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…

Homeschooling from a full-time working mum… how to survive!

Well, this is different! Being a fulltime working mum, homeschooling wasn’t something I had planned for and if you’re here reading this, I doubt you did either? But here I am and I’m trying my best to keep some normality as much as I can considering what’s going on in the world right now. 

I have two children, one of Primary School age and one in Secondary School, my challenge is to keep them entertained and somewhat educated while I work full time, from home (mostly) 

Keep To A School Day Routine  

To keep disruption to a minimum and help keep the kids focussed on their schoolwork, try sticking to a school day routine as much as you can. 

We are starting school at 9am each school day, and Ive found a fantastic YouTube channel ‘The Body Coach’ who are streaming live PE videos each school day. Take a look here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ 

What better way to keep the kids active and get them ready for learning? If you want to know why exercising in the morning is so beneficial, this is a useful read: https://www.myactivesg.com/read/2018/2/6-reasons-why-morning-exercise-is-important-for-your-health 

Scheduling The Kids Day 

Most schools have provided a good number of online resources, so why not structure your learning day/week into a school timetable. Evidence shows that children do best when they can follow a routine, this will also make it easier for you to keep on top of things.  

  MONDAY  TUESDAY  WEDNESDAY  THURSDAY 
09.00 – 09.30  PE  PE  PE  PE 
09.30 – 10.15  MATHS  MATHS  MATHS  MATHS 
10.15 – 10.30  BREAK  BREAK  BREAK  BREAK 
10.30 – 11.45  ENGLISH  ENGLISH  ENGLISH  ENGLISH 
11.45 –  13.00  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT 

 

Shhhh… I’m thinking of doing the Science bit at the weekend so I can have some fun too! 

Don’t forget, it’s also important to allow time for the kids to have fun and to entertain themselves, all work and no play is going to make this a long journey and well, we’ve got work to do too. 

If you are looking for more inspiration from an education point of view, below are some other links to a wide range of websites with homeschooling ideas. 

https://www.homeschooling-ideas.com/home-school-ideas.html 

https://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/education-1071/home-education-873/653184-ideas-homeschooling.html 

https://www.edplace.com/blog/homeschooling/lesson-planning-and-ideas-home-education-days-across-the-uk 

https://www.homeschool-activities.com/ 

https://www.theschoolrun.com/home-education-step-by-step

Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained 

Are you looking for ways to entertain the kids that isn’t YouTube or computer games? 

Make the most of your garden or outside space, we all need some fresh air and sunshine, yes, it is out as I sit here writing this, stuck in the office and looking out of the window. As we all need a bit of a break from work and learning, I thought I’d also share a range of websites with ideas for fun things to do, so here you are: 

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1389/diy-kids-activities/  

https://www.toucanbox.com/activities/fun-things-to-do-at-home-with-your-kids 

https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/best-indoor-kid-crafts-activities.html 

https://www.verywellfamily.com/absolutely-free-activities-for-kids-2997490 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/gardening_with_children/ 

https://www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/gardening-children-schools/family-activities/Activities 

YouTube Channels: 

  • Crash Course Kids 
  • Science Channel 
  • SciShow Kids 
  • National  Geographic Kids 
  • Free School 
  • Geography Focus 
  • TheBrainScoop 
  • SciShow 
  • Kids Learning Tube 
  • Geeek Gurl Diaries 
  • Mike Likes Science 
  • Science Max 
  • SoulPancake 

 This isn’t going to be easy by any means, I’ve already needed to remind my kids that this isn’t a holiday but hopefully this will help keep you sane that little bit longer and at least give you some ideas to help you through it.  

My Own Personal Favourites;  

  • Home economics – Teach them how to make a cup of tea, for me of course, as I’m busy working! 
  • Science – How washing up liquid removes grease from the saucepan and other cooking utensils 
  • Mechanical Engineering – How to operate a hoover, the kids always think it’s a hard job! 

Written by Vicky, Commercial Marketing Manager and Full Time Mum 

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

Age appropriate chores for children

It’s important to teach children to pitch in and help with the housekeeping at an early age. After all, they have to start learning responsibility to succeed in life, but how do you know which chores young kids will be capable of handling? If only you had an age-appropriate chore list to check…

Waves a magic wand…abracadabra…

We’ve produced one just for you! Use the following chart to assign chores for kids by age, whether you’re a parent, grandparent, teacher or babysitter. We’ll also give you a few tips on how to keep your children motivated and chores fun.

Children Age 2 – 3

  • Pick up toys
  • Help set the table
  • Throw trash away when instructed
  • Place their clothes in a laundry basket
  • Wipe lower cabinet doors

Tip: Kids this age love to use their imagination, so think of ways to turn chores into fun imaginative games.

Children Age 4 – 5

  • Put toys and books away
  • Set and clear the table
  • Pick out clothes for the next day
  • Sweep small areas with a handheld broom
  • Fold towels

Tip: Children aged four to five can get overwhelmed with too many instructions. Be certain to only assign one task at a time and consider singing silly songs as you work.

Tip: With a tiled kitchen you can use a bit of masking tape to make a square, then get your child to sweep everything into this small square.

Children Age 6 – 7

  • Put away clean silverware
  • Help clean the bedroom
  • Wipe down bathroom surfaces
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Load and unload the washing machine and tumble dryer

Tip: Give six- and seven-year-olds plenty of recognition for how well they’re doing, as their sense of confidence starts to develop around this time. You can make chores more enjoyable by turning them into games.

Children Age 8 – 9

  • Help prepare meals with supervision
  • Dust and vacuum
  • Feed, brush and walk pets
  • Empty trash cans
  • Fold towels and put clothes away

Tip: Consider buying kids this age their own brightly coloured child-friendly kitchen utensils and get them to wash these up after every meal. This will ramp up the fun factor and will also make them feel more independent.

Children Age 10 – 12

  • Laundry and ironing
  • Gardening jobs
  • Cook simple meals
  • Wash dishes by hand or load the dishwasher
  • Clean the kitchen

Tip: This is a good time to start incentivising kids. Set up a routine list of chores for kids by age, and reward them with weekly pocket money, extra screen time, a trip to get ice cream or see a movie.

Children Age 13 and up

  • Make full meals
  • Clean the shower, tub, sink, and toilet
  • Clean out the refrigerator
  • Babysit for younger siblings

Tip: Rewards and incentives still work well. Make sure you continue to recognise the additional responsibilities your children are able to take on, so they know they’re appreciated.

Keep in mind that there may be a little trial and error involved when it comes to different age groups. Every child’s development is different, so give kids a new task if they have difficulty completing the original assignment.

Also remember that when dealing with children and chores, there’s no such thing as too much praise. Let kids know you’re proud of their efforts. It will make them feel good and they’ll want to keep helping so they can get more positive feedback.

Looking for more insights on children and chores? Check out our post on fun cleaning games with kids. And if you’re finding that life has you too busy to even think about cleaning your home, contact your local Merry Maids! We’re happy to lend a hand so you can free up more time to do the things you love with the people you care for the most.

Pre-Christmas Cleaning Checklist

Christmas is on its way, in fact, it’s less than a month away now!

Pre-Christmas Cleaning Checklist

Are you planning on hosting a Christmas party or Christmas day itself with the family?

If you are then this pre-Christmas cleaning checklist is exactly what you need.

Guest Bedroom Pre-Christmas Cleaning

Make sure your guest bedroom/s are cleaned for your guests or any unexpected guests, like a friend who may have had a few too many and cannot drive home.

  • Change the sheets/bedding & duvets so they are clean and fresh for your guests. A quick tip to make them even fresher smelling is to wash them separately to any clothes
  • Vacuum and polish the guest room to ensure the room has a welcoming scent

If your guest room isn’t used that often, it may not be as welcoming as some other rooms in the house.

  • You can potentially get a few paintings or photos up in the room, maybe a houseplant or anything else you may feel is welcoming

Your guests are quite likely to be staying more than one night, therefore, they’ll need a bit of space to put their clothes and other belongings.

  • Empty the wardrobe and drawers of usually, all of your summer clothes or, “I’ll take these to a charity shop one-day” clothes
  • This will ensure your guest has sufficient space and will feel more at home, instead of living out of their suitcase

Kitchen Pre-Christmas Cleaning

The kitchen is usually the mingling hub in the house, especially with the mulled wine brewing on the stove, it makes it feel warm and Christmassy!

Your oven needs to be clean to ensure it’s ready for the juicy turkey or tasty nut roast!

  • Buy a good oven cleaning product and follow the instructions on the label, as there are lots of different products you can use
  • A clean oven will one make your food taste better, and two it won’t produce smoke that would float around the house making it smell nasty. Although, if you burn the turkey, for starters you wouldn’t be very popular and it would be your fault if the house smells bad!

You’ll most probably have to put a lot of food in your fridge and freezer so it’s time for a clear out!

  • Have a clean fridge for all of your Christmas food
    – Remove all food, drawers and shelves
    – Soak drawers and shelves in washing up liquid
    – Use warm water and washing up liquid to wipe the interior
    – Wipe outer surfaces, dry inside with kitchen roll
    – Dry and return the drawers/shelves
    – Wait until the temperature has returned to 5°C

Having a clean and less cluttered fridge will allow space for all of the pigs in blankets, wine and trifle etc!

Bathroom Pre-Christmas Cleaning

The wintertime is the main time of year when people get those horrid colds that they just can’t get rid of.

That’s why pre-cleaning the bathroom and maintaining the cleanliness throughout the time your guests are here is important.

  • Clean the bathroom from top to bottom, including; bath, shower, sink, toilet, carpet, cupboards and anything else you may have in there
  • Tidy up your bathroom to leave some space for your guest’s toiletries, or  if you have two bathrooms then move all of your toiletries to the bathroom your guests won’t be using. This will again make them feel at home

Living Room Pre-Christmas Cleaning

Your living room is the main social and board gaming hub in the house, with the fire roaring in the background and the smell of Christmas all around.

  • Vacuum your living room carpet before your guests arrive and during their stay depending on how long they’re there for
  • Vacuum all of your upholstery and cushions prior to guests arriving
  • Have a general tidy up and if you have time a bit of a declutter of things you don’t need during the winter period

Home Exterior Pre-Christmas Cleaning

Ensure the outside of your house looks welcoming for your guests and any neighbours that might pop round to wish you a Merry Christmas.

  • Clean your outside decorations just by wiping them with a dry cloth
  • Clean your windows on the inside and outside
  • Make sure, if you have a drive that you’ve left enough space for your guest’s car/s or if it’s on-street parking there is enough space for them. If you live in a city remember to sort out their on-street parking permits

 

If you don’t feel like you have any time to clean your home remember you can give us a call to do it all for you! You can find your nearest Merry Maids business here.

 

 

Creep it Clean at Halloween

It’s nearly Halloween, where being scary is the norm, yet cleaning up after a Halloween party is sometimes the scariest part!

Here are a few ideas to turn your Halloween into Halloclean! Creep it real and give ’em pumpkin to talk about, your party guests are dying to have fun!

Cleaning After Halloween

Blood on the floor… (fake. Usually anyway!)

Bloodstains can be a pain in the neck at Halloween and we don’t mean from the bloodthirsty vampires that lurk in the shadows.

Thankfully this time, we’re referring to fake blood that your guests may wear as part of their costume.

Being made from corn syrup and red dye, fake blood can leave a horrifying stain on pretty much anything it touches.

To clean it up you will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A microfibre cloth
  • A bit of elbow grease
  • Kitchen roll

How to remove:

  • Apply the rubbing alcohol to the surface or fabric
  • Rub in a circular motion using a little bit of elbow grease
  • Dab the area with some kitchen roll

Crushed Candy

It’s candy crushing time!

Especially with young children about there are bound to be a few instances where candy is dropped on the floor and stepped into the carpet.

Cleaning up after Halloween sweets

Most sweets are going to cause some kind of ghastly sticky mess everywhere and you really don’t want that!

To clean it up you will need:

  • Sponge or cleaning cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hot Water

How to remove:

  • Soak your sponge or cleaning cloth in the hot water
  • Take out of the hot water using your rubber gloves and wring out
  • Apply like a compress on the area

The heat and moisture from the sponge or cloth will help in reducing the dried-on sugar, which will make it easier to wipe away.

Smashing Pumpkins

After Halloween, smashing pumpkins (no not the famous rock band) is a fun activity for the family, however , pumpkins have the tendency to rot very quickly and ooze a nasty smelling liquid.

This liquid can make the pumpkin stick to the surface it is placed upon, be it your doorstep or window sill.

To clean it up you will need:

  • WD40
  • A scraper or small shovel
  • Access to water

How to remove:

  • Apply WD40 to the bottom of the pumpkin, dispose of the pumpkin
  • Apply a small bit of warm water to soften the pumpkin residue
  • Gently scrape pumpkin residue and pieces off the surface
  • Apply water again to wash away

Messy Halloween Makeup

Your Halloween party guests I’m sure will be wearing makeup apart from the ones that….um…. don’t need to (is that too mean?!).

Halloween Makeup

Costume makeup is a bit thicker than normal makeup, as most are oil-based and this means that it has the tendency to smear on surfaces more and is harder to remove.

To clean it up you will need:

  • Makeup Remover (for normal makeup, surfaces only)
  • Cleaning cloth or sponge
  • Cleaning spray (for costume makeup, surfaces, and fabric)

How to remove:

  • Apply makeup remover or cleaning spray (dependent on normal or costume makeup stain) onto the stained area.
  • Clean off makeup remover straight away with sponge or cloth.
  • Cleaning spray, leave for 10-15 minutes, especially on fabric
  • Wipe away with sponge or cloth

If you’re a bit of a lazy bones when it comes to cleaning then give your local Merry Maids UK a call. Find your local Merry Maids UK here.

We hope you have a spoooooktastic Halloween next week!

This blog may also interest you and assist with cleaning your house Interesting & Yucky Facts About Cleaning Your House.

Fun Cleaning Games For Kids

Entertaining kids in the evenings and weekends is a difficult task, but have you thought about making cleaning fun for the kids?

We’ve put our heads together and come up with a list of fun cleaning games that your kids will enjoy!

fun cleaning kids

 

Fill Up Fun

Fill Up Fun is all about recycling, although the first part of this game may be boring for the kids so you might want to do this!

  • Wash and dry the plastic and other recyclable items ready for recycling (Do this beforehand for the kids)
  • Split all the recycling into two equal piles
  • Place the recycling bin a short distance away from the piles
  • See who can get their recycling into the bin quick enough
  • Alternatively, see who can throw the plastic items into the bin from the greatest distance

This would be fun for adults, let alone the kids! Haha!

Spot The Recycling

Another bit of recycling fun for the kids is to firstly give them two bin bags each; one for recycling and the other for general waste.

Get your children to walk around the house and put in their bags what rubbish they think should be recycled and what should be thrown into general waste.

This can help with a bit of family exercise as well, especially if you do a timed race and see who has the most amount of items in the correct bags in the allotted time period.

Fold It Fast

This one is quite an easy one, but yet fun for the kids, as it doesn’t involve much setting up.

You will need:

  • A pile of clean, dry washing
  • Two or more enthusiastic children
  • A parent to supervise

All this game involves is for you to show the kids how to fold the laundry and then time them to see who can fold the most amount of items in the chosen time.

Kids Clear Out

A good clear out of old items needs to be done completed on a regular basis, especially with growing kids in the house.

As kids grow up they go off certain toys, books or games etc, and also as adults, we love to keep things we don’t need!

  • Go through the whole house putting items in three piles
    – Keep Pile
    – Charity Pile
    – Throw Pile
  • Get your kids to go through their old items and get rid of anything they don’t want anymore (if it’s broken throw it and if it’s still intact give it to charity)
  • While they’re doing this, you can go through some of your own things that you may not want to clutter the house with
  • Once all of the items have been put into piles, check to see if the kids have put things in the correct piles
  • Let your children bag the items and anything going to the local charity store, take them with you so they can hand over the bag

We’re sure there are plenty more cleaning games that can get kids liking cleaning, so if you know of any, let us know by sharing this post on social with your game idea!

If you’ve exhausted yourself and your kids playing all these games, then give your local Merry Maids a call to help with the housework so you can live life’s moments.

Back to School Organisation

With Summer coming to a close and the new school term edging closer, getting back into a routine can be challenging.

The following tips can help you get your home ready for the upcoming days of homework, and other school activities within the next few months.

Create a Homework Station

It’s important for a small, quiet area, preferably with a desk, to be tidied and organised for your children to have their own space to do their homework.

You can organise all of the school/office supplies within this area, including pens, scissors, highlighters, pencils and anything else they may need.

Having everything in one place should discourage them from getting distracted and wander off to search for any items they may need.

Organise the School Bags

Always make sure that before and after school the kid’s bags are organised, as they will get out of hand if you’re not careful!

Our recommendation is to keep the backpacks hanging up near the front door, making sure homework and anything like permission slips are removed from the bag. Everything else, if not needed to stay within the bags.

Create a school bag checklist for you and your kids to go through every morning to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Have it All on a Checklist

We’ve all got out of routine by now after spending summer days out with the family, but now it’s time to get organised.

For younger school children have a point by point checklist, which should include things such as;

  • Make the bed
  • Eat breakfast
  • Clean dishes
  • Brush teeth
  • Organise bag etc.

The checklist should include after school chores as well, such as cleaning and packing lunchboxes, doing homework & taking care of chores.

Have Clothes Ready To Go

Laying out clothes for the next day is a huge time saver for you and your kids.

You could even be extremely organised and lay out clothes for the whole week, including clothes for the evening as well as school uniform.

Get your kids into a routine of doing this on a Sunday afternoon, and then check they’ve got everything they need for the whole week.

What to include;

  • School uniform for the week
  • Gym kit for gym day or any after school sports
  • Evening clothes to change into when they’re home

 

With the help of these back to school organisation tips, you’ll be back on a slick schedule in no time at all.

However, the increased amount of activities during school time can leave you begging for more time to complete your daily housekeeping schedule. That’s where we can help, get in contact with your local Merry Maids today.

Hiring a Cleaner is a Lifestyle Choice

A clean home is important for a number of reasons, but cleaning can be tiring and exhausting, let alone having time to actually do it!

A lot more people nowadays opt for a domestic cleaning service like Merry Maids to do the main bulk of house cleaning for them.

How would hiring a cleaner help my busy lifestyle?

One of the main reasons nowadays that people hire a cleaner is because of their more active and social lifestyle.

Having someone do all of your house cleaning for you, gives you precious time to do a numerous amount of tasks you may not have been able to do before, like:

  • Spending more time with family & friends
  • Heading to the gym early in the morning or in the evening
  • Rediscover your talents & hobbies, like cooking or sewing
  • Catch up on your favourite Netflix Original series, or go to the cinema

I’m sure you would be able to think of plenty more interesting things with your time!

Can I leave my house while a cleaner is in?

This is entirely up to the homeowner, some would prefer to stay at home when the clean is going on, and others are not as concerned.

Here at Merry Maids, we thrive on having a trustworthy and professional service for all of our customers.

You can leave your key at our offices and we will return it safely after your clean has been carried out.

Have a more organised life

Having a cleaner can lead to a more organised mind as well as an organised home.

A lot of people admit to cleaning up the home before the cleaner arrives.

This being said, all we would suggest doing is clearing enough room for us to get around the house and our cleaners will clean and organise your home, just the way you want it.

So, there is no need to “Clean” before your cleaner arrives, just relax, we’ve got it covered.

 

So to get on the road to a better and more organised lifestyle find your nearest Merry Maids here and call us today.

Making Your Bed Is Important For Your Health

There are a million and one excuses for not making your bed in the morning, here are a few common ones:

  • “I got up late and I didn’t have time to make my bed.”
  • “What’s the point? I’m getting back in it as soon as I get home.”
  • “My pet is curled up on the sheets and I didn’t want to wake them up”.

making your bed

Make bed making a morning habit

We all hate making our beds, but it’s scientifically proven that making your bed is overall better for your health and your sleeping habits.

Think of making your bed as your first successful task of the day, apart from trying to get up of course.

Your bed is the focal point in your bedroom and having that clean and tidy creates a sense of accomplishment and puts you in a better mood for the day to come.

Make it a part of your morning routine like brushing your teeth or combing your hair.

The science of making your bed

A study completed by the National Sleep Foundation proved that those who made their bed every day had a better night’s sleep to those that didn’t.

This study also states figures that people with clean sheets get a much more comfortable sleep. So, clean your sheets more often than you already do, simple!

“53% of respondents rated sleeping on sheets with a fresh scent an important contributor to their sleep experience” – Bedroom Poll by National Sleep Foundation.

The myth of letting your sheets breathe

Many people are convinced that they need to let their bed “breathe” during the day, and the reasons being that we are told that airing your bed out can prevent dust mites, mould and bedbugs etc.

However, the best way to get rid of dust mites and prevent mould is to keep your mattress clean, wash your sheets and your mattress protector frequently.

You can still have that little bit of air flow through your sheets if you really want, by slightly folding the top of your duvet cover over.

All in all, making your bed can help with your actual sleeping and make you feel accomplished before starting your day, so get bed making!

 

If you really don’t like making your bed, your local Merry Maids can always do this for you while making the rest of your house spick and span! Find your nearest Merry Maids here.

The Ugly Truths About Dust

Dust contains hair, pollen, soil, mould spores, textile fibres and dust mite faeces, amongst other matter.

vacuum dust

Fatty Dust

Who remembers Marjorie from Little Britain saying, “Dust, anybody, dust? It’s actually very low in fat and you can eat as much as you like”?

Marjorie is actually incorrect when it comes to dust being low in fat.

Research has shown that certain types of matter within household dust can turn on a protein called PPAR-gamma (peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor gamma).

This protein may be involved in obesity, because of the protein triggering fat cells to grow in our bodies.

More research is currently being completed in regards to the correlation between PPAR-gamma and obesity.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny little arachnids that are usually between 0.2-0.3 mm in length.

They are smaller than a grain of sand and not visible to the human eye!

  • A 2013 study found that household dust mites have actually evolved from parasites.
  • Dust mites feed mainly on dead skin that we shed.
  • One of the most common triggers of allergies in the home is the decomposing bodies and faecal matter of dust mites. Yuck!
  • Half a teaspoon of dust can contain up to 1,000 dust mites and around 250,000 faecal pellets!
  • The average mattress contains anywhere between 100,000 to 10 million dust mites.

The Dustiest Places

There are some places in your home where dust will accumulate more often than others.

  • Window blinds– Wipe your blinds with a duster and vacuum them regularly.
  • Electronic devices– Collect dust because of static electricity, so make sure you frequently wipe with a duster.
  • Fixtures and fittings– Light fittings, lampshades, light switches and ceiling fans attract dust, so clean these in your weekly routine.
  • Upholstery– Dust mites love upholstery because of the warm environment between the textile fibres. Make sure hoovering your upholstery is in your weekly cleaning schedule.
  • Carpets– Like upholstery, dust mites thrive in the carpet fibres, so again make sure you’re regularly hoovering.

 

Our friends over at ServiceMaster Clean can help you with professional carpet cleaning.

If you’re not a fan of dust after reading some of these horrible facts, find your local office here and contact us today.

 

Local business looking after local charities

A local Merry Maids business has granted his own Christmas wish to two charities in a vow to help the local community and give back.

Gary Rolfe, owner of Merry Maids of Kingston decided he wanted to do something good for the local community and give two members of the public a Christmas and New Year they wouldn’t forget in a hurry!

Late in 2018, Gary contacted the director of Stay Well Services, also based in Kingston, to show his initial interest in helping two members of the community by providing them with a free house clean.

Stay Well then worked with Gary to help select the two lucky candidates.

“I just wanted to give something back to the local community, which is why I initially contacted Stay Well. A lot of people might take a clean house for granted, but for some it’s not as simple as that and I wanted to help make it possible.” Commented Gary

Two properties were selected in the Kingston area; one that belonged to an elderly gentleman who struggled to clean, and another belonging to a young mother who suffers with ME, and finds everyday tasks like cleaning difficult.

Both customers were absolutely delighted with their cleans and were extremely impressed with the Merry Maids Team for helping them have a lovely clean house for Christmas.

For more information about Merry Maids of Kingston, visit www.merrymaids.co.uk/Kingston or contact: 020 8287 1481

Kingston Merry Maids Celebrating Award

Kingston Merry Maids are celebrating after picking up a prestigious award for their staff members.

Merry Maids of Kingston owner, Gary Rolfe picked up the two awards at the national conference for ServiceMaster limited held in June of this year.

Merry Maids Kingston Award

Merry Maids of Kingston covers Kingston Upton Thames, Richmond, Wimbledon, Putney, Wandsworth, Kew, Coombe, Ham and East Sheen and has been operating since 2017.

Along with picking up the award for Rookie of the year, which celebrates outstanding new franchisee’s, the business has also had notable steady growth throughout the previous 12 months.

Picking up these awards are no easy task, and ServiceMaster do all they can to recognise the hard work and dedication of each franchisee. The aim of the awards is not only to recognise the work that goes into franchising, but also recognise when a business has done something truly outstanding.

The conference was held in Leicester and consisted of networking events, presentations and talks, with the awards finishing the day off.

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.”

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’ve made a conscious effort to continuously hit targets throughout the last 12-months. It’s something that I find motivating and this month I hit £10k 3 months earlier than anticipated so I’m thrilled with that.

“Obviously it’s a great achievement to pick up the ‘Best Newbie’ award this year, and the next year will now be spent building on that.” Added Gary

ServiceMaster has over 300 franchisees operating in close to 700 licensed areas under its brands, including Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean, Furniture Medic, TruGreen Professional LawnCare and Rosemary Bookkeeping. TruGreen has been recognised as a leading franchise opportunity in the Elite Franchise Top 100 franchises in the United Kingdom.

 

 

Hiring a maid will make you smile more

Hiring a maid will make you smile more!

How would hiring a cleaner make you smile, you may ask. Well, are a few reasons you why you may want to consider hiring a maid

.Smile, cleaning

Do you have no time to clean?

The average family now works more hours during the day, gets home to cook the dinner, entertains the kids for an hour or two and then puts the kids to bed. After all of this, all you want to do is zonk out on your sofa, watch the latest drama on TV and not think about cleaning at all.

We totally understand why you don’t have enough time in your daily schedule to clean. So, to make your life easier and your house cleaner, all you need to do is call Merry Maids and we can have your house sparkling by the time you get home!

Do you suffer from any allergies?

With over 12% of the UK population having some form of asthma, cleaning for these people can cause sneezing and even asthma attacks from just wiping up a small bit of accumulated dust.

If you’re one of that 12% that suffers, you won’t want to be cleaning all the time, because you don’t want your asthma to be triggered. The best option for you is to give Merry Maids a call to make your home an allergy-free zone!

Do you want to spend more time with the family?

The weekend comes around quickly, usually anyway. All you want to do at the weekend is spend time with your family and friends.

Merry Maids can give you the gift of family time by cleaning during the week. All you need to do at the weekend is to have fun, live your life to the fullest and maybe even tick something off your bucket list!

So, what are you waiting for? Turn that frown upside down and smile more by hiring a maid from Merry Maids!

 

Find your local Merry Maids here and receive a free quote.

 

Merry Maids of South Yorkshire Celebrate 25 Years in Business and Growth Award

Merry Maids of South Yorkshire Celebrate 25 Years in Business and Prestigious Merry Maids Growth Award

Mike and Carol Fargher of Merry Maids South Yorkshire are celebrating after receiving their 25 year Service Pin as a ServiceMaster franchise and a North Star Growth Award for the growth of their business in 2017.

All ServiceMaster franchisees are recognised for their loyalty and commitment to their respective brands by the way of a ServiceMaster Service Pin. Our franchisees wear their Service Pin’s with pride as they add reassurance and credibility to their business offering when meeting prospective customers.

As a franchise, we are grateful to those franchisees who have grown established businesses over the years, as their industry knowledge and expertise are extremely valuable to the Merry Maids franchise network.

Twenty-five years is a huge length of time to give to a business and both Mike and Carol’s efforts have not gone unrewarded, thus scooping the prestigious North Star Growth Award for the growth of their business in 2017.

It is a huge achievement to grow a business in the current economic uncertainty, especially for a luxury service such as domestic cleaning. However, Mike & Carol have worked hard to secure more customers and grow their work force in the Sheffield area adding to the local economy and helping to reduce unemployment rates.

Carol said;

The Merry Maids name is a trusted national brand that has helped our business grow ‘year on year’ in the Sheffield region. 

Our ongoing success has created employment in the local area and our child friendly working hours always attract many applicants whenever we are looking to expand our workforce. 

Over the last 25 years our teams of Merry Maids have helped build the excellent reputation that Merry Maids  of South Yorkshire enjoys today for providing reliability and service. 
We look forward to carrying on growing our ‘Merry Maids’ business in the future.

Our Franchise Recruitment Marketing Manager, Emma Nicholson took great pleasure in visiting her most local Merry Maids franchisee to present the Service Pin and Growth Award.

Emma said;

Nothing makes me prouder than being able to present not only a Service Pin for 25 years, but also an award for Growth. It’s such a milestone to reach and an achievement to receive and I’m honoured to be able to present them.

Merry Maids has been established in the UK for almost 40 years and provides domestic cleaning services to homes through individually owned and operated franchised businesses.

For a FREE, no obligation quotation for home cleaning services in South Yorkshire, visit their website www.merrymaids.co.uk/south-yorkshire or call 0114 272 2655 today!

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

Merry Maids of Croydon scooped the North Star Growth award, and more prestigiously, the Dallen Peterson, Franchisee of the year award.

Merry Maids of Croydon, is a franchise of ServiceMaster, owned and managed by Debbie Walker and has been successfully cleaning homes in the area since 2003.

Debbie commented “I am delighted to have won the award and very proud of my team who work very hard to offer our clients the best service we can. I am looking forward to going to America to see how a Merry Maids business operate there “

The Franchisee of the Year 2017 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.

 

“The last 12 months have just been great. We’ve celebrated 2 members of staff working for Merry Maids of Croydon for 10 years, which in this day and age is fantastic. We have also increased our work force by 15%. Additionally, we have continued our work as Dementia Friends and are proud to be able to continue this. It is very important to our business that we understand the needs of the families we work with.  I would say we are definitely a community orientated business that take pride in working within the community and helping families.” Added Debbie

Picking up one award is an achievement, but to go on and win Franchisee of the Year is and outstanding achievement. 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.

“As a family business working for families, we are thrilled to have won, but it simply wouldn’t be possible without our staff .I feel they all need a special thank you. Merry Maids of Croydon constantly strives hard to offer great customer service and a community friendly approach.

 

“Of course, our goals over the next 12 months are to grow but also to continue to offer an excellent service to our clients especially continuing to develop in certain sectors – working with clients with dementia and  the elderly that wish to stay living at home  .” Finished Debbie

“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. Debbie 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, Catriona Berry

A Sutton Coldfield based cleaning company is celebrating after picking up a prestigious award for their staff members.

Merry Maids of Sutton Coldfield employee, Mandy Edwards picked up the Highly Commended for Employee of the Year Award at the national conference for ServiceMaster limited held in June of this year.

Merry Maids of Sutton Coldfield offers premier domestic cleaning services throughout Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Tamworth and Walsall and has been operating since 1999.

The company, owned by Helen Bielbyand Becky Hewitt, is a franchise of ServiceMaster Limited and has been in Helens family since 1999. In 2011 Helen’s parents retired and she took over, along with colleague Becky.

Along with picking up the award for Highly Commended for Employee of the Year, the business has also had notable steady growth throughout the previous 12 months.

When asked why Mandy deserved to win the award, Helen said: “Mandy has been working with us for just over 5 years. During this time, she has progressed from Maid to Captain and now into her current position. The unique way that we run our business means the majority of day to day work falls to her. “

“Mandy works tirelessly to promote our business. She manages the teams’ activities and consistently hits her targets for winning new jobs. This has significantly contributed to the growth of the business in the past year, which has been the most challenging period in the 8 years since Becky and I took over the business. Continued Helen

“She is truly mine and Becky’s ‘right hand man’ and the business, staff and ourselves would struggle without her. “Finished Helen

Picking up these awards are no easy task, and ServiceMaster do all they can to recognise the hard work and dedication of each franchisee. The aim of the awards is not only to recognise the work that goes into franchising, but also recognise when a business has done something truly outstanding.

The conference was held in Leicester and consisted of networking events, presentations and talks, with the awards finishing the day off.

 

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.”

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.

“Running a domestic cleaning business has many aspects, dealing with customers wants and needs, employee issues (specifically recruiting suitable people), marketing in a new digital world and everything in-between! It’s a 24-hour job but rewarding providing you put the resource and effort in. Said Helen

“Over the next 12 months we would like to increase our growth by increasing our customer base and continue to be a great place to work. We are also continuing our charity work, which we like to put back into the community.

Our chosen charity is Pathway in Lichfield which supports victims of domestic abuse. We have already donated a Premier Clean service to be auctioned in September to raise money for such a worthwhile cause.” Finished Helen

A Fylde & Preston based cleaning company is celebrating after collecting two prestigious business awards.

Merry Maids of Fylde, Blackpool & Preston scooped the North Star Growth Award, as well as office manager, Jane Lord, picking up Employee of the Year 2018 at the national conference for ServiceMaster limited held in June of this year.

Merry Maids of Fylde, Blackpool & Preston have been successfully cleaning homes in the area since 2002.  The business is owned and managed by husband and wife team, Steve & Nicky Morris.  The company currently employs a total of 29 people.

Nicky commented: “We are delighted that Jane’s valuable contribution to our business has been recognised across the Merry Maid network in the UK by the Employee of the Year award. Jane has been our Office Manager for over 6 years and is the first point of contact for new customers as well as existing customers. She is calm, professional and friendly which gives the right impression of our business.  Jane is also totally reliable and we can trust her to run things in our absence.  This is vital for small business owners to have someone they can rely on to take responsibility when required.”

Having traded for over 16 years now, the business has high aspirations for the next 12-months and hopes to increase their growth rate again. Earlier this year they expanded by purchasing and moving into their new unit on the Enterprise Zone at Blackpool Airport.

Nicky added “We would like to take this opportunity to thank our hardworking and conscientious staff for their help in growing the business.”

Picking up these awards is no easy task, and ServiceMaster do all they can to recognise the hard work and dedication of each franchisee. The aim of the awards is not only to recognise the work that goes into franchising, but also to recognise when a business has done something truly outstanding.

The conference was held in Leicester and consisted of networking events, presentations and talks, with the awards finishing the day off.

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.”

Fresh start for Merry Maids of Wakefield & South Leeds

A former banker has entered the world of domestic cleaning in Wakefield and South Leeds and has vowed to exceed customer expectations in her new venture.

Gina Glendinning of Wakefield, is the new owner of Merry Maids of Wakefield and South Leeds, which is a franchise of ServiceMaster, after leaving a 30-year corporate banking career with HSBC. Merry Maids has been trading across Wakefield and South Leeds for nearly 20 years but was founded in the US in 1979.

Mrs Glendinning, director, Merry Maids of Wakefield and South Leeds said: “I knew that when I left the world of corporate banking I wanted to run my own business and the Merry Maids opportunity looked too good to be true. There is already a fantastic business with some incredibly hard-working staff and I’m all about the customer service, which is where I plan to add some real value.

“The Merry Maids brand name already holds a fantastic reputation both locally and nationally and I am hoping my small business will soon become a big business and a fantastic place to work.”

There are currently around 70 local Merry Maids businesses in the UK and over 600 across the US, Canada and Japan.

Merry Maids brand operations manager, Catriona Berry added: “Gina’s experience and desire to succeed will stand her in great stead to build a fantastic business. We’re excited to witness the expected growth of Merry Maids of Wakefield and South Leeds in the near future.”

Merry Maids offers weekly, bi-weekly, four-weekly or one-off spring cleans to residents. For job opportunities with Merry Maids of Stratford, visit merrymaids.co.uk/wakefield