Archive for August, 2010

Reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Posted on August 30, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

I just finished reading our July book choice,  The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  Briefly, it is the story of the Jackson Mississippi milieu in the early 60’s where  Black maids are the fulcrum of a certain type of southern family.  These “colored women” raise the children,  potty train them, cook the food, clean the house, polish the silver, serve, and yet the hypocrisy of the white women is that they don’t trust them  to use the same bathroom, or the same dinnerware, or sit at the same table with them.   In fact,  they prefer them to use a separate toilet in the backyard or the garage.  One of the cringe-worthy historical facts was that to build an outside maid’s toilet would add to the value of your home, not just make for a “more sanitary ” home.

These women not only had to endure  racism as an everyday fact of life, they worked 6 days a week, made less than minimum wage, had no social security, no provision for overtime, could be dismissed on a whim with no notice or reason,  or severance pay.

To read this story,  told in the words of the women themselves,  was uncomfortable but compulsively readable, and moving through the sadness of it all was just a glimmer of hope.

One group of people should never have power over another group of people.  All jobs by all people are worthy of respect and dignity, and if it needs to be mandated by law for that to happen, then it should.  For the first time in our history there is now a union of service workers – something many people never thought would happen.

I like to think that the advent of the professional maid service has helped end this exploitation and abuse  in a small way.   Cleaning has been elevated to a real profession with decent pay and protection for the worker, and taken out of the realm of  discrimination finally.


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About the author:
Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

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Delivering Dazzle

Posted on August 20, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I have been reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.  it is story of the founding of  Zappos, the online shoe and apparel company.   It is an amazing  and inspiring story and gave me a lot of food for thought for my business.

Zappos excels at many things, but I think their byline “delivering happiness’ says it all.  Every single thing they do is geared to make the customer’s experience with them exceptionally positive in every way –   from free shipping,  to free returns (within 365 days!),  to surprise upgrades to next day delivery for regular customers!

It made me think about what more we can do for our customers to make them happier, and so far I have a list of  at least five things to work on, and I cant wait to figure out more.   And since I am enchanted by their byline of “delivering happiness”   it started me thinking about what we deliver in our maid service.

What I came up with as my favorite is “delivering dazzle”!!  That IS  what we do – deliver dazzle, sparkle, harmony, order, peace of mind…. along with more free time.

Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:
Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

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School starts tomorrow

Posted on August 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Even though the temperatures are relentlessly 90 plus here in Atlanta,  Summer is unofficially over with the start of school tomorrow.

The stores  have cleared out all the fun, hot weather items like the beach towels and chaise lounges, water pistols,  tiki torches,  flip flops, colorful outdoor serving trays  – all the stuff that I mean to buy,  and then when I AM ready to buy,  they have inevitably been whisked away the day before I walk into the store with my wallet.

Why do I never learn?   Because Summer is just really short!  I love it because it is the care-free easy going  season  but yet I have to work  (like most everyone else) and so pool visits,  cook-outs, vacations, etc. are just squeezed in in-between my usual really full and intense work schedule.

It is all just another reminder of how short life is – especially for the things that we really like to do.  So often we relegate those things to the back burner in our busy little worker  bee lives.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Often we may not have a choice, but I think we would all carve out happier lives if we were more serious about scheduling in some fun on our to-do lists!

One way to help with that is to call an Atlanta maid service Sponge & Sparkle delivers dazzle, and more time for the things you love to do!!


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:
Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.


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Do What you LOVE

Posted on August 6, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Do you LOVE housecleaning?   If you love cleaning… then no problem, you should definitely be doing your own cleaning!!  You are one of those people who enjoy the Zen of making cleanliness out of dirt, beauty out of disorder, and the feeling of peace with bringing organization to chaos.  You relish the energy that you expend and probably enjoy listening to high energy music as you work and almost get high on the beautiful results!!

However, if you DONT love cleaning then why are you doing it??  Life is TOO short to spend time on things that you aren’t good at, don’t enjoy,and would rather not have to do.   No problem.  We,  at Sponge & Sparkle LOVE TO CLEAN!!.  We are professionals and we know how to do the job right – so give us a call and eliminate a little more stress from your life.


Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:
Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

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