How To Prepare for Your House Cleaner

Hiring Huff-N-Puff is a great way to free yourself and your family from regular cleaning chores. It takes a small amount of preparation to get the most cost-effective cleaning experience.

Follow these preparation tips before we arrive:

  1. 1. Pick up household items that may be lying about
    Tidying and straightening up your home’s rooms before we arrive can help ensure we spend most of the time cleaning, not organizing your house. Picking up these items also means they’re less likely to be misplaced during a cleaning.
  2. 2. Pick up any important documents, bills and other papers
    To an unfamiliar eye, important documents such as insurance paperwork, bank statements or bills can be easily mistaken for trash. Protect your privacy and avoid the trouble of tracking down an important paper item by filing them, placing them in a secure spot or leaving a “do not disturb” note on them prior to a house cleaner’s arrival.
  3. 3. Pick up the laundry
  4. Place clothes, towels and linens in hampers or baskets.  Placing them in a container instead of on a bed, table or in a corner is essential so that our cleaners can access the full room in effort to vacuum, dust and clean most efficiently.
  1. 4. Secure valuables such as jewelry, small electronics and loose cash
    Protect your peace of mind by placing valuables in a secure area such as a locked room, safe or inside your vehicle’s trunk.
  2. 5. Put away the pets
    This precaution depends on both your dog and cat’s comfort level with strangers in the house, as well as your house cleaner’s preferences. If your pets don’t handle unfamiliar people well, it may be a good idea to secure them in a crate or locked room prior to the house cleaner’s arrival.
  3. 6. Put away food
  4. Any opened food or drinks left on counters, on end tables or around the house will simply be seen as trash and disposed of accordingly, but we would prefer you dispose of them prior to our arrival.
  1. 7. Identify and repair any broken items around the home
    Giving your home a quick inspection for any broken or damaged items can help spare you the embarrassment of accidentally blaming your house cleaner for damage he or she didn’t do.
  2. 8. Identify problem areas that need special cleaning attention
    We can’t read minds. If you have an area that you’d like our staff to devote extra attention to, make sure you communicate that to us prior to or upon the team’s arrival.
  3. 9. Make sure they can get in
    If you plan to be away during your home’s cleaning, or if you’re setting up service for the first time, make sure we have access to an entry key, as well as any special instructions for turning off a home security system.
  4. 10. Leave payment
  5. Unless you have pre-paid by credit card, you can leave your payment on the kitchen counter along with any notes you may have written for our team.  Thank you!


Breathe Easier In Your Home

There’s a lot of talk about the environment these days.  I often feel confused by all the information out there.  What can I do to be a more conscientious consumer of this big green earth? Reduce, reuse and recycle!  Use fuel efficient vehicles and machines!  Look for the Green Seal on cleaning products!

I have a big family and I want to protect them.  Besides having a negative effect on everyone’s health in the home, household chemical cleaning products are the second most common reason for a child’s exposure to poison. I recently have tossed out all cleaners which are not Green Seal Certified.  I just use water mostly, and cleansers can be homemade from natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. Eliminating toxic cleaners improves indoor air quality, which especially can benefit children, pets, and people with allergies or who are at risk for infection.

What if in addition to my own work cleaning my home, I want to hire someone to clean?  What practices should I look for if I want to be sure harmful chemicals will not be used in my home?

I work for a residential cleaning company. In addition to using only Green Seal certified products, we use a patented chemical dilution system for cleansers, which improves cleaning performance, and helps the environment by conserving water.  It’s a revolutionary mixing system which features zero-percent spillage, zero fumes and zero handling.

Additionally, a major element of our cleaning regimen is de-ionized water.  I always thought water was just plain water.  Well, the H2O that we all learned about in science class usually contains other elements from the ride it takes from ground to tap.  Tap water is usually full of ions from the soil, from the pipes, and other sources.  De-ionized water has been processed through a filter that removes nearly 100% of elements other than the hydrogen and oxygen that form the water molecule. But water isn’t very happy in that state; it wants more “friends” in the form of the minerals found in dirt and organic soils and contaminants. You might say that de-ionized water becomes the life of the party, drawing all the other minerals and elements into the fun. In this way, de-ionized water is an excellent cleaning solution for many areas.

Working for a company who is concerned for the environment and the health and safety of their employees and clients makes me feel like I am doing my small part to increase understanding, concern and care for our little piece of earth.


The Franchise Controversy

The largest challenge of a franchise business is keeping the service and culture at the same level across all locations.  It is hard to keep the look and feel consistent.  Keeping service levels and culture right comes from having a strong, objective consumer satisfaction measurement platform, increased training, and making sure all members of a company understand the mission and vision.  This is typically one of the toughest things to do when owning and managing multiple franchises.

Huff-N-Puff Cleaning Services is not a franchise.  Our owner built this company from the ground up.  In the beginning, she cleaned the homes herself, and she trained a handful of employees.  Her employees stayed and moved up in ranks; her customers stayed and told their friends.  Soon she was not cleaning, but managing the operations of a million-dollar company.  She continues to come into the office 5 days a week.  She continues to mentor employees and grow the company.

Huff-N-Puff is not a franchise because if it were, you can bet that the excellent service would be “swept under the carpet.”

12 Habits of People Who Always Have a Clean House:

Even if you visit them unexpectedly their house is clean. Even if they have 5 kids, their house is
clean. Even if they have a demanding full time job, their house is ALWAYS clean! You’re
cheerfully greeted in their entryway with a smile and fresh scent. The closets and drawers are
organized. (I know you secretly open them to check) There is little or no dust. There are no
dishes stacked in the sink, and the sink looks clean. These people really do exist and they really
do keep a tidy house. Do you wish you knew their secret? Follow the steps below and enjoy the clean!

1. They put away their clothes
2. They don’t own extras of anything, including pillows and blankets
3. They keep paper organized
4. They wipe down surfaces after use
5. Their bed is for sleeping not storing
6. They make their bed everyday
7. They put shoes and coats away
8. They wash their dishes right away or put them in the dishwasher
9. They put things away properly every time
10. They sweep, vacuum and dust regularly, 3-4 times a week
11. The entryway is a priority
12. They take the trash and recycling out regularly

Adopting these habits will keep your home clean, neat, and tidy and will reduce the stress
associated with a messy, dirty house. You will be surprised at how little amount of time it takes
for each task, and how much time it saves you in the long run. Also, when your house cleaner
arrives for regular or deep cleaning, you save her time and you save yourself money on any extra
hours spent on tidying.