Stop the Junk!

Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

So here we are in a New Year, all ready for our new starts – gym memberships, weight loss, giving up smoking, vowing to sort out our bulging cupboards, drawers and the childrens toy box…

To help aid you and keep you motivated with your resolutions (well the cleaning ones at least), we are going to be dedicating the month of January to de-cluttering and getting organised, so even if you don’t make it to the gym for that second time, at least you will have a clean and tidy home!

The first de-cluttering tip I will share with you is one we all encounter and can do something about… spam!

Junk mail – brochures, catalogs,  leaflets promising the world, the phone book (who uses these now??) it goes on and on.

A few junk mail facts for you

  • An estimated 12 billion pieces of junk mail are distributed to UK households and businesses annually.
  • This is equivalent to between 4.6 and 6.1m trees.
  • The average (adult) person gets 65 pieces of addressed junk mail per year.
  • The average household gets 326 pieces of unaddressed junk mail per year.
  • Over 90% of all advertising mail is unsolicited (i.e. the postal equivalent of cold calling

So what to do about it?

In this modern age of technology, the great majority of us can find what we want, when we want it on our laptops, computers and telephones and do not need the constant barrage of paper through our letter boxes, so how do we stop it?

We opt out… stop the junk and stop the clutter.

Please see any of the links below to register your name and address and start the first day of de-cluttering your home… see that wasn’t so bad was it 😉

www.stopjunkmail.org.uk

www.mpsonline.org.uk

www.catalogchoice.org

 

 

Help! I have knocked over nail varnish remover on my oak table

Ask Mrs Mopp... Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

New question with have been asked…

Q: I have spilt nail varnish remover on my lovely oak table – help!

A: First off DO NOT RUB as you will make it worse, blot it up with paper towels – Now below are a couple of natural remedies that have been proven to work, HOWEVER always test in an inconspicuous area first

1. Put a paper towel over the stain then put an iron over the top, holding on for a few seconds at a time

2. Mayonnaise is the other remedy that helps and it is thought it is the fats in the mayo that will lift the varnish – rub on the stain, leave for 2 hours and then wipe off with a damp cloth

3. Ashes from a fire place rub into the stain and then wiped off with a damp cloth after an hour

Good luck!

 

Got a cleaning question? Ask Mrs Mopp… http://www.facebook.com/mrsmoppcleaningservices

Will a cleaning agency suit my needs?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

In this final part of “What cleaning Service will suit my needs” we will be looking at Cleaning Agencies.

What is a cleaning agency?

A cleaning agency is very similar to your typical recruitment agency – the agent finds, interviews and vets the workers and then “sells” the workers time/skills/trade to employers who may need them on a temporary or permanent basis.

This is true of a cleaning agency – With a cleaning agency, like a franchise, an individual can buy the licensed rights to use the brand name of the agency. The agency will heavily leaflet drop a set geographical area, then place ads in jobs centres to finds the cleaners to undertake the work, which they then sell to a homeowner, in chunks of the cleaners time, off the back of their leaflet campaign. Cleaning agents that you may have heard of are Maid2Clean, BellaCasa and Dolly Char and they are an ever increasing trend in the cleaning sector.

The cleaners are not employed by the agencies and are self-employed individuals, responsible for completing an annual self assessment and their own taxes and insurances. The homeowner will have to leave the agreed hourly rate in cash for the cleaner every time they have a clean – the homeowner will also have to pay the agency a fee every week by direct debit or standing order to pay for the services of the agency. The homeowner will be locked into a contract for a minimum of 3 months with a cleaning agency and please note, the agents fees are payable weather the homeowner has a clean or not that week!

The Pros of using a cleaning agency

  • The homeowner does not have to place an advertisement, interview and reference a potential cleaner, as after a brief telephone call of requirements the agency will send a cleaner to you
  • The homeowner is able to design their own cleaning rota for their home rather than with a cleaning business or cleaning franchise who will have their set standard cleans and deeper cleans
  • If you do not like your cleaner or the standards are not good enough, you can replace the cleaner with a telephone call

The Cons of using a cleaning agency

  • Even though the agency say they will interview and vet a cleaner, many times they will not physically meet the cleaner and handle all inquiries over a telephone, as more often than not the agents office is not based in the locality of the cleaning work
  • You as the homeowner are still responsible for interviewing the cleaner in your home and vetting them again for your piece of mind (written in 3 agency agreements I have had the pleasure of reading)
  • You as the homeowner will be responsible for the design and implementation of your cleaning rota, along with the quality control aspects of your clean
  • Like with a Sole Trader (which is what these cleaners are with the added cost of paying an agent) how do you know what training your cleaner may have had? How good is the cleaners insurance? Do they even have insurance? What happens if a cleaner falls and hurts themselves in your property? What happens if a cleaner spills bleach on your new rug?
  • 2 costs – cash to cleaner, direct debit to agency… very messy and complicated
  • The costs work out quite expensive when broken down as their are the two costs for the cleaner and agency as well as the cleaning materials and equipment as cleaning agencies DO NOT supply any
  • Cleaning agencies tend to have an even higher employee turnover than both a cleaning business and cleaning franchise as there are no employee schemes or training and the hours of work offered can be spasmodic and often not worth the cleaners time to travel to
  • There is no come back for the house owner – Not happy with your clean? Would like to talk to someone about it? Well with a cleaning agency you will be directed to talk to your cleaner directly or the agency will just replace… going on holiday or your cleaner going on holiday? It is up to the house owner to arrange cover for that period… Cleaner ill or broke their leg? It is up to the house owner to arrange the cover – The agent does what for their money?????

As a cleaning business owner, and obviously working within the cleaning industry, cleaning agents are not my favourite flavour of cleaning service available as I, personally, do not feel they give a value added service to either the homeowners or the cleaners involved and the only party that benefits is the agent – they offer no training, no quality control of cleans, no back office support and no structure.

If you, as a homeowner, want to be in control of the rota and the quality, then you could hire your own cleaner direct as that is what an agent offers, with a weekly cost! If you want an uninterrupted service look at franchises or cleaning businesses and if you want to just make a phone call and hire/fire a cleaner then perhaps an agent is for you but please before you make any decisions, read through all the posts in this section to see which one would suit your home, family and pocket best

Please feel free to add your comments or questions

Next blog post: How to complain about your clean

Will a sole trader suit my cleaning needs?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

What is a Sole Trader

 

A sole trader, also know as “one man band”, are normally individuals that work alone and have a self employed status. The sole trader will undertake all cleaning and ironing work within your home usually. The sole trader would be responsible for a self assessment annually, paying their own taxes and national insurance contributions and for their business insurances. Should the sole trader start to take on employees, they must be registered with the HMRC as an employer so that the appropriate  taxes may be paid and have their insurances amended to cover more than one individual.

The Pros of using a Sole Trader

  • Flexibility of work undertaken within the home
  • Flexibility of price as the sole trader has minimal overheads – the general rate for a sole trader is typically £7 – £8.50 per hour, although some self employed cleaners do charge up to £10 per hour.
  • The relationship between client and cleaner can sometimes be more personal as the cleaner can almost become an extension of the family as it will always be the same cleaner at the home

The Cons of using a Sole Trader

  • If the cleaner is not registered as self employed with the HMRC and is working “cash in hand” for the client, weather the client is aware or not – this changes the relationship to an employer/employee relationship and if investigated the client may be fined for not registering as an employer by the HMRC  – It places the homeowner in a difficult position as they will been seen as the employer and investigated for the correct legal trading status, tax and PAYE affairs
  • The cleaner may have minimal level insurance or no insurance at all – When interviewing potential cleaners always ask for a copy of their insurance details and would also recommend calling the company the insurance is held with to validate the policy to ensure your home is protected against damage, spills or breakages
  • If the cleaner is sick/on holiday/breaks a leg etc. the client would have no cleaning service
  • If the cleaner decides to quit or close their business the client would have to go through the process of advertising, interviewing, vetting the cleaners references and designing a rota for a new replacement cleaner
  • If the client is unhappy with the clean or the service the client would have to confront the cleaner directly to resolve the issues

Check list for a employing a self employed cleaner:

1) Does the cleaner have references you can telephone to ask about the cleaners service, reliability and standards?
2) Can the cleaner supply the client with a copy of insurance details?
3) Can the cleaner supply proof of self employed status, such as government gateway number or proof of employer status by way of their employer code?
4) Does the cleaner sub contract out work when on holiday/poorly – Who to? Who’s insurance is the replacement cleaner covered by?

 

 

Mrs Mopp celebrates turning 3 with ShropshireLive.com

Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

On the 1st November Mrs Mopp Cleaning Services celebrated its 3rd year in business with exciting news of an expansion into the Shrewsbury area in 2012- click the link below to read the full article from the brillaint, local news site ShropshireLive.com – Thanks so much guys x

 

Mrs Mopp Celebrates turning 3 with Shropshirelive.com

 

Mrs Mopp Parties with the Moppettes

What cleaning service suits my needs?

Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

In the last post we touched on covering the different types of cleaning services available. In the next 4 posts we will look into the 4 models available, the pros and cons of them all, along with questions to ask the quote stage and hopefully answer the question of “What cleaning services would suit me best”?

The 4 options available to a domestic home owner are as follows:

1. Sole Trader

2. Cleaning Business

3. Cleaning Franchise

4. Cleaning Agency