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.

Why Hand Sanitizer Placement Is so Important In the Workplace

With the coronavirus pandemic still raging on, keeping up with safe practices remains important. We are all feeling more hopeful with the inoculations underway. However, we still need to be diligent to see things through to that finish line. Aside from keeping everyone safe by using an office sanitizing company, businesses should ensure they are providing hand sanitizer for their employees and visitors. With proper practices, you can greatly reduce the spread of illnesses while also reducing absenteeism to remain more productive.

Why hand sanitizer placement is so important in the workplace

Here’s why hand sanitizer placement is so important in the workplace:

Lots of Time Spent at Work

The workplace is where many people spend a good share of their day. With eight hours and more for some, the space and its commonly touched surfaces are exposed to a group of people all coming into contact with germs. As a result, the workplace can be a hotbed of bacteria easily spreading illness amongst workers. By properly placing hand sanitizer throughout the workplace, you can make it easier for people to sanitize their hands before they touch common things such as doors, elevator buttons, and coffee machines.

A Constant Reminder

When you place hand sanitizer throughout the workplace, it acts as a constant reminder for employees to use it. It keeps the sanitizer accessible, and can encourage people to use it more often.

High Touch Areas

High touch surfaces will vary from workplace to workplace, so understanding these hotspots is important. Some guidelines to help with placement include:

  • All entrances and exits. Even one person touching a single doorknob can spread illnesses through the workplace like wildfire. Viruses can last for up to four hours on hard surfaces. Doorknobs are responsible for 40% to 50% of workplace illnesses spread to both staff and visitors. These areas should be prioritized, and the more traffic the doors see, the larger the dispenser you should place to reduce the need to constantly refill them.
  • Common break rooms and eating areas. Areas designated for break times and eating are also riddled with germs. This is often associated with the foods eaten, but can also be common viruses. In these areas, it is also necessary to have proper hand wash stations available for those preparing and serving food.
  • Meeting rooms. This is a common area where papers are handed out, touch screens and mice are shared, and handshaking takes place, making it the perfect storm for germ-spreading. Hand sanitizer dispensers should be placed at entries, but you can also consider keeping smaller dispensers beside shared equipment to remind people to wash their hands before they use it.
  • Shared workstations. Spaces where workstations are shared, from call centers to retail kiosks, should also have individual hand sanitizers available so staff use it before they start work. This includes small areas where people might charge their phones, as well as shared desks and computers. You can also consider placing antibacterial wipes at each workstation so staff can wipe down the equipment when they are finished using it (or before).
  • Transaction counters. Counters where staff interact with customers also require hand sanitizers. On the side where customers access things like ATM machines, the hand sanitizer should be prominent, and staff should also wipe the machines after each use with alcohol or bleach wipes.
  • Staircases and escalators. Because people touch handrails constantly, hand sanitizer is a must at the tops and bottoms of stairs and on both the up and down escalators.
  • Wheelchair access. Make sure you have dispensers placed at the right height for wheelchair access doors and handles.

You might have specific high traffic areas at your workplace such as labs, waiting rooms, touch screens, supply rooms, and office equipment such as photocopiers that should all have hand sanitizer dispensers placed in a prominent position.

Hand Germ Spreading Facts

Here is some hand-to-germ contact facts to consider:

  • The average office worker comes into contact with about 10 million bacteria a day.
  • Providing hand sanitizer can reduce absenteeism by 13%.
  • Bacteria can stay on a person’s hands for up to three hours.
  • Hand sanitizer use can reduce health claims by 20%.
  • 80% of infections are transmitted through touch (this is not specific to COVID).
  • Employees who practice using hand sanitizer at least five times a day are 67% less likely to become ill.

These statistics alone are enough to motivate your business to stick to a strict hand sanitizer regime.

How to Improve Compliance

It’s one thing to place the dispensers throughout the office and another to actually get people to use them. Some ideas to help improve compliance include:

  • Education. Ensure that department heads continue to mention the need to use hand sanitizer to their staff. New hires should be provided with a handout reviewing your hand washing policies, and also verbally taken through the process.
  • Written and verbal reminders. Post friendly reminders at key areas throughout the workplace including bathrooms, lobbies, elevators, and all entries. As mentioned above, managers can also help remind staff to sanitize their hands each day.
  • Feedback. Although it can be hard to track and awkward to approach, providing feedback to those who seem to be noncompliant is very important. They should be told in a non-discriminatory manner that all staff must use hand sanitizer with an explanation as to why it is so important.
  • Involve staff. Involving staff in the sanitization process can also be helpful. They can share in tasks such as posting signs, training co-workers, or recommending spots to add dispensers.
  • Hire a service. If it seems overwhelming to introduce and keep up with hand sanitizer placement and refills, then consider hiring a service to manage it for you. An excellent option is a cleaning service who can conduct daily industrial-grade sanitizing in hand with placing and/or refilling dispensers so they are ready for staff when they arrive at work each morning.

All of these things can greatly improve compliance and help keep everyone safe.

Government Regulations

During COVID, the government also introduced new regulations regarding hand sanitizers. To ensure you do not face penalties and fines, it’s important to review your responsibilities and follow through by introducing protocols and best practices.

Contact Maid4Condos

If you would like assistance with your office sanitization process, speak to our team at Maid4Condos today.

Mess-Free Arts and Crafts to Do With Your Kids

With the kids home more often, finding things to keep them busy can be a challenge. Arts and crafts are always a perfect time killer, but you might not want to contend with the mess once they’re done.

Mess-free arts and crafts to do with your kids

To help keep the kids occupied so you can get some work done, there are some crafty pastimes that don’t require a major clean-up job. Here are some craft organization tips for mess-free arts and crafts projects to do with your kids.

Think Mess-Free Materials

First, regardless of the project, you need to think of materials that will lead to less mess. For example, bags of glitter or jars of paint equal mess, while things like crayons, coloured pencils, and markers are spill and sprinkle free.

Kids can use all the colours they need and you don’t have to worry about anything getting knocked over onto the floor or table. Other things that tend to be less messy are stickers or working with fabrics and materials like ribbons and wool.

Older kids can use needles and thread, while younger ones can use glue. Cutting and pasting can be less messy with spill-proof bottles and glue sticks as opposed to using pastes that require brushes. If your kids need to have shiny things, choose papers with shimmer, or in the worst-case scenario, sparkly glues.

Fun things like googly eyes with sticky backs or small paper and decorative foam items can be found at the dollar or craft store. Now let’s take a look at some projects.

Acorn Faces

If the weather allows, head outside and take a walk to look for acorns. These friendly little nuts come with their own little hat, making them perfect for the heads of little dolls. Use markers to draw on faces and if you can find smaller googly eyes, kids can stick them on.

Get Beading

Older kids who aren’t at risk of swallowing beads can create fun jewellery using beads and string. There’s no end to what they can create, and you can even find jewellery kits. They are perfect to make for kids, swap with friends or to create their own little collection of necklaces and bracelets. The selection of beads available today is endless and kids will have hours of fun creating completely mess-free jewellery.

Eco-Friendly Tote Bags

Inspire their eco-friendly side by making eco-friendly tote bags. You just need pieces of fabric and needles and thread to create colourful tote bags you can then use for your grocery shopping. You can also use coloured fabrics and fabric pens to create original artwork on the bags or you can print off stencils you find online, which your kids can trace.

Wool or Macrame Bracelets

Threads and yarn can be used to create macrame bracelets using braiding techniques found online. This is a relaxing pastime and is a great way to use up old balls of leftover yarn.

Colouring Books

Nothing is easier than good old-fashioned colouring books. Head out to the dollar store and buy up a collection so kids can colour as they like using their choice of crayons, markers or coloured pencils.

Paper Plate Masks

Use white paper plates to create fun masks with markers, crayons or coloured pencils. You just need to cut the eye holes and use a needle and string for the ties to hold the masks on. Kids can be completely creative drawing animal faces, clowns, scary creatures or just colourful and free-for-all drawings like mardi gras masks.

Customized Marker T-Shirts

Fabric markers are ideal to create customized t-shirts. Kids can create whatever they like, add funny sayings or just go wild. To make it easier, stretch the t-shirts over sturdy cardboard to pull the fabric taut.

Marker Tie Dye

Take your customized t-shirts one step further using markers and rubbing alcohol. Have kids colour their designs in lines, dots, or shapes and then squirt rubbing alcohol onto the drawing. The alcohol will cause the colours to run creating a 60s friendly look like tie-dye without the need for messy soaking and dyes.

Nature Collage

This is a great way to combine outdoor activities with art. Head outside to collect things like dried flowers, leaves and seed pods and bring them home to create lovely nature collages. You’ll need wax paper for the next step and an adult to supervise.

Have the kids arrange their collected items on a square of wax paper, wax side up and then cover it with a second square of wax paper of the same size, wax side down. Iron the wax paper on low to melt the wax and seal the items inside. You’ll create a lovely collage that can be framed or hung on the window so the light can shine through.

Macaroni Necklaces

This traditional arts and crafts project is simple and lots of fun. You just need string and an assortment of tube pasta to create lovely necklaces. Cut the string to a suitable size that will fit over your child’s head easily, then have them string their pasta. Use tri-colour pasta to create more intricate designs. The first piece of pasta needs to be tied onto the string to hold the rest in place.

Mess-Free Goo Bags

Kids love goo, but parents hate the mess. You can make goo bags that can be used to create fun “finger painting” without a single finger needing cleaning. To create the bags:

Place the following ingredients in a large pot:

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups cold water

Heat over medium heat and then let cool slightly. Place the goo in large, zippered freezer bags. Add your choice of food colouring and then seal the bag making sure to let the air escape. Finish it off with clear packing tape to doubly secure the zippered top. Place the bags on the table and let kids use their fingers to manipulate the goo. They can swirl it just like finger paint but without making a mess and they’ll have hours of fun creating new images and then wiping them away.

It just takes a little craft organization for mess-free ideas that offer hours of creative fun without hours of clean-up.

For help tidying up, call Maid4Condos at (647) 822-0601 or contact us here.

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Maid Service

Modern life comes with its benefits, but you have to admit – there are a few drawbacks. Your home is a sacred place, in a way, it’s where you can truly be yourself and unlike anywhere else, feel completely at ease and comfortable. There’s one thing that can stop those good vibes in their tracks – when your home is a mess.

A messy, dirty, or smelly living environment can lead to disharmony and scattered thoughts and worse yet, make you feel uncomfortable in your own home – your place of peace. That’s not what you want, that’s not what anyone wants. Sometimes it builds up, a week here, a month there, and soon you realize, what an absolute mess your home has become. Every crack and crevice screams at you, ‘NEGLECT!” as a feeling of overwhelmed hopelessness settles in, just like the dust on your baseboards. You lead a busy life, work all day, put effort into a healthy lifestyle, try to make it in this world and the thought of deep-cleaning your home can feel like an impossible task.

Why not free yourself of the burden and wasted energy of being on your hand and knees, and scrubbing your tub with Windex, because that’s all you had left in the cupboard. Here are 5 reasons why you should hire a maid service to regularly clean your home. You’ve put off looking at what’s lurking in the corners of your home for long enough.

Professionals Do It Better

Let’s be real for a moment, professionals just do it better. They are the masters of their profession. They know what to use, where to use it, what to look for and what to do in most circumstances. They’ve seen and done a lot. A professional is going to know exactly how to clean and what to use on each individual item in every corner of your home.

Most professional cleaners have years of practical experience and have a sixth sense when it comes to seeking and destroying the dirt and grime that lurk unseen. When the real pro’s get to work, the result is a much cleaner home at a much faster pace with zero stress than if you were to do it yourself.

This doesn’t mean every time a cleaner comes into your home it has to feel like an exorcism – Maid4Condos can be tailored to fit your needs and budget. If you only want a casual clean, no problem, it’ll be cheaper too. Moving in or out of an apartment or house? We know what to do, we have you covered, just put a big checkmark next to “Deep Clean“.

The pros just know, and that knowledge translates to what is basically a spa day for your home. If you’re the type of person that loves to clean but doesn’t have the time, or on the other end of the spectrum, never learned how to clean effectively – we can 100% help you out. Professional effort gives you professional results. Treat yourself – your peace of mind deserves it.

Your Time & Energy Are Worth It

Most of us lead busy lives. Working full time, raising a healthy and happy family, or pursing out passions and interests. Some people have young children running around, other people are getting older and are looking to spend more time enjoying life. Whatever your situation, there is a common connection we all share: our time and energy are finite, and more valuable than anything else. When life feels like its pulling you in a thousand different directions why spend time on things that can be done more efficiently and thoroughly by someone else?

When time is not on your side and a looming feeling of “mess stress” wants to cast a shadow over your life – don’t let it. Outsourcing a daunting and time-consuming task like cleaning will lighten the load and free your time and energy for what’s most important to you, whatever that may be.

Fewer Odors & Dirt Build-Up

The average home can be host to dozens of different life forms lurking in the corners of your personal environment. Mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses, your brother-in-law Jim that overstayed his welcome by 8 months. Kitchens and bathrooms are the worst culprits of these unwanted roommates. The only fungus we want is the porcini mushrooms in the fridge.

Pet owners can especially relate to the offensive smells and “presents” our beloved pets leave in their wake. They may be cute but they sure do smell bad sometimes. Hiring professional cleaners means you stay ahead of the funk-causing spots in your home. The pros always have the right cleansers, degreasers, sanitizers and deodorizers and most importantly the knowledge and experience to do the perfect job, every time.

You Enjoy Entertaining But Not Cleaning

Some of us love to entertain friends and family at home. We take pride in providing the best for the people we love and in creating the perfect environment for everyone to live, talk, and laugh in harmony with each other. A big drawback is what a mess it all can make! The garbage and grime build up quickly when there are more people around.

Call the professionals when you love to entertain but hate to deal with the mess it makes. When someone else is dealing with the dirty details you can spend that saved energy to relax a little more and really bond with the people you’re with. Host more, worry less.

Happiness – The Mental Benefits of Having a Clean Home

Do what you do best, do what you love to do. The decision to hire a professional cleaning service means you freed up several hours a week, at minimum, to do as you please. Those are hours you’ve rightfully earned to use as you see fit, there’s no judgement here! Use your newfound time and learn to juggle, to jog, or to relax and binge watch more Netflix. The important part is you made the decision to take back your time.

There’s a lightness to living and working in a clean and pristine environment. It can have a profound psychological impact on how you feel in your home. A dirty environment can leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and unable to think clearly. Living in a home in constant need of cleaning can really stress you out. Sometimes we all need professional help. When you look around and everything is pristine and clean, a fresh breeze carries new life into your lungs instead of pushing that tumbleweed of dust and hair across your floor

Hiring a house cleaner can conjure up images of stuffy aristocrats sitting around scoffing at everything. In reality, it’s not that at all. A Maid Service like Maid4Condos is here to make the skilled hands and hearts of true cleaning and housekeeping professionals as affordable as possible.

Visit www.Maid4Condos.com to build a quote, see our latest availability and book a cleaning.

Social Distancing: How to Keep up With Chores

Being stuck inside can make you feel a little (or a lot) antsy. We think one of the best things to do with spare time is to clean. There are so many chores you can check off your to-do list when in self-isolation, and most of them will help reduce stress and keep your home nice and healthy. Since it’s not something you have time to do regularly, why not take advantage of all this downtime? To help get you started, here’s our list of chores to tackle when social distancing to help you avoid going stir crazy.

Tips to keep up with social distancing

Filter Switch-Ups

You’d be surprised at how many things in your home have filters you can change. Some examples include:

  • Water filters
  • Fridge water filters
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Vents
  • Microwave and range hoods
  • Air purifiers
  • Humidifiers
  • Vacuums

By changing or cleaning these filters, you can remove dirt that can collect germs.

De-Griming Kitchen Duties

This is a job that everyone puts off for as long as possible. However, you know there’s grime building up all over your kitchen. Some great places to de-grime include:

  • Small appliances inside and out
  • Overhead fans
  • Microwaves
  • Between your kitchen counter and oven
  • Between your kitchen counter and fridge
  • Underneath kitchen counters
  • Electric kettles
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Fridges and stoves, inside and out
  • Kitchen window screens

Just take a close look around your kitchen, and you’ll find even more places to clean.

Coffee Makers

This machine often gets a workout and, with your home, it’s probably working even harder. A thorough cleaning will not only make it look nicer but also improve the flavour of your coffee. Clear the tanks and tubes by running a mixture of white vinegar and water through the machine sans the coffee. Then, do a few runs with just water to remove the vinegar. Check the manual if you’ve still got it or look it up online to make sure you do things according to their recommendations.

Window Washing

Hey, since you’re stuck inside, you’re looking out those windows more now anyway, so you might as well make the most of your view. You’ll be surprised how much light you’ll let in and how much crisper your view will become with a good window washing. You can do it the easy way if you’ve got a window spray-cleaning product at home, or you can make your own using white vinegar wiped down with old newspapers, as you’re probably trying to save on using paper towels!

Organize Your Storage Space

Condos are notorious for their limited storage space. Take on the job of organizing what little you’ve got by looking for things you can toss out. This can be done in any of your closets using the tried and true method of sorting your stuff into four groups: sell, donate, trash, and keep. Once everything is sorted, start putting things away, while looking for ways to optimize the space. If you have baskets or storage bins, use them to keep things sorted into logical groups for smaller items. Look for safe ways to stack items and, if you’re really bored, colour code your clothes! Consider shopping online for shelves and other storage systems you can use in your storage space, so every inch is used wisely. The only thing is that you’ll have to find, is somewhere to put stuff you might want to donate or sell, as this will have to wait until your self-isolation is over.

Organize Your Kitchen

Condo kitchens are small! You can get things organized by going through all your cupboards and drawers, making sure that everything is stored in a logical manner. Look for better ways to sort everything based on a particular task, such as baking, stovetop cooking, roasting, food preparation, storage, and so on.

If an item is something you haven’t used in a long time or is broken, then consider tossing or donating it. If you have shelving paper, replace it as you go. You can also go through your pantry and sort your food into logical groups, such as different types of cuisine, condiments, soups, ready to eat foods, and baking products. And just for fun, you can do the same with your fridge!

Have a Daily Chore Routine

This is important if you’re home with the kids. A daily chore routine keeps things a little more scheduled, while also keeping the home clean. Some things on your list would include:

  • Making the beds
  • Doing the dishes after each meal
  • Setting the table before meals
  • Making meals together with cleaning duties following meal prep
  • Wiping down frequently-touched surfaces with disinfectant
  • Getting the mail
  • Cleaning toys and putting them away
  • Walking the dog (if you have one)
  • Feeding pets
  • Putting dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Removing garbage

Your household might have a list of chores that you can add to the mix.

Laundry and Ironing

Since you might be wearing the same pyjamas every day, make sure you are taking care of your clothes, so you’re ready to head back to work, or FaceTime with friends looking your best. Do your laundry regularly and be sure to fold and iron everything before putting it away. Don’t forget to clean towels and bed linens to keep things fresh and clean!

Make Some Food to Freeze

Another good idea is to make some food to freeze if you have anything that might be perishable. Good ways to use food wisely include creating soups and stews, kinds of pasta, cooked meats that can be defrosted and sliced, and baked goods such as cookies and loaves of bread. This way, nothing goes to waste when you might need food for a more severe lockdown. Remember, hoarding is not cool, so don’t run out to buy supplies. This is more to make sure that the food on hand doesn’t go to waste.

Manage Your Budget

This might not be cleaning per se, but it is an important chore to help you keep on top of your finances. With job uncertainty, now is a good time to consider your budget and look for ways to save. Set a budget for food, look at your expenses, and consider what you might want to do with the money saved from not going out so often! You might find you are ahead of things if you are now working and entertaining yourself at home.

At Maid4Condos, we are a responsible community business and want everyone to stay healthy. When you prepare a list of chores, you can keep your life and home organized to help reduce anxiety from being cooped up all day. Stay healthy, and we look forward to serving you soon.

Social Distancing: How to Stay Busy and Entertained

Social distancing is a struggle, to say the least. But we’re all doing our duty and staying home, which means we are all faced with similar challenges! If you’re experiencing the COVID-19 blues, there are tons of ways to keep it together and stay healthy both mentally and physically (not to mention with your relationships intact). Here, we provide some ideas to keep busy and entertained until the outbreak is contained.

Tips to stay busy during quarantine

Take a Break from COVID-19 News

Bad news equals COVID-19 blues. It’s hard not to want to keep up to date on what’s happening out there, but becoming obsessed with the latest news about the outbreak is not going to help. Avoid being stuck to the TV, and instead, give yourself a break by turning off the notifications you might be receiving. Only check-in a few times a day to see if there is anything important you need to know, such as new regulations or business closures. Try to spend as much time as possible chatting with friends via text and doing something you enjoy, even if you’re stuck at home. As well, it’s better to check the news in the morning rather than right before bed as, a) there’s nothing you can do about it right now, and b) it will still be there in the morning!

Move About

Although many are stuck in tiny condos, try to change your view and move about your condo often. Have a change of scenery occasionally, such as soaking in the tub, sitting on your balcony, sitting at your kitchen counter, or moving from bedroom to living room if you have that luxury.

Stay Active

You’re allowed to go outside for walks or runs, so try to do so once a day. Keep your distance from others and avoid parks that tend to be busy. This keeps your body healthy while also providing you with fresh air, new scenery, and some much-needed stress reduction. Nature helps, so choose an area with some greenery if possible. This can be hard since parks are now closed, but even tree-lined side streets in your area will help wit that.

Spring Clean

You know, there’s tons of stuff you could do that you’ve avoided for months. A good example is spring cleaning. Yes, we’re your cleaning heroes, so what else are we going to say? But seriously, this is a great way to keep busy.

Knock Out a To-Do List

Create a to-do list to complete as your days in self-isolation unfold. We’ve got you started with our spring-cleaning idea, but what else can you do?

For inspiration, think of the things you’ve procrastinated on, such as tightening those loose handles on your kitchen cupboards, finishing a paint job, or rearranging the furniture.

Educate Yourself

Instead of opting for endless binge-watching, choose educational videos. What have you always wanted to do?

  • Learn a language
  • Research topics of interest
  • Try a new workout or dance moves
  • Perfect a new cooking technique
  • Learn new recipes
  • Learn how to play a musical instrument
  • Up your chess game

The list is endless and limited only by the interests you have. Your brain gets a healthy dose of challenges, and you also reduce stress.

Start Up Some Group Chats

You’ve probably already done this with friends, but consider doing it with other groups such as co-workers, fellow students, and family. This will keep you interacting, and even start some goofy or educational discussions to keep you thinking and laughing.

Challenge Friends

Come up with fun ideas to keep your group of friends challenged. It can be silly things like who can binge-watch the most episodes of a show, physical challenges like who can do the most push-ups, appearance challenges like who can grow the longest beard, or brainy challenges like who can read Anna Karenina the fastest.

Plan Zoom or Facetime Socials

Technology offers tons of ways to interact with friends and family. Hold some social events via Zoom or Facetime so people can interact, joke around, or even find out ways you can help the more vulnerable people in your circle. Face-to-face communication is crucial to your mental health, and this is the easiest way to avoid feelings of isolation. Make sure to remember phone calls to your elderly family members who might not have access to such technology.

Look Up Old Acquaintances on Social Media

This is the perfect time to get reacquainted with those you’ve lost touch with over the years. Search them up on social media and reach out. No creeping on anyone, though!

Stay Pretty

This might sound silly and shallow, but you’ll feel better if you look like your old self. Don’t give up on your basic personal hygiene by not taking showers, doing your hair and makeup every once in a while, shaving, and so on. This will keep things feeling a little more “normal,” and, also, you’ll look all the better for the selfies and videos you post on social media.

Find Positive Social Accounts to Follow (Or Start One of Your Own)

Look for fun accounts to follow on social media to make things more pleasant and avoid the “Debbie Downers” who will make you feel scared, alone, or even angry. It’s all about staying positive. If you hate all that positivity crap, just find things that make you happy, from cat accounts to travel and awe-inspiring stunts to fitness nuts. If you think you have something to share that will inspire others, now’s the time to give it a shot with all eyes and thumbs glued to phone screens.

At Maid4Condos, we are a responsible community business and want everyone to stay healthy. Avoid feeling isolated and bored so you can make it through this difficult time. Stay healthy, and we look forward to serving you soon.

8 Steps to Get Your Winter Clothes Ready for Storage

Living in Toronto can make weather prediction a little challenging. You never really know when it’s time to officially get out of your summer clothes. Sometimes we can be well into June and still be getting chilly days and nights. Hopefully, you can put most of your winter clothes into storage by the time late April or early May rolls around!

Here are eight steps to get your winter clothes ready for storage and make room for your favourite warm-weather fashions.

How to get winter clothes ready for storage?

1. Head to the dry cleaners

Before putting your coats away for the summer, they require a cleaning. It’s always a good idea to have a little bit of money set aside to do a spring dry cleaning for your coats, but it’s not always necessary.

For example, many “puffy” coats with down filling might be machine washable as it helps them keep their puffiness. Other cloth coats of varying materials and faux furs might do better with dry cleaning. To be safe, check the labels before deciding on washing them at home or paying for a professional cleaning.

2. Brush coats down and wrap them

Moths are one of the biggest worries when it comes to storing away your winter wear. Before storing any of your coats, take them outside and brush them down with a clean brush. Make sure to get into the folds and pockets to remove any moth eggs. Hang coats in cotton garment bags and use cedar planks or balls to keep moths away. If you don’t have cotton bags, plastic will work just fine.

3. Clean your boots

Snow and salt can be very damaging for your boots. When left on your boots for months, it can permanently damage and stain them. Wipe your boots down to remove salt using water and vinegar.

If they are leather, you should then treat them with a leather conditioner to keep them supple. Waterproof your boots before storing them so they are ready to wear when that first dreaded snowfall arrives unexpectedly.

You can then stuff your boots with newspaper, so they maintain their shape. Pack the toes nice and tight to avoid dents, but don’t force it, or you can stretch them, and they won’t fit properly in the winter.

4. Wash your sweaters

It’s not uncommon to re-wear more delicate sweaters made of cashmere and wool to avoid worrying about hand washing or dry cleaning them throughout the winter months. However, before storing them, you have to clean them properly.

Keep in mind this natural material is what moths love to eat. If stored with traces of food, they become even more appetizing.

Read the labels to see if dry cleaning or hand washing is recommended. If the label indicates you can do either or if budget is an issue, you can take the handwashing route:

  • Have three bins, one to wash, one to rinse, and one to wring out excess water.
  • In one bin, use lukewarm water and a gentle, hand washing laundry detergent.
  • Place your sweater in the wash bin and gently swirl the water with your hand. Don’t lift the sweater out of the water or pull at it as this will stretch the sweater and can create pilling.
  • Gently squeeze the sweater to remove soapy water and then place it in the rinse bin for a few minutes. The rinse bin should be cool water.
  • Place the sweater in the final bin, which should be empty. Press out the excess water, avoiding tugging and pulling. Dump out the water to prepare for the next sweater.
  • Lay your sweaters flat, making sure the shoulders are square, and the arms are laid out evenly to keep their shape. If the sweater seems very wet, you can lay it on a clean towel to help absorb the excess water.

As you can see, the handwashing process is pretty time consuming, so dry cleaning might be your best bet.

5. Store in plastic

Once clean, your winter garments will need to be protected from moths. Store them with a cedar plank or balls in the closet. Never store sweaters on hangers as it will cause issues such as stretching and can leave pointed hanger indents in the shoulders or sleeves.

Ideally, you can store sweaters and other winter clothing items in individually sealed plastic bags and then lay them flat in plastic storage bins. If you must layer your winter garments on top of each other without bags, lay colourless tissue paper between each sweater to avoid any risk of colour transfer.

6. Clean winter accessories

This can be a bit complicated because your hats, scarves, mitts and gloves will all be made of different materials. Anything that is made of wool will require hand washing or dry cleaning like your sweaters. If you have any blended materials for your scarves and mitts, they can go in a gentle wash but check the labels to be safe.

Avoid using the dryer unless the instructions say you can. Even then, you will most likely see pilling and scarves could be stretched long. It is best to lay these items to dry instead. Anything that has real fur, leather, or suede should be professionally cleaned.

7. Save space

Your accessories can be stored in plastic containers with tight seals. Plastic storage bins not only keep moths at bay but can often be slid conveniently under your bed to keep them out of the way. This is an excellent option if you live in a smaller home like a condo. If you have any accessories made of more delicate materials such as silk and wool, use layers of tissue paper to avoid colour transfer.

8. Choose a dark, dry space

Storing your winter clothes requires a cool, dark space. If you choose an area that is too hot, then you increase the risk for moisture and condensation, which allows mould and mildew to grow. Moths prefer the dark but don’t like the cold, so you can make clothes less tempting in a cool, dry place.

For more tips on getting your winter clothes ready for storage, call Maid4Condos at 647-822-0601 or contact us here.

Kick Clutter With 12 Shoe Organization Tips

Being a shoe maven isn’t easy. It costs money. It can backfire when you invest in a pair of killer boots that also kill your feet. It can be overwhelming deciding which shoes to wear. It can be impossible to find places to store them all. If you love shoes and are reading this, you are probably thinking, “If only I had those issues!” However, for most households short on space, that shoe pile-up is a bone of contention. If you are looking for ways to manage your shoe overload, here are 12 organization tips to keep everything contained (or at least neater).

Kick Clutter With 12 Shoe Organization Tips

1. Bench ‘em

In sports, sitting on the bench is a bad thing. For storage, sitting in, under, or on a bench is genius. Benches are a small space’s best friend. They provide a number of options that can help keep shoe clutter down to a loud roar. You can try a number of bench ideas, including:

  • Purchase an attractive storage trunk to place in your entryway. You can load it up with pillows to create an attractive bench, while using the inside to store the less used or off-season footwear.
  • Purchase a bench with legs and store shoes below, contained in a tray or on shoe shelves. The bench helps hide the clutter, while providing a place to sit and tie your laces.

2. Wick away mess with wicker

Baskets, baskets, and more baskets help you manage shoes, shoes, and more shoes. They are perfect to compartmentalize shoes neatly and with their respective other half. They are the perfect partner for low-lying shelves, but can also be used on wall shelves as well if space allows.

3. Hang ’em high

If you are a prima pump princess, a simple wire mesh wall organizer is a girl’s BFF. Your pointy heels are the ideal hook to hang up your shoes. If you love colourful shoes, you can even show them off as an edgy, fashionista art installation.

4. Curb ‘em in cubbies

If it’s more of a family affair, hence a greater scale of mess, cubbies do wonders. First, you can use them to add a little decorative detail on your wall. Second, the kids are kind of fanatical when you make cleaning a little more fun. You can assign everyone as many cubbies as they need, put their name on them, and even allow them to decorate their cubbies if they choose. This gives everyone their own space, so, a) they can find things more easily, and b) so you remain sane even at the peak of shoe changing season.

5. Creative stacked shelves

There are some interesting stacked shelf options that might work out fine for shoes instead of their intended use. For example, wooden mail wall mounts have a shape that works well for slipping in some shoes in pairs. Each family member can have their own pocket, or you can hog them all if you are a shoe-a-holic. This is also an excellent solution if you have limited space and almost no wall space for shelves, as these types of storage units tend to be tall and narrow.

6. Create a crate

You’d be amazed at how simply writing on something can inspire people to use it for its intended purpose. We are using a crate as an example here, but you can get creative with the container you use. Wooden crates, milk cartons, old toy boxes, etc. can all be painted and named to create a storage bin that is stylish, clever, and tucked under a bench or table in your hallway, mudroom, or entryway.

7. Tres chic trays

Get creative with trays to collect wet boots and keep shoes contained. You can always buy a real shoe tray, but what if you shopped around for some inspired ideas instead? For example, a large low-lying wicker basket, an extra-large designer serving tray, galvanized steel bins used in industry or gardening, or an old wooden anything. There is no end to how creative you can get. Also, fill your tray with pebbles, colourful glass beads, etc. for an added designer touch and to keep water away from your leather and suede.

8. Win with wine racks

Wine racks can be perfect for shoes. Not all will work, but with a little ingenuity, you can find the right size and shape for a wine lover’s solution for shoe organization.

9. Tap into PVC piping

PVC piping comes in all sizes. You can cut the piping to create individual shoe shelves and affix them to the wall in an interesting pattern. The piping can be painted, covered in wallpaper, or left as is. You can also add colourful paper or wallpaper on the inside of the tubes.

10. Shoe library

A bookshelf can make an excellent shoe storage option, as they are tall and narrow. They don’t take up much space, but can hold a heck of a lot of shoes. As long as you can keep them neat and with their mates, your shoes will stay organized. You can consider adding a pretty curtain across the front for a decorative touch and to also keep them hidden if they become unruly.

11. Step things up

This one requires a carpenter, but if the budget allows, it is ideal. Have drawers built into the risers of your stairs. You can keep things completely hidden yet readily available when it’s time to go out. You can just use the bottom two steps or so and either choose a tap drawer that you push to get open, or a unique little inconspicuous handle.

12. Visit a storage shop

There are plenty of retailers that have storage and organizing options you never knew existed. They can provide you with excellent ideas perfectly suited to your individual needs and clutter level. From closet door shoe hangers to very slim shoe cabinets (such as at IKEA), you are sure to find inspiration for your messy shoe shame.

If you can’t manage your shoe mess and clutter, the cleaning team at Maid4Condos has your back. Click here to schedule your cleaning today!

The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning | Clean My Toronto Condo

The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning | Clean My Toronto Condo

 

You may have been called lazy before, and maybe you are (which is probably why you’re reading the lazy person’s ultimate guide to cleaning). But being lazy is not a crime. And it doesn’t mean that you deserve to live in a pigsty. However, it probably means that you’ve reached the point where turning a blind eye to mess and clutter just isn’t an option anymore. So, if you want to learn a few cleaning tips that even the laziest person can get on board with, stay seated and listen up! We’re about to rock your world.

 

The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Lazy
The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Lazy

 

Your Guide To Clean:

 

Lazy Tip #1: Line Your Kitchen

 

Food prep and fridge spills can be the number one source of dirtiness and subsequent cleaning. This is why you need to start lining your fridge-shelves, counters and oven with plastic wrap, parchment paper or aluminum foil. Just think, instead of cleaning up every time you make food or find a spill in your fridge, all you have to do is peel away the lining you so cleverly placed down, throw it out, and replace! Though not a very green method, it’s a lazy person’s dream come true. You’re welcome.

 

The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Aluminum Foil
The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Aluminum Foil

 

Lazy Tip #2: Dishwasher Tricks

 

Did you know that you can clean more than just kitchen stuff in your dishwasher? Yep! You can throw plastic toys, tools, cutting boards and the like in there and take them out looking sparkly clean! Pretty cool right? We know. However, make sure you know the dirty truth about your dishwasher before you put anything in there.

 

The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Rubber Ducky
The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Rubber Ducky

 

Lazy Tip #3: Micro Cleaning  

 

Speaking of appliances, there’s a very easy way to clean your microwave that doesn’t involve scrubbing. Simply pour two cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. When the times up, take out the bowl and wipe away all the loosened gunk. Not only will your microwave be smelling fresh, it will look clean AF. Check out our other article to learn about more cool tricks your microwave can do!

 

The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Microwave
The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Microwave

 

Lazy Tip #4: Making Your Bed

 

Do you hate making your bed, yet also hate coming home to an unmade bed? We don’t blame you. Rumpled sheets are neither a pleasant nor inviting. But we have some exciting information that will allow you to make your bed without getting out of it! Just try this: next time you wake up, sit back against the wall or headboard with your feet facing the end of the bed. Then, pull up the comforter and sheets to your waist, and just slide out the side! Like a bandit in the morning, your bed will be made with minimal effort, plus you’ll get a few extra minutes in that warm, cozy cocoon!

 

The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Bed
The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Bed

 

Lazy Tip #5: Towel Stains

 

Do you have a tendency to get stains on your towels? If your towels are dotted with stains from products or food, it’s time to get with the lazy program. Ultimately, the easiest way to hide stains is by switching out your light coloured towels for dark ones. Though the stains won’t necessarily be gone, you won’t be able to see them! Is there really a difference? Not if you don’t care enough, no.

 

The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Towels
The Lazy Person’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Towels

 

Lazy Tip #6: General Clutter

 

If you find that you constantly have stuff lying around that you don’t use, it may be time to downsize your belongings. Logically speaking, the less belongings you have, the less opportunity there is for clutter to build up! Translation: the less stuff you have, the less time you’ll have to spend cleaning and organizing it. You can call this whatever you like, however, at Maid4Condos, we call it the secret to cleaning less. However, we’re not here to judge and will always be just a few clicks away any time you really want to bring that sparkle back to your home!

 

Hungry for more?

 

This post was brought to you by Maid4Condos, a top-rated residential cleaning service dedicated to the people of Toronto. Maid4Condos has been a committed partner to the Toronto cleaning and construction scene for years, and continues to provide exceptional cleaning services to clients. Get a FREE quote & book your cleaning today or follow this link to learn more of what we’re all about!

 

Get Social With Us:

 

Visit the Maid4Condos blog and follow us on FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram for more industry news, Toronto lifestyle guides and cleaning tips!

 

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Written by Savannah Binder, Maid4Condos

The Post-Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need | Maid in Toronto

The Post-Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need | Maid in Toronto

 

There’s always something going around, and whether you or someone you live with caught that cold or flu, you’ve got to nip it in the bud with the post-sickness cleaning checklist you need. Because, don’t you want to save others from the same, sickly fate? In the best of times, germs are everywhere and relatively harmless. In the worst of times, they are multiplying, just waiting for a host to latch on to. So, when your home gets invaded by unwanted bacteria it’s time to pull out your bucket of home cleaning supplies and get down to business!

 

The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Lying Down
The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Lying Down

 

The Cleaning Checklist: Feel Better!

 

Clean the Bedroom

 

When you’re sick, all you want to do is lay in bed. The trouble is that the bedroom is now contaminated, but it’s not beyond repair. When it comes to surfaces like door handles, light switches and bedside tables simply pull out your favorite commercial disinfectant, or create a home cleaning remedy out of vinegar. For maximum clean, these spots will need your full attention and a good wipe down with a microfiber cloth! Same goes for any other surfaces around your home like railings, counters and door knobs. Simple, easy, done!

 

The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Bed
The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Bed

 

However, blankets and bedding will take a little more effort. Because sick people sweat more than the average person, strip the affected bed of sheets and throw them all in the wash. Be sure to add all garments and blankets that were used during the incubation period. Nothing should be left behind! If you catch any stains prior to washing, be sure to treat them so as to maximize cleanliness once they’ve been laundered. Lastly, set the laundry machine to the hottest temperature and wash away!

 

Clean the Bathroom

 

When it comes to cleaning after being sick, the bathroom is one of the most important areas you need to be worried about. Because it’s a shared space, it holds high potential for infecting other people. With that said, you should be cleaning the entire bathroom, with special attention on the sink, toilet, flush handle, and tap handles.

 

The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Ducks
The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Ducks

 

You can use your favorite commercial cleaner or opt for a home-made remedy. However, did you know that steam cleaners are also a great way to get rid of the germs? Yep, the steam cleaner is great at getting into those hard-to-reach crannies around the toilet and tap. However, for a maximum clean, spray a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water prior to steaming and let it sit for a few minutes. Then steam away!

 

Clean the Kitchen

 

Just like the bathroom, the kitchen is a hot-spot for germs to accumulate, because even sick people need to eat! When you go to clean the kitchen, focus on things like the refrigerator door handle, and all cabinet and drawer handles that get frequently touched. You can use disinfectant wipes, your favorite commercial cleaner, or a home-made mixture of your choosing. And yes, you can also use your steam cleaner in the kitchen! But again, you should spray the surface with a cleaner, let it sit, and then steam away. All that’s left to do is wipe the handles down with a dampened microfiber cloth!

 

The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Kitchen
The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Kitchen

 

Clean the Electronics

 

Though it may seem like a mission and a half, cleaning electronics after an illness is super important. That goes for any cell phones, computers, keyboards and remotes that the sick person has touched. However, you probably haven’t cleaned those electronics in a while so take advantage of this opportunity and disinfect till your heart’s content!

 

The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Electronics
The Post Sickness Cleaning Checklist You Need Electronics

 

Typically, using a disinfectant wipe, damp microfiber cloth or electronic cleaning kit will do the trick. However, be careful about getting alcohol near the heart of the electronics. For more information on how to clean these prized possessions, check out our other article that will give you a more in-depth description of how to clean your cell phone!

 

 

Hungry for more?

 

This post was brought to you by Maid4Condos, a top-rated residential cleaning service dedicated to the people of Toronto. Maid4Condos has been a committed partner to the Toronto cleaning and construction scene for years, and continues to provide exceptional cleaning services to clients. Get a FREE quote & book your cleaning today or follow this link to learn more of what we’re all about!

 

Get Social With Us:

 

Visit the Maid4Condos blog and follow us on FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram for more industry news, Toronto lifestyle guides and cleaning tips!

 

See Maid4Condos Reviews:

 

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HomeStars Review Our Work

 

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Written by Savannah Binder, Maid4Condos