Entertaining Tips

7 Tips for a Calmer, Less Stressful Holiday Season

Posted on December 17, 2015. Filed under: Entertaining Tips, Time Management | 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 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 you will also 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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7 Tips to Simplify your Holiday Season

Posted on December 11, 2014. 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, free house cleanings, 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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Thanksgiving Entertaining – Your Countdown Checklist

Posted on October 31, 2014. Filed under: Entertaining Tips, Time Management | Tags: , , , |

Will you host a Thanksgiving gathering this year?  The thought of all of the work that goes into it can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time host.

It is possible to host the big gathering and still have enough energy to enjoy your guests, however. The key to stress-free entertaining is preparation.

Happy Thanksgiving Fine Dining Table Place Setting In Purple, Wh

Our Thanksgiving entertaining checklist gives you a few things to do each week so that entertaining isn’t an overwhelming task. (We’ve also included a downloadable PDF version). Follow our checklist and get ready to enjoy yourself!

4 Weeks

  1. Make your menu (and shopping list).
    You might already have a traditional menu. Starting early this year, however, gives you the chance to be creative.
  2. Recruit volunteers.
    Volunteers can be your children, your spouse, or friends. Ask for help now so that everyone is ready to do their part. Here are a few tasks to assign to volunteers: preparing a side dish, watching your children while you grocery shop or polishing the silverware.
  3. Make your outsourcing decisions.
    Will you handle all of the cooking or enlist the help of a caterer? Do you plan on cleaning your home yourself, or hiring a house cleaning service? Decide what you will handle, and what you will outsource.
  4. Create your guest list and send your invitations.
  5. Take stock of your home.
    Walk through your home, and take a fresh look through the eyes of your guests. Do you need to refresh the decorations in the guest bathroom? Does your lawn need sprucing? Do you need the decks cleaned? Make your list, and decide who will take care of these tasks.
  6. Take stock of your decorations, fine china and silverware.
    Your fine china hasn’t been used in several months, and your decorations have been in boxes for almost a year. Inspect them to decide what you need to clean, repair, or purchase.

3 Weeks

  1. Place your order with the caterer.
  2. Schedule your house cleaning.
    The best time to have a professional cleaning service perform a detail cleaning is the week before a holiday.  It stands to reason that this week is also the busiest time for home cleaning services. Make your appointment now to reserve your space on the schedule.
    If you decide to do the cleaning yourself, set 6 or more hours aside the weekend before to get your home in tip-top shape.
  3. Finalize your shopping list.
    If you haven’t already, it is time to finalize the shopping list. Highlight the non-perishable items that can be purchased ahead of time.

2 Weeks

  1. Shop for your non-perishables.
    Buy everything that you do not need to purchase fresh. This can include canned goods, beverages, and spices. Shopping 2-3 weeks before Thanksgiving also has the added benefit of helping you avoid the crowds.  Tip – clear space in the your pantry and refrigerator before you go shopping so that you have somewhere to store your items.
  2. Buy your decorations.
    You’ll get the best selection of decorations by buying them now.

1 Week

  1. Get your home cleaned.
    A week before is the best time to clean your home from top to bottom. If you’ve scheduled an appointment with a house cleaning service, this is a task you can easily check off your list.  If you haven’t, get your supplies and block off at least 6 hours.
  2. Prepare your food.
    Are there any dishes (or portions of dishes) that you can prepare and freeze ahead of time? Go ahead and get those out of the way.
  3. Polish your silver and wash the fine china.
    While you are getting your home cleaned, go ahead and clean your silverware and  fine china. Better yet, have your teenagers handle this task.

1 to 3 Days

  1. Decorate.
    If you do not have small children, you can probably set up your decorations several days to a week in advance.
  2. Set up your dining room.
    Get your table and service areas as close to ready as you can. This provides another opportunity for you to make certain you have enough serving dishes and utensils.
  3. Shop for perishable items (flowers, vegetables, fruit, etc.).

Thanksgiving Eve

  1. Walk-through.
    The night before Thanksgiving, walk through the areas your guests will be visiting to see if there is anything that needs to be cleaned or repaired.
  2. Prepare the food.
    This is probably when you will be preparing most of your dinner. Our tips will help you keep your kitchen clean while you are cooking.

Before your guests arrive.

  1. Prepare your last minute dishes, making sure to keep your kitchen clean as you do.
  2. Do a last minute walk-through.
  3. Relax, and get ready to enjoy your guests!

I hope this checklist comes in handy as you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast. Feel free to comment and share your entertaining tips.

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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 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.

Atlanta 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.

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

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.

Atlanta 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.

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

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 )

Holiday Countdown – Checklist for Stress-Free Entertaining

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

Thanksgiving Table

Can you believe it is Fall already? The holiday season will be here before you know it.

When you are preparing for festive gatherings, the key to stress-free entertaining is preparation.

Our checklist gives you a few things to do each week, so that entertaining isn’t an overwhelming task. Follow our checklist and get ready to enjoy yourself along with your guests.

4 weeks before

  1. Make your menu (and shopping list).You probably already have a traditional menu. Starting early this year, however, gives you the chance to be creative.  Perhaps this is the year to try lamb instead of ham?
  2. Recruit volunteers.Volunteers can be your children, your spouse, or friends. Ask for help now so that everyone is ready to do their part. Here are a few tasks to assign to volunteers: preparing a side dish, watching your children while you grocery shop, preparing the Easter eggs, choosing games, or polishing the silverware.
  3. Make your outsourcing decisions.Will you handle all of the cooking or enlist the help of a caterer? Do you plan on cleaning your home yourself, or hiring a house cleaning service? Decide what you will handle, and what you will outsource.
  4. Create your guest list, and invite your guests.
  5. Take stock of your home.Walk through your home, and take a fresh look through the eyes of your guests. Do you need to refresh the towels in the guest bathroom? Does your lawn need sprucing? Do you need the decks cleaned? Make your list, and decide who will take care of these items.
  6. Take stock of your decorations, fine china and silverware.Your fine china hasn’t been used in several months, and your decorations have been in boxes for almost a year. Inspect them to decide what you need to clean, repair, or purchase.

3 weeks before

  1. Place your order with the caterer.
  2. Schedule your house cleaning.The best time to have your cleaning service perform a detail cleaning is the week before a holiday.  It stands to reason that this week is also the busiest time for home cleaning services. Make your appointment now to reserve your space on the schedule.If you decide to do the cleaning yourself, set 6 or more hours aside the weekend before to get your home in tip-top shape.
  3. Finalize your shopping list.If you haven’t already, it is time to finalize the shopping list. Highlight the non-perishable items that can be purchased ahead of time.

2 weeks before

  1. Shop for your non-perishables.Buy everything that you do not need to purchase fresh. This can include canned goods, beverages, spices, and decorations. Shopping 2-3 weeks before Easter also has the added benefit of helping you avoid the crowds.  Tip – clear space in the your pantry and refrigerator before you go shopping so that you have somewhere to store your items.
  2. Buy your decorations.You’ll get the best selection of decorations by buying them now.

1 week before

  1. Clean your home.A week before is the best time to clean the home from top to bottom. If you’ve scheduled an appointment with a house cleaning service, this is a task you can easily check off your list.  If you haven’t, get your supplies and block off at least 6 hours.
  2. Prepare your food.Are there any dishes (or portions of dishes) that you can prepare and freeze ahead of time? Go ahead and get those out of the way.
  3. Polish your silver, and wash the fine china.While you are getting your home cleaned, go ahead and clean your silverware and  fine china. Better yet, have your teenagers handle this task.

1 to 3 Days before.

  1. Decorate.If you do not have small children, you can probably set up your decorations several days to a week in advance.
  2. Set up your dining room.Get your table and service areas as close to ready as you can. This provides another opportunity for you to make certain you have enough serving dishes and utensils.
  3. Shop for fresh items.Buy flowers, vegetables or fruit.
  4. Walk-through.The night before Easter, walk through the areas your guests will be visiting to see if there is anything that needs to be cleaned or repaired.

The Night Before

  1. Prepare the food.This is probably when you will be preparing most of your dinner. Our tips will help you keep your kitchen clean while you are cooking.

Before your guests arrive.

  1. Prepare your last minute dishes, making sure to keep your kitchen clean as you do.
  2. Do a last minute walk-through.
  3. Relax, and get ready to enjoy your guests.

I hope this checklist comes in handy as you prepare for Easter entertaining. Feel free to comment and share your Easter entertaining tips.

What are your secrets for stress-free entertaining?

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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 )

6 Kitchen Cleaning Tips for Stress Free Holiday Entertaining

Posted on December 19, 2012. Filed under: Entertaining Tips, Kitchen Cleaning |

Atlanta Cleaning Service - Kitchen Cleaning TipsOnce you have had your home cleaned by an expert Atlanta maid service to prepare for holiday 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 holiday feast, but you want it to be clean and orderly when your guests arrive.

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

Tip # 1 – 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 # 2 – 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 # 3 – 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 # 4 – 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 # 5 – 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 # 6 – 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 holiday gatherings, 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 holiday gathering? Contact Raina Raflo at http://www.spongeandsparkle.com or call (404) 633-9652.

Atlanta 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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A Life-Saver for the Stressful Holiday Season

Posted on December 5, 2012. Filed under: Entertaining Tips | Tags: , |

During the holiday season when everyone has too much to do, and not enough time, a cleaning service might be just the life saver that you need.

A sparkling clean home just makes dinner taste better!

Even for people who would normally not be interested in contracting with a cleaning service, they often find that a cleaning company’s services a few times during the holidays keeps them happier and less stressed. After all, when you’ve done a beautiful job decorating the house, it isn’t so nice to be looking at it under a layer of dust and grime.

What with the extra cooking, and baking, and shopping, and entertaining, and being entertained – in addition to still working, and raising your kids, and taking care of the pets, paying the bills, washing the clothes, buying the groceries, fixing the car – who has time for cleaning the house?

And, God forbid, if your mother and/or mother in law is coming to your house for the festivities, you certainly don’t want to be indicted by her for your poor housecleaning skills! Do you really need to worry about that too?

Well, no you don’t!  You work too hard already and instead of working harder, you need to give yourself a break. You need to enjoy – really enjoy – this special, sacred season.
A clean home is a beautiful thing, not just because it is clean, but because when your home is clean and sparkly, everything else just seems a little easier.

So do yourself and your family a favor and give yourself the gift of a few cleanings…..at least until life gets back to normal. Call 404.633.9652 or click here to request a house-cleaning quote.

 

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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 )

Having a Thanksgiving Gathering? Here’s your Checklist.

Posted on November 10, 2012. Filed under: Entertaining Tips, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: |

When you are preparing for a festive gathering such as Thanksgiving dinner, the key to stress-free entertaining is preparation.

Our checklist gives you a few things to do over the next two weeks, so that entertaining isn’t an overwhelming task. Follow our checklist and get ready to enjoy the festivities along with your guests.

2 weeks before

  1. Shop for your non-perishables.Buy everything that you do not need to purchase fresh. This can include canned goods, beverages, spices, and decorations. Shopping 2-3 weeks also has the added benefit of helping you avoid the crowds. Tip – clear space in the your pantry and refrigerator before you go shopping so that you have somewhere to store your items.
  2. Buy your decorations.
  3. Schedule your deep house cleaning.The best time to have your cleaning service perform a detail cleaning is the week before Thanksgiving. It stands to reason that this week is also the busiest time for home cleaning services. Make your appointment now to reserve your space on the schedule.

1 week before

  1. Clean your home.A week before is the best time to clean the home from top to bottom. If you’ve scheduled an appointment with a house cleaning service, this is a task you can easily check off your list. If you haven’t, get your supplies and block off several hours.
  2. Prepare your food.Are there any dishes (or portions of dishes) that you can prepare and freeze ahead of time? Go ahead and get those out of the way.
  3. Polish your silver, and wash the fine china.While you are getting your home cleaned, go ahead and clean your silverware and fine china. Better yet, have your teenagers handle this task.

1 to 3 Days before.

  1. Decorate.If you do not have small children, you can probably set up your decorations several days to a week in advance.
  2. Set up your dining room.Get your table and service areas as close to ready as you can. This provides another opportunity for you to make certain you have enough serving dishes and utensils.
  3. Shop for fresh items.Buy flowers, vegetables or fruit.
  4. Walk-through.The night before, walk through the areas your guests will be visiting to see if there is anything that needs to be cleaned or repaired.

The Night Before

  1. Prepare the food.This is probably when you will be preparing most of your dinner. Our tips will help you keep your kitchen clean while you are cooking.

Before your guests arrive.

  1. Prepare your last minute dishes, making sure to keep your kitchen clean as you do.
  2. Do a last minute walk-through.
  3. Relax, and get ready to enjoy your guests.

I hope this checklist comes in handy as you prepare for Thanksgiving entertaining. Feel free to comment and share your entertaining tips.

What are your secrets for a stress-free gathering?

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

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