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Secret uses for olive oil around the home

Olive oil has been known to be a great addition to the kitchen, but cooking is not the only use. Here we discuss the secret uses for olive oil for cleaning and beauty that will convince you that olive oil should be a staple item in your home.

Home
Protect wooden cutting boards
Place a thin layer of olive oil onto your wooden kitchen utensils and chopping boards. Leave it to soak into the wood for 5 minutes and then buff using a soft cloth. This treatment can help prevent cracking and discolouration so you can get the most use out of your utensils.

Slow down tarnishing
Whilst olive oil cannot stop tarnishing happening entirely, it can help slow down the process. Place a small amount on a cloth and then rub onto silver. It slows down the oxidation process and can help keep your silver shiny.

Remove sticky labels
It can be frustrating when you buy something from the shop and you struggle to get the label off, meaning you are left with a sticky patch. Add some olive oil and leave for 15 minutes. This will help make it easier to remove the rest of the label.

Fix squeaky hinges
Add a few drops of olive oil to a squeaky hinge. It should help remove the annoying sound.

Shine shoes
Add a small amount of olive oil onto your shoes with a soft cloth to help keep them shiny. Just ensure you are careful you do not apply to sued or other sensitive materials.

Razor blades
Help make razor blades last longer by adding olive oil. It can help prevent rust occurring. Just ensure you dry the blades off thoroughly before you use them.

Beauty
Hair Treatment
Hair masks are growing in popularity, but did you know you could swap out these fancy hair products for something much simpler like olive oil? Warm the olive oil slightly by using the microwave and apply generously into the ends of the hair as well as the scalp. Leave it to soak into your hair for 10 to 15 minutes before you shampoo and wash it out.

Eye Makeup Remover
It may seem counter-intuitive to add oil to your face, however olive oil sticks onto other oil-based products so it can help remove stubborn makeup, especially eye makeup. Use this as a step in your beauty routine to make sure your makeup is completely removed.

Help combat ear wax
If you are prone to getting build ups of ear wax try using olive oil. Place a few drops of oil into your ear each night for a few consecutive nights. This helps to loosen any excess wax and is a great alternative to shop-bought remedies.

Heal skin
If you suffer from eczema or cracked heels, try using olive oil. Its sensitive on your skin and helps provide moisture. Once you have treated your feet with a pumice stone, apply olive oil and place socks on for an effective overnight treatment.

Lip Scrub
Add olive oil to some sugar to create your own sugar lip scrub. Add a splash of lemon juice for added flavour if you wish. The scrub is exfoliating and moisturising that can help combat chapped lips.

Clean makeup brushes
Create your own DIY makeup brush cleaner by adding olive oil to double the amount of antibacterial soap. Try and do this at least once a month to keep your brushes clean and last longer.

These are just some of the ways you can use olive oil across your home for cleaning and beauty. Although this list is not extensive, it shows you how versatile this ingredient is and should be at the top of your shopping list.

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.

 

Please see the links below to the advice for all the Nations of the UK

  • For England  

    From the 5th January, England will enter a national lockdown across the country and some businesses will be forced to close. The government has issued advice on the matter and made it clear that where you cannot work from home, including work in other peoples homes you will still be permitted to work as long as the government guidelines on social distancing and staying safe are followed. 

    'Where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes - for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople - you can do so.

    Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#going-to-work

 

  • For Scotland 

    The Scottish Government has moved the country from Level 4 restrictions into a Temporary Lockdown and this comes into effect on the 5th January. As with the Level 4 restrictions, Tradespeople must only enter homes to carry out work if that work is deemed essential ('to carry out repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety'). 

    Please See: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/

  • For Wales

    Wales has Level 4 restrictions in place across the country. The Welsh government has stated that tradespeople are still permitted to work inside homes, which includes domestic cleaners - as long as the work is managed in a safe way and both the cleaner and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. 

    Please see: https://gov.wales/visiting-people-private-homes-alert-level-4

  • For Northern Ireland 

    Northern Ireland is currently in a 6 week lockdown period that started effective of 26th December 2020.  

    The government has not made any changes regarding work being carried out within homes (other than close contact services). Domestic cleaners are still permitted in homes - as long as the government guidelines on social distancing and staying safe are followed.

    'Unless they are specifically required to close under the regulations, workers, builders, tradespeople and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries.'

    Please See: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-what-restrictions-mean-you

 

What Are We Doing?

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.

Top Tips to get ahead of Christmas Planning

It is never too early to get ahead of your Christmas planning. Although you may think it’s too soon to think about next Christmas, it can actually save you a lot of money, stress and time by thinking ahead. Here are some of our top tips get ahead of Christmas planning for next year.

Pack Christmas lights away with care

It is never fun to get you Christmas decorations out and have to spend hours painfully trying to untangle your Christmas lights. When you remove them from your tree take the time to lay them out carefully. You can buy specific tree light reel holders for your lights. Alternatively, you can simply use a piece of thick cardboard to wrap them around. You will be extremely grateful that you have done this when next Christmas comes around.

Update your address book

People often use Christmas cards as a great way of sharing their new address. Make a note of any of these changes and ensure you update your address book. If you want to be even more organised, you can always have a Christmas card list ready in your address book, on your phone or on a spreadsheet. Writing Christmas cards can sometimes be tedious, so this can help reduce the time it takes for you to complete the card-writing session.

Recycle Christmas cards

Wherever possible, recycle your Christmas cards. Check to see if you can recycle them first. Even better, you can cut out the front of any cards that have a lovely design on them and turn them into Christmas tags for next year.

Take stock of your decorations

When you’re packing away your decorations make a list of what you have. Get rid of any broken decorations and baubles and use the list to keep track of your decorations, leftover wrapping, Christmas crackers, Christmas cards and more. This will ensure you don’t buy any replicas during the year because you simply couldn’t remember what you already had. Consider storing the decorations in clear boxes so that you can easily locate everything next year.

Book Christmas plans early

Wanting to go away next Christmas? Many people do not like to plan too far ahead but when it comes to Christmas you should as the earlier you book, the more likely you are to get the hotel/holiday home that you are after. Although you can often get some amazing last-minute deals for smaller properties, if you are after something larger or in a specific popular location you may end up disappointed.

Plan your crafts

Crafting your own presents can save you a bit of money and are often much more thoughtful and personal. The reason why a lot of people do not opt for homemade options is that they don’t think they have enough time. If you plan in advance throughout the year this will not be a problem. Decide early on in the year any ideas that you have. Then ensure you dedicate a certain amount of time each month to these projects. Not only will you benefit from this organisation when Christmas comes along, but you also will not be stressed about what to buy for people and crafting is a great pastime that can be calming and a lot of fun.

Start saving

Christmas can come round extremely quickly which can be a financial strain for many. Saving from the beginning of the year is a great way to help spread the cost of Christmas without going into debt or relying on credit cards. Set yourself a budget each month and ideally transfer this amount into a separate savings account.

Make the most of January and Summer sales

The January sales are a great chance to grab some great deals on festive items so use this as an opportunity to stock up on wrapping paper, decorations and more. Also, make the most out of the sales throughout the year. By planning a bit in advance, you can make the most out of the great deals. Just make sure you have a rough plan of what you want to buy, otherwise, you could end up wasting a lot of money on items you do not need.

Plan Christmas meals

Bored with the standard turkey you have every year? Try searching for new meal ideas throughout the year. Doing this in advance gives you plenty of time to search for interesting new dishes and also gives you enough time to practice and perfect the recipes before the day itself. Use this time to also ensure you have enough tableware, cutlery and serving dishes for all the recipes you want to make.

Create a Christmas planner

The key to organising Christmas in advance is to stay on track. Using a Christmas planner can help you keep everything in one place. From Christmas card lists, recipes, Christmas gift lists, budget and more.

Christmas planning can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. These are just a few ways to get ahead of Christmas planning. Making the most of sales throughout the year can help you grab some bargains, save some money, allow you to be creative and avoid any last-minute rush.

 

Wacky cleaning tips that WORK!

Housework isn’t everybody’s cup of tea (which is why we recommend getting a cleaner!), but it doesn’t have to be dull! Sometimes we just need to inject a big dose of fun into what can be seen as the mundane.

 

Have a chuckle with these off-beat cleaning tips that do actually get the job done surprisingly well! 

  • Retire the duster and use a lint roller EVERYWHERE! Run it over lampshades, windowsills, sofas - in fact anywhere dusty. The stickiness holds onto the dust and stops it wafting into the air - this could save on vacuuming, too!
  • We love our pets, right? Not so much their fuzz being everywhere! A great way to remove pet hair off fabric sofas (even a nice wool coat or the car!) is with a wet rubber glove. Seriously! Stick on a wet rubber glove, wipe your hand over all the surfaces, and be dazzled. It magically becomes a pet-hair magnet!
  • Use a tumble dryer sheet to clean troublesome pots that would take some heavy duty scrubbing to get clean. Soak a non-toxic dryer sheet in a dirty pan/dish with some hot water to remove any baked-on foods. This even works with a fondue pan!
  • Another tip for the fondue pan - filthy with cold, welded-on cheese - is to fill the fondue pan with hot water and dissolve a dishwasher tablet in there. Leave overnight. The enzymes dissolve the seemingly impossible to clean-off cheese. Voila!
  • Get perfectly streak-free windows by mixing up a cleaning solution that’s made up of one part vinegar and four parts water and then buffing with coffee filters. No fibre shedding = no streaks!
  • Give your mattress a glow up with vodka! In a spray bottle, mix a shot of voddie with some water and a few drops of your preferred essential oil. Spray onto your mattress and let it dry. The alcohol in the vodka kills any whiffy bacteria buried deep within (and let’s them go out with a bit of a party vibe)!
  • Pass the mayo! Mayonnaise is a bit of an unexpected wonder cleaning product: to remove dreaded water marks from wooden surfaces, wipe a bit of mayo along the surface with a damp cloth.Works eggy wonders!
  • Households with children, listen up! A super simple, but effective, way of removing grubby fingerprints off walls is to rub lightly with moistened, stale white bread. Try it! Don’t have a piece of bread? A spot of baby oil on a cloth can perform the same fingerprint-removing feat.
  • Wooden floors are precious and can be fragile. A scratch can wound. What to do? Buff over the scratch with a walnut to make marks vanish (the oils in the nut smooth out the damage and fill the crack).
  • Want a microwave makeover? Place a bowl of water, with a heavy splash of vinegar, into the microwave and set spinning for 5 minutes. The vinegary steam, literally, dissolves grease and your microwave will look sparkling with the lightest wipe of a cloth.

 

Who said cleaning wasn’t entertaining?! If we can help you inject more fun into your domestic cleaning, please contact us here.

7 Ways to cut the cost of Christmas

Christmas can be tough on our bank accounts and it is often at this time of year that we feel under financial pressure. Whilst it is inevitably going to be slightly more expensive this time of year, many things can be done to help you budget. Here are seven ways to cut the cost of Christmas.

Set your budget early

Before you get overwhelmed with Christmas shopping, sit down and budget how much you can actually afford to spend. Although you can, of course, use credit cards, ideally, avoid depending on them as this can lead to you spending way more than you initially intended and means you start the next year potentially in a lot of debt. Don’t just consider the budget for Christmas presents; you need to consider all the other costs associated with Christmas such as travel expenses, gift wrapping, decorations, and festive food to name just a few. Separate your budget into categories and work out the maximum you can spend.

The further in advance you sit down and budget, the more you are in control of your finances and have confidence that you know how much you can spend and on what. This also means you have longer to search for good deals.

Go homemade

Homemade gifts are always a great option for Christmas. They show your loved ones that you have put lots of thought into the gift and they are often one of a kind and can even be personalised. Whilst not all homemade gifts are necessarily cheaper as the materials can be costly, some gifts can help save you some pennies. For example, if you decide to make candles for a lot of your friends and family, the cost overall will probably be cheaper than buying them all from a shop, and they are fun to make.

Homemade gifts can also help you spread the cost of Christmas. If you are struggling to find something to buy for a loved one, why not consider a voucher instead? For example, a voucher to go for a nice meal in the new year, or a book of vouchers that they can redeem throughout the year for help in the garden, washing their car, babysitting for them, etc. Some of these gifts will only cost you time and even those that involve money will mean you don’t have to pay until the voucher is redeemed - a great way to spread the cost without jeopardising the quality of the present.

Start a Secret Santa

Secret Santas have been going for decades and there's a reason for this. Not only can they be really fun, but they are also a great way to save money. Instead of buying all your colleagues, friends, or even family presents, ask them if they would like to do a Secret Santa instead. This can save a considerable amount of money. Once people have agreed, ensure you set a budget so that no one misses out. To add an additional challenge to the task you can even set a theme such as can only be something homemade or only something they have bought from a charity shop.

Split the cost of Christmas dinner

It is surprising how much the cost of a Christmas dinner can be, especially if you have a larger family. People often have three courses and a selection of alcohol and snacks which can all quickly add up. To help combat this, discuss with your guests in advance if they wouldn’t mind contributing. They don’t necessarily have to give you money, they could perhaps each bring an item or dish with them. Just make sure you coordinate so they don’t all end up bringing the same food.

Send ecards

Not only are ecards more eco friendly, but you can also send them really quickly without having to spend hours writing up addresses. You also save the money you would usually spend on posting them all.

Shop smarter in supermarkets

There are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you shop savvy in supermarkets. Try going later on in the day as you will be more likely to find a bargain as this is when the food is marked down. Buy things that you know you can freeze in advance and place them in the freezer until you need them. There are so many dishes that you can even prepare in advance and keep frozen until Christmas such as a handmade soup for starters or the vegetable dishes. Not only can this save you money, but it will also save you time on the day as you will have less work to do.
Also, try not to be too driven by brands. A lot of the items are of the same level of quality but many people are only swayed by the name. If you focus more on the product itself rather than just its brand, you can save a significant amount of money on your Christmas shop.

Sell unwanted items ahead of Christmas

Make space in your home before Christmas by selling anything you no longer need. Autumn is the best time to do this as it will leave you with more storage in your home but the money raised can go towards your Christmas budget. Win-win.
Not only can all of these help you save money, but they can also help reduce the waste you create during the festive period. The key is to plan in advance as this helps you control your finances tightly, gives you time to shop for the best deals, and means you can avoid the last-minute panic buys and stress that usually happens in December.

Join Our Free Time Liberation Movement!

Our free time is precious but do we really know how precious? Do we really know its worth? So many of us spread ourselves so thinly, trying to juggle our professional and personal lives - often wishing that there was something we could do to make it easier, or less stressful. We all value our free time - but how can we make the most if it? If only there was a free time liberation movement to join! ;)

 

Outsource the outsourceable 

Many business books and gurus offer a very simple piece of advice: outsource the stuff that is easy to pass to somebody else (which they’re, possibly, better at too) and concentrate on the things that you’re good at/bring in the money. Or the things that give you satisfaction, if money isn’t the main motivator! How many of us actually do this? It’s pretty common to speak to a business owner, or professional person, and to hear how they’re spending way too much time on admin tasks and not enough time drumming up trade or selling their unique skill set. There’s an imbalance. Is a similar scenario playing out at home? 

If you’re spending your precious Saturday mornings miserably scrubbing the bath, or resentfully scraping Wednesday night’s spaghetti off the hob, you might need to rethink your strategy. (Note: Obviously, if these domestic tasks spark your joy, this possibly isn’t the blog post for you!)

 

No more loo scrubbing

 So many of us work hard all week and then feel dread at having to get the house into shape over the weekend, in order to start all over again. But what if you didn’t have to? What if you outsourced these tasks and hired a cleaner: a professional to knock our homes into shape because, well, that’s their skill set (and they’re so much better at it than us)?! Image the possibilities! A lovely clean house on a Friday night… No porcelain scrubbing of a Saturday morning… A shiny kitchen sink… It would be a dream come true, right? All that free time to enjoy doing the stuff you actually like doing.

 

Down with dusting!

But is this dream attainable? ABSOLUTELY!  And, the best bit, it’s not going to break the bank. If you value your free time, hiring a cleaner for £14 per hour is a steal! Having a cleaner is a liberation from domestic drudgery and offers you a chance to take back your precious free time - without the need to write it on a placard, storm the streets in protest, chanting: ‘DOWN WITH DUSTING!

 

It all depends on what value YOU place on your precious free time. For us here at Time For You, it’s a no-brainer! It’s the premise behind our whole enterprise: we’re in the business of creating time for you so you can enjoy your life.

 

If you’d like to join our free time liberation movement, and discover more about the cleaning service we offer, contact us here :)

A Woman’s Work… But is it?

A woman’s work is never done. There’s something horribly outdated about this expression but it still resonates with a lot of women - both those who work out of the home, and those who don’t. Often it feels like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done and the constant juggling is nothing short of exhausting. 

During recent months, when the nation was in total lockdown, several reports by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) were published demonstrating how the bulk of domestic responsibilities fell into the laps of women. Women, on the whole, undertook the majority of child-care, stocking the fridge and keeping the house in a liveable state… As well as doing their paid jobs from home.

 

“During lockdown women spent a far greater proportion of their time looking after children compared to men, with the difference amounting to over an hour and a quarter a day,” the ONS said in its analysis. “Although we found there was an equal division of time when it came to activities like home-schooling, and playing or reading with children, the difference came from women spending much more time on activities like feeding, washing and dressing children.”

 

As old-fashioned as it may sound or feel, and as much as we wish it weren’t the case, this old adage still has some life in it, it seems! Many women find it incredibly difficult to ask for help - or even struggle with how to phrase a request for assistance. Many of us suffer from ‘superwoman syndrome’, where we put ourselves under incredible pressure to be great at our jobs, be the best partner/parent, have a perfectly spotless home… But it’s really hard to maintain. Asking for help is not a weakness - it often a sign of strength.

 

How to go about it?

Opening the narrative about domestic duties with partners and other family members can often be hard - treading the line between requesting assistance and, what can be considered, nagging (hate that word!) can be tricky. But, the bottom line is, that it’s not solely the responsibility of the ‘woman of the household’ to keep everything ticking over. It’s all of the family’s responsibility and each person should chip in.

 

How could this look?

Start by providing all family members with a clear view of what’s expected of them. In my house, for example, we have the following expectations:

  1. The Bare Minimum. This really is the basics: not simply kicking your shoes off in the hall, making sure you hang up your coat and not leave it in a heap, keeping the loo clean, not stuffing empty crisp packets down the side of the sofa…
  2. The Middle Ground. This includes emptying the dishwasher, putting used plates/glasses in the dishwasher, wiping the kitchen tops, giving the bath a wipe, putting dirty clothes into the dark/colour hampers…
  3. The Extras (that will make Mum reeeaaallly happy!). This would include vacuuming the stairs, taking the laundry out of the tumbler dryer and then folding/putting away, cleaning the windows (OK, maybe this last one falls into the realms of fantasy!).

 

If everybody knows what’s expected of them, it becomes their responsibility. These expectations also need to be delivered in a calm way; I’ve found, from bitter experience, that the louder my voice, the less my children seem to hear me. Strange, isn't it?! ;)

Also, something else that works a treat in my house is ‘reinforcing positive actions’ or, as others might say, good old-fashioned bribery! I made a deal with my people that if the house was tidy (no random shoes/knickers/crisp packets knocking around), we’d get a cleaner in. And in doing this it would free up our weekends so we could focus on the fun stuff. It worked! The house is (mostly!) in a tidy enough state for our cleaner to do her job effectively, thus freeing up the weekend for us.

Feeling weighed down with domestic responsibility is not a joy - but there is a solution. Here at Time For You, we’ve got your back! Contact us for more details on how we can help to spread the chore workload and prove that it’s NOT only women’s work but is everybody’s work!

Making The Most Of Lockdown And Beyond

Does anybody else feel as if these restrictions are NEVER going to end? For many of us, isolation-fatigue has set in and, while we know it’s for the best, and the greater good, it is hard. Happily, evidence is showing that all of the restrictions are having a positive effect and the numbers are coming down… But instead of huddling under the duvet and eating endless packets of biscuits for the duration (as tempting as it is!), we can turn this moment of adversity into one of opportunity.

 

Seeking the silver lining 

The current cloud is pretty dark but there is a tiny slither of a silver lining, in as much as many of us have more time on our hands. The restrictions imposed are intended to still life and stop movement - so what to do with ourselves? 

Our homes have taken a pounding this year, with the vast majority of us spending a lot more time in them. They’ve also been our sanctuary, and a place to cocoon and feel safe. Now is the perfect time to show our homes some love.

 

Pay it forward 

During the first lockdown, there was a lot of talk of using the time for ‘transformation’ and, despite being well-intentioned, this is an awful lot of pressure. Big change is scary - and there’s enough scary happening in the world right now!  Smaller bit-sized projects are a much better, and less stressful, option. Instead of giving your home a total Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen makeover, make a list of easily achievable tasks, such as: 

  • Cleaning out the cutlery/utensil drawers in the kitchen. Seriously, have you seen the crumbs in there?!
  • Taking the books off the bookshelves and wiping with a nicely-scented anti-bac spray.
  • Moving big furniture, and the sofa, and cleaning underneath.
  • Organising the understairs cupboard/loft. Honestly, have you ever done this since you moved in?!
  • Having a wardrobe cull. Despite the happy memories it evokes, will you ever wear that neon pink ra-ra skirt from 1987 ever again?!
  • Organising the bedding cupboard by separating the single, double, king sets and even using a Sharpie to write a ‘S’, ‘D’ or ‘K’ on the labels of the fitted sheets. Come on, you’ve got time to kill, right?!
  • Get the Christmas decorations out and GET THEM UP! As we’re desperate for some festive cheer, many of us are decorating early this year and why not? There’s nothing like it to boost spirits and make us think of happier times.

 

During lockdown, keeping busy is vital and these are just some suggestions of how to give your home some special treatment. It deserves it! Obviously, it’s also super important to get out into the fresh air - so once the organisational tasks above have been done, why not get a cleaner in to help give your home some extra sparkly love? We can help you find a cleaner, even during lockdown, as our cleaners are still permitted to work inside people’s homes during this time, as long as the government guidelines on social distancing and staying safe are followed (which we ensure they will be).

 

Give your home the gift of extra loving care this festive season! A home isn’t just for Christmas ;)

Hands up, Happy Hinchers!

Do you love Mrs Hinch, the cleaning influencer and best-selling author? We do! The former hairdresser from Essex, also known as Sophie Hinchliffe, has gathered a huge fan base - the ‘Hinch Army’ - and she does make housework appealing. Affectionately calling her cleaning cloths and vacuum cleaner by their pet names, Mrs Hinch tackles her daily cleaning tasks with such warmth and sparkle, it’s hard not to be drawn in.

 

Kitchen sink shining 

Despite her cheery openness and easy-to-follow cleaning tips, it’s a fact that shining the kitchen sink might not soothe everybody’s soul! In her fabulous best-selling book, Hinch Yourself Happy, Mrs Hinch talks frankly about how cleaning is a way of calming her own anxiety. But this might not be a solution for all. It could be that the thought of cleaning the kitchen sink will only add to your stress levels! While this is not the intention of the book, as it is packed full of useful cleaning tips and guidance, it can leave those whose natural skills might not be cleaning/housework feeling a little inadequate…

 

Domestic Goddess Syndrome

Following Mrs Hinch and other domestic goddesses, such as Nigella Lawson, can make us feel not quite up to scratch on the old house and kitchen front! What if you feel that you’re not as good as these women or, more importantly, doing these tasks doesn’t spark your joy, like it does for Marie Kondo?! Or what if you’re just too busy juggling work and life? 

Not having the time to keep your house fully Hinched, or Kondoed, can make us feel sad because it’s true what these ‘queens of clean’ say: a clean and organised home does make us feel happier and calmer, somehow. It can just be a lot of pressure to have to do it ourselves.

 

Soul soothers 

Housework and cleaning might not be the way in which you wish to soothe your soul. After working hard all week and juggling the family, picking up a Minky cloth and the Zoflora is not for all of us! While we can all benefit from Mrs Hinch’s fantastic tips and guidance, in terms of getting organised, putting it into practice might be another matter!

 

What to do? 

So, you’ve read the book and are a signed-up member of the ‘Hinch Army’. You know that you want a lovely clean and organised home, which is a sanctuary after a hard week. You just don’t want to don the camo fatigues and grease the weapons yourself! Our advice? Get a cleaner! Use the knowledge gleaned from these cleaning bibles (they’re lovely and relaxing reads to have on your bedside table) and use it as a ‘manifesto’ on how you want your house to be. This will allow you to give clear direction to your cleaner for the sparkling home you want.