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Cleaning in the new year

Is your New Year’s resolution a clean home?

Happy New Year!

It’s on occasions like the new year when it becomes clear how much time flies.

But often, this means that the time for cleaning flies away with the fairies.

However, now many of us may find ourselves coming out of a mince-pie-induced haze and realising the house looked cleaner before Santa came crashing down the chimney!

It’s in times like this that a little extra guidance can help.

Our cleaning experts at Merry Maids UK have put together some pointers to revitalise your home this new year.


Wash Your Windows

Windows are a component of your home that probably doesn’t get much TLC. But we’re not passing judgment.

Window washing only needs to be completed once a year at least.

However, we recommend a window cleaning schedule of every six months as this will ensure the glass panes are cleaned.

This will be doing you favours for the rest of the winter months, as it improves the insulation of your windows by ensuring the seals are intact.


Clean Behind Appliances

We’re all guilty of letting crumbs and other food particles fall between or behind appliances and counters.

What’s worse is that these areas barely see the light of day once everything is in place.

So, a new year cleaning routine wouldn’t be complete without cleaning behind appliances and bulky electronics.

This is a big one of those forgotten tasks that have an impact, and by resolving it this year, you can begin to make it a part of your annual cleaning regimen.


Tackle Elevated Areas

When did you last clean the ceiling or the tops of your upper kitchen cabinets?

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to start making those cleaning duties a part of your routine.

Dust and dirt collect in those areas all year and could negatively impact your air quality and make it difficult for your loved ones to breathe easier.

Instead of a conventional duster, use a dry microfiber cloth to attract dust and keep from leaving residue behind.


Want to start this year off with a clean?

If you resolved to tidy up around the home but can’t find the time or energy amongst everything else happening in January, don’t worry.

Your local Merry Maids business can carry out a professional one-off or regular cleaning service to get your home fresh and sparkling this new year.

Find your nearest Merry Maids business to book a free, no-obligation quotation with your local cleaning specialists, or book online today to get that fresh New Year feeling in your home this January without lifting a finger.

Care in the community: Charity Initiatives from Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington

How Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington support their community through charity engagement. 

Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington’s Office Supervisor, Jo, has been with the company for several years, beginning as a cleaner.

She uses her position to combine her passion for the community and background in care to support local and national charities.


Jo’s Background

Jo worked in care for eight years, running care homes and fundraising regularly through sponsored activities and events.

These have included mental health and dementia campaigns and a brain tumour charity.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Jo returned to Merry Maids, having worked with us as a cleaner before her time in care.

In joining Merry Maids, Jo joined a business that enables her to use her natural affinity for providing personalised care through professional and bespoke home cleaning services.


Recent Charity Work at Merry Maids

In April, Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington donated Easter eggs and chocolate to Dandelion Time, a local charity that supports children who have experienced hardship and traumatic events.

But that’s not all they’ve been up to.

Recently, Jo has been getting active and supporting charities close to her heart while at Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington.

“In February this year, I did 10,000 steps [daily] for Brain Tumour Research. And then I did 30 miles in September for dementia charities,” she says.

Her other recent activities have again supported the brain tumour and mental health charities.

Jo also completed a Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s Society, a charity that is close to all of our teams at Merry Maids UK and Jo, whose mother-in-law sadly suffered from the disease.

She estimates that she has raised £1500 from her recent efforts.


Upcoming Charity Work with Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington

Looking to the future, Jo has some ambitious charity plans for the new year.

Alongside more active fundraising for dementia and mental health charities, she is organising a charity initiative with her son to give out Christmas presents to local children in need.

Furthermore, Merry Maids Bromley will donate an afternoon tea to Southmore Court Assisted Living, one of their regular cleaning clients.

Jo says she is always looking to push her contributions and do more for the people in the local community:

“Me, myself, I want to do more volunteer work in the lines with dementia, like volunteer, maybe afternoon or a couple of hours here and there. I really like doing it,” she says.

“For my birthday, I’ve put something up for anyone to donate to Alzheimer’s instead of getting me giving me a present. And that’s what I’ll do for Christmas as well. We do cancer one, me and my friends. We don’t buy each other cards, but donate to Cancer Research.”


Want to see the value of a cleaner who cares?

If you or someone you know would benefit from a professional and compassionate home cleaning service from Merry Maids UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business today.

To schedule a visit from Merry Maids Bromley and Orpington, book online or call 01689 830000 for a free quote for our bespoke and professional home cleaning services.

From one-off deep cleans to regular visits and spring cleaning, we do the cleaning so you don’t have to.

Merry Maids’ Pre-Christmas Cleaning Checklist

Our guide to getting all your pre-Christmas cleaning done. 

Christmas is on its way!

Are you planning to host a Christmas party or spend Christmas Day with the whole family?

If you are, you may want to tidy up before the guests arrive.

But with so much to do, Christmas cleaning can feel overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve made a list (and we’ve checked it twice) of handy pre-Christmas cleaning tasks to ensure your cleaning and home can stay in order this festive season.


Guest Bedroom Pre-Christmas Cleaning

If you have a spare or guest room, the temptation may be to use it for… “storage”.

However, around this time of year, ensure your spare bedroom(s) are cleaned for any unexpected overnight guests.

Just in case a white Christmas or extra glass of sherry mean that driving home for Christmas home becomes inadvisable.

When cleaning your spare bedroom, remember to:

  • 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 from 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 other rooms.

  • 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 likely to be staying more than one night. Therefore, they’ll need space for their clothes and other belongings. So:

  • Empty the wardrobe and drawers of usually all of your summer clothes or the: “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 centre of the action at Christmas.

Especially with the mulled wine brewing on the stove, it makes it feel warm and festive!

First, your oven should be clean to ensure it’s ready for the juicy turkey or tasty nut roast!

  • Buy an oven cleaning product and follow the instructions on the label, as there are lots of different products you can use
  • A clean oven will make your food taste better and won’t produce smoke that would float around the house and make it smell unpleasant.

You’ll probably have to put LOADS of food in your fridge and freezer, so it’s time for a clear-out.

A clean and less cluttered fridge will allow space for all pigs in blankets, wine and pudding!

  • 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 and dry inside with kitchen roll
    – Dry and return the drawers/shelves
    – Wait until the temperature has returned to 5°C

Bathroom Pre-Christmas Cleaning

The wintertime is the time of year when people get horrid colds that they can’t shake.

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

  • Clean the bathroom from top to bottom, including the bath, shower, sink, toilet, carpet, cupboards and anything else you may have in there.
  • Tidy up your bathroom to leave space for your guest’s toiletries, or if you have two washrooms, move all 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 social and board gaming hub, with the fire roaring in the background and the smell of Christmas all around. Lovely!

  • 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 before guests arrive
  • 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 around 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
  • Ensure, if you have a drive, 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 necessary, remember to sort out their on-street parking permits.

A bit much?

All this cleaning might seem like a bit much, especially with all the extra Christmas prep.

If you don’t feel like you have time to clean your home, find your nearest Merry Maids business to do it all for you!

We carry out all the services listed above and more, so you can focus on the stuff that matters at Christmas and not do the cleaning.

To learn more about our services and how we can help you, call 0800 021 3072 today.

Merry Maids Relaunches in Northampton under brand new ownership

(Re)introducing Merry Maids Northampton, bringing brand new and improved cleaning to Northampton and the surrounding areas like never before.

Merry Maids Northampton has reopened this week under the management of franchisor ServiceMaster Ltd.

We spoke to Office Manager Becky Gardner about the changes to the business and what customers, new and old, can expect from the new and improved Merry Maids Northampton.


Northampton, a history

Merry Maids Northampton has been operating for 18 years.

Previously under the ownership of Barbara and Martin Smart, the business faced hard times during the COVID-19 pandemic when it was forced to close as lockdowns threatened the retirement plans of its owners.

This year, the business has come under the management of Merry Maids’ franchisor, ServiceMaster Ltd.

Becky started as a part-time cleaner in 2011, “which worked wonders for me with the two young children,” she says.

“It was a perfect job. And I loved cleaning. I took pride in cleaning. It’s always been nice to go into a customer’s house and make it all nice.”

She became an Office Manager when Barbara and Martin retired and is being supported in the reopening by the ServiceMaster team, including Merry Maids Brand Leader Vikki Donnachie.

“One day, my old boss called me into the office and said she needed an Office Manager to take over the day-to-day role of going out, doing quotes, seeing off the girls, sorting out the bays and the folders.”

“Vikki has been amazing. She’s been there every step of the way. It’s been useful to have that support.”


Changes and Transformation

Under Becky and Vikki’s supervision, Merry Maids Northampton has transformed, moving from a small unit to a brand-new office unit alongside ServiceMaster’s Northampton-based contract cleaning franchise.

“At first, it was scary, but we’re fully operating from the new unit now. We absolutely love it. The girls are so happy!

We’ve just rolled with it. The girls have been amazing. We all get on really well. They’ve supported me, and I them.”


Aspirations and Assurances

Becky and Vikki have big plans for the business.

“I just want it to grow and get bigger and bigger,” says Becky.

“We’ve got loyal customers. I want to build from that to get more customers, get more staff in and build Merry Maids to as big as we possibly can.”

We’ve got the space now. We’ve got the unit, we’ve got the facilities, we’ve got it all now. It’s just growing and making it as best as we can make it. Which I’m excited about!”

Vikki adds:

“I’m delighted to reintroduce Merry Maids Northampton into the Merry Maids franchise network under the ownership of ServiceMaster. Becky and the team have embraced the transition brilliantly, so I’m very excited to see their growth in driving the business to new heights while delivering the trademark Merry Maids service to the community.”

To those loyal customers, Becky says:

“Thank you for continuing to let us clean your homes. We did lose a lot of customers through COVID, but we also have a lot of loyal customers who stayed with us, and getting their feedback from cleans is always lovely.”

To new customers, Merry Maids Northampton provides satisfaction, a spotless home, and time that would’ve otherwise been spent cleaning.

“Our goal is to make the customer happy, and their home is done exactly how they want it.”

“Hence, we come out to quote for the cleaning in the first place, so we can get an idea of what the customer wants to do in their home and then make sure that we follow the instructions and just make them happy.”

Speaking with experience as a cleaner, Becky adds:

“I love going into a customer’s home, and I prefer the ones that are a bit messy because once you’ve done it and then close that door, you just know when they open it, it’s going to be all nice and clean and won’t have to worry about anything. It’s all done. They can relax and enjoy their evening.”


See how Merry Maids Northampton can help you

If you are in Northampton or the surrounding areas and would benefit from a professional and bespoke home cleaning service carried out by trained and fully insured professionals, or if you would like to work for a cleaning business that provides a high standard of service as part of a friendly and professional team, call 0845 7626 828 today to see how we can help you today.

To benefit from Merry Maids services nationwide, find your nearest Merry Maids business or book online now.

Age appropriate chores for children

Our tips for responsible and age-appropriate chores for your little ones. 

Teaching children to pitch in and help with housekeeping at a young age is vital.

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…

Oh, look: our cleaning experts at Merry Maids UK have produced one just for you!

Use the following chart to assign chores for kids by age, whether a parent, grandparent, teacher or babysitter.

We 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 and 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.

Ensure you assign one task at a time. To de-stress, 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 are doing as their confidence develops 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 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: Start incentivising kids at this age.

Devise a routine list of chores for kids by age and reward them with weekly pocket money, extra screen time, and 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.

Ensure you continue to recognise the additional responsibilities your children can take on so they know their help is appreciated.

There may be a little trial and error involved with different age groups.

Every child’s development is different, so give kids a new task if they have difficulty completing the original assignment.

Remember, when dealing with children and chores, there is 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 to get more positive feedback.

Learn More

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 what you love with the people you care for the most.

Coronation Activity Guide

Want to know what you can do to mark the coronation of King Charles III?

With the coronation of King Charles III just around the corner, many are wondering how they can celebrate.

And can you blame them? It’s been a while since there was last a coronation in the UK, so the celebration activities aren’t exactly a force of habit.

Rather than letting the day slip by unmarked, here is a list of ways you and your family can celebrate the coronation this weekend.

Fun for the kids

Royal Arts & Crafts

There are lots of activities that the kids can get involved in this weekend.

Particularly those involving arts in crafts.

For some inspiration, try making:

  • Crowns using strips of paper
  • Paper flags using rectangles of paper and lolly sticks.

For tips and alternative methods, check out three ways to make a homemade flag.

For more inspiration, including card carriages and homemade bunting, check out this article from Twinkl on 10 Regal Coronation Crafts.

Writing letters and cards to Buckingham Palace

The King also takes a great interest in correspondence with his subjects. Writing letters and cards to send to Buckingham Palace are a great way to celebrate the occasion.

For guidance on the correct ways to format your correspondence, please visit www.royal.uk/contact

Fun for everyone

For some activities that people of all ages can participate in, look no further than…

Creating a time capsule

Take objects and souvenirs that remind you of 2023 and the royal weekend (maybe even some of your crafts) and bury them in the garden so that, in years to come, you can look back on this time with fondness and nostalgia.

This could include a family photo, money, letters, newspapers and stamps.

Place it all in a secure container and bury it to be dug up in future.

For a step-by-step Time Capsule building (and burying) guide, check out this article from Millets.

Hosting a garden party

To celebrate a royal occasion, there is nothing better than a street or garden party.

While the date to register a road closure to host your street party has passed, there may still be one in your area.

Failing that, a good old-fashioned garden party never goes amiss.

Just don’t forget the bunting, finger sandwiches and scones!

For more activity inspiration and to find events near you this weekend and beyond, check out this coronation event map and locator from the UK Government.

A clean fit for a king

Tidy up your palace with Merry Maids UK.

Whether you’re expecting company or restoring tranquillity after they’ve gone, we know you have better things to do than spend your holiday cleaning.

Our experts have over 30 years of experience in delivering home cleaning services, so you can trust us to provide a royal treatment!

For a one-off deep clean or regular services as little or often as you like, find your local Merry Maids business today or book online in select locations.

How to declutter your clutter

Top home organisation and decluttering tips from Merry Maids UK. 

We’ve all got those items in our home that we haven’t used for a while (or never used!)

With spring upon us, now is the perfect time for a spring clean and a good old-fashioned clear out.

At Merry Maids UK, we love a clean and tidy space.

Not only does it look nicer, but it also helps your health and mood!

Our cleaning experts have spent years helping customers across the UK reduce the clutter in their homes.

That’s why we’ve compiled our top decluttering and organisation tips to help you keep a clean home.

  1. Organise your time

When it comes to spring cleaning, proper organisation is vital!

If you don’t know where to start, you will make spring cleaning harder for yourself.

First, get your tasks in order by listing your chores.

Structure your list a room at a time and in order of how you’ll do them – for example, all vacuuming tasks.

Even just a mental note will help.

One barrier to getting the job done is the mental effect.

Overcoming your mind and hesitancy is one of the best things you can do to ensure you get your cleaning done.

So, take the individual tasks and cut them down into smaller jobs. Soon, a big task has become much more manageable.

In taking it step by step, soon, it isn’t a big task after all!

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

  1. Envision a clean home

Having a goal and vision is a vital part of your cleaning strategy.

You know where you’re trying to end up.

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

With that goal in mind, you can start asking yourself valuable questions.

  1. Do you need it?

To avoid keeping clutter around, you need to evaluate your items.

Ask yourself four simple questions about everything in your home:

  1. Should I throw it away?
  2. Do I want to recycle it?
  3. Do I want to give it to charity or a friend?
  4. Is there any need for me to keep it?

Get into the right mindset and be ruthless with what you throw away.

Remember, you don’t need to save everything.

  1. Don’t be a hoarder

If there’s one trap many of us fall into, it’s thinking: “You never know when you might need it.”

Remember, when decluttering, you need to be ruthless.

If you haven’t used an item regularly or at all for the past year, throw or give it away.

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

  • Plastic Food Containers – One of the main culprits for cupboard Jenga is plastic food containers.

Why we keep them around, nobody knows. But one thing is sure: they’re always stacked precariously and filling up a whole cupboard.

  • Batteries – When batteries are dead, many people head into the kitchen and straight to ‘The Junk Drawer’, where they sit… forever!
  • Toys – Far too many. Plain and simple. And where did they all come from? Any parent can attest to having boxes and boxes of toys.

While it can seem brutal to bin or donate your child’s toys, some probably don’t get played with anymore.

And getting your child to help with the selection and organisation teaches them positive habits for the future.

  • Wires and tech – Everybody on Earth has a drawer full of old wiring and tech.

How many of them do you know what they’re for? Is your ancient Nokia brick going to need charging anytime soon?

It’s safe to say that you can get rid of them.

To better organise the items in your home, try some handy tech by checking out some unique storage and organisation solutions.

  1. Book time with your books

We’re not psychic. But we bet, in your kitchen, you have at least ten recipe books.

Do you use all of these books regularly? The answer is probably no.

Rather than take up space with shelves full of books, one quick tip is to photocopy your favourite recipes and put them in one of those empty recipe books with plastic wallets.

Book in time with Merry Maids

There are many ways to declutter your home. But it takes time.

In the modern world, we don’t always have the time to dedicate to cleaning and decluttering our homes.

At Merry Maids, our local cleaning experts do the cleaning to give you the time to focus on what matters to you.

To benefit from one-off, regular or deep cleaning services, find your nearest Merry Maids business today.

4 Habits of New Year’s Resolution Keepers

How to stick to your resolutions this new year.

Have you ever wondered how some people actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions? Or why some resolutions fail?

The answers aren’t as simple as, “some people are just more motivated to reach their goals.” Motivation doesn’t always yield fruitful results.

In fact, across the pond, Ohio State University psychology professor Steven Reiss argues that “there is no real evidence that intrinsic motivation even exists.”

This is to say that motivation can’t be packaged in a neat little box and sold as a one-size-fits-all.

When you resolve for the New Year, usually it’s to make positive changes in your life. And many who are successful in that endeavour are creatures of particular habits.

But if you’ve found yourself only in the third week of January and already struggling to stick to your resolve, we’ve put together a guide on how to stick to your resolution.

  1. Keep It Real

To avoid resolution failure, an important habit is staying grounded.

It’s never a good idea to set an unattainable goal or one outside your means to complete it.

For instance, if you resolve to travel internationally but are in enormous credit card debt, that’s probably not the most realistic (or financially savvy) resolution for you at this point.

Strive for something you’ll be able to achieve, like spending more time with your family, reading more books, or drinking more water.

Most significant change happens incrementally, so keeping your resolutions achievable in the short term will help you in the long run.

Remember, there are many days in the year – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

  1. Plan Ahead… (And Back)

Poet Robert Burns coined the phrase, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

This means even with a there’s no guarantee of success.

However, there’s a much higher chance you’ll accomplish a New Year’s resolution when you plan in reverse.

But what does that mean?

In a 2017 study, researchers at the University of Iowa, Peking University HSBC Business School, and the Korea University Business School found that goal-planning methods amongst students were more comprehensive when done backwards.

To put things in perspective, start with your end goal.

Then, work backwards to develop a plan to achieve your realistic resolution. Make sure to set a due date if a schedule drives your goal.

Remember, reverse planning doesn’t mean you follow your steps backwards. It’s simply a way to help you map your goal if you’re unsure of your first step.

  1. Incentivise Resolutions

Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be challenging if you set your sights too high and don’t reward yourself throughout the process.

Sure, the reward is accomplishing your goal, but you deserve mini rewards here and there to keep you inspired.

Ways to incentivise your resolution:

  • Buying yourself something small anytime you reach a mini-goal
  • Book a staycation to a part of the country you’ve never been
  • Treat yourself to your favourite dessert or tasty treat
  • Invite a good friend to watch a movie you’ve been waiting to see

Whatever the incentive, make sure the reward doesn’t contradict your resolution.

For instance, if you’re working toward cutting back on sweets, the best prize probably isn’t a box of chocolates.

Your incentive should be something in line with your goal.

  1. Give Yourself Some Grace

Sometimes, resolutions don’t always work out the way you planned because various factors obstruct you or other things take precedence.

In those cases, give yourself grace.

Don’t beat yourself up about any missteps you may have. There is, quite literally, always tomorrow.

But that’s not to say you should continuously give yourself a pass on the things you aspire to achieve.

Whether you resolve to stop a bad habit or pick up a healthier routine, continue to focus on reaching your goal.

Want a cleaner home this year?

If your New Year’s resolution is to have a cleaner home, give yourself some grace by contacting your local cleaning professionals.

While you’re taking on the world and your resolutions, we’ll be here to maintain your home.

With over 30 years of experience as experts in home cleaning, all of our cleaning professionals are best equipped to take care of the everyday messes in your home while you take care of what matters to you.

To find out more about our services, find your nearest Merry Maids business or book now through our online shop.

Loving your home

Show your home some love this Valentine’s Day by booking a professional clean from Merry Maids.

Is your home feeling a little unloved? With many of us returning to work, be it at home or in person, it can be easy to neglect your cleaning in the rush of the regular 9 to 5. Before you know it, you may look around to see that your home is looking a little worse for wear. Maintaining a clean home is a difficult and labour intensive job. Especially when added to an already extensive list of things to stay on top of, cleaning your home regularly can leave even the most organised of us feeling a little frazzled.

Let us take care of the cleaning for you. Just one weekly visit from our Merry Maids cleaning operatives will leave your home looking and feeling fresh and squeaky clean. It’s one less thing to worry about, and you can relax without feeling worried or guilty for not getting round to it. At Merry Maids, our job is to look after the cleaning, so you don’t have to. With 42 years of experience as a leading domestic cleaning brand, Merry Maids is trusted nationwide for our expert domestic cleaning services. This includes one-off, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly visits where we will:

Dust picture frames, ornaments, lamps, furniture, woodwork, shelves & skirting boards
Vacuum – both rooms and furniture, including under-seat cushions
Empty bins
Clean kitchen and bathroom appliances, mirrors
Sanitise countertops, tiles, toilets
Polish chrome
Deodorise
And more!

Our Merry Maids cleans can be scheduled and adjusted to suit you and any particular requirements you may have. For example, we are dementia and pet friendly, and all of our maids have been thoroughly trained to work safely and effectively during COVID19.

So, whether you are looking for a one-off or regular clean, Merry Maids are committed to keeping your home at its best, so you can relax, and keep your free time well… free! Show yourself, and your home some love this Valentine’s Day by leaving the cleaning to us. Book a regular or one-off clean today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business here.

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.

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.

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.