Neglected Cleaning Tasks: Part 1

Now that you're ready, Let's start!

Now that you’re ready, Let’s start!

Even when you plan ahead, and make a cleaning schedule or checklist there always still seems to be  neglected cleaning tasks. When cleaning your own home, there are some areas you tend to leave so that you can clean them up another day, either due to lack of time or effort. They usually remain neglected until the situation has gotten out of hand so much so that people are beginning to mistake that stack of magazines in the corner as a weird version of a coffee table. You don’t want to get to that level. So make sure to whip out your notebooks and take some notes so you don’t neglect these tasks. I’ll give you a minute to prepare, cause if I didn’t tell you I don’t think you’d notice you were ignoring these tasks.

Wait, I have to clean outdoor chairs?

Take a load off, But clean the chair first!

Take a load off, But clean the chair first!

 

The furniture on the porch or the deck is seldom cleaned by home owners, if ever.  The furniture is subject to all sorts of weather conditions such as rain, sunlight, snow and so on. If neglected for long the furniture will end up losing its luster and shine, it will fade and probably crack over time. Usually, people put off this task as it requires more than a day to clean all the outdoor furniture. Not only do you need to clean the furniture, you need the wood to be completely dry before you can seal it. Clean and well maintained outdoor furniture will look better and last longer as well.

They Can’t Vent if They are Dirty

Clean vents give clean air!

Clean vents give clean air!

Vents are another area of the house that are usually neglected and remain dirty.  You should clean them at least once a month. Make sure there is nothing blocking these vents. Remove any insulation or objects that prevent cross ventilation. If you have placed vents in your attic, you must ensure free flow of air through them. They should also be thoroughly cleaned to prevent any bacteria from accumulating and spreading diseases in the house. Filters in furnaces and air conditioning units need to be changed or cleaned regularly. A truly filthy filter can cause a system to waste energy, which will cause energy bills to spike as the system needs to work harder than it should. In truly bad cases, a clogged filter can cause a system to not work at all and can even pose a fire hazard.  The length of time you can go between changes varies based on how much you use the furnace or air conditioner and the size of filter you are using, but a general rule of thumb is to schedule the change every 1-2 months.

The Septic Tank, but this is for Professionals 

Yup, the professionals can handle this dirty job...

Yup, the professionals can handle this dirty job…

It’s very important that a septic tank be cleaned out two or three years, depending on the size of the household and the size of your tank.The septic tank only comes to your attention once the problem is out of hand. A septic system that fails might have to be completely replaced as solid waste is emptied into the drainage field.You should check for any solids that are present and have them removed. All scum needs to be removed as well. The system can also overflow if not properly emptied, causing major damage to your home and yard.  Either problem can cost tens of thousands of dollars and can present a health hazard. Cleaning out the septic tank needs to be done by a professional company, so it’s a smart idea to make a note or keep a log of how long it’s been since your last cleaning.  This will help you remember when to make the necessary appointment before you run into problems. Opening up a septic tank and being exposed to its gases can be fatal, so specialist care is required.  Many people forget about cleaning the septic tank, forgetting how vulnerable your family can be to diseases.

It can become a “Hairy” Situation

ewww, I know that came from my head but still.

ewww, I know that came from my head but still.

Even though we regularly clean out our showers and tubs, the drain is one area that we usually neglect. If you notice that the water in your bath tub or shower is not draining fast enough, then most probably the drains are clogged. The water may flow back as well if the drain is in a bad situation. To prevent such problems, it is better to clean your drain beforehand. You can either pour boiling hot water over the drain, or add baking soda and vinegar to it. You may also use a hanger to unclog it.

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Spring In New York City: where more than flowers bloom

Spring has sprung all around in New York City and you can see the city get reborn after it’s long winter hibernation. The city has a lot to offer you this season and we are talking about a place that can offer you more than flowers blooming, though that’s my favorite part!!!

Go ahead, put on those shades and people watch!

Go ahead, put on those shades and people watch!

As the Spring season gets in to full swing in the city, you can see every New Yorker coming out of their homes and into the street, as the winter weather fades away. Walking to work, I pass Madison Square Park and as the weather is getting warmer, I see more and more people out and about, walking their dogs, eating their lunch at the park, and just soaking up the sun.

As the thermometer rises, it seems the overall mood of the city gets happier and melts a

Florals and bright colors may still be the only thing cheery about a New Yorker.

Florals and bright colors may still be the only thing cheery about a New Yorker.

little but of our cold disposition away. Yes, you will see us warmer and cheerier, but we will still be New Yorkers who hate tourists, waiting too long for coffee or to cross the street and forget it if you stop in the middle or walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk. But with the city follows suit with your cheery disposition. The flowers in the parks begin to bloom and trees begin to grow their leaves as spring showers make sure plant life is never thirsty and smart New Yorkers always carry an emergency umbrella, even for the sunniest days.

 

Take a stroll with that special someone.

Take a stroll with that special someone, in Central Park.

If you are looking for things to do, one of my all time favorite places in the world to go to is Central Park. Central Park in the spring is one of my favorite places in the city! There are a multitude of things to do with friends or even as a cute date!

  • Vist the zoo! (The penguins are my favorite)
  • Ride the Central Park Carousel (It’s $3 a ride, and is open 10-6)
  • Take a Central Park walking tour ( It’s free and lasts about 1 1/2 hours)
  • Enjoy a picnic ( relax, eat yummy food and drink and my favorite: people watch)
  • Row a  a boat around the lake ( $12/hour then $2.50 after that and a $20 deposit, each rowboat can hold up to 4 people)
  • See a Central Park concert ( range from the Metropolitan Opera in the parks to Central Park SummerStage)
  • Experience Shakespeare in the Park (They often have 2 productions during the summer and you can get free tickets by waiting in line or the online lottery for a same-day performance )
  • Get Lost ( There are 843 acres to explore, and I think the best ways to do that are to get on a good pair of shoes and then take your time to discover a new place to people watch or a secret hiding place to read and relax soaking up the beautiful spring weather)
These trees are over 100 years old!

These trees are over 100 years old!

If you’re craving to look at all the glory that spring can bring with flowers and blooming trees. You need to visit the Yoshino Cherry trees along the East side of the Reservoir in Central Park. They were presented to us as a gift to the United States by Japan in 1912. They are the first trees to bloom in the spring! Also you need to take a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, where you can see all the flowers bloom from daffodils to cosmos and also you can also go The Cherry Blossom festival ( Sakura Matsuri) It’s April 26-27th from 10am-6pm, or you can just go any thine throughout the season that lasts until late april!

 

 

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Starting an Indoor or Rooftop Garden

roof-garden

Whether you live in the city or in a neighborhood, the luxury of having a large yard is becoming quite rare. For garden lovers, the lack of a yard can be a painful curse. It doesn’t seem fair that the city life automatically disqualifies you from growing something beautiful. While I don’t have the greenest of thumbs, I welcome the presence of plants in my home for their many healthy and positive benefits. Growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers in and around the home is a very fulfilling hobby, but you don’t have to have a huge piece of land to enjoy it. Instead of planting out in the backyard, you can plant up – yes, up, right on the top of your roof. If you can’t plant up, then bring the garden indoors. With a little guidance, hard work, and seeds, you can be seeing green no matter where you live.

Safety and Rules

Before starting any project, you need to talk to your landowner, structural engineer, and city to get approval and advice. Rooftops are a little more complicated than an indoor garden, and ensuring the structural system can support the additional weight of soil and plants will make your garden a safe place to walk. Fencing needs to be added to protect the people on the roof and passers-by on the sidewalks below. Anything from a bucket to a shovel could be bumped off and cause serious harm to anyone standing on the ground level. Make sure to follow any regulations and laws: A project done the wrong way can end up costing you thousands in fines.

Select Soil

Along with safety comes the decision of the type of soil to use for your plants. Soil can be incredibly heavy and place too much weight on a roof. A planting medium can be used in place of soils to lighten the weight load. For indoor plants, buy a regular bag of soil from any garden store and place it in your planting containers.

Pick Your Plants

Picking plants is my favorite thing about gardening; it allows me to express myself through the various plants available. Herbs, lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, kale, green onions, and snow peas are going to be your easiest plants to grow both on the rooftop and indoors. Herbs love to be propped up in a kitchen window and thrive in a small pot with lots of sunlight. Larger plants such as watermelon, broccoli, and cauliflower don’t grow well indoors and should be avoided in rooftop gardens as well.

Gather Containers

Choosing containers really depends on what you want. You can recycle something as simple as a yogurt container or buy your own potting plastic containers. Before placing any plant or seed inside, make sure there are holes in the bottom. Small holes allow for drainage, so excess water can easily escape.

Choose a Watering System

Indoor plants are a little tricky to water properly. Too much water can wash out a seed, while too little can kill the plant. Drainage holes will allow excess water to get out, but spraying a mist daily will keep the soil moist while preventing water from flushing out the seed. Rooftop gardens give room for a little creativity in watering systems. A hose can be run up the side of a building and attached to drip lines. Drip lines take a huge work load off of your hands, and keep the water spraying equally.

Bring on the Lights

Rooftop gardens have the luxury of being drenched in sunlight all day long. Indoor gardens can be placed appropriately to receive the most sunlight possible; remember, windows are your best friend. Setting up fluorescent lights above your plants will help them grow faster and stay in a comfortable warm climate. Play around with the lighting and watch your plants reaction. If they are thriving and continually growing, you are doing it right. When the first hint of green pops up from a planted seed, you will feel a rush of both pride and excitement. Gardens make it possible to eat healthy while providing positive endorphins from hard work and accomplishment. If I can grow something in my home, then I know you can grow many tasty plants inside yours.

Image Courtesy of Peter Blanchard (Flickr)

How To Clean Up After a Party Like a 4-Star General

clean-up-after-party

Throwing a party can be a rewarding experience or a complete disaster. I have thrown several successful parties that were filled with laughter and great memories. Looking back through old pictures still brings a smile to my face. As I talk about my positive stories, there is one that I can’t quite forget. This one is not so positive; my house still cries about it. Oh, it was bad. The mess afterward was big enough that our house never fully recovered. It changed how I throw parties; I throw them like a four-star general. With strategy, the right weapons, and preparation, you and your house can go into any party war and come out with no battle scars.

Write a Supply List

A general never goes into a battle unprepared; write out all of the supplies you will need. List out plates, garbage bags, cups, bowls, utensils, paper towels, rags, cleaner, and other party supplies.

Create a Strategy

You might have the weapons of attack, but a strategy is what will help you win the war. Have a garbage bag in every main room, along with a couple of clearly labeled recycling bins. Write out a timetable for when to start setting up the party, guest arrival, games, making and serving foods, and when to clean up.

Buy Cleaning Supplies

If guests are going to be drinking or eating on carpeted areas, you are going to want to bring the right weapons to war. Carpet cleaners should be at the ready, along with fresh rags.

Unclutter Cabinets and Surfaces

It will be faster to clean up the cabinets if there is nothing on them that isn’t for the party. Get rid of all clutter before setting up.

Empty Dishwasher

Have the dishwasher ready and empty so dishes can be quickly placed inside.

Double-Bag Garbage Bins

This is a big one! Always, always, always double-bag the garbage bins. Nothing is worse than carrying out a full bag and having it rip open all over the floor.

Set Out Supplies and Arrange Furniture

Have everything ready so the party will go smoothly. Arrange furniture where you want people to sit. If children are coming, have chairs ready for them at the kitchen table and off carpeted areas for easy cleanup.

Bring the Cleaning Supplies Out

Have your weapons in hand and ready for attack. You never know when someone might spill a drink or drop some sauce on the floor. Fresh spills are easy to clean up compared to dried, old ones.

Take Out the Trash

Check the garbage throughout the party, and take it out if it is full. People do one of two things when a garbage bag gets full; they either balance their garbage on top or set their garbage somewhere else.

Begin Cleaning Before the Party is Over

When the battle starts coming to an end, start to clean up. This will kindly signal that the party is about over and will give you a head start on cleanup.

The Final Battle Begins

Once the party is over, the real battle begins; the final cleanup. Before doing anything, with a rag in hand, check for spills that need to be quickly wiped up. Then, begin throwing away all of the garbage and recycling the recyclables. Toss all of the dishes in the sink to be sorted out later. Wipe down counters, sweep floors, and return furniture to its proper place. Lastly, load the dishwasher and hand-wash any dishes that don’t fit. The cleaned counter should make it easy to lay out a towel for the wet dishes to dry.

As the war comes to an end, you will be thankful for all of the preparation. Some people might be afraid that the structure will distract from your own enjoyment, but you can still have fun. The organization allows you the time to relax and let the party flow while cutting the cleanup time in half. When the war is over and you have won, celebrate with a warm shower and a long nap.

Image Courtesy of lowjumpingfrog (Flickr)

Keep a Healthy Home for a Healthy Body

healthy-home-body

A few years ago, I had some family staying at our home. While watching a movie, one of my nephews stood up in the middle of the room and began puking. I will save you the details, but know it was not a pleasant sight. A few minutes later, his brother joined in. We all stood around in shock; they had obviously come down with the stomach flu. No one likes getting sick, but I must confess that I am a really big wimp when I do catch the dreaded bug. Eager to defend my home, I grabbed my bottle of cleaner and several rags, ready to clean up. In the next two hours, I began sanitizing every surface in the house. The two boys remained in the guest bedroom, and I warded off the germs from spreading any further. After a couple of days, we anxiously waited for the icky feeling in our stomachs to arise, but it never did. Our cleaning had defeated the flu! Whether you are sick from a common cold or a nasty stomach flu, you should always clean your home in these seven ways to keep your home healthy and your body strong.

Change the Sheets

When I am sick, my bed becomes home to both me and my germs. Grab the sheets, blankets, and pillowcases and toss them all in the washer. Even clean up bedding that doesn’t have germs to get all of the laundry done at the same time and ensure that no germs make it out alive. Let them soak for an extra 15 minutes; this will help the water loosen any residue. If your pillows are due for replacing, use this sickness as an opportunity to get new ones.

Throw out the toothbrushes

Toss the brushes and buy yourself some new ones. You can get inexpensive ones at the dollar store, but the toothbrushes are the first things that need to go; don’t even bother trying to clean them.

Sanitize Door knobs

Door knobs are opened and closed all day long by the sick and healthy people in a home. Wipe them down with a cleaning product that contains bleach to disinfect them completely. Wiping off knobs will keep the germs from spreading to others in the home who are not sick.

Scrub the bathroom

The bathroom is my second home when I have the flu and is the first room I clean during recovery. It helps to clean it several times while you are sick to ensure that those germs aren’t making their way out.

Wash Clothing

Do all of the laundry in the house, but don’t forget any clothes you were wearing while sick. It always helps me to do a “sick” load of laundry full of towels, cleaning rags, rugs, clothes, and sheets. Clean up laundry to make sure every load is full and water is not being wasted.

Clean Refrigerator and Microwave Handles

The refrigerator and microwave handles are often forgotten, but if you are like me, they are opened up more than any doorknobs in the rest of the house. Scrub them down, and don’t forget to wash containers inside the refrigerator, too.

Clean Vacuum Filter

I typically vacuum the entire house after recovering from the flu, but I forget about the filter. After vacuuming the floors and rugs in your house, make sure you remove the filter and clean it, too. You don’t want any germs trapped inside the filter of your vacuum.

Most viruses can only spread by entering your body through your mouth, nose, or eyes. You might keep your hands clean, but as soon as you touch a dirty surface, you have the germs on your hands. Rubbing your eyes, wiping your nose, or eating a snack are ways germs can enter your body. The best way to prevent the spread is to completely get rid of them on all surfaces. Once the flu has coursed through your body, get your house cleaned up to keep your body feeling healthy.

Image Courtesy of Loren Kerns (Flickr)

BUSY BEE NEWS: “What’s the Cleaning Buzz” Issue: 58

EXCERPT FROM OUR WEEKLY EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTER:

Caffeine Conundrum:

 Don’t touch desk items DUST around them

Don’t touch desk items DUST around them!

Recently, we gained a new client that deals with coffee production and tasting. They are all about Coffee. They have a huge office with 6 floors and basement that we clean 3 times a week (4 hours each time). This client works with coffee tasting a making and within their offices there are multiple coffee machines and even some rooms that hold special spittoon buckets where the employees spit out the coffee that they had been tasting.  This is a recently new client that has been extremely particular in the requirements of items to be cleaned and how things should be left after cleaning is finished. One our newest Busy Bee additions: Jennifer has been overseeing the client and often is left with a headache everyday.

To avoid some headache, Jennifer sat down with the client and made a very detailed

small sink MUST be cleaned

Small sink MUST be cleaned!

cleaning diagram including pictures and specific instructions for cleaning: when to take out the recycling, how to clean around desks, to make sure not to move coffee around as it may become mislabeled, etc. Though the cleanings are relatively simple, with each new day, the client’s demands and complaints are constantly coming in. He is very jittery and dramatic. The daily problems are often quickly resolved, but could have been avoided, if the client could tone down the dramatics and communicate more thoroughly to Jennifer and the cleaners, instead of taking making all of his requests more complicated then need be. Jennifer is doing a great job, regardless of the difficult clients and continues to show the proper technique in the handling of him. Keep up the good work Jennifer!

Busy Bee Kid gives some quick Cleaning tips:

BUSY BEE kid shows us how it's done!

BUSY BEE kid shows us how it’s done!

  • To make cleaning easier, clean the room and collect all trash before placing it in the correct trash receptacle.
  •  If you don’t know where to place trash, as your supervisor to contact the client.
  •   Don’t forget to reline trashcans after you take out the trash!
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More Spring Cleaning Tips

I know that we have had a couple of previous spring cleaning posts that I hope you enjoyed, but I hope you enjoy more spring cleaning tips even more! This is a direct conclusion to our last week’s post of Spring Cleaning Tips. This week we are continuing with some more easy and simple cleaning tips that can be done year round.

Scrub a Dub Dub

Scrub a Dub Dub

MAKE THAT GROUT SHOUT: When cleaning bathroom and kitchen tiles, make sure you are doing so with a cleaner that has “neutral pH” on the label, Zep and Odo Ban are a couple of companies that make these. If you can’t get a hold of this kind of cleaner, you can also mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner. To make it: pour 1/2 cup baking soda into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Then apply the liquid with a string mop or sponge mop. For grout, use the same baking soda and water mixture, but for tough stains, call in the pros.

TRICKY COUNTERTOP STAIN REMOVAL: Getting rid of stains on granite can be

Seal it before spills cost you big bills.

Seal it before spills cost you big bills.

tricky, but the key  to clean ecounter success is to wipe up stains ASAP. Also Make sure to have your countertop sealed a few times as soon as it’s installed. You’ll know it’s sealed properly when water beads and forms droplets on the surface. Though it may seem that once is enough but have it sealed again a year later. You can remove soap scum or mildew with a solution of 1/2 cup ammonia in a gallon of water. For most coffee or juice stains, you can use a little hydrogen peroxide in water, plus a few drops of ammonia. For everyday wear-and-tear, buff away small scratches with superfine dry steel wool, called grade 0000 (the finest.)

 

Add character simply with a few fun book additions!

Add character simply with a few fun book additions!

PUT YOUR BOOKS IN LINE: Sort books by size and subject. Remove and discard any ripped dust jackets. Line books, some vertically, some horizontally, in a rhythmic pattern. This will add some pizazz to the shelf instead of seeing the same distribution of books. If you have extra space get bookends to add style to the room and maybe a few chochkis!

 

CLEAN RUGS NOT DRUGS: You should clean your area rugs every four or five years. If

Make sure you don't try to scrub the pattern off!

Make sure you don’t try to scrub the pattern off!

it’s in an unused area of your home you can wait every 10 years. Overcleaning contributes to wear and tear. Really fine silk rugs need be cleaned only every 20 or 30 years. For treating stains at home, keep a bottle of club soda on hand. Stains caused by pets, coffee, orange soda, red wine, and anything with dye or an acid base are the hardest to remove. The key to clean success- move ASAP to act quickly. Pour club soda directly onto the area, let the soda absorb into the yarn, and it will neutralize the acid. Blot again and again, until the residue is gone. For bloodstains, you should use milk instead, and for soil and grease-based stains, mix 1 part Ivory soap detergent with 16 parts water. If you still see residue when it dries, call an expert.

 

Damn It's so shiny I can see myself!

Damn It’s so shiny I can see myself!

MAKE YOUR SILVER SHINE: The best method to get your silver gleaming again id to use a toothbrush and Hagerty Silver Foam on your silver. This foam isn’t too abrasive and it’s water-soluble. If you have the really bad black tarnish, Simichrome Polish is also a great cleanser. Make sure you never put your silver in the dishwasher and when you store it, put it into anti-tarnish cloth bags to save you from having to scrub it again.

Keep Fluffy from scratching the floor in some sweet booties.

Keep Fluffy from scratching the floor in some sweet booties.

 

DIRTY WOOD FLOOR-NO MORE:  To keep your wood floors looking like new you need to avoid oversanding, make sure to place trivets or saucers under plants to avoid water damage, use furniture protectors to avoid scratches, (these can be bought at a furniture or hardware store). Make sure that you also damp-mop once a week with a mild soap like Murphy Oil Soap and if they aren’t have you floors sealed to avoid water damage or scrapes into the actual wood.

 

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BUSY BEE NEWS: “What’s the Cleaning Buzz?” Issue 44

Excerpts from our weekly employee newsletter:

The Cecil

Spotted: Mariah Carrey!

Spotted: Mariah Carrey!

This 4 star restaurant in West Harlem, offers unique tastes, and flavors as diverse and dynamic as the community in which it resides. It is located on St. Nicolas and 118th. There are 5 workers for the restaurant: Comlan, Miguel R, Jeremy C. Leo V. an Calcano. This restaurant has 1 huge dining room (capacity: 236), 2 kitchens including 5 grills and 2 fryers. The cooks leave around 12:30/1:00am and the cleaners have 6.5 hours to clean everything. This restaurant has very specific requirements on what they want to be cleaned in such a short amount of time, and every morning the restaurant manager does a white-glove test to ensure everything is clean. Everything about this job is very difficult: the cleaners must focus on the kitchen, the 7 bathrooms, the dining room, the bar and the green room. The cleaning we do on this location is very rigorous and everything that they require from us in such a short amount of time is very hard to accomplish. When we think of the jobs that we do at Busy Bee, often we think of offices but we do restaurants too and the cleaning that restaurants need is a whole other facet of cleaning compared to office cleaning. Though you may think that the site in which you clean is demanding, just be glad you are not doing this job and give appreciation to those who do. Mariah Carey has been spotted here!

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BUSY BEE NEWS “What’s the cleaning buzz?” Issue 57

EXCERPTS FROM OUR WEEKLY EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTER:

Cleaners Corner:

Employees reaching above and beyond at work!

Employees reaching above and beyond at work!

Shout-out to Juan G!!!

Joseph, one of our supervisors, received an email from John T. the operations director at MC Studios, Al Jazeera; John explained that an important Box was missing with some electronic components that was ordered for an important system upgrade, they were wondering if the box had accidentally been thrown out. For two days the Busy Bee crew at Al Jazeera was looking for these components in a “box” and could not locate them anywhere. When Joseph spoke with some of the engineer’s, they explained the missing parts were worth upwards of $10,000!!!  One of our Busy Bee employees, Juan G., took it upon himself to investigate at Manhattan Center: the last stop for the garbage before the Sanitation service picks it up. Juan was concerned about the account & the situation so he decided to pick through 2 days of collected garbage & cardboard and after digging for a whole hour he found the components in a bag inside a Box!! He accomplished this literally 20 minutes before the garbage was picked up! Way to go Juan!!! Great way to show initiative! Joseph knows how to pick great employees.

The key to keycards:

keycard

Keep you keycard close and know how to use it!

Two of our cleaners recently had some troubles with their keycards. Agnieszka K. had to move one of her scheduled cleaning from a Friday to Sunday.  She moved this day without consulting the client first and did not think there would be any problems in doing so. What she did not know was that the keycard that she uses to get into the building is only timed to work from when the client has a cleaner scheduled to come in. Since her time was scheduled for Friday not Sunday, The keycard did not work and she was unable to clean the office. Another one of our cleaners, Barbara N. cleans Big Start and uses the keycard for the elevator. She was trained on how to card works but at the time, her card was malfunctioning and she ended up stuck in the elevator for 20 mins!! We just called in and she received a new card since hers was faulty. Remember the KEY thing to remember with Keycards is that you must know how to use them, when they work, and if they aren’t working give us a call!!

 

 

Quick tips!

Quick tips!

QUICK CLEANING TIPS:

  •  Remember to clean from top to bottom, this way dust or debris from the ceiling will not make the floor you just cleaned dirty again.
  •  When mopping sweep or vacuum the floor first to prevent mud and extra mess. Also remember to ring out the mop before starting and always use clean water. If floors are excessively dirty, you may have to change water halfway through mopping.

 

Busy Bee News: “what’s the buzz?!?” Issue 56

EXCERPT FROM OUR WEEKLY EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTER:

Don’t be afraid to ask questions: 

this is a picture the client sent us!

This is a picture the client sent us!

When we receive complaints or even proposals from clients, then cleaners sit down with an account manager to work out the details of an improvement of a conflict or the setting up of a schedule and telling cleaners when to work, and what to do at that specific clients request. We received a complaint that cleaner failed to empty out the dishwasher for three straight days and later we found she did not do this, since was not going to clean for those three days. Our account managers are your link to questions about jobs and client needs.

Never be afraid to call them and ask if you are unsure you have work or what your obligations are. This particular cleaner failed to call the account manager, even though she was confused if she was working. Instead, she chose to just not come to work, this was not the correct approach. REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAVE A QUESTION- ALWAYS ASK!

Tardy porters:

Being on time is imperative!

Being on time is imperative!

We have discussed clocking-in and out at the right times and being accountable for your actions but it still is a common problem. If you mess up there will be consequences, at first you will receive a verbal warning, then after each infraction you will get written-up. After 3 write-ups you will be fired. Yes, everyone makes mistakes but constantly making the same mistake may cost you your job.A porter that is a new hire for a Mary McDowell School is constantly showing up and hour late to his shift. At first, he received a verbal warning from his account manager, reminding him the importance of him arriving on time. For the Mary McDowell Schools, the porters talk to the school custodians within the first 30mins that they arrive at the school to communicate tasks to be done for the day. This porter is always 1 hour late, this makes it so the chain of communication to lead to high performance is instantly broken. What is worse the client knows he is late all the time and alerts us about it and we have no answer as to why he is late.REMEMBER, we know that mistakes happen and so does life but if you are constantly making the same mistakes, you will face the consequences.

Hiring process:

So many candidates, so little time!!

So many candidates, so little time!!

We are very selective when we are hiring here at Busy Bee. We have a strict set of guidelines that we want, that you all know since you went through it. Not every cleaner may be the best cleaner but the most important thing is your attitude. And by attitude they are willing to learn, take directions and to be 100% reliable. The process starts with an interview, then a 30-day trial period, then if you have all the qualities we want you’re hired! So good job guys, since you all are reading this newsletter you clearly passed the test! For the last couple of weeks we have deemed Thursdays hiring days, where we always have a ton of people coming in for interviews and trialing to see if they could make the cut. It’s not just one or two people, but hoards of people come into the office, sometimes 20 at a time! As you can imagine this is very difficult for our office staff as there is only a handful of them and plenty of eager job hunters! One of our office staff members: Jennifer has been heading up the efforts to pick through the bunch the select few we want to hire.  We recently asked Jennifer about her experience and here is the interview:

Interviewer: I heard that you had a hiring frenzy the other day, maybe you could share with me the difficulty that we have hiring people at Busy Bee?

JenniferNo problem! And thank you for this opportunity to share, it means a lot to me.

I: What is one obstacle that you have learned to handle, and how have you?

J: Well, the size of the office is quite small. The staff and all out desks can barely fit! This is our biggest difficulty as it limits how many people we can interview and have in the office. This makes for a workspace that is often cramped with multiple conversations, phones ringing and no space to move around. I’d say that this is the biggest obstacle that I have had to face in the process of hiring new cleaners.

I: What is one thing you wish you could change about the process?

J: Since we have so many candidates we often have to do very quick interviews and don’t have a lot of time to make our decisions and often I don’t have enough time to ask all the questions I wanted to.  I wish we had more time to do more thorough interviews.

I:What aspects so you personally find most important in a potential cleaner?

J:  The most important qualities I look for are in a cleaner is previous cleaning experience and schedules that are open to work a lot of hours!!

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