MOLLY MAID Blog

As the UK's leading domestic cleaning company, MOLLY MAID has been providing professional domestic cleaning services and cleaning tips for many years.  Our MOLLY MAID Blog offers interesting cleaning tips and organisation tips to help make your life a little bit easier.

Keeping a pet friendly home

You may well have been fortunate enough to welcome a new pet into your home this Christmas. You've probably also heard that people who have pets generally live longer, have lower blood pressure, are less stressed. However, MOLLY MAID, the domestic house cleaners, know that pet owners generally have more housecleaning chores, too. And cleanliness is critical, not just because of unpleasant pet odours, but also for good health. The good news is that there are lots of ways to keep a pet's home as clean as can be! 

The task of keeping your house clean when you have pets can be divided into daily maintenance to keep hair and dust levels down and occasional clean-ups after an accident. Since most dogs and cats shed their hair, proper grooming is the first and most effective step in keeping down dust and hair in the house.

Here are some effective ways by MOLLY MAID, the cleaning experts, to keep a pet-friendly home clean.

  • Choose a designated sleeping area for your pets - a bed they can call their own. Hair will be more contained to just one area.
  • Place carpet underlay beneath the pet's dishes to keep them from sliding around and spilling.
  • Try to shake out your pet's bedding on a daily basis, clean around its bed twice a week, and launder its bed once a week.
  • To keep cats from using your furniture as a scratching post, spray the arms and legs of the sofa with perfume - they don't like this.
  • Keeping a scratching post for cats and try to teach cats to use it.
  • If pets lie on furniture, use washable covers if possible to protect against animal hair and soiling.
  • Microfibre mops are effective at picking up hair and dustballs from the floor.
  • To pick up pet hair from furniture, try Scotch or masking tape rolled backwards around your fingers. A pair of rubber gloves, a chamois, or a damp cloth will also do the trick.
  • Special vacuum cleaners have features that remove animal hair. Also since hair seems to gather around the edges of furniture, use an edging tool or the straight hose to get those spots first, then vacuum the rest of the furniture.
  • Hair rakes, available from the pet shop, will remove much of the hair before vacuuming to keep things gentle on carpets.
  • Gauze or cheesecloth placed over air vents keeps hair from circulating through the ductwork (if you have air conditioning for example), making it easier to keep dust down.

Good Luck!

Posted by Molly Maid at 00:00

How to be a savvy with your food shopping

January is the month to think about your annual budget and, if you need to free up a little extra cash, consider looking at cutting the cost of your food bill. You may worry that this will mean compromising on quality, but it is possible to pare back, achieve great value AND still enjoy tasty, nutritious food. 

Here are some top tips by MOLLY MAID, the professional house cleaners, to help get the best out of grocery shopping.

Plan Meals:  Write down what your family will eat for the week, allowing for absences, extra guests, or occasions when you'll need a quick meal. Plan a suitable meal for each day, ensuring that you have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. Think about what need to be used up in your freezer or fridge. Then incorporate these items into your meal plan.

Stick to your list: Don't be tempted by additional items, and when you get to the checkout put back anything that's miraculously slipped in. Eat before you go shopping - it's easy to over shop when you are hungry.  If you're easily tempted, why not try online grocery shopping and avoid succumbing altogether! 

Watch the Deals: Check the maths - some savings are only worth a few pence, and some aren't savings at all.  Only buy 'Buy One Get One Free' items if you know you will use them both.  Fresh meat can be frozen for later, but will you really use the BOGOFs on fruit?

Shop Elsewhere:  Try meat from your local butcher for example. You will no doubt be impressed by the quality, and you can also buy exactly the quantity you want, saving money and waste. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are often cheaper at your local market or farm shop and, if you run out of milk mid-week, pop in to your local corner shop instead of the supermarket.  That way you'll just buy milk and you won't spend £20 on other items you didn't know you needed!

Posted by Molly Maid at 00:00

There’s no better time for some financial housekeeping

The professional domestic cleaners at MOLLY MAID see the New Year as an ideal chance to review all domestic matters and to get one's house in order and set good practices. 

There's nothing like the start of a new year to prompt an urge to improve our finances, but all too often our best-laid plans fall apart. But the process of reviewing your money situation in 2014 may help prime your mind for getting your finances on track in 2015. 

By disciplining yourself to review the following areas of expenditure, will ensure that you are both up-to-date with current deals, but also reassured that you are being as financially savvy as possible.

Pay special attention to the following areas:

  • Credit Cards/ loans- Do you have the best deal on the market for your circumstances? It is a fiercely competitive market place. Check cost comparison websites for example.
  • Utilities- Check that you are on the most appropriate 'rate' or 'package' and compare costs of other providers. You may find that a new player has come to the market since you signed up.
  • Insurance Policies- Avoid falling into the trap of simply 'renewing' your annual home, health or travel insurance and research whether you could achieve savings by switching providers. Armed with this information, approach your existing provider with the rates you have found and challenge them. They may well match these rates.
  • Motoring- Ensure that your policies relating to your vehicle are up-to-date and meet your and your family needs. Take some time to shop around.
  • Grocery shopping- for ideas on savvy ways to shop, please check our next blog from MOLLY MAID on 9th January.

For more information on how best to achieve savings, log on to www.moneysavingexpert.com

Posted by Molly Maid at 00:00

Embracing the need for change

Having celebrated and welcomed in the New Year, it is the ideal time to think carefully about whether you should use this opportunity to change certain elements in your lifestyle. Ask yourself these questions: Do you change things regularly? Or do you prefer getting into a routine and sticking with it? Do you actively seek new things? New places, new faces, new technologies, or new ways of living? Or do you tend to gravitate towards the things that are known and familiar.

Which is better? Is it healthier to change all of the time? Or is routine and stability a preferable way to go?The answer lies in both.

According to research, our physical bodies require change. Different stressors, such as exercise, varied diets and even small doses of toxins, make us adapt and grow stronger. Our mental and spiritual wellbeing also requires change to evolve and grow. New experiences provide us with new references and perspectives. Challenging situations allow us to develop new strategies to better handle ourselves in the future. So, change can be good! However, change also requires some sort of framework. Something solid, something grounded. Familiar even.

The routine part of life helps you cope with change - provided you put the right values, routines and structures in place. Habits and routines take some of the mental work out of each day, allowing us to go on autopilot and save our mental faculties for more difficult work. But you need to set them up correctly. Habits such as teeth cleaning are great, but poor habits such as smoking, mindless eating, or procrastination will quickly rob you of good health.

Our values are also an essential reference point to help us remain grounded when the rest of our universe is uncertain. Be clear on your values, define what they are, and they will never change, not matter what is going on around you (unless of course you elect to change them - they are yours after all).

The professional house cleaners, MOLLY MAID, recommend that much like domestic cleaning, the trick to harnessing the health benefits of change is to practice it on a regular basis.

Small changes applied on a regular basis will strengthen your coping strategies and get you used to trying new things.

MOLLY MAID recommends a few ways in which you can practice change:

  • Eat seasonally: Eating fresh, seasonal and local produce is not only better for you, but you will learn new recipes and cooking techniques as well as, get a wider variety of nutrients, and limit your risk of toxic build up.
  • Change your exercise routine seasonally:  The body adapts and learns quickly. Failure to change your exercise regime will result in loss of results and plateau. Aligning your exercise changes to the seasons is a great way to introduce 12 weekly programs as well as change your training according to the temperature outside!
  • Take a new route to work: Change is as good as a holiday! The simple act of mixing up our route to work can change the tone of the entire day.
  • Talk to new people: There is no better way to practice change than by getting out of your comfort zone. Strike up a conversation at your local shop - you may be surprised at how easy it is!
  • Travel: One of the simplest ways to take a break and gain new experiences at the same time. It is often after a period of travel that we implement new things into our lives.
  • Volunteer: Assist those in need and gain a greater understanding of life.
  • Address bad health habits: Want to quit smoking? Want to reduce your alcohol consumption? Want to deal with food addiction? You will only achieve these things and true freedom if you are open to and willing to accept change.

Change is good. Change is necessary, so why not cease the moment and introduce some positive changes into 2015.

 

Posted by Molly Maid at 00:00

New Year’s Eve – 9 Ways to Make it Special for Your Family

  1. Decorate. Head to your favourite department or pound store and stock up on celebration paraphernalia such as party hats and party poppers, decorations and other celebratory items. Decorate the family room or living room.
  2. Dress Up.  Decide together that everyone in the family is going to dress up - and go all out.  And break out the glitter and get fancy in a fun way. Is there a vintage dress in the back of your cupboard? Have you got costume jewelry, feather boas, and tiaras you can pull out too?
  3. Great Food. Prepare a special meal - one your kids may have never tried. A fondue for example is fun and kids love dipping food into bubbling cheese, or for dessert, fruit into chocolate.  
  4. Games Night. Make it a fancy games night with card and board games that everyone enjoys. Between games, serve snacks. And, plan a celebration at the end with prizes for winners.  
  5. Dance Party. Set your living room up as a dance club with low lights or candles and a bare floor area where it's safe and fun to dance. Create a playlist of dance tunes ahead of time. Entertain lavishly with lots of snacks and make one or two songs 'spot dances' with prizes.
  6. Midnight Around the World. If your children are young, it might not be possible to keep them awake for midnight. Create a New Year's Eve celebration in another country - in another time zone. So midnight comes earlier!
  7. Skating Party. If the weather's right and there's an indoor or outdoor rink nearby, gather together friends and family for an hour or two on ice. Then everyone can head back to your home for hot chocolate, snacks, and champagne for the adults.
  8. Family Memories. Encourage everyone in the family to prepare a presentation of family memories (either a video, a montage of photographs or even a little speech) and take turns sharing it. In between, bring out some favourite snacks. At midnight, raise a glass of bubbly (champagne for the adults, ginger ale or other bubbly pop for the children) to the New Year.
  9. Last but not least, leave the clean-up for tomorrow. Having to clean up in the midst of a party can ruin not only the atmosphere, but also make the party less enjoyable for the host. Why not arrange for Professional Domestic Cleaners from MOLLY MAID to wave their magic wand and start the New Year as you mean to continue.
Posted by Molly Maid at 00:00
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