Category : Maid Service

Fall Cleanup – Make Your Home Feel Fresh

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As the world continues to shine a spotlight on the ways we can improve the sanitation in our lives, our homes have come under scrutiny. With the fall coming up, we tend to be even more antsy as children are going back to school (or doing hybrid schooling) and want to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our homes feeling fresh and clean. On top of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with a strict cleaning regimen and we often feel exhausted after working anyway. Using a Boise maid service is a great way to keep your cleaning schedule in tip-top shape without feeling like you never have time to relax!

For the fall, there are quite a few ways to give a fresh perspective on your home as we start to spend more time indoors during the colder months. Before your home starts to feel stale and static, give these ideas a try (or let our expert cleaners at Happy Homes do it for you!).

 

Take your normal cleaning routine up a notch.

Start with your typical checklist: Doing the dishes, washing bedding in all rooms of the house, scrubbing the bathrooms, etc. Instead of doing the minimum of these, take it up a notch! Wipe out the dishes in your china cabinet your rarely touch (that you will most likely use with the holidays coming up anyway!), analyze if it’s time to buy new bedding, and take an extra look at the bathrooms. Get behind the toilet, pour the proper cleaners down the plumbing to clear it out (and get rid of lingering smells), and even wipe out the dust hanging from the bathroom fan in the ceiling! Clean the TV, the washer and dryers, wipe down the doorknobs and switches throughout the house. Find the filters inside your house and replace them if needed, along with the batteries in all the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Because cleaning chimneys and fireplaces should typically be left up to a professional, schedule an appointment with a trusted local company at a time that works for you. While you are at it, get your furnace inspected as well to ensure it is working properly.

Wipe down the light fixtures in every room along with the corners of windowsills and shelves. Move the refrigerator and oven to clean behind and underneath. Clean the curtains and blinds that haven’t been touched since you put them up. Not only are these things that will make a world of a difference in the overall sanitation of your home, but they typically don’t take longer than a few extra minutes per task to your normal routine.

Don’t forget about the outside of your home!

The outside of your home is just as important as the inside. By keeping it well cleaned and maintained, you can further its life (not to mention, you’ll be able to notice a beautiful difference from before to after). Once all the leaves have dropped, clean out the gutters so that snow doesn’t get backed up on your roof and weigh it down. Complete your fall yard maintenance by picking up all the debris and leaves from trimming. Wipe down any outdoor lights and replace them if they have burned out already. One of the largest projects outdoors will be to pressure wash the home which will remove any growing mold and dirt clinging to the siding of your home.

Take the time to deep clean your BBQ from the frequent use over the summer. Wash the outside of your windows and doors. Drain the water hoses and wash off your outdoor furniture to ensure their longevity. Once they’re clean, go ahead and store them in a shed or in your garage or basement for when the weather gets warmer in the spring. While you are cleaning the outside of your home, take your time going through all the steps – you never know what you might find! With this close attention to detail, you might find that you need repairs on your steps or siding that you were not aware of before. Getting those repairs done before winter is crucial in keeping rain and snow from penetrating to the inside of your home.

It’s time to purge.

Spring isn’t the only time to get rid of things you don’t use anymore! Before you get cooped up inside too much, set aside a day to go through all your closets to pick the clothes you can donate. While you are there, go ahead and swap out your summer clothes for winter clothes to free up some even more space. Go through each room in your home to throw out (or give away or sell) any extra clutter or decorations that don’t fit your style anymore. This is also a great time to go through your basement, where you are most likely harboring many boxes of things you haven’t used in years.

Head to the kitchen for your next purge. Systematically check your pantry for old, expired food (or food that your family just doesn’t eat). If the food is still good that you want to get rid of, donate it to someone in need. While you are going through shelf by shelf, take a cleaner to the pantry shelves and close up any open containers to reduce the chances of gaining mice or food-loving insects during the winter months. Once the pantry is done, move on to the refrigerator for another purge. Many of us are guilty of pushing older containers to the back of the fridge, which eventually gets lost as we buy more and more groceries every week. Sort through everything and rearrange the shelves while cleaning for an organized feel. Now, you won’t have to worry about using mustard that’s three months old!

Unfortunately for many of us, having the time to deep clean our houses in the fall can be hard to do. If you start to feel overwhelmed by your chore list, call a Boise maid service you can trust – Happy Homes!

7 Tips to Keep Your House Clean

Best Practices to Keep Your House Clean Between Maid Services

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Everyone loves the feeling of coming home to a freshly cleaned house – especially when you didn’t have to do the cleaning yourself! When using a Boise house cleaner like Happy Homes Maids, your house gets its routine cleaning without the hassle of doing it on your own. However, your home can only stay clean for so long when you don’t have a live-in maid (like most of us!). Based off of our expert team members, we have gathered the best tips on how to keep your home sparkly clean between the times that we come out to help.

Prepare for housecleaners

Need a Maid Service? Hire a Locally Owned House Cleaning Company

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We make important decisions with every dollar we spend. Whether we are buying groceries, clothing, or hiring someone to clean our homes, we have the choice to spend our money locally or with national, or even international, companies. While some items are nearly impossible to buy locally, the same is not necessarily true when hiring services. There are many local service providers in your area that are locally owned and operated. There are many advantages to keeping your investment closer to home. Here are just a few reasons to hire a local Boise maid service when you need help keeping your home tidy or want to reclaim some of your hard earned time!

Environmentally Safe Green House Cleaning

Cleaning Houses with Environmentally Safe Products

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Most of us living in the Boise area want nothing more than to protect our environment. We also want clean homes waiting for us once we return from work after a long day. Can we have both? Can we have a clean home while protecting our environment? Yes, we can. If we use environmentally safe products or hire house cleaning companies in Boise that do the same.  Here are a few ways to keep a clean house and protect our planet at the same time!

Everything is Better When Someone Else Cleans Your Home

Everything is Better When Someone Else Cleans Your Home

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We work too hard. We do not play enough. We know these things, yet we do not do anything to change it. We come home from a long day at work only to work some more! What options do we have? We have plenty of options, especially when it comes to cleaning your home. Treat your house cleaning like any other project you would ordinarily task out. You probably do not do your own taxes. It is doubtful you change your own oil. Why clean your own home?

Fight Coronavirus by Disinfecting Your Home

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Across the nation, it is being reported that the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak is bringing more demand for cleaning services. Experts advise taking extra steps to keep your home free of germs, not only to prevent illness but also to keep it from spreading if someone is already sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person; between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

How Happy Homes Maids Protects Your Home and Family

We are professionally trained to keep environments clean and healthy. We sanitize surfaces, and we’ve taken disinfecting to a higher level. We use commercial-grade vacuums with HEPA filtration that capture up to 99 percent of dust, allergens and other contaminants. We use disinfectant that is made to kill viruses and bacteria. We use certain cloths in certain rooms to avoid spreading germs. Our cleaning teams use hospital-grade disinfectants to sanitize their hands and vacuums from one house to the next. They wear disposable gloves to keep outside germs away. We will continue to enforce our policy of requiring team members who exhibit or are showing signs of illness to stay home.

You don’t have to fight the coronavirus alone!

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Home and Family

CDC Recommendations

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water aren’t readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow and immediately wash your hands
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick and around other people (such as in the case of a visit to the doctor’s office – they should have a face mask available for you to put on when you enter their office)

Our Cleaning Recommendations

  • Keep getting your house professionally cleaned and disinfected by Happy Homes Maids.
  • We recommend that you clean commonly touched surfaces with disinfectant regularly during this time, between Happy Homes cleanings.
  • Let’s take good care of each other: Please call us to postpone your clean if your family is sick. Our employees are being asked to stay home if they are sick.

Will Your Housekeeper Clean The Oven?

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It’s not always clear which parts of your house your housekeeper will clean when you first hire them. The best practice is to have them come to your home before your first cleaning job. Walk them through different parts of the house, and tell them what you would like cleaned. They’ll tell you if they normally clean that part of the house or if they charge extra to clean it. You’ll also be able to tell them things you don’t want cleaned. For example, if you have fragile items that you can’t replace, it might be best to just clean them yourself. Along the way, they’ll tell you if they clean ovens. Typically, housekeepers clean the outsides of ovens but they don’t clean the inside. Cleaning the inside is a pretty difficult task. If they do clean it, or if they clean it for a fee, you can save some money by doing a pre-clean yourself.

How to Pre-Clean Your Oven

 Cleaning your oven can make it much easier for your housecleaner when he or she arrives. In some cases, house cleaners actually won’t clean an oven that’s too dirty. So, a good pre-clean might be essential. The easiest way to accomplish this is to run the self-cleaning cycle on your oven. When you read about self-cleaning ovens, some will swear by them and others will suggest that you should never use the cycle. If you follow the instructions on your oven, it will likely work out fine.

Take out the racks and any type of oven liner. Also, take any pots or pans off the range on top of the oven. Don’t use any type of chemical oven cleaner before the cleaning cycle, and make sure that any pets or children are out of the area. When you turn on the cycle, it will heat up the oven to an excess of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The process can take between an hour and six hours. As it burns off anything stuck on the oven, it will likely create smoke. So you’ll need to stick around to open windows, direct fans, and otherwise ventilate the area. After the process is finished, you’ll likely have ashes on the bottom of the oven. You’ll need to wait an hour or more for the oven to cool down. Sweep the ashes into a dustpan, and the oven is ready to be cleaned by the house cleaner.

Cleaning It Yourself

If you don’t have a self-cleaning cycle or if it worries you, you can also use a pan of water. Put a pan of water on the center rack of the oven. Turn the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to run for at least an hour. That will create steam inside the oven to loosen grease and grime. After that, allow the oven to cool. Scrub it with a damp brush and allow it to dry.

Lastly, you can use a commercial oven cleaner. If you use an oven cleaner, you’ll need to follow the instructions on the cleaner. Use a face mask and gloves because they can be very caustic. Typically, you will heat the oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and then turn it off. Spray the oven cleaner, allow it to sit, and then wipe it clean.

How Much Can You Expect to Pay for a House Cleaner?

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Maid service was once thought of as a luxury. In the days of one-income households with two adults, it was simple for one person to do the cleaning while home and for the other person to work outside of the house. Now, two-income households are becoming the norm. That means that there’s no one around to clean your house. You could clean it when you get off work or on the weekends, but that leaves little time for anything but work and unpaid work. Instead, many people are turning to house cleaners. It’s an added expense, but how much does it actually cost?

 

Square Footage or Time

Maids tend to charge either hourly or by the square footage. If you can choose, then you should weigh your options. Charging by the hour is probably best for homes that are fairly large. If you home is large, it’s entirely possible that the job could still go fairly quickly. The housekeeper might move from room to room fairly efficiently. If you were charged by square footage, you might be charged for rooms that don’t necessarily need cleaning.

 

However, if your home is fairly small, charging by square footage is useful. It allows you to anticipate exactly how much the job will cost. Typically, house cleaners charge between $50 and $90 per hour. They charge about $90 for 1000 square feet and $250 for more than $3000.

 

Repeat Business

If you schedule your maid to come at a certain time each month, you can likely save some money on the cost. That’s because they will be able to estimate better how long it will take them and give you a more accurate estimate. Furthermore, things that typically don’t get dirty in only a few weeks will still be clean. That will speed up the cleaning process. The maids know that; thus, they charge less for repeat cleanings. Typically, customers save between $5 and $15 for repeat cleanings.

 

Averages

So, what does all of that mean for you? On average, cleaning an apartment costs customers about $100 per cleaning. That will be slightly lower for repeat customers. Cleaning a single family home costs about $130. A business costs about $150. Multi-family homes, large businesses, or large homes will cost you slightly more.

A one-time cleaning, such as for a party or an open house, will be a deeper clean. It generally costs between $200 and $300 for a single family home.

Which Cleaning Services Are Specialty Services?

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When you hire a new housekeeper for the first time, it’s important to do some research. Make sure you know how much they charge, what time they’ll show up, how long it will take, whether they bring their own supplies, and what they need from you. These are all important conversations to have. Typically, that happens when they do a walk-through of your space before the first cleaning. However, some housekeepers just list additional charges for “specialty services” without always clarifying what that includes. There are a few things that you should know are considered specialty; if you don’t read closely or ask the right questions, you might not realize certain things aren’t typically included.

 

Kitchen Appliance Cleaning

 Kitchen appliances are some of the most difficult parts of your house to clean. They combine practically every aspect of a difficult cleaning situations. They experience frequent use, they’re heated regularly, and they face lots of oil. All of those things combine to make difficult cleaning. Most housekeepers will clean the outside of a kitchen appliance in their standard repertoire of services. However, you’ll need to ask about cleaning the insides. Cleaning the front of an oven with some surface cleaner is completely different from actually cleaning inside of an oven.

Cleaning inside and oven requires time, heat, and special cleaning solutions. It’s also very labor-intensive. If you need someone to clean the inside of your refrigerator, dishwasher, or oven, you need to ask about that beforehand.

 

Window Cleaning

 Windows are something that many people assume will be included in their normal housekeeping services, but many cleaning companies consider them to be specialty services. They’re a little bit more tedious than some other cleaning tasks and they don’t always need to be completed every week or every month. If nobody is smudging your windows, they should be relatively clean for quite a while. That’s why most cleaning companies don’t bother to do it unless you ask about it.

Outdoors window cleaning is yet another expense. Some companies don’t even offer it as a service.

 

Wall Cleaning

 Cleaning the walls is not particularly difficult, but much like the windows, they might not need it very often. So, most companies don’t include wall cleaning in their services. However, it does take enough time that they will charge you extra for wall cleaning. If you’ve got smudges on your walls, be sure to ask about wall cleaning services.

Several other services might be considered specialty depending on the company you hire.

Do You Have to Provide The Cleaning Supplies For Your Housekeeper?

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Clients who are hiring their first housekeepers often wonder if they’re supposed to provide the cleaning supplies or if the housekeeper brings them. The answer is not a simple yes or no. It’s a mixture of the two depending on what you need and on who you hire.

 

Typical Situation

 A typical housekeeping situation involves the housekeeper bringing some of the supplies and you providing other supplies. Usually, a housekeeper will tell you what chemicals, supplies, and tools that they will need to properly clean your house. That usually involves some microfiber cloths, a vacuum, a mop and bucket, rubber gloves, brushes, window cleaner, surface cleaner, and a mild abrasive. That about covers a typical home cleaning kit. Many housekeeping companies are willing to bring everything they need to clean your house effectively, but they will charge you a surcharge for those supplies. You can provide the chemicals and supplies yourself to avoid the surcharge.

However, if you say you will provide the supplies but fail to do so, that could void any guarantee for the quality of the surface. Alternately, they might end up using their own supplies and charging you anyway.

Lastly, some companies will demand that you have certain supplies in your house while bringing other supplies with them. Those supplies are typically a broom and a mop. That’s because brooms and mops are used to clean up pet hair. Some clients are allergic to pet hair. They could accidentally transfer pet dander from one house to the next, which could be a problem.

 

Special Requests

 

All of that is altered if you have some kind of special request. For example, you might want the housekeeper to only use green, environmentally friendly products. If they’re a green housekeeping company, then that’s not a problem. If they’re not, you’ll need to provide all of the cleaning chemicals.

Also, if you have allergies or sensitivities, you’ll need to let your housekeeper know about it. That could alter which chemicals they use; if you have very specific sensitivities, they might require you to provide the chemicals.

Lastly, many companies are very hesitant about bleach. Obviously many people are sensitive to bleach and it can damage certain fabrics or surfaces. If you insist on the use of bleach, they might ask that you provide it yourself. Alternately, they might require that you waive any liability for bleach damage.

 

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