News & Articles

Advice for areas with Local or National restrictions

We are continuing to work safely and in line with current Government guidance.

 

There are currently no restrictions in place, Nationally or at Local level that restrict cleaning services within private households.

Time For You remains committed to providing it’s services and cleaners to households in a safe manner and with effective guidance to help ensure the health and safety of its clients and cleaners.

Earlier in the year we issued our ‘StaySafe In Homes’ guidance, we would ask all our existing and new clients and cleaners to adhere to when cleaning services are taking place. These are some simple guidelines to ensure that every possible care is taken and to minimise the risk to our clients and our cleaners and that services can continue.

Households or Individuals That Are Self-Isolating

Under no circumstances should any work be carried out in a home where people are self-isolating or showing any Coronavirus like symptoms.

Social Distancing

We advise that social distancing must be maintained when working in properties and to stay in separate rooms where possible.

Face Coverings

Face covering in homes are not mandatory, however where social distancing is an issue it is recommended. In most cases this is down to personal preference of our clients and/or cleaners.

Hand Washing

It is recommended that cleaners wash (or hand sanitise) their hands on arrival and at regular intervals throughout the time that they are working in homes. 

The Home, Equipment & Products

To reduce the risk of cross-contamination, we ask that all products are supplied by and kept by the householders and recommend the supply of anti-bacterial and disinfectant products where possible. That all re-usable items such as cloths are cleaned at high temperatures or with anti-bacterial products where possible. Any disposable items should be disposed of correctly and in leak proof bags. Areas in the home where cleaning is being undertaken are to be kept well ventilated

Non-Contact

Where possible it is recommended that all communication, entry and payments are made on a non-contact basis. 

For this and more information on our ‘StaySafe In Homes’ Guidance please see the link here: https://timeforyou.cleaning/uk/articles/post/staysafe-in-homes

STAYSAFE In Homes

STAYSAFE In Homes – Guidance For Continuing Services 

 

In line with the Governments advice, we have put together some practical steps to help ensure the safety of our clients and cleaners and highly recommend these are implemented when work is being carried out.

 

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should work be carried out in a home where any of the householders are showing even mild symptoms. No work should be carried out by a cleaner who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild, or when someone in their own household has symptoms. No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded.

 

  • CLEANING REQUIREMENTS: These should be discussed over the phone or via SMS prior to the visit, this is to ensure that upon entry to a property people can remain a safe distance from each other.

 

  • ENTRY TO THE PROPERTY: We recommend that ENTRY to the property is arranged for a specific time and that arrangements are made to ensure people do not come into contact with each other and by maintaining a minimum 2m distance apart.

 

  • STAY IN SEPARATE ROOMS: When work is being carried out, people must remain in different rooms or at least 2m apart as a minimum.

 

  • WASHING HANDS: All persons in the household and people carrying out work should wash their hands before, during and after work being carried out. Particularly on high-touch areas. This is also applicable when moving from room to room while working. Hand-Sanitiser is an acceptable alternative if hands washing facilities are not easily available.

 

  • EQUIPMENT/PRODUCTS: Adequate equipment should be available/provided/used when work is being carried out in homes. Disinfectant and Anti-Bacterial products should be used as much as possible and where applicable and all equipment should be cleaned and dis-infected prior to use.

 

  • RUBBISH: Any rubbish/disposable items should be put into leak proof bags and disposed of by the person handling the bag in the bin with little/no contact from any other person.

 

  • RE-USABLE ITEMS: Any items that are re-usable should be washed at 90.c where appropriate and handled as little as possible prior to storage ready for use.

 

  • VENTILATION: It is advised that windows and doors are left open to ensure that properties are well ventilated should work be carried out.

 

  • POST CLEAN: The client and cleaner should discuss (over the phone or via) the work that was carried out, what were high-touch areas that may need further disinfecting and also proceed with cashless payment methods.

Autumn Deep Clean Guide

We have all heard of the term "Spring Clean", but why should we limit it to one season a year? Studies have suggested that deep cleans should take place twice a year. Once in Spring and once in Autumn. Doing so is meant to help provide a healthier Winter. Here is our guide to an Autumn deep clean and some tips to help you get started.

Autumn is a great time to give your home a deep clean as temperatures are about to drop, windows will stay closed and the heating will start to be switched on. All of these factors combined mean your home will soon have the perfect conditions for carpets to harbour dirt and germs. Therefore, it is important to reduce the number of germs in advance by ensuring you start the season with a clean home.

Declutter cupboards

It can be surprising how quickly clutter can build up in your cupboards. This task can be labour intensive and is something many people put off until Spring but try and do this in Autumn as well. Although we are almost all guilty of storing items we no longer need, you will feel much better once this task is completed.

Decluttering your cupboards can help save valuable storage space and also help find new homes for your unwanted items. Start by removing all the items first and then go through the items individually. Do you really need them? When was the last time you used them? Are they just sat there gathering dust?

When tidying your clothes use this opportunity to switch from your Spring Summer wardrobe to your Autumn Winter clothing. Separate any items that are old or no longer fit and donate what you can.

Once you have decided what you want to get rid of, organise them to be donated or rehomed to friends and family. Only throw away items as a last resort to reduce waste.

Clean furniture

We tend to vacuum regularly, however, how often do you vacuum behind and underneath the furniture? Probably not as often as you should. Use this deep clean as an opportunity to do this. Move the sofa, wardrobes, and drawers away from the wall and vacuum up. You will probably be shocked at how much grime can build up in these places.

Removing all the dust can significantly reduce the number of allergens and leave you with cleaner air.

Remove cobwebs

Although cobwebs are inevitable during the Autumn months themselves, remove as many as you can as and when you see them. If the Summer has been warm and damp, this provides the perfect environment for spiders to breed. Removing them can help you keep these unwelcome guests to a minimum. Buying an extendable duster can help make this task a lot simpler.

Defrost the freezer

To help keep your freezer working at its best you need to maintain it. Defrosting your freezer is one task that you should not forget to do. Over time, if ignored the freezer will build up with ice, leaving you less room to actually store items.

Clean curtains and bedding

Although we change our bedding regularly, we don’t clean it often. However, your mattress and the bedding itself should not be ignored. A steam cleaner is a great tool to use as it kills 99% of germs and dirt. The steam cleaning is also perfect for giving your upholstery and curtains a refresh too. Although you will have to buy a steam cleaner it is a worthwhile investment.

Test alarms

With temperatures about to plummet, our fire, log burners, and central heating will be in full swing. Before the fires are lit ensure your chimney is clear and both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are tested to give you peace of mind.

If you have a chimney it must be checked for excess dirt, debris, or even bird nests.

Clean your light fittings

As the evenings get darker earlier and we need the lights on during the day, the beginning of Autumn is the perfect time to give your lights a clean. This also includes any lamps you may have. They can quickly get covered with dust which can end up making your lights dull. Having strong, bright lights are vital for the dark cold months so ensure they are dirt-free before Autumn arrives.

Consider switching to LED lights if you have rooms that could do with brightening up. This can make a huge difference during Autumn and Winter. They can also save you money in the long term and can be more environmentally friendly. During the deep clean is the perfect time to make changes like this.

Stock up on food and supplies

Whilst cleaning your kitchen make a note of any key ingredients you think you will need regularly during Autumn and Winter. We tend to prefer comforting warm meals such as casseroles and desserts during these seasons. Therefore check to see if you need any spices, herbs, pasta, rice, baking ingredients, etc so that you have everything at hand when you need it. Throw away any food items that are out of date as well.
Whilst you are doing a stock take, also ensure your medical kit is fully stocked in case of emergencies. It's always a good idea to check this regularly but it is often forgotten.

Put away patio furniture

Unfortunately, the long sunny evenings spent in the garden will soon be over so it is time to put away your garden furniture. If you don’t have anywhere to store them like a garage, buy special waterproof covers. Also, ensure your BBQ and any exposed gardening equipment are placed in a safe, dry place as well.

Check ventilation

Homes can become humid quickly which can cause mould and mildew growth. Before the cold weather kicks in check your ventilation is sufficient. The bathroom and kitchen are the areas to focus on as they are the most humid spots of your home.

Clean the inside of your car

Don’t just think about your house. Consider your car as well. Whilst the weather is still warm and dry, use this as your last chance to do a deep clean of your car’s interior before winter. Once you’ve done it, it will last you through the cold months. Ensure you use this as an opportunity to check you have de-icing equipment in the car ready for when the frost arrives.

Why is an Autumn deep clean important?

• Because of the lack of ventilation and warm moist air mainly caused by washing and drying your clothes indoors, your house can soon become the ideal environment for germs to spread. Having your central heating on and windows closed is great for keeping the heat in but also can cause dust, bacteria, and mould to duplicate. When the days are not as cold try and open your windows as much as possible during Autumn and even Winter if possible. Any ventilation is better than none.

• With cold and flu season happening during these months, it is great to use your deep clean to start the season as germ-free as possible. Then keep on top of the germs with regular cleans where antibacterial cleaners are used. Prioritise areas that people come into contact with regularly, especially children.

• Can help allergy sufferers - people who suffer from allergies will immediately reap the benefits of an Autumn deep clean. Focusing on cleaning items you normal neglect such as your bedding and upholstery will help avoid allergy flare-ups as regularly.

Although deep cleans can take some time and can be a daunting task you will definitely see the benefits and know that your house will be cleaner and healthier during the winter months. Breaking the task up into smaller chunks will make the task more manageable. However, once it has been completed you can sit back and relax until Spring rolls around.

Clothes Stain Removal Guide

Life can be messy and stains are a common occurrence and something that you need to deal with as soon as possible. Here we discuss some key actions and how to remove some of the most popular but stubborn stains from our clothes in our stain removal guide:

Top Tips

• Deal with the stain as soon as possible. Having less time for the stain to soak in will make it a lot easier to remove
• Pre-treat the clothes with the stain remover first and then let it soak into the clothes
• Follow up with a normal wash but make sure you are following the fabric care instructions carefully. Use the warmest setting possible for that item of clothing
• Avoid placing in the dryer until the stain is completely removed

Adhesives

Glue and other adhesives are a common stain that many people do not know how to remove. This can cause irreparable damage and can lead to you throwing out your clothes. However, here is how you can treat these stains:
• Apply ice cold water on the clothes to harden the surface
• Once the surface is hard, use a dull knife to scrape off the adhesive
• Use a pre-wash stain remover, rinse and then place in the wash

BBQ Sauce

Especially during the summer season, BBQ sauce can regularly end up on your clothes by accident. If this does happen, do the following
• Working from the back of the stain, flush with cold water
• Add liquid laundry detergent in some water and clean the stain with a soft brush. This action will help break the stain up
• Rinse
• Get a sponge with white wine vinegar and place on the stain
• Rinse again
• Repeat the laundry detergent and white white vinegar steps until the stain is removed as much as possible
• Pre-treat with a stain remover and then place in the wash. If the stain is still visible, add a bleach that is safe to use on clothes.

Chocolate

• As soon as possible, scrape the excess chocolate off
• Soak in cool water when possible
• Use stain remover to pre-treat the clothes
• Place in the wash on the warmest water setting possible for that piece of clothing

Crayon

If you have young children, crayon stains are going to be extremely likely. Here’s how you can tackle them:
• Wash on the hottest water setting possible for that item.
• Add 200g of bicarbonate of soda into your wash along with the detergent.

Grease or Oil

• Place paper towels on the stain to soak up any excess liquid
• Pre-treat with stain remover or liquid laundry detergent
• Place on the hottest setting possible for the clothes

Ink

• Sponge the stained area with rubbing alcohol (place the stain over the top of an open jar or glass and then drop the alcohol onto it
• Rinse thoroughly
• Place in the wash
• This method will only work for some inks. If it's felt tip or ballpoint ink, the stains can sometimes be impossible to remove

Nail Polish

• Place nail polish removal on the stain. Only try a small amount at first and ensure the product does not contain acetate.
• Repeat the process until the stain disappears.
• Rinse
• Place in the wash
• Depending on the type of nail polish, some stains may be impossible to remove

Paint (Water Based)
• Rinse the clothing in warm water whilst the stains are still wet
• Wash on a warm setting
• Do not wait until the paint has dried before removing the stain. If the paint is dry, it cannot be removed.

Wine
• Sponge the stain with cool water for about half an hour
• Pre-treat the stain using a stain remover
• Place on a wash, adding a clothes safe bleach

These are just some of the most common stains you may come across. Treat each stain separately as the best method to tackle the stain can vary significantly. If you have any other tips to include in our stain removal guide then please let us know.

Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Regularly cleaning your home is always beneficial. However, it can be even more important for those that suffer from allergies. Cleaning your home on a regular basis can help get rid of many things that can trigger allergies and can help relieve people’s symptoms. Here we share some top cleaning tips for allergy sufferers.

Vacuum at least once a week
Ensure your vacuum has a HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air) filter. These filters are designed to force air through a fine mesh. In doing this, harmful particles such as pollen, dust mites etc. Without these special filters, the particles will get sucked up from the floor and will shoot into the air, where you will simply breathe them in.

Dust weekly
Dust regularly and with a microfibre cloth. These cloths are designed to trap the allergen and dirt particles into the cloth rather than just spreading them.

Avoid clutter
Clutter such as piles of clothes or boxes everywhere are the perfect place for dust to build up which will make allergy suffers feel worse
Wash sheets weekly

Change your bedding on a weekly basis.
It can be surprising how quickly dirt and allergens can build up in our sheets. When you wash them, ensure they are cleaned on a high enough temperature to kill the bacteria.

Wash stuffed animals
If your child suffers from allergies, wash their stuffed toys on a regular basis. Again, they are places where allergens can hide and are often overlooked when cleaning. Wash on a high enough temperature, just like the bedding.

Avoid mould
Mould can quickly build up in rooms such as the bathroom, especially if these rooms are not deep cleaned on a regular basis. Scrub all the tiles regularly and if you have a shower curtain, ensure you wash it regularly as this is a common area that attracts mould quickly.

Go for unscented cleaners
Be careful when choosing your cleaning products as these can hinder your allergies even more without your realising. If you suffer from allergies badly, try and choose unscented options which are available for the majority of cleaning products that you need. This is especially the case for washing detergent and fabric softener. As these products clean the bedding and clothes that come into direct contact with your skin, you need to ensure you are not sensitive to the ingredients.

Use clothes dryers
Although drying your clothes outside when the weather is nice quickly dries your clothes, it also promotes pollen. To avoid this, use clothes dryers indoors instead

Use a damp cloth
When cleaning the house, ensure your clothes are damp. This will help trap the allergens rather than merely spreading them around and releasing them into the air

Don’t forget to clean outside
It is not just inside your house that you need to consider. Clean your patio and front entrance to the house as well. Doing so will help reduce the amount of dust and pollen that enters your house.

Avoid carpet shampoos
The leftover moisture from a carpet shampoo can actually cause mould and can sometimes increase dust mites. 

Change your flooring
This option is an investment but if possible, it is worth the money. Having a vinyl, tiled or hardwood floors do not carry as many allergens as carpets. Because of the fibres, these allergens can easily get trapped.

Remove shoes before you go into the house
By having a no shoes indoors rule, you will reduce the number of pollen and other allergens that are transporting in from outside.

Keep pets away from bedrooms
If possible keep your pets out of your bedroom. If they sleep on your bed, they can bring a lot of allergens with them, causing you to suffer at night.

Avoid scented candles
Just like the detergent and cleaning products, the strong scents of candles and air fresheners can cause havoc for allergy suffers. If you are needing to banish odours, try using bicarbonate of soda and other natural remedies that are unscented.

Keep windows closed
If it’s a sunny, warm day, it is natural to want the windows open. However, if the forecast says that pollen is high, try and keep your windows closed during the day to avoid unnecessary pollen entering your home.

These are just some quick changes that you can make that should help reduce the effects you are suffering from if you have allergies. Do you have any other allergy reducing cleaning tips that you use? If so, please share them with us!

 

8 Cleaning Myths

There are many cleaning tips mentioned by others to help people clean their homes in a quick and efficient way. Although some of these are great tips to follow, some may not be as effective as we first thing. In fact, some cleaning hacks that we are told can, in fact, cause us more work in the long run or can even cause damage. Here, we discuss some cleaning myths that we are debunking.

Vinegar is a great cleaner for all surfaces

Although vinegar is indeed a great ingredient for many cleaners, it is not a miracle product that can work on everything. Vinegar’s active ingredient is Acetic acid which has a low PH and a high acidity level. This makes vinegar potentially damaging to certain surfaces as it can cause corrosion. Therefore, try avoiding using vinegar on hard surfaces such as metal, grouting and ceramic or stone tiles. Some also believe that vinegar is an effective antibacterial. This is not the case, so you will need to apply a separate antibacterial product on your surfaces to keep germs at bay.

Bicarbonate of soda is the best way to remove odours from carpets

We have previously mentioned that you can use bicarbonate of soda in a variety of ways around the house. Using it to remove odours is one of those uses. However, it is not necessarily the best way to banish smells, especially tough odours. Although bicarbonate of soda can help mask odours for a short period of time by absorbing some of it, it is important to have your carpet cleaned on a regular/annual basis to remove the smells completely.

You don’t need to clean a self-cleaning oven

It’s in its name, so surely it is true? Not necessarily, unfortunately. Even if you have a self-cleaning oven, it is best to clean it yourself from time to time and not rely on the self-cleaning function. Keeping on top of the cleaning yourself in addition to the self-clean can keep your appliance in the best condition for much longer.

Using more laundry detergent in your washing machine will make your clothes cleaner

It is often believed that the more laundry detergent or powder you use in your machine, the cleaner the results will be. However, this is not how it works. Using more than is recommended can, in fact, create excessive suds which can lead to damaging your washing machine’s pump and drain. Over time this build-up can even lead to mould if you do not clean it regularly. Using the recommended dosage is all you need and also means you get more washes out of your product before you need to replace it.

Disinfectant and cleaning sprays work straight away

When you spray counters and surfaces with cleaning solutions, many people wipe them off straight away because they think the results of the cleaner are instant. Unfortunately, they are not. For the best results, spray your surface and leave the solution to settle for a while. This gives it longer to work its magic and leave you with a cleaner surface.

Bleach can clean anything

Bleach is thought to be something that can be used all around your home but you should be careful which surfaces you use it on. Bleach is a great stain remover and disinfectant however it does not cope well with grease. Use bleach on its own to remove bathroom mildew and disinfecting surfaces however it has to be paired with other cleaning ingredients if you want to use it to clean your oven or counters.

Washing machines and dishwashers clean themselves

As they are washing items and keeping them clean, it is a fair assumption to think the washing machine and dishwasher are cleaning themselves at the same time, but this is not completely true. Although this clean the machine slightly, they both need regular cleans to ensure the whole machine is kept clean. If this task is regularly put off and dismissed, it could shorten the life of the machine and make them less efficient at cleaning your clothes or dishes.

You should vacuum first

Many start tackling a room clean by hoovering first and leaving the dusting until last. This should be avoided as although older models of vacuum can cause some dust, newer models are much more efficient. Therefore, by dusting first and hoovering last, you can ensure you are picking up any dust that may have fallen on the floor.

Although some of the cleaning hacks mentioned above can work, they may not be as effective as you think. This can leave your home dirtier and lead you to have to do more cleaning in the long run which is the opposite desired result.

Do you have any cleaning myths of your own and cleaning tips that just don’t work? Please share them with us.

Gardening Tips for Beginners

Getting green fingered and spending time in your garden is a great past-time. Not only is it relaxing, but you can also benefit from beautiful flowers and even provide your own food. Here we discuss some gardening tips for beginners to help you get started. 

Choose plants carefully  

Even if you have a strong idea of what plants you want in your garden, always check if they are suitable for your soil type. Certain plants suit light and sandy soils whilst others prefer heavy and clay-based. If you still don’t know what to do, have a look at your neighbours garden for inspiration. If they look good in their garden, they will probably be suitable for your garden as well.

Space out your plants 

Although you want to ensure the flowers and plants grow as groups to look better, you must ensure you plant them with sufficient room to grow. If you don’t they will be forced to fight for the available space which will lead to some of them dying. They will also need watering more regularly and more fertilisation to aid growth. The plant labels let you know how much space they require when planting. If you do not stick to the advice, you are also making them more susceptible to diseases. 

Plan Ahead 

It's tempting to buy lots of nice plants when you see them online or at garden centres however before buying anything, ensure you have a plan in mind. Measure the space you are planting so that you can buy plants in the correct quantity. Having a plan also allows you to visualise your garden and will help you decide which plants will look nice next to each other. 

Label  

One of the most common mistakes new gardeners make is not to label what they have planted where. This makes it very difficult to plant new items as you will be unsure where you have already planted.  Write labels yourself. Alternatively use the labels that come with the plants that you can stick into the soil.  

Don’t overwater 

Plants outside do not need watering as much as indoor plants. Although you should keep on top of the task, don’t overwater as it can do more harm than good. Check the weather forecast each day. If its meant to rain that day, avoid watering the plants in the morning. Plants in the soil will maintain some moisture anyway which they can access easily. However, plants in flower beds will maintain more moisture than containers. Therefore water potted plants a bit more liberally.  

Keep on top of weeds  

Weeds are a gardener’s enemy. You will need to weed regularly to keep them under control. When removing them, ensure you remove their roots as well, otherwise  

Be Creative 

Gardening is meant to be fun. It is a great way to express yourself so enjoy picking your plants. When creating floral displays think about the following 

The colour of the plant- do you have specific colour schemes in mind  

Mix it up with evergreens- try and think about your garden all year round. Try and plant things that will still look nice in the winter months  

Height- plant height is also important. Check the estimated height of the flowers before your plant. For example, alliums can grow tall so ensure they are placed near the back of your flower displays so it doesn’t obstruct the smaller plants. 

Decorations- Don’t just think about the plants themselves, have fun choosing the containers, and other decorations like solar lights, water features, bird feeders and much more. 

Gardening is not an exact science and it takes some practice. Even experienced gardeners will make mistakes so the best thing is to start and learn more as you go. Over time you will understand which plants are best for your garden and what gardening methods work best for you.  

How to Paint a Room in 8 Simple Steps

Painting a room is a DIY project that can be extremely rewarding. However, it can also seem overwhelming. Here, we share how to paint a room in 8 simple steps to help you get started and paint a room like a pro

Step 1: Have a plan  

Before doing anything, you MUST have a plan. If you don’t, you may change your mind halfway through or end up with something that looks a mess. Start by deciding how you want to paint the room. Not all the walls have to be the same colour. You don’t have to have a white ceiling and you can really make spectacular focus points by having an accent wall painted a different colour to the rest. Unless you are getting completely new furniture, always take into account your furnishing when making a decision on how you want to decorate. 

Although you don’t need to know exact colours at this stage, have a shortlist in mind. Decide what tone of colour you want. Will the room suit a warm tone, cool tone or neutral? The answer to this question can help a lot.

Step 2: Choose your colours

Now is the fun part. You get to look through colour wheels and narrow down your choices. Try and make this as fun as possible and don’t get overwhelmed by the choices. Try and create a shortlist of options and go from there. Don’t have too many choices available as you may end up never making a decision you are happy with. 

Always buy tester pots before investing in larger tins of paint as it is surprising how different the colours can look once they are applied to the wall. 

Also, decide on the finish of the paint. Choose whether you want satin or matt finish at the start so that you know exactly what paint to buy at the shop.

Step 3: Get all the painting materials ready  

You don’t want to be halfway through the project when you realise you don’t have the correct materials. Ensure you have everything before you get started. Each DIY project is different, however some key things you will need include:

  • The paint
  • Paint rollers, and paint brushes of assorted sizes
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Filler
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Furniture Covers

Step 4: Buy the paint  

Once you’ve chosen the colour, ensure you buy enough paint. You can use paint calculators that estimate how much you will need to finish the project. Always overestimate. You don’t want to be partway through the project and need to go to the shop. Although that isn't the end of the world, you have no guarantee the paint will be in stock and colours regularly get discontinued. You don’t want it to be obvious that you have changed shades partway through. 

To get the best estimate, measure the room carefully. If you have textured walls, always buy more to accommodate this. Also, bear in mind that some paints may require a second or even third coat. If this is the case, increase how much you buy. For example, painting a pale colour over a dark wall may take several coats.

Step 5:  Prepare

Although it is tempting to start painting straight away, don’t. Ensure you prepare everything first. Remove the furniture from the room. Any bulkier items such as beds or wardrobes may have to be pushed into the middle of the room instead. Cover any furniture in the room with sheets to protect it from the paint. Also, cover the floors so that you don’t stain the carpet or flooring.

It’s important to ensure your room remains well ventilated throughout the decorating. So, open windows wherever you can. It's healthier for you and will aid the drying process.

If you are changing any decorations on the wall once it's been painted, then fill in the gaps with filler and allow sufficient time to dry. Once this is finished, use sandpaper to smooth the filler.

Step 6: Get the tape out

Tape around light switches, windows and skirting boards to ensure you don’t accidentally paint them. 

Step 7: Get painting

Allow yourself enough time. Painting can take a lot longer than you first think it will, and it is something you do not want to rush. Take one wall at a time. When using a roller, paint in a “W” pattern for the best coverage. It also helps avoid any visible roller marks at the end. Once the wall is dry to touch, you need can apply another coat. 

Once the walls are done, remove the painter's tape. Paint the trim of the room and then move onto the windowsills and skirting boards.

Step 8: Clean Up  

An equally important task is the clear up. Once you have put the desired number of paint coats on, you will probably be exhausted and just want to finish. However, you must take time the time to clean your brushes properly, otherwise you won't be able to use them again. If the paint you have used is water based, washing the brushes with soap and water will be fine. Oil based paints makes it slightly trickier. You will need to clean your brushes with mineral spirits.

Painting can transform a room instantly and although the steps discussed above are simple, they are all important to ensure a great finish. Once you master how to paint one room, you can tackle the rest of the house and have fun being creative!

Hiring A Cleaner Is One Of The Best Things I Ever Did!

Testimonial: Hiring A Cleaner is One of The Best Things I Ever Did!

I’m the first to admit that cleaning and ‘keeping house’ is not my greatest skill-set. I’m an experienced journalist/editor and I worked on national newspapers for many years. I know what I’m good at and I know what I’m not so great at! While I love a clean and orderly house, doing housework does NOT spark joy within me, thank you very much Marie Kondo!

 

As a busy, working single-parent to two tweenaged girls (have you seen the mess they make in the bathroom?!), time - along with motivation for cleaning - is in rather short supply. Having spent a while trying to juggle it all (because that’s what us ‘superwomen’ are meant to do, right?!), I threw in the towel and decided to look for a cleaner. I felt that I was spending too much time and effort with the housework and not actually getting very far. It felt like a loss of energy and resources. Better to free up some time by hiring a cleaner and utilise this time for generating income, right? Right!

 

Initially, finding a decent cleaner was HARD! I put a call out to local friends asking if they could assist and point me in the direction of a cleaner… I got just one referral and gave her a whirl. After her first visit, I was disappointed and dismayed. I felt I could have done a better job myself (and that’s really saying something!). I felt annoyed at having had to pay for a service I was less than happy with. I politely asked her not to return and having to deal with that was a little awkward and not very pleasant. So, back to square one.

 

A business associate then suggested I try Time For You. I got the phone number off the website and gave them a call. Having discussed my requirements, and fixed a time and date, Kate became my new cleaner. On her first visit, we ran through my expectations and she explained clearly (and kindly) what would be possible to achieve in the timescale. This was perfect because we both started our working agreement in total harmony - there were no nasty surprises. And I’ve not been disappointed or dismayed once.

 

Once a fortnight, I prep the house for Kate’s visit, in as much as I clear the decks and tidy life clutter away - but I’m not the type to clean before the cleaner! I believe that the tidier the house, the better Kate can clean. And clean she does! I love how my house looks, and smells, once she’s been. I can often be found standing in the kitchen, just sighing with pleasure, looking at all the sparkly clean things!

 

For us, as a family, Kate has made such a huge difference. Not having to spend all Saturday morning cleaning (badly!) means that we can do other fun stuff and, when time is precious and in short supply, this is golden.

 

Thank-you to Time For You and for Kate. You’ve saved my sanity (and worktops!).

 

30 Easy Cleaning Hacks

Cleaning the house can sometimes be overwhelming. However, there are some easy cleaning hacks that can be used to tackle the toughest of jobs around the house to make cleaning a lot quicker and easier.

We share some of our favourite cleaning hacks here.

1. Use olive oil to help make surfaces shine
2. Remove carpet stains with vodka
3. Bicarbonate of Soda and vinegar can make cleaning the bath really easy
4. Use the same Bicarb solution to clean toilets
5. Add essential oils to your toilet to make them smell amazing
6. Steam the microwave with lemon
7. Blast a damp sponge in the microwave for two minutes to kill germs
8. Create a DIY glass cleaner with white vinegar, distilled water and drops of essential oil for a nice scent
9. Lemon oil is a natural de-greaser for the oven
10. Bicarbonate of soda can be used for an easy oven and hob scrub– pour on, sprinkle with water, let sit for an hour then wipe away
11. Use a squeegee on the stairs to remove dust and pet hair
12. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on to the mattress. Sit for a few hours then vacuum away. This helps remove dead skin cells, bed bugs and more.
13. Clean ceiling fans with a pillowcase
14. Dust window blinds with old socks
15. Use the dishwasher to wash hairbrushes, plastic toys and more
16. Use salt and lemons to clean your chopping board without using any chemicals
17. Clean skirting boards with tumble dryer sheets. They are great for picking up dust
18. Use an old but washed toothbrush to clean your keyboard
19. Play-dough can be used to clean up glitter
20. Wash makeup brushes with baby shampoo
21. Fill a saucepan with water and vinegar. Bring to the boil, take off heat and add two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda This will help remove burnt marks
22. Use lint rollers to clean curtains and lamps
23. Soak up odours with bicarbonate of soda (fridge, microwave, bin, shoes, litter tray etc)
24. Clean your bin with lemons
25. Clean blender by adding warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid. Switch the blender on them rinse out with more warm water
26. Clean your kitchen sponge each day by placing it wet in the microwave for 30 seconds
27. Remove hard watermarks on your taps with vinegar
28. Clean drains by placing vinegar bicarbonate of soda or soda crystals and boiling water
29. Place a dry towel in your tumble dryer to help speed up the drying process as it soaks up excess liquid
30. If you get paint on your clothes, remove carefully with a razor.


The best thing about these hacks is that the majority use simple everyday ingredients that you will probably have already. These hacks not only help us save time, but they can also help save money.

Household chores can feel like they never end. However, using these hacks little and often can help you keep on top of household dirt in between deeper cleans.