Archive for August, 2012

You Pay for What You Get When Hiring an Atlanta House Cleaning Service

Posted on August 29, 2012. Filed under: About Sponge & Sparkle, Cleaning Industry, Customer Care | Tags: |

picture of moneyOccasionally, I will have a potential customer who will tell me we are too expensive.  I feel like saying “Really?  Because we aren’t!!!”

We are Atlanta’s oldest and most experienced maid service, and I know that we aren’t the cheapest company, but neither are we the most expensive.

We are in the middle range with our rates, compared to other similar companies.

Comparing Apples to Oranges?

Please don’t compare our rates to your neighbor who uses Suzy who

(1) isn’t a company

(2) pockets all the fee for herself

(3) doesn’t pay taxes

(4) has no liability insurance

(5) has no workman’s comp insurance, and

(6) has no  unemployment insurance.

Are You Hiring a Cleaning Company or Gaining an Employee?

In the eyes of the IRS when you use an individual,YOU become their employer.

Be ready –  if they have an injury in your home, or they break a valuable, or they file for unemployment when you fire them, or they file for social security benefits.

Y0u will most probably wish you had paid more for a reputable service.

Why Pay a Little More for Professional Cleaning

Professional maid services are priced higher for a reason.  They pay to perform background tests, drug testing, for ongoing training, for proper insurance and taxes, high-end professional products – all for your benefit and protection, and for their staff to have a good and fair wage.  After ALL of those costs, there isn’t a huge profit margin left .

How Unlicensed Cleaning Services Hurt the Economy

When compliant  businesses are sideswiped by persons unfairly undercutting their prices, it just hurts not only legitimate businesses trying to do their best and fulfill all their legal requirements, but it hurts the country too.

Non-compliant competitors do not contribute to the economy by providing jobs or paying their fair share of taxes.  At least compare apples with apples, as they say.

Interestingly enough, one group of  people who never complain about our prices are our current customers.

Customer Reviews of Our Cleaning Services


Best in town:
 
Sponge and Sparkle is the best cleaning service in Atlanta. I’ve tried others and none are as professional or clean. 
Full review.

Excellent company and service:

We have used Sparkle many times over the last several years and they always exceed our expectations. Great customer service and very reasonable prices
.

Spectacular:

Sponge and Sparkle came through beautifully… For me it was the best cleaning job I have ever had and I have used housekeepers for 15 years!… They’re an asset now I would never let them go! Full ReviewAtlanta Maid Service - Facebook Atlanta House Cleaning - Twitter Atlanta House Cleaning Service - Blog RSS


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.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

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Top Timesavers for Work At Home Moms (WAHM)

Posted on August 20, 2012. Filed under: Household Tips | Tags: , |

IMG_2874.JPGThere are many perks to telecommuting or running a business from home.

You can work, manage the household, and take care of kids without ever leaving the house – or so you think.

What many moms think will be a blessing, turns out being a curse where you are never away from work.  You are always parenting, and always cleaning.  It can turn into quite a juggling act.

Still, with determination and planning, you can make it work.

Here are some invaluable tools you can use to make working from home work for you and your family:

WAHM Timesaver 1 – A Crock Pot

Have you heard? Crock pots are cool again. Put your ingredients (fresh of frozen) in one by noon and dinner is ready by five. While the meal cooks, your home is filled with mouth-watering smells. You would be surprised by how delightfully delicious crock pot meals can be.  With thousands of Crock Pot recipes online, you will never need to have the same meal twice.  You may find yourself buying a second Crock Pot in no time, and a rice cooker too.

WAHM Timesaver 2 – A Monthly Cleaning Service

Think about much you can make per hour when you are working.  If that amount is more than or equal to what you would pay for a house cleaning, then you should definitely hire a professional service to clean your home.

Think of it as maximizing your earning potential since you can continue working while they are cleaning. Even if you make less than it costs to hire a cleaning service, consider a monthly cleaning for sake of your personal sanity and family harmony.

WAHM Timesaver 3 – Mommy’s Helper

A Mommy’s helper can keep the kids occupied for a few hours while you meet deadlines, make phone calls or attend networking meetings.

Having quiet, uninterrupted time to focus on business tasks will allow you to get more work done and to sound more professional over the phone.

Hiring someone for a few hours in the morning can actually keep the kids quiet all day because they will need a nap when they get home and be less energetic in the afternoon.

WAHM Timesaver 4 – Put the Kids to Work

As your children get older, you can get them to help you manage the house and even some of your work chores.

Children as young as three can help pick up a room, especially if you set a timer and make it a game. Teens and pre-teens can keep younger children busy for a couple of hours a day.  They can also help prepare meals or clean up after dinner allowing you to get some work done.

WAHM Timesaver 5 – Embrace an Evening Routine

In his classic productivity book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about Quadrant 2 tasks. These are the tasks that are important but not (yet) urgent. If left undone, they lead to days spent frantically putting out fires, moving from one emergency to another.

An evening routine will help you avoid unnecessary emergencies, which means your day will run smoother.

Here are 3 simple tasks you can add to your evening routine.

  • Lay out clothes for children, pack lunches, and put school supplies by the door to get kids off to school easily.
  • Do a load of laundry, vacuum and prepare items for the crock pot  to get housework out of the way.
  • Make a work to-do list and clean your desk to start your work day off on the right foot.

WAHM Timesaver 6 – Your Calendar

You will never fully enjoy the flexibility and spontaneity of working from home if you don’t keep a meticulous calendar.

Enter all of your children’s events and family celebrations into your calendar and plan your work week around it. Chart your daily and weekly tasks to be completed for work. If you can stay on top of your work schedule, you will find that you can afford to take and occasional day off for family fun.

WAHMs (and Dads): Join the conversation.

What are your timesaving tips? Please share them in the comments section below.

Photo Source: Eyeliam on Flickr

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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.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

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A Clean Home is Essential to a Sense of Self-Worth

Posted on August 11, 2012. Filed under: About Sponge & Sparkle | Tags: , |

I read recently that people are less likely to take care of their environment  ( i.e. home),  when they don’t feel good about themselves, and the more chaotic their environment,  the worse they  feel about themselves.

It is a vicious cycle. Disorganization degrades a person’s sense of self-worth; when one feels that their space is cluttered and dirty, it is hard not to internalize that.

This just reinforces that a clean home is a healthy, happy,  home and is  absolutely integral to our well-being,  if the opposite is also true.

If you have a friend who is going through rough waters,  it may be a good bet that a gift of  Atlanta housecleaning services  could help to lift her spirits.

In relation to this,  Sponge & Sparkle also does free cleanings for women undergoing treatment for cancer.  We are part of Cleaning For A Reason www.cleaningforareason.org  – a national non-profit foundation of cleaning services that want to give back to their community by helping women feel better.

When women are sick and they can’t  take care of their home they way they  have in the past,  it is just another overwhelming, depressing thing.

If you know of  a woman who could benefit from a clean home, please tell her about  the C4R  website.  If she is in our area, the foundation will verify her eligibility and put us in touch with her.   We typically give each recipient 4 cleanings of 2 hours each with 2 people.  If  she is not in our service area, the foundation will have an affiliate service in her area contact her.

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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.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Battle of the Cleaning Standards – Men vs. Women

Posted on August 2, 2012. Filed under: Cleaning Bedroom, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , |

Arguing His Case, But Still CleaningThe average  British woman spends 3 hours a week redoing her  partner’s  housework, according to a study done in the United Kingdom!

Cleaning the kitchen and fluffing the pillows were the primary chores that men failed to execute to their wives’ satisfaction.  And among the top 10 complaints, 3 were about making the bed!  (from Real Simple magazine).

One can only imagine the resentment these women feel because, really if a  person is going to do something, then why not do it right?

Couples also find themselves fighting about the division of labor, as women usually feel that they do a disproportionate amount of housework compared to men.   This can’t be that good for a relationship, and this is where a couple might want to seriously consider hiring a professional cleaning service.

Hiring a professional cleaning service makes for more harmony in the home, giving couples one less thing to argue about, more time to have fun together.

Hiring a service puts the whole cleaning  dilemma  in neutral territory  – where both partners can be united –  in the satisfaction of knowing they have gone a long way to solving one of the  more  “nagging’  (!) problems for a  relationship,  and being able to enjoy the home that they have created together!

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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.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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