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Moving home cleaning tips

Moving home is exciting, but it’s also one of life’s major stress triggers due to all the work that has to be done in a short timeframe.

While it’s likely impossible that you’ll never enjoy moving home, there are several ways in which you can make the process easier on yourself and those you live with.

1. Create a Schedule

Packing up and cleaning your home is a big task, so it’s important to plan properly. That means mapping out your time well in advance. In addition to your actual move-out date, set deadlines for specific tasks, such as packing up the spare bedroom or cleaning out your fridge. Be certain to leave yourself as much wiggle room as is feasible: The goal is to get as much move-out cleaning done ahead of time while still having access to the comforts and necessities you need until you move to your new home.

2. Pack and Clean in Zones

Make sure you concentrate on one space at a time by setting cleaning and packing zones in your house. Make a list or draw a map of your home and number the rooms or areas in the order you want to tackle them. For example, list spare rooms or guest bathrooms first as these spots can be packed without changing your daily routines. Remember to clean as you go, taking the time to wipe down books, lamps and other items before putting them away. If you won’t be using a move-out cleaning service, you’ll want to work from the top (cleaning cobwebs, ceiling fans and light fixtures) to the bottom (vacuuming, washing floors and wiping skirting boards) in each room.

3. Embrace the Opportunity to De-clutter

As you’ll literally be going through every room in your home, a move-out cleaning is the perfect time to get rid of anything you don’t want or need anymore, be ruthless as it leaves you with fewer boxes to move! Place a few empty boxes around your house and fill them with those items you haven’t used in months or the clothes that you forgot you owned until you started packing up your closet. Once they’re full, donate them or sell them at a local car boot sale. Additionally, go through paperwork and the ‘man drawer’ (you know the one we mean) and toss out any anything that may be lying around you don’t need anymore.

4. Enlist Some Help

Packing is a much less daunting task if you have some extra hands and pleasant conversation, sticking to social distancing guidelines of course. Clearly, you might not want their help packing some of your more personal belongings, but a little assistance boxing up books, baking utensils or seasonal items in your garage can make a huge difference in your move-out cleaning.

5. Bring in the Professionals

Your time will likely be limited, especially if you’re a renter, and you can’t unload your moving truck and clean your house at the same time. Take the stress away and contact your local Merry Maids to see what home or apartment move-out cleaning services they offer. That way, you can focus on carrying those boxes, while housekeeping professionals take care of cleaning your former home, saving you time and — if you’re a renter — ensuring you don’t have to pay any clean-up fees from your security deposit.

Where there’s a move-out, there’s usually a move-in. If you need your new place spruced up a bit, you can always contact your local Merry Maids in regards to that as well.

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.

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.

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.

 

How to declutter your clutter

We’ve all got those items in our home that we haven’t used for a while or never used at all, well, it’s time to get rid of them, declutter and have a spring clean!

Here a few tips on how to declutter all of that stored clutter!

Organise your time

When it comes to spring-cleaning organisation is key!

If you’re not organised, or have an idea of where you’re going to start, then you will make the whole spring-cleaning task a lot harder for yourself.

Make a list of your tasks, in order of how you’re going to do them and do a room at a time. However, cut it down into smaller tasks to show the illusion that it isn’t a big task after all!

The organisation focuses your efforts onto smaller tasks, which are more achievable and, in the end, more rewarding when the tasks are completed.

Imagine a clean home

Imagine your home the cleanest it’s ever been and try and set your goal to make your house look like that!

Don’t just imagine it though, as this defeats the point!

declutter the clutter

Ask yourself four simple questions for all of your items:

  • Should I throw it away?
  • Do I want to recycle it?
  • Do I want to give it to charity or to a friend?
  • Is there any need for me to keep it?

Get into the right mindset and be brutal with what you throw away and don’t keep everything!

You never know…..

There is that one trap that a lot of us fall into and it’s the “You never know when you might need it” trap.

If you put in a pound for every time this was said in your household, you would probably be a millionaire by now!

If you haven’t used an item regularly or at all for the past year, pick it up and throw it or give it away! YOU DON’T NEED IT!

Here are some items that are usually the “you never know” culprits:

  • Magazines – They stock up in your magazine rack and/or magazine box, if you’ve already read it, then recycle it!
  • Batteries – When batteries are dead a lot of people head into the kitchen and straight to ‘The Junk Drawer’, where they sit, forever! If you say you haven’t got one of these, your lying, we all do!
  • Takeaway menus – Yes, even with the ability to jump on your phone and get a delivery from Deliveroo or Just Eat nowadays, we still get menus through the door. Guess where they usually go…. yes, you guessed it ‘The Junk Drawer’!
  • Wires – Every man on the planet has a drawer full of wires and when it’s opened they jump out at you like snakes! “I’m not throwing that wire away, that was for my Nokia 3210, you never know, I might need it again”.

Book time with your books

We bet that in your kitchen you have at least 10 recipe books, and some of you a lot more!

Do you use all of these books on a regular basis? The answer is probably no.

If you answered no to the above question, you need to go through your recipe books and be ruthless about throwing them out or giving them away.

One quick tip is to photocopy your favourite recipes and put them in one of those empty recipe books with plastic wallets.

This will help declutter your kitchen sideboard and give you more room to store more useless things! No really don’t do that! That was a joke!

 

For more cleaning tips and blog posts follow us on our social channels to keep up to date.

To find your local Merry Maids click here.

5 Ideas for Under Bed Storage

5 Ideas for under bed storage

There may be a monster under your bed at the moment. If there is, then tell them to move because you need this area for storage!

Just like that, you have solved the scary monster under the bed situation for your child! Anyway, this blog isn’t about the monster, instead, it is about how you can utilise the space under your bed for storage.

UNDER BED STORAGE

Already made storage

An easy way to get under bed storage is to buy an already made bed frame that has drawers inside it, however, these can be expensive, so keep on reading for more great tips

Wheely Wheely Cool

No this isn’t Jonathon Ross saying really, I mean actually using wheels, trust me, just roll with it!

A great way to use the space under your bed for storage is if you have an old set of drawers, take the drawers out and put some wheels on the bottom.

If you haven’t got any old chest of drawers or anything, head to your local Facebook Selling page and just ask, there is bound to be someone selling something like this.

You can pull these drawers easily in and out on all types of flooring.

Utilise old suitcases

“Can I borrow a suitcase? I only have a little trunk” said the elephant. Anyway, sorry I’m always going off subject.

All you need to do with this is take your old suitcases, fill them up with the clothes you wouldn’t wear in the current season and stick them under the bed. There is no longer a monster under the bed, instead, there is one in a suitcase, just don’t tell the kids!

Think inside the box

Let’s think inside the box for a minute and use old cardboard boxes for storage!

We all have old cardboard boxes that are waiting to be thrown in the recycling bin, but instead of throwing them away, just give them a lick of paint and use them as storage under your bed!

Do it yourshelf

Another great idea for under bed storage is to use a bookshelf!

I bet your thinking, wait, what, a bookshelf is for books! Well, yes technically they are, but this is the 21stcentury!

All you need to do is reinforce the back of the bookshelf, which will end up being the bottom, screw some handles into the side and place some wheels on the bottom again.

 

After using these under the bed storage tips you can now enjoy a tidier house! We will make sure your under-bed storage is kept clean, along with everything else in your home when we visit you!

To find your local Merry Maids click here.

 

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