7 of the best tips for puppy-proofing your home, helping you keep it clean in the midst of all of the chaos.

Tip #1: Think like a dog

It may sound slightly odd, but experts recommend that you start the dog-proofing process by imagining how your dog sees his or her surroundings.

Get down to your dog’s level and look for anything that could be in reach and potentially catch your dog’s eye, like unattended food sources, uncovered rubbish bins, or enticing “human toys” like the remote control.

Then, make sure there are no easy routes for your pup to paw these treasures, or install shelving too high for them to reach.

Tip #2: The use of a lint roller

Lint rollers are one incredible invention for all dog owners! Consider keeping a few within reach of your front doorway so that you can dust off before leaving the house.

It may also be worth purchasing a heavy-duty fur remover broom for your hardwood flooring, and medium-sized lint rollers to trap hair on your sofas, chairs and beds etc.

Tip #3: Choose the right doggy bed.

Your fluffy friend spends a lot of time in their doggy bed, so it’s best to choose one that won’t trap unwanted odours and hair!

Whether you’ve got one dog or a whole pack, thinking ahead on pet beds will save you a lot of time and money down the line. There are dog beds you can purchase that have removable covers made from bacteria-fighting fabric, with one of those you can simply throw it in the washing machine every week or so.

Tip #4: Towels and blankets are useful

Wherever your furry friend likes to play, there’s sure to be plenty of fur and dirt.

Luckily, you can stop the dirt in its tracks by keeping an old towel near your door, along with some cleaning supplies and a shallow container of water, this will allow you to clean their messy paws after their daily walk.

If your puppy has some favourite spots to sit throughout the house, you may want to throw down a few machine-washable blankets in those places.

Tip #5: Add an air purifier to your shopping list.

Dog dander can cause severe allergies and invite unpleasant odours into your home.

Aside from observing a regular dog grooming schedule, you can also invest in a high-quality air purifier to combat your pup’s shedding habit and keep your house smelling fresh. Try to find a purifier that has a HEPA filter, as this means it’s certified to remove 99.97% of airborne allergens.

Tip #6: Perform a full “plant audit.”

Every home needs a little bit of greenery around the house and in the garden.

Before you let your dog strut around the garden, you’ll need to double and triple-check that your plants are safe for dogs.

Common flower varieties like tulips, daffodils, and lilies are actually poisonous to dogs, and even safe plants can cause gastrointestinal distress when ingested.

Once you’ve identified any potential hazards, either replace the offending plants or find a way to block your dog’s access to that area.

Tip #7: Invest in a few dog deterrents.

No matter how old your dogs are, they love to chew on almost anything they can reach.

To protect your home—and your canine’s teeth— from damage, you should think about investing in a few easy dog deterrents.

One solution you could use is bitter apple spray, which uses all-natural ingredients to keep dogs from chewing on table legs and furniture.

You can also install baby gates throughout the house to limit access to certain rooms.

Want More Pet-Related Cleaning Tips? We’ve Got You Covered!

Even if you dog-proof your entire home completely, it’s pretty much inevitable:

Your pet will eventually make a mess, and when that does happen, there’s no need to worry. With the help of our regular cleaning services, you’ll be well on your way to managing a beautifully dog-proof home.

Find your local Merry Maids here and we’ll be able to organise a visit to see your home in the future.

De-clutter your wardrobe

With us currently having to stay at home now is the perfect time to clear out your wardrobe, and make space for your new-season buys.

If the thought of organising your wardrobe fills you with dread, fear not, we’ve put together some top tips to make sure it’s ready for the season ahead – a great excuse to get online and buy some more clothes!

Be ruthless

Bag any clothes you haven’t worn in over a year and take them to a charity shop when possible, if you’re finding some items too hard to part with, bundle them up and store them away.

If you haven’t missed them after two seasons, they’re already packaged for giving away.

‘Merchandise’ your wardrobe like a professional

Arrange your wardrobe so similar items hang together. When shorter items, like shirts, are grouped together you may have space underneath for a shoe rack or even a small chest of drawers.

Freshen up and economise

Reduce cleaning bills by airing an outfit for a few hours after wearing it instead of popping it right back in the wardrobe or washing.

Clothes will stay fresher for longer and you should notice a difference in your bills.

Maximise space

Check outa any space above the hanging rails in your wardrobe, as there may be room for an additional shelf for out of season shoes, bags or other items.

You can use the back of your wardrobe door for shelf supports. Extra hooks can hold robes, or you could use the space for a tie or belt rack.

Get the professionals in

If all else fails you can rely on us to get your home clutter-free and clean. Our maids are all professionally trained and have the knowledge and ability to make your house sparkle.

 

10 things to do in the garden

The Easter weekend is a slightly different one this year with us ‘staying home’, but don’t let that stop you having fun in the garden!

We’ve put together some fun activities that you and your family can do in the garden whilst the weather is nice this bank holiday weekend. 

#1 Garden Easter egg hunt 

 If you have young children or just want a bit of fun as a couple, then hide some chocolate eggs in the garden for others to find. Make sure that you remember where you’ve hidden them, as you don’t want them to melt! 

 Here are some great places that you can hide the Easter eggs: 

  • Bird bath 
  • Watering can 
  • Flower bed
  • Hanging plants
  • Sandbox 

Come up with some more yourselves and have some fun! 

#2 Garden sports 

 Staying active while staying at home is very important and sports games in the garden are a great way to do this. 

 Here are some ideas for sports games:  

  • Badminton or tennis – dust off the old rackets and have a family competition 
  • Football – practice those skills and become the next Lionel Messi 
  • Catch – throw a ball to each other, be it a rugby ball or tennis ball 
  • Bowls or bowling – play some bowls or put up some makeshift skittles and practice your bowling skills 
  • Twister – you could even get out your game of Twister and play that in the garden 

There are lots more fun games you can play in the garden, if you come up with any more let us know on social media.  

#3 Gardening

Gardening is a very popular hobby and whilst the weather is nice and we’re having to stay at homewhy not get out there and tend to your garden. 

You could get out your trowel and tend to your flowerbeds or mow the lawn ready for your bowling games. 

#4 Garden camping

A great idea is to get the old tent out and have a camping trip in your garden. You could even use the barbecue as a bonfire, on which you can cook your dinner and toast marshmallows. 

#5 Garden bug hunt

Tell or show your kids what bugs to look for to see what they can find. Remember, if your kids do catch any to put them back where they found them.  

If you and your kids are feeling adventurous you could build a bug den or a butterfly feeder for example. 

#6 Chalk painting 

Being easily washable, chalk painting on your stone patio is a great way to entertain the kids and adults if you enjoy being creative.  

See who can come up with the most imaginative drawing and share them with us on social! 

 #7 Garden picnic

Set up a picnic in the garden, with young kids you can make this a fun teddy bear’s picnic if you like! 

Lay out a full picnic for the whole family to enjoy and then once you’ve finished you can make a day of it and enjoy some other garden activities. 

#8 Bury a time capsule

This is a great time to bury a time capsule with your family.  

Use some kind of waterproof container, cut articles from the newspaper, get your kids to draw or write a letter to their future self, including their age, their favourite things etc.  

You could even take and print out some pictures and put them in the time capsule. You’ll then need to seal up the capsule and bury it in your garden. 

#9 Paddling pool aerobics

You can get your kids to come up with a pool aerobics routine to do for the family. Have fun and get fit at the same time, perfect. 

For the younger kids, just playing with toys in the paddling pool will entertain them for hours! 

#10 Build a den

If you’ve got some wood or other items lying around you could build a garden fort fit for a king!  

Or if you or your children are massive Lego fans, then you’re bound to have enough bricks to build one as well! Make sure you show us your forts on social media! 

 

We hope you have a nice bank holiday weekend, and remember stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. 

 

Home decorating tips

With the nation currently being told to stay at home, there can’t be a better time to think about a bit of home decorating! 

We’ve done our homework and accumulated a few useful tips for you to take away and implement when you’re decorating your home, so here they are: 

Plan your decorating 

 Before splashing paint all over the walls and rearranging any furniture, make sure you have a plan written down.  

  • Produce a colour palette for each room 
  • To your best ability draw your new layout with everything labelled, including each wall colour 
  • Get everything organised like plastic sheets for while your painting and a good supply of tea and coffee 

Integrating design 

You’ll need to take into consideration what other rooms in your home look like, as for example, a modern room in an older house may not work particularly well. 

Consider what your other rooms look like and try to use complimenting colours throughout your home, you’ll have a beautiful home in no time.  

If you can’t afford to do other rooms right now, have these on a plan to do so in the future, again just to make your house more uniform. 

Functional designing 

 We all want a home to be proud of and one which is inviting to visitors too, that’s where functional design comes in to play.  

For each room ask yourself a few questions to ensure you produce the right feeling you want for that specific room;  

  • How do you want the space to appear/feel (cheerful, formal, friendly)? 
  • Who is the room being used by (adults, children or both)? 
  • What is the room’s function (an office, a nice place to relax, kids playroom)?

 As an example, if it’s your office which you’re planning to decorate, you’ll probably want to consider incorporating deeper colours, textures and patterns to make it feel more formal. 

You can get some great home decorating inspiration on the website/app Houzz and of course on Pinterest. 

Decorating on a budget  

If this is a spur of the moment thing, which you’ve decided to do because of having to stay at home, you may not have saved up the funds to do a full home decoration. 

This is where you need to consider which room/s are the ones most in need of a makeoverIf it’s just a lick of paint that you’re wanting to put up, then for now, just buy the exact amount you need for the room/s and get painting, include the kids if you want!  

If you’re planning on upgrading the whole room from décor to furniture then you may want to consider, where possible looking at secondhand items. 

Achieve the correct balance  

Making sure your room/s look as visually pleasing as possible is important, especially if it’s a small space. Things like the arrangement and size of your furniture, along with other items will help with balancing your room.   

For example, if it’s a lounge that will be used for entertaining family and visitors, you’ll want to consider having a main focal point in the room. This could be a bold statement wallpaper, or maybe a modern centrepiece on the coffee table. 

It’s your space 

Remember it’s your house, it’s your space, and taking too many hints and ideas from websites and other people could influence you to forget about what you want. Make sure your home has yours and your family’s personality written all over it. Enjoy your home decorating! If you like you can share your skills with us on social using #MMhomedecoration!

 

For regular blogs and other tips make sure you keep visiting our page and follow us on social media so you never miss an update. 

Stay home, stay connected

Being on lockdown, stuck in your house, restricted movement, social distancing, whatever you want to call it isn’t easy for a lot of people but luckily for us, in this day and age, we have a wide range of technology at our fingertips to help us stay connected. 

 Staying connected is important for us on a personal level to help keep away the boredom, help keep us motivated and help keep a closer eye on our loved ones that are now out of reach. Video calls are most definitely a great option for keeping in touch with people. 

Staying connected for business is going to be vital for many as more and more people are migrated to home working; getting access to apps, software and resources will help us work effectively and efficiently and well; just make the day easier. 

Here’s a good but not exhaustive list of software and Apps you could try to keep you connected for work and socially. 

Video Calling Software

Facetime – available on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and even newer Macbooks 

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204380 Facetime is a nice simple tool to use to video call loved ones but it is also a nice easy option for one to one video meetings. 

WhatsApp is popular for group chats but also have a video feature where you can video call individual people or groups of people, WhatsApp is available for Android, iPhone on Mac & Windows PC so is very accessible for lots of users 

https://www.whatsapp.com/ 

Zoom is designed for video conferencing and makes keeping in touch from a personal point of view but is especially handy for business use with several options & plans 

https://zoom.us/ 

Skype – Skype has video conferencing available and you can chat to more than one person at a time and share your screen, this makes it good for personal use but also. Works well for businesses use too 

https://www.skype.com/en/ 

Microsoft Teams – This is more than just a chat or remote meeting solution, Microsoft teams allows you to set up teams, have chats, hold group video calls, share a calendar and share documents within the teams, it is designed for teamwork. 

https://products.office.com/en-gb/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software 

Handling documents 

Big businesses might have fantastic IT resources, but if you are a smaller business it might be harder to manage your documents between your teams.  

I wouldn’t want to suggest one over another but a few options to help you keep running more smoothly are: 

Microsoft teams – as above, it is not just great for keeping in touch, it also has the power to share documents and update them live without the need to email things backwards and forwards. 

 Dropbox – This is more of a file-sharing option, you can give authorised people access to a Dropbox folder so you can access the documents within. If you have to work with personal data you will need the business version to help you be GDPR compliant 

https://www.dropbox.com 

Google Drive – This is a file-sharing platform and they have both personal and business packages available 

https://www.google.com/drive/ 

Huddle – a cloud-based project management solution that helps project teams in businesses 

https://www.huddle.com/ 

Receipt Bank – a pre-accounting tool often used by accountants and bookkeepers but can also be used by businesses to log receipts digitally. 

https://www.receipt-bank.com/uk/ 

Smart Receipt – Turns your phone into a receipt scanner and expense report generator with Smart Receipts! You can track receipts and lots more 

https://www.smartreceipts.co/ 

Expensify – claims to be the world’s leading application for expense management, receipt scanning, and business travel. Take a picture of your receipts using SmartScan and go from there 

https://www.expensify.com/ 

 

There are loads of tools out there to help make things just a little easier… all at your fingertips. 

Mental wellbeing during isolation

With many of us perhaps feeling concerned, stressed or panicked by the current situation, we’ve put together a few ways of looking after your mental-wellbeing during these challenging times. The below is not medical advice but aimed to help a little as you face life’s current worries.  

Connect with people

If you are in self-isolation, you may start to feel just that, isolated. What better opportunity than now to re-connect with old friends, keep in touch with family and check in with your nearest and dearest. Video calls are a great way to stay connected but why not brighten someone’s day by sending them a hand-written letter? Also, a lovely thing for your children to do as part of their homeschooling.   

Help Others and Offer Support

Being there to help others can be a mood boost for both parties. Local support groups can offer suggestions as to how you can help your local community. Maybe a phone call to an elderly resident is needed or perhaps you’re able to pick up medication for someone who is self-isolating. Little actions can go a long way.  

On a larger scale, the NHS has implemented a campaign for “NHS Volunteer Responders.” This is “a new group that will carry out simple, non-medical tasks to support people in England who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. They will be used by healthcare professionals to make sure people who are highly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) are able to stay safe and well at home.” You can see if you are eligible to help via the following website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/participation/get-involved/volunteering/nhs-volunteer-responders/ 

Relaxation techniques

Colouring In – Not just for kids! Adult colouring-in has taken off in a big way in the last few years. It’s a great way to practice Mindfulness and switch off from the world around. You can print out designs to colour in at homehttps://www.justcolor.net/ or even colour in digitally on your computer or phone. https://colormandala.com/ 

Yoga / Meditation – you can join in live via various online classes or YouTube have tonnes of instructional videos for everyone, from beginner to pro. Yoga can massively help with your mental wellbeing. 

Reading – why not take a moment to switch off and escape the world around you. Reading is great for focussing the mind and also a great way to begin an effective sleep routine.  

Sleep Routine

Maintaining a good sleep routine is always important but with many now having a less structured day, perhaps it’s time to focus on this. It’s easy to fall into the trap of staying up a little later and snoozing the alarm clock a few more times when your daily routine is not so rigid.  

If you’re having trouble sleeping, the NHS website offers some top tips: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/sleep/ 

With daylight hours increased last Sunday now is the ideal opportunity to set a new sleeping pattern for the Summer months.  

Exercise

Current NHS advice permits “one form of outdoor exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.” It is also important to remember to maintain a 2-metre distance from others when outside. So, how does exercise boost your mood? Physical activity causes the brain to release endorphins. These are chemicals which, in simple terms, cause you to feel happier and improve feelings of well-being.  

If you are unable to go out at the moment, why not participate in an online exercise class. From circuit training to ballet, there is something for everyone! 

Remember to take into account your own fitness levels and health/medical conditions before embarking on an exercise regime. 

Content is based on the Government’s health guidance and COVID-19 measures at the time of writing. Please refer to the government website to ensure that this information is current.  

If you have concerns regarding your mental health and wellbeing, further information, help and support can be found by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ 

Looking after your pets during the current crisis

As Coronavirus or COVID-19 – grinds the world to a halt, many are left wondering what they can and cannot do with their pets during this pandemic.  

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that pets can be carriers of Coronavirus, nor become poorly from it; however, your pets may be impacted if you or any members of your family test positive and find yourselves self-isolating.  

Many dog owners are quite rightly querying how they will walk their dogs now we have been advised to social distance ourselves, and what happens if they need to self-isolate. 

I’m choosing to social distance, what should I do with my pets?  

If you haven’t tested positive or been asked to self-isolate then you can continue your role as a pet owner as normal. However, it is a good idea to adopt good hygiene practices such as washing your hands before and after touching them, as well as handling their toys and food.  

Whilst you are able to still go outdoors, it might be a good idea to stock up on enough food and bedding for your pets, just in case you do suddenly find yourselves unable to go outdoors and having to stay home.  

If you are well in yourself and haven’t been told to stay at home, then you can still take your dog for a walk, however, under current Government guidance, you should keep two metres away from others. It might be wise to avoid busy periods at the park.  

There is currently no restriction on exercising larger animals such as horses, however, all competitions have been suspended until further notice.  

What if I’m poorly – how do I meet my pet’s needs? 

If you’re unable to walk your dog, it’s a good idea to ensure that they still have plenty of time in the back garden. Regular toilet breaks are still an important factor in your dog’s daily routine and this will need to replace their walking for a while.  

You can use toys to keep them entertained or stimulated whilst you need to rest. Encourage them to play with their toys or use a Kong to keep them mentally stimulated and busy.  

When you’re feeling up to it you can still play with your pets, but it’s important to keep washing your hands. Small animals will still need access to clean bedding regularly and large animals such as horses and cows will still need feeding and their bedding cleaned daily.  

Whilst you’re unable to go outside and tend to larger animals such as horses, it’s important to have a care plan in place and a designated person that is able to look after them and tend to their needs for you. If you are on a yard, your yard owner might be able to assist with this.  

If you feel that you are going to struggle to look after any pet during this difficult time and whilst you’re stuck at home then it may be worth asking a friend to have your pet for a couple of weeks. If this isn’t an option, you could contact your local kennels or pet boarding facility to see if they can help 

 

Please remember that all this is a precautionary measure and there is currently no evidence that pets can become unwell.

This article is for information and guidance only and we are not experts. If you are worried about your pets at any time, phone your Veterinarian for assistance, but do explain your situation so they can ensure your pet receives the right care whilst isolating yourself.

Cleaning myths busted

We’re bombarded with cleaning advice from the internet, magazines and more recently, social media, some of these are myths that aren’t necessarily always the best way to clean your home and sometimes, they can do far more harm than good.  

We’re here to uncover some of these cleaning myths so you don’t have to! 

myth, myths

Myth #1 – Using vinegar tclean anything 

This natural cleaning solution is said to be the answer to lots of cleaning problems, but sometimes it can actually do more harm than good.  

Although it can be useful to clean certain items, you should always carry out a spot test on an inconspicuous area first to check that it doesn’t damage the item you’re trying to clean. 

Vinegar can damage the finish on natural stone, such as tiles and marbles and it can damage your iron if you use it to clean it.

Myth #2 – Using window cleaner on screens 

You would assume that it’s okay to use a window cleaning spray to clean your computer screen or television, but the chemicals can damage your electricals.  

Instead, use a clean microfiber cloth or specialist cleaning wipe to wipe over your screen. If you need to, add a small amount of alcohol, such as vodka, to the cloth before wiping and buff away any dirt or grime. 

Myth #3 – Wetting  carpet stain 

It’s easy to panic if you spill a glass of red wine on your cream carpet or sofa, but don’t be tempted to apply a lot of water to the mark. This can damage the carpet fibres and the excess moisture can cause the wine to penetrate further, leaving a stain behind.  

Instead, use the effective ‘blot’ method to remove stains. Instead of drenching your carpet in water, lightly sprinkle it with a little water and blot again with a clean paper towel or cloth.  

If you can’t remove the stain, we recommend giving  ServiceMaster Clean a call! 

Myth #4 – Be cautious with nail polish remover 

It is said that nail polish remover can be used to remove sticky spots, such as marks left on surfaces from stickers.  

Unfortunately, this could leave a mark on the surface, especially if it is on a finished wooden surface. Instead, try using a sponge dampened in warm water to gently loosen the mark, allowing you to wipe it away.  

If the stain is too stubborn for water, we recommend contacting  Furniture Medic. 

Myth #5 – Using bleach to remove rusty stains 

Pouring bleach on to rusty marks can make the problem worse, so avoid this at all costs! It’s best leaving this to the experts!

To book your next clean give your local Merry Maids a call today to find out more.

Keep an eye on our page for regular blogs and news, feel free to share this and any of our other blogs on your social media. 

10 Positive things to do from home

We’ve put together a few ideas to keep your spirits up when you’re at home during the current virus outbreak:  

1. Plan or Re-decorate

Plan something for the future- create a mood board to re-decorate your home or research a trip for later in the year.

2. Get Cooking

Cook something delicious – there are some great apps out there to help you use what you have, rather than heading to the shops. Plus, subscription companies like Gousto and Hello Fresh are still delivering fresh food to your door.

3. Clean Your Home

Spring Clean – Whether it’s the whole house or the utensils drawer – being clutter-free and organised is a great feeling.

4. Phone or Video Chat

Call or video chat with someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while, maybe your uncle and/or auntie, or maybe an old friend.

5. Sort Out Your Finances

Get your finances in order – save money by switching utility providers or shopping around for a better credit card rate.

6. Have a Sort Out

Clear out your wardrobe– separate clothes into a throw-out pile, a charity pile and a keep pile.

7. Research Your Family Tree

Research your family tree – most ancestry websites offer free trials too.

8. Keep On Exercising

Exercise – join a yoga streaming group or dust off that exercise bike lurking in the shed. Joe Wicks, The Body Coach is doing daily videos for children and adults during the week – https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1.


9. Get a Book Out

Read – or if you prefer, listen to an audio book.

10. Learn a New Skill

Access to webinars/online resources is greater than ever. From languages courses to DIY, there’s something for everyone.

These are just a few ideas to keep yourself positive during the current situation, what ideas can you think of? Let us know what you’ll be doing.

Where to find useful information about COVID-19

There is information everywhere you look about the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, sometimes it is difficult working out fact from fiction so we have collated a variety of reputable links that will be kept up to date with reliable information.

Health Information & Advice:

Advice for the public from the World Health Organisation

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Health advise from the NHS

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Government Advice for Employees, & employers (Dept for Business Energy and Ind Strategy)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

NHS online self-assessment

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 if you think you have symptoms.

COVID 19 Official Infection Rate Stats England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland

COVID-19 Cases Update (Public Health England)
https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f94c3c90da5b4e9f9a0b19484dd4bb14

Information about Financial Support:

Government Guidance for employees (Dept for Business Energy and Ind Strategy & Public Health England)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

Government support for businesses affected by Covid 19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Banking Group Solutions for businesses affected by COVID19

Lloyds
https://www.thebfa.org/expert-advice/lloyds-banking-group-ready-to-support-uk-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/
HSBC
https://www.thebfa.org/expert-advice/hsbc-uk-announces-package-of-support-for-customers-affected-by-covid-19/

Stay up to date using a reliable source to keep yourself, loved ones, customers and everyone else safe.

Keeping positive

In these unprecedented times, you, like many others around the world may be feeling a little low in spirits. Things may seem a little gloomy but there are rays of positivity shining through.  

I’ve put together a little blog on some of the lovely things which I’ve seen in the last few days in the hope of sharing a little happiness.  

Rainbows Pictures Springing up in Windows 

The trend started online, following the closure of UK schools on Friday 20th March.  

With the view of “spreading hope” the rainbows also provide a lovely bit of positivity for when you are out and about during your daily exercise. If you’re out for a walk / run / cycle, see how many are around in your area.  

Balcony Singing, Italy

You’ve more than likely seen some of the balcony singing taking place throughout Italy recently.  

Here’s one of the best video’s I’ve seen of music bringing people together, boosting morale and staying positive.  

Fortunately for my neighbours, I won’t be recreating this anytime soon! 

 

Connecting More  

 Last week I downloaded the “House Party” app. It’s essentially a video call app with function for multiple participants. It’s less formal than other video calling platforms such as Microsoft Teams and really simple to use. My family all enjoyed a drink and a catch up together on Mother’s Day via the app with extended family from further away too. Something which we most likely wouldn’t have done without the social distancing measures in place. Somehow, I think we all feel the need to connect even more with people at the moment.  

Support for our NHS workers 

On Thursday 26th March, Lincoln Cathedral will glow blue as a mark of support to our amazing NHS workers: 

This will be followed by the Nationwide “Clap for our Carers” campaign at 8pmWhereby, people across the UK can clap from their gardens, front doors and balconies to show their support and give thanks to doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists and other NHS staff, working tirelessly to help those affected by the coronavirus. 

Supermarkets are already showing their gratitude to NHS workers such as in this clip from Tesco in Swansea, where staff applauded and gave flowers during designated NHS staff shopping hour. 

 

And finally, a brilliant video of staff at Basildon NHS keeping themselves motivated in these challenging times…

How to maintain a clean home

Whilst many people are at home, now is the perfect time to give your home some TLC. Below are some hints and tips to make sure your home is clean and looking its best for you and your family. 

Decluttering

It’s quite amazing how much stuff we can collect over time and it’s equally amazing how reluctant we can be to give it up. We like to go by the one year rule… if you haven’t used, worn or looked at it for a year, it needs to go. We know there are some items that you simply can’t get rid of so why not look to put them into storage for safekeeping? 

Grab yourself a box or a bag and start loading your old and unwanted items into it. 

Dusting 

Next, take a microfibre cloth and work your way around the room, top to bottom, picking up as much dirt and dust as you can. Your microfibre cloth should do the hard work for you, even better when it’s a little damp, so move quickly and wipe over all your surfaces. 

Vacuuming 

When you’ve finished with the microfibre cloth, pick up your vacuum and work your way around the room again. If you couldn’t reach an area with your cloth, your vacuum should have a better reach. Use all the extra tools at your disposal to pick up the hidden and hard to reach dirt. 

Sofa Cleaning

Regular vacuuming of your sofas should make this job even easier but with the vacuum cleaner on full power, run the crevice tool all over your suite and remove the cushions and get right down into the hard to reach areas. 

With some help, lift the sofas up and run the vacuum cleaner or a microfibre cloth underneath to pick up the hidden dirt. It’s only a very quick job but cleaning underneath sofas really does help to make the room feel cleaner. 

Kitchen Cleaning

If you have a dishwasher, utilise its power and place everything you can inside to give them a really good clean. If you can’t wash certain items in the dishwasher, place into hot, soapy water whilst you tackle other jobs.  

To tackle the fridge and any nasty stains or odours that have collated in there, grab an old toothbrush and toothpaste and get scrubbing. The chemicals in toothpaste are great for cleaning stains and marks leftover time and the toothbrush allows you to reach those tricky areas. Rinse the fridge well and if odours remain, chop a lemon in half and place one half at the top and one at the bottom – they’ll soon clear up any nasty smells. 

Bathroom Cleaning

Tough limescale in the bathroom may take time to clean but with pre-planning, you can clean your bathroom overnight, whilst you sleep! For showerheads and taps that are turning green, fill a bag with white vinegar and tie it tightly around the showerhead or tap and leave it overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and take a toothbrush to the stain and it should just wipe off. 

These hits and tip will make sure your home is looking its best and smelling beautiful.

How to stay motivated when working from home

Working from home can be tough if you’re not used to it, so we thought we’d put together a few tips to help you through each day.

Tip #1 – Create An Office

You may be tempted to sit on the sofa or lie in bed whilst working from home, this is a mistake as it will demotivate you.

Dedicate a room specifically as your office, away from any distractions, like Television or other family members/housemates.

Make sure your office is tidy and try and keep it as similar to your work desk as you can, this way you’ll get into your work mindset.

Tip #2 – Wake Up On Time

You may be tempted to lie in if you’re working from home, thinking;

“It’s alright, the boss will never know”.

Don’t be tempted! Wake up at the normal time you would if you were going to work, have your breakfast and morning coffee as you normal and start work at the time you usually do.

This will create in your mind the normal workday ethic and you’ll become used to it in no time at all.

Tip #3 – Stay On Schedule

Try not to change your normal working schedule and keep it as similar as you can.

If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks.

Check your emails at the same times you would if you were at work and add in new tasks where you can.

Tip #4 – Stay Off Social Media

We’re always tempted with our personal mobiles when we’re at home, but you wouldn’t be allowed them at work, so why should you be using them when working from home?

A quick tip to help stay off social media is to log out of every account.

You might even consider working primarily in a private or if using Chrome, an “Incognito” browser window.

This is all of course if don’t work with social media on a work-related basis, and then you really don’t want to avoid going on it!

Tip #5 – Stay Connected

You need to make sure you stay connected to your team and other teams within your business.

Instant messaging and video conferencing tools can make it easy to check in with co-workers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture.

Here are few instant messaging and video conferencing tools you can use:

  • Microsoft Teams – If your business uses Office 365, Microsoft Teams has instant messaging and video conferencing options to keep you connected
  • WhatsApp – Of course WhatsApp is in the list, it’s the most popular instant messaging tool in the world and can easily keep you connected to your teams
  • Slack – A great collaboration tool that can keep your team on track to completing tasks, also has an instant messaging section to help stay connected
  • Zoom – A video conferencing tool to keep you connected, the free version limits meetings for over 3 people to 40 minutes at a time
  • Skype – Another well-known platform that can be used for video conferencing and instant messaging

These are only a few options that are out there, you may want to do a bit of homework and find the right tools for your business.

Tip #5 – Take Regular Breaks

Make sure you’re taking regular breaks, like grabbing yourself a drink or walking around the house to keep you as active as possible.

Rather than just opening your phone and checking social media or watching YouTube videos, use your breaks to get away from your desk:

  • Go for a walk around your house or garden
  • Spend time with others who might also be in the house
  • Give your pet a bit of attention
  • Make yourself some lunch

One other main point about taking regular breaks is to have your lunch at the same time every day. This way your body will get used to eating at specific times and you will be less likely to snack.

 

Feel free to share the below image on social –

What’s the difference between social distancing, isolation and quarantine?

With all that’s going on in the world now, everyone needs to understand what the differences between Social Distancing, Isolation and Quarantine are.

There is a difference between each of these terms and we’ll explain the difference below.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing should be practised by everyone, whether or not they are exposed to the virus.

Social Distancing includes avoiding handshakes, crowds and staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from people.

Working from home/Remote Working has been recommended by the government when possible and if showing any symptoms, you should be self-isolating.

What is Isolation?

Isolation is for those who have been either diagnosed with COVID-19 or showing symptoms of the virus.

Isolation serves as a deterrent to keep the infected away from the healthy in order to stop the spread of the virus. This applies to anyone living with someone showing symptoms, anyone with an underlying health condition or anyone over the age of 70.

What is Quarantine?

Quarantine is the restriction on the movement of people, which is intended to prevent the spread of disease. Preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a COVID-19, but do not have a confirmed case.

This is the current situation in countries like Italy & Spain to which they have issued a nationwide quarantine and restricted everyone from leaving their homes as much as they can.

Here are a few small graphics that we’ll be sharing on social media as well that you can share if you like:

Social Distancing Isolation Quarantine

5 Ways To Upgrade Your Cleaning Routine

Now that the holidays are over and the New Year is upon us, it’s the perfect time to start upgrading your daily cleaning routine!

Whether you’re a queen or king of cleaning checklists or just looking to get more organised in 2020, our cleaning experts at Merry Maids can help you stay on track with your goals, by providing regular cleaning services to supplement your everyday efforts.

Here are 5 great ways you can upgrade your home cleaning habits for 2020 ­– and beyond!

#1: Introduce one simple daily cleaning habit

Nowadays the majority of us are always on-the-go, it can be hard to find time even for a 15-minute daily cleaning ritual, let alone a rigorous cleaning schedule. When you’re not sure where to begin, we would recommend starting small and master a single daily cleaning habit that will make a difference to you.

To get started, make a list of all your cleaning pet peeves – in other words, those tasks that drive you crazy when you can’t complete them.

Whether on your own or with a partner, pick out the top chore and complete it daily until it becomes a habit, which typically takes 21 days to form as a habit. From there, you can introduce new habits as and when needed!

#2: Create a defined house cleaning schedule

Again, the key here is to start small, build on your existing efforts and hold yourself accountable to whatever tasks you add onto the schedule.

Here are a few methods you might like:

  • Theme up your cleaning – If you hate repetition more than anything else, try giving each day a cleaning theme. Maybe Monday can be your washing day and Tuesdays can be for cleared for kitchen clean-up. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you can and will follow!
  • Set a specific time aside for your top 10 tasks – Instead of taking it one day at a time, create a list of the top 10 small cleaning chores that you would like to accomplish by the end of each night. Then give yourself a consistent time to accomplish them, whether in the morning or the evening.
  • Pick one day to be your cleaning day. Prefer to take care of everything all at once? Select a day to designate as your “cleaning day” and take care of key high-traffic areas at the same time. Give yourself at least 2-3 hours to complete the task!

#3: Make an organisation checklist

No matter what cleaning schedule you prefer, it’s a good idea to build out an organisation checklist, which should include every cleaning and organising task that you’ll ever need to do. Keep this list somewhere handy, for example, stuck on the fridge and check it often to make sure you’re covering everything.

Just follow these simple steps to create your own checklist:

  1. Walk around your house and list all areas that need to be cleaned (usually everywhere, unfortunately!)
  2. Within each area, write down all the cleaning and organisational tasks that need to be completed during the year
  3. Assign each task to a sub-list, depending on whether the chore should be done daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonally
  4. Create an easy system to check these items off your list

#4: Find creative ways to remind yourself about cleaning tasks

Even when you have a clear direction for your daily cleaning rituals, you’ll need lots of reminders to stay focused on each task. By finding a creative and colourful way to remind yourself, you’ll be more likely to get everything done!

Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a DIY corkboard and tack up notes about your daily and weekly tasks, you could even add how many calories you’ll burn off for each task!
  • Keep an extra calendar on the wall just for your cleaning checklist

#5: Get the whole family involved

As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one or three or four, depending on how many are in your household! Enlisting your spouse, your kids, or other live-at-home family members will make your life easier and give you more time to chill out and watch your favourite Netflix series. A chore chart is a time-honoured tradition for a reason – it allows everyone to participate in maintaining their own space.

Next Steps: Call in a Professional

Of course, the best way to elevate your cleaning routine this year is to bring in professionals, on whatever basis will work best for your needs. We offer weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleans, so you can choose the schedule that makes sense for you! Find your nearest Merry Maids here.

Planning a Stress-Free Christmas Dinner Party

Whether you’re hosting a large group of friends and family at your house or cooking up a feast for your immediate family, it can be stressful to plan for a holiday dinner party – especially if you’re acting as head-chef, sous-chef and server throughout the event. After all, these meals most probably involve multiple courses, your best silverware and china you only get out for Christmas, and a whole lot of decorations: It’s enough to make anyone go mad!

Christmas Dinner Party

With the right planning, however, you’ll be well on your way to a more stress-free and satisfying Christmas. In some cases, your planning process may even include delegating out the cleaning chores and kitchen tasks to the rest of the family or housemates, so that you can focus on being the perfect party host for your guests.

Below, we’ve put together a few Christmas party ideas to make your planning and Christmas dinner easier.

Define your menu

Christmas dinners are always based around one thing – you guessed it – lots and lots of delicious food, it’s important to start here before you plan anything else, and see if you can cut back in any area.

If you’re cooking all the food yourself, you should first consider enlisting a few elves to help, or if you can’t find any elves, friends or family to help in the kitchen.

While it can be fun to go all out for this kind of event, make sure that your menu doesn’t put too much stress on your own plate and is simple enough to produce.

After you put together a holiday dinner menu, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many guests will I have, and what are their dietary needs and restrictions?
  • What recipes do I plan to use?
  • What’s the timescale to make this meal from beginning to end?
  • Can I make any dishes ahead of time?
  • Am I comfortable using these recipes?
  • Do I want it to be a potluck dinner and have guests bring unique side dishes? – This can give you more time for you to be the perfect host, as you won’t be in the kitchen as much.
  • Will there be young children there, and if so, will they have a separate menu?

Once you have the answers to these questions, go back to the drawing board and eliminate anything that will add unnecessary time to your meal preparations. Pretty soon, you’ll find that your menu accurately reflects the needs of your group and plays to your individual strengths as a cook, making it easier to get ready.

It’s also a good idea to create your ingredient shopping list early on, so you won’t be running to the shops to grab anything later.

Put down the cocktail shaker

For a lot of us, a seasonal cocktail is just as important as the Christmas dinner itself. However, you don’t have to practice your bartending skills all year round and play bartender to give your guests an amazing time. It’s much easier to make cocktail batches in advance, which you can include on a decorated bar cart with ice, napkins, garnishes, and other essentials. Don’t drink? There’s always some alcohol-free punches that taste heavenly as well!

Some of the best holiday cocktail recipes to make in a batch include:

  • A delicious apple mocktail, like a Caramel Apple Mocktail
  • One for the bah humbugs to get them in the Christmas mood, a Grinch Punch
  • Classic hot drinks, like Martha Stewart’s mulled wine
  • One for all the lovers out there, a Mistletoe Margarita
  • A festive winter sangria, like this one from Joyful Healthy Eats

Whatever you make, be sure you and your guests drink responsibly.

Pre dinner party cleaning

Whether you’re picking up the duster yourself or delegating the cleaning to someone else, it’s critical to include pre-party cleaning time in your schedule. Unless guests will be wandering throughout the house, focus on high-traffic areas like the kitchen, living room, and dining room. In general, the cleaning should be completed no more than two days before the guests arrive.

Get the right ambience

You don’t need to go mad with decorations to make your home feel cosy and welcoming. After all, a dinner party is primarily about one thing: food!

As long as your house is clean and your tables are ready to go, you’ll be well on your way to holiday bliss.

That being said, we’ve got a few easy tricks you can use to boost the ambience in your space:

  • Set the mood with the right holiday playlist. Just use Alexa or Google Home to put on some Christmas favourites and your home will instantly feel Christmas party-ready.
  • Make space for shoes and coats. Don’t have a coat or shoe rack? No problem: Pick out a designated closet and be sure there are enough hangers for coats. Then lay down a mat or a rug for guests to place their shoes. Alternatively, if no one is staying in the spare room, put the coats neatly labelled on the bed.
  • Open the windows before your guests show up. It may be a bit chilly outside, but it’s a good idea to give your dining area a blast of fresh air right before guests arrive. You’ll eliminate any lingering odours from all of the festive cooking, and the room will warm up again in no time.
  • Light up a few scented candles. Candles are a great way to communicate warmth and comfort to your guests. They may even think you’ve been baking for hours if you choose the right one!

Need a Helping Hand This Year?

At Merry Maids, we provide top-notch cleaning services so that you can rest a little easier before your dinner party. By delivering a detailed clean we can guarantee, our cleaning experts will let your home’s natural beauty shine through. From entryways to bathrooms to staircases, your guests will be wowed by your home!

We’re wishing you a very happy and stress-free holiday season! Find your nearest Merry Maids to get your home sparkling for your dinner party.

Merry Maids Kingston Win Franchisee of The Year Award

A Kingston based cleaning company is celebrating after collecting one of the most prestigious business awards in franchising.

 

Merry Maids of Kingston are left celebrating after scooping one of the most prestigious awards, the Dallen Peterson – Franchisee of the year award at ServiceMaster Ltd.’s annual business awards ceremony.

Merry Maids of Kingston, is a franchise of ServiceMaster, owned and managed by Gary Rolfe and has been successfully cleaning homes in the area since 2017.

 

Gary commented “I am still in shock that I won in all honesty! I am overwhelmed to have received this award, particularly so early on in my business. However, winning has given me enormous confidence that I can smash my targets for the next 12 months.

 

“Things have changed quite considerably over the last 12 months for both my business and within the network. I no longer say no to any job, whatever that is. I think in the early days of my business I was scared to tackle something different or awkward whereas now I just jump in with both feet and give it a whirl! We have tackled some extreme cleans and 8-bedroom houses – my moto is, if you don’t try, you will never know if you can do it!” Said Gary

 

The Franchisee of the Year 2018 is the most prestigious award and a pinnacle achievement within the ServiceMaster Franchisee network. It is awarded to one franchisee who has displayed the highest achievement in the pursuit of excellence and professional management in the ServiceMaster tradition.

 

When asked what Gary felt added to him winning Franchisee of the Year he said:

 

“I think having a great team of staff, alongside organisation is a key asset to have in any business and its one I definitely didn’t have in the early stages of my business. I remember back to when I first started and I began visiting other business owners, it dawned on me how unorganised I was – whereas now my office and storage units are completely different – I always try to think ‘Clear Clutter, make space for you!’

 

“I also have a very positive relationship with my clients. I truly believe building lasting relationships really ensures you have a lasting and sustainable business to work with.” Added Gary

 

Winning Franchisee of the Year is and outstanding achievement and one not to be taken lightly – it requires hard work and dedication from business owners. Winners also get the opportunity to visit the ServiceMaster conference held in the US each year.

 

Managing Director of ServiceMaster, Alan Lewin said: “It was great to see so many of our franchise community and suppliers gathered together to engage in the Summer Summit event. I am always appreciative of the commitment that our franchisees and suppliers make in taking a day out of their business to invest time with peers, colleagues & the franchise support team at ServiceMaster.

 

“We recognise achievements in the categories of Growth, People, Customer and Invest, these headings form part of our organisational “North Star” which we use as is a simple guide to cultural performance and strategic execution for all stakeholders across our community.

 

“We recognise the big obvious stuff like customer service accolades, established franchisees that have grown their revenues by in excess of £1m+, and new franchisees that have got great results from their start up, and beaten their financial projections” Finished Alan

 

Recognising some of the less obvious, but nonetheless culturally vital parts of franchising is imperative to ServiceMaster and the Summer Summit conference allowed this to happen.

 

Awards were given for not only growth, but also to those that have given back to their community, or employees of franchisees that have demonstrated their commitment to the brand attributes engaging in initiatives and actions with colleagues and customers well beyond their job description, very often in their own time at their own expense.

“I have had many notable highs in the last year and this is the icing on the cake. Early in January I had set myself monthly targets which helped me enormously. We smashed these targets but twelve months ago, these targets seemed impossible. I would like to thank my staff, for all their hard work and commitment to helping us achieve these numbers but also all the members of the IRC who have given me great encouragement and support, and also everyone at Head Office.” Finished Gary

“As the Brand Manager for Merry Maids it is one of the great privileges of my role to reward businesses that have achieved great things in the past year.

 

“Life is tough in business these days and most business owners, have their head down and get on with the job in hand, so when they can see the rewards for their efforts, it not only keeps them motivated to continue on that trajectory, it also inspires and motivates other owners to aspire to the same level. Gary is a prime example of sheer hard work and determination to

 

“I would like to say huge congratulations to all the award winners, they are all well deserved.” Finished Merry Maids brand manager, Steve Morris