Thursday, 21 June 2018

5 Steps to Declutter

Do you look around your home and ask yourself how it got so full of useless knick-knacks, or is your office buried under neglected piles of paper?  All of this clutter can have negative effects on your mental and emotional well-being.  Disorganization caused by clutter causes stress hormones to spike, leaving you anxious and irritated on a daily basis.  This can lead to feelings of sadness, anger, and depression, making it difficult to maintain positive emotions.  Moreover, there is a direct correlation between living in a cluttered space and reduced mental focus, which causes difficulties in problem solving, memory retention and concentration.  This results in decreased work performance as well as impaired judgement in parenting and managing a household. 

Clutter has a negative effect on physical health as well.  A cluttered space makes you feel chronically tired and lethargic, and the frustration caused by the mess can raise blood pressure and negatively impact heart health. 

Not only is clutter unhealthy, it can be dangerous as well.  Staircases filled with obstacles, shelves supporting too much weight, and debris on the floor that can be tripped over -- these all create physically unsafe conditions.  Moreover, clutter can be a fire hazard if it blocks entrance ways. 

Evidently, reducing clutter is important for maintaining a state of mental and emotional well-being as well as physical health and safety.  Although the process of decluttering may be difficult at times, it will pay off in the long run.  Follow these steps to simplify the decluttering process.

Step 1: Sometimes, all it takes to reduce clutter is to put things away.  Place books back on shelves, tuck clothes into drawers, and store shoes in closets.  You’ll already feel the difference!

Step 2: Determine what you consider to be clutter.  One person’s clutter is another person’s treasure.  Create an inventory of your belongings, and make a note of things you are no longer using, such as clothes you haven’t worn in over a year, dishes with scratches or chips, books you’ll never read again, and stacks of old magazines. 

Step 3: Pick a “declutter day” to clear out all unnecessary items.  Throw out, recycle or donate everything you marked as clutter in step 2.  Step 3 is important because it doesn’t allow you to procrastinate your decluttering process.

Step 4: Create storage.  Often, clutter exists simply because it has nowhere to go.  Utilize unused spaces such as areas underneath couches and beds.  Look into purchasing storage cubes that function as stools and benches with storage compartments under the seats.

Step 5: Reassess.  Although you’ve done most of the work in decluttering your home, there still might be some clutter lurking about.  Look through your home once more to make sure you have gotten rid of all the clutter.

Although these steps simplify the process, decluttering takes time and patience.  In the meantime, difficult-to-clean dust, mold, and animal dander accumulate around clutter, increasing allergy symptoms and respiratory problems.  This is especially harmful to people with asthma.  A professional cleaning service like Classmaids can clean out the dirt caused by your clutter, benefitting your health and well-being.  Book your cleaning by going to our website at www.classmaids.com or by calling us at (561) 470-9200.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

The average American family produces over 17 pounds of trash in a single day.  A large portion of this trash comes from single-use items, such as plastic water bottles and plastic bags.  Plastic waste has become a critical global issue: 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, damaging marine ecosystems and, subsequently, human health.  Landfills are detrimental to the environment because decomposing garbage releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.  The bottom line is that we need to reduce the amount of waste we produce.  The “three R’s” -- reduce, reuse, recycle -- are the key methods of minimizing waste, creating a healthier planet for us to live on.  Here are the basics and benefits of each of the “three R’s.”

Reduce and Reuse

The most effective way to reduce waste is to not produce it in the first place.  The production of new products requires lots of materials and energy -- raw materials must be extracted from the earth, and the product must be fabricated and then transported to wherever it will be sold.  By reducing and reusing, you are not only preventing waste from entering landfills and the ocean, but you are also saving energy, environmental resources, and your own money! 

Here are some ideas on how to reduce waste:

  • Buy used. You can find everything from clothes to building materials, and used items are less expensive and often just as good as new!
  • Look for products that use less packaging. Buying in bulk, for example, can reduce packaging and save money.
  • Maintain and repair products, like clothing, tires and appliances, so that they won’t have to be thrown out and replaced frequently.

Here are some ideas on how to reuse:

  • Bring your own shopping bags to stores instead of using disposable plastic or paper bags.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle to use instead of disposable plastic bottles.
  • Find creative ways to give “waste” a second life. For example, that empty tub of yogurt would make a great container for art supplies!
  • Donate unwanted items. Not only will you be reducing waste, you’ll also be helping others!

 

Recycle

Recycling prevents waste from entering landfills and the ocean by processing used materials to produce new ones.  Although recycling is often promoted as the best solution for waste reduction, unfortunately only a small percentage of waste is currently recycled -- of the 300 million tons of new plastic produced annually, less than 10% is recycled.  This is why reducing and reusing are the most effective methods of waste reduction; however, recycling can also be beneficial if done correctly.   If you happen to have a plastic bottle, and you can’t find any recycling bins around, hold onto it until you can dispose of it properly.  Remember, every little step counts!

If you do not currently have a recycling program for your home, contact your local city or country government to request recycling bins.  Some municipalities even offer free recycling bins in select communities. If your area has a recycling program set in place, it is likely that there are free recycling bins available, one for each household.

If you rent your home or office and don’t have recycling, talk to your property management company.  Often these companies do not want to coordinate building recycling either due to additional costs of service or because they don’t want to deal with an addition vendor.  Classmaids always recommends to their clients to reach out directly to their management companies and request access to recycling, which will allow them to get more value out of their property management services.

 

Classmaids’ Commitment to the Three R’s

Classmaids is committed to reducing waste in various ways.  We use products made from recycled packaging, buy cleaning products in bulk and reuse containers such as spray bottles.  Our cleaning professionals are trained in cleaning techniques that minimize waste.  Classmaids partners with TerraCycle, a company that specializes in recycling hard-to-recycle materials such as disposable gloves, sponges, and other cleaning supplies.  Classmaids’ clients can benefit by receiving a special discount code for purchasing TerraCycle’s Zero-Waste Boxes and other products. 

Classmaids is dedicated to cleaning not just your home, but also the environment.  Book your cleaning by going to our website at www.classmaids.com or by calling us at (561) 470-9200.

The purpose of cleaning products is to get rid of dirt, not to contaminate your home with dangerous toxic substances.  There is a myriad of cleaning products on the market containing harsh chemicals that get the job done at the expense of your health and the environment; however, cleaning products do not have to be toxic in order to be effective.  In fact, some of the best cleaning products are natural and biodegradable.  Here are some of the benefits of using these types of products.

 

Health

Do you struggle with allergies?  Try switching to natural non-toxic cleaning products!  The chemicals used in conventional cleaning products can irritate your body, causing allergic reactions.  Moreover, chemical-based cleaning products may contribute to cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive abnormalities, and behavioral problems, especially when used in small, unventilated spaces such as windowless bathrooms or showers.  According to the National Cancer Association, women who work in the home have a 54% higher risk of developing cancer than women who work outside the home due to the effects of indoor pollutants.  Children and pets are especially vulnerable to the dangerous effects of toxic cleaning products.

 

Cost

Contrary to popular belief, switching to natural cleaning products does not have to be expensive; some of the most effective cleaning solutions can be found right in your home!  These include vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, tea tree oil and baking soda, which will clean any part of your home for a fraction of the price. 

 

Environment

Conventional cleaning products can be extremely detrimental to the natural environment.  For example, nitrogen, phosphorus and ammonia, which are commonly found in conventional cleaning products, are dangerous water contaminants.  Volatile organic compounds, also found in conventional cleaning products, contribute to air pollution.  By using non-toxic, natural cleaning products, you not only support the health and safety of your own home, but also the environment around you.

 

Classmaids’ Commitment to Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

By hiring Classmaids, you are ensuring that your home will be cleaned with safe, eco-friendly products.  Classmaids invests in non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products from leading natural cleaning companies such as Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyers.  Our cleaning staff will make your home sparkling clean, while preserving your health and the environment.  Book your cleaning by going to our website at www.classmaids.com or by calling us at (561) 470-9200.

Washing clothes is a demanding (and seemingly endless) chore. If you’re working in a clean and organized space, it can take some of the stress out of the task of doing your laundry. Here are some tips to handle organizing your laundry room like a pro.

Pre-sort

Having hampers set up to sort delicates, whites, colors and permanent press items can save you time. You can choose to use three or four separate hampers or one that has dividers. Be sure to have these labeled and/or color-coded. Teach your children to put their clothes in the correct section so when it’s time to throw it in the wash, it’s pre-sorted. This will save you a great deal of time.

Storage solutions

Having your cleaning and laundry supplies handy is a great idea. This can be done in a variety of ways. Many choose to have cabinets or shelving above the washer and dryer to keep detergent and bleach out of reach of small children. You may choose to use storage bins or pretty baskets if your space is visible.

Hang it up

Some clothes are not meant for the dryer and you need a space to hang them up. A rod, clothesline or wire rack can all do the job. You can also install a laundry room drying-bar using a basic bath towel holder. Another method is a fold-up drying rack if you’re lacking space for a permanent fixture. You may decide that hooks are the way to go – and in this case, you could use the hooks to hang and store away additional hangers and even your ironing board.

Look up

Unused wall space is just begging for usage in the form of a cabinet, shelf or some other storage solution. You may also use wall space for pegboards, calendars, white boards for scheduling, or a blackboard to leave cute notes.

Keep the change

A piggy bank or just a simple jar kept on a nearby shelf would be useful for all the coins, buttons and other tiny items that are left in the pockets of pants.

Let Classmaids Handle Your Laundry

Need more than laundry room organization tips? Let our experienced residential and commercial cleaning crew help. Classmaids is licensed, bonded and insured, and we will exceed your standards with our detailed cleaning checklist, our non-toxic biodegradable cleaning products, our top-notch laundry services and more.  Simply let us know how you would like your laundry done (i.e., detergent, washer and dryer settings, etc.), and we will wash, dry and fold it exactly as you want.  You can book your services online by going to our website at www.classmaids.com or by calling us at (561) 470-9200.

If you've ever hired an independent contractor to work at your home, have you considered what happens if there is an accident, for example, a fall? It will most likely be a case for the courts, as your homeowners' insurance will not cover this fall. Always ask any independent constructor for proof of their workers’ compensation insurance when allowing them to work in your home!

But what if you have an independent maid coming to your home to clean and do some household chores?  Who is responsible for this maid’s workers’ compensation?

The rule is about control. If the homeowner controls the independent maid’s work by setting the working hours and responsibilities, as well as providing the tools and cleaning products s/he uses to clean the home, that independent maid is really an employee of that household, even if s/he only works a couple of hours a week.  You do need to provide your domestic employees with workers’ compensation because your homeowners’ insurance will not cover you in the case of their accident. 

On the other hand, when you hire a professional cleaning company like Classmaids, your risks are covered.  Classmaids is fully licensed, bonded and insured. We invest in workers’ compensation, general liability, and bonding to offer 100% protection to our clients.

Does thinking about house cleaning cause you stress? It does for a lot of people, especially people with kids at home. There are many areas to clean, and kids have a tendency to play with (or at least take out) a lot of toys during the day, all of which should be cleaned and wiped down periodically.

The importance of using non-toxic cleaners in the home is often understated. Whether you use a home cleaning service like Classmaids, have a helping hand or clean your house yourself, it is important to think about what types of cleaning products are being used in your home, especially on the toys that your children play with (and sometimes put in their mouths) frequently.

Fortunately, there are plenty of non-toxic ways to clean your children's toys. The first step to keeping your home free of toxins is to wipe your items down with hot water.  Using very hot water is a natural way to help kill any germs and toxins that may be lurking on your children's toys.

After this step, it can be tempting to grab a sanitizing cleaning wipe to quickly wipe down the toys. However, if the cleaning wipes you have on hand have chemicals in them, they could be causing more harm than good. These types of commercial cleaning products often have great claims, but when you read the ingredients, they contain chemicals that you do not want your kids to be exposed to.

In order to avoid harsh chemicals, reach for a non-toxic wipe. When picking out cleaning supplies, look for items that are biodegradable and "green" products that are friendly for the environment. At Classmaids, we use all natural non-toxic & biodegradable cleaning products powered by brands like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation and Method. Remember to avoid the tempting "commercial cleaning products" that may contain harmful chemicals – these non-toxic brands can be just as powerful cleaning agents without all the “bad stuff” around your children.

If you use a home cleaning service or maid service, remember to ask in advance which types of products they use --- and if they’re using brands you’re not comfortable with, ask them to use the products you prefer in your home. Some services offer green options in different cleaning packages.

For toys that aren’t used often and are nonporous, you can try using a vinegar solution and set them out in the sun for a short time period. You may also try boiling hard toys or throwing them in the dishwasher for a quick cleaning.

Using the right cleaning methods can help you keep your children’s toys clean, in a non-toxic and safe way.  To make your life a little easier, Classmaids can help get your home sparkly clean! For more information and to book your Classmaids cleaning, visit www.classmaids.com.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Happy Earth Day!

All around the world Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd to raise awareness to the importance of protecting our environment. This year, the main goal is to end plastic pollution.

A few disturbing facts about plastic pollution:

  • We send 8 million tons of plastic into the ocean every year. That’s the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck full of plastic every single minute.
  • The trash and waste dumped into the ocean washes up on beaches and coastal areas and affects everything in between. Every marine animal is affected by man-made chemicals released in the water.
  • There is an island of garbage twice the size of Texas inside the Pacific Ocean: the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California is the largest oceanic garbage site in the entire world. There, the number of floating plastic pieces outnumbers total marine life six to one in the immediate vicinity.

Environmental sustainability and waste reduction are among Classmaids core business values, which we implement in our everyday work:

  • We use only non-toxic biodegradable cleaning products, which are safe for our customers, their pets and the Earth.
  • Most of our supplies are recyclable and biodegradable.
  • We implement sustainable cleaning techniques, which help save cleaning products, energy and water.
  • We recycle all plastic and other containers.
  • We use a Zero Waste Box from Terra Cycle for recycling disposable gloves.
  • We advise our customers on recycling options available in their buildings and the area.

Our long-term goal is to benefit society by driving sustainability innovation across the cleaning industry.

In an effort to be eco-friendly, Classmaids has established collaboration with TerraCycle, an innovative company, which can recycle virtually anything.  Their website is www.terracycle.com/en-US/

TerraCycle provides access to free national recycling programs for some hard-to-recycle items.  They also sell unique Zero Waste Boxes, in which one can dispose of materials that are considered nonrecyclable like chip bags, coffee capsules, water filters, etc. 

Classmaids offers to our customers a unique 15% discount code for all TerraCycle products, which can be used on TerraCycle's e-commerce website. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Sustainable Cleaning Ideas

With environmental safety and protection a growing issue (& rightfully so!), it is more important than ever to use eco-friendly products and practices wherever possible. Home cleaning is one of the best places to utilize green products, which helps to ensure not only a clean living area, but a healthy home as well. Adopting clean, sustainable living habits offers a multitude of benefits to both you and your family, and you’ll see that incorporating these habits into your daily lifestyle is not hard. Here are a few tips to help you practice sustainable cleaning.

  1. Minimize Water Use.

Depending on the size of the cleaning task, measure and use only the amount of water you will need. For example, wiping down appliances with a reusable cloth might require a gallon or two of water, while scrubbing the garage floor would need more. Err on the lower side and refill your bucket as needed, minimizing wasted water. Consider reusing or refreshing a pail of water that is used first for a light cleaning job, such as wiping countertops, for a second task like cleaning fan stands or book cases, etc. Minimizing your water usage can become a comfortable habit as you get used to it.

  1. Recycle!

While many businesses now include recycling in their commercial cleaning program, home cleaning approaches in many communities are still catching up. If your county offers containers for recycling, jump on board to begin recycling your bottles, boxes and paper products. If not, organize your recyclable products and drop them off at designated bins. When buying cleaning products, look for packaging that is recyclable, which will help to further your sustainable cleaning efforts. More green products are appearing on store shelves every year. And when considering a specific cleaning service, check out their stance on using sustainability practices. With Classmaids, rest assured that we use all natural non-toxic & biodegradable cleaning products powered by companies such as Seventh Generation.

  1. Avoid Wasting Products.

Similar to minimizing your water use – measure cleaning products with sustainability in mind. Don't use more than is needed, which is usually less than you think. Try to use before the best-by date, if applicable. This helps reduce unnecessary waste.

  1. Use Green Cleaners.

Whether using cleaners in a home or in a commercial location, green cleaners help to keep a home or office smelling fresh and free of toxic residue. Surprisingly, green cleaning products are often cheaper than the typical cleaners full of chemicals, and they sometimes require fewer precautions and less cleanup than the other kind. You don't have to worry about residual effects of fumes, powders, or sprays on children or pets. In addition to protecting family and coworkers, you are also helping to take care of the environment. We prefer brands such as Seventh Generation, Method and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.

For more information about sustainability related to home or business cleaning and to schedule a cleaning, contact Classmaids: http://www.classmaids.com/contact-us. We care about keeping you, your family, and the world around us clean and safe.

Spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to just your home. Even if you prefer a cleaning service like Classmaids to handle the bulk of your cleaning, there are some simple things you can do to get your office ready for spring. Organizing and rearranging your office can set you up for a great season of success and productivity in your fresh space. Follow our tips for getting your office ready for spring, and let the creativity and new ideas flow!

The dreaded cold and flu season is upon us, and keeping you and your loved ones healthy is of utmost importance. While hiring a cleaning service to disinfect your home is a great solution, there are plenty of ways you can eliminate germs on your own between cleanings. Follow these quick and efficient cleaning tips to help keep those nasty germs out of your home

Clean Surfaces Often

Surfaces such as door handles, faucets, appliances, remote controls, computers, and toilets are all breeding grounds for bacteria because they are touched multiple times per day. During cold and flu season, pay special attention to these areas and wipe them down frequently with your favorite disinfectant. This is the first tip for keeping your home as clean as possible and preventing the germs from spreading from person to person.

Use Safe Cleaning Supplies

There are many types of cleaning products on the market, but some contain harsh chemicals that can be damaging to your health. Look for biodegradable products that disinfect without causing dangerous side effects. Biodegradable products are made out of materials that break down quickly and safely without causing harm to humans or the environment, which is why we favor non-toxic brands such as Mrs. Meyers, The 7th Generation and Method. Their bottles are also made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable. Win, win!

Disinfect More Than Just Surfaces

While it's important to wipe down surfaces during cold and flu season, it's equally important to disinfect shared items in the household. Things like blankets, hand towels, and dishes are all items that need to be cleaned thoroughly when a member of the household is sick. Be sure to wash all bedding at least once a week. Change out hand towels daily, or switch to paper towels when someone is sick. Wash dishes in hot, soapy water, or use the sanitize option on the dishwasher.

And remember, Classmaids is always here to help get your home or office clean and germ-free for the cold season! Our trained and experienced cleaning master will arrive at your home with equipment and non-toxic supplies to clean thoroughly and efficiently, leaving your home spotless! For more information and to schedule your Classmaids cleaning, click here: http://www.classmaids.com/contact-us.