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.

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.

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.

10 Must-Know Tips to Save Time and Effort When Moving

Moving is proven to be one of the most stressful things you can experience in your lifetime. Even when it is part of a positive step in your life, such as buying your first home, moving in with a partner, or moving into your first apartment, it still comes with a long list of tasks that can become overwhelming. However, fear not! Here, we offer 10 must-know tips to help save time and effort when you move.

Moving tips that can save you time and effort

1. Create a to-do list

Even if you aren’t much of a list-maker, moving has so many steps that you don’t want to miss anything. The most important steps to add to your list include:

  • Checking out the price for movers vs. renting a truck or van to DIY it
  • Scheduling the truck rental or moving company for moving day
  • Getting boxes for packing
  • Packing schedule
  • Trash removal if required
  • Arranging for new furniture or appliance deliveries
  • Recruiting helpers
  • Change of address
  • Change of utilities, including ending them at your current home and setting them up at your new one
  • Reserving the moving elevator at your new and old building
  • Finding a new pharmacy closer to your new home
  • Cleaning out your fridge and freezer
  • Arranging for a move-in cleaning service

This will help you keep on top of everything, and provide great satisfaction as you cross each item off the list. If something new comes up, be sure to add it to the list.

2. Hire a moving company

If you have the budget, it is much easier to hire a moving company instead of trying to do it yourself. Ask for referrals, and check online reviews to find the right team for the job. Make sure they are bonded and insured, as they will be handling your most cherished belongings. Start this process as soon as you know you are moving so you can schedule them in, as movers book up fast. If you can’t afford movers, schedule your truck or van rental as soon as possible.

3. Speak to your building management

If you live in a condo or apartment, and/or are moving to an apartment or condo, speak to your building management about the move. Most buildings have rules in place regarding moving times, elevator use, where you can load and unload, etc. Knowing all of the rules in advance will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary stress.

4. Pack a bit each day and toss what you don’t need

Take a little time each day to get some packing done. A good rule of thumb is to start with things you don’t need right now like your off-season clothing. As you pack, look for opportunities to get rid of stuff you don’t wear or no longer use. These items can be packed separately either to be tossed, given to charity, or to be sold.

Selling items can help build up some funds for your moving expenses. If you have stuff to donate, do so as soon as you can to reduce the number of boxes and bags in your home. You’ll be glad to be rid of the old things you no longer need, reduce the number of boxes you need to move, and have an easier job unpacking at your new place.

5. Make a list of things needed at the new place

If you are moving into a rental unit, there are things you will most likely need the day you move in. This includes items such as curtains for privacy, which won’t come with the new home in most cases. As well, if this is your first apartment, you’ll need a long list of household items, especially for the kitchen.

While it does add to the things you need to pack, you’ll be much better off if you make these purchases in advance. The last thing you want is to find your new neighbours across the way staring at you, or that you don’t have a cup for your morning coffee.

6. Set aside moving money

You will come across some unexpected moving expenses that could interfere with your monthly budget. To avoid budget challenges, be sure to reduce your spending for the months before you move. Set aside money you would normally spend on things like take-out so you can cover costs of the moving van, set up costs for things like cable or internet, and also pay for pizza for the group that helps you move.

7. Pack a moving-day overnight bag

As you wind down your packing, consider the things you should have handy for the first night in your new home. This would include your pyjamas, clean clothes for the next day, sheets and towels, and your personal hygiene items. You also might consider packing a box of tools and cleaning products you can access easily so you can put together furniture, hang pictures, or clean kitchen counters and cupboards before you unpack.

8. Keep organized

This is easier said than done, but your to-do list will help. By packing slowly each day, you can keep organized and be ready for moving day. As well, if you plan things out well and stick to your plan, you can stay organized so you aren’t feeling rushed and stressed.

9. Label everything clearly

Every box should be clearly labelled so it is easy for movers, yourself, and any helpers you recruit to know where everything goes. This includes furniture if you have to move several rooms. Put a sticky note on each room door so everyone knows where to go. For example, if you have several bedrooms, they should be labelled as bedroom 1, 2, or office, and the boxes and furniture for those rooms should be marked exactly the same.

10. Create a floor plan

A floor plan will help make setting up at your new home easier. You can direct the movers where to put everything, so you don’t have to contend with shifting things around. If you have access to your new home before moving day, take the time to go there, measure everything, and fine tune your floor plan to make sure the furniture fits.

While moving is always stressful, these 10 tips will make things easier. And don’t forget to schedule a move-in cleaning service so your new home is sparkling clean. Speak to our team at Maid4Condos today by calling us at 647-822-0601.

How to Conduct a Thorough Bathroom Cleaning

It’s no secret the bathroom is a stinky, germy room. There are just too many things going on in your bathroom every day that leave behind germs and odours. It’s probably the reason it is also the room in the home that most of us dread cleaning.

How to clean your bathroom thoroughly

However, because it is the stinkiest and germiest, it is important to keep your bathroom clean. Here, we offer our professional deep cleaning services tips on how to conduct a thorough bathroom cleaning, starting with handy tips to make the job less icky.

Use a Proactive Approach

This is our most important tip for bathroom cleaning. If you use a proactive approach to keeping your bathroom clean, it makes your cleaning day much easier. Here’s what we suggest you do to reduce the bathroom cleaning “ick” factor:

  • Bathroom wipes: Keep bathroom wipes in the bathroom and clean the sink, faucet, and counter after each use. It takes a few seconds and keeps the sink germ-free and clean.
  • Toilet flush cleaners: Use a toilet flush cleaner in your toilets to help reduce odours and also keep the bowl sparkling clean.
  • Clean after “messy” toilet use: If you have a particularly “messy” moment using the toilet, keep your toilet brush and cleaner handy so you can do a quick cleaning of the toilet rim and under the seat. It’s also the polite thing to do if you don’t live alone!
  • Use a shower squeegee: This is a tip everyone needs to adopt because it makes a big difference. Hang a shower squeegee in your shower and use it on the tiles or glass walls after each shower. It takes a few swipes and removes soap scum and water that leaves marks and contributes to mildew.
  • Use a scrubless spray: After you use the squeegee, spritz the tub with a scrubless bathroom cleaning spray to help reduce bathtub rim dirt buildup and prevent grout discolouration.

This might sound like a lot of work, but it literally takes less than a minute to complete these tasks. Even if you don’t do it every day, you’ll notice a big decrease in the ick factor when using and thoroughly cleaning your bathroom.

Make Room for Cleaning

Bathrooms are notorious for storing tons of products in the shower, bathtub area, counters, and even on top of the toilet tank. This makes it close to impossible to thoroughly clean surfaces. You also have dirty towels, a shower curtain, and, in some cases, a rug that all get in the way. Before you begin cleaning, remove all of these items, tossing the shower curtain, rug, and towels in the laundry if they are washer safe. Also, remove the trash can so you can get at every corner of the floor.

Dust Surfaces

We don’t often think of dusting in bathrooms, but it is an important first step. If you don’t remove the dust first, you’ll just be moving it around and make it hard to clean with your wet cleaning products.

Sweep the Floor

Dusting first helps, as a lot of the debris will land on the floor that you can then sweep up. This makes it easier to clean the floor thoroughly with a wet mop.

Spritz the Shower and Tub With a Bathroom Cleaner

Use a good bathroom-cleaning product, and spray your entire tub and shower area. Let the cleaner do its job while you move on to the next step.

Wipe Surfaces Clean

Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down all the surfaces in your bathroom using a multi-purpose cleaner, preferably with germ-fighting power. This includes the top of the toilet, any shelves you might have, baseboards, etc.

Wipe Down the Shower and Tub

Your cleaner will have loosened up the gunk in the tub and shower, thus making it easier to wipe away the remaining mess. If you find some stubborn dirt, then use a brush to scrub it away. Then, do a thorough rinse of the walls and tub.

Put Your Product Away

Now that the tub and shower area is clean, you can put away all your products and rehang your fresh, clean shower curtain.

Tackle the Glass and Mirrors

If you have a glass shower door, use a glass cleaner to wipe it. If you have been using a squeegee, as we recommended, this will be an easier job. Then, do your mirror.

Clean the Sink and/or Counter

Use a bathroom all-purpose cleaner to clean your sink, faucets, and countertops. If you have a soap dish or pump at the sink, wipe it down thoroughly to remove soapy buildup. You can also wipe down your vanity cabinets to remove any spray or mess that might have dripped down as you clean. Replace all the products you removed.

Tackle the Toilet

This should be an easier job if you use the flush cleaner and take care of the dirty work at the time it occurs! Your thorough toilet clean requires a toilet cleaner and brush to remove stains and buildup. Flush once and look for anything you missed and repeat if necessary. Be sure to lift the toilet seat and use the brush to get the mess. The worst part of this step is you should then wipe down the seat, sides, and toilet rim to make sure you remove the drips.

Use a germ-fighting cleaner with a disposable cloth, and don’t flush the cloth. Instead, toss it in the garbage or you’ll clog your toilet. Don’t forget the base of the toilet, as this tends to get pretty stinky, especially if there are men in the household.

Clean the Floor

It’s always best to leave the floors until last, as you can clean away all the drips from cleaning the rest of the bathroom. Use a mop or disposable cleaning product like a Swiffer. Mops do a more thorough job, as they allow you to get into every corner and in and around the toilet. Work your way back towards the door. Let the floor dry, and then you can put your garbage and rug back.

If this sounds like way too much work, at Maid4Condos, we offer deep cleaning services that are ideal for a thorough bathroom cleaning. Give us a call today at 647-822-0601.

How Often Should You Deep Clean Your Home?

Hopefully, you are cleaning your home every week or two to keep on top of your everyday messes. While there are some things that need more attention than others, if you let things go much beyond twice-a-month cleanings, you’ll start to see some major dirt and grime that can make your home unpleasant and unhealthy.

Is it necessary to deep clean your home regularly?

Even if you are cleaning regularly, however, you should also be doing a deep clean of your home to remove all the allergens, germs, and bacteria lurking in the corners. In this article, we look at how often your home needs a good, deep cleaning and what that entails.

How Often Depends on Where

Our title is a little misleading in that we made it sound like you are deep cleaning your entire home at regular intervals. It doesn’t really work that way, though. Each room in your house has different levels of dirt and germ build-up that impacts how often you need to clean, and deep clean. For example, generally speaking, a living room doesn’t get as dirty as the bathroom or kitchen. So, the way to gauge the frequency depends on the following:

  • How often is the room used?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Do you prepare or eat food in the room?
  • Do you sleep in the room?
  • Do you attend to personal hygiene and cleaning in the room?

The more often you use a room, the more often you should be cleaning it. In the case of clean eating and preparing food, daily cleaning is a must to ensure areas such as the counters and cooking surfaces are always germ-free. As well, your bathrooms should be cleaned frequently because these rooms are prone to more germs and bacteria.

Daily Deep Cleaning

Here is a breakdown of the rooms that need a daily deep clean:

  • Kitchen: You should be sanitizing the table where you eat and the kitchen surfaces where food is prepared every single day. As well, anywhere there is food debris, there is risk for pests. Sweeping your floors and keeping counters and tables clear of crumbs and other debris is a must to reduce the risk for pests, especially if you live in an apartment.
  • Bathrooms: The more people sharing your bathroom, the more you need to clean it. We probably don’t have to explain why, but the how is important here. You should clean your toilet bowl every morning or evening using a disinfectant bathroom cleanser and toilet brush—and don’t forget the handle. Also, do a good wipe down of your faucets.

Make sure you pay attention to the floors in these rooms, especially around the toilet. Now with the threat of COVID-19 ever lingering, be sure to do a thorough sanitizing wipe of all the frequently touched surfaces in your home such as light switches, taps, and door knobs.

Weekly Deep Cleaning

Every week, set aside time to take care of the following cleaning tasks:

  • Dusting surfaces and furniture
  • Sanitizing your sponges
  • Cleaning your kitchen appliances
  • Mopping kitchen and bathroom floors with disinfectant cleaner
  • Vacuuming
  • Scrubbing and disinfecting the bathtub/shower stall and sink
  • Putting your towels and face cloths in the laundry

Bi-Weekly Deep Cleaning

Bi-weekly deep cleaning should be done in these areas:

  • Bedroom: Your bed is where you spend about eight hours each night (or day if you do shift work). Your bi-weekly deep cleaning should include tossing your sheets in the laundry. If you have pets that sleep with you, if you sleep naked, or if you have allergies, you should consider doing your sheets weekly.
  • Fridge: Every two weeks, examine your fridge and give it a thorough cleaning inside and out. Look for spills inside the drawers, as well as all the shelves, and wash them thoroughly with a good all-purpose cleaner. If you notice leaks from raw meat, though, that needs to be wiped up right away and then the area cleaned with disinfectant.
  • Floors: The rest of the floors in your home should be swept often, and then thoroughly washed with a good floor-cleaner with disinfectant every two weeks or so.

Monthly Deep Cleaning

Some tasks you should perform every month include:

  • Wiping and vacuuming your vents
  • Wiping and dusting your baseboards
  • Dusting blinds and light fixtures
  • Cleaning your dishwasher

Additional Deep Cleaning Jobs

There are also some additional deep cleaning jobs to help keep your home clean and improve air quality including:

  • Every few months, remove your mattress cover, sprinkle your mattress with baking soda, and vacuum it to remove odours and dust mites.
  • Put your mattress cover and pillow covers in the laundry every few months.
  • Clean your oven every few months.
  • Wipe down your rangehood with a grease-cutting cleanser every few months.
  • Keep an eye on your kitchen cupboards and cabinets, and wipe them down with a grease-cutting cleanser when they start to look grimy.

Annual Deep Cleaning

Every year, you should hire a professional cleaner to come in and provide top-to-bottom deep cleaning services. This is well worth the investment to get at every nook and cranny, and set the stage to help keep your home clean for the rest of the year. Consider this as part of your spring cleaning job along with a steam cleaning of your soft furniture, carpets, and drapes.

Whether it is your annual spring cleaning, a more frequent deep cleaning, or even a steam cleaning of your carpets, speak to our team at Maid4Condos today about the deep cleaning services that we offer. Call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us here.

Keeping Your Apartment Clean During Winter: 11 Expert Tips

Most of us dread the arrival of winter. Cold days, long nights, and being stuck indoors all make for a boring existence. What can make things worse is living in a messy home. However, if you keep your home nice and cozy, then being indoors won’t be as bad. In this article, we offer 11 expert tips to keep your apartment clean this winter, so you can create a friendly environment during your hibernation.

Expert tips for keeping your apartment clean during the winter

1. Vacuum carpets often

Your carpets are home to a lot of deep down dirt that can get worse in the winter months. This is because your slushy wet boots and shoes have things like salt and dirt on them that get tracked into your home. Even if you take your boots off, as they dry, they can leave dirty and salt debris on the floor that gets on your socks or slippers.

This is the time of year to be more diligent about vacuuming, so you get rid of all the extra dirt, germs, dust, and bacteria. If you have a balcony, you can shake out your boot trays or hall carpets to remove the gritty mess left behind by slushy boots. If you’re a real clean nut, you can also rinse them in the sink.

2. Heating grates

Make sure when you have the vacuum out you give your heating grates a nice cleaning too. Since this is how the warm air is forced into your apartment, you want to reduce the dust and debris that gets circulated.

3. Open the windows

On milder days, open your windows and let in some fresh air. This helps circulate the stale air in your home, and can also reduce indoor air pollution such as dust mites, mould spores, or pet dander. Just a few minutes a day throughout the winter can make a big difference, even if the weather is a little chilly.

4. Keep your home smelling fresh

We tend to empty our trash cans and replace the bag, but do little to keep the actual trash bin itself clean. With the heat on and being trapped inside, you want to keep the garbage smells down to a minimum. A good way to do this is to disinfect your trash bins whenever you change the bag. A nice disinfectant aerosol spray cleaner does the trick, but you can also consider actually wiping the bin down with a clean cloth and disinfectant cleanser if they are looking a little crusty.

5. Clean your oven

Another thing that tends to get a little crustier in the winter is your oven. If you’re lucky, your apartment has a self-cleaning oven. Since the winter tends to be the time of year we do more roasting and baking, you want your oven to be nice and clean. You can turn on your self-cleaning setting every few weeks or when the oven starts to look greasy and crusty, and let it do its job while you sit and watch TV.

If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, spray it with water and sprinkle it with baking soda. Let it sit for a few hours, and then wipe it clean with a warm damp sponge. This is better than using the chemical oven cleaners, which give off dangerous fumes.

6. Get those windows sparkling

The dull gray days of winter can make your apartment feel dark and dingy. This is a great time of year to bring more sun and daylight into your home by washing your windows. A natural cleaning solution that makes your windows sparkle is 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of eco-friendly dish detergent, and 2 cups of water. Spritz it on the windows, and then wipe them down with a clean microfiber cloth.

7. Vacuum under the furniture

Take the time to get really serious about your vacuuming and go all out with moving the furniture away from the walls to vacuum. Get under the bed and couch and tackle those dust bunnies hiding away, as they make it harder to breathe. Also, remove your couch cushions and vacuum up all those crumbs.

8. Declutter

Use your boredom as motivation to do some decluttering. You can make the most of your apartment’s space by going through your closets, cupboards, and pantry to throw out the things you don’t need.

9. Get organized

Why wait until the spring to get more organized? As you declutter, arrange everything in your apartment so you can find items easily while helping to reduce the mess. When everything has a place, it makes it easier to keep your items neat and tidy, which in turn reduces stress when you are home.

10. Store away your summer wear

Move all your summer clothes to the harder-to-reach areas of your closets and drawers. Bring your winter clothes front and center so you can find everything more easily. If space allows, store your summer wear away, either under the bed in flat-lidded plastic bins or higher up on your closet shelves.

11. Organize your winter accessories

Climate change can make it difficult to know what to wear in the winter months. Organize your winter accessories and outerwear so it’s easy to adapt to the unpredictable weather when you head out in the morning. Get some cute little baskets to store smaller items like gloves and mittens, and some hooks for your scarves and jackets. This also keeps your apartment much neater, so you don’t feel so claustrophobic.

If the idea of winter cleaning makes you even more depressed, then leave it to the professionals at Maid4Condos. Speak to our team today about our condo cleaning services this winter. Call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us here.

How to Remove Wine Stains

Those red wine stains are the worst. Your pristine white carpet or trendy white shirt is a prime target for that tipsy loved one, wine glass in hand, gesturing madly as they tell her story about her idiot boss. While the story might get a happy ending, the stain they leave behind never does. So, what do you do when that red wine sloshes onto the floor or couch? In this article, we offer our professional cleaning tips to get those stains out quickly.

Tips for getting rid of wine stains

Act Fast

As soon as the deed is done, you need to act fast. The red from the grapes is just as bad as pouring red dye on your rug. You can’t give it a chance to sink in.

Never Scrub, Just “Dab”

First, never scrub a wine stain; all you’re doing is spreading it around. Instead, you want to dab at the stain with no pressure, so the rag in your hand absorbs the excess and doesn’t press it deeper into the fabric or carpet.

Use a Clean Dry Cloth

A clean dry cloth dabbed on the stain will be the quickest way to absorb the wine up and away from the fibers of your carpet or couch.

Apply Powder

You can also apply various types of powder to the stain to absorb the wine, including table salt, baking soda, dry soap powder, talcum powder, or kitty litter. The only downside with this method is that it makes more of a mess. So, sprinkle the powder on, let it absorb the wine, and then blot at the spot after a few minutes to lift the powder and stain from the surface.

Don’t Use White Wine

This is actually an old wives’ tale. Somehow, people got the notion that using white wine will clean away red wine stains. All this will do is spread the red colour around more. Plus, you’re also wasting perfectly good wine.

Boiling Water

While applying boiling water might scare you a bit at first sight because it will spread the stain out, fear not. It is actually diluting the deep colour and helping the wine lose its cohesion. The water makes it easier to blot up the mess with a dry clean cloth. However, don’t soak the stain too much. Use a small amount to avoid soaking the absorbent under padding that will retain all that wetness, which can lead to mould and mildew.

Got milk?

Unlike the white wine that spreads the stain around, this white liquid actually helps to absorb the wine. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then blot it with a dry cloth or sponge. Make sure you clean it up well or you’ll have a rancid milk smell.

Club Soda and White Vinegar

This provides a one-two punch to the stain. First, the minerals help break up the molecules of the wine. Second, the white vinegar helps to clean. Apply the mix, and then blot the area with a clean cloth to absorb the mess.

Good Old OxiClean

This is a tried and true product that gets stains out of anything. This is your go-to solution if the stain goes unnoticed and has time to set in. Just follow the instructions, and let the sodium percarbonate mix with water to create a powerful hydrogen peroxide cleanser.

Dishwashing Liquid and Hydrogen Peroxide

No OxiClean? No worries. Use 1 part dishwashing liquid with 3 parts hydrogen peroxide on the stain. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then blot it away.

If you don’t have OxiClean or hydrogen peroxide, head to the store and buy an Oxi product. Since the stain is already dry, you’ve got the time!

For Clothes

If the oopsy hits your clothes, you need to act fast as well. Blot it with a clean white cloth, and never rub it or the stain will spread and sink in further. Never go further than the blotting stage without checking the washing instructions on the label, as dry-clean only items can be ruined if you try to apply some kind of cleaning product. You can then try any of the above methods to get the stain out completely. Of course, your Oxi laundry cleaner always does the job quickly as long as the instructions say you can use it on your particular type of fabric.

If you’ve got stains in your carpeting or furniture, then leave it up to the professionals at Maid4Condos to remove them for good. Speak to our team today about the cleaning services that Toronto residents love. Call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us here.