What to Clean When You Move Into a New Home: The Ultimate Checklist

When you move into a new home, although you hope that it has been cleaned by the previous resident, there is always a chance germs are still lingering. You want to move into a clean home where you won’t feel paranoid about the germs left behind. Therefore, a thorough cleaning is called for—ideally, just before you move in.

The ideal checklist for cleaning when you move into a new house

Here, we provide the ultimate checklist for what you need to clean in a new home.

The Bathroom

This is the obvious place to start. Make your way down from the ceiling, dusting from top to bottom. This removes dust and stuff like pet dander.

Next, wipe down the shiny surfaces like windows and mirrors using a good window cleaner. A bleach spray should be used on shower stall glass, but it will leave streaks, so follow up by rinsing the bleach and then finishing with a good window cleaner.

Tackle the toilet, sink, and tub with a bleach cleaner, and anything that seems to be stained can be followed up with a good bathroom abrasive cleaner and brush. Never mix a bathroom cleaner on top of another bathroom cleaner, as this causes a reaction that releases poisonous gases. Finally, wipe down the counter and vanity with an all-purpose cleaner, and then wipe knobs and pulls with bleach wipes.

Give the floor a good cleaning with your Swiffer and you’re good to go. You’ll also want to replace that toilet seat. Yuck.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is also a place where germs and smells tend to linger. Take the same approach, starting with a good dusting from top to bottom. In the kitchen, you’ll also want to clean the walls as they probably have residue from past cooking.

A mix of liquid dish detergent and warm water works well; then, wipe walls down with a clean damp cloth to remove soapy residue. If the walls seem sticky, use an abrasive sponge to remove the grime. Wipe down the cabinet and knobs using an all-purpose cleaner; then, open the shelves and remove crumbs and clean them. You can add some shelf liners once you are done.

Be sure that you are using a wood-appropriate cleaner if your cabinets are made of wood. Open all the drawers and vacuum them out, or take them off their rollers and shake out the crumbs. Use a counter-appropriate cleaner to wipe everything down to remove any possible bacteria that can make you sick.

Then, clean the backsplash. Scrub the sink with an abrasive cleanser or use baking soda with some vinegar or lemon. Then, dump a bit of baking soda down the drain to remove odours. Lastly, sweep and mop the floor.

Appliances

If you have a self-cleaning oven, turn it on while you work. Wipe down the inside of your fridge so it is ready for your food, and then clean the outside of the fridge and stove. Pull out the bin drawers in the fridge and wash them with dishwashing liquid, and line them with a paper towel to absorb spills and juices.

If you have a dishwasher, run an empty cycle using a dishwasher cleaner. Once the oven is finished its clean cycle, let it cool, and then remove the racks and wash them using dishwashing liquid and warm water. Rinse them thoroughly.

If you have a glass-top stove, you can use a scraper to remove anything caked on. Baking soda and lemon work well too. If it is electric, remove the elements and clean below, and then put the elements back in. The oven hood might be quite sticky with grease, so use a grease remover to get rid of the residue. It should also have a removable filter that you can wash in the sink with dish detergent and warm water.

Don’t scrub too hard or you can warp it, and it will have to be replaced. If the filter is filthy, opt to replace it instead. Don’t forget the drawer under the oven. This tends to get pretty crumby and filled with spills. You can vacuum it out and then wipe it down with an all-purpose cleaner.

The Floors

Cleaning the floors depends on what type you have. Here are tips for the most common floor types:

Carpet: You might consider hiring a professional steam cleaner if having this done wasn’t a term of your home purchase or mentioned by your landlord. This will remove anything unpleasant left behind, so you have a nice fresh carpet. If it was steam-cleaned, just give it a good vacuuming to remove the dust and dirt left by the movers trudging through the home.

Hardwood/laminate: Give your wood or laminate floors a good sweep, and if they seem dirty, use an appropriate cleaner to get them looking like new. Laminate floors cannot be soaked with water and detergent as it can damage them. A Swiffer makes a good choice, as they only spritz a small amount of a mild cleaning solution.

Other hard floors: Sweep other hard floors (such as tile) to remove debris, and then use a wet mop and cleaning solution suited to that floor type.

Since this is such a big job, you might consider hiring our move-in cleaning service to take care of the cleaning for you. We can come in while you’re loading up your items from your old home, and be finished when you start to move in. Speak to our team at Maid4Condos today by contacting us online. You can also reach us by phone at 647-822-0601.

10 Reasons to Hire Cleaning Professionals for Your Condo

Keeping a condo neat and clean can be a hassle. Whether you are too busy, have limited storage space, or just plain hate cleaning, your condo can become dirty fast. The longer you put cleaning off, the worse things get, thus creating a snowball effect that becomes impossible to manage.

Why should you hire professionals to clean your condo?

Even if you do consider yourself a pretty good cleaner, you might be missing key areas where bacteria lurk or allergens like to hang out. The truth is that nothing is easier or more effective than hiring cleaning professionals to tackle your cleaning. Here, we offer 10 solid reasons why hiring a cleaning professional is the right choice for your condo.

1. Healthier home environment

Although we’ve lived with COVID-19 for a while now, it sure brought the idea of harmful bacteria and viruses living in our homes to the forefront. Even if you aren’t a germaphobe, it just shows how easy our homes can make us sick. However, it’s not just about viruses.

Our homes are filled with harmful airborne bacteria that can impact our health. From allergies to irritating asthma and from food-borne germs to mould, a condo cleaning service uses clean tools, effective cleaners, and, above all else, a commitment to thoroughness to keep your condo safe.

2. Free time

This probably is priority number one for most of us. Cleaning takes up valuable time that most of us just don’t have. A cleaning service takes care of all that monotonous cleaning so you can focus on other things, whether it is work, family and friends, your love life, or good old alone time.

3. Every inch is clean

If you are being perfectly honest with yourself, you know you aren’t putting in 100% effort to reach every nook and cranny of your condo. Even total neat freaks can miss a spot here and there. Cleaning teams love cleaning and spend their days looking for dirt so they can conquer it.

They use an insane level of detail when cleaning, and also have proper tools to reach those harder-to-clean areas you tend to miss. The result is a truly clean condo that makes your day-to-day cleaning easier.

4. Guest-ready condo

If you’ve ever been out with friends or on a date and wanted to ask people to come back and hang out but couldn’t because your condo is a mess, then a cleaning service is the answer.

Why miss opportunities because you don’t have time to clean? Or worse, maybe you did extend the invite, but to the horror of your guest. No one wants to enter a terrible mess when socializing. You can have your condo guest-ready whether you plan to entertain or have friends pop in unexpectedly.

5. Convenient schedules

Cleaning services offer flexible schedules, so they clean when it suits you. You don’t have to commit to a specific day, time, or even frequency. Instead, you can schedule as needed, or keep up a steady pace with a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly schedule. The messier you are, the more frequent the times. You might also need a special call, such as after a party, before you move, or before you sell your condo.

6. Less chance of bugs

Yuck. In some condos, the risk of pests is high. The best way to keep your home pest-free is to make sure there isn’t any food or water to sustain them. A clean home without food crumbs, sauce drippings, and dishes in the sink is far less likely to attract pests to your unit.

7. No more cleaning supplies

You can save some money on cleaning supplies and equipment with a professional cleaning team taking care of everything. They bring all the equipment and cleaning products, so you don’t have to worry about them. You also free up your limited condo storage space without all those bottles, mops, buckets, etc.

8. Increase appliance life span

Proper care of your appliances can help them run more efficiently so they last longer. Cleaning is a key part of appliance maintenance, especially your oven, stovetop, and fridge. Dirty build-up can interfere with operation, leading to the need for emergency repairs. Cleaning teams can keep your appliances sparkling, so they are given a better chance of lasting longer.

9. Your choice of services

You can also choose the type of cleaning service you need, whether it is a basic clean, a more thorough clean, or a deep clean. A cleaning schedule can be set, or you can simply call when services are needed as mentioned above.

10. No ick factor

Professional cleaners take care of the dirty work, so you don’t have to. The dirty toilet, soiled bathtub ring, filthy sink, and stained countertop are not something you want to contend with, so they might be left as is due to the ick factor. However, professional cleaners will take care of it for you, so your home is always clean, and you don’t have to worry about things like dirty toilets.

When you are ready to hire a condo cleaning service, speak to the experts at Maid4Condos. Our name says it all. You can also reach us by phone at 647-822-0601.

7 Reasons to Hire Professionals Maids to Deep Clean Your Home

Your home is your personal oasis – and it’s important to keep it clean and safe for you and your loved ones.

Why should you hire professional maids to deep clean your home?

Deep cleaning involves finding all those little nooks and crannies were dirt and grime can collect. It can be difficult to admit that you just aren’t able to reach all those specific areas, but that’s where the pros come in.

Although you can clean regularly, it takes a really good, professional deap clean to make sure you’ve tidied up completely. In this blog we take a look at 7 reasons you should hire residential deep cleaning services to keep your home clean and looking its best.

1. Helps remove allergens

If you suffer from allergies, deep cleaning your home removes unseen allergens. While regular vacuuming helps, vacuums don’t remove all the allergens that get kicked up every time you walk, such as residue, dust, and tiny germs and microbes.

If you have pets, it’s even more important as traces of feces and urine, as well as fur and dander, all add to the impurities in the air. A good professional deep cleaning removes everything your vacuum leaves behind.

Think of it as a deep dental cleaning for your home. Your professional maid cleaning gets everything between the fibres that your regular vacuuming doesn’t!

2. It’s more affordable than you think!

When you call in our residential deep cleaning services to clean your home, it’s much more affordable than you think. We can provide a professional deep home cleaning well within your budget.

It’s worth the investment because it keeps your house looking its best while also helping to keep the air in your home healthier. And remember, you really only need to do it every few months, so you can put a few dollars aside each month for your annual fall or spring deep cleaning.

3. Safer than your DIY clean

Our maids are highly trained professionals with the equipment required to not just get in a good clean, but also ensure nothing is left behind – safely

We take the time to assess all the surfaces in your home not only to determine how they should be cleaned, but what specific products and techniques should be used to clean them. Understanding what we have to clean allows us to use the right solutions to beautify all areas of your home and remove any unsightly stains or pockets of grime.

4. Stain and odour removal

If areas in your home have lingering odours from the food you cook, pets, or smoke, a professional cleaning will get rid of the smell.

Stains, especially those from pets, are the worst for germs and stink. Our cleaning products and equipment force those smells and stains out, so your home is spotless and odourless. If you’re tired of coming home to that smell that just isn’t right, a deep cleaning is definitely in order.

5. No hassle

You might think it’s cheaper to just DIY your home’s deep clean, but this process won’t have the same long-lasting effects of a professional deep cleaning.

Deep cleaning your own home takes time and effort that, frankly, most of us just don’t have anymore. With professional home cleaning, you just make a call, we come and clean your plaxe, and we leave behind nothing but the home you know and love – only looking and smelling better and fresher than ever before.

Even if you’re no slouch when it comes to keeping your house clean, it’s always best to trust the experts to get into the nooks and crannies you might not have thought of. It’s your home, but having a fresh set of eyes on it means often overlooked areas will be tended to.

6. Improved comfort

When your home is professionally cleaned, it feels even more comfortable. You worked hard to call your house a home – so why not treat it with the care it deserves?

A professional deep cleaning can turn up the dial on any home, and make it that calm oasis you always imagined it would be.

7. Reduce flooring damage

Last but not least, when you regularly deep clean your home, you also eliminate anything that can wear down your flooring. All those little pieces of dirt rub against your flooring, which can slowly break it down and make it appear worn and uneven. Deep home cleaning removes debris, leaving behind clean floors that look and feel better longer.

Speak to our team at Maid4Condos today about our residential deep cleaning services to help keep your entire home looking and smelling great. You can also call us at 647-822-0601.

How to Clean Your Kitchen Counters Properly

Today, kitchen counters come in a wide variety of styles and materials. You might be uncertain how to keep your kitchen counters clean if they are made of something like wood or concrete. 

Tips for cleaning your kitchen counters

However, because you prepare food on your kitchen counters, it is very important to know how to clean them correctly to remove all those germs and reduce the risk of spreading foodborne illnesses. Here, we offer tips on how to clean your kitchen counters properly—no matter what they’re made of! 

Kitchen Counter Cleaning 101

First, regardless of the type of counters you have, you should follow some basic rules:

  • Sweep away crumbs whenever you are finished preparing food, using a crumb brush or dry paper towel to reduce buildup and avoid attracting pests.
  • Wipe any spills you notice right away with a paper towel. 
  • Use cutting boards to avoid damaging your counters.
  • Never place raw meats directly on your counters.
  • Always use an oven mitt or heating pad when placing hot dishes on the counter.

These basic tips will help keep counters clean, avoid germs and bacteria, and reduce the risk of damage.

Butcher Blocks or Wood Counters

Butcher blocks or other types of wood counters require special attention. They are very susceptible to stains if not properly treated. Wood counters need to be oiled to help prevent absorption of things like water, wine, juice, etc. 

Darker liquids will stain wood surfaces, which means you have to sand them down to remove the stain. Some great tips to remove germs and stains include the following:

  • Wipe away crumbs and scrape off anything stuck on the wood like gravy with a soft plastic spatula.
  • Always scrub in the same direction as the wood grain. 
  • Dish detergent and a sponge work well for basic cleaning, but always rinse off the soap thoroughly.
  • Keep wood dry.
  • If preparing raw meat, chicken, or fish, always disinfect the wood using white vinegar and a soft cloth letting the vinegar sit for about 15 minutes until it dries.
  • Use 1 cup of lemon juice and 1/3 cup of salt to create a paste to remove spots and grime.
  • Remove the lemon and salt residue with a damp, clean dish towel and let dry. 

These tips will keep your wood counters and butcher blocks looking their best and germ-free.

Marble Countertops

Of course, most people view marble as the gold standard for kitchen counters. However, they are also the most difficult to clean and take care of. 

Because they are so delicate, you can avoid all the fuss and just keep a spray bottle with everyday dish soap handy. Spritz the counter and wipe it with a soft cloth to remove stains and avoid damage. 

Never use vinegar or lemon juice and salt mixtures on marble, as they are too harsh. If you have stains like red wine, use water and baking powder instead. 

You might have to leave the paste to soak for a day before wiping it away. Your best bet is to ensure your marble countertops are treated and sealed to avoid staining. 

Granite Countertops

Granite is a lot like marble. However, while you can follow the same basic cleaning instructions as above, if you want to disinfect, you can use rubbing alcohol with a microfiber cloth. 

This is something you can’t do with marble. Again, a granite sealant is also a must, especially for lighter colours.

Laminate Countertops

Laminate is super-durable, except when it comes to heat. As mentioned in our Cleaning 101 section, never put anything hot directly onto your laminate countertops. 

That’s a stain you’ll never get rid of, and it will also bubble and raise to completely ruin your counters. Next, you can use just about anything on your laminate countertop as long as it is not a super-abrasive cleaner. 

If you have deeper stains like tea, coffee, or red wine, nothing works better than a mix of baking soda and lemon or vinegar. As long as you regularly clean with a kitchen-safe cleaner, or basic soap and antibacterial dish detergent, these humble counters are easy to care for.

Stainless Steel Countertops

As professional cleaners, we never understand why anyone would want stainless steel counters. Sure, they have a cool industrial look, but they are prone to fingerprints, and also show things like water and soap spots. 

If you do have stainless steel counters, though, they are fairly easy to care for. You don’t need any special cleaners—just cleaning clothes and a soft-bristled kitchen brush with trusty vinegar and baking soda. 

However, the main trick is to make sure you get them very dry to avoid spots. Fingerprints need some elbow grease, but most people aren’t putting their fingers directly on the counter surface like they do on fridges. 

Tile Countertops

Tile is tough to keep clean thanks to the grout. You can use pretty much anything on tile, but it’s best to use a brush so you get between the tiles and remove dirt from the grout. If the grout starts to discolour, then you can use bleach cleaners to help keep them white. 

Quartz Countertops

You might mistake quartz for granite. However, this is an engineered stone product that looks just as good but isn’t as porous. So, it doesn’t collect as much bacteria or stains as natural stone products. Use any kitchen cleaner or your dish detergent and water to keep these counters clean. 

Soapstone Counters

Soapstone is not as common as granite and marble, but it is actually a much better natural material. It stands up to anything, including wine, lemon juice, and vinegar. 

You can even put hot pots on it without worry. It doesn’t need a seal, just good old-fashioned soap and water to keep it clean. Still, as its name implies, it is softer, so avoid steel brushes and abrasive cleansers. 

Concrete Counters

If you have an edgy kitchen, then you might have gone with concrete. However, it isn’t really practical. Concrete needs a seal, as it is very prone to staining, but also bacterial growth. If you don’t seal it, then moisture alone can cause damage. 

Basic dish detergent and water with a washcloth will do the job nicely for cleaning. You can also use rubbing alcohol wipes if you need to disinfect counters after preparing raw meat.

At Maid4Condos, our Toronto cleaning team can help keep your kitchen counters sparkling clean and safe for food preparation. You can contact us online here, or call us at 647-822-0601.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Bedroom Clean

At the end of the day, or just on a lazy weekend, you want a quiet place to lay down your head and relax. 

How to keep your bedroom clean?

However, if your bedroom is always a mess, it can interfere with your ability to relax. In fact, it can actually interfere with your sleep. A messy room creates a chaotic, racing mind. A neat and tidy room has the opposite effect, creating a peaceful and serene environment perfect for sleep and relaxation. 

Here, we offer 10 tips to keep your bedroom clean and restful.

1. Manage your daily clothing

Everyday, you wear a mix of clothes (although if you work from home, pyjamas might be your only clothes!). While some might be ready for the laundry after one use, others might still have some wear in them a few more times. 

Managing your daily clothing helps keep your room neater. Every time you change, consider if it’s time for the hamper, dry cleaning, or reuse for the week. 

Toss dirty clothes in the hamper, and if you have a lot of clothes that need dry cleaning, keep a separate bag for those. Anything you plan to re-wear can be hung up. 

Your pyjamas can be neatly folded on your bed or a chair or placed on a hook in the closet. You’ll have perfect peace of mind when you start following this simple rule.

2. Have a trash can

Many people don’t have a trash can in their bedroom. However, there are all kinds of things you need to toss, from cosmetic wipes to cotton balls used to remove nail polish, and “clippings” to old wrappers. 

If you think a trash can is too unsightly for your bedroom, you’d be surprised how nice today’s trash cans look. You can choose something slick and modern or consider using trash cans designed for the bathroom, as they tend to be quite stylish. 

Then, be sure to empty them once full. Put little trash bags in the bottom of the bin so they are ready once you empty the old one.

3. Wash your sheets

Sheets are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and laundry. However, every night you shed skin, hair, body oils, sweat, and more.

Unfortunately, every mattress has dust mites. So, you should be cleaning your sheets every week or at least twice a month to keep your bed clean and fresh. 

You can also vacuum your mattress once a month or so. A duvet cover is preferable over a comforter, as you can toss the cover in with the rest of your sheets. 

Your comforter or duvet should be fluffed and shaken out when you put on your fresh sheets. It should be laundered every few months unless it is stained, in which case clean it as soon as the spill occurs.

4. Don’t eat in the bedroom

This can be a hard rule to follow for some people, but that TV binge-watching while snacking in bed is a terrible, messy habit.

5. Clear the clutter

Don’t let your bedroom become a dumping ground. It’s easy to start tossing things in your room when guests come over, thinking they are out of sight and out of mind. However, this creates clutter. Other common things that can add to your bedroom clutter include:

  • Books, magazines, and paperwork
  • Computer equipment
  • Snacks
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Perfume bottles and jewellery
  • Ties and socks
  • Cosmetics and beauty products

Well, you get the picture! Every surface from your floor to your dressers and bedside tables becomes a disorganized mess over time. To keep your bedroom clean, you need to start with a clean slate. 

Go through your entire room and remove anything that doesn’t belong there. For the things that do, hang them up, put them in drawers, or get them organized. Everything should have a logical place, so they are easy to find.

For items you need, but don’t use every day, they can be placed in a basket, stored in drawers, placed in containers under the bed, etc. A good idea is to invest in bedroom furniture with lots of drawers, so you can keep things neat. Jewellery boxes, tie hangers, shoe trees, and makeup kits, for example, all help keep things organized.

6. Clean all the surfaces

As you clear the clutter, dust and clean all the surfaces. You can also wipe down your mirrors and windows to get them sparkling. 

Don’t forget your light fixtures or ceiling fan, as these are notorious for collecting dust. Residue from substances like hair spray can float up and stick to the blades of your ceiling fan.

7. Sweep or vacuum

Depending on what type of floors you have, you should sweep or vacuum at least once a week, including under the bed, furniture, and chairs. Make sure you vacuum those dust bunnies!

8. Shake out curtains and area rugs

Curtains and area rugs collect dust and debris over time. If your vacuum has a soft surface duster, use it on your curtains or window treatments. 

Your area rugs should be vacuumed regularly, and if you’re feeling particularly energetic, you should also shake them out outside. Curtains can be dry cleaned or tossed in the laundry if the manufacturer provided cleaning instructions. This can be done a few times a year. 

9. Make your bed

Whether you just cleaned your sheets or you are off to work or school, a made bed is much nicer to come home to than a messy one. Although it might seem like a lot of work for nothing, you really will find it much nicer when you can pull back your duvet and sheets and snuggle in for a good night’s sleep.

10. Call in the pros

Basic cleaning services help keep your bedroom clean and organized. If you just don’t have the time or even the inclination to follow our advice, then give us a call and we’ll do it all for you! You can contact Maid4Condos online here, or call us at 647-822-0601.

How to Keep Your Pantry Clean and Tidy

Have you ever opened your pantry to try and find something and it seems to have disappeared? Maybe you’ve noticed that you have ants or other crawly things in your food or on your shelves?

Perhaps your food sticks to the shelves, or seems to have leaked? All of these things are familiar problems of a disorganized, messy pantry. Here, we tell you how to keep your pantry clean and tidy, so you never have to worry about these issues again.

Tips to keep your pantry clean and tidy

1. Start with a clean base

As with any kitchen cleaning project, first, you need a clean base:

  • Clear the shelves off one by one and toss anything that is old.
  • As you clear out each shelf, brush away all the crumbs and wipe away gunk from leaky bottles.
  • Clean the shelves with an all-purpose cleaner to remove stuff like sticky sauce residue.
  • Place some shelf paper if you just like to make it easier to clean up if you experience spills. It also looks nice.

If your pantry has drawers, clear them out as well. Then, either take the drawers themselves out and shake out the crumbs or use your vacuum attachment to suck up all the debris.

You can also buy one of those little crumb brushes and dustpan sets to brush up all the crumbs in drawers and off shelves. Then, restock your shelves as you finish cleaning.

2. Consider using containers

While this might seem like a big investment, using containers with lids offers many benefits:

  • You keep food items fresher, especially foods like cereals, crackers, and cookies
  • You keep pests at bay because they can’t get into your food
  • You reduce crumbs because everything is safely contained
  • It’s easier to find everything

You can invest in containers at the dollar store, or simply buy containers for each shelf slowly but surely to spread the cost out over a few weeks or months. When choosing your containers, think square and stackable. Round containers waste space.

3. Create sections

To make it easier to put things away and find them, consider creating sections. Have one shelf or shelf area for baking items, another for cereals, another for pasta and rice, another for cans, etc.

You can sort things in a way that makes sense to you. Then, when you restock the shelves, make sure you put everything where it belongs.

This really is a time-saver, but also makes a world of difference in the way your pantry looks. You know the old saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place!”

4. Optimize space with organizers

If space is limited, shop around for things to keep everything organized. This helps make the most of your space. For example, if your spices are in pouches instead of jars, get some little trays or baskets and organize the pouches in alphabetical order.

If you have spice and herb jars, look for spice organizers instead. Also, search for organizers for the inside of the cupboard door such as hooks or shallow shelves with fronts. These work great for things like spices, but also smaller cans like tomato paste, or baking ingredients like extracts, food dyes, and sprinkles.

5. Use labels

Once you organize everything, consider using labels for each section. It will act as a reminder, but also make it easier for family members or guests to find stuff when raiding the pantry for snacks!

You can put labels not only on the containers but also on the shelves to keep items neat and organized.

6. Clean as you go

Make sure you don’t let things slide back into a mess. Wipe bottles after you use them to avoid stains and drips. Make sure containers are properly sealed with the lids on tight to avoid spills.

Avoid pantry snacking, and instead, take snacks out of the pantry and pour them into a bowl. This is actually a life hack because it also keeps you from eating an entire bag of chips!

7. Keep small items tidy

As mentioned above, having little baskets for foods like spice and herb pouches makes a world of difference. Anything small needs a little help to avoid getting lost amongst all those taller containers.

Small baskets are always an easy, affordable solution. Even if you don’t want to go to the trouble to alphabetize your spices you can at least keep those little items contained in one easier-to-find spot.

You can keep a basket per section, or just have a basket or two for anything small like the last few packs of yeast, chocolate bars, or even those square packs of ramen noodles.

8. Keep things kid-friendly

You might actually find this kid-unfriendly. Kids can get their hands into a jar or bag of cookies quicker than you think.

To avoid them snacking on the sly, put their snacks on the top shelves so they are harder to reach and harder to spot. If they are allowed to eat certain snacks, you can keep those foods on the bottom shelf.

Also, be mindful of items that can make them sick, like extracts, alcohol, raw flour, etc. Kids who can’t read might be attracted to brightly coloured packages.

Another consideration is pets. Your pets might lick or get into foods that can leave behind germs that make you ill. Keep your pantry door closed, so pets can’t get in and wreak havoc.

9. Commit to keeping items tidy

This is probably the hardest step. Once you get your pantry clean and tidy, you have to commit to keeping it that way. Reorganize, toss old food, remove crumbs, and wipe down shelves at least every season to keep debris and leaks to a minimum.

This also frees up space when you toss out stale boxes of cereal or those ghost pepper corn chips that were way out of your league spice-wise.

You can always call in the pros at Maid4Condos if this sounds like too much work! We’ll do a thorough kitchen cleaning, so everything is clean and tidy. Speak to our team today. You can also call us at 647-822-0601.

The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

The pandemic has made many people hypersensitive to how clean their surroundings are at home and when out and about. If this sounds like you, this can lead to heightened cleaning at work or even at your workstation. Because not all products are suitable to sanitize and disinfect, it can be difficult to understand how you should be cleaning your home or office. Here, we examine the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, and when you need to do each.

What is the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing?

What is cleaning?

Cleaning does not do much to remove germs. Instead, this is more along the lines of a Monica Geller approach where everything is organized, surfaces are wiped down, and the room appears spotless and orderly. Although some people might use disinfecting cleaners when cleaning, it is not the main focus of the job. Instead, you’re focused more on dust and dirt, as opposed to the unseen issues like germs and bacteria.

However, cleaning is also an important step prior to disinfecting or sanitizing, as you want to remove dirt and greasy buildup that can provide a safe harbour for germs and bacteria to hang out. So, while cleaning makes everything look nice, it doesn’t kill germs, viruses, bacteria, or things like fungi or mould spores.

When to clean: Cleaning should be done on a regular basis to keep your home comfortable, and also reduce buildup where germs and bacteria can hide. It is also required before you sanitize or disinfect.

What is sanitizing?

Sanitizing is the act of removing germs and bacteria. It is most associated with the proper cleaning process in places like kitchens or healthcare facilities where germs are more likely to occur on surfaces. You also require special cleaning products to sanitize, as you can’t remove germs and bacteria by simply washing surfaces with day-to-day all-purpose cleaners.

On the flip side, you don’t always need sanitizers to sanitize. For example, very hot water, such as during steam cleaning or dishwashing cycles, can kill most germs and bacteria. As long as the heat applied to the surface reaches at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit, you can kill germs and bacteria quite effectively. Steam cleaning is very popular because it is a more natural way to sanitize surfaces.

When to sanitize: Sanitizing is a must in your kitchen or anywhere food is prepared and served. It removes the bacteria and germs that can make people sick if it comes into contact with their food. Sanitizing is safe for kitchens, as sanitizing cleaners do not contain harsh chemicals that can be hazardous. Cleaning things like chicken juice or sauces first, and then using a santizing cleanser is required to sanitize properly.

What is disinfecting?

Disinfecting is the ultimate level of cleaning to keep surfaces clear of all germs, bacteria, spores, and fungi. While you do kill germs when sanitizing, disinfecting is the full gamut, ensuring nothing is left behind. It requires specific chemical products and is not recommended on surfaces that come into direct contact with food.

When to disinfect: If your family has COVID-19 or any other infectious diseases such as cold and flu, using a strong disinfectant spray on frequently touched surfaces is recommended. These products kill 100% of microorganisms found on your surfaces. This would include:

  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Faucets
  • Countertops
  • Fridge doors

Some examples of disinfecting cleaners would be bleach sprays and wipes. Just keep in mind that bleach products come in different dilutions, which makes some more effective than others.

Why is cleaning important before sanitizing or disinfecting?

The dirt and other organic material that can build up in your home make disinfectants less effective. You should always thoroughly clean surfaces before you try using your bleach or antibacterial types of cleansers. There are some all-in-one antibacterial cleaners available, but it is more effective to first clean, and then use a dedicated sanitizing or disinfecting cleaning product to do a thorough job.

Although it seems like a lot of work, it is the only way to do the job right. However, it is also important to know that if you use disinfectants too often, they can actually cause mutations of germs to form. This is how “superbugs” are produced. So, disinfecting is only required when someone in your home is actually sick in order to reduce the spread to others.

If you would like a Toronto cleaning service to help keep your home clean and santized, speak to our team at Maid4Condos today. You can call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us online.

How to Prep Your Home for Easter Gatherings

We’re all getting used to the new way to entertain for the holidays thanks to the pandemic. However, whether we’re allowed to have larger parties or more intimate gatherings, you can still create a lovely party to celebrate this beautiful rite of spring. We love Easter with its colourful traditions and yummy brunches and dinners, not to mention an Easter egg hunt or two. Here, we offer several helpful tips to help prepare your home for Easter gatherings.

Tips to prep your home for Easter gatherings

Plan the Menu, or Order In

Planning the menu ahead allows you to avoid disappointment due to ongoing shortages. You never know what you might not find, so have some ideas of things you can buy ahead of time, things you can make immediately and freeze, etc. This way, your meal comes together more easily. You can also consider ordering in a meal from a local restaurant. There are even many grocery stores selling dinner services for special family occasions offering a choice of ham or turkey and sides. It feels like home cooking, but without the hassle.

Polish Up the Silver

If you are serving a traditional Easter meal, polish up the silver to prepare for your formal table settings. Even if you are doing a buffet-style setting so people can spread out a little more, you still want that silver to sparkle.

Check Your Table Settings

Make sure you count all your dishware and flatware so you have enough for dinner and dessert. If not, ask friends and family for some extras. It’s easy to underestimate how many table settings you’ll need, so having more is better than not having enough.

Wash Your Table Linens

It’s not uncommon to be too tired to throw your table linens in the laundry after a busy night of entertaining. To make sure your linens are guest-ready, toss them in the laundry (or take them to the dry cleaners if required), so everything is clean and pressed for the big day.

Potted Spring Flowers

Spring flowers are so lovely and the perfect way to add some Easter colour to your celebration. Instead of fresh-cut flowers, why not buy some potted bulbs in bloom such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, or crocuses? This is a lovely modern way to place flowers on the table and can make for a very interesting centrepiece or decorative touch for your buffet spread.

Consider a Potluck

Potluck dinners take all the pressure off the hosts and allow you to enjoy more time with your guests. Have everyone contribute a side dish, appetizer, or dessert, while you just make the main entrée such as roasting the ham or turkey. People love showing off their own cooking talents, and it also creates a more exciting menu since everyone tends to bring their best dish.

Clean, Clean, and Clean

Get a head start on your spring cleaning to welcome guests to a nice neat and tidy gathering place. Don’t just shove things into a closet and do a quick floor sweep or vacuum. Instead, really do some deep cleaning before the big day. With so many germs floating around these days, people feel more comfortable when they are in a clean environment. So, scrub that counter in the kitchen, clean the stove and fridge, get the bathroom sparkling clean and sanitary, and consider having a professional deep cleaning service to help set the stage for the big event.

Lay Out an Easter Egg Decorating Table

Decorating Easter eggs is a fun tradition allowing everyone to join in. If you are worried the eggs will go to waste, there are several things you can do with them the next day, whether it is making deviled eggs, egg salad, tossing them into soups and salads, or sending them home with your guests. You can also look for craft eggs such as Styrofoam or wood to decorate, or use craft paper, glue, markers, crayons, paints, stickers, and glitter so everyone can create their own little masterpiece.

Decorate Dessert

Better yet, combine egg decorating with dessert, having kids decorate cupcakes or individual egg-shaped cakes using pretty pastel-coloured frostings, sprinkles, and jellybeans. This is a great way to keep the kids occupied too! Just bake everything the night before, and then have all the decorating supplies ready at a table for the kids.

Plan an Easter Egg Hunt and Games

Easter egg hunts are another tradition you can plan either indoors or out. However, they aren’t the only game you can plan. There are lots of fun games like pin the tail on the donkey, guessing how many jellybeans are in a jar, bunny hops, and more. If you do plan the egg hunt, make it easy for everyone to find something. If you don’t want to disappoint, consider making up individual Easter baskets for each kid so no one is left out and everyone gets an equal share of yummy Easter chocolates and treats.

These ideas will keep you organized, while also ensuring everyone has a wonderful time. For help with professional cleaning, speak to our team at Maid4Condos about our deep cleaning services today. You can call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us online.

Sell Your Condo Fast With These 12 Tips

Selling your condo is an exciting, but stressful process. You want to sell for top dollar and not see your home sitting on the market too long. Even when inventory is low, people aren’t willing to spend their money on a home they don’t feel will suit their needs. As a result, you want to set your home up to appeal to the masses. Here, we offer 12 tips to help sell your condo fast.

Tips for selling your condo quickly

1. Get into a seller’s state of mind

Don’t let your personal feelings interfere with getting your condo ready to sell. You need to get into a seller’s state of mind. Start thinking of your home as an asset you are selling, as opposed to the place you worked hard to decorate and fill with fond memories. You need to be efficient and focused so you can take decisive action to sell your condo in a timely manner. The best way to do that is to get into the mindset of a possible buyer so you can prepare your home to best suit their wants.

2. Remove your personality from the condo

You need your home to be neutral ground where anyone will feel comfortable and be able to see themselves living in the space. Clear out all the objects that clearly show this is your home, such as personal items, photographs, and all the clutter of your busy lifestyle. This helps in two ways:

  1. It removes distractions, and
  2. It helps create a clean slate, making your home look bigger and more inviting.

This is the first step to prepping your home for viewings.

3. Declutter

Once all the personal items are removed, you have a clean slate allowing you to see the room with a new set of eyes. Now you can continue this process by removing excess furniture, decor items, and any distinct artwork on the walls. Your goal is to leave lots of open space in each room. Not only does this let more light in your home and make rooms appear bigger, but it makes it easier for possible buyers to imagine their future in your home if they choose to buy it.

4. Clearly define spaces

You’ve finally started decluttering, but you also have to make sure each space is clearly defined. If you used a spare bedroom for something too specific, such as a yoga room, child’s playroom, or hobby room, this could confuse people and make them think you are missing a bedroom.

Leave the essentials that tell buyers the purpose of each room: a sofa and one or two chairs with a coffee table in the living room, a dining room table and chairs in the dining room, a bed with a dresser and side tables in the bedroom, etc

5. Conduct extensive decluttering

This job becomes easier now because you’ve already gotten a really good start. You’ve removed all the emotional attachments and can now focus on decluttering further. During this step, you also need to look at the closets, as well as things like bathroom shelves, kitchen counters, etc. You want to keep things neat, but also show your home isn’t cluttered due to a shortage of storage. Do the basic steps of decluttering:

  • Remove items you no longer use or wear.
  • Toss anything that is broken or serves no purpose.
  • Give away or sell anything in good shape, but no longer needed.
  • Pack as you go, such as books, out-of-season clothing, appliances you don’t use, etc., so you get a head start on packing, but can also store away the things taking up space.
  • Organize the items you’re keeping.

This not only frees up space but also your mind! It will make the process less stressful, and also reduce the number of things you’ll have to pack and move to your new home. Renting a storage space is a good idea in order to get boxes out of the way for viewings.

6. Organize storage

Once you’ve sorted through everything, start organizing your storage areas. Invest in some baskets, shoe bags, hooks, etc., so you are ready for buyers who will open every door and drawer. You want them to see nothing but perfection and plenty of space for their stuff as part of your condo staging. It also makes your condo look well cared for.

7. Create a pleasant and welcoming environment

Condos aren’t known for their spacious foyers, but you can certainly help create one. Look for ways to create more storage for coats, hats, and shoes, such as getting a storage bench, or investing in a shoe shelf. Line your shoes up neatly, and put all the coats on hangers, keeping the ones you wear most often on your new hooks.

Lay a little area rug, and hang a mirror to create a cozy feel. Add a bright lightbulb in the hall light to brighten up everything. Also, clean your windows and open up all your curtains and switch on lights in your rooms to make things appear bright and welcoming. This is really important if you have a lovely view, in order to help draw attention to the city skyline, lake, or parks below. This is all part of effective condo staging.

8. Make minor repairs

Little imperfections can turn buyers off quickly. From loose kitchen cupboards doors to missing kitchen knobs, and from chipped paint to torn window screens, these are little issues you’ve lived with for years. However, buyers don’t want to worry about these annoyances. Dripping faucets, cracked tiles on the backsplash, and burned out light bulbs, for example, all look like you didn’t take care of the home, which makes buyers nervous.

9. Paint the walls neutral colours

If you love orange, neon pink, or acid green, you’ll need to paint the walls. In fact, a fresh coat of paint throughout the condo really does wonders to both neutralize and give your condo a newer look.

10. Don’t forget the balcony

If you have a balcony, even if it’s tiny, don’t overlook it in the cleaning process. Take anything you might have stored out there away. Consider adding a pretty little bistro table with a potted plant to show it off as added living space. Even in the winter, this will get people thinking about sipping a glass of wine on a warm summer evening.

11. Move out clean

A thorough cleaning of every part of your condo is vital. Hiring a professional cleaning company for this stage is a must to ensure everything sparkles, grout on tiling looks new, and not an ounce of dust is seen anywhere from ceilings and light fixtures down to the baseboards.

12. Condo staging

Once everything is complete, take a look at every room one by one. If it doesn’t feel like your home anymore, you’ve done a good job. However, you now need someone to come in and make it feel like someone else’s home through condo staging. They will bring in finishing touches that will help buyers picture themselves living in the space, using updated furnishing or details to complement your own furniture. They’ll conduct a final review and create a welcoming home that will give you the best opportunity to sell your condo as fast as possible.

For more information about move-in ready cleanings, speak to our team at Maid4Condos today. You can call us at 647-822-0601 or click here.

How to Clean Your Home’s Interior After Water Damage

Probably one of the greatest fears you have as a homeowner is experiencing significant water damage. In fact, even the presence of moisture puts your home at risk. Floods and leaks are devastatingly damaging because water can seep in everywhere. In some cases, the water can be polluted, which causes an unbearable stench and puts your family at risk of illness.

Cleaning the interiors of your house after water damage

As well, the more time the water has to set in, the more risk there is for mould and mildew growth. Yuck! That’s why water damage requires immediate attention. However, where do you begin? Here, we explain how to clean your home’s interior after water damage.

Check and Photograph All Your Belongings

First, your home insurance might cover damages, so be sure to take photos of all damaged items before doing anything. You have to assess the situation by checking your furnishings, walls, carpets, and belongings. The things you can easily either send for cleaning or throw out, such as bedding, clothes, couch pillows, etc., should be photographed or video recorded for insurance.

If the water was contaminated, such as from flood water, or from wastewater because of burst pipes, then it is pretty simple: you will have to throw the items away. However, you need to find a safe place to store the items so the insurance adjuster can also assess the damage.

Sort and Air Out Items

Once you get your bearings and have everything recorded, it’s time to physically start sorting everything. You’ll have to remove large items like sofas and mattresses to clean the floors properly, so move them into another room. If you have a backyard or balcony where you can leave clean but wet items out to dry, the fresh air and sun can do wonders to help speed up the process.

Remove Water-Logged Carpeting

Once all the large items are out of the room, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting that is soaked or even damp, it can damage the subfloors and baseboards. Damage must be managed quickly, so be sure to remove water-logged carpeting, or have the professionals come within 48 hours to avoid permanently damaging the subfloors. If carpeting is soiled by contaminated water, then it will have to be removed and tossed.

If the water was clean, professional carpet cleaners can remove excess moisture. For area rugs, hang them out to dry. If they are badly soiled, you can have a professional rug cleaner assess them to see if they are salvageable. When wet, carpeting can actually shrink as it dries, so it really is a good idea to have everything checked by professional cleaners.

Professionally Clean Upholstered Furnishing and Mattresses

All upholstered furniture and mattresses soiled by contaminated water will have to be thrown away. If the water is clean, you can have the carpet cleaning company take a look, and they can most likely use their professional upholstery vacuums to remove excess water. Things like toss pillows can be squeezed out and potentially sent to the dry cleaners. However, as mentioned above, if you can leave them in direct sunlight, the sun can do wonders to dry and refresh smaller items.

Wipe Down Other Furnishings

Other furnishings such as metal, plastic, and wood are easier to manage. Even if soiled, they can be wiped down with a good all-purpose cleaner and then dried thoroughly with a clean absorbent cloth. Don’t leave wood furniture in the sun, as this will actually increase risk for warping. Instead, sop up as much moisture as possible, and then leave it to dry out slowly away from direct sunlight.

Wipe Down the Walls

Walls can be tricky, as the water is most likely where you can’t see it. This can be dangerous, as this is the ideal scenario for mould growth. It is also risky for the structure of the wood supporting the walls and floors above. If you see water damage such as wet carpets or ceilings, but the walls seem fine, you probably have to open them up to look for damage. First, do a thorough cleaning to remove anything that appears dirty with a good bleach cleaner. To help save the walls, you can remove the baseboards and drill holes along the floor line to see if water comes out. This also helps ventilate the moisture.

If there was flooding, once the water is drained, you’ll have to remove the drywall at least up to the waterline. If there is insulation in the wall, it will have to be replaced. Spray everything with a good bleach spray cleanser to disinfect and also kill any mould spores that might already have started growing.

If there was major flooding, you probably are better off speaking to a professional restoration company. They have industrial strength fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process and avoid mould growth. Walls should be left open for about a month to allow everything to air out and dry properly.

Air Out the Floors

As mentioned, those subfloors beneath damp carpets or laminate are prime real estate for mould to move in. As well, whether it is hardwood or plywood, anything made of wood will swell from moisture. If they don’t have air circulation to dry them out properly, the damage will be costly not just for mould, but also because the wood will have to be replaced. Removing the carpeting allows the subfloors to dry. A professional dehumidifier is the best way to help the process along.

Otherwise, it actually takes months for the floors to dry out completely. Wood floors are the most vulnerable, as they can buckle and warp when the water is absorbed and the wood begins to swell. Again, a professional is your best bet in severe cases where the floors can be completely damaged from the moisture. The good news is that if the subfloor is concrete, you might not have to take such drastic actions.

Appliances and Electronics

Do not turn on appliances or electronics that were damaged by water. You can seriously injure yourself by electrocution.

Ongoing Mould Prevention

Unfortunately, once your belongings are exposed to large amounts of water, the dampness means they are vulnerable to mould growth. You’re going to have to keep an eye on everything to look for signs of mould.

Your nose will be a big help: if you smell a damp or musty smell, mould is growing somewhere. If you can, invest in a dehumidifier to help keep the air dry. In the winter, you can keep the heat on, and running the air conditioner in the summer also helps manage humidity levels.

Fans and open windows keep the air circulating in your home. Keep all the doors open in rooms that were affected to aid the drying process. This also helps if damage was in a closed-off area from sun and windows, such as hallways.

Cleaning Up Mildew

Mildew is another troublesome result of water damage. You might think you dried everything well, only to find mildew growth. If you do spot mildew, you might want to throw the items out. However, if you catch it early enough, you can wipe the mildew off with clean sudsy water and then dry the items thoroughly.

If you are trying to get your home back to normal after water damage, calling in residential cleaning services is the safest way to avoid mould, mildew and other problems that may arise. At Maid4Condos, we are ready to assist in the cleaning process and help get your home back to its comfy self. You can call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us online.