Spring Forward Means Spring Cleaning

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#springforward March 13th, 2016 at 2:00 am!

It is believed that Ben Franklin proposed daylight savings as a way to conserve the use of candles since there would be less hours of darkness. The idea wasn’t accepted until the energy crisis during World War I when our country was looking for ways to conserve energy.
Whether or not you believe that there is a need for daylight savings – below are reasons to believe in Spring Cleaning.

Historically, the event of spring cleaning was done after a long dark winter where houses were lit by fires and candles (they could have definitely benefited from SAD light therapy). After a long winter, closed up in a house to shut out the winter days – spring time was when families came together to make their home fresh and clean again. All family members who survived the harshness of winter would get together and place every piece of furniture and clothing outside on a warm and dry day. Part of the family would then scrub the walls and floors and every corner of the home while the other family members would take to the outside to air out linens and wash the soot and ash left on the furniture from the fireplace. Every little detail of spring cleaning was attended to.

Today, spring cleaning is nothing less than a daunting task for our busy society. Most of us no longer need to remove ash from our furniture after the winter months – although; the extra hours of daylight shining through the windows bring attention to the dust bunnies that have gathered together under furniture and in the corners of every room. Rather than needing to air out linen, we tend to need to organize our linen closest.

Even though we don’t have coal-burning stoves we still need to clean and air out our homes from the trapped cleaning chemicals, waxed floors and microfiber in the home. This is good to do on a warm and dry day. Pull out your comforters, quilts, blankets and even mattress covers and let hang in the sun for a good 24 hours to kill off all dust mites. If you’re really up to it, your mattress could definitely use a good airing out as well.

The next step is to get started on cleaning your home from top to bottom (if this sounds like a horrible idea – contact Maid Marvelous as this is our area of expertise).

Throw your doors and windows wide open, put on some great music and get started on sweeping and vacuuming every corner of your house. It’s amazing what a difference some fresh air will do for a home that has been closed up all winter.

For the next step of your spring cleaning list, I hope you have been keeping fit over the winter months as you will want to move the stove and refrigerator to sweep and mop the floor underneath these appliances.
Clean out your microwave by taking one lemon; halved, combined with water, cook on high for ten minutes in a microwave safe bowl. Then take a dishcloth and wipe down the racks, walls and ceiling. If there needs to be a second cleaning, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of warm water – when all finished add more water to your bowl of lemons and run for another ten minutes to get rid of the smell of vinegar.

Now for the windows:
Dust and vacuum the drapes, blinds, and shades. Wash the windows inside and out. Again, a mixture of white vinegar and warm water is as good as any commercial cleaner. After all of this I’m sure you are going to be ready for a break but don’t give up before checking the following:

  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors
  • Dusk ceiling fan blades and any chandeliers
  • Remove clutter from your closets (it’s a good rule of thumb that if you have items you haven’t used in 6-12 months, it’s time to pack up and donate)

After all the hard work – sit down and kick your feet up, taking in the result of all of your hard work. By cleaning out your home you have just accomplished the following:

Increased Productivity: With a clean and organized house, you will be more productive in your daily activities! Maintain the organization by committing to get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last 6-12 months.

Made Your Home More Healthy: A good spring cleaning can help you avoid allergy symptoms, according to a study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAII). Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier.

Spring Cleaning Makes You Happier: Studies have shown that having a clean and tidy home make people happier – and cleaning to your favorite music can only make it more fun.
Reduction of Stress: By keeping your personal space organized and clean, you reduce stress. If the cleaning gets to be too much, there’s no shame in getting help in keeping your home clean.

Helps You Stay Focused: For people who make a point of keeping the clutter out of the home – they are able to free up the brain for more essential decision-making, according to a study by the American’s Anxiety Disorder Center. Instead of worrying about the buildup of home chores, you are now able to focus on more important things.

Don’t forget that at Maid Marvelous we have trained professionals that can help you with any stage of your spring cleaning, or can come afterwards and help you maintain the upkeep of your home.

Happy National Popcorn Lover’s Day

In honor of National Popcorn Lover’s Day we want to offer you three of the best popcorn recipes we could find!

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Popcorn With Brown Butter and Parmesan

Ingredients

  1. 1 3.5-ounce package microwave popcorn or 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  2. 3tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 3tablespoons grated Parmesan
  4. kosher salt

 Directions
  1. Pop the popcorn according to the package directions.
  2. Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a skillet or small saucepan over medium heat. Swirl or stir the butter with a wooden spoon as it starts to foam and sputter. Remove the butter from the heat as soon as it begins to turn golden brown and smells nutty, about 1 minute.
  3. Drizzle over the popcorn. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and ¼ teaspoon salt and toss well.

 

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Marshmallow  Popcorn Bars

Ingredients

  1. 2tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  2. 1/2cup popcorn kernels or one 3.5-ounce package plain microwave popcorn
  3. 1 10-ounce bag marshmallows

 Directions

  1. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pop the popcorn according to the package directions.
  2. Melt the butter and marshmallows in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Fold in the popcorn until coated. Press into the prepared dish and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into 24 bars.

 

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Nutted Popcorn Recipe

Ingredients

  1. 8cups popped popcorn
  2. 2 cups pecan halves
  3. 1 cup unbalanced almonds
  4. 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  5. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  6. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 1 cup light corn syrup
  9. 1/2 cup butter
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla

     Directions
    1. Heat oven to 250° F. Combine the popcorn, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chili powder, and cinnamon on 1 or 2 large baking sheets and place in the oven to warm through.
    2. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan and heat to boiling. Without stirring, cook over medium-high heat about 10 minutes or until the syrup turns a rich brown and a few drops of it form stiff threads in a cup of cold water. Stir in the vanilla.
    3. Remove baking sheet from oven and pour the syrup over the popcorn. Toss quickly with a spoon. Cool and break into pieces.

     

 

 

 

“If You Don’t Have a Housekeeper, You Are a Housekeeper”

landscape-1427394080-cleaning-productsOver a year ago, my three best girlfriends and I were at  dinner which comprised of life updates, over twenty years of inside jokes,  incredible poke, seared tuna and of course plenty of glasses of wine.

Surrounded by my favorite ladies I confessed my frustration of always having a dirty house despite that I was always cleaning – that was when Rae gifted the following advice:

“If you don’t have a housekeeper, you are a housekeeper.”

As a successful realtor, Rae had recently attended a business seminar and one of the presenters shared that advice with a roomful of agents.  That one line would now change my own chaotic life.  Looking at the other two ladies, I realized I was the only one of the four who didn’t have a housekeeper – which made me the only housekeeper at dinner that Friday night.

How did I have time to be a housekeeper?  I have a full time career, am a single mother, world traveler, pet owner and apparently the messiest friend in our circle.  I chose in that moment to resign as a housekeeper.

You too need to resign or at least go to part-time, and here are reasons everyone could benefit from help:

  1. You have a full time job: After working forty-hours a week, the last thing you want to do is come home and clean.  Your time is precious; free some of it up by hiring a housekeeper.  Even if you only get help 1-2 times a month, you’ll be able to enjoy some of your favorite activities.
  1. You’re the hostess with the mostess: Until I started using a housekeeper, I couldn’t remember the last time I had friends over. Days and hours would be spent cleaning my house so then when I entertained guest;  I would find myself having anxiety over the mess being made.  Now, I’m here to tell you to entertain away!  Once you hire a housekeeper they can help you before and after your events so you will be able to actually enjoy the times you have company.
  1. Put your family first: We all know that kids grow up too fast and that missed moments are the worst.  Take the hours you would be cleaning and use that time for date night, one-on-one time with your children or event take yourself on a date.  If you already have a full life schedule, housework is probably being neglected or taking quality time away from your family.  So, today I’m giving you a get out of housekeeping pass so you can pack up your family and head out to an activity you all enjoy.
  1. You aren’t the world’s best housekeeper: That’s okay.  Our parent’s tried their best; we just didn’t retain all those little tricks and secrets.  You can always hire a housekeeper to clean your home a few times and teach you how to do more than dust and mop.  And no one will know if you keep them permanently.
  1. There are certain parts of housekeeping you never get to or just don’t like: I swear, every time I have told myself “today is going to be the day I dig in and clean this house.”  By lunchtime I would be stretched out across my fresh clean bed – never making it to cleaning my bathrooms. Housekeepers can come in and only do your bathrooms, floors, surface areas, etc.  Alternate your needs weekly and have your cleaning customized.
  1. You have elderly loved ones: Okay, so maybe you may not want or need help.  But – someone else you know may need cleaning done.  As people age, the first thing that becomes harder is their daily chores.  Rather than cleaning, seniors tend to use their energy for self-care over home care.  Not only is this hard for them as it causes shame to have guest in a home that was once neat and tidy but it also poses a hazard. Seniors are prone to falls and the more clutter that builds up; the more fall risks there are for your loved ones. Hire a housekeeper to do the light chores of the house for your family.  They can help with laundry, dishes, sweeping and mopping.  Having a comfortable and clean living space can keep anyone’s spirit up.
  1. There’s a new baby in the home: I’m having flash backs now of the first weeks following bringing my babies home. Diapers stacked up were just the beginning of what chores were being neglected as I tried to catch naps or take a shower when the baby was sound asleep.  Oh, how I wish I could have registered for housekeeping.  Instead of flowers, suggest to your friends and family to gift you a housekeeper to get you through those first few weeks home with baby.
  1. You’re Worth It! Really, do you need another excuse? Treat yourself darn it.  We all need a break.  Whether you have to move money around in your budget and not get that massage or cut back on lattes for a week, this luxury will be worth it.

Maid Marvelous wants to be there when you resign as a housekeeper.  Contact us today to set up a consultation.

 

Hello world!

13  Cleaning Hacks (From the Pro’s) That Will Simplify Your Life!

Here are a few of our favorite time-saving tips! We know that even if you have professional housekeeping help, there’s still plenty of things to do between visits!

1. When cleaning a house, think of everything as a grid.
Do this with small areas, like a mirror or countertop, or larger spaces, like an entire floor. By visualizing the space broken up into a grid will ensure you don’t miss anything or go over any spot more times than necessary.

2. Always clean from top to bottom.
If you’re doing a major clean up-do your floors last, that way you’re not shaking down dust and dirt onto anything you’ve already cleaned.

3. Keep a few odd (but seriously helpful!) items in your cleaning kit.
We often use pumice stones as a scrubbing tool. They’re really amazing at cleaning hard water toilet rings- and even quickly remove stuck on grease spots inside of the oven . We are also fans of microfiber cloths-but head to the automotive section to buy them. They will be much cheaper than the ones in the cleaning section.
We’ve also figured out some double-duty uses for other cleaning tools in our stash. A squeegee is great for sweeping up crummy countertops or dusty stairs, since it’s grippy and can get into tight corners. And we like to use a plastic pan scraper for lifting stuck-on messes off floors — it’ll really save your fingers!

4. Corral your cords.
Electrical cords are a real magnet for dust bunnies, so neatly zip-tie them together, or even tack them up off the floor to keep dust from collecting.

5. Rely on hooks to keep things tidy.
People have good intentions with their organizing systems, but often putting things away in bins is still too much to ask. We found people more likely to hang things up to keep things organized.

6. Always squeegee your shower.
Keeping your bathroom as dry as possible helps fight mildew and soap scum build-up. Remember to even squeegee shower curtains and the lip of the shower door frame.

7. Skip hairspray.
Dust really loves hairspray, so if I use it, I tend to spray it outside. If you do end up with a sticky, dusty mess in your bathroom, a Magic Eraser can help clean it up though!

8. Get a pair of “house-only” shoes.
Taking off shoes at the door really helps keep dirt out of your house. In the winter, walk around the house in slippers, and in the summer-use flip-flops.

9. Use cooking downtime to start cleaning up.
Don’t you love sitting down to dinner knowing that all you have left to clean up is the plates? Don’t waste time watching that pot boil. As your food is cooking, start wiping down counters, rinsing prep tools, and putting ingredients away. After dinner, load the dishwasher and VWALA!

10. Treat stains right away.
The longer it sits, the harder it is to get it off! That’s the truth. Wipe up spills and grab a prewash stain remover as soon as you see a spot — you can spray it on even days before you do another load of laundry.

11. Keep clutter tidy until you can toss it or put it away.
Don’t devalue the small tasks like straightening a pile of magazines, fixing a stack of mail, or folding a blanket. They make your space feel clean even if you don’t have time to really de-clutter.

12. Clean a little bit every day.
People get bogged down in the details, but it’s better to look at the big picture. Spend 15 minutes every day tidying up, cleaning countertops, and doing other quick cleaning tasks. It’ll improves your mental well-being and make deep cleans much easier to tackle later on!

13. Listens to a podcast or music while you clean.
Even if you really love that cleaning is the sort of physical task that offers you time to be totally unplugged (some people even consider it “meditative”), it’s also a great opportunity to take in some passive entertainment. Workout music is great, too. You’ll clean harder and you can totally count that as exercise (or at least I think so!)