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Cut your cleaning time in half

We all want to enjoy time with our family and not be stuck cleaning the house for hours, why not try these simple cleaning tips and tricks from the experts at Merry Maids. With just a little effort and some insider knowledge you can get on top of the chores and free up some valuable “me time”.

Fresh in a flash

Our top tip for keeping your rooms smelling fresh for longer is to sprinkle your living room carpet with baking soda before you go to bed. The next morning a quick vacuum will leave you with a cleaner smelling room.

Overnight oven cleaner

Apply oven cleaner at the end of the day and leave overnight, that way you can dramatically cut down the amount of scrubbing time.

  • We recommend using a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda to keep your oven clean.
  • Moisten the inside of your oven with water, apply a thick layer of baking soda and let it sit for around three hours, while you get on with other things.
  • Spray vinegar on the baking soda and watch it fizz into action.
  • Leave overnight and then wipe clean in the morning.

Scrub a dub tub

If both you and your shower are in need of freshening up, why not kill two birds with one stone? Hop in the shower armed with your best scrubbing brush. Soap up, and then rinse yourself and the shower at once. Both you and your shower will be fresh and clean in half the time!

Glass shower doors look better for longer if you use a squeegee or cleaning cloth to remove water after every shower.

Dust talk

If you have a family member or friend that seems to keep you on the phone for an hour, use the time to multi-task.  Use a microfibre cleaning cloth to clean your furniture, this not only makes the best use of your time but will also help to catch more dust than a regular duster and will cut down the need to use specialised cleaning products.

Get the kids involved

Remember, cleaning the house isn’t just your responsibility but the whole family’s. If you have children why not get them involved by giving them a regular cleaning chore. Even if you only start small with something simple like making their own bed or tidying away toys at the end of the day. You can check out our Age appropriate chores for children blog here.

Don’t panic

If you really don’t have the time to get stuck into your chores then don’t panic, you can call and book an appointment for us to come and clean your home from top to bottom. Find your nearest Merry Maids here.

10 things you should clean every day

Things can get really dirty very quickly if you’re not careful. In fact, you’ll find yourself needing to clean regularly because of kids, pets, family gatherings, and more. It’s essential to periodically clean to eliminate harmful germs and bacteria, especially amid the global pandemic that had us running to the nearest store for every disinfectant product imaginable.

As your go-to place on everything cleaning, we know a few things about how and what you should be cleaning routinely to protect yourself and your family. Check out these 10 household items you should be cleaning every day—without question.

1. Sponges

If you clean with a sponge does the sponge then become dirty? Yes is the answer to this, you use your sponges daily to wipe, absorb, and eliminate spills on all hard surfaces, therefore, ensure you give them some daily TLC of their own. As an essential cleaning tool in your home, we recommend you clean your sponges every day with some water and baking soda to ensure these handy items stay clean and fresh for longer.

2. Dishes

Leaving the dishes in the sink overnight is something many people are guilty of doing, but it isn’t something you should make a habit of doing. Food particles and water are the perfect ingredients for a bacteria smorgasbord. According to research kitchen sinks were reported to have the highest concentration of bacteria in an entire home.

The best way to clean your dishes frequently, safely, and easily is to put them in the dishwasher, if you don’t have one ensure you’re using a sufficient amount of dish soap in the sink.

3. Kitchen Counters

Speaking of items in your kitchen that need daily attention, your kitchen counters are likely the most-used surfaces in your home, and they attract dirt easily. Your kitchen counters see a lot of action, which means they collect microscopic organisms that could be harmful to your health. Use a disinfected sponge and a tried-and-true germ-killing product to blast away the caked-on food, dirt, and dust for good.

4. Dining Room Table

The dining room table sees its fair share of family dinners, and food debris can get left behind, start to grow dangerous bacteria, mould, and a host of other things. Depending on the type of kitchen table you have, you’ll want to start by dusting it off first so you can give it a good cleaning.

For specific types of dining tables, follow these simple cleaning instructions:

  • Wood – Use warm water and a microfibre cloth to wipe down your dining table after every meal. Make sure to clean off any excess dampness with a clean towel to avoid watermarks and damage
  • Glass – A disinfected sponge, warm water, and baking powder can work wonders on a glass table. A glass cleaning solution is always a great way to get your table to shine after it’s washed
  • Metal – You can use a cloth or sponge to wipe a metal table but avoid using the sponge’s abrasive side for caked-on foods, so you don’t cause any damage

5. Bathroom Counters

Like kitchen counters, bathroom counters can harbour thousands of germs and bacteria that could be detrimental to your health. But because faecal matter could be involved, there’s more cause for concern when bathroom counters are left untouched. Some of the most common types of bacteria found on bathroom counters include E. coli, streptococcus, and salmonella. According to research, a bathroom countertop is made up of 452 bacteria per square inch.

To thoroughly and naturally sanitise your bathroom counters, mix a cup of hot water and a cup of white vinegar, place the mixture in a spray bottle and clean until your heart’s content.

6. Computer Keyboard

With most of the UK working from home full time amid the pandemic, computer keyboards are getting daily workouts. This means they also need to get daily wipe downs, just imagine the number of germs sitting on your keyboard right now. The average desktop keyboard has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. That’s a pretty unpleasant picture that you can erase by using alcohol wipes or an electronic-safe cleaning product to give your keyboard a good scrub.

7. Keys

Surprisingly, car and house keys are not as dirty as a toilet seat (like some items on this list). One reason could be because they’re likely handled solely by you or your spouse. Another theory is that keys are made of certain metals that don’t lend themselves to bacteria build-up. And while they don’t harbour as much bacteria as other household items, they are riddled with germs you don’t want attacking your immune system.

Safely clean your car and house keys using warm water, a drop of dish soap, and an old toothbrush to get in all the nooks and crannies. For a quicker alternative, throw them in the dishwasher and use the “sanitize” setting for thorough disinfection.

8. Remote controls

The remote control… you can’t live without it, especially because of lockdown and the amount of tv series and films we’ve all been watching! Make sure you disinfect this handy item daily, as research performed to study the cleanliness of a hotel room found that remote controls were the most germ-infested item in the room.

Fortunately, rubbing alcohol can sanitise your remote quickly and easily. Pour a bit on a paper towel and wipe every inch of the remote to ensure it is thoroughly disinfected.

9. Phone Screen

Think of how much face time your phone screen gets daily. According to a survey Brits touch their phones at least 28 times per day, which gives bacteria ample time to latch on and set up shop. A study in 2011 found that one in six mobiles in Britain are contaminated with faecal matter! Ew! This is definitely an eye-opener to ensure you’re cleaning your phones daily!

Like cleaning your remote control, mobile devices can be safely disinfected using an alcohol wipe to kill bacteria and keep them from multiplying or spreading.

10. Toothbrush

Because most people house their toothbrushes in their bathrooms (and we’ve already gotten into how bacteria-ridden the bathroom countertops are), it shouldn’t be surprising to find that your toothbrush should be cleaned daily. In fact, researchers at the University of Manchester found that toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for staphylococci bacteria and E. coli. Reports also show that toothbrushes contain at least 200,000 bacteria per square inch. All this simply means is that, instead of making your pearly whites whiter, you could be contaminating your body with life-threatening bacteria.

Your toothbrush can be easily cleaned by pouring 3% hydrogen peroxide into a small cup and letting it soak for about 15 minutes. Letting it sit longer could damage the bristles. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with warm water before use.

 

If you want/need help with cleaning your home you can find your nearest Merry Maids UK business here and contact them for more information on our services.

5 hacks for keeping your home tidy all week

Keeping your house clean and tidy throughout the week can feel like a major challenge, particularly when you’re working 9 to 5 and trying to raise kids at the same time. Although you may not have an hour to dedicate towards cleaning each day, adopting a few daily cleaning habits can really make all the difference for your home environment.

These little cleaning rituals don’t have to be complicated or time-intensive, either: In fact, we’ve come up with 5 simple hacks that can help working parents create an efficient cleaning schedule. When combined with regular cleaning services from your local experts at Merry Maids, you’ll be well on your way to keeping a healthy and happy haven all week.

Here are 5 of our best hacks for maintaining your clean through weekdays:

1. Begin each day by making the bed – There’s nothing like diving into crisp, tucked sheets at the end of a long and stressful day. Because it only takes a few minutes, making the bed first thing in the morning can give you a feeling of peace and productivity, without requiring much effort.

2. Wipe down your counters regularly – It’s amazing how many little messes can accumulate on our countertops — and the effect continues to snowball with each new spill. To combat this problem, keep a simple cleaning spray next to your countertops, and give them a quick once-over with a microfibre cloth after you’re finished.

3. Take care of the post – By sorting your post into dedicated bins and folders after every trip, you’ll cut down on clutter, and keep important documents close at hand.

4. Keep dishes in the dishwasher or cabinets – Leaving dishes in the sink can make your home look (and smell) less clean than it actually is. When you commit to putting away the clean dishes each morning and putting dirty dishes into the washer after you eat, your kitchen will feel clean and well-ordered.

5. Do a 10-minute cleaning check when you get home – Once you get home from work or picking the kids up, the last thing on your mind may be cleaning. But while you’re still up, take no more than 10 minutes to look around your home and put away any items that are laying around, then the rest of the evening will be yours!

Although developing these daily cleaning habits can go a long way to maintaining your home, there’s nothing like a detailed clean to get rid of grime and bacteria. Offering a worry-free guarantee andtime-tested cleaning techniques, you can count on the housekeeping professionals at Merry Maids to tackle the house cleaning for you — leaving you to enjoy a more pristine environment during the week.

Find your nearest Merry Maids business here.

Tips on washing your bed sheets

From duvet covers to flat sheets, many people wash these necessary bedding items whenever the mood strikes, but is that enough? Unfortunately, you may be sleeping on more than you bargained for.

Our experts at Merry Maids have put together a guide to washing your bedsheets to help create a healthier environment for you and your loved ones.

How Often Should You Wash Your Bed Sheets?

In 2020 Hammonds Furniture conducted a poll and found that a third of Brits only wash their bed sheets once a year, no that’s not wrong, ONCE A YEAR!!!

We recommend washing your bed sheets weekly to eliminate harmful bacteria. Because of the general nature of your sheets, they tend to attract thousands of dead skin cells and odours. These factors warrant more frequent washing and changing of your bedding to keep you and your family healthy.

You should wash your sheets more often if you:

  • Have allergies or asthma

  • Have an infection or skin condition

  • Sweat excessively at night

  • Have pets that like to sleep in your bed

  • Enjoy a midnight snack or breakfast in bed

  • Go to bed without showering (after vigorous activity)

When you don’t wash your sheets and other bedding regularly, you run the risk of exposure to harmful fungi, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander that can get trapped in the fibres of your sheets. It’s not the most pleasant thought to consider you’re lying in all that. Other things such as bodily secretions can also be found on your fabric, though they don’t necessarily pose a health risk like the above. However, these fluids and organisms left on the surface of your bedding could trigger skin irritation, eczema flares (in people already living with the condition), and dermatitis.

What’s the Best Way to Wash Sheets?

Hot water is always the best way to wash and sanitize your sheets and other bedding. Although, more delicate fabrics and textures may require different cycles or water temperatures. For clarification, read the care label on your sheets and follow the instructions carefully to prevent ruining the material. Remember, the hotter the water, the best chance you have of removing more bacteria and allergens.

How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

You should change your sheets every week or two to avoid the buildup of bacteria. If sleeping in your own sweat, oils, and skin cells weren’t enough to make you want to wash your sheets a bit more often, a colony of dust mites could be lurking in the fibres and these can have a dramatic impact on your health.

Dust mites are unpleasant eight-legged creatures not visible to the naked eye, so it won’t do any good trying to locate them on your sheets. By chance, if you do happen to see some creepy crawlers in your bed, they may be bed bugs. A bed bug situation requires abatement from a pest control company that specializes in these types of insects.

Keeping Your Bed Sheets Clean For Longer

It’s always a good idea to follow through with our recommended one to two-week washing routine. However, if life gets in the way (as it’s prone to do sometimes), you can make some changes in your lifestyle to keep your sheets and bedding cleaner longer, so washing frequently isn’t as necessary.

Keep your sheets clean between washing and help preserve them by:

  • Showering before you go to bed

  • Avoiding napping after a vigorous gym session

  • Removing makeup before you go to sleep

  • Avoiding lotions, creams, or oils right before bed

  • Not eating or drinking in bed

  • Keeping your pets off your bedding

  • Removing debris and dirt from your feet and socks before getting into bed

To keep your sheets looking don’t use fabric softeners with every wash, instead, replace the fabric softener with a quarter-cup of baking soda or a half-cup of white vinegar in the wash during the rinse cycle. Your sheets will feel softer and look brighter without any irritating chemicals or overpowering smells.

It’s important to note, if you’re using bleach to launder your sheets, don’t mix in the white vinegar. This can create poisonous fumes that are extremely dangerous if inhaled. Also, avoid using vinegar in a washing machine as the acid in the vinegar can destroy the door seal.

If you’re wanting any help with cleaning in your home find your nearest Merry Maids business here.

8 Tips on keeping your home clean with a dog around

If you share your home with a fluffy little pooch, the good news is that studies show you’re probably happier and healthier. On the other hand, your house probably isn’t as happy!

Don’t worry, we’ve compiled our top tips to keep your pet-friendly home feeling fresh and clean all day, every day.

1.Keep your pets clean

If your pup is covered in mud after every walk, it’s time to set up a pet grooming routine. It sounds obvious, but dirt removed through grooming your dog is dirt that’s not going to be trampled around your home. While you shouldn’t use pet shampoo every time, a quick wash down with water will make a huge difference. Keep your damp dog in one particular area, preferably with an easy to clean floor, for example;  your utility room or your kitchen. You could thoroughly dry them afterwards to avoid any Eau de damp dog. Depending on your dog’s breed, they may also require a trim now and then, this will help with reducing the amount of mud coming into your home.

2.Upgrade your upholstery

If you want to snuggle with your pup on the sofa it might be time to upgrade your current sofa. The wrong material can act as a hair magnet, hold odours that you won’t want lingering in your home and show up stains. You should be looking for a leather or tightly woven material sofa, ideally in a similar shade to your pets. If you can’t afford a new sofa, purchase a pet-friendly throw or blanket which can be washed when needed.

3.Buy a quality vacuum cleaner

You’ll need an extra-strong suction, quality filter and good brush action to pull the hair from your carpet and upholstery. Consider the type of flooring you have in your home and if your pet goes on the furniture, look for one which is good for cleaning upholstery too. If you’ve got yourself a dog that sheds all the time, you’ll need to vacuum daily to keep on top of things. Make sure you regularly clean out the filter too as a hair and dirt clogged filter will spread the smell of pet hair whenever you vacuum and you don’t want that!

4.Set up a dog cleaning station

We’re talking things like a heavy-duty doormat, easily accessible dog towels, wipes and a water spray bottle to clean those muddy paws when you’re coming back for your walk. Maybe as a treat for being such a good pooch keep a couple of treats there too.

5.Regularly clean your pet’s things

You’ll need to regularly clean your pet’s things, including pet beds, toys and even leads can pick up that strong dog odour. Try and purchase all items that are machine washable to make your life easier, otherwise, you can wash them by hand in the sink. Save this chore for a warmer day and allow them to dry outside where the sun will help with killing those bad odours.

6.React quickly to accidents

A life with a pet means the odd accident is going to happen no matter what, when this does happen act as fast as you can and use an enzyme-based cleaner to minimise smells.

7.Buy a good dog bed

Don’t get lured in with those beds that have a nice design and extra fluffy lining, they will usually be a nightmare to clean. Instead go for a simpler, water-resistant, easy to wipe down option. Give it a quick wipe down once a week and leave it out to air in the sun whenever possible to dry out and get rid of the smell.

8.Air your home regularly

Is Eau de dog affecting the energy in your home? Well, now that spring is here, you can open your windows and let some fresh air in, and even on cold days, a 10-minute blast of fresh air works wonders at deodorising those unwanted smells.

Contact your local Merry Maids here to find out more about how we can keep your home looking spick and span.

Home Office Organisation Tips

With it being ‘Organise Your Home Office Day’ today and a lot more people working from home due to the pandemic, we thought we’d share with you how to organise your home office, so you can spend less time hunting for documents or wrestling with wires.

Organising your Bills and Post

Most people have to contend with paper bills and post in spite of the fact that today’s world is mostly digitized, and nothing seems to pile up quicker than paper. These home office organisation ideas can help you tame the chaos:

  • Place labelled magazine holders on your desktop or wall to create out of the way in and out boxes. You can also use these to store letterheaded paper, stationery and envelopes
  • Keep a recycling bin and\or shredder nearby to ensure your deck isn’t cluttered with paperwork and mail you don’t need
  • Devise a colour-coding system and file post, bills and important paperwork accordingly. Take this method to the next step by labelling each file so you don’t spend hours hunting for paperwork

Divide and Conquer

When you’re figuring out how to organise your home office, don’t underestimate the value of making sure all of your desk items have a place of their own. Here are some ideas for home office organisation that can help you keep that desk area straight:

  • Drawer dividers: These shallow trays are excellent for keeping everything organised, from USB drives, sticky notes to pens and staples
  • Containers: Containers can be used to hold everything you don’t need immediately, including files and backup printer paper
  • Filing inserts: Install one of these in a deeper desk drawer so you can keep those colour-coded files out of sight
  • Labels: Avoid wasting time opening and shutting drawers on storage containers by labelling each drawer front with the names of all the items stored within
  • Bunch together: Place like items near one another, for example, store envelopes and stamps together to make your workspace more efficient
  • Wall space: Install shelves to hold reference books, stationery and other home office odds and ends
  • Control your cords: Use binder clips or other clips to keep computer cords and cables wrangled. Tip: You’ll find plenty of ideas for this on Pinterest.

Do Some Quick Cleaning

It honestly takes more time to think about how to keep your desk clean than it does to actually clean it, make sure you take some time to do the following:

  • Put pens, pencils, USB drives and calculators back in their place
  • Take the time to shred or recycle paperwork you don’t need any longer so your desktop is clear
  • File any documents that you’ll need in the future and replace files neatly
  • Return coffee mugs or any snack dishes to the kitchen
  • Quickly tidy up your desk each time you finish working

That’s how to keep your desk clean, and it takes all but five minutes.

Now you’ve figured out how to organise your home office, you can contact your local Merry Maids to keep your office and the rest of your home clean.

Cleaning up muddy and wet mess in your home

Here in Britain, we see a lot of rain throughout the year. In fact, on average, it rains on 156 days of the year! Well, this kind of weather can also bring a muddy mess into your home.

If you’re facing water stains on your wood floor from a wet umbrella or a trail of soggy paw prints across your living room carpet from your four-legged family member, the cleaning experts at Merry Maids can help. Below, we share our tips for removing water and muddy stains from carpet, clothes, and wood floors.

Erasing water stains from wood floors

When you can’t mop up water or other spills from wood floors right away, you may see a white ring or watermark left behind. Don’t panic! Try this trick to get rid of water stains on wood floors.

  • Pour mineral oil onto a soft cloth

  • Rub the mineral oil into the water stain and let it sit several hours or overnight

  • If the stain remains, rub mineral spirits into the stain using a soft cloth (Always make sure you’re wearing gloves as this is a chemical)

  • If the stain still persists, try applying a coat of furniture polish in a colour that matches your wood floor

For deeper, more set-in stains, you may want to call in a professional, like Furniture Medic, to restore your wood floors.

Cleaning our muddy carpets

Dry dirt is a problem on its own, but adding water to the mix makes it more difficult to clean. The liquid component in mud helps it settle deeper into carpet fibres, and the organic matter in soil means mud needs to be treated like a protein stain (eg. blood, sweat, etc.). What does that mean? Most importantly – no heat!

To clean mud from your carpet, follow these steps:

  • Let the mud dry, don’t try to clean it up while still wet, or you may end up pushing it further into the fibres

  • Once it’s dry, vacuum up as much of the dried mud as possible and make several slow passes with the vacuum, more than you would normally do.

  • When you’re satisfied you’ve vacuumed up as much as you can, add a teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent to one cup of cool or lukewarm (not hot!) water, and use a clean white rag or cloth to blot the mixture onto the stain

  • Continue to blot to remove excess moisture while keeping an eye on the cloth to see that the stain is coming up. Switch to a clean rag or paper towels as necessary

  • Once the mud is gone, blot with clean water to remove any leftover residue.

You can use these steps to remove mud stains from upholstery, as well. Just be sure to minimise the amount of water you use, since moisture can sink further into upholstery, get trapped, and cause mould or mildew issues.

For professional carpet cleaning and more information head to ServiceMaster Clean

Removing muddy marks from clothing

Mud stains on clothing may combine with sweat or other proteins, making them even more persistent than when found on the carpet

  • Begin by removing any solid matter with the dull edge of a knife or spoon
  • Be careful not to rub, as this can push stains further into the fibres and make it harder to remove
  • Rinse the stain under cold running water, preferably from the opposite side of the fabric to help loosen the mud from the fibres
  • If you can’t wash it right away, soak the garment in cold water until you can
  • Wash in cold water using a detergent, and before putting the garment in the dryer, check to make sure the stain is gone

Don’t forget: Heat will set the stain if it’s not completely removed.

  • If the stain persists or has changed colour, use an oxygen-based stain treatment and soak the garment, then wash again
  • Once you’re sure you’ve gotten out the stain, dry the clothing as usual

Let Merry Maids Clean Up after Rain, Snow, or Sleet!

When you schedule regular housekeeping services from our cleaning professionals at Merry Maids, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re never far from a thorough clean. Spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the season; contact your local Merry Maids today.

Tips on cleaning out your fridge

Your fridge should be cleaned out every 3-4 months and during the current pandemic, it should be cleaned more often.

There may come a time when you need to bulk buy because of having to isolate due to you or one of your family members getting a positive result for COVID-19. Therefore, having a clean and somewhat empty fridge may be a good thing.

Also, with it being ‘Clean Out Your Fridge Day’ on November 15th there isn’t a better time to do it!

Preparing for the clean

Cleaning out your refrigerator, even though it can be a bit of a grotty task doesn’t require many speciality products.

Here are some things you’ll need to clean out your fridge:

  • Bin bags
  • Rubber or disposable gloves
  • A cooler box
  • A cleaning product
  • Sponges, old rags or kitchen roll
  • Microfibre cloths

Remove everything

When we say everything, we mean everything!

Don’t be tempted to leave anything in there, remove it all and treat it like you’ve just got a new fridge!

  • Remove all fridge items, like milk, cheese, yoghurts, tonight’s meals, everything!
  • Remove any shelving and drawers as well so you can wash those separately later on.

Do an inventory

Transfer any perishable items like milk and raw chicken into a cooler or into the freezer for the duration of your fridge clean (ensure you’re checking those items expiry dates and for any spoiling).

Set aside any bottles or jars, like the table sauces, pasta sauces and jam jars, all while checking the food to get rid of any items that might have become mouldy or out of date.

Throw away any unused items and any leftovers that maybe have been in the fridge for a little too long. The fridge can be a smelly place, so hold your breath if needed when dealing with spoiled products.

Get scrubbing

Scrub a dub didge let’s clean that fridge!

Start by scrubbing all of the shelves, drawers and door inserts you removed. Wash them the same way you would wash your dishes, by using a sponge and washing up liquid. Once these have been washed, dry them and set them aside.

To clean the inside of the fridge you can use diluted bleach or white vinegar, alternatively, a commercial all-purpose cleaner will do the job just as well. Always make sure you’re always wearing rubber gloves when cleaning with these products.

We would recommend using a scouring pad, or a sponge that has one attached, as these are excellent for removing any stuck-on food and spills from surfaces without scratching the area. An old toothbrush may come in useful as well to clean the hard to reach/smaller areas within your fridge.

For the exterior of the fridge use a microfibre cloth, as these are best at removing streaks and fingerprints on surfaces.

Putting everything back

The first thing you should do when you’ve finished cleaning is to put the shelves, drawers and door inserts back into their slots. Re-check your condiments for mould, give them a wipe down to ensure any residue is removed and then place them back into the fridge.

Next, you’ll then want to put your produce, meat, dairy products, drinks and any other food items to the fridge.

We can help!

We can do a refrigerator clean as an extra service when a home clean is purchased, contact your local Merry Maids to find out more.

 

Tips on using your time wisely

Do you use your time wisely or have you found that running around like a headless chicken, feeling rushed and crazed has become the norm?

Life can seem overwhelming on occasions, but knowing how to balance time between family, friends, work, housekeeping and yourself can decrease your stress levels, keep you organised and make life more enjoyable.

Work out how to manage your time, so that you can maintain a clean house while still doing the things you love. Check out the following tips on using time wisely.

Stick to a Cleaning Schedule

When thinking about how to organise your time and keep a tidy home, you need to start off by outlining a daily cleaning routine. This will help you add structure to your housekeeping, so that you can stay on track and also enable you to set small, manageable goals, so that you don’t get overwhelmed and abandon tasks.

Make a To-Do List

Get your week started off right by having a to-do list ready to go.

Include anything from items on your cleaning schedule and trips to the grocery store to your daily workout and reading for an hour at night. Batching tasks together — such as prepping lunch for the next day and cleaning kitchen counters — can help you be more efficient, so that you have a chance to do the things you enjoy.

In addition, being organised will allow yourself plenty of buffer time in between errands and chores, which will reduce any worries about getting behind.

Try Bullet Journaling

Bullet journals are all the rage these days, as they allow you a creative means to track your accomplishments. These notebooks can start out as simple logs in which you record tasks you need to take care of, such as drinking enough water, working out, cleaning, organising and so forth. Whatever you want to keep an eye on goes in your bullet journal.

Though they can be very plain, many people make them fun by using them as a means of artistic expression. Check out bullet journal ideas on Pinterest for some inspiration on making your own journal a time-saving masterpiece.

Practice Mindfulness

Being “mindful” allows you to use time wisely, as you’re focusing all of your attention and energy on a single task at hand.

For example, if you’re organising the fridge and/or freezer, you might get distracted when taking items off the shelves. The next thing you know, you’re unpacking the cabinets and your kitchen drawers to rearrange those, and your initial task has been forgotten.

If you were practising mindfulness, however, you’d complete the fridge/freezer organisation before moving on to another part of the kitchen. This not only makes you more likely to finish household chores, it keeps your mind tuned into one thing, so you do the best job possible and don’t get overwhelmed.

Take Some Time for You

There’s no point in using time wisely if there’s none left over for you at the end of the day. Don’t be afraid to turn down the occasional requests to have lunch with friends or even an invite to join your video chat catch-up with friends. When you bite off more than you can chew, you end up stressed out and wondering when you’ll ever get a chance to tidy up and have a moment to yourself.

Even when you know how to manage your time, there will still be occasions when you may need some backup.

For instance, you might find you’re too busy to stick to a cleaning schedule during the school year or around the holidays. If that’s the case, don’t waste a minute worrying: let the professionals at your local Merry Maids take care of the housekeeping for you, so you can spend time doing the things you truly enjoy.

Fall Back into a great autumn cleaning routine

As we get closer to the end of Daylight Savings Time, it’s important to set a new autumn routine so you can stay on top of everything in your house. The days may get a little shorter, but don’t let that stop you! After all, spring cleaning is already a thing: Why not add autumn cleaning to your list?

Creating good cleaning habits is all about consistency – and here at Merry Maids, we can help you keep a consistent cleaning schedule all year round. Using our time-tested methods, we’ll ensure that both the high-traffic and low-traffic areas of your house stay sparkling clean, by performing regular weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cleaning services.

Committed to re-booting your autumn schedule? Here are a few other ways you can perfect your cleaning routine and develop better habits this autumn.

Sort all cleaning tasks in your household

To reset your cleaning habits and create a more effective household schedule, you should start with documenting all the crucial cleaning tasks in your house, then sort them into distinct categories based on how often they should recur. A good rule of thumb is to have at least a few monthly, weekly, and daily tasks that you could easily do yourself or assign to another household member.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

· Monthly tasks: Window cleaning, clearing out cupboards, appliance cleaning, fixture scrubbing, organising and decluttering

· Weekly tasks: Vacuuming carpets, mopping the hardwood floors, cleaning bathrooms and mirrors, doing the laundry

· Daily tasks: Dusting, sorting out the bins, picking up laundry and clutter, loading the dishwasher, cleaning down countertops, sorting the post

Once you have your list, simply write up a rotating chore list and get everyone on board with your new autumn routine!

Create a 15-minute ritual every day

It’s difficult to enjoy your weekend when you’re still thinking about all the cleaning chores on your list. To reclaim that time as your own, commit to a simple 15-minute cleaning ritual at the end of every work or school day. This ritual should consist of a few essential cleaning tasks, as well as one larger “weekly” task that you rotate every day.

When building your ritual, the most important thing is to keep it simple and to stick to roughly the same time every weekday. Although it may sound exhausting to pick up a duster or mop after a long day, you’ll be surprised at how much more free time you’ll have on the weekends!

Prioritise the rooms that matter most

When you’re busy managing day-to-day messes, you may feel like it’s impossible to get the perfect clean, even when you diligently observe a cleaning schedule. In some cases, that can be fixed by sitting down and thinking about your true cleaning priorities. Do you love to take long, luxurious baths in a clean bathroom oasis at the end of the day? Or do you need the longe to be spic-and-span when you sit down with your kids to surf through Netflix?

No matter what your particular cleaning needs may be, pick the top two or three rooms where you spend the most time and energy in the evenings. By maintaining those rooms throughout the week and rotating other rooms on the weekend, you might not feel as stressed about the state of your entire house.

Upgrade Your Cleaning Routine with Merry Maids

While all of these tips can help you preserve your sanity and manage the daily tide of clutter, a professional cleaning expert can save you even more time and energy for the weekend! At Merry Maids we thrive on keeping your homes clean and making it easier for you to rest and relax. Because we can customise our services to meet your exact standards and needs, you’ll feel like you have a trusted partner in the war against grime – and you just might find that your autumn routine gets a little easier.

Find your nearest Merry Maids and contact us today to get your home looking lovely for autumn!

The psychological benefits of a clean home

A clean and well-organised house can bring you more happiness and internal stability throughout the week.

While cleaning and organising will never be considered a reliable solution for mental health issues, the latest research does indicate that having a clean and organised home can bring some serious psychological benefits.

By removing extra clutter, dust, dirt, and debris from your home, you may be able to experience more than just physical health benefits like improved indoor air quality. At Merry Maids, our cleaning experts can ensure that you’ll always enjoy the psychological benefits of a clean home – even with a large household and pets etc.

What Are the Benefits of Organisation?

As human beings, we strongly identify with our environments, and when our interior living spaces are cluttered with unwashed dishes, misplaced items, and garbage, it will have a negative effect on your mood. While we’ve all observed this truth in action, a 2013 study published in Psychological Science has confirmed that order and disorder each have a measurable effect on our preferences, choices, and behaviour.

According to the research, people in clean and well-organised rooms were far more likely to choose healthy snacks, donate money to charity, and select options labelled as “classic” or “traditional.” By contrast, those in disorderly rooms experienced boosts in creativity and unconventional thinking but did not tend to choose more healthy or conscientious options for themselves.

Understanding the Psychology of House Cleaning

Even if you prefer to have a little chaos in your living environment, cleaning the house is still an essential part of homeownership and the daily upkeep.

Why is it so important for our wellbeing to have a clean house? While the explanations vary, some promising new research shows that having a clean house encourages us to seek new experiences, become more adventurous and go out more often, all of which can be helpful in managing negative feelings.

According to research, they’ve found that interior cleanliness was one of the primary predictors for physical activity, even when all other factors were taken into consideration.

Living in a clean environment can also boost your concentration and focus! This is because the brain processes clutter and debris as a distraction in an attempt to force you to correct the situation. Whether you realize it or not, your subconscious is using up mental resources to process the clutter in your home or work environment – and taking up valuable space for other tasks.

Live More, Let Merry Maids Clean

As home cleaning experts with more than 40 years of experience, our team at Merry Maids can give you a well-deserved break from the household chores, while also giving your brain a break from the negative effects of clutter. By creating a customised regular cleaning plan that covers all of your needs, we can ensure that your home remains spotless, allowing you to focus on the more important things and make memories.

Reap the positive benefits of a clean and organised home today! Find your nearest Merry Maids and get in contact today.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.