How to be a Recycling Superhero

How to be a Recycling Superhero

Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips

Are you the recycling Superhero your house? Do you ferret around in the bins tutting and separating paper and plastics that the rest of your family have thrown away without a thought?

Recycling rates have been increasing in the last few years but rates have dropped despite stringent EU targets to recycle 50% of all household waste by 2020. There are many thoughts on why this might be but a big factor seems to be confusion!

Most of us have to sort our rubbish into four or five different bins, but in Newcastle-under-Lyme  there are nine bins for every home – are they kidding!

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Top 10 tips for Creating a Clutter-Free Home (and Mind)

Top 10 tips for Creating a Clutter-Free Home (and Mind)

Cleaning tips Inspiration Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Holding onto clutter can make you feel overwhelmed, stressed and low in energy. If you feel guilty about the amount of ‘stuff’ you have, you are not alone. Many of us are victim of the Evil Clutter Fairy – whether it’s that impulse buy or something to cheer us up, we tend to hold onto everything “Just in case”, so it’s often fear that is holding us back.

If this is you, then are let us help you get started, we promise you’ll feel better for it!

Top 10 tips to De-clutter your Life

  1. Set a Date – don’t procrastinate any longer – set a date to start and stick to it.
  2. Get Help – roping in someone you know and trust to help you, will give you the motivation and confidence to be tough with your throwing out!
  3. Small Steps – if you just cannot face a massive onslaught on your clutter, start with nice, easy bite size chunks of 15 minutes every day. And tackle one room at a time. I guarantee– little by little you will start to feel better as you see the light (and more space) at the end of the tunnel.
  4. Be Systematic – keep on decluttering that room until it is fully cleared. Cupboards, drawers, wardrobes, under beds, on top of wardrobes etc. Don’t be tempted to start on another room.
  5. Take Five – whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, start sorting through your “junk drawer” (every kitchen has one!). Do you really need all those plastic boxes with no lids, empty jars or recipes torn out from magazines?
  6. One in, Two Out – for every new item brought into the home/office, two items must leave… no cheating though, throwing out a piece of paper and empty toilet roll does not count! This rule may even save you money too – yay!
  7. The Clothes Hanger Rule – each time you wear an item move it to one side of the wardrobe, you’ll find you probably wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. After six months you will see what items you have never worn and can give them to charity or sell them on eBay.
  8. Box it for Twelve Months – if you just cannot bear to throw certain items away as you may use it, fix it, need it etc. put all these items into a box, seal up it up and pop it in the loft… IF after 12 months you have not opened the box, donate the whole box to a charity shop (without opening it, as that would only tempt you again). I recently ditched curtains and bedding going back 20 years that were still boxed up from house moves!
  9. List and Reflect – every time you feel the urge to buy the latest gadget, dress or yet another pair of shoes, write it on a list of ‘Things I want’ or take a picture. When at home, reflect on your decision and ask “Do I really need it?” If you don’t you’ve saved both space and money!
  10. Be Honest – do you have a problem detaching emotions from items and blackmail yourself into keeping items that you have been given by your children or spent a lot of money on and have never used? Try this little trick: Do you REALLY a) Love it. b) Need it? If you honestly love it and will use it then you can keep it – otherwise ditch it or donate it!

So those were my top tips. I guarantee if you free up the space, take the plunge, get tough and declare war on your junk that you will feel less stressed, more organised and really appreciate what you do have!

If you need a deep clean, before you tackle your decluttering or after the end of a tenancy let Mrs Mopp and her merry Moppettes® clean, sparkle and refresh your home, from top to bottom, allowing you to spend your well-deserved time off and weekends with friends and family. Contact us for a quote.

Cleaning Product Supply: Cleaner Or Client?

Cleaning Product Supply: Cleaner Or Client?

Cleaning Articles & Guides From the Author Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Cleaning Product Supply: Cleaner Or Client? | Mrs Mopp Cleaning Services Blog Spot

When hiring a cleaner who provides the cleaning materials?

Is it more cost effective to provide the cleaning materials yourself?

Are there pros and cons for who does the supplying? Let’s see…

If you use a sole trader, a cleaning agency or (gasp!) a cash-in-hand-cleaner (please, please don’t do this) the chances are you will supply all the cleaning materials, products and equipment needed to do the job.

If you do supply the cleaning products for your cleaner, we recommend reading our post: 12 things a cleaner needs to do their job well to make sure you are stocked and ready to go.

If you are thinking of using a cleaning business or a cleaning franchise, they may be the offer of a lower tariff for the cost per hour of a cleaner if you supply your own cleaning products. For example, at Mrs Mopp we offer a lower and higher charge rate, depending on who supplies the cleaning products.

But what is better? To supply the cleaning products or have them supplied?

Cleaning Product Supply: Cleaner Or Client | Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Well, as a starting point, did you know that the average family will spend £540.00 per year on cleaning products – yup £540.00 big ones – that’s a lot of moolah already spent and still no one is cleaning but you

Let’s look deeper…

Client Supply Scenario

In scenario one, let’s say the client will supply the cleaning products and will pay a rate of £12.20 per hour for cleaning, and they have 3 hours cleaning a week.

3 x 12.20 = £36.60 per clean

They have 4 cleans on average per month – 36.60 x 4 = £146.40 per month

We all know there are 12 months in a year – 12 x 146.60 = £1,756.80

Add to that the average UK amount of £540 on cleaning products = £2,296.80 per year 

Cleaner Supply Scenario

In the second scenario, the cleaning provider supplies all the cleaning products and equipment and they charge £13.50 per hour for the service

Based on the same family, with the same requirements as above, of 3 hours cleaning weekly:

3 x 13.50 = £40.50 per clean

4 cleans in an average month = £162.00 per month

12 x 162 =£1,944.00

There is a financial difference of £352.80 pounds per year in savings to the client that pays the higher tariff and has their products supply!! People will always think it is cheaper to supply, but as cleaning providers can buy in bulk, that may not be the actual case. Not only do you not have to worry about if there is enough bleach or polish at home, but you will actually save money and pay for someone to clean your home every week!

When the cleaner provider supplies the product, not only do you not have to worry about if there is enough bleach or polish at home, but you will actually save money AND pay for someone to clean your home every week!

Pros and Cons To Client Supply Vs Cleaning Service

Pros

  • Client can pick scents, brands, and product type
  • Client should be offered a cheaper labour rate from cleaning provider
  • Client has control over products used

Cons

  • More expensive in long term – a cleaner will often buy quality cleaning products in bulk and therefore buy at a more competitive price than the average Jo could at a supermarket
  • You may not be covered by the cleaning services insurance if staining, damage, discolouring, or scratching etc., occur because of a product/piece of equipment you have supplied has not been tested or approved by the cleaning business
  • The cleaning business will not hold the COSHH data on your cleaning products
  • The cleaning business would not have tested your products for streaking, clouding or any other sub-standard finish

People often shop around and try and find the ‘cheapest cleaner” – this is crazy talk to us here at Mrs Mopp because we’re guessing a person’s house is their most expensive outlay and asset, and everything, from the decor and furniture within their home, would have been painstakingly picked and matched, and then, they look for any old person to clean maintain their most prized possession because they are cheap… in their expensive home? Say what?

Questions, Queries and Thoughts

When looking for a cleaning provider, and comparing charge rates, ask yourself what service do they provide for the extra costs? What is the quality of their cleaning products? What is the training and quality control of their cleaners? How long have they traded? What ‘extras’ do clients get?

Ask yourself if you would rather spend a bit extra on an hourly rate, saving money in the long term, (and most importantly, knowing that all products being used in your home are tested, safe, and covered by the insurance of the cleaning provider?) OR would you rather look for the cheapest cleaning provider, supply all the products yourself and hope for the best in terms of service and standard?

As the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for” and I’ve never found a case yet where that has not been true.

Do you have anything you’d like to add to this post? Do you think it is better to supply the products? Why? Please add to the comments below, we’d love to hear from you

Until next time, Happy cleaning!

Mrs M x


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Do you live In Telford, Shrewsbury, or the surrounding areas of Newport and Shifnal? Do you need help with your domestic cleaning? Please contact us today with your requirements.

Are you looking for commercial cleaning? Please see our sister company – MMCS (UK) Ltd

 

Cleaning Tips – Top 5 Weekly Round Up | Mrs Mopp

Cleaning Tips – Top 5 Weekly Round Up | Mrs Mopp

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Cleaning Tips w/c 10.11.14

Hello lovely people of the Internet, did you see our visual cleaning tips last week on Facebook? You didn’t? Oh no…

Well the Mama Mopp thought it would be a good idea that we should put them on our website too, just to show visitors, a bit of what your missing out on over on Facebook, you know, er… should you.. err… wanna come over there and like us? 😉

We get that not everyone in the world has a Facebook (really?) so, if you prefer to see written tips, in 140 characters or less, we can do that for you too, over on Twitter at 11am, Monday through Friday. (GMT) If you fancy just a smattering of tips and would rather know what goes on behind the scenes of Mopp Towers, you can add us on Instagram for that.

Social bunch, us Moppettes you know.

Take a look at the weeks round up of the top 5 cleaning tips and let us know your favourite. If you have a cleaning tip that you would like to share with us, please contact us and make sure to include your name so we may give you full credit.

We hope you enjoyed the round up of last weeks top 5 cleaning tips and that some, if not all of them, will be useful to you at some point. Don’t forget if you have a top cleaning tip of your own, you can share it with us and we’ll share it with the world – just don’t forget to give us your name!

Thank you for stopping 🙂

Happy cleaning folks,

Mrs Mopp x

 

5 Signs You Need To Hire A Cleaner

5 Signs You Need To Hire A Cleaner

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Okay, so you have just found that T-shirt you have been looking for all summer; as the last leaves start falling from the trees. The t-shirt was found under that big pile of laundry, you have been meaning to sort through, that was at the side of the pile of paperwork and bills that you are going to organise when you get a minute, next to the plastic tub full of bits of toys, old jigsaw pieces and random socks. Sound familiar? Maybe you need a little help.

See our top 5 signs that you may need to think about hiring a cleaner

1.  You spend your weekend/only available down-time cleaning house. Are you sure there is not something else, other than scrubbing your bathroom, you would rather be doing?

Image Via Someecards.com

Image Via Someecards.com

2. You are very good at making piles and stacking things.. in a neat way of course. You are not entirely sure what is in each pile and, if you are honest, you don’t want to disturb them to find out. 

3. You are simply overwhelmed and feel disorganised by the sheer amount of things you have to do in your  day-to-day life and just never ever seem to find the time for any of it. You feel like you are constantly putting out fires and chasing your proverbial tail.

4. Your cobwebs have a dark colour to them, there are dust bugs on your windowsills and shelves (really) or tumble weeds blowing down your hallway (not really.. well possible, tiny ones)

5. Doing a “quick tidy up” for house guests takes you waaaaaaay longer than an hour; in fact a quick tidy up for guests means putting all the clutter in the nearest room or cupboard and jamming the door shut!

Any of the above sound familiar to you? Maybe it is time to think about hiring a cleaner to help out for a few hours a week. See our guide on finding a cleaning service to suit you and what to look for in a cleaner, to help. If you are living in Telford or Shrewsbury, then please take a look at our services and drop us a line.

As always we would love to have you feedback or comments and please do come and say hello to us on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest or Google+

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner

3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Still uming and aring about hiring a cleaner to clean your home or office, but can’t decide?

Here, we give you 3 things to consider before you hire a cleaner

3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

1. Define The Job Role And Tasks

Think about what tasks it is that you need help with in your home or office. Think about what rooms you would like to be cleaned and what rooms you would prefer to be left alone, or only cleaned once a month for example. Think about the tasks within the rooms you want to have done. Think about your requirements; do you need someone to just blitz your bathrooms and kitchens once a week? Do you need someone to vacuum and polish all the offices and communal areas? Do you need someone who will do laundry and iron your shirts?

You need to know what you want in order to find the right cleaning service for you, your needs and your budget.

The standard cleaning chores you should expect, from a paid service, are high and low level dusting, polishing, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms and toilets, kitchen cleaning and wiping of worktops and sides. Some cleaning companies will clean skirting boards as standard, some won’t. Some cleaning companies will wash up dirty dishes, or clean your windows and some won’t. It is best to know what you want in your home or office to able to ask the question on the telephone or by looking at the businesses website, to determine the best cleaning service for you.

2. Be Prepared To Pay For The Service You Want

It would be divine to have a housekeeper or a cleaning maid that came to your home every day and made the whole place sparkle from top to bottom wouldn’t it? Now unless you are Rockefeller, this is probably not an option for a lot of people. You need to think about your cleaning service in the same way as you would about any outgoing liability for your house or office and think about what you can afford to pay for cleaning services every month and make it part of your household budget.

Your budget may effect the cleaning company you choose or the hours you are able to have somebody in but it will give you a starting point on which is the best type of cleaning service to approach. If price is your only driver for a cleaning service, you may end with what you pay for, cheaper is not always better, especially when it comes to your home or office.

Make sure you have a payment agreement in place with your cleaner/cleaning business and ensure you abide by their invoicing terms and conditions.

3. Expectations and Boundaries

Okay, so to put it out there, hiring a cleaner does not mean you have hired your very own Cinderella, there are limits. Along with the job role being defined and all the tasks that are to be done, it is also important to talk to your cleaning service provider about expectations and standards.

For example, your cleaner should do a quicker and better job than you can, if they have been trained correctly, however, your cleaner does not posses super powers and cannot clean your five bed-roomed, 3 bath-roomed executive home, top-to-bottom in 2 hours. In this case, you may need to think about singling out the most important tasks for 2 hours or change your expectation of cost and time of a through job. The point is to be realistic in your expectation of time needed for the job.

A cleaner is not there to look after your children whilst you pop out, walk your dog, put your supermarket shopping away or answer the telephone whilst the receptionist goes downstairs; they are there as cleaners and there to clean.

If you do need to change the clean  the maid will be doing or add something extra to the clean , before you write a note on the day of your clean, please call the office of the cleaner a day or two before to see if the cleaner has the time available for the extra tasks firstly, and if not to book the extra time the week later. If you do leave notes for your cleaner, then please arrange for the extras to be done on the following clean when the cleaner has arranged their time or other clients, has all the right equipment needed etc. It is not good etiquette to just expect your cleaner to undertake extra time at the blink of an eye, as they may have other clients, children or an appointment to get to.

Make sure the boundaries for your home are clear regarding wearing shoes, having a mobile telephone with them, where their coat and bags are to be kept whilst cleaning etc. As always the communication is the key.

As always, I would love to hear any thoughts or comments you may have, done below. Please drop by and say Hello on Facebook or Twitter 🙂

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

Help! Turmeric Stain On My Jumper!

Ask Mrs Mopp... Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

We have been asked the following question on our Twitter account:

Question to Mrs Mopp

Okay, turmeric staining is a toughie, but fear not we have a few tricks that could help save your jumper!

For the benefit of those curry lovers out there, who may face turmeric staining in the future, and don’t fancy a bright yellow/orange stain on your clothing, follow this quick-clean guide.

  • Stop eating and take action!
  • Get the clothing/tablecloth to the sink and dab (DO NOT RUB) the stain with cold water and washing powder/liquid or cold water and washing up liquid will do the trick also
  • Leave for 30 mins in soak
  • Next dab the stain with distilled white vinegar (or neat lemon/lime juice as a substitute)
  • To finish, hang to dry, preferably in direct sunlight, to bleach the stain out naturally (Good luck with the sunshine in the UK! 😉 )

turmeric

 

For a stain that has dried into the fabric or is an older, lingering stain, we have these 5 top tricks for you to try:

* Disclaimer: Please, please, please always test the cleaning solution on a inconspicuous part of the garment first! *

1. If the stain is now a light orange/pink colour we can try the next steps, however, if your stain is still very yellow/orange – please repeat (or start) the steps above. For a pink stain you can use an oxygenated bleach product designed for clothing in a normal wash cycle – the product works by releasing bubbles of oxygen to penetrate the fibers of the garment. You could also try a  sodium hypochlorite bleach based product, if it is safe on the fabric of the garment. *ALWAYS READ THE LABEL FIRST*

2. Sunlight – If you can get a clear day, hang the garment outside. The sun will naturally bleach the stain.

3. Make a paste with baking powder and water (3:1) and massage the paste into the offending stain. Leave overnight and then wash as normal the next day

4. Soak the stain in soda water overnight – not tonic or anything containing sugar, as that will make it worse. Wash as normal the next day

5. For bleach sensitive garments you can use Glycerin. Soak the garment in a warm water/glycerin mix (8:1) for 30 minutes and then wash as normal OR make apply glycerin direct to the stain and massage into the area, rinse with cool water and then launder as normal.

We hope this helps!

Best of luck and let us know how you get on  🙂

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

 

What Should I Look For In A Cleaner?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

help wanted

 

So, you have finally decided to get some help in your home. Yay! Brilliant news, just think of all that time you will have to play with, ah good times, lunch with friends, reading that long meant to be read book, taking a stroll… but before we rush ahead, we need to find the right person to clean our homes for us. But who? And how?

As, those regular readers will know, there are four types of cleaning service to choose from, so this post is written to encompass them all – some questions will apply to all business models some questions will not, use your ‘noggin on that.

Where to find a cleaner or cleaning service

  • By word of mouth – who does your friend use to clean their home? Who does your colleague use? Ask around, hear some reviews.
  • Local publications – Local sole traders and businesses tend to advertise in local press and magazines
  • The internet – Type in different search words like “cleaners in Telford” or “Domestic Cleaners in Telford” to find what you are looking for – please note that the top three results in the yellow area are paid for placings
  • By leaflet Drop – Leaflet dropping is very popular for cleaning businesses, even in this high tech age. When calling from a leaflet make sure it has actual details about the actual business and is in fact a real, registered business and not just somebody looking to make a quick buck.

Things you need to know about you cleaning Service

  • Are they insured? – What are they insured for, what does it cover? What is the value of their insurance? What is the excess on the insurance and who would be responsible for that in the event of a claim?
  • How do they vet their cleaners? – How are the employees or subcontractors referenced? Where did they recruit them? How much of the cleaners back ground do they check?
  • How do they train their cleaners? – Do they have a training process? Do they give any training?
  • How do they quality check the cleaning work? How do they ensure your cleaner is working the correct times and/or delivering the correct standard?
  • Who can I call if I have a problem or issue?
  • What do I do if I am not happy with my clean?

Things you need to know about your cleaner

  • How long have they worked for the business/franchise/agent/themselves?
  • How many other houses do they clean?
  • Do they have references and recommendations?
  • What training have they had?

Each area can go more in depth and I will be writing future blog posts on interview questions to ask a cleaner/business owner but for now you are armed and ready to find that domestic cleaning fairy to serve you and your home.

If you have any thoughts or questions I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: The Guilt Of Employing A Cleaner In Your Home

 

 

What Different Types Of Cleaning Service Are There?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

In our busy and eventful lives, it is not uncommon to hear about people having a cleaner, window cleaner or gardener to help them in their homes. These are not people who have gazillions in the bank; these are every day working people who value their free time in their schedules. People just like you and I.

But with so many cleaning options and services available what is the best one for you, your home and your budget?

The Four Ways to Hire A Cleaner And The Pros and Cons of Each

pros-cons

1. The Sole Trader

By the very nature of the name, this is an individual that works by themselves for themselves. A sole trader cleans to make a living for themselves. Sole traders charge from £7 – £11 per hour. Personally I would suggest paying a private cleaner around £7 – £8.50 per hour (area dependant) as paying the higher rates of £9 + per hour does not seem justified to the value add a sole trader can bring compared to a business or franchise.

Pros

  • One dedicated cleaner for your home
  • A flexible arrangement about what work will be undertaken
  • A cheaper rate, so would suit those with a smaller budget

Cons

  • If your cleaner is sick, goes on holiday or breaks a leg what will you do? There is no back up with a sole trader.
  • You are responsible for ensuring the cleaner has insurance and references. Who is responsible if an item is damaged?
  • The cleaner doesn’t always turn up, or do the agreed hours – familiarity can breed contempt.

2. The Cleaning Business

This is a business that employs 1 or more people to clean. A cleaning business, for the sake of this article, is privately owned and run. A cleaning business provides employment and aims to make a profit on the services provided. A cleaning business will charge between £8.00 – £15.00 per hour depending on its size and services offered.  I would suggest looking at the rate in comparison to what that business gives you in return. If the cleaning business does not provide quality checks or have a customer care procedure, why would you pay more for it, than say if you had a sole trader giving you the exact same service at a discount?

Pros

  • A dedicated cleaner and a back up if your cleaner is not available
  • A cleaning schedule of what will be done in your home and procedures for the work
  • A back office function for any queries, complaints or questions.

Cons

  • Cleaning businesses can have a high staff turn over due to the nature of work, this is throughout the cleaning industry. You may always have a cleaner, it just may not always be the same one.
  • A cleaning business should have a contract and this may impose terms on you for a notice period, lock out charges and cancellation charges etc.
  • A cleaning business can seem less personal than a sole trader due to the fact there may be a chain of command or there are multiple sites.

3. The Cleaning Franchise

These are businesses that have been bought, by an individual, for the brand and the proven profitable business structures a franchisor has developed. When you deal with a franchise you will be dealing with a person who has invested money in a company to learn their techniques and their processes. The franchisee will follow set procedures for quoting and executing the work they do. The cost of a franchise to clean to clean per hour is a bit of a black art to master, as they do not tend to quote by the hour, they tend to quote by the clean. I have quoted against many franchisees over several years and still it intrigues me when I am given their price as to how they reach it. For a three bed, two bath standard home you should expect to pay £40 – 58 per clean – the clean make take 3 hours, 2 hours or 1 hour depending on the number in the team and the equipment used.

Pros

  • The business model is tried and tested, as opposed to a living-it-learning-it cleaning business
  • The customer experience, branding and marketing should be second to none
  • The equipment and materials used will always be  good quality

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than all three of the alternatives
  • A badly run franchise is the same as any badly run business regardless of the fancy systems the individual invested in
  • Contractual obligation – some franchise businesses can have contracts that lock you in for 3, 6 or 9 months – not good if you don’t like their service or have a personality clash with your cleaner or the franchisee

4. The Cleaning Agency

A cleaning agency is a little bit like a recruitment agency, they are the middle men. A cleaning agency tends to be a office based business that will leaflet drop an area advertising for it’s cleaning services and, at the same time ,recruit in the local job centres and local publications for self employed cleaners to fulfill the work. With a cleaning agency you will pay between £9.50 – £13.00 per hour depending on the area and the company you deal with.

Pros

  • A cleaning agency is a nice blend of sole trader and cleaning business – if your cleaner leaves their job, you can call for another one
  • The price range falls in between the business and sole trader
  • As with a sole trader the work is agreed between client and cleaner giving greater flexibility

Cons

  • As a client you have to make two payments – one in cash to your cleaner, on the day, and one of an administration fee, paid in advance, by direct debit to the agent
  • Agencies tend to have an extremely high turn over of staff due to the fact that cleaners cannot get enough and/or consistent hours – do you want you keys swapping hands with people not connected to one and other bar the agency they are registered to?
  • This business model, in my opinion, does nothing for its fee and does not give any value add other than finding a cleaner for you. The agency does not take responsibility of your cleaner is sick or on holiday for example, that is for you, the client, to arrange with your cleaner – you could just as well deal with a sole trader direct for the same service without the payment hassles?

I hope you have found the information useful and if you have any comments or thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

 NEXT WEEK: What To Look For In A Cleaner