Open your fridge or stove - if something looks or smells off, it's time to give it a scrub. A self-cleaning oven is a breeze to clean, just be sure to keep your windows open to air out the smell. If it's not self-cleaning, try ‘baking’ a casserole dish filled with water and lemon juice at 375 degrees for about 30-60 minutes. The concoction will steam dirt off the inside of the oven and make cleaning it out a lot easier. The fridge is easy to clean as well; if you feel overwhelmed, start with one shelf at a time. Use a bit of dish soap in warm water and a damp cloth to wipe the interior surfaces down. Get rid of all old food and make sure to replace your box of baking soda to reduce odours in the fridge. Don't forget to pull the appliances out and clean behind and underneath them as well.
Wash your mattress cover, rotate your mattress and launder your pillows, comforters and blankets. This is something we often forget to do but is a great spring cleaning task to tackle. Down comforters and pillows can be washed in front-loading machines with gentle detergent and then placed in the dryer on a low setting, using the same tennis balls recommended above. This will help fluff and dry the down. You may need to run a couple of dryer cycles.
Dry clean your wool coat and launder your down filled jackets by washing as usual. Finish, by placing your jacket in the dryer with three tennis balls dropped and tied in three old socks. These 'beat' the water out of the down fill. Finally, clean all the salt stains off your shoes and boots by using soft cloth soaked in vinegar to remove salt, then blotting dry and buffing with a few dabs of olive oil to moisturize the leather.
Take your carpet runners and hallway mats and shake them outside to remove all sand, stones and salt. Finish the job off by sprinkling baking soda on the mats and runners, letting the baking soda sit for 30 minutes and vacuuming afterwards. The baking soda will break down the odors and leave your carpets smelling fresh and clean.
Re-organize your linen and coat closets - these areas tend to get forgotten and giving them a little TLC can go a long way! For the linen closet, remove all towels and sheets, give away anything you don't use and refold towels and sheets keeping all edges uniform. A great way to fold towels or sheets is to fold the two long outer edges together in the centre, fold in half and then fold in half again - this will give you clean, tidy lines and make towels and linens easy to stack.
So how did I meet Melissa? I had just moved into a new apartment and I just couldn't bond with my kitchen. I called her company for a three hour service and had my kitchen deep cleaned. The inside of my stove was sparkling, my fridge was wiped down and everything I had avoided doing was finally done and done well. So I asked Melissa, a hip + urban girl entrepreneur a few questions:
Why did you decide to start a cleaning company?
I always wanted to have my own company but was never quite sure what I wanted to do. After graduating university, my friends had all taken jobs and rented places in the city. When we would get together, their places were a little 'unkempt'. I decided that young urbanites didn't have the time or penchant to clean and this was my golden opportunity.
I didn't start the company because I loved cleaning and wanted to do it all day. I started it because I felt it was an industry that lacked great service, client care and standards and I saw the need in the market. I had to learn everything from the ground up - I cleaned for just less than two years and waitressed at night to make ends meet. When the business was finally ready, I was able to stop cleaning and start building. It's been an amazing experience!
What differentiates you from other cleaning companies?
When we boiled it down, we felt our clients wanted quality, reliability, consistency and honestly. Everyone wants a top quality job and we have a three week training program that our Cleaning Specialists go through to ensure they are up to par and able to offer that incredible quality to our clients. Reliability means we show up - sounds simple but this is a major issue within the industry. Clients need to feel they can count on us. Consistency is also important since the first cleaning should be as good as any other cleaning that they receive. No one wants to see corners being cut. We have a checklist that we follow and offer a 24-hour service guarantee on our work. We reference and background check all of our staff and promptly report any anomalies we find in a home.
For more cleaning tips or to hire someone to take care of it all for you, visit Melissa at www.CleanMySpace.ca