Interview with Team Member Raymunda

This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s Branch Manager, checking in today with an interview of Raymunda on her 5-year anniversary with Carpe Diem!  She’s an amazing helper, and we appreciate how she sees needs and fills them.

Interview with Team Member Raymunda | Carpe Diem CleaningHow did you start at Carpe Diem?
I was referred by a former Carpe Diem employee.

What do you like about working at Carpe Diem?
I love the hours of operation and working as a team with my co-workers.

Any advice for preparing your home for a cleaning?
My advice would be to pick up before your cleaning team arrives.

As of this month, Raymunda has been with us for 5 years!  We appreciate how hard she works to give our clients a great experience and how well she works with her fellow team members.  Raymunda lives here in Durham close to her daughter and granddaughter.  We have loved working with you!

How to Unclog your Drain

Some things in our homes are easier to clean than others, but unclogging your drain can be one of the worst.  Like most things, if you ignore it, it’ll only get worse. Here are a few simple ways to unclog your kitchen and bathroom drains!

How to Unclog your Drain | Carpe Diem CleaningKitchen

Use mix dish soap into hot (but not boiling) water and pour down the drain.  Let it sit for 5 minutes before pouring more hot water down the drain to clear away the gunk.  Repeat as needed!  This works wonders on your kitchen drain because the dish soap de-greases the food and oil buildup from the walls of your drains, allowing them to wash down the sink.

If your kitchen sink is completely clogged, then your best bet is going to be to use a plunger.  Make sure that you have plugged any other drains that it are connected to before you start so that the plunger trick actually works!  Use either a (clean) toilet plunger or a kitchen-specific plunger to flush the built-up residue all the way down the drain.  Then chase the pipes with hot water or dish soap and hot water (see above).

How to Unclog your Drain | Carpe Diem CleaningBathroom

Pour 1/2 cup of salt down your drain and then chase it with 2 cups of hot (not boiling) water.  Repeat 3 to 5 times until the drain is clear.  The water will melt the soap build-up, and the salt acts as a scouring agent to scrub it away from the pipe walls.

If you have hair clogging your drain, then you’ll want to use a wire hanger that’s been untwisted and hooked at the bottom to pull the hair out.  It might take up to 5 tries to clear out your drain, depending on how clogged it is.  You can also purchase a drain cleaning stick with grooves that will pull the hair up even easier!  Just make sure to wear gloves and to have a trash bag handy because–yuck!

How to Unclog your Drain | Carpe Diem CleaningPrevent Clogged Drains

Some people swear by using baking soda and vinegar to clean their drains.  This combination bubbles and fizzes, but it does not actually break down the fat that usually clogs drains.  It can actually cause metal pipes to corrode over time, so only use baking soda and vinegar if you have PVC pipes.

Make sure that you’re only using this method occasionally to clear out particles and that you chase it with hot water so that any baking soda that doesn’t dissolve is removed from your pipes.

Usually kitchen sinks are clogged by fats or food residue that are rinsed down the drain and stick to the pipes.  Emulsified fats harden as they cool and stick to your pipes, eventually causing your sink to smell and back up.  Take an extra minute when cleaning out your dishes and cookware to wipe food residue and fats into the trash can.  Make sure to pour bacon grease into a can lined with foil, and once it hardens in the fridge, you can toss the grease in the trashcan and recycle the can!

Most bathroom drains are clogged by hair and soap scum.  Make sure that you and your family members are only using the amount of conditioner that you need for each washing.  That way it won’t just wash down the drain and stick to your pipes and the hair that’s down there.  Install a hair catcher for your drain.  You’ll have to clean it out more often than you would the drain, but you’ll save yourself the headache (and the smell!) of pulling out mildewed and rotting hair in the future.

What ways do you keep your drains cleaned out? Remember, we can help to keep your home spic and span in Durham! Call us today to set up a free consultation.

Free Fridge or Oven Cleaning with the Purchase of a Deep Cleaning!

Free Fridge or Oven Cleaning with the Purchase of a Deep Cleaning! | Carpe Diem CleaningFree Fridge or Oven Cleaning Special

The holidays are right around the corner, and if you’re planning on doing extra cooking and baking or hosting loved ones, you’ll want to have a clean kitchen.  Until October 15th, get a free fridge or oven cleaning when you schedule a deep cleaning! Make sure that you’re kitchen is in tip-top shape before the holidays arrive…they’ll be here before you know it!

You can give us a call 919-682-5326, or shoot us an email info@carpediemcleaning.com to schedule your carpet cleaning today!

Meal Planning 101

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningDo you feel like you’re never ready to hear those three dreaded words, “What’s for dinner?” Meal planning can give you peace during dinnertime instead of feeling stressed trying to figure out what to feed your family!

Having a plan doesn’t mean that you can never deviate from it, but it does make it easier to avoid going out to eat or getting take-out when you haven’t planned on doing so.  Ready to start meal planning but don’t know what to tackle first?  We’ll give you the lowdown on how to make a meal plan that your family will love!

 Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningCheck your Schedule

Meal planning is a habit that takes more time up front but will drastically save you and your family time and money in the long run.  We’re all about people living their life with intention.  If you know what you’re going to eat each night, that you’ve planned in advance where and what you’re going to eat!

First sit down with your calendar to determine what your plans are for dinnertime each night.  If you have a family get-together or a date night, then you can assign minimal food or no food to the meal plan for that night.  Once you know how many nights you would like to eat at home, you can decide which nights you need a quick and easy meal and which nights you have more time to spend in the kitchen.

Keep it Simple

On nights when you have less time to spend in the kitchen, plan to put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning or to use the grill to have dinner ready in a flash without the hassle of a ton of clean up.  On nights when you have more time to spend in the kitchen, make the most of your time by doubling or tripling recipes so that you have leftovers for the next night or for lunch the next day!

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningGet Inspired

Once you know what kind of recipes you’ll need, you can look in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator for inspiration.  Is there a piece of meat in your freezer that you’ve been meaning to cook?  Is there a new grain in your pantry that you’ve been wanting to try?  AllRecipes.com is the perfect place to look for recipes with ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.  Check out a few reviews before making a recipe for the first time.  Chances are, you’ll be able to make it even better!

Not sure if your kids and/or partner will like the meals that you’ve picked out?  Get them involved!  Meal planning doesn’t have to fall on one person in the family.  Your favorite people will be more likely to eat food that they’ve asked to eat, after all. ;-)

Meal Planning 101 | Carpe Diem CleaningMake it Happen!

Once you have your meal plan for the week, make a grocery list and shop for everything you’ll need for that week.  Post your meal plan for the week somewhere that will help you to remember what you’re eating each night.  Whether you post a written note on the fridge or schedule reminders into your Google Calendar, find a system that works for you and your family!

That’s it!  Once you make a meal plan and buy groceries, you’re ready to tackle the week ahead because you’ve taken the uncertainty out of family dinners.  Want to get even farther ahead on dinners for the week?  Go ahead and make note of when you need to defrost food.  If you can chop veggies or trim meat ahead of time that will make weeknights even easier!

Need a little extra help managing your home responsibilities?  We offer cleaning services in Chapel Hill!  Contact us today for a free consultation!

Our Organizer + Home Organization Tips

Our Organizer + Home Organization Tips | Carpe Diem CleaningThe back to school season is the perfect time to organize your home! Need help from a pro to transform your house? Our organizer Cary Farrell will turn your home into your dream space in much less time than it would take you on your own!  She helps her clients to use the prime real estate in their house well.  By focusing on putting items away where they are used most, the whole house stays clutter free!

Check out Cary’s website at clutterfreenc.com for more insights into her organization style, reviews, and more.

Here are some Clutter Free-inspired home organization tips to take your home from overwhelming to organized in no time!

Home Organization Tips

Use your prime real estate to your advantage.  Any space in your home that is easy to access and is close to where you spend most of your time in that room is prime real estate.  For example, you would never put your silverware in the cabinet above your refrigerator instead of the drawer next to the dishwasher, right?  Store items that are used regularly closer to eye-level and where they can be easily reached.  Keep items that are used less often farther away from the action.

Our Organizer + Home Organization Tips | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Decide on a place for items that move in and out of your house each day.  Whether you have a closet, mudroom, bench, or side table, make sure that you have a space for things that move each day that is different from a place where things stay.  Let’s say that you have a library book to drop off, but it’s not in a space where you would think to look as you’re leaving your house.

 

If you have a designated “drop off” zone, you’ll be more likely to remember to bring it with you as you leave your house and take everything else that you will need with you.  This designated place in your home is perfect for the current season’s shoes, handbags, backpacks, keys, sporting equipment and more!

Manage paper clutter, or it will manage you.  Keep a shredder and recycling bin close to your door to eliminate unnecessary paper clutter before you can set it down and let it accumulate.  When you receive an invitation in the mail, RSVP immediately.  If you are attending the event, mark it on your calendar.  If you need to purchase a gift for the guest(s) of honor, then go ahead and order one off the registry (if applicable) or schedule a date on your calendar to buy the gift.  If you choose to keep greeting cards in your home instead of recycling them, make sure that they are either in a special box (not in a prime real estate drawer), used as a bookmark, or are displayed accordingly.

Contact Cary Farrell from Clutter Free today to schedule your home organization adventure today! Don’t forget that we offer cleaning services for Cary-Apex area, too! 

 

 

Interview with Team Member Maria

This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s Branch Manager, checking in today with an interview of Maria on her 5-year anniversary with Carpe Diem!

Interview with Team Member Maria | Carpe Diem CleaningHow did you start at Carpe Diem?
I was referred by a former Carpe Diem employee who I’m related to.

What do you like about working at Carpe Diem?
I enjoy being able to make other people’s lives easier.

Any advice for preparing your home for a cleaning?
My advice would be to pick up before your cleaning team arrives.

As of this month, Maria has been with us for  5 years.  We appreciate her calm spirit and how she’s such a rock of our cleaning teams.  Maria lives here in Durham close to her children and grandchildren.  We have loved having you as a member of our teams for so many years!

 

Don’t forget that we provide cleaning services for Raleigh!  Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

Closed for Labor Day + Get $20 Off a Deep Cleaning When You Schedule a Carpet Cleaning!

We will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, September 4th!  Be sure to contact your branch manager to reschedule your cleaning for another day.

 

Deep Cleaning + Carpet Cleaning Special Get $20 Off a Deep Cleaning When You Schedule a Carpet Cleaning! | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Are your carpets looking dingy after tracking dirt in the house this spring?  Start your back to school season off with clean carpets and a clean house, courtesy of Carpe Diem!  Until September 15th, get $20 off a deep cleaning when you schedule a carpet cleaning! Go ahead and download our Carpet Cleaning Checklist to get things started.

You can give us a call 919-682-5326, or shoot us an email info@carpediemcleaning.com to schedule your carpet cleaning in Durham, Raleigh, Cary or Chapel Hill today!

5 Messes that Can’t Wait Til your Usual Cleaning Day

If you’re a regular Carpe Diem client, you know the peace of mind that comes from having your home professionally cleaned can give to you and your family.  But what happens when someone makes a mess that can’t wait til your usual cleaning day to be cleaned up?  Here’s what to do if you have one of these five common messes made in your home, and you don’t have time for Carpe Diem to come!

5 Messes that Can't Wait Til your Usual Cleaning Day | Carpe Diem CleaningMuddy Footprints on your Floor

Have your kids or pets run into the house after being caught in a rain storm only to bring mud in with them?  Once you make sure that they’re cleaned off and you can keep the mud contained, grab your mop and get to work!

 

Go over your floors once with the mop to get the mud and debris off.  Then go over them a second time with your Sh-mop or your regular mop!  Add a cup of vinegar and a 5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to your water to leave your floors feeling and smelling fresh and clean.

Oven Explosion

If your lasagna or favorite casserole overflows in your oven, don’t panic!  Your oven isn’t doomed to being a caked-on, burnt mess.  Once your food has finished cooking, turn off the oven and spray your favorite oven cleaner all over your oven before letting it sit overnight.  In the morning, simply wipe out your oven and scrub away any remaining burnt-on pieces!

5 Messes that Can't Wait Til your Usual Cleaning Day | Carpe Diem CleaningWine on the Carpet

It’s all fun and games, until someone spills red wine!  Sprinkle table salt on the stain immediately and dab (do NOT rub) an old towel on the stain.  The salt will pull up moisture from the wine and remove the stain.  Repeat as needed, and for heavy-duty wine stains, use hydrogen peroxide.  Make sure that you always test hydrogen peroxide on an inconspicuous part of your carpet to make sure that it doesn’t alter the color.

Spilled Food on the Furniture

Unfortunately, we all spill food on the furniture from time to time.  To clean it up effectively, gather up loose food, and put it in the trash can before dabbing the space immediately with a paper towel or an old rag.  Then use dish detergent or furniture cleaner to remove the stain.  Soak up extra liquid with an old towel and allow it to dry.  Repeat as needed!

5 Messes that Can't Wait Til your Usual Cleaning Day | Carpe Diem CleaningFlu Symptoms in the Bathroom

Being sick with the stomach flu is the worst…but cleaning up after the carnage it can wreck on your bathroom is a close second!  One word: bleach.  Though we use green cleaning practices in most of the rooms of our clients’ homes, we use bleach to kill any lingering bacteria in bathrooms.

Wipe up the mess with paper towels, and spray bleach on any surface that may be contaminated.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping it down and letting it dry.  Make sure that any surface that comes in contact with bleach will not be ruined by using it!  You also might want to use paper towels instead of hand towels until everyone in your family is in the clear.  Don’t forget to change everyone’s toothbrushes once sickness strikes!

Tell us below what messes can’t wait for Carpe Diem that happen in your home! If you’re in Hillsborough and need help stat, contact us today!

 

What to Plant in Your Fall Garden

Now is the perfect time to start planning and planting your fall vegetable garden!  Most plants should be planted in late July or during August for the best yield.

What to Plant

Here are some delicious veggies you can plant in July:

  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage
  • Summer Squash
  • Winter Squash
  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans

How to Plant Your Fall Plants

First remove any weeds or old plants that are not producing well at this point in the summer.  Then till the soil about 6 – 8 inches deep before fertilizing the soil with 1 – 2 lb. of fertilizer for about 100 square feet. Water your soil lightly, and you’re ready to plant your fall plants!

When planting seeds in the summer, remember to plant them deeper than you would in the spring (usually 1.5 – 2 times as deep). The moisture level of the soil will be lower due to summer heat and less rainfall.

If you choose to use plants from the hardware store that have already been started, then make sure to lightly water them for the first week after transplanting.

Then shade your seedlings and young transplants with newspaper or burlap cloth so that they are cool enough to germinate.  The soil shouldn’t be warmer than 85°F, which can be difficult this time of year.

Don’t forget to cover your plants during the first frost of the year!  In North Carolina, we usually have several more weeks left in the growing season after the first frost as long as plants are protected.

Click here to get more info on how to plan your Fall Vegetable Garden! 

Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places?

Is dust building up in the hard-to-reach places in your home?  We’ve all noticed cobwebs or a thin layer of dust that’s just out of reach. When dusting (and cleaning in general!) you always want to start from the top and work down to the bottom of a room.  That way you won’t spread dirt to places that you’ve already cleaned!  With that in mind, here are our top tricks to dusting hard-to-reach areas….

From Top …

Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places? | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Ceiling Fans – Dust fan blades with an old cotton or flannel pillow case to avoid having dust fall in your face

Bathroom Fans – Use canned air or vacuum with your attachment to get rid of the dust between bathroom fan slots

Ceiling Corners and Above Kitchen Cabinets – Use your wand vacuum attachment to clean cobwebs in the corners or your rooms and to dust the tops of the books.

Walls, Doors, Ceilings and Door/Window Frames – Clean with a dry mop or a broom with a microfiber cloth rubber-banded on it to catch all of the dust.  Then toss the cloth in the washer and you’re done!  You can use this same method to clean behind furniture or baseboards.

Blinds – Put an old, clean sock on your hand, sock puppet-style, to clean your blinds.

…To Bottom

Dust Building Up in Hard-to-Reach Places? | Carpe Diem Cleaning

The best DIY dusting tool!

Upholstered Furniture – Use the skinniest attachment on your vacuum to get between the crevices of your furniture. Take off all unattached cushions for the best results!

Behind Stove and Refrigerator – Move the appliances out and vacuum away any dust.  Unplug these if you can!

Baseboards – Use dryer sheets or microfiber cloths to remove dust either by hand or rubber banded onto a broom.

Bonus Tip – Before you dust your house, turn the “Fan” option on your A/C unit on.  It will suck up the extra dust in the air to your air filter instead of floating around in the air for you and your family to breathe in!

What deep cleaning dusting tips would you add to this list?