We all have our COVID stories and what happened over the past year causing changes, some sudden, some gradual, but everything affected everything and the domino affect still feels like it's going some days.
Our business was no different. We had a roller coaster ride in 2020. Starting in March with what we thought was going to be a "2 week" shut down caused many (thankfully not all) of our customers particularly Residential Customers, to pause services.
With a team of 30 we began to wonder if we would have hours for everyone to work, and what this would do to our business both long term and short term.
On the day time Residential Team specifically, we were seeing a lot of pause in services due to the fact that a lot of people were working from home, kids were not in school, and that shifted life for everyone! Having cleaners come into their homes was either too chaotic and didn't work with families now hunkering down at home, or needs had changed and they were able to do the cleaning themselves as we all waited on daily updates on return to school and work plans. We get it. We knew why it was happening, we just didn't know if and when things would pick up again.
On the day time team we operate with a team of four. These are team members who have been with us for 4 or more years and we didn't want to lose them! What could we do to provide work and hours for our team?
Talking to our leadership team and our Facilities Manager we decided to do something we would never have thought of doing before.... for many reasons.... but this was no ordinary year, and no ordinary situation, and we needed to find hours for our amazing team members in order to keep them....so we added our own personal homes as well our own office to their schedule in place of other customers who were pausing services.
I will sum up the point of my story with ten "pros" and my one and only "con". Experiencing weekly cleaning services was supposed to be short term for our household, until business picked up again, (which it did and we are THANKFUL for that) but guess whose house didn't come off the schedule.... Here is what I love (and struggle with) in having my house cleaned by other people:
1. My family and I are better "picker-uppers" -- because we have to be. We are lesser slobs. We clear our counters and piles and clothing, we do our dishes, we put things away... the night before the cleaning team comes. It keeps up accountable.
2. Our bathrooms feel cleaner, smell cleaner, look nicer --- I personally believe in weekly cleanings for busy families simply for bathrooms and kitchens alone being a weekly disinfection need.
3. Shiny kitchen sink -- this is my favorite thing. Our team doesn't just clean the sink they make it shine and hell hath no fury like a mom who doesn't get to see that sink shine on cleaning day before the kids make mac and cheese.
4. Stove top and inside microwave stays caught up
5. Floors are maintained much much better and more often, than we ever did ourselves!
6. My time can be spent on higher pay off activities for our business.
7. My time can be spent on higher pay off activities with my family.
8. My girls like the look and feel of the rest of the house being clean and it motivates them to do better in their own rooms (we don't have the cleaners do our bedrooms because we want the kids do their own. period. no negotiations.)
9. We have two dogs and the upkeep of the pet hair and dander are more valuable than we imagined.
10. I don't have to keep as many cleaning supplies on hand because the team brings the right tools for the job each week.
1. We have to pick up and it's not always easy or convenient.
That's it. That is the only thing that is a con for our family.
I want to say to our customers who have joked about "cleaning before the cleaners come" I feel that. I get that. I do that. It's a lot. But it gets me going and keeps me organized by having them come. Yes more organized almost by "force" but still more on top of it over all. I feel less stressed, I feel happier that disinfection takes place in my bathrooms, kitchen and floors each week. I use my time for things that make a bigger difference over all for our team and for my family.
I do want to say that had it not been a "COVID Year" I don't think I could have convinced my husband that paying my own company for weekly cleaning would have made sense to him. In fact, I know it would not have because we've had "that" conversation in the past. Me whining about juggling too much and wanting more quality help than what the kids can do, and what I had time for, etc, etc,...
When I told him my initial plan last March was to just have it done for a month or two to help fill schedules, he was on board for a short term commitment. Here we are 11 months later and we both now find huge value in this weekly service.
I will save the following details for another article, but want to say how much our team has grown and learned having experienced the service through the eyes of our customers. We have always tried to see through the lens of our customers, but now we have a true inside look a lot more close up.
Do you need an estimate for Residential Cleaning Services? I know who to recommend. Fill out an online quote form and join me in balancing life a little bit more.
Cleaning for a Reason- what it’s like serving
Cleaning for a Reason is one of my favorite services we offer. It feels good to give and it also makes my heart hurt for the women who are fighting their fight.
Cleaning For A Reason is a non profit organization that provides free residential cleaning services to women battling cancer.
It’s like smiling through tears. It’s rewarding and heart wrenching.
All at the same time.
Every business has it's challenges and you have to find humor in what you do some times. Over the past 4 1/2 years our cleaning team has cleaned a variety of locations from professional offices to Fitness Clubs to Dental and Doctor Offices. We have had some laughs about some really miscellaneous items we have run into while cleaning.
Here is our Top Ten:
1. BRA -- a very large cupped one...how do you arrive at work with this on and then not have it on when you go home?
2.TOENAIL CLIPPING- so you got paid to perform personal hygiene today?
3. A NOTE asking to please clean up dog poop--that ended up being a pile of dirt....but
laughed because who would really let "poop" sit in their work space the entire
day and who is letting dogs into their office?
4. PEOPLE who got locked in after the staff left - yep, we were as surprised to see them as they were confused about why were asking them to leave, they had no idea the place had closed.
5. A CELL PHONE... that's not really funny but the guy who came to
the door to collect it looked like Jesse Ventura and actually thought we
would open the door for him. Having him take 10 steps back and sliding the phone through a cracked door was probably an interesting sight to see.
6. BEER CANS in an office- --- please tell me I don't have to say why this seems inappropriate.
7. A MOUNTAIN DEW BOTTLE...someone tried to flush down a toilet.... trash cans must of
8. 6 INCH STILLETO HEELS under desk....right next to a pair of GRANNY ORTHOPEDIC TENNIES.....talk about a woman with versitility. And by the way, this is how I roll also.
9.VERY LARGE BOXER SHORTS- again, how do you wear these in to a facility but not wear them when you leave?
10.A SACK FROM MCDONALDS....with note "Cleaners,please don't throw this away it's my
lunch for tomorrow." perfectly accepteable note and request except it's
9pm at night and the sack of food is sitting on the desk? We need to talk
about bacteria my friend.
Worth While Work
Worthwhile work is a belief an individual has when the tasks they perform, no matter how apparently menial, provide a valuable service for an individual or group."
What if there were no nurses to empty bed pans?
What if there were no such thing as septic tank pumpers?
What if there were no garbage men to take away trash on a regular basis?
What if restaurants had no dish washers?
What would happen if businesses didn’t have their facilities cleaned?
If you let your mind begin to think about such a world without service
work being done it gets filled with bacteria, chaos and a loss of customers
pretty fast. Doing service work doesn’t have to mean you aren’t qualified to do anything else in life. Sometimes the desire to help others succeed is the driving force behind the success.
Cleaning for businesses is worthwhile work. Cleaning is something that HAS to get done.
Those who say they do not clean either aren’t being truthful, or they should be ashamed to ever open their doors in their homes and/or offices. People perform upkeep every day, it’s
simply necessary. The service we provide is an opportunity to give a positive or negative impression on behalf of our clients, we represent them as a company every time we work in their office or facility. How do you feel if you use a public restroom that isn’t up to par?
Does it change your view of the establishment? Do you feel like a valued customer at this point?
Worthwhile Work = Providing a Valuable Service.
Have you ever been offended when someone tells you how or what to clean, or not to forget this or that?
Well don’t be.
It’s the kind of thing that makes us feel like even though we worked incredibly hard at the job as a whole, one or two things get nit-picked. Cleaning is just that way. As a mom I can clean and clean at home and then re-enter the room 5 minutes later to a complete mess. It can be a defeating feeling to clean the same things over and over again.
Just know that the person asking you if you remembered to clean something or if you can do something extra or different, has the big picture in mind of making the clients happy. It doesn’t mean you are a terrible cleaner if you miss something. It might mean there is a more efficient way to do something or out of 2 dozen tasks that night there was 1 that needed more attention or detail, that is the role of the Site Manager, to ensure the quality of work getting done as they will be the one to answer to the client if it isn’t up to par.
Being coachable and flexible in any job or career is necessary for success and progress.
See the big picture and know that we all get “nit-picked” or something pointed out to us. The reality is that if the whole facility is clean but something is dirty or dusty or got missed it tends to stand out all the more because everything around it is shining.
If you are being coached on a cleaning task it isn’t meant to irritate or offend you. The details matter, specifically to our clients. Realize that it’s all a team effort and be a team player, don’t get mad, get over it.
I thought I'd share an article each week from our June Employee Newsletter. --Kari
How are we different?
Is cleaning “just cleaning”? I believe attitude affects EVERYTHING we do, especially in our jobs. Forget the the sterio-type of the old janitor in coveralls pushing the dust mop up and down the hallway as slow as a turtle with slumped down shoulders and a bitter attitude.
Cleaning takes ENERGY. We are as professional as we WANT to be. Every job is important or it wouldn’t be a job. How do I view our role to our clients? I truly view our team as an asset and help to our customers. We help them do their jobs more effectively by preparing their office or facility for each new day of business. People notice “clean” verses “dirty”…..it may not always get back to your ears but it is always noticed. Imagine if you had to go to work each day with trash all over, caked on dust and a dirty floor and let’s not even get into dirty restrooms….it truly affects morale, motivation and moods. It also would be a poor representation to the clients that come it to do business.
We are a community based business. We are not a large franchise that views the jobs as a bare minimal service, rather we are investing in our own community, neighbors and friends.
There is a TRUST from our clients that we will be as professional in their office or facility as they are. The respect for their business and their clients is a part of our service to them.
A cleaning position may not be a career-type job, it is a part time gig for most people, but the out look and the view of a partnership role with our clients is how we are different from our competition.
I have full confidence in the team we have to represent Simply Cleaner and our clients in a professional way and to see business through the eyes of our clients.
Among our cleaning team, we all voted Murphy Oil Soap as our favorite all purpose general cleaner. It is not a disinfectant, but does a great job on base boards, office furniture...including chairs and sides/fronts/tops of desks...and MUCH more! Murphy Oil has been around for a long time and it is timeless. The scent is not only fresh and clean but lasting.
DID I MENTION THAT THIS IS A MULTI-PURPOSE CLEANER?
Product Rating: Pros: Biodegradable. Cleans wood like no other product. Has multiple uses. Inexpensive.
The Bottom Line: This ancient product can't be beat for cleaning wood and wax build-up. It also has other uses around the office, house and yard.
Murphy’s Oil Soap has been around for eons, over a hundred years. It comes to us from the Colgate/Palmolive Company, originally founded in the early 1800’s.
This product is biodegradable and contains a principal natural ingredient, Potassium Soap of Vegetable Oil, combined with sodium EDTA, propylene glycol and fragrance. It comes in a no frills, transparent, 16fl oz, plastic bottle with a screw off cap. The cleaner is a translucent pale tan color with a unique, pleasant fragrance. Average price per small bottle = $3.99. Simply Cleaner uses the Commercial Grade version which is purchased in a larger bottle, you can find these at Menards and Sams as well as any Janitorial Supply Company.
Surprisingly, I found out that this product is not just for cleaning wood. It is actually a household cleaner that takes care of a multiple of tasks around the house and yard:
· Safely cleans inside the refrigerator without harming the enamel
· Cleans the kitchen floor (tile, linoleum/vinyl, or wood!), cabinets, cupboards, countertops, and even the kitchen sink
· Easily removes dust and build-up on countertops and fixtures
· Safely cleans painted surfaces
· Cleans walls and doors around light switches and doorknobs
· Safely and gently cleans cribs, highchairs, playpens, toys, vinyl mattresses, and mats. It leaves no harmful residue behind -- only its fresh smell.
· Clean walls and painted furniture
· Makes a great pre-spotter, especially on organic stains like grass, blood, and soil. Just apply Murphy's directly to the stain, rub into the fabric, and wash as usual. Cuts through grease, lipstick, and ink on fabrics. For tough stains, spritz thespot and let soak for a few hours.
· Removes dirt and mildew on outdoor furniture
· Safely cleans plastic and wicker
Sara's Pick of the Month for cleaners is "The Barkeeper's Friend" " This product was a useful tool in removing some rust build up in one of our client's restrooms." This amazing product has been around since 1882! Check out more details about it at http://www.barkeepersfriend.com/ Our only regret is not having some before and after pictures from the amazing transformation with the rust. It literally disappeared the second Barkeepers Friend was applied to it. Do you have any success stories with a particular cleaner? Do Tell!
Just tried a new product that I'm sold on. Do your floors still look dull even after a thorough cleaning? I have laminate and tile floors in my basement and found this product brought back the life and shine to the floors. Note, this product is not a cleaner that you are to work into your floors.
The first step is to vacuum/sweep your floor thoroughly.
The 2nd step is to clean it with vinegar water or your regular choice of cleaner. Make sure you rinse the floor if you are using a lot of product on it.
Next you use this product that I am recommending. Rejuvenate Floor Refresher.
I used a Shmop, or a long handled flat head mop that holds a Microfiber Cloth that has elastic around it to apply the Floor Refresher. You just spray the area, go over it once with the mop and then let it dry for a good half hour. It's a really nice shine that lasts and is safe. I give this product 2 thumbs up!
I found it at Home Depot, the spray version was $8.96 and the concentrated bottle was $19.88. It should last you a long time! The link below has pricing on it but your local Home Depot Store carries it to save you on the shipping. I did note on the bottle it says this product is "Great for Newer FLoors" I think that this is to be used with caution with old wood floors.
Is there time wasted searching for what you need to do your job? Here is a great link to organizng and coming up with a system that makes access to your office tools more time efficient. http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_6742048_organize-office-supply-closet.html
About the Owner:
"Worthwhile work is a belief an individual has when the tasks they perform, no matter how