How to Prep for Your Clean Day

Clean DayThis is Madeline, checking in to let you know how you can prep for your Clean Day!  Our clients love how fresh and clean their homes feel on their Clean Day. Our professional teams have some major cleaning skills. But did you know there are some simple things you can do to get an even deeper clean?

 

A little decluttering can make a huge difference! When a team can spend less time moving around loose items on counters and floors, the more time they can spend on deep cleaning the surfaces of your home.

Here’s how to get the most out of your Clean Day:

  • Floors: pick up and put away any loose items on the floor such as toys, shoes, socks, and phone chargers.
  • Kitchen: clear your kitchen table and counters of dirty dishes, junk mail, and paperwork. Move dirty dishes from the sink to the dishwasher.
  • Bathrooms: clear counters by putting away non-essential hygiene and beauty products. Remove dirty towels.
  • Living Room: remove cups, dishes, and paperwork from coffee tables.
  • Office: clear desk of paperwork or put all papers into a neat stack that can be cleaned around.
  • Children’s Bedrooms: clear the floor and beds of clothing, toys, and art projects.

If you’ve got a little extra clutter in your house (holiday decorations, out of town visitors, and re-model projects are typical culprits), feel free to contact our office to give us a heads up. The better we know what to expect, the better we’ll be able to give your home a truly extraordinary clean!

When to Plant Your Plants

Are you ready to plant your vegetable garden?!  It’s felt like spring for a while now, but we’ve still had some frosty nights that have made knowing when to plant those plants challenging.  We’ll tell you exactly when to plant your vegetables to ensure that you get the maximum growing season from your labors!

 

 

What to Plant NOW

Some spring and summer vegetables to plant in early April include: kale, broccoli, radishes, eggplant, lettuce, corn, and artichokes.  These vegetables are cold-weather crops that should be planted immediately. Planting them immediately will ensure that their growing season lasts longer. These crops actually taste better if they’ve been exposed to cold and are less bitter than they would be otherwise.

 

What to Plant Later

Summer Vegetables to plant in mid-April and early May include: sweet potatoes, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.  These vegetables are warm-weather crops that should be planted after the last frost.  Otherwise, they could die in the freezing temperatures if not cared for properly.

Plants whose seeds need to be planted directly into the ground can be planted then, too.  These include melons, carrots, parsnips, beets, beans, and squash that will be harvested in winter and summer.

 

Frost Tips!

This year’s official last frost date is April 27th, but there really shouldn’t be frost after April 10th.  What does this mean for you?  You should go ahead and plant any cold-weather crops now!  For all other crops, wait until April 10th to plant them and make sure that you keep an eye on the weather until the end of April.

If there are any particularly frigid nights, cover warm-weather crops with a sheet or blanket so they don’t freeze.  Cold weather plants should be fine down to 25° without cover.  If you want tips on when to plant other vegetables, check out this chart from NC State!

Want to plant flowers in your garden for spring that will be hardy enough to stand some of the summer heat?  Check out this article from Southern Living to find out the best spring flowers to plant!

Mattress Cleaning Guide

Mattress Cleaning Guide | Carpe Diem CleaningIt’s spring cleaning time, which means that now is the time to give your mattress some TLC!  This often-neglected piece of furniture supports us for about a third of our lives while we sleep and deserves extra care.

Here are 5 easy steps to cleaning and caring for your mattress so that it can continue to give you amazing support!

 

washing machine

1.Wash all sheets and mattress covers.  Make sure that you have a waterproof mattress cover to keep out any dust and dust mites that can get into your mattress.

2. Sprinkle with baking soda and your favorite essential oil.  Cover your mattress with 1/4 cup of baking soda, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  You can also mix 2 to 3 drops of your favorite essential oil into the baking soda to keep your mattress smelling extra fresh!

 

Mattress

3. Vacuum up the baking soda with a clean vacuum attachment.  Make sure that you vacuum slowly to pick up all of the baking soda.  This step will also ensure that you clean out any dust or dust mites that may be in your mattress.

4. Flip your mattress over if you have a two-sided mattress.  Want to really extend the life of your mattress?  Ideally, try to flip and rotate your mattress 180° every 3 months (or when the seasons change).  This step is crucial to making sure that your mattress will continue to support you for years to come.

 

Calm Bedroom5. Re-dress and admire your fresh mattress.  Finally, put your clean mattress cover and sheets back on your mattress with your pillows.  Take in the fact that your whole bed is neat and clean!

 

 

pillows, bedBonus tip – Wash your pillows!  Dirt and dust from your body causes pillows to get denser over time if they’re not cleaned regularly.  However, if you have foam pillows, do not wash them in the washing machine; simply spot clean them instead.

To wash your pillows, first remove all pillow covers and protectors.  Place 2 to 3 pillows vertically in the washing machine using gentle laundry detergent on a gentle cycle with warm water.  Make sure to add an extra rinse cycle and wring the pillows out.

Next, put them in the dryer on the low- to no-heat setting and put wool balls in to fluff up the pillows.  Replace their covers, and you have clean pillows to lay your head on again!  Want more tips for cleaning a different type of pillow?  Check out eHow’s tutorial!

If you’re interested in more tips for keeping your home neat and clean, be sure to check out our Facebook page!  Need help with cleaning the rest of your house?  Reach out to us today at 919-68-CLEAN or info@carpediemcleaning.com to schedule your free consultation!

Interview with Team Leader Bertha

This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s branch manager, checking in today with an interview of Bertha, one of our long-standing cleaners!

 

Interview with Team Leader Bertha | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Bertha has been with Carpe Diem for 7 years

Q. How did you start at Carpe Diem?
A. I was referred by a friend to Carpe Diem about 7 years ago.

 

Q. What do you like about Carpe Diem?
A. I love everything about Carpe Diem, especially the feeling of being able to clean for our clients and leaving their homes nice and clean!

 

Q. Any advice for preparing your home for a cleaning?
A. Leave your home free of clutter. This makes it easier for our team to clean and for our clients to get a job well done!

 

As of this month, Bertha has been with us for 7 years.  Wow!  She’s one of our team leaders and is known for being steady, focused and responsible.  She also works with her daughter here at Carpe Diem!  Thanks for being a dedicated  and helpful leader, Bertha!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips

Ready to pump up your Spring Cleaning game? Here are 19 areas & items to tackle that will take your Spring Clean to a whole new level!

19 Essential Spring Cleaning Tips | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Living Room
Air Filter
1.     Move large furniture to clean behind and underneath it.

2.     Clean the windows and the inner seals of the windows.

3.     Change your air filters and clean your air vents.

clean ovenKitchen

4.     Defrost your freezer and wipe it out.

5.     Clean out your cabinets. Throw away expired food.

6.     Clean the oven, including the exhaust vents.

tileBathroom

7.     Dust those light fixtures!

8.     Go through your cabinets, throw away any expired makeup or beauty products.

9.     Check the grout in your shower. (The grout in tile can wear out.) Re-grout areas that are weak or damaged. (You can DIY or hire a professional.)

pillowsBedroom

10.  Flip your mattress and check your pillows! Pillows can house bacteria and mold. If they are machine washable, wash them, if not either hand wash or just replace.

11.  Clean out your drawers and closets.

12.  Clean off your blinds and ceiling fans.

washing machineLaundry Room

13.  Check the dryer’s lint trap and clean the vents and exhaust.

14.  Clean out your washing machine. See instructions for top loading and front loading.

General Living Areas

15.  Check your porches for cobwebs and debris

16.  Clean your blinds and wash your curtains.

17.  Look for those hard to reach baseboards and areas that are hard to dust.

Ceiling Fan18.  Free up space by putting coats and heavy blankets into storage.

19.  Change the direction that your ceiling fans turn. In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals.

Need some help with the regular Spring Cleaning To Dos? Why not schedule a Deep Cleaning? Download our Deep Cleaning checklist to get started!  

Why We Want your Feedback–Good or Bad!

Why We Want your Feedback--Good or Bad! | Carpe Diem CleaningHey!  This is Madeline, Carpe Diem Cleaning’s General Manager, letting YOU know why we want your feedback.  If you call or email the office, you’ll talk to either me, Andi or Daly.  We will be jumping onto the blog more often to tell you who we are as a company and why we do some of the things that we do.

Many times people only want to know when they’re doing well. They dread getting bad feedback about how they or their team is doing.  Not so at Carpe Diem!

Today let me just tell you why we want your feedback.  We welcome hearing from our clients, whether what they have to say is good or bad!

Good feedback is helpful so that we know when we are doing a good job and that our clients are happy. Bad feedback is helpful so that we know what we need to address with our teams and fix to make our clients 100% happy.

Our teams’ are competent and are committed to helping you seize your clean day!  If a mistake is made on our end, we will fix it.  However, if we don’t know when something isn’t right, it is very hard for us to fix it.

Please be proactive in your communication with us, and we promise to be proactive in our communication with you.

Simple Tricks for a Fun St. Patrick’s Day

 

Simple Tricks for a Fun St. Patrick's Day | Carpe Diem Cleaning

St. Patrick’s Day is THIS Friday, and we can’t wait to celebrate!  Whether you want to make this St. Patrick’s Day fun for your kids or for you and your significant other (or both!), we’ve got you covered!

Here are the best foods, crafts and sweet treats for you to enjoy this Friday or all weekend long!

 

 

Start the Day Off Right

Lucky Charms Pancakes

Lucky Charms Pancakes from Betty Crocker

Surprise your kids with Lucky Charms pancakes and milk that’s been dyed green.  Print off these place mats (and laminate them to use them for years to come).

You can even make rainbow fruit skewers to go along with breakfast (and make it a little healthier ;-).  Simply pick 5 different colors of fruit, put them on skewers, and you’re done!

 

Craft Time

Leprechaun Mask

Leprechaun Paper Plate Mask from abccreativelearning.com

If your children enjoy making crafts, then they’ll love these St. Patrick’s craft ideas!  For younger kids, try this marshmallow stamping craft to work on fine motor skills.

If you’re looking for a fun after-school craft for your school-aged children, here are two crafts that they can wear.  Older kids can make this Leprechaun Paper Plate Mask or Lucky Charms bracelet!

 

 

 

Luck of the Irish Dinner

Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew from tasteslovely.com

For an easy meal that the whole family will love, throw this Slow Cooker Irish Guinness Beef Stew in the Crock Pot in the morning and let the slow cooker work its magic all day.  Or, make the classic Dublin Coddle instead.

Either way, be sure to bake this simple Irish Soda Bread with Orange Cream Cheese to go along with dinner.  Don’t skimp on the cream cheese if you’re saving some of the bread for breakfast.  With only 3 ingredients, you can be whip it up in just a few minutes!  Trust us, you won’t regret it.

 

Sweet Tooth

Boozy Shamrock Shake

Boozy Shamrock Shake from cookingwithcurls.com

 

End your night on a sweet note with any one (or more!) of these desserts.  The whole family will love these mint-flavored St. Patrick’s Day muddy buddies.  Here’s a kid-friendly Shamrock Shake recipe, and here’s an adult-friendly Shamrock Shake recipe. ;-)

If you really want to celebrate this holiday to its fullest, make these Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.  Even though they’re made with Guinness in the batter, whiskey in the ganache and Bailey’s in the frosting, these are surprisingly kid-friendly (though you might want to keep them all for your self).

 

 

Want more recipes, decoration tips and more?  Check out our St. Patrick’s Day Fun Pinterest page!  How will you make St. Patrick’s Day fun this year?

Why You Should Change Your Fans & Filters with the Time Change

Looking for ways to save on heating and cooling costs while keeping your air at home healthy?  These two tips will improve your air quality, the life of your HVAC system (one of the most expensive appliances to replace) and keep your home at just the right temperature for YOU.

One of the best ways to build habits is to set triggers around those habits.   This Sunday is Daylight Savings Time, and though we’re losing an hour, it’s the perfect time to change your filters and fans.  Set a reminder on your calendar to turn your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 12th (2:00 am will become 3:00 am).

HVAC

HVAC

Call your HVAC guy to come and check out your system and give it a tune up. You’ll be beating the rush of all those calls he’ll get when things start heating up in March.

Haven’t changed your air filters in a while?  Make sure that you’re changing them monthly during winter and summer when your HVAC system is working the hardest.  During spring and fall, you can change them every three months if you have a pet-free home and good quality air filters.

If you suffer from allergies or notice your air quality going down, changing your filters will improve your air quality and preserve the life of your HVAC system since it keeps out dust and other particles that clog up the system.  Let’s take a second to breathe that in.

Why You Should Change Your Fans and Filters with the Time Change  | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Ceiling Fans

When you turn your clock forward, it’s time to turn your ceiling fans back! Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning counterclockwise to force cool air downwards. When your fans are spinning clockwise they will create an updraft that will force warm air down downwards.  In spring, we want to prepare our house for the summer heat and use our fans efficiently.

This downward flow of air creates a windchill effect, which will make your home feel cooler than it is! Then you can raise your temperature and save your hard-earned money for something more fun–like spring break!

 

PollenBonus Tip

Pollen season in North Carolina lasts pretty much from March until September, with the worst of the yellow stuff plaguing us through March and April. Get some allergy medicine (antihistamines and/or nasal washes) now so you’ll have it when you need it!

By forming the habit of changing your fans and filters with the time change, you’ll be able to breathe easy as the seasons change.  Now go out there and make your home fresher and cooler!

The Amazing Sh-mop + Carpet Cleaning Reminder

Are you ready to get the musty winter smells out of your house and get a jump start on spring cleaning?  The Sh-mop and Carpe Diem’s steam cleaning service will give you back your fresh, clean floors just in time for spring!

The Amazing Sh-Mop

Amazing Sh-mop + Carpet Cleaning Reminder | Carpe Diem CleaningIf you love your Swiffer but are looking for something more eco-friendly, you’ve got to check out the Sh-mop!

The Sh-mop is easy to use and reuse — simply toss the reuseable mop cover into the washing machine and you’ve got a fresh mop.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the amazing Sh-mop!

At Carpe Diem we love the Sh-mop! It helps us clean your hard-surfaced floors easily and effectively, and since the mop cover is removable we’re able to use fresh covers in every house.

 

Carpet Cleaning Reminder 

It’s almost spring cleaning time!  Get a jump start on your spring cleaning by scheduling your carpet cleaning with Carpe Diem.  We even clean upholstery!  Once your floors are clean and fresh, you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of your home.  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 today!

Decluttering your House the Marie Kondo Way

Decluttering Your House the Marie Kondo Way | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Do you want to live more simply this year?  Or, do you just need to make room in your house for what you love?  This is a great time of year to declutter and get your house in order!  Marie Kondo’s book will help you to re-examine your space and things in a ruthless yet refreshing way.

We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what to get rid of. – Marie Kondo

Who is Marie Kondo?

Marie Kondo is a Japanese decluttering and organizing expert who has helped hundreds of clients tidy their homes.  Impressively, none of them have relapsed into how they managed their clutter before her.  Her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has sold over six million copies worldwide.

Her main theme is that you should only keep items in your house that spark joy.  Any items that don’t bring you joy should be released with gratitude towards what they have done for you without guilt.  While some of her suggestions are quirky to our Western culture, the framework will help you to efficiently declutter your entire house.  She insists that this tidying process be done quickly in no more than 6 months.  This way, the dramatic change will affect you in such a way that you do not go back to your old ways of collecting clutter.

Decluttering in Action

Here are the things to declutter (in order) so that your decision-making skills are honed by the time you discard photos and mementos:

Clothes – Don’t let unwanted clothes be turned into lounge wear.
Books – Arrange books on your shelves so that you can see only books that you love without stacking them on top of each other.
Documents – Recycle (and shred as necessary) all documents except for ones such as birth certificates or passports. Find documents online as needed. And do you really need that pay stub or mortgage payment from 3 years ago?
Miscellaneous – Go through all other categories of items in your house separately.  These include such as skin care products, electrical equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods, etc.
Photos/Mementos– Set these items aside until the end of the tidying process, and discard what you don’t love.  This will make the things that spark joy feel even more special.

pillows, bed, decluttered

Gather items by category so that the entirety of that type of item is in one place when you sort through it.  This way, you only have to make the decision once regarding what things to donate or throw away.  For example, you might have six different pairs of scissors throughout your house when you really need only three.  Would you really remember where the best ones are? However, if you organized your house by room over the course of several weeks, as many decluttering experts recommend, you wouldn’t use the best scissors.

Stay Organized!

Deciding where every item in your house goes is an essential part of Marie Kondo’s decluttering process.  Often things that belong nowhere end up everywhere.  Store things where they are easily put away so that you don’t continue to clutter up your house. Marie Kondo suggests that you not stack things on top of each other since things on the bottom often are forgotten.  Instead, she says to use boxes to organize your things.  Shoe boxes work well for larger items such as clothes, and iPhone boxes work well for office supplies and makeup.

Her folding method for clothes is a game changer, as it allows you to see all of your clothes in each drawer and actually fits more clothing in the drawer. Fold your clothes in thirds twice, and place upright in your drawers.  Never again will you look in a drawer without being able to see everything at a glance!

Want to try it for yourself?  Check out the book from the library for details or just start tidying today!