Archive for December, 2013

7 Kitchen Cleaning Tips For Your New Year’s Eve Party

Posted on December 26, 2013. Filed under: Entertaining Tips, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

Celebrating New Year’s Eve by entertaining at home is smart. You will not only avoid the crowds, but you can include everyone (even the kids!) in the merriment.

Miniature dachshund puppy with a new year's hat

Once you have had your home cleaned by an expert Atlanta maid service to prepare for your guests, the last thing you want to do is spend all of your time maintaining the sparkle.

One of the most troublesome areas is the kitchen. You need to use the kitchen to prepare the food, but you want it to be clean and orderly when your guests arrive.

Here are 7 quick kitchen cleaning tips to help you quickly clean up so that you can spend more time with your guests.

Tip # 1 – Consider a Caterer

Have you thought of having your favorite restaurant prepare most of the food? Not only is it less work and stress, but your kitchen stays clean.

If you are going to cook, the next 6 tips will help.

Tip # 2 – Keep your counters pristine

Cover the counter with butcher or wax paper before making a mess; and just fold up the paper with the scraps and toss it away when you’re done.

Tip # 3 – Prep your dirty dishes on the go

Fill your sink with hot soapy water – as you work, toss in the tools and dishes you’ve used and let them soak. When it is time to load the dishwasher, a quick drain and rinse is usually all that is needed.

Tip # 4 – Keep scraps out of the way

Keep a bowl beside your cutting board. (If you compost, use two bowls – one for compostable, and another for non-compostable scraps). Toss scraps into your bowl(s) as you work. When you are done, empty your scrap bowl(s).

Tip # 5 – Clean in stages

Once you are done with the food prep stage, put your dishes into soapy water. Put away any items you don’t need for the cooking stage. Do a similar deck clearing at each stage to make working easier and buildup lighter.

Tip # 6 – Stave off stickiness

Line your baking and roasting pans with foil or parchment paper to save scrubbing later. Coat measuring utensils with non-stick spray so sticky ingredients like honey and peanut butter will slide right out and clean up easily.

Tip # 7 – Use your downtime wisely

While the water is boiling, the oven heating, or onions are softening in the pan, handle those small-dose kitchen cleaning tasks like loading or emptying the dishwasher, wiping spills, or sweeping.

Remember, as host or hostess of the New Year’s Eve party, you don’t want to be locked in the kitchen. Use these tips to get your kitchen clean quickly so that you can socialize.

Would you like a quote on general or detail cleaning services before your party? Contact Raina Raflo at http://www.spongeandsparkle.com or call (404) 633-9652.

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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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7 Tips for a Low-Stress, Simpler Holiday Season

Posted on December 19, 2013. Filed under: Entertaining Tips | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

The holidays can be a very busy time, which can result in a great deal of stress. You can just plow through it all, fainting in a heap on January 2nd, or you can take the proactive approach of simplifying the holidays.

keep-calm-this-holiday

Here are some suggestions you can use:

1.    Be careful of back-to-back events.

Don’t host your holiday party on the same day as your child’s school chorus event.  You will be rushed, your kids will be tired, and you won’t enjoy the party.  You should also avoid having events two days in a row. Being festive and cheerful is hard work. Give yourself at least a day’s rest in between each event.

2.    Buy consumable gifts.

Be careful of giving things like figurines or other such things that will sit on a shelf collecting dust. The best gifts are things that will actually be used like piano lessons, wine, or even cookies.

3.    Create a list of every single thing you have to do.

The best way to relax is to stop obsessing over everything you have to do. Once you get it written down on paper, and begin crossing off tasks, you will see your progress and be able to relax and enjoy the process.

4.    Schedule rest time.

While crossing off your holiday tasks are important, it is also important to do them well. If you are tired, you will surely get sloppy and careless. Make sure you plan for a full night sleep every day, and a break after every 2 hours of work.

5.    Get help. Don’t try to do it all yourself.

a.    Recruit family members to help you decorate, prepare for festivities, and make gifts. Not only will the work go faster, but also you will have great bonding experiences.

b.    Get your friends to shop with you. Remember, there is safety in numbers, and if you pick someone who is task oriented, having company will make the time fly.

c.    Outsourcing is a smart way to get help.  Hire a cleaning service, have someone string and/or remove your outdoor lights. If you are short on time and creativity, there are services that will completely decorate your house for you for the holiday season.

6.    Stick to your budget.

You don’t want to suffer for the next three months because you over-did it in December. If you like to splurge during the holidays, next year, you may want to consider joining a “Christmas Club” type account at your bank to set aside funds for this time of year.  If you put away just $100 a month, you will have plenty of extra money to spend on the holiday festivities.

7.    Consider gift certificates.

Shopping for gift certificates is easy on the back, and is actually appreciated more and more, especially for the person that has everything. Be sure to get something that is thoughtful, and unconventional, such as pre-paying for their next mani-pedi, or hiring a house cleaning service.

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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 Gift Idea For The Person With ‘Everything’ – Time

Posted on December 12, 2013. Filed under: About Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta House Cleaning, Time Management | Tags: |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

Atlanta House Cleaning Service Gift Certificate

  • Is there a person or two on your gift-giving list that appears to have everything, and you don’t know where to begin shopping for them?
  • Are you looking for a creative, thoughtful gift for someone you are trying to impress?
  • Are you having trouble finding items that will express your love and appreciation to your mother or your spouse?
  • Are you struggling to locate a gift that is will be both useful and give delight to someone who prefers practical things?

Then you are not alone.  Very often, locating the right gift for that special person is a very difficult task.

Well, have you considered giving the gift of time?  Whether their homes are big or small, or even if they live in an apartment, there are two things that everyone on your holiday list could use: time and a clean home.

With most people spending over 600 hours a year cleaning, a gift of our professional maid service will save your recipient an incredible amount of time and effort.  Your gift will be both thoughtful, and valuable, and will be sure to impress your recipient.

As our customer, Judy, says:

It’s wonderful to have everything so clean it sparkles.
We have had Sponge & Sparkle for a few years now and I am a fussy homeowner. They do a fantastic job–coming home after a hard week, it is so wonderful to have everything so clean it sparkles. Baseboards, blinds, all the surfaces are spotless. And they come on time every time. Great cleaning service. Read more Atlanta house cleaning reviews here.

By giving the gift of a cleaning service for your friend, family member, or loved one, you are telling them that you value them, you value their time, and that they deserve a little pampering.  They can reclaim their time catching up on other chores, dabbling in a hobby, or just relaxing with friends like you.

We have added a very special touch of lovingly packaging our gift certificates in an attractive teacup set. This will provide the hint that so your special gift recipient should relax and enjoy a sip tea while we clean for them.  We also provide free local delivery, or you can pick up the gift certificates from us. Call us at (404) 633-9652 to find our about our holiday gift packages.

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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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Atlanta House Cleaning Service | Holiday Newsletter

Posted on December 5, 2013. Filed under: About Sponge & Sparkle, Entertaining Tips | Tags: |

With the holiday edition, our print newsletter  has a new look.

house cleaning gift certificate

Read it to find out:

  • A quick, tasty recipe – perfect for your holiday get-together
  • Meet your cleaning techs – Pat, Liz and Karla
  • A special offer for your referral
  • How to give the gift of time
  • Why turkey makes you sleepy and happy

For all of this and more, click here to download the newsletter.

We are so grateful to have you as part of the Sponge & Sparkle family, and strive to live up to the trust that you have placed in us. Thank you!

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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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