Is your Home as Clean to Others as it is to You?

We all know how we differ in our opinion of what is clean, dirty, and all in between. There are people that are clean freaks that can’t operate or think clearly with any one thing out of place. There are others who know exactly where everything is in the midst of their mess. They say, “There’s a method to the madness!” And they’re correct! If you clean up, putting things where you think they belong, they will be at a loss as to finding anything of theirs.

Where you fall as a person in this broad spectrum of clean versus dirty is your own business!

But none of us want our business aired to the world. So we clean up a bit when friends, guests, or even complete strangers are set to arrive.

Our version of tidying up beforehand may seem pointless to your guest simply due to where they fall in the spectrum of clean. In order to not offend those you’ve invited, follow these insights of what makes a home clean to others.

The Smell

I list smell first because people will smell your home and make a judgement far before even seeing inside. Many times, people can tell what your home smells like before even walking in the door! Yes, I am one of those people. It can be either a good thing or a bad thing if the scent of your home reaches their noses while they’re waiting on you to let them in.

We all can notice the way other peoples’ homes smell better than we can notice what our own home smells like. This is due to us becoming what is known as “nose blind”.

The best way to get some insight of your home’s scent, is to leave for a period of time. Returning back to your place and getting a good inhale of air, should give you an idea of what your home smells like. If not, you could always grab a nonjudgmental friend, family member or neighbor to take a step into your home to get a good outside perspective.

The Look

The first look they get into your home will be the second way they evaluate how clean your home is. This can vary from clutter sitting out, visible stains on the walls or floor, or even your throw pillows, curtains, and blinds looking disheveled and out of order.

If a space looks disorderly as far as it’s content is concerned, it can overwhelm your guests that are the more organized type. Clearing anything that isn’t where it should be, and straightening up will help your place look more welcoming.

The Feel

This will be anything your guests can pick up on through their sense of touch. For instance, if they place their hands at your table and/or counter tops, feeling less than a smooth clean surface will have your company keeping their hands to themselves for their remaining time in your home.

In order to avoid this situation, be sure to see for yourself how your surfaces feel to the touch. It’s one thing to wipe down your surfaces. It’s an another to check simultaneously by running your bare hand over the surfaces to be sure.

This can also be anything they can feel on you floors if they’ve taken off their shoes. Yes, even if they still have their socks on! A simple walkway vacuuming is a very quick way to solve this issue.

Still want to know more in depth about how people perceive your home?

I’ll be diving specifically into each one of these aspects individually for future blog posts in the weeks to come. So stay tuned!

If you need some outside help getting your home up to your guests’ standard of clean, contact me at Cleaning By Nikkilyn LLC.

 

How to Clean Dried Wax from Surfaces

For those who don’t know any better, the spilling of wax on any flat surface or even carpet means that something is simply ruined. This is not the case! Below, I explain how to salvage items victim to the dreaded wax spill.

The first step to cleaning up wax is to…

STOP & Evaluate

I’ve been cleaning a home before, and while dusting as quickly as possible, I didn’t notice that the beautiful decorative piece was actually filled with hot wax! Before I know it, there’s a small spill. The reason I say to stop and evaluate, is because I’ve been in the position where you think it’s not that bad and it’s going to be a quick and easy clean up. I would be deep in cleaning mode, forget it was there nearby, and bump into it creating spill number two! Never underestimate the probability of it happening all over again as you’re in the process of cleaning it up! This will take you right back to square one in a second.

So the first step no matter where your wax spill occurs is to…

Eliminate any chance of another spill!

Turn off the wax burner, blow out the candle, and move them to a space far away from where the cleanup needs to take place. Preventative measures are truly a must!

For Carpet and Fabrics

First with your fingers, pull up any big chunks you can in order to save yourself some time. Next, get an iron handy, plug it in, and turn it on so it will be ready once you are.

As well, find a cloth, old t-shirt, or any piece of fabric that you don’t mind trashing. You will cover the now hot iron with this fabric as a barrier layer between the wax spill and the iron.  The wax will heat very quickly and transfer to your trash-worthy piece.

Depending on how big your spill is, you’ll need to move the cloth piece around using clean areas until the wax soaks and covers these used spots. Continue this step until you’re unable to see anymore wax where you don’t want to see it.

For Hard Surfaces

Get out your wallet!

Not because it’s going to cost you money, but because you will need a card. A flimsy bendable card can do just the trick if you have a thin and/or small spill. Even a fresh spill does well with a flexible card as it might still be warm and soft to be easily manipulated and removed.

You’ll need a card that is relatively firm if this is an old spill that has sat for awhile and has really cooled, hardened, and even adhered to the surface.

The idea is to get these cards as smoothly against the surface as you can as that is the key to a quicker removal having it removed in one or two swipes. You don’t want to be on top of the wax chipping away at it. You want to be underneath it lifting it up and away.

For Curved Areas

A hot spoon works perfectly in a curved area such as a sink corner where a card can’t access it well enough to be effective. First, grab a cloth, or paper towels to wrap around the handle of the spoon so you don’t get burnt.

The next step depends on how hot your tap water gets.I have clients’ homes who’s water will only get pretty warm. Others though, will scold you horribly within a few seconds if you don’t pay attention to the position in which you turned the water on.

If running your spoon under the tap isn’t an option for you, you can simply get a small sauce pan with a small amount of water. Once it’s to a boil, hold your spoon (opposite end of the handle) in the water. When you feel it is heated enough to soften and manipulate wax, take it to your spill and get to work.

Your Favorites can be Saved

Don’t fret if you spilled some of your most favorite wax. So long as your wax didn’t mix with some other substance, you can easily toss it right back into your burner to salvage it! Especially if you’re able to remove it in one full piece. I’ve actually been able to save the complete amount of wax spilled in plenty of previous cleanups.

Wax clean ups don’t have to be your problem though! Even if you learned something new here, it doesn’t help with the motivation needed for DIY projects. If you have a spill that is beyond your will to do, contact me at Cleaning By Nikkilyn LLC to have us clean up the spilled wax and then some!

 

The Benefits of Spring Cleaning

The motivation for spring cleaning every year is pretty much involuntary for me. Something happens inside of me around that time of year that gets me busy without any sense of procrastination.

This however, is not true for everyone. Not all of us are blessed with the instincts of what a good spring cleaning does for us!

Here are a few benefits of a yearly spring cleaning to get you in on the yearly trend that all your friends are taking advantage of.

Conquering the Dust

This might seem like something you take care of regularly. However, I’m not referencing the general dusting you do regularly. I’m talking about the stuff you leave out…for various reasons such as,

“I can’t get up there without a ladder.”

”I’ll get to it later.”

”I never noticed THAT.”

”Too much of a project.”

”It’s not that bad right now…”

The Spring time is when the long lost sunshine returns with a vengeance shining it’s light on all you’ve neglected! You’d be surprised to see how well your dust becomes noticeable after the sun gets a hold of it! Or dare I say your guests will! Getting these usually neglected areas will give you a great sense of accomplishment and pride.

A Beautiful Unobstructed View of the Outdoors

There’s a big difference between looking through a clean window as opposed to a dirty one. Even more so, opening a clean/dirty one! Spring time will me more tempting than ever to open a window here or there and have more looks outside.

Getting your windows deep cleaned is great for this time of year. Doing so can be a big project with reaching both sides, getting frames, sills, etc.

Mental Clarity 

Think of this as you’re taking inventory. Plenty of things go unused for quite a while. However some thing shouldn’t go so long, and if they do, it’s probably because they belong in the trash, or they should be given to someone who’d put them to good use.

Going through those old storage bins/Tupperware containers of “stuff” can really free up some extra space. Both physically and mentally! There’s nothing like KNOWING what you have and don’t have. Another great feeling is the one you get when you find the long lost item you thought was gone forever or perhaps even forgot about!

Added Happiness

It’s Spring cleaning for a reason! It’s because those first few days of raw uncut sunshine give your body what it needs to produce more happy feelings! The natural effects of sunshine should help get you going on the start of you Spring cleaning experience. The end result of your cleaning journey will have all these benefits wrapped into one happy Spring season!

However, not all of us have the time or energy to handle such a job regardless of what time of year it is! For those of you with trouble getting it done yourselves, Contact me and get Cleaning By Nikkilyn LLC to do it for you! This way, you can reap all the benefits listed, plus the one of not having to do it yourself!

 

 

 

Shark vs Dyson Which is Better & Why

This is a detailed account of my experiences with these vacuums as a house cleaner. I have learned THROUGH EXPERIENCE to love one and hate the other. Read further to decide which.

In the beginning, I had no idea how much vacuum quality varied. I figured… they all suck up dirt, people just get pulled into paying for brands because their ability to draw you in with good advertising. I thought of new vacuums and their advertising, the same as I thought of a new mascara and their advertising.

(Put on a different colored/shaped brush, rename it with an innovative word, and advertise as if it now suddenly does more!)

Obviously, I had a lot to learn.

I had no need or thought of buying a vacuum at the initial start of my business as I was using my clients’ own personal vacuums on their homes. This became an issue once I had troubles arising with particular vacuums here or there. Some clients’ vacuums would stop working at some point. I’d be forced to leave without finishing my full cleaning job. That was never a good feeling, and furthermore, helped give me the initiative to become more professionally independent.

In my very first vacuum purchase for the business, I wasted both time and energy wanting to be as frugal as possible. This meant spending around 40.00 dollars on the most basic vacuum I could find.

This showed me quicker than I ever could’ve imagined that it was a mistake!

In between using my clients vacuums, and buying a couple horrible ones, I was seeing quite a pattern. Majority of my clients either had Shark or Dyson. I had plenty of experience with both of them.

Thus, I realized my good experiences were coming from only one of the brands, and the bad experiences were from the other. These are the issues as well as absence of problems that I experienced using these vacuum brands.

Width of the Base

Dyson models have all had a wider base, which may seem more effective at first for getting a lot of work done faster. However, this wide front end is limited as far as fitting into tighter spaces such as between the toilet and walls. Not to mention the huge “ball” in the middle That prevents more than it helps. I never understood why that was advertised as a feature.

The Shark’s skinnier base and no bulky ball in the way, effortlessly fits in between these areas minimizing spending time retrieving hoses and attachments.

Tool/hose retrieval time

Having to use the hose on a Dyson was always something I tried to avoid since I knew very well how much trouble it was to access it. In retrieving it, I always came out with this horribly long piece that seemed too obnoxious for anyone to need, at least frequently. On top of that, putting an attachment on was another job within itself.

Thankfully with the Shark, the hose, as well as the attachments are easy access and saves me a lot of time! I have a two step process that is easy and is done in seconds!

Debris in Front of the Vacuum

There is a huge difference in modern models of each vacuum.

That location is the front of the base. Anytime I’ve had to use a Dyson, anything that is just a bit larger, it doesn’t go under the vacuum to get sucked in. Rather it gets pushed to the baseboard and doesn’t matter how many times I run the vacuum back over it. I end up having to bend over and pick it up by hand. Not a good thing for my time, or my back.

Shark though, now has a soft roller in the front in addition to the regular brush roll underneath. This roller spins incredibly fast drawing in anything in front of it and allowing it underneath the vacuum to be sucked away. No constraints on my time or back here!

Upright Locking Mechanism

There are actually two flaws that I’ve experienced with Dyson within the locking mechanism.

One of them is the ability to pause, and stand the vacuum in the upright position. As I need to stop and unplug, I will stand the vacuum up and step away to replug. When I’ve done this with Dyson, I’ve watched clients vacuums come crashing backwards to the floor!

At first, I thought perhaps one of my clients just had an old/broken vacuum. Then I started noticing it with most all Dyson vacuums. Even after hearing a click, you still have to check and make sure it’s locked in. Sometimes this means man handling the vacuum and really shoving it into that position.

The second issue with the locking mechanism is the ability to travel with the vacuum not in use and in the upright position. Usually, I’m able to keep a vacuum in the upright position, tilt it back, and travel room to room riding on it’s back wheels. I’m not able to do this with Dyson due to the base coming crashing to the ground.

This would happen anytime I transitioned from hard flooring to carpet. Sometimes it would even happen at random as if the base simply got tired of holding itself up! Forcing me to have to push the vacuum with much more effort across carpet.

I have never experienced any issues AT ALL with the Shark locking mechanism!

 

One word you’ve heard a lot from me in this post is TIME. As a house cleaner, clients are paying for my time. I like to keep my clients happy. Making the most of my time keeps my clients happy.

I know my time is much more wisely spent using a Shark rather than a Dyson.

Don’t want to worry about what kind of vacuum to use, just want someone to vacuum for you? Click here for a free estimate or more information from Cleaning by Nikkilyn LLC

About Those Baseboards

Do you SEE those? Look down. Look closer. You might even have to lower to the ground to get a good enough look. Now do you see them? Those baseboards are infamous for accumulating dust and harboring the scuff marks of months or years of activities of daily living!

They are an area of the home that are many times not given the love and attention they deserve.

Have you ever cleaned your floors and still didn’t feel the exhilarating feeling of an immaculate floor job?

Missed, or unattended baseboards can easily contribute to this dilemma. Taking a little extra time around the edges of your canvas can make your masterpiece of a floor really sparkle that much brighter once the job is finished.

Don’t worry! Those baseboards are an easy fix.

There are many methods for tackling a good baseboard cleaning. It really all depends on how long yours have gone unattended. If you don’t have a lot of length to cover, paper towels can be used, but if you have plenty of area to cover, go with a good cleaning cloth that you can easily rinse, wring-out, and reuse. As far as solution is concerned, any all-purpose cleaners can work wonders for this task. Even a simple mixture of soap and water works great. For the all-natural solution that many look for, vinegar and water can be used as an alternative. I’ve even seen baseboards with minimal dust come clean with just a swipe of a cloth dampened with water.

Are some marks not budging?

Or taking way too much effort than you’re willing to give for them? There is an easy solution for that too! A magic eraser will do just the trick for scuff marks, scratches, or stubborn accidental markings. This will work amazingly with minimal effort and it becomes tempting to go crazy with them. A misuse of these magic erasers can leave an area or areas of your walls looking unfinished or dull. Be mindful of that if you begin to use them on your walls as they can remove the finish sometimes in seconds notice.

Lastly, remember that anything you aren’t willing to take time out for, you can always pay someone else to do just that! Don’t forget to bring up touching up your baseboards to your trusted house cleaner.

Baseboard cleanings are something all good house-cleaners should be well familiar with.

If you don’t have a House Cleaner to give those baseboards the extra care and attention they need, contact us at Cleaning By Nikkilyn LLC.

How can I have my Home Cleaned regularly if I’m hardly EVER home?

The most common reason clients need their homes cleaned is simply a lack of adequate time, and lack of ability to be present.

This is a problem any seasoned house cleaner has dealt with on a recurring basis, and there are often multiple solutions!

First and foremost, many people have a hard time imagining someone in there home for an extended period of time while they’re not present. So before jumping straight into that risky situation, do your research on the companies or people you are considering for cleaning.

Before scheduled routine cleanings, a usual first step is a consultation to communicate what is to be done, as well as further specifics. But this is not always mandatory to be in person. Ask your cleaner in question if an over the phone consultation is available. I’ve had plenty of clients give very clear requests of what they want done, and as well, great instructions on how they like them to be done. Also, any other specifics that need to be addressed can be done this way such as cleaners to be used and/or not used, whether or not there are pets in the home, and desired techniques.

After having all important details discussed and understood, you should be all ready to have your first appointment booked. All that is left is their means of entry onto the premises.

There are plenty of options upon the arrival of your house cleaner.

One option is to give your cleaner a key to your home. This can be a duplicate key made just for them. If that doesn’t sit well with you, you can always leave a spare key in a secret accessible predetermined area like under a rug, under a particular rock, or even inside your mailbox.

Another option is available only if you have a garage on your residence. A given garage code could be your cleaner’s means of entry. This way, the garage can be closed behind them both after arrival and departure upon your request.

The last option is to leave an unlocked access point. This does not have to be your front door! This can be a side door, or back patio door. But whatever works best for you is perfect. And this can be locked behind them as they’re leaving. The neighborhood you live in as well as your surroundings will have the most impact on which method you choose.

Above all, having a house cleaner you can trust is key!

If you don’t have a trusted house cleaner, feel free to contact us at Cleaning By Nikkilyn LLC, and get your home serviced without a physical presence being necessary for your consultation or any cleanings.

How to Get More Out of Your Housecleaner’s Time

How to Get More Out of Your Houecleaner's TimeHave you ever paid for a house cleaners time, and felt as a result that you didn’t get your money’s worth? Have you ever wished they could have done more?

You are not alone!

Many of us have had that dilemma, and the good news is, there are plenty of things you can do to help with this issue.

Here are some ways to get the most out of your house cleaner’s time.

One of the most time-consuming issues I’ve ever run into as a house cleaner is clutter! The level of clutter can vary greatly from one home to another. As well, the content can vary as well. Simple dusting can take four times as long to complete when you are to be constantly moving and replacing items. This can be trash left out, mail and miscellaneous papers, items left out in the open and not in their place. I.e. pens, glasses, and products sitting out.

Before your cleaner is scheduled to arrive, be sure anything that is trash is discarded. Grab all mail and/or papers and place inside a nearby drawer or cabinet where it can still be found or reached when needed. Remember, you don’t have to necessarily be putting things away and cleaning before your cleaning! This is just simply to better clear the surfaces, so they can be cleaned more quickly and efficiently.

Another way to help your house cleaner, is to remove unnecessary furniture.

This could be the chairs at your kitchen table. They’re quite troublesome moving them each in and out as your house cleaner is vacuuming and mopping. This could be as easy as flipping them upside down and being set atop the table, or if the surface of the table is to be cleaned as well, they could be moved into another area of the home that isn’t being cleaned such a pantry or laundry room. Even ottomans can be turned upside down and placed on top of sofas to ensure a good and easy coverage of your floors.

If you have children and/or animals, this is for you!

Be sure to keep your pets and children out of your cleaner’s way while they’re hard at work.There’s nothing like a curious child following right behind you as a cleaner, asking question after question, wanting to touch all of your things, and trying to help. It’s the same with a cat chasing and clawing at you with every wipe of your washcloth and a dog excited to meet a new stranger following, and jumping up on you. Baby/pet gates work great for this dilemma or simply putting animals and/or kids into a separate area with something to keep them occupied.

Also, remember to keep yourself out of the way!

Cleaning around someone can add time, but as well leave unsatisfactory results with your cleaner unable to reach all areas with the desired effectiveness. Make it a point to be out of the rooms or areas while your cleaners are tending to them.

Lastly, supplies and equipment within easy reach for your house cleaner is a must. Especially if you have certain products of your own that you want them to use specifically. Nothing wastes time like doing laps through a home. Having these products readily available in the rooms and/or areas they are to be used is key! This will allow your house cleaner to have less unnecessary back and forth traffic.

Hopefully these tips can help you as well as your house cleaner.

If not, feel free to ask your cleaner what more you can do to help encourage quicker task completion!

Do you want to get more out of a house cleaner’s time, But don’t have a reliable cleaner?

If you are in the Dayton, Ohio area, reach out to Cleaning by Nikkilyn for a quote today!

Is Your House Cleaning Service Going the Extra Mile?

Is Your Housecleaning Service Going the Extra Mile

There are plenty of cleaning services out there, and so many differences between them. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the perfect one to provide all the especially particular services you like to have provided to you. Given this fact, you’re able to know whether or not your home cleaner is willing to go the extra mile to compete for your business can easily be recognized in a few questions.

Does my House Cleaner provide ALL the services I wish I could have done at my residence?

Certainly any service you seek will give at least the basics of a good cleaning such as dusting and vacuuming. But what about the things that are sometimes not covered by other services?

These things include doing laundry, bed linen changes, and even so much as organizing, putting things away, and finding good places for your items.

Was I entirely satisfied with my first visit? 

Many times on a first visit, it can easily seem like there wasn’t enough done, or there was too much time spent. That’s a common feeling of new clients after an initial appointment. This can leave yourself, the client not so eager to schedule a next appointment.

So what does your house cleaning service do to win you over in such a limited time window? My company Cleaning By Nikkilyn LLC has a policy of providing a free hour of service included within any client’s first appointment to ensure their satisfaction. Check to see what special perk is available to you as a first time client before you decide to settle with any particular service.

What if they missed a spot?

This is something that is actually easy to do. I have been cleaning for years and have still had instances where I’ve forgotten certain parts of the toilet, forgot to take out the trash, or replace the bag, or even miss a large portion of the home entirely. Don’t be too hard on your cleaning service! After all, we’re all human, and all of us make mistakes. The important part is what happens if there is a task that was forgotten, or not done well enough.

Do you need a cleaning service in the Dayton area that goes the extra mile?

My company Cleaning By Nikkilyn LLC offers to return to your home to retouch any part of your home cleaning you deem as unsatisfactory, and this is at no additional charge!

Make sure any home cleaner you are seeking adheres to these kinds of standards if an “all the way clean” home is important to you.

Going the extra mile doesn’t have to include every one of these qualities and services. Overall, a house cleaner going the extra mile is keeping you a happy and returning client. They should be eager to keep you as such! After all, it is clients like you that keep them in business.