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Merry Maids UK becomes official partner in aid of Alzheimer’s Society

Merry Maids have become official partners of Alzheimer’s Society.

We are thrilled to announce that Merry Maids has become an official charity partner in support of Alzheimer’s Society as of 2024.

This blog post has all the details…


What does the partnership mean?

We have named Alzheimer’s Society our charity of the year and have thus pledged to raise £10,000 to go towards their work throughout 2024.

As part of our longstanding commitment as Dementia Friends, last year, we raised over £4000 with our nationwide Forget Me Knot Challenge Campaign.

This year, we’re kicking it up a gear.

As official partners, we’re committed to supporting our staff and customers to have a better cleaning experience by training every Merry Maids cleaner across the UK in professional dementia support.

This makes us the only domestic cleaning company in the UK certified to provide accredited support to the over 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK.

The training will also help our maids to be better equipped to support our customers with specific needs and extra support, and our customers to feel ever more strongly that, with Merry Maids, they are in good hands.


What does dementia support mean to Merry Maids customers?

To Merry Maids customers like this woman from Croydon, our support means her father can maintain his independence:

“My Dad is 93 and has got a serious heart condition and dementia,” she says.

“After a long stay in hospital and living with us for four months, he wanted to live independently,”

“He reluctantly accepted help and within a couple of weeks was looking forward to his visits by Merry Maids and the good job of ‘wizard cleaning’ he says they do.”

“They are very caring and have a very soft spot for Dad,” she adds.

“Which makes my life as a carer easier.”

“Dad would never be without his Merry Maids, and they have made a huge difference to his enjoyment of life.”


What does dementia support mean to us?

As long-time supporters of Alzheimer’s Society, this partnership officially recognises Merry Maids UK’s commitment to supporting them and the people we serve living with dementia in our communities.

Vikki Donnachie, Merry Maids Brand Leader, says:

“We are thrilled to be working with Alzheimer’s Society again this year. The ability to offer further training to all our maids provides added support and peace of mind to both our customers and their families who are or have been affected by dementia.”

“At Merry Maids, our high levels of customer service and community engagement are what makes us different, and being able to support both our customers and Alzheimer’s Society is a real privilege.”


Aaliah Chik, Senior Marketing Executive for Merry Maids, adds:

“As many of our customers are facing dementia, to have this opportunity to take what we do for them to the next level by training our maids and further supporting Alzheimer’s Society is so exciting.”

“We have great things planned for this year. I’m looking forward to developing our work to better the people living with dementia in our communities.”


Meg Foxhall, Community Fundraiser of Alzheimer’s Society, says:

“On behalf of Alzheimer’s Society, I would like to thank Merry Maids. We’re so grateful for their support, which allows us to provide help and hope for everyone affected by dementia.”

“Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer,” she adds.

“Too many people face dementia alone. 1 in 3 people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime. We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, Alzheimer’s Society is here for you.”


Discover the value of a cleaner who cares

To learn more about Merry Maids UK and our work with Alzheimer’s Society, call 0800 021 3072.

If you or someone you know would benefit from a professional and compassionate, regular or one-off, home cleaning service from the dementia friends at Merry Maids UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business or book online today.

How to make Valentine’s flowers last longer

Make your flowers go further this Valentine’s Day with these tips.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

However it is that you’re celebrating today, it’s safe to say that flowers are probably involved in some way.

Whether your valentine surprises you with red roses or pink peonies today, it would be nice if they could last longer than the end of the week, wouldn’t it?

That’s why we’ve put together five handy tips for making your Valentine’s Day stems last longer.


  1. Trim your stems at an angle

You might have heard this one if you got the flowers from a florist, as it’s a must for proper flower care: Trim the stems at an angle before you put them in water.

Why is this advised?

Your flowers drink through a part of their stems called the xylem, which carries water and nutrients from the root to the flower.

Once picked, the end of a flower dries out, so cutting the end of their stems before putting them in water allows them to absorb water and drink properly.

Cutting them at an angle is advised because it allows more surface area to drink from.

While cutting straight is harmless, cutting at a 45-degree angle means the entire stem’s surface area is always in contact with the water and can absorb more helpful nutrients to live longer.


  1. Remove foliage under the water line

Any leaves and foliage and or leaves under the water line of your flowers should be removed.

This is because any foliage left under the water line will begin to rot, encouraging bacteria growth and damaging the plant.


  1. Add bleach and sugar solution

Hear us out on this one…

Add a little bleach to the flower water.

Add 1/4 teaspoon bleach per 1 litre of water.

Alternatively, you can add a solution of bleach and sugar.

Add three drops of bleach and one teaspoon of sugar in 1-quart (1 litre) water to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and prevent the water from growing cloudy.


  1. The penny drops

Copper is a natural fungicide, so dropping a penny into the vase will also help kill off the harmful bacteria festering in the old water and try to kill off your lovely bouquet.


  1. Refresh the water

Do you feel good in a dirty environment?

Neither do your stems.

For optimal bloom and vase life, refresh the water of your bouquet every 2-3 days or when it starts to look cloudy (as this is your sign of rot below the water line).


Show your home some love this Valentine’s Day

Show your home you care this Valentine’s Day by refreshing your space with Merry Maids UK.

Go above and beyond for you and your home by trusting the professionals at Merry Maids to utilise over 30 years of experience as home cleaning experts to deliver results you’ll love.

To see how we can help you, find your nearest Merry Maids business or book online today.

How to get rid of window condensation

Expert help on getting rid of window condensation.

Have you found yourself waking up to windows covered in condensation?

Condensation can be a nightmare at this time of year.

For home renters and buyers alike, water collecting on your windows can be bad for your property.

Here’s an easy way to eliminate this pesky winter window pest from the experts of Merry Maids UK.


Causes and effects of window condensation

One study found 44% of British renters live in properties with no extractor fan in the bathroom, and 31% live in a property with no window in the bathroom – meaning humid air has nowhere to go after a hot shower.

The build-up of water from condensing air can lead to multiple household issues, such as black mould, dampness, and draughts.

Not only can these be bad for your home, but have a real negative impact on your health.


How to eliminate window condensation with Stosslüften

This quick and easy fix for window condensation comes from a German method called ‘Stosslüften’.

Stosslüften is an alternative to a more well-known method of condensation reduction, essentially to open the windows with condensation on.

However, this is often not cost or energy-effective as it can take almost all day for the condensation to evaporate.

Instead, the Stosslüften method suggests creating a draft throughout the house by opening windows all over your property for three minutes.

This will exchange the hot air inside for cold air outside, which holds less moisture.

It will also eliminate condensation quickly by ridding your house of the humidity that allows it to thrive.


How the professionals can help with condensation

Our cleaning experts can do various things to help keep your home in its best possible condition, including cleaning tiles and mirrors and deodorising in bathrooms and suites – a common place for condensation to wreak havoc.

If your house has developed mould due to condensation, you can call disaster restoration experts like ServiceMaster Restore to eliminate mould growths in your home.


Contact Us

To start saving time and energy on your cleaning, call in the experts at Merry Maids now by finding your nearest business or booking online today.

Why should I get my home professionally spring-cleaned?

The benefits of a professional spring-cleaning service.

We don’t know about you, but we’re ready for spring.

It’s when nature washes away the cold of winter and freshens up for a brighter year ahead.

The flowers start to bloom, and the temperatures begin to rise. What’s not to love?

Preparing for spring also means it’s time to start thinking about your spring cleaning.

It may not always be pleasant, but the practice of getting down and dirty to clear out the clutter and the cobwebs of the past year is a vital part of the springtime.

Though the adage often cited is ‘if you want a job done properly, do it yourself,’ we’re here to tell you there is another way.

In this blog post, our cleaning experts walk you through the benefits of hiring a professional cleaning service for your spring cleaning.


What’s involved in spring cleaning?

Spring cleans are a deeper and more comprehensive cleaning than a regular maintenance clean and are all about clearing out the house at a deeper level to prepare for the year ahead.

Regular cleaning keeps your home in top condition, while deep cleaning gives that extra oomph and sparkle to make your home truly SHINE.

Our expert deep and spring cleans are ideal when moving in or out of a property, preparing your home to sell, having the in-laws visiting, in the aftermath of building or renovation works or needing a complete freshen-up.

They can include:
  • Cleaning out kitchen cupboards
  • Vacuuming curtains
  • Cleaning inside windows
  • Cleaning inside and or defrosting fridges and freezers
  • Washing internal doors and window frames
  • Moving heavier furniture to clean behind (where possible)

How do the professionals spring clean your home?

Professional cleaning services like those at Merry Maids use experienced professionals trained to deliver excellent-value home cleaning with a tried and tested methodology and products to produce the best results.

On every visit, your Merry Maids team will dust, wash, sanitise and vacuum your home using our equipment and specially formulated products.

We operate a strict cleaning process that utilises coloured cloths for different areas of the home to avoid cross-contamination.

All our maids are trained in Health and Safety regulations and procedures* to use our products and equipment

*Practices may vary by area due to area-specific considerations.

How much does it cost to have my home professionally cleaned?

There is no standard pricing index used to determine domestic cleaning service fees.

Some businesses charge by the hour, while others will charge for the scope of the cleaning involved.

Either way, professional cleaning services will determine their prices based on the following factors:

  1. Size
  2. Layout and number of rooms
  3. Style of home
  4. Number of residents
  5. Factoring of children and pets
  6. Frequency of cleaning
  7. Location and travel distance from business location

To see the value of professional spring-cleaning services in your area, contact your nearest Merry Maids business for a free, no-obligation quotation.

Why pay when you can do it yourself, you ask.

We’ll tell you…


  1. Professional spring cleaning saves you time and effort

There’s no doubt about it… spring cleaning is a massive undertaking.

Especially if you’re already juggling family and childcare responsibilities, work, and the basics like socialisation and a good amount of rest.

Whatever your idea is of time well spent, we know it doesn’t involve doing the cleaning.

Entrusting your spring cleaning to professionals can save you hours of effort and give you time to focus on what matters most.


  1. The bespoke and professional touch

At Merry Maids, we love to clean. It’s what we do.

Over our 30 years of delivering home cleaning expertise, we have refined the experience had by our customers to a fine art.

We know that each home and each individual we clean for is unique.

So, we go above and beyond to ensure you get the clean you deserve, not just the clean you expect, and work with you to understand the specific needs of you and your home and work tirelessly to ensure that you’re more than happy with gleaming results – at a time that suits you.

Professional cleaning staff like ours are trained with the latest (and often exclusive) products, tools, and best practices to make every room in the house sparkle.


  1. Professional spring cleaning is good for your health

Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefit, a good spring cleaning is also good for your health!

According to Verywell Mind, a cluttered and dirty environment can be harmful to your mental health, as it has been scientifically linked to higher rates of stress, depression and anxiety, as well as decreased rates of focus.

In addition, studies have shown that having a clean home typically is the mark of healthier inhabitants.

Cleanliness in the home has even been found to be a better predictor of good health for the residents than the walkability of its neighbourhood!

Cleaning can also improve the air quality of your home.

This is extra vital in the spring as the winter often involves more time spent inside with less fresh air in the home – causing more dust on the property.

The equipment used by professional cleaners is designed to eliminate harmful dust in the home and can benefit your health and air quality.


  1. Professional support with additional health requirements

We know that people aren’t always able to clean for themselves.

Following our successful Forget Me Knot Challenge last year – where our businesses across the UK raised over £4000 for the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends in a matter of weeks – Merry Maids UK have this year become an official partner in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.

At Merry Maids, our staff understand the specific requirements of the over 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK and ensure their homes are clean, healthy places for them to live, maintained by friendly, local people who support them with any additional requirements that come with dementia and other conditions – even if that means being someone to make a cup of tea and have a chat with.


Why hire Merry Maids to spring clean your home?

Put the spring back in your cleaning with Merry Maids.

The springtime is for enjoying, not cleaning.

Get a cleaner, fresher home faster and reclaim your free time with the expert help of your local cleaning professionals.

Are you tired of spending your free time hunched over to clean cobwebbed corners rather than enjoying the sunshine?

Your springtime is sacred.

Booking your spring cleaning with your local professionals now could be the saving grace you’ve been waiting for.

At Merry Maids, we’ve been experts in home cleaning for over 30 years, providing professional and bespoke services as one-off, regular or deep cleans and taking the hassle out of your spring cleaning.

Naturally, you might not love cleaning, but we do. It’s what we do best!


Contact Us

To start saving time and energy on your spring cleaning, book your spring cleaning with the experts at Merry Maids now by finding your nearest business or booking online today.

At home DIY cleaning hacks

DIY cleaning hacks from the experts.

Stubborn stains, grimy appliances, and no solution in sight?

Here are some cleaning hacks you can do at home to get your house looking ship-shaped in no time.


Cleaning a Dirty Oven Door

Let’s face it… our ovens see a lot of traffic, especially with the holiday period just gone.

This can leave your oven door looking less than desirable due to grime building upon the glass.

Not only is this quite an eyesore, but it also might make it difficult to see what you’re cooking!

Luckily, there is an easy solution that only needs a little help from something you probably already have in your home: Dishwasher Tablets.

That’s right, the little pods that we use to clean our dishwashers can also come in handy elsewhere.

To do this trick, ensure that the glass in your oven door is removable.

You may not know the ins and outs of your oven’s design specification.

But often, you can easily remove the glass from your oven door.

Usually, if you lower your oven door, you can look for a clip at each top corner that will slide off quite easily if you press it firmly and slide it towards you with one finger – we also recommend wearing gloves whilst doing this hack.

Once you’re done with this, you can lift the entire glass panel of your oven door out and make it much easier to clean!

This is where the dishwasher tablets come in. You can use them directly on the glass and apply hot water.

You can now use them like an eraser and remove all that nasty dirt and grime.


Cleaning your Shower Head

Our shower heads get a lot of use and, as a result, develop a build-up of limescale and grime that can affect your shower’s hygiene and performance.

If your shower head is detachable, we have an odd yet cheap and effective solution for you: Cola.

Buy some cheap cola from your local supermarket and place your showerhead into a deep plastic bag.

Then, fill the bag with cola until the showerhead is completely submerged.

Seal the bag with a clip or string and hang it somewhere safe where it will be untouched.

Leave it for a few hours, and the acidic cola will gradually dissolve the limescale build-up!


Bicarb is a cleaner’s best friend

You might not think it, but the humble bicarbonate of soda has many uses within the home for keeping things clean.

You can make bicarb a part of your cleaning routine in several ways, including:

  • Remove tannin stains – You can use a DIY paste of bicarbonate of soda and water to get rid of tannin stains on teaspoons and the inside of your cups. Just be sure to rinse them thoroughly when done.
  • Absorbing food odours – Keeping a ramekin with powdered bicarbonate of soda in your fridge on top of your salad drawer can help to keep it fresh.
  • General Cleaning – You can clean countertops, sinks, microwaves, and cooking utensils. Like removing tannin stains, make a paste using water and bicarb, scrub, and rinse.
  • Remove Odours – Use it to deodorise carpets, pet beds, and upholstered furniture. Sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda onto a surface, leave it to sit for 15 minutes, and vacuum it up thoroughly. This also works on clothes. Fill the sink with cool water and 5-6 tablespoons of bicarb, and soak the offending garment for 30 minutes. Then wash again and dry off naturally.
  • Restore shine to sterling silver – Make up a paste of three parts bicarb to one part water, and apply it to silverware with a lint-free cloth, then rinse it off.

Is your time too tight for DIY cleaning?

If all this DIY seems like a lot of effort and you would prefer to leave your home cleaning to the professionals, find your nearest Merry Maids business today to book a cleaning or to learn more about our services.

Merry Maids of Croydon Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Twenty years of Merry Maids of Croydon.

The end of 2023 marked 20 years in business for Merry Maids of Croydon.
Business owner Debbie Walker, a recent BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards finalist, started her business in 2003 after a successful career working in corporate roles.
With a background in Strategic Account Management working with large numbers of suppliers, Debbie became well-versed in working to provide support within her community at the highest level.

This made her well-suited to deliver the exceptional services offered at Merry Maids UK,

providing premium domestic cleaning services, from spring cleaning to end-of-tenancy cleaning, with a smile, professionalism, high-quality training, expertise and safety assurances.


Our mission

At Merry Maids, we deliver a high-value exchange to our clients.

As part of a nationwide franchise organisation, we are locally owned and nationally renowned, providing the quality and assurances of a trusted brand with the knowledge and care of a local professional.

At Merry Maids of Croydon, two decades in operation means twenty years of unparalleled cleaning, community care, and happy customers.
“I started using Merry Maids after I fell over in my home and spent 8 days in hospital. I fractured my pelvis, hip and ankle. The ladies were very sympathetic and compassionate. I have 4 flights of stairs in my home.
They changed the beds, hoovered and made the bathrooms sparkle. I have enjoyed their services for 13 months and the only reason I’m leaving them is because I’m moving up to North Lincolnshire. I would recommend them to anyone [and] would consider them as friends.”

Anniversary Celebrations

To celebrate their anniversary, the team threw a celebration in the office in which all staff received a cupcake from Drizzleanddrips and a note thanking them for their hard work.
Their regular clients also received a thank you card, and clients with cleans on the anniversary received a cupcake!
Receiving a celebratory bunch of flowers from Merry Maids franchisor ServiceMaster, Debbie said:
“We are thrilled that we are commemorating an incredible 20 years of serving the Croydon community.”
“From day one, we’ve been dedicated to delivering exceptional cleaning services with a smile.”
“Our journey has been nothing short of remarkable, and we owe it all to our dedicated team, our loyal clients, and our community who have supported us throughout the years. We can not thank you enough for being a part of our journey.”

Charity Partnership

As part of their anniversary, the team partnered with Reedham Children’s Trust to collect donations from their customers for vulnerable people and families in Croydon.

Essential items like food and toiletries have been pouring from customers to help people in the local community during Christmastime and generated donations with a total value of £1161.89!

Jessica Ritchie from the Reedham Children’s Trust added:

“Once again Merry Maids of Croydon and their wonderful customers have been incredibly kind, donating over £1,100 worth of food to help vulnerable children and their families this Christmas and into the new year.

The cost-of-living crisis affects so many of us, but it is heartening to see that despite this challenge, everyone pulls together to help others in their time of need.

Thank you so very much.”


Get in touch

If you are local to the Croydon area and would benefit from 20 years of professional cleaning expertise, contact Debbie and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online.

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.

Merry Maids of Croydon donates over £1100 worth of items to food drive

Merry Maids of Croydon have completed another successful food drive in collaboration with the Reedham Children’s Trust.

This Christmas, the Merry Maids of Croydon team once again partnered with Reedham Children’s Trust to collect donations from their customers for vulnerable people and families in Croydon.

Essential items like food and toiletries have been pouring from customers to help people in the local community during Christmastime.

The drive, held for the second time following a successful effort last year that inspired the nationwide Forget Me Knot Challenge, has generated donations with a total value of £1161.89!


The Impact

The impact of this scale of donations cannot be overstated.

Last year, the food drive helped support over 100 families in Croydon to have the essentials over Christmas and into the new year.

Like this Mum of three who benefitted from a hamper provided by Merry Maids last year:

“With the cost of the living crisis, I was feeling depressed and turned to a friend for help in finding a charity that could support us. But to my amazement, we received a food hamper and vouchers, an incredible show of support I couldn’t believe. I am beyond grateful for this support, which has helped my children and me.”

This year, the team surpassed the donations from last year, which will go a long way to supporting the (approx.) 27,483 children living in poverty in Croydon.


Thank yous

The Croydon and Reedham Trust teams would like to extend a huge thank you to the people who dug deep to help.

Merry Maids of Croydon Director Debbie Walker, who was recently named a finalist in the BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards for her work in the local community, said:

For the second year running, we have been delighted to raise food donations for the Reedham Children’s Trust.

Our clients have been so generous in supporting this initiative and we hope this will make a difference to families in need in the Croydon area this Christmas.

I would like to thank our clients and staff for such a positive response!”

Jessica Ritchie from the Reedham Children’s Trust added:

“Once again Merry Maids of Croydon and their wonderful customers have been incredibly kind, donating over £1,100 worth of food to help vulnerable children and their families this Christmas and into the new year.

The cost-of-living crisis affects so many of us, but it is heartening to see that despite this challenge, everyone pulls together to help others in their time of need.

Thank you so very much.”


Get in touch

And if you are local to the Croydon area, get in touch with Debbie and the rest of the Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online.

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 of Croydon Food Drive 2023

Merry Maids of Croydon’s 2023 Food Drive to support the local community.

It’s not long until Christmas.

This means we’re entering what the team at Merry Maids of Croydon likes to call the season of giving back.

And they need their customer’s help.


2022 Food Drive

Last year, business owner Debbie Walker and her team ran a food bank drive with the Reedham Children’s Trust to support families with the cost-of-living crisis.

Families like Maya and her four young children relocated to Croydon after fleeing domestic violence.

Housed in emergency housing, they had only the clothes on their backs. Suddenly reliant on benefits, they struggled to pay for necessities like food.

With their customer’s support, they supplied enough donations to support over 100 families like Maya’s over Christmas.


2023 Food Drive

There are still roughly 27,483 children living in poverty in Croydon.

Disadvantaged by issues like domestic violence, poor mental health, special educational needs, and placement in care, up to 73% need free school meals as a primary source of sustenance.

This year, the team wants to do more.

They want to help our families at home and those further afield to have a happier Christmas.

They are running another drive and are asking their customers for support with small donations to make a huge difference for families going without essentials this Christmas.

Like this Mum of three who benefitted from a hamper provided by Merry Maids last year:

“With the cost of the living crisis, I was feeling depressed and turned to a friend for help in finding a charity that could support us. But to my amazement, we received a food hamper and vouchers, an incredible show of support I couldn’t believe. I am beyond grateful for this support, which has helped my children and me.”

From the 15th-30th of November, the team are collecting items for vulnerable families selected from six local schools and families in emergency accommodation across the UK.


Items to Donate

The Reedham Trust has relayed a list of needed items.

It currently includes:

  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Pasta Sauce/Pasta
  • Tinned Meals
  • UHT Milk
  • Rice/ Cereal
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap Bar
  • Shower Gel
  • Christmas treats
  • Items made with a kettle (not an oven). E.g. cuppa soup

A word from the team

Business owner Debbie Walker said:

“There can be no doubt that we are living in difficult and uncertain times. But we don’t have to face them alone. By working together, we can make a real difference and improve the lives of the people in our communities.

That’s why Merry Maids of Croydon are delighted to be partnering with Reedham Children’s Trust to support people in and around Croydon through a food bank drive.”

Jessica Ritchie, a representative of the Reedham Children’s Trust, says,

“We are delighted that Merry Maids of Croydon and their incredibly kind client base will, once again, be supporting our annual food appeal. Last year, customers donated 1,274 items of non-perishable food items, alongside essential toiletries. This supported hundreds of local families not only over Christmas but across the winter months, too. We are so grateful for their continued support this year.”


Learn the value of a cleaner that cares

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

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.

Merry Maids Croydon attends BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards

Merry Maids of Croydon’s Debbie Walker achieved finalist status in the BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards.

The results are in for the prestigious BFA HSBC Great British Franchise Awards, held by the British Franchise Association at the end of their annual conference to recognise the best of British franchising, and were attended by some of our head office team and franchisees.

We are thrilled that we had a finalist, Debbie Walker from Merry Maids of Croydon, who was up for the Community Focus Award.

Community Focus

We’d like to congratulate Diljit Brar from Costa Coffee, who won the Community Focus Award.

The ServiceMaster team and Merry Maids UK network are incredibly proud of Debbie for beating out countless applicants to make it this far.

To be a finalist in such a competitive sector is no small feat and is a testament to her hard work, dedication and commitment to her brand and community. What she has achieved as a finalist is no small thing.

And Debbie has indeed achieved some impressive feats.

In the past year, she has taken on a Ukrainian refugee to enable her to stay in the UK, donated enough material during a food bank drive to feed multiple vulnerable families struggling with the cost of living over and beyond the Christmas period, and been paramount in the development of our nationwide Merry Maids Forget Me Knot Challenge, which raised over £4000 for Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends.

Kind words

Commenting on the awards, Debbie said:

“I was absolutely delighted to be alongside some other great franchisees as a finalist for the Community Focus award.

We work hard every day to make our business count in the local community and give back to the people who we serve, so this recognition means a great deal to us.

Pip Wilkins, Chief Executive of the BFA, said:

“Our huge congratulations to all the winners tonight. We had some fantastic entries this year and these winners really stood out from the crowd. We would like to thank them for being such great ambassadors of the BFA and for representing the very best in UK franchising.”

Judge, awards host and UK Head of Franchise, Commercial Banking at sponsors HSBC Bank Gillian Morris said:

“The diversity of franchising on display at tonight’s awards ceremony – across so many brands and sectors – demonstrates the strength and reach of the industry.  Choosing a winner is never easy and I’d like to join Pip in thanking everyone who entered and sending our warm congratulations to all the winners on these very well-deserved awards.”

Need a new cleaner?

If you are local to the Croydon area, contact Debbie and the rest of the Merry Maids of Croydon team today by calling 020 8663 3268.

If you would benefit from regular or one-off cleaning services from one of our teams across the UK, contact your local cleaning experts today by finding your nearest Merry Maids business or book online through our online shop.

How to clean urine out of a mattress

A quick and easy method to remove urine from your mattress.

Mattresses are important. Not to mention expensive!

This makes it all the worse when you wake up from sharing your bed with your pet or child to find they’ve wet your bed.

Panic sets in. You understand that accidents happen. But equally, you don’t want it to seep into the mattress and stain it forever.

So, what do you do?

It’s the first thing in the morning (or worse… the middle of the night).

You must handle this quickly, and the longer you spend standing in indecision, the closer you inch to a mattress permanently stained with urine.

We’ve got you covered.

Here is everything you need to know to clean a urine-stained mattress in five easy steps.

1. Strip the bed

First things first, clear the area.

This means removing any bedding: sheets, duvets, blankets, and putting them in the wash immediately.

2. Start to soak up the stain yourself

Begin to bring up as much of the liquid as you can by using a large towel.

Much like the stain from a bottle of wine, the key here is to blot, not scrub it.

As much as you may not want to get wee on one of your towels, using paper towels on bedding will likely get bits of paper all over the sheet.

You’re far better off grinning and bearing it with a towel and washing it afterwards.

You also want to avoid creating heat through friction from scrubbing or with any other heat source, as this will cause the stain to set in and become permanent.

Instead, add as much pressure as possible to soak up the liquid – rather than letting the towel sit on top.

3. Create your own solution

Next, create your own cleaning solution of 50:50 distilled white vinegar and water.

The best method is to give the stain a light coating here.

If you have one, a spray bottle is a good way to apply your solution by spraying the urine-stained area of the mattress.

Let this sit for a while – anywhere between five and ten minutes is preferable and then apply the next magic ingredient.

4. Cover the stain with bicarbonate of soda

Applying sodium bicarbonate to the affected area works in tandem with the solution you’ve put down to help lift the stain from the mattress.

How does this work? The acidic vinegar breaks down the bicarb and releases carbon dioxide, which lifts stains.

But to do this effectively, you need time.

The process yields the best results when left to work for a while – between 8 to 10 hours, to be precise.

The good thing is, once this has been done, the nature of the bicarbonate of soda means that all you have to do is…

5. Hoover up the bicarb

Now, all that’s left to do is vacuum up the remaining bicarbonate of soda and viola – you should have a clean mattress that is free of odour.

If not, you may have to repeat the process.

You may still be left with a faint outline or stain where the mixture did not reach or not enough was blotted up.

However, the smell should be gone, and the stain will fade as you repeat the process.

Alternatively, if you are unhappy leaving a faint stain or would rather trust the stain removal experts, call ServiceMaster Clean from our ServiceMaster brand family.

See how Merry Maids can help.

Or, for a regular deep clean of your whole home, contact your local Merry Maids.

If it’s a deep clean, spring clean, tidy up, regular or one-off visit, our maids are here to take the hassle of cleaning your home off your hands.

Book now, or book your free, no-obligation quote by finding your nearest Merry Maids business today.

Dementia conscious trick-or-treating tips for Halloween

Top tips to celebrate Halloween safely and considerately as dementia friends.

Happy Halloween!

Whilst this holiday is fun for many, for some, it could be a nightmare come true.

Around 900,000 people in the UK are estimated to be living with dementia.

For these people, Halloween can be a scary time.

What may seem innocent and harmless to us, like a scary costume or group of trick-or-treaters, can feel threatening to people with dementia, as Halloween exists outside of their known daily routine.

At Merry Maids UK, we are certified Dementia Friends, as many of our businesses work with members of the public who suffer from the condition and work hard to ensure they are cared for properly and confidently as we clean their homes.

This year, we raised £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society as part of our Forget Me Knot Challenge.

Year-round, we work hard to keep our customers safe and cared for.

To help safeguard the vulnerable members of our community during Halloween, we’ve compiled some tips to help you trick-or-treat consciously and safely.

How trick or treating can affect those with dementia

Dementia is often disorientating, which can be scary enough in itself.

Now add scary masks, giant spiders, carved pumpkins, and cobweb decorations, and suddenly, the world is a very frightening place.

If you add unknown house visitors in costumes, regularly high levels of concern and fear can skyrocket.

How to trick or treat dementia-consciously

  • Try not to frighten vulnerable people and remain mindful of others whilst trick or treating.
  • Ensure children are supervised by an adult while trick-or-treating.
  • Do not trick-or-treat elderly members of the community – unless prearranged.
  • Ensure elderly relatives who live alone are accompanied by another adult during the evening.
  • Do not knock on doors with an anti-trick or treating sign. Homes that wish to be visited by trick-or-treaters put out decorations, lights, or pumpkins.

As an alternative, you could also forgo trick-or-treating and plan a spooktacular Halloween party to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Become a Dementia Friend

Being conscious of the vulnerable members of your community is vital all year round.

Particularly during holidays and events like Halloween, we should all take precautions where possible so everyone can stay safe and have fun.

To learn more about how to be a friend to the vulnerable members of your community living with dementia and turn information into action, join us in becoming a dementia friend today.

How Merry Maids helps those in need of specialist care

For people living with conditions that affect their physical and mental health, keeping up with day-to-day tasks like cleaning can be a real hardship.

For people with dementia, seeing a friendly and familiar face who helps out regularly can make a huge difference.

At Merry Maids, we work hard to support our customers with whatever they need.

Be it a deep cleaning, regular tidy-up, or just having someone to talk to.

To learn more about how we can help you or a loved one, find your nearest Merry Maids business to book a clean online or call 0800 021 3072 today.

Merry Maids’ top tips for a spooktacular Halloween party

How to make sure your Halloween party is scarily good.

Halloween is coming.

It’s the perfect holiday for people who love sweets and chocolate, dressing up, and being a big kid.

Whether you’re planning a ghostly gathering for kids or grown-ups, some Halloween essentials can’t be missed.

Here are our tips on preparing the perfect Halloween monster bash.

  1. Make it age-appropriate

No matter your guest demographic, ensure it is appropriate for the age of your guests.

For example, some scarier decorations might be too intense for young kids.

If your guests are all adults, you’re probably safe to go all out with the fright factor, but the last thing you want from a fun kid’s party is to upset them!

  1. Avoid hard-to-clean substances

In our experience, some spooky substances are an absolute monster to remove from surfaces and furnishings.

While they are essentials for many, substances like fake blood, silly string, and the makeup from Halloween costume sets can easily stain carpets, curtains, and upholstery and are notoriously difficult to remove.

If any spillages or issues with these substances occur, your local ServiceMaster Clean technicians will remove them in a flash with their specialist expertise and high-quality equipment.

  1. Set the scene with some monstrous media

Prepare for your guests and set the mood for a fun and festive time with a combo of themed media.

Make a playlist of your favourite songs to get you in the spooky spirit.

Some hits like Thriller and the Monster Mash will surely get guests feeling Halloween-y.

And if you don’t have time to make your own, check out our Halloween playlist that’s sure to have your party jumping with fright.

You could also play classic Halloween films in the background for extra ambience.

For horror fans, you could play one of the many Halloween or Scream films, Friday the 13th or The Exorcist.

For a less frightening time, try some appropriate films for a younger audience, like The Corpse Bride, Wendall and Wilde, The Addams Family, or Beetlejuice.

  1. Plan ahead

Your gathering doesn’t need to be a massive expense.

Throwing a memorable, sustainable, but inexpensive party merely requires a little forward-thinking.

The only strangers turning up on your doorstep should be trick-or-treaters.

Establish a “ghouls list” and get an exact headcount for the evening by specifying whether or not people should bring plus 1s.

When you invite your guests, set an RSVP date.

If you host guests often, you can also use decorations that can be used more than once.

You can source a lot of cheap and inexpensive decorations from discount stores.

Halloween is meant to be scary, but one thing you shouldn’t be afraid of is asking for help.

Ask your guests to help out by bringing beverages or their favourite (possibly themed) dish.

This might save you valuable prep time ahead of your party.

You can also plan fun activities like games or a prize for the best costume.

  1. Clear away the cobwebs

While giant spider webs are appropriate for Halloween, you don’t want to invite guests into a dusty or untidy home.

Ensure your home is party-ready by enlisting the help of your local Merry Maids.

As experts in cleaning for over 60 years, we’ll help ensure your home is so clean it’s almost scary!

Contact Us

To see how we can help you maintain a clean and tidy home, find your nearest Merry Maids business for a free, no-obligation quotation on a range of bespoke, one-off or regular cleaning services.

Forget Me Knot Challenge Champion: Mike Fargher from Merry Maids Sheffield

Why Mike Fargher from Merry Maids of Sheffield joined the Forget Me Knot Challenge and helped us raise over £4,000 for Dementia charities.

The Forget Me Knot Challenge was a sponsored virtual relay in which staff and owners from Merry Maids businesses across the UK ran, walked, or cycled the equivalent total mileage between each Merry Maids UK business to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.

The challenge was a huge success, raising over £4,000 that will support Alzheimer’s Society to continue to aid those living with dementia in the UK (currently estimated to be over 900,000 people.)

Mike Fargher of Merry Maids in Sheffield and South Yorkshire racked up 1186 miles and raised over his £2,000 pledge target.

Goals and Dementia History

Mike’s Merry Maids business has had many encounters with dementia over the years.

“We have some long-term clients that did not have dementia when we started to clean for them but sadly now have it,” he says.

“We also take on new clients where they, and their families, wish to remain in their own homes and, with the support of ourselves and other outside agencies, can do so.”

“Sometimes a client wants to chat over a cup of tea, to tell you about their life, family and other interests. The Maids may have heard the same stories several times but will listen as if it was the first time they heard it.”

Mike got back into cycling during lockdown after purchasing an electric bike.

So, he knew, when faced with the Forget Me Knot Challenge, that this would be his way to meet it.

“I try to cycle 25-30 km at least twice during weekdays and have also recently purchased a road bike for use at the weekends,” he says.

He also knew the challenge would be perfect to incorporate into the cycling holiday he had been dreaming of.

Mike’s Mileage

The trip was a week’s cycling around seven islands off the coast near Split. From Brac to Stari, Grad, Orebic, Korcula, Mljet, Hvar, and Solta.

“The trip was fantastic,” he says.

Mike was part of a group of 15 cyclists from around the globe who completed a week of cycling under the guidance of a Croatian guide and a crew of five on a boat named the MV Leonardo.

Some (Literal) Highs

The days followed a routine to ensure mileage was met.

Mike says the seven days were filled with expansive views, “good food, weather and plenty of excellent cycling routes.”

After breakfast each day, the bikes would be unloaded off the boat at one end of an island, and the group would set off to complete between 20km and 55 km.

This included literal highs with “many challenging hill-climbs, with ascends as high as 800 meters.”

By lunchtime, the group would have completed the day’s route and would be met by their boat & crew at the other end of the island.

Then, bikes were loaded back onboard for lunch whilst the boat made its way to a port where the afternoons and evenings were spent exploring and relaxing after a hard day’s work.

This meant that in one week, the group completed around 280 km.

Final results

As part of Mike’s pledge, he also completed a further 720 km cycling over the summer (at £1 per kilometre).

Much of his donations were also made by family, friends and people he met on his cycling journeys.

A further £1,000 was raised from a Google review campaign, in which each new review added £25 to the funds.

A huge well done to Mike for all of his efforts and for making such a massive impact in fundraising to support those in need.

Learn more

To learn more about Merry Maids UK and our work with the Alzheimer’s Society, call 0800 021 3072.

If you’re in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire areas, call Mike and his team today on 0114 272 2655.

If you or someone you know would benefit from a professional and compassionate, regular or one-off, home cleaning service from the dementia friends at Merry Maids UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business or visit our online shop today.

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.

Merry Maids UK ‘Forget Me Knot Challenge’ Raises £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society

The Merry Maids UK Forget Me Knot Challenge has raised over £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends.

At Merry Maids UK, we are a nationwide cleaning franchise that has long had our heart in care and the community.

When, in 2014, a friend of the Croydon-based franchise, Debbie Walker, was researching a PhD thesis on dementia patients and told her about Dementia Friends, we began to work closely with the charity and have never looked back.

Our Merry Maids business owners provide care across the UK through compassionate and professional home cleaning services.

This often means they encounter members of the public living with dementia and struggling with the disease.

This year, we took our dedication to giving back a mammoth step further by undertaking the Forget Me Knot Challenge – which has raised over £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society.

The Forget Me Knot Challenge

The Forget Me Knot Challenge – named in reference to the tying together of Merry Maids businesses and the small blue flower that has long been associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia – was a sponsored virtual relay in which staff and owners from Merry Maids businesses across the UK ran, walked, or cycled the equivalent total mileage between each Merry Maids UK business.

The results

Cleaners, business owners, customers and head-office staff from across the UK put forward donations, helping raise over £4,000 – achieving more than double their initial £1000 donations and 2345 mileage targets.

Collectively, the Merry Maids franchise network has walked 4796.14 miles – the distance between London and Dallas, Texas!

Our stories

With over 900,000 people estimated to be living with dementia or Alzheimer’s in the UK today, it is likely that we all know or have known someone affected.

Each participant had their reasons for taking part.

Like Mike Fargher of Merry Maids in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, who racked up 1186 miles and generous donations by cycling and pledging £1 per mile.

“Our Merry Maids business has had many encounters with Dementia over the years,” says Mike.

“We have some long-term clients that did not have dementia when we started to clean for them but sadly now have it.  We also take on new clients where they, and their families, wish to remain in their own homes and, with the support of ourselves and other outside agencies, can do so.”

“Sometimes a client wants to chat over a cup of tea, to tell you about their life, family and other interests. The Maids may have heard the same stories several times but will listen as if it was the first time they heard it.”

Or the team in Fylde, Blackpool and Preston – including maids Angela and Bernie – who each has had multiple family members live with the disease.

“I’m doing the Forget Me Knot Challenge because I’ve been through dementia experiences three times so far, and I’m just about to go through my fourth with my dad,” Angela said back in July.

“It’s devastating. The person you once knew changes into somebody else.”

“They don’t die… straight away. It’s a long process. But they change. They’re unrecognisable as the person you once knew.”

“You have to be kind to one another. You have to talk. Don’t bottle things up, and listen. Listen to the person who is ill because they are just as confused as you are.”

“It’s important that we help them to feel as normal as possible for as long as possible. We must find ways of making this illness easier to live with, raise awareness and money to develop new medication to help slow this process.”

Learn more

To learn more about Merry Maids UK and our work with Alzheimer’s Society, call 0800 021 3072.

If you or someone you know would benefit from a professional and compassionate, regular or one-off, home cleaning service from the dementia friends at Merry Maids UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business or visit our online shop today.

Merry Maids owner in West Midlands recognised as Great British Franchisee

A cleaning company boss who offers rare job security and long-service awards to the people he employs in the West Midlands has won a major industry accolade.

Tom Jackson, owner of the Merry Maids franchises in Dudley, Wolverhampton, Birmingham South, Solihull and Stafford, has won a Great British Franchisee Award, one of the most prestigious honours in the highly competitive franchise sector.

“It’s common for a high frequency of staff turnover in the cleaning industry,” Tom says, “but that’s not the case in my business.

“I offer long-service awards because, generally, many of our staff stay with us for a long time.

“Two of the admin support staff have been with me for 15 years and nine years respectively – each having started as cleaners.

“And even the original two members of staff that I employed 20 years ago still work for us.

“I believe our staff stay with us because we care about them, and they can feel it, but also because many have been part of our journey and have seen the business grow from just two staff into what it is now.

“I also think people are drawn to the job security that a business established for 20 years brings.”

The Future of Merry Maids

Tom, a former bingo firm manager, is proud, too, that some of his customers have been using the company for 18 years, and one has even had the same cleaner continuously for all that time.

He also actively supports the rest of the Merry Maids network and mentors new business owners like Mercy Ikeji (pictured) when they join us.

“I’ve grown my Merry Maids business from a zero turnover virgin business to, what is currently, the biggest Merry Maids franchise in the UK with 60 staff,” he says.

“It’s a far cry from when I started with myself and two staff using a spare office – but I’m not content to rest on my laurels.

“I’ve set challenging goals for the next three years of growth with a target to be the first Merry Maids with a £1 million turnover.”

Tom is not the only one who thinks he will achieve that.

“Tom is a real asset to the franchising world,” says Merry Maids Brand Leader Vikki Donnachie.

“He is passionate about everything business, from his customers to his staff, as exemplified by his industry-defying levels of staff and customer retention.”

Contact us

If you’re in Dudley, Wolverhampton, Birmingham South, Solihull, Stafford and the surrounding areas and would benefit from a compassionate and professional home cleaning service, find your nearest Merry Maids business to receive a free, no-obligation quotation from Tom and his dedicated teams today.