Fall Cleaning Tips: How To Get Your House Ready For The Winter

Fall is officially here and we wont be seeing anymore warm, musky days so it’s time to open up the windows to let the breeze roll through and dig in to the last major cleaning before winter comes! Lets go over some basic yet important cleanup and home maintenance tips.

If you haven’t turned your mattress over and washed all of your bedding, now is a good time before breaking out the thicker sheets for a cozier nights sleep, this includes comforters, pillows, linens and blankets.

Next, think of all the grass and dirt tracked throughout the house if shoes or sandals were worn inside over the summer, it’s the best time of year to perform a professional carpet cleaning. The same goes for window cleaning, inside and out before the cold comes, keeping everyone indoors.

Aside from these basic and important tasks, if you don’t already get professional cleanings regularly, it’s time for a deep clean throughout the whole house – top to bottom!

Moving on to home maintenance, it’s time to check if the furnace is ready for the cold weather so make sure the filter is changed and everyone can enjoy clean, crisp air! Homeowners with the pleasure of having fire places should check the flue, which is inside the chimney where all the smoke rises to come out of the roof, and have a professional fireplace cleaner take care of it if it’s wood burning.

On to the outside of the home! Leaves! Check all of your gutters, or hire a professional to do so, and then get rid of all of the leaves by bringing them out to the street before the leave trucks come to take them away.

That does it for a simple inside and outside the home tips list for fall cleaning and home maintenance. Enjoy the fall colors for a little while before the excitement of snow showers arises!

5 Insider Tips From Professional Organizers

Organizing your home can be a tenuous task, especially given our modern day schedules including having school in session and holidays around the corner. Here are 5 inside tips that we as professional organizers act on when decluttering and organizing a home!

Minimize The Paper

Sorting through loose leaf paper, envelopes, junk mail, bills, receipts, catalogs and magazines alike can take much more time than most people think. We have a number of high tech resources at our fingertips today to move closer to a paper free home.

Remove Clutter, But Don’t Add Storage Space

The goal in organizing your home should be to have a little clutter as possible without needing to add storage space such as bins and baskets to hold the things that are being organized. While this is great for creating a clutter free environment, it could lead to buying even more bins if we are cluttered again!

Donating Unwanted Household Items

When organizing a home, a fun and efficient way to add to the decluttering process is to designate a box to donations. Seek out organizations such as “The Purple Heart” where you can donate clothes for example.

Label Things Around The House

Lets face it, we have a whole lot of stuff in our homes and don’t always have designated places for things like shoes, clothes, kitchen panty items and cooking utensils. Adding small post-it sized notes in closet space could make the difference when putting things away in the spot you chose for them.

Get Dividers

Dividers for drawers, closet space and shelving can help separate making for an easier time putting things away around the house and finding them when the time comes. If you know the dimensions of a drawer, a nightstand or desk for example, you can buy assorted drawer divided bins and designate each one to a different item.

10 Tips For Getting Organized For Back To School

Back to School Organizing

We at QC Cleaning would like to share some our tips as Professional Organizers for getting the house ready for being back to school! Here are our top ten tips that will make the transition back to school a smooth transition for everyone in the house:

10. Make sure the clothes are washed, laid out and ready for the kids to select their back to school outfits without going foraging through drawers when it’s a school morning and show time!

9. Get the bathrooms organized and ready for the kids to prepare for their day or for you to assist them through the morning routine.

8. Get the alarm clocks out and set them for the appropriate time! Make sure there is no clutter in the area where it is kept and is used daily.

7. If you received information from the school on what school supplies each child should have then make sure that their book bag is all packed up and ready to be strapped on.

6. Find out what the school bus schedule is before the first day so everyone can be prepared for the expected pick-up time. If you drive the children to school, plan your route and estimate your arrival time at school to see if they will be both safe and on time. It’s best to have this information in the area of the home you always visit before leaving the house such as the kitchen.

5. Organize the snacks and tupperware areas of your kitchen making it easy to pack lunches when the time comes on the morning of a school day or the night prior.

4. If you have the luxury of designating space in your home as a learning center, supply it with everything you think the kids will need to get their homework done after school.

3. For parents with children who participate in afterschool activities or sports, get the schedule for practices and meets then get to know the afterschool bus schedule or the time you can expect to pick them up from school.

2. Plan dinners and organize your kitchen well before the time to cook comes so the kids get a healthy meal!

1. Schedule both your home cleaning and organizing dates to keep up with the new busy back to school schedule!

10 Household Cleaning Supplies That Are Safe Around The House

Cleaning with Baking Soda

It’s always a plus to find out exactly what your using as far as chemicals go when touching up your home after a professional cleaning or in between scheduled cleanings if the mood strikes you. In this article we’ll go over some of the cleaning supplies you can keep around the house without having to worry about them being harmful.

1. Vinegar – Vinegar is one of, if not the best, solutions for a wide array of cleaning purposes around the house. The acidity in vinegar makes for a great natural cleaning product that’s capable of handling hard stains even while still being safe and tasty too if you like salt and vinegar chips!

2. Baking Soda – Baking soda is another solution that we can find in most of our kitchens that is highly effect for more than just cooking! When you mix baking soda with water it creates an easy to mix cleaning supply.

3. Salt – As a scrubbing agent, salt is great for removing stains from stubborn surfaces when mixed with water such as tea stained cups and even brass or copper, covering a wide spectrum! Salt is also a great solution for soaking up stains in carpets when they are still damp after soaking up as much liquid as possible.

4. Lemon – The natural acidity in lemons create a great, safe cleaning product that can take on similar tasks to vinegar for cleaning yet while leaving a fantastic fresh scent! One great way to clean windows is to add a little lemon juice to water and wipe the window glass down with it followed by drying it off for a clear finish.

5. Natural Soap – While natural soap is not one of the many items on the list that can be found in our kitchens, it is very safe and can also come as a detergent.

6. Soft Sponges – Rather than using rough sponges if you happen to have them around the house, get some soft sponges so there is no risk of the harsh ones falling into the wrong hands.

7. Mild Cleaners – Even though there are enough natural cleaning products to touch up your home without getting any “real cleaning supplies”, it’s important that if you do to watch for the chemicals used and educate yourself on what might be harmful such as phosphate or chlorine.

8. Eco Friendly Floor Cleaners – It’s important to use eco friendly floor cleaners if you have pets and children around that might put something in their mouth or even lick the floor!

9. Essential Oil as an Air Freshener – Instead of using normal air fresheners, there are natural solutions out there that you can be sure will be safe in your home such as “oil diffuser” that sends natural oil scents into the air for a fresh smell or even scented candles.

10. Anti-Bacterial Cleaners – Last but not least and as stated with the use of mild cleaners, when purchasing anti-bacterial cleaners, which are important for keeping a home germ free, be careful and pay attention to the chemicals used!

That concludes our list of 10 cleaning supplies that are safe around the home!

How To Clean Tile Floors and Grout

Tile and Grout Cleaning

It’s summer time! For most of us this undoubtedly means lots of outdoor activity for ourselves, others at home as well as our guests. What it also means is we’ll travel in and out of the house more that any other time of year and while our salty shoes after a snow storm in the winter can dirty our floors, there is no better time than half way through summer to touch them up with the tracking of dirt in and out of the house! Lets uncover the dirt on cleaning tiled floors and the grout holding them together!

Grout and tiles are easy to maintain and keep looking as good as new with just a little upkeep using simple supplies from around the house. To clean your tiles like a pro all you’ll need is a pair of rubber gloves, some white vinegar and/or bleach, dish soap, a spray bottle and an old toothbrush!

Step 1: Mix the vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle and give the bottle a shake to blend the two.

Step 2: Spray the grout areas you would like to clean and let the cleaning solution soak in for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Wearing your rubber gloves, use the old toothbrush to give the grout a light scrubbing in the areas that need cleaning. Be sure not to scrub too hard because the cleaning solution will lift up the dirt itself.

Step 4: Fill the spray bottle with water and give the floor a thorough spraying and wiping down. Good as new!

And that’s it! Now you can enjoy the rest of the summer weather in-and-out of the house activity knowing your floors have a fresh cleaning!

Study Finds Clean and Organized Homes Reduce Stress

Home Organizing

The popular online blog and news network best known as ‘The Huffington Post’ conducted a nationwide survey that included one thousand participants not long ago to find out what some of the most stressful things are that everyday Americans face at home. We at QC Cleaning were surprised to find something directly related to our services in the top five stress triggers, lets take a look at what they are:

The top of the list of what people are most stressed over at home won’t come as much of a surprise to most with the busy schedules we face today. At number one 66% of people stressed over not getting enough sleep, 56% percent worried about their weight, 51% of people in the survey were stressed over not being able to pay their bills and the fourth most stressful applied to 48% of the people surveyed which was the feeling of guilt over not being productive enough at home. Now the kicker, coming in at number five on the list, 47% of the of people surveyed said that worrying about their home not being clean or organized is a stress trigger for them at home. This is nearly half of the people that participated in the study.

Is it fair to assume that most everyone in the stressed category regarding home cleaning and organization does not take advantages of services like ours? We think so! Having a professional organizer not only makes your home easier to navigate, it does the same thing for your brain in relieving stress and the same goes for a well done house cleaning!

photo credit: Helene Mayer

8 Spring Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

For many of us spring is the time to refresh and rejuvenate our home with the ‘spring cleaning’ we all know and love! It’s time to get a fresh start in cleanliness, to open the windows up and embrace the temperatures of April and May. For us pet owners, though, we know we aren’t the only ones with a bounce in our step around this time of year as our pets our ready to enjoy the weather too! In this article we’ll look at eight tips to add to a spring-cleaning checklist that will improve the well being of our pets through the summer as they come in and out of the house with us.

1. Clean out the Pantry

Just as with the human section of the panty, it’s time to check the pet food to see if any of it has expired. Most pet food will keep for a long time but in case there are some expired foods, throw them away.

2. Clean the Carrier and Crate

Not all pet owners have carrier cages and/or crates for their pets but we who do know how they can get forgotten about when it comes to cleaning because it’s hard for us humans to get a proper glance in them. Give them a thorough spring-cleaning and your pets will appreciate it but don’t forget about the one in the car!

3. Wash Your Pet’s Dishes

How often do you clean your pet’s dishes? If you don’t clean your pet’s dishes at least once a week, now might be a good time to clean some in advance so your pet can have a clean dish all the time with a backup incase you have trouble getting into the cleaning routine.

4. Check Your Pet’s Toy Box

Go through your pet’s toy box and get rid of some of the old, slobber covered toys to make room for the new! If you know it’s your pet’s favorite even though the toy has been through a lot, clean the toy to get rid of germs but don’t forget to treat your pet with a new toy!

5. Clean Your Pet’s Bedding

For those of us with pets that shed a fair amount of hair, we know all to well that cleaning our pet’s bed can be a tedious task! To avoid relying on our washer machines to wash the bedding and remove all the hair, designate a $3 lint roller to your pets bed to remove as much hair as possible before washing.

6. Clean Your Pet’s Winter Clothes

Our pets are part of the family, some of us dress them to keep them warm when were out and about! Before packing their winter clothes up for the summer, along with our own, lets give their little coats and booties a thorough cleaning!

7. Clean the Collars and Leashes

Let’s not forget about their collars and leashes, they need cleaning too, plain and simple!

8. Check for a First Aid Kit

Check to see if you have a pet first aid kit and if you don’t have one, get one! Have a safe and fun filled summer with your pet without any concerns!

How to Clean Blinds Effectively

How to Clean Blinds Effectively

Window blinds are a true convenience when it comes to privacy for houses and apartments alike. Having the ability to let the sun shine through the windows and into ones home at the flick of a wrist is certainly handy, it isn’t until it comes to cleaning the blinds that the potential for trouble sets in as removing dust can be a daunting task! Depending on the type of window blinds you have and the material they’re made of, they may gather more dust than others so clean accordingly and regularly! In this article we’ll give you some tips to make cleaning your window blinds easier and more effective.

1. The easiest way to start getting a handle on keeping your blinds clean is to get a feather duster that you can run in-between each individual blind on occasion to keep them up to par in cleanliness.

2. Take a portable vacuum nozzle and run it along the blinds to remove dust and dirt.

3. Consider using vinegar. Wear a rubber glove and dip your finger in a bowl of vinegar then simply wipe the blinds down by placing your finger in between the slats of the blinds.

4. Use a soapy sponge. Dip your sponge in warm soapy water and wipe the blonds down repeatedly until clean.

5. Buy a window blind cleaning tool! For just a few dollars you can buy a brush specifically for window blinds from Amazon for example.

6. Get a microfiber towel to pick up hard to remove dust.

7. If your blinds are made of fabric and it seems your not making progress, take them to your nearby dry cleaner.

8. Take the blinds down and bring them outside to be sprayed with water and subsequently dried!

This includes our insider tips on how to clean those pesky yet appreciated window blinds!

How To Remove Hard Water Stains

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

As we thrive to keep our homes immaculately clean we find new and interesting areas in need of special attention for the spotless finish we aspire to! One of them might be right under your feet if your standing on a hardwood floor – hard water stains. Hard water stains are most commonly found in our kitchens, bathrooms, and wherever else we may have had a little water spill around the house. Some other areas where we may find hard water stains are tabletops, windowsills if there are leaks, countertops, and other stain worthy surfaces alike.

The more recent the water stain, similar to most other type of stain, the easier it will be to remove it from whichever surface it’s found. For example, water stains on hardwood floors that are mopped often are unlikely to have tough stains to remove but if liquid leaks through carpet to hardwood floors beneath the carpet they may be a permanence once removing the carpet long after the spill making for refinishing required of the hardwood floors.

One trick of the trade in household items to get rid of tough to remove hard water stains is vinegar but this you do not want to use on wood finishes as the acidic elements in vinegar can harm wood surfaces. For best results on surface other that wood, take an empty spray bottle, an old ‘Windex’ bottle if you will, and pour vinegar into the bottle. If you have a large area yet not much vinegar, dilute it with water in your spray bottle. After spraying the areas in need with vinegar, wipe the affected areas with a cloth and rub accordingly until you have a spotless surface!

In cases with tougher to remove hard water stains that vinegar don’t seem to be doing the trick with, consider getting some baking soda from your pantry and mixing it with the vinegar to make a solution with a paste-like consistency. After applying the vinegar and baking soda, wipe the area clean with water and a towel. Last, but not least, for wood surfaces you can use white toothpaste and a damp towel; apply until the stain is removed! Hopefully this helps in getting your home as shiny as possible!

5 Steps To Cleaning A Bathtub

Cleaning A Bath Tub

The build up of dirt and grime at the surface of our bathtubs and showers is a slow yet steady process that we sometimes forget about as were seeing it everyday without much change in coloration. As the grimy stuff accumulates, it makes it harder and harder for us to scrub it clean through the layers; so once we finally realize and act on our now discolored bathtub we may have a mess on our hands! In this article we’ll go over 5 helpful steps to cleaning a bathtub for a like-new shine!

1. Rinse the bathtub

To play it safe, skip running for our cleaning solution and scrub materials right away and give the tub a good rinse. We’ll want to get rid of any loose debris such as tiny pebbles from dirt, sand and anything else that could potentially scratch the surface of our tubs if they get in between it and our scrubbing. Rinse twice to be extra careful!

2.Spray bathtub cleaner

You may want to seek out a certain type of cleaner depending on the surface material or your bathtub. Take whichever bathtub cleaner you chose, whether it’s liquid or powder, and spray it on the tub or apply it according to the instructions. Cover the entire area that is in need of cleaning!

3. Wait for ten minutes

Once the cleaner is covering the entire surface, it’s important to let it sit in the tub for around ten minutes so the cleaner can eat away at and soften the elements in the tub. This will not only make for an easier scrubbing experience but it will also disinfect so sit back and give it some time!

4. Scrub well

The cleaner that you chose to soak your tub with in preparation for scrubbing should have some information in the instructions as to what type of scrubber you should use with it for best results. If not, use a kitchen sponge or a soft cloth. Scrub the surface until it shines! Pay special attention to the faucet and drain areas, as this is where build up tends to occur. Give your fixtures a shine while you’re at it!

5. Rinse properly

Take a bucket of water or a mobile showerhead and rinse all over the bathtub properly. You may want to rinse once or twice in the process of scrubbing and reapplying the cleaner if your bathtub is extra dirty. With the conclusion of your final rinse, start to enjoy your clean, like-new bathtub and don’t let it go too long before you give it it’s next clean!