10 Must-Do Steps To Get Your Home Ready For Christmas!

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*Immediately starts twitching*

We know. You’ve already got enough to think about. Work is crazy. Smug people on Facebook are posting that they’ve finished their Christmas shopping, meanwhile, you forgot to pick up milk today. You promised to host the whole family for Christmas when you were in a good mood and now you’re regretting it. And to top it all off, the kids have just announced 7 things they are so excited for Santa to bring, even though they’ve never mentioned them before?!

*Twitching turns to rocking in a corner*

Christmas, although wonderful, can be total chaos and stress. As if you have time for 10 Must-Do Steps. We get it. But hear us out. These steps are there to make your Christmas easier, less stressful and more put together than Mr and Mrs Elf themselves on Facebook!

And as you’re rushed for time, we’ll get straight on with it…

Step 1 – Declutter

Like seriously. Your home is about to filled with even more things that probably won’t bring you joy, but you feel the need to keep. Before that happens, remove what you no longer need or want. Go one step further and donate those items to charity. Do your good deed for the holidays. Don’t know where to start? See our post ‘3 Decluttering Tips For A Beautiful Home This Christmas’

Step 2 – Brighten whites

This may not seem crucial, but it will make you feel so much better about your home. When we’re stressed, we need a relaxed space to unwind. We’re going to make your home that space. To brighten your white linens, towels, clothes etc, simply add ½ cup of baking soda, along with your laundry detergent, to your washing.

Step 3 – Smelling good

Picture the scene, it’s been a long day at work, your arms are giving way under the 8 bags of shopping you’re trying to fit through the front door, and it hits you. The most beautiful and calming Christmas scent, that takes you right back to childhood. Oh yes. We’ve got you covered. Click here for our Top 3 DIY Christmas Scents!

Step 4 – Prepare for guests

If you’re not the hosts this Christmas, feel free to smugly skip this step. If you are, don’t panic. You can make yourself the hostess with the mostess with these simple steps…

  • Go all hotel – Write a nice Christmas note and put it with some celebrations on their pillow for when they arrive.
  • Give them a spa experience – Whether it’s a robe, some Christmas pj’s or a fluffy pair of Christmas socks from Primark, getting your guests a little something to have waiting in their room will go a long way.
  • Clean your spare rooms thoroughly, windows and all – We know that is the last thing you have time for, so don’t worry, we’ll do it!

Step 5 – Decorate

Release your inner elf and go to town. If you have children, get them involved. It’s a great way to have quality family time. Here’s some DIY Christmas decoration ideas we really like.

Step 6 – Prep your kitchen for the big day

Let’s be honest, this room gets a lot of action over the Christmas period. It’s best to make sure it’s ready. Here’s some little hacks to make sure your kitchen is ready to feed the world…

  • Reduce any odors – You have lots of food going on, so its really important you don’t get those funky smells in your bin or fridge. The best way to do that, is put one cup of baking soda at the bottom of your bin, and leave an open bag of baking soda in your fridge. Doing this will neutralize odors, keeping your kitchen smelling fresh.
  • Remove stains from your pans – Let’s get real, no one wants to be able to taste that dinner you burnt 3 weeks ago. If your pans have stains on (which we all suffer with), there’s an easy way to fix it. Fill the pan in question with warm water, put in a tumble dryer sheet and leave overnight to soak.
  • Clean your oven – Again, this is way less scary than it sounds. All you need is water, white vinegar and a baking tray. See here!

Step 7 – Make sure you’re stocked up with products

The shops are open at all sorts of strange times over the Christmas period. Don’t get caught out with not having the right cleaning supplies. Here’s our favourite DIY ones you can make, so you don’t need to worry…

  • Multi-surface – Make up a spray bottle using around 2 ounces of water to every 15 drops of essential oil. You can use this solution to wipe down all surfaces. Lavender and cinnamon are both antibacterial and smell amazing.
  • Sink cleaner – Add a few drops of lemon juice to some baking soda. Leave to sit for 15 minutes then clean away. Your sink will be sparkling and smelling lovely.
  • Glass cleaner – Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to some water in a bottle. This works a treat and smells great.

Step 8 – Make everywhere sparkle

As well as fairy lights and tinsel, get your chrome work dazzling, by mixing half water, half white vinegar in a bottle and spraying onto your chrome work. Leave the solution to stand for 20-minutes, then, using a soft cloth, wipe away. For extra stubborn stains, rub with baking soda.

Step 9 – Clean

Clean Up GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We’ve mentioned a lot of awesome cleaning tips on this post, but what if you don’t have time? Or you just don’t want to? That’s totally okay and you shouldn’t feel guilty. That’s why we’re here. We will make your home beautiful and sparkly this Christmas.

Step 10 – Get cosy

Relax and have a wonderful Christmas. Your home is now clean, it’s smelling great with your homemade scents, your linens are fresh, your kitchen is beautiful and your Moppettes have been. Now it’s time to sit back, put on your favourite Christmas movie, open up that tub of Roses and relax.

As our way of wishing you a very Merry Christmas, here is 15% off a clean with us.

15% discount for your Christmas clean with us. To accompany our 10 must-do steps to get your home ready for Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love, The Moppettes x  

Fall Cleaning Round-Up – All The Home Hacks You Need!

Fall Cleaning Round-Up – All The Home Hacks You Need!

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We all want #fallvibes in our home. You know the vibes we’re talking about. Cosy, clean, smelling diving, covered in fairy lights and enough scatter cushions and fluffy blankets to compete with Dunelm!

But how do we achieve such levels of greatness within budget and without having to give up on sleep?

It just so happens we have the answer to that.

We have split our home hacks into 3 categories –Smelling Good, Looking Good and Feeling Good. I mean, what more do you need, right?

In each category, we will give you our top 4 home hacks to achieve a beautiful home in an affordable and natural way.

Let’s get started!

Celebrating fall and all of the home hacks you need!

Smelling Good

Picture the scene. You’ve got home from a long day, you’ve got into your pjs, Netflix is loading and then you get a waft of your favourite scent. Your home smells like a little slice of heaven. Annnd relax.

Keeping your home smelling good can be quite costly and bad for your health though, depending on the products you use. So, here are 4 affordable and natural hacks for making your home smell delicious this fall.

  • Bake your bin! – Add 1 cup of baking soda to the bottom of your bin. This helps neutralize odors and keeps your bin smelling fresh.
  • DIY wax melts! – This is one of our favourite hacks for making our homes smell good. Simply bring some water to boil in a pan. Then, add 1 cup of beeswax and 1/3 of a cup of coconut oil to a jar or glass. Place the jar into the hot water to melt the wax and oil. Once melted, carefully remove the jar, using heat proof gloves. Add around 40 drops of your favourite essential oil and stir. Pour into ice cube trays and allow to set. Voila!
How to make your home smell good this fall
  • Make your home smell like vanilla cheesecake! – Pre-heat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius. Put two caps of vanilla extract into an oven proof dish. Bake in the oven at 140 for 1 hour. Your whole house will smell incredible!
  • Improve your clothes! – Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to a clean cloth and tumble dry it with your clothes. They’ll smell amazing!

For more tips on how to make your home smell good, see our post ‘5 Hacks To Make Your Home Smell Delicious This Autumn’.

Looking Good

Who doesn’t want a house that looks like Pinterest moved in and made itself at home? We know we do. How do we achieve our interior goals without having to sell vital organs though? Here’s how!

  • Brighten your whites! – Add half a cup of baking soda, along with your laundry detergent, to brighten white linens and clothes.
  • Turn it down! – Dim lighting is where it’s at. The right lighting can create such a warm and cosy atmosphere. Lamps, fairy lights and candles are your new best friend. See ProFlowers awesome and easy tutorial on how to make your own candles here.
Turn down the lighting in your home to create a warm and cosy effect
  • Remove stubborn pan stains! – We all know the stain well. You burn one thing once and your pan is condemned for all eternity! Well no longer! Take your stained pan and boil water and white vinegar in it. This will lift most of the stains. For the extra stubborn ones, scrub with baking soda.
  • Rust be gone! – Coat items that are likely to rust and mark your sides (ie shaving cream) with clear nail polish on the metal area. No more rusty rings on the sides.

Feeling Good

And we’re feeling gooooooooooood! Oh yes. We hope you sang that all out in your head then. This section is all about making your home feel cosy without having to re-decorate every season…

  1. Get the vodka out! – Vodka is a fantastic disinfectant for your mattress. Pour some vodka into a spray bottle and lightly spritz your mattress. The spirit will neutralize odors and disinfect. Allow to completely dry before covering.
  • Layers! – Get yourself the coziest, fluffiest blankets and cushions for your sofa and step up your snuggle game.
Layer up your home this fall to make it cosy and clean
  • Say cheese! – Add some photos or prints around your home to make you feel all warm and cosy from the inside.
  • Give yourself some hotel treatment! – Little things like folding your toilet paper into that cute triangle, or folding your towels nicely on the radiator, can really make your home feel like a sanctuary away from the world. If you can’t be bothered, but don’t see why you should miss out on the feeling, why don’t you hire a super awesome cleaning service that does that as standard? *cough, cough*

There you have it folks. 12 affordable, natural home hacks to make your home the cleanest, cosiest, falliest (definitely a word…) home on the block.

Which one was your favourite? Do you have any other gems for us?

Because we have another gem for you! Make your home clean and cosy without even lifting a finger! Click here to redeem a 15% off voucher for your first clean with us!

You’re most welcome. You deserve it!

What To Expect From A Cleaner

What To Expect From A Cleaner

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips From the Author Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

 When hiring a domestic cleaner, what service levels should you expect in your home?

As we discussed last week, having a maid service is no longer just for the rich elite, it is now so common to hire a cleaning service that 1 in 3 homes in the UK now employs one!What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

As the more “ordinary” folk move to hiring help within their homes, some of them may have never had dealt with a cleaner before and perhaps come from a background that has never had cleaners or hired help in their homes – this post is to guide newbie homeowners employing a cleaner on a few things to expect.

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

A Cleaner Will Not Redecorate Your Home

Excuse the dramatics but we wanted to make a point. Some clients expect their house will be transformed almost instantly upon having a cleaner and while that is true to a point, (as yes your home should look, feel and smell cleaner when you come home after each and every clean) it may take several cleans to get your home to the desired and workable standard of the cleaner and of the cleaning service provider you have hired.

It may take a cleaner 2/3 cleans to “bed-in” to a new client’s home and to know the flow of the rooms and work out the most efficient way of achieving all tasks in the set time frame. It will take several cleans to get on top of all paintwork and internal windows, for example, especially if they have not been regularly maintained beforehand. It may take several treatments to cut through all limescale on a shower screen or on taps if the build up is heavy etc.

A cleaner is only human and can only achieve so much in a 2, 3, 4-hour time span. From experience, our domestic Moppettes are professionally trained in cleaning techniques for efficiency combined with high-standard cleaning, and yes they can clean better and faster than the average Jo, but there is a limit to how many bathrooms can be cleaned, how many bed changes can be done or how many flights of stairs vacuumed in a two hour time slot – this is true of all cleaners

How To Overcome This?

The very best thing you can do is be very clear of your cleaning wants and your cleaning needs when you have someone come to your home to quote. The cleaner and the cleaning company want to serve you well and would much rather deliver great cleaning work in 2 hours than provide lots of bits of shoddy, rushed work throughout the home. If you can only afford to budget for 2 hours a week of cleaning then be realistic on what the most important tasks are to you to be done.

If you can afford it, have a deep/spring clean before your regular cleaning service starts – some franchises will insist on this – A deep clean will clean all paint work, internal windows, and there will be a deep clean in the living areas, kitchen and bathrooms etc. The idea of having a deep clean prior to your regular service is that it will make the home easier to maintain moving forward.

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

A Cleaner Cleans But Does Not Tidy Up!

Okay, not strictly true because if we needed to vacuum a floor and it was littered with a weeks worth of clothes, we would, of course, pick up said clothes and fold them neatly… then we could get on with our job of cleaning.

Us picking up your clothes, picking up toys, putting away books and magazines etc is a waste of your actual cleaning time – If we only have 3 hours to do a top to bottom clean on a home and your cleaner spends 30 mins picking up and putting away items, something else may have to be missed, or it will be done in a rush (and probably poorly), as your cleaner will run out of time before they have to move to their next job.

You don’t want a half complete clean, the cleaning business owner does not want to give you an incomplete clean and the cleaner does not want to feel like they are failing as they become so overwhelmed with the tasks to be done Vs time allowed.

How To Overcome This?

The night before your scheduled clean please tidy-up for your cleaner – Get the whole  household involved and explain to one and all that floors should be clear and items that should be somewhere should be put there – Your cleaner will love you for it and you will get more bang for your buck in cleaning time. Hurrah all round!

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

Your Cleaner Won’t Last Forever

Nothing lasts forever we all know this but allow me to explain…

There are two types of cleaner. The first type of cleaner is the dream cleaner for you to hire in your home; they are the type of cleaner that instinctively knows what is to be cleaned, they love to clean and to get quality results, and they would never, ever dream of assigning their name to bad work. Career cleaners live to clean, it is their vocation. This type of cleaner does exist, I promise, but they are rare (in eight years of running Mrs Mopp I have employed several career cleaners and many are still with me, as a good cleaner is worth their weight in gold!)

The second type of cleaner is a person that sees cleaning hours as convenient for their own life and they see it as a job they can do until they find something else. (‘Something better’, is the phrase I will hear most often, frustratingly, cleaning is not a respected job role in this country, and this does not help with retention) These types of cleaners are the majority in the UK. Harsh but true. This is not to say ‘jobbing cleaners’ can’t be good cleaners, not at all, I’ve employed many an excellent cleaner that has gone on to do other things as their circumstances have changed, the point is that these cleaners are not career cleaners, they do not live for the finish and sparkle in the same way as cleaning type number one does and no matter what pay rates, incentive schemes, employee benefits etc that a cleaning business may offer, some people never intend on staying in a role with a long term view (please believe me I’ve tried to change this view and still try daily) and so it goes, your cleaner will not last forever.

Another reason cleaners don’t last forever is that the work is very physically demanding and some people join the profession thinking they can do it (how hard can cleaning be right?) and then they discover after a week or two that it’s really not for them and they can’t stay with the pace

Cleaning businesses HATE changing cleaning staff just as much as a client hates having to have a new cleaner, but please know that sometimes they can’t help it as it may beyond their control, BUT,  they will be doing everything they can behind the scenes to correct it, I guarantee it, no cleaning business owner likes disgruntled calls or emails. Not a single one.

How To Overcome This?

When looking for a cleaning business ask about how they do their recruitment, ask what capacity they employ their cleaners – some cleaning business are actually agencies and all their staff are self-employed and none of the cleaners are known to each other – ask how they keep and motivate their staff

Mrs Mopp UK Team

Ask yourself would you prefer a single cleaner or are you happy for a team of two to come to your home? Many companies use two cleaners for heath and safety reasons (moving furniture, falling etc) and this can help with service disruption as there is always one known cleaner.

If you really want one person and one person only, you either have to accept, there may be times that particular individual is sick or perhaps on holiday and you would have to go without a clean, or you will have a cover cleaner so as not to disrupt your cleaning service – or if you employ a sole trader cleaner, if they are sick or on holiday you will not have a clean (nor the option of cover).

There are Pros and cons to all cleaning services – take a look at our post here that describes the different type of cleaning services available to find the one that best suits you, your budget and your cleaning needs.

The main point to take away from the post is this: be realistic with timeframes available, and with your cleaning wants and your cleaning needs. Stay open in communication with the cleaner, supervisor and/or business owner/manager to work together to find your perfect cleaning service.

It can be done, you can have a harmonious relationship with your cleaning provider, with a perfectly running cleaning schedule, I promise. It just won’t happen all in one clean.

Do you have anything to add to this post? Please post in the comments and please share this post with anyone you think may find it useful

Happy Cleaning!

Mrs M x

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Read the previous post: Is It Time To Hire A Cleaner?

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