Diana's House Cleaning of Portage la Prairie

Making Life a Little Bit Easier   Serving Portage la Prairie Since 2004

204-871-1747

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Smart storage tips for a small kitchen

Posted on 6 November, 2018 at 13:55 Comments comments (1)

#1 Turn one shelf into two with wire shelf risers, so you can multiply verticle storage space.

#2 Give your pantry a supermarket makeover. Use the first in first out ,oldest front and new behind. Use up opened items first.  

#3 Tea bag organizer. Use an organizer basket to keep your flavour tea all together to make it neat and tidy, more accessible.

#4 Add drawers to deep cabinets. Use durable plastic bins to hold less used items and they are easy to slide out for use when needed.

#5 Kitchen wrap organizer.  You can get an organizer for your plastic wrap, tin foil, sandwhich bags etc to keep them in one place.

#6 Divide Kitchen tools.  Drawer dividers are not just for forks, knives and spoons adjust them for the larger, smaller or oddly shaped utensils.

#7 Store pans sideways. Put you baking sheets, cutting boards,and pots and pan sideway to make it neater and easier to see them.

#8 Food storage containers. Stack them in seperate sizes with the lids on its side beside them.

#9 Colour code. If you colour code your clothes, why not your dishes? When you open coupboard doors you can see the dishes you use most.

#10 Magnetic Knife bar. To clear up some  counter top space use a magnetic strip on the wall for knives and other metal utensils.

#11 Storage above your range.  Put cooking utensils, pots and everything you need at hand.

#12 Space beside fridge. If you have space beside your fride and  wall use a skinny shelf for canned goods .

#13 Utilize Baskets.  Easy to grab bins for goodies on the top shelf.

#14 Regain sink space. Get desk drawers to hang on the nearby counters for wet sponges and scrubbies.

#15 Hanging mason Jar shelf.Put tins and bins on top shelf then screw the lids to the mason jars on the bottom to hold nuts,seeds, and spices underneath.

#16 Forgotten space. On the side of your lower cupboards hang clunky heavy items that are annoying to store.

#17 Better bench. A breakfast nook bench takes up less space than chairs with storage underneath.

#18 Cabinet doors. Hang your most frequently used cooking utensil (measuring cups and spoons) on the inside cupboard door.




  

New Process of Cleaning

Posted on 12 December, 2017 at 16:35 Comments comments (0)

Our staff have undergone an extensive training during 2017 of making every step count. 

By wearing aprons, they carry gear in their pockets so that they don't have to back track to their supply bucket to get that duster, cloth, windex or other item they need to clean the spot off your table or window.  It has been a huge learning curve. 

We are finding that the staff have saved steps, which saved a little time in each home.  Amazingly, they find themselves less tired at the end of the day.  And who doesn't like a little more energy in their day! :)

7 Cleaning Tips for People with Arthritus

Posted on 11 May, 2016 at 19:45 Comments comments (0)

I read articles, manuals and books as often as I can.  As many of my clients do suffer from Arthritus, it hit a chord with me.  So I would like to share it with you.  These tips are from a business newsletter from Speed Cleaning.


We’ve all heard the phrase, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” For people with debilitating arthritis, cleaning the house can be a challenge no matter how strong the will. Here are seven cleaning tips that you or someone you know who suffers from arthritis may find helpful.

1. It’s fine to clean one room each day rather than trying to clean the entire house all in one day. Or maybe, on a really uncomfortable day, only clean the areas that see the most activity, the “heavy traffic” areas. You’ll feel better having done something yet you won’t overdo it.

2. If you have a two-story house, keep a complete set of cleaning supplies on each floor.

3. Be kind to affected joints when you vacuum. “You really need to walk while you vacuum, even if it’s slowly. Standing still and just pushing and pulling the machine puts extra stress on your back and wrists,” advises Shelly Peterman Schwarz, author of Home Accessibility: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier.

4. Wiping up a mess is easier if done right away rather than after it dries. But if you don’t get right to it, spray some cleaner on it and wait a few minutes before wiping to let the cleaner start to dissolve the spill. Then it’ll require less scrubbing.

5. Change out cleaning tools that are just too difficult to grasp for tools with comfortable handles. For example, the handle and rigid base on Speed Cleaning’s Grab & Scrub allows the user to apply a broader base of pressure than using a scrubbing pad alone, making it quicker and easier to clean countertops, floors, bathroom tile, and more. Head outside with this cleaning tool to tackle siding, patio furniture, and even – ahoy! – your boat.

6. If it hurts to hold a dust cloth, try a dusting mitt that fits over the entire hand and has a snug cuff to help it stay on. In fact, these mitts can be used for all types of cleaning, not just dry dusting.

7. Add tools that limit bending and stretching while cleaning. For high and low dusting, get a dusting wand that fits on an adjustable pole. An example is Speed Cleaning’s Flexible Microfiber Duster, which can be bent to reach all kinds of surfaces and has a threaded end so it can be attached to the Foam-Handled Extension Versapole. The Versapole fits 12 different products that Speed Cleaning offers, making high and low cleaning easier and comfortable with the soft foam-covered handle.


Floor Steam Mops

Posted on 2 April, 2016 at 17:20 Comments comments (0)

Many of my clients have bought floor steam mops from vairous places.  These are pricey items to have.  But when used correctly they can make a good floor look great!  Because of our climate in Manitoba, I no longer bring my floor steamer to client homes.  But my staff and I have used client's floor steamers.  Steaming a floor takes extra time.

When I bought my Smart Living Steam mop at a home show, the salesman was boasting how it saved you steps.  He claimed you didn't have to mop first.  I'm telling you he doesn't clean floors for a living.  And you will always have to sweep or vacuum your floors before using a floor steamer.  But as we all know, sweeping or vacuuming will never get 100% of the itty bitty gritty off the floor.  I go one step further, and mop the floor as well before using the steamer.  Then the steamer doesn't have to do anything but sanitize and give the floor that posh finish that leaves absolutely no marks behind.

Always, always use distilled or bottled water in any steam producing equipment.  Empty it completely after each use.  Make sure the lines are absolutely dry by turning the unit on for steam and checking that no steam comes out of the unit.  This is when the lines are dry.  Now it is ready to be stored in a dry place.  Leftover moisture will lead to mold or residue build up over time which will cause the item to break down.

So here's where I come to the part of the floor steamer's life where it breaks down.  There are many things that can go wrong with a steamer.  But the most common is plugged lines.  Contaminants in the lines can stop a steamer in it's tracks.

I took a tiny set of Phillips screw drivers and took out all the tiny screws so I could look inside my wounded floor steamer.  Inside I could see residue and mold buildup on the inside of the clear tubing lines that led to the pump.  I disconnected the lines and blew them out with my hand held steamer (another handy dandy peice of equipment I love.)  I reconnected the lines to the pump.

It still didn't work.  So I disconnected the pump from the heater.  I turned it on and saw that the pump was working.  So the problem was inside the heater.  It was producing a lot of heat.  But it wasn't letting the water pass through it at all.

These heaters often have a one way valve on them.  So I blew (with my hand held steamer) into the lines going backwards.  Just in case the one way valve might be gummed up on the exit side of things.  Then I went to the lines leading into the heater.  I blew them out using my hand held steamer as well.  Then once reconnected with all the clamps safely in place, I tested it and all moving parts were once again working.

This took the better part of 2 hours to do.  The reassembly went very slowly because the heater stays hot for a long time.  

I love my little floor steamer!



All Cleaning Products are Not Equal

Posted on 24 March, 2015 at 0:50 Comments comments (0)

I am frequently asked what my favourite cleaning equipment and products are.  And which products do I think are the best. 

My favourite of cleaning equipment are a line of microfiber cloths and mop heads.  The mop poles and dusters are light weight, easy to use, washable, eco-friendly and save money.  Because the majority of cleaning involves dusting and cleaning glass, microfiber cloths can use water for each of these jobs. 


As for my favourite chemicals, I use as few as possible.  Be aware that any product that claims to kill 99.9% of germs must be kept on the complete surface and remain wet for a minimum of 10 minutes!  This will require multiple light sprays over the duration of the 10 minutes.  There is no product that you can just spray once and walk away believing that it is germ free.


In today's society we have grown accustomed to having daily ads thrown at us promoting a litany of products to clean our homes, cover smells and improve our air quality.  These flagrant promotions are often challenged by studies and consumer concerns for the perfumes we put in the air of our homes.  These same concerns are among the cleaning professionals that use products every day to clean for residential and commercial clients.  As a cleaner I can tell you first hand of the dangers of many of these chemicals when they are used improperly in poorly ventilated areas.  After using a tile cleaner with bleach in an enclosed bathroom that had no air circulation I couldn't breath at all.  If it did this to me after only a few minutes of exposure, what does it do to others with under developed or compromised lung capacity?  As a result I avoid using bleach products if at all possible.


My personal experience led me to look into how we could reduce the number of products we use in our client homes.  We reduced the number down to 7 that we routinely use.  I researched products that could perform several jobs and began eliminating my supply shelves of redundant products.  This meant a lot of trials with a multitude of products.  I tried Green products.  Some worked great.  Others had poor performance.  Many products affected my breathing whether they were Green or not. 


What I ended up with was:

1. Windex; which many of my clients like only because the smell is associated with clean.  When I have cleaned their mirrors with microfiber and water, they couldn't tell the difference from the side I cleaned with microfiber and windex. 

2. Vim with bleach; which is used in sinks to remove coffee and tea stains.  It has low odor and only requires a drop the size of a dime to be used with a scotch brite pad.

3. Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner; there are several types available including gel, bleach, rust removal, power and fresh, power and free.  The Lysol brand was easiest to use.  It did not stick to the bowl or leave residue behind after scrubbing. 

4. Scrubbing Bubbles; the spray bottle is good on regular tub rings and soap scum.  But the aerosol spray is dynomite on heavy soiled tubs.  We call it the Bomb. 

5. Oxy Bleach for Unbleachables; we mix this in a spray bottle for bleaching bathroom tiles.  It is low in odor and very effective.  Made fresh daily.

6. Because Walmart no longer carries my favourite stainless steel cleaner, we have switched to using Swish; this product works like a charm with no hard rubbing and polishing.  It cuts down the time spent cleaning stainless steel appliances!

7. Vim Wood Floors Surfaces; this floor cleaner is safe on all surfaces and has a low odor.  It doesn't leave streaks when directions are followed. 

8. Lysol Power and Free spray or Spray 9; these are two different chemicals that are very similar and very different in price.  Lysol Power and Free runs about $3-$4 a bottle, we found has a lower odor and can remove old cooking residue that gets splattered on walls with ease.  While the Spray 9 runs about $10 a bottle and can remove automotive grease from walls like it's nobody's business.  Both claim to kill germs.  When there is a mechanic in the house, use Spray 9. 


We are not a Fly By Night Business

Posted on 9 September, 2014 at 23:40 Comments comments (0)

It's true!  We have been in business 10 years now.   It has all been possible because of our fantastic clients! Helping these families and individuals maintain some semblance of order in today's madness we know as daily life has led to our success. Thank you to all of our clients

Considering that statistics say that 44% of businesses don't reach their 5th anniversary, Diana's House Cleaning of Portage la Prairie can stand proud.  This house cleaning service is a Locally Owned business; a Woman Owned business; a Community contributor business:  a Licensed and Insured business.  

I'm so happy to be able to order our new staff shirts and promotional items celebrating our 10th anniversary.  I can hardly wait for our materials and stock to come in.  Keep your eyes open for some upcoming specials to celebrate our milestone!

Is it a real House Cleaning service?

Posted on 8 February, 2014 at 18:10 Comments comments (0)

Many of our clients in the past few years have found us using Google or Portage Online.  Our business shows up among many others in multiple search engines.  Would it surprise you to know that not all results in a search are actually legit House Cleaning services? 


But if the ad isn't a real legitimate House Cleaning service, what is it?  It is usually someone operating illegally.


I have been in business cleaning homes since 2005.  And in that time I have seen some less than savory individuals pass themselves off as House Cleaners.  Many fake online business ads and web pages are done up to get customer information that is then sold to individuals who can't or won't do business the legal way. 


Some of the individuals in our community that are cleaning homes independantly have been charged with crimes they committed while in customer homes.  They continue to have access to customer homes because they work "under the table" for cash as Trunk Slammers at a rate much cheaper than a licensed business.  Trunk Slammers are not covered by insurance, whether it is liability or Workers Compensation.  So if something gets broken, it is the home owner's problem.  If the worker slips or gets hurt while cleaning, it is the home owner that can be held liable for all medical costs.  There is no moral compass or consequences that will prevent these individuals from breaching your trust.  Is this the type of person you want to have the access to your home?


How to tell if a House Cleaning service is legit?


1.  The business is licensed to operate by the City or Municipality you live in.  Yes, Diana's House Cleaning is licensed by the City of Portage la Prairie.  Every business licensed by the City can be looked up in the Virtual City Hall Business Directory.  You can look up each business  by name or from a list of categories at http://atlas.city-plap.com/vch/subsections/directory/directory.html


2. When you look at a web page ad that shows a cleaning business promoting house cleaning.  Look for a local address and phone number.  If there is no local address, ask why.  If you can't reach the business using their advertised phone number, ask why.  Some advertised web pages will have an online form to fill out, even when the phone number is out of service. These are web pages that are specifically created to sell customer information to less than reputable individuals.


3. You are a local resident in Portage la Prairie and you have NEVER heard of them.  They don't have a Facebook page, they aren't listed with City Hall and none of your friends have ever hired services from them.  Don't be afraid to ask how long someone has been cleaning homes.


4. They are usually not legit when you ask how much they charge, they tell you they sell their services by the hour.  They won't have rate sheets or information pamphlets.  Why?  Because they have no idea how much time it takes to clean a 1200 square foot home.  Don't be afraid to ask for a written list describing the services they provide.


5. Membership in the ARCSI (Association of Residential Cleaning Services International) is a very good indicator that confirms a House Cleaning service is legit.  ARCSI will not allow any business to become a member unless they can prove they are licensed, insured, complete background checks on all staff and/or are bonded.  The ARCSI organization also provides training for members and their staff to ensure high quality services are provided to customers on a consistent basis.


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