Mini Mops, Inc. ~ Exceptional House Cleaning since 1975


2 Basic Reasons to Clean Your Home

Posted in WHY hire a housecleaning service by Michele Peterson on January 30, 2013
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Young women wearing rubber gloves and apron

Have you ever wondered what the big deal is? I mean, why SHOULD you clean your house?

It all boils down to just two basic reasons:

#1 — To keep yourself and your family healthy

#2 — To protect your investment

Let’s look at these …

To Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy

Mold. Mildew. Dust. Bugs. Germs. These are five health foes that have the potential to ambush us in our homes.

Yes, we need to be ever vigilant in our battle against them. Perhaps the best way is to keep our homes clean.

Mold and mildew can grow in moist areas like bathrooms … especially showers. So we need to clean the surfaces that they like to call home and kill these fungi before they affect our health and the health of our family.

Prolonged exposure to mold and mildew can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Symptoms can include coughing, headache, or a scratchy throat.

Household dust also can cause allergic reactions and can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. Symptoms of a dust allergy can include a runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, and sneezing. Asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing, tightness of the chest, and shortness of breath.

Bugs also can trigger allergic reactions, as well as spread germs and bacteria around, posing a health threat to you and your family. You can find a discussion about household pests and the dangers they pose at http://www.superpages.com/supertips/kill-household-bugs.html.

Lastly … germs. Unless your home is hermetically sealed off, you will be exposed to germs. Regular house cleaning is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of colds, flu, and other infectious diseases. Here’s a good article from WebMD about killing germs: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/d2n-stopping-germs-12/speed-cleaning-germs.

Of course, any health professional will tell you the absolute BEST way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands … so don’t forget that, too!

To Protect Your Investment

Regular house cleaning is one of the best preventative maintenance tasks we can perform to protect what is probably the biggest purchase for most people — our home.

Think about it — dirt and grime can shorten the life span of materials used in our homes. For example, dirty carpet wears out much faster than when it is kept clean.

But dirt and grime also can hide symptoms of other structural problems. You might miss a growing water stain on the ceiling (a symptom of a leaky roof) if you never clean the ceiling. You might not notice cracked or missing grout, which can lead to additional water damage if you never clean your countertop, shower, or tile floor.

Not to mention the emotional equity you have invested in being able to enjoy your home. Most of us would agree that a clean home is more enjoyable than a dirty one!

Because your home IS such an important investment, it’s important to invest additional time and/or money to maintain it properly. Hiring a professional house cleaning service is certainly an option, but so is learning to do it yourself. If doing it yourself, make sure you do your research and are doing the necessary tasks correctly.

So, tell me, do YOU have other things that motivate you to clean your house? There are countless other motivating factors … why don’t you tell me some of yours in the comments below?

Until next time … Keep it clean!

Mini Mops, Inc. is a professional house cleaning company serving residential and commercial clients in the Fresno-Clovis CA area since 1975. They are currently accepting new clients. Please visit their website for more information:
www.Mini-Mops.com

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Do you really need a professional housecleaning service? YES!

So you’ve decided you need/want/MUST HAVE help keeping your home clean. Do you hire a “cleaning lady” or a professional housecleaning service? Let’s begin this discussion with a story.

Once upon a time, there was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do …
about cleaning her house!

So she asked around and decided to hire a friend of a friend who needed to earn some extra money. Everything was going well, and the old woman really appreciated the help.

Then one day, the cleaning lady showed up with her own three kids, who were home sick from school.

“Sorry!” she said.

Then the cleaning lady started arriving late and leaving early.

“Sorry!” she said each time.

Finally, one day, the cleaning lady never showed up at all.

So the next time the old woman had friends over for tea, she again asked what she should do. Luckily, one of her friends told her about Mini Mops, Inc.

The old woman fired the cleaning lady, hired Mini Mops, and lived happily ever after!

A professional housecleaning service is just that … professional! The business is going to hold its employees accountable to maintaining professional standards. Standards like showing up on time, doing the agreed-upon work, and not showing up to work with sick kids in tow.

If you’re spending your hard-earned money to get your house cleaned, you want the “happily ever after” without the “Sorry!”

Hire a professional housecleaning service. If your “shoe” is located in or near Fresno, CA, buy local and call Mini Mops, Inc. You’ll be glad that you did!

Are you a Household Employer? Maybe…

Most people know that California employers are required to provide workers compensation insurance coverage for their employees. But some people actually are employers without even realizing it.

For example, if you hire someone to clean your house — and if this person does so regularly — then this person is your employee, and you are their employer. And you are required to carry workers comp insurance to cover any potential injury that your employee sustains while on the job for you.

If you own your home, you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, which usually includes workers comp coverage … HOWEVER,  the workers comp coverage in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy is for occasional, casual laborers, NOT ongoing employees.

There are rules and regulations (of course) for determining the differences between occasional workers and ongoing employees. And there are numerous lawsuits on the books in which attorneys have argued both sides of the employment issue. But if a person comes to your home on a regular basis — weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whatever “regular” means in your case — that person more than likely will be considered your employee by whatever governmental agency ends up looking into the issue.

So if you are an employer, how do you comply with the law and provide this required coverage? You can check with your insurance agent about adding the necessary extra coverage to your homeowner’s policy, or you can look into purchasing an actual workers comp policy.

Or if you decide that you don’t want to be an employer at all, you can hire an insured, professional housecleaning company rather than an uninsured individual to clean your home!

When you hire Mini Mops, Inc. to clean your home, you are purchasing our services. Mini Mops is the employer. The workers who come to clean your home are Mini Mops employees. If they get injured, they are covered under the Mini Mops workers compensation insurance policy, and you have no worries at all.

By the way, providing workers comp is not the only thing required of household employers. Like all employers, you must also withhold, file and deposit state and federal taxes as well as social security, Medicare, state disability and unemployment contributions. The Employment Development Department has an 81-page document that gives guidance on the legal requirements of being a household employer. The 2011 Household Employer’s Guide is available at http://www.edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de8829.pdf.

Again, you hold none of the responsibilities of being an employer when you hire the services of a professional housecleaning company rather than an uninsured individual.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re covered in case of an accident. After all, it’s a cliche but there is some truth to the saying that “most accidents occur at home.”

Giving the Gift of TIME

With ten days before Christmas, gifts are on the minds of many people right now. Most of us have been checking our lists (maybe even checking them twice) and are hoping that the gifts we give will be appreciated and enjoyed by those who receive them.

Sometimes finding that “perfect” gift can be a challenge … but what if you could give someone the gift of time? Extra time for the things that are important to them, extra time to do what they enjoy. How perfect would that be?

One way to give someone the gift of time is to do a task for them, something that they would normally have to do themselves. If you are doing that task, they now have the time that they would have spent on it to do something else. House cleaning is a great example of this! If you do four hours of house cleaning for someone, that’s four hours that they now have for something else. The cleaning still gets done, but they don’t have to spend their precious time doing it.

But this idea only works if YOU have the time to do it! Unless …

Unless you hire someone to do it for you!

We’re all familiar with how this works. We hire people to change the oil in our cars, we hire people to mow our grass and trim our trees, we hire people to maintain our pools, we hire people to cut our hair, paint our nails, prepare our food, make our coffee … clean our homes.

Hiring someone to clean your home is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and really shouldn’t be made for someone else. But how about a gift certificate for a “sampler” service? Perhaps a gift certificate for a minimum amount of time so that your special someone can get a taste of what a house cleaning service has to offer.

You can get a gift certificate from Mini Mops, Inc. for as little as one hour of service (and since Mini Mops sends in a crew of four workers, this means you’re actually giving the gift of four hours of extra time). And there’s no obligation to sign up for additional or ongoing service.

Mini Mops, Inc. serves Fresno, CA (and Clovis, CA). If you’re not in our area, check with your local house cleaning services to see if they offer gift certificates.

And while you’re in the spirit of giving, why not give yourself the gift of extra time, too? You’re worth it!

Welcome to My House … talk about priorities!

This is hanging on the wall of a client’s home, and I think it says it all …

Welcome to My House

Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there.

Ours boasts of it quite openly; the signs are everywhere,

For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the door,

I should apologize, I guess, for toys strewn on the floor.

 

But I sat down with (names), and we played and laughed and read.

And if the windows do not shine, their eyes will shine instead.

And when at times I’m forced to choose the one job or the other,

I’d like to be a housewife, but first I’ll be a mother!

 

This client doesn’t sacrifice having a clean home … we help her with that! She has decided that her children deserve to have her attention more than her house does. We take care of the cleaning, so she has more time to spend with her kids!

This is why we’re still in business after 35 years! This makes it all worth while! Thanks, Ms. Client, for allowing me to share your poem!

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

It’s a cliche, but oh so true … A picture IS worth 1,000 words.

Mini Mops, Inc. recently was hired by a Fresno homeowner to clean his house as a surprise gift for his wife. He graciously allowed us to take these before and after photos of their shower.

Shower BEFORE photo

BEFORE Mini Mops, Inc.

Shower AFTER

AFTER Mini Mops, Inc.

So, what do you think? Do you think his wife was pleased and delighted with her gift?

Would YOU have been pleased with these results?

This isn’t an isolated incident … Mini Mops, Inc. performs this kind of house cleaning miracle each and every day. It really can be worth it to hire a professional house cleaning service, experts who know what they are doing!

Thank you, Mr. Client, for allowing us to use photos of your shower as an example of what Mini Mops, Inc. is capable of doing!

(By the way, this client WAS pleased with the results from Mini Mops, Inc.’s initial cleaning and has asked us to maintain his home on a monthly basis. Aren’t happy endings wonderful?)

Time for Spring Cleaning?

Saturday is the official first day of spring! Flowers are blooming, trees are sprouting leaves … it’s a great time to live in Fresno!

It’s also a great time to think about SPRING CLEANING!

I looked it up and found that the origins of spring cleaning may be linked to the Persian new year — the Iranian Norouz — which falls on the first day of spring.  According to Wikipedia, Iranians carry on the practice of “khooneh tekouni,” which means “shaking the house,” in which everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned just before the new year.

An alternate theory is that spring cleaning can be traced back to the ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleaning the home for Passover — a holiday that is celebrated in spring. In Greece and other Orthodox nations it is also traditional to clean the home in spring for Lent.

Wikipedia has this to say about spring cleaning in America:

During the 19th century in America, prior to the advent of the vacuum cleaner, March was often the best time for dusting because it was getting warm enough to open windows and doors (but not warm enough for insects to be a problem), and the high winds could carry the dust out of the house.

Regardless of the origins, we think of spring cleaning as the job of thoroughly cleaning a house — top to bottom. This means light fixtures, ceiling fans, heating/air conditioning vents, window coverings (drapes, blinds, shutters, etc.), windows, doors, door frames, window sills, baseboards, furniture, bookshelves, ledges, floors … I get tired just writing about it!

But it’s a good thing to do, and if you’re going to do it, you should have a plan. So here’s my suggestion:

  1. Pace yourself! Do one room at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed with how big of a job it is.
  2. Move everything that’s movable to the middle of the room so you can get into all the corners and edges of the room (that’s where those dust bunnies like to live!).
  3. Work from top to bottom. Remove cobwebs from the ceiling (don’t forget the corners) and clean the light fixtures and ceiling fans FIRST. Any dust that falls will fall on the still-dirty floor and furniture, not on something that you’ve just cleaned.
  4. Vacuum around the edge of the room so you can move everything back.
  5. Clean items as you put them back to their normal spot (or alter your room layout if you’re feeling adventurous!).
  6. Vacuum or otherwise clean the floor last. Then, if it’s a room with a door, close the door so that the dust you raise during cleaning the next room won’t settle back into your newly cleaned space.
  7. Celebrate! You’re one room down!

 The other obvious option would be to hire a professional housecleaning service — cleaning experts. We at Mini Mops, Inc. encourage you to look around to find a company that is a good fit for what you need done. You should expect to pay more for a company than for a private individual since companies carry the added operating costs of insurances (liability as well as worker’s compensation) and payroll taxes, among other costs of doing business.

And before you make your final decision about who to hire … always check references, including Better Business Bureau!

Here’s a link to Better Business Bureau’s report on Mini Mops, Inc.: http://www.bbb.org/central-california/business-reviews/house-cleaning/mini-mops-in-fresno-ca-1464

And if you want to read more about spring cleaning on Wikipedia, here’s that link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_cleaning

Good luck with your own spring cleaning! HAPPY SPRING!

How Much is an HOUR of YOUR TIME Worth?

Posted in WHY hire a housecleaning service by Michele Peterson on March 10, 2010
Tags: , , ,

Here’s some food for thought … How much is an hour of YOUR TIME worth to you?

Some people who work for an hourly wage may use that as an indication of what their time is worth. Or if you provide a professional service — attorney, accountant, etc. — you may consider your hourly fee to be what your time is worth. But think about it, that’s what your time is worth to your employer or your clients! What is your personal time worth? TO YOU!

Would you spend $50 to gain an extra hour of personal time? $100? $200?

What would you spend to gain four hours? Six hours? Eight?

The beauty of hiring someone to “do your dirty work” is twofold: not only do you not have to do it, but you also gain extra personal time to do something else! A win-win!

So to put this into perspective, let’s consider an average Mini Mops, Inc. client … 

They hire Mini Mops, Inc. to clean their house. They have us come once a month for an hour and a half. Since Mini Mops sends in a crew of four workers, that’s the equivalent of SIX hours that they don’t have to spend cleaning their own house — SIX hours that they have gained to do something else that they love!

Or consider the client who hires Mini Mops, Inc. to come every other week for just an hour each time. That’s EIGHT hours of personal time each month that they have received … on top of a clean house in which to enjoy that extra time!

At our current hourly rate of $125, the client who hired Mini Mops for an hour and a half paid just $187.50 for her clean house and six extra hours of personal time. The other hypothetical client paid $250 for a clean house and eight extra hours of personal time.

So it all comes down to this …

First, do you want some extra personal time?

Second, what would you pay to get it?

Third, what are you waiting for?

Contact Mini Mops, Inc. NOW to become a client and reclaim your own extra personal time! E-mail us at estimates@mini-mops.com or call us at (559) 264-6677 during office hours.

And be sure to visit our website http://www.mini-mops.com for more information about Mini Mops, Inc.

**Sorry — if you live out of our service area (Fresno, CA and surrounding areas), you will have to do a bit of research and find a quality house cleaning service in your own area!

Cleaning Tips for a Dirty Shower

Last week a friend of mine, knowing what type of business I run, asked if she could ask me a random question. Of course, I said, “Sure!”

“Do you clean showers?” she asked.

“Sure we do,” I replied. I have to admit I was a bit curious. Did she think a housecleaning service would clean the house but leave a shower dirty? But maybe this was just her way of leading into the heart of what she really wanted to know.

“How about the grout between the tiles?”

“Absolutely!” I said. Her eventual destination was becoming clearer.

“My shower is so bad that I’ve stopped using it!” she said. “I’m using the shower in the front bathroom, and I don’t like it, but at least it’s better than my shower! I’ve tried everything, and it’s still disgusting!”

There it was … the “ah-ha” moment! I knew I could suggest something to help, but I needed some details.

“In what way is it so dirty?” I asked.

“The grout is black!” she said. “And there’s soap scum all over the tiles that I can’t get rid of. I’ve spent a fortune trying all the different chemicals, but none of them work!”

I assured my friend that she wasn’t alone in her battle with shower soap scum and dirty grout. We come across stories like hers all the time. I also told her to stop wasting her money on expensive chemicals. What she really needed was simple elbow grease.

For the soap scum on the tile, I suggested a stainless steel scrubber — the kind that looks like a ball of tinsel scrunched up in little loops. I told her to use that on the tile when it’s dry. That’s the secret to really getting rid of the soap scum. When it’s wet it likes to grab onto the tile and not let go, but when it’s dry, it just scrubs right off. Now, it’s definitely not an easy job, even when dry. It takes a lot of muscle and elbow grease, especially if there’s a LOT of soap scum. It also gets rather dusty and dirty; we professionals always wear a dust mask over our noses and mouths to avoid breathing in the soap dust.

For the currently “black” grout (it’s supposed to be smooth, white grout), I told her it sounded like a type of mold or mildew. Without looking at it, I couldn’t be completely sure, of course. But I told her that if it was, in fact, a mold or mildew then her best bet was to kill it with bleach. Straight bleach. Put it in a spray bottle and squirt it on every line of grout that’s black. Then let it sit for awhile. Leave the fan running, close the door, and let the bleach kill the mold organisms. Then come back and, more elbow grease, scrub it out with a grout brush or a firm toothbrush. I told her that this would clean the mold if it was still on top of the grout. We’ve seen some cases where the mold has grown back behind the grout, and unfortunately, all the scrubbing in the world isn’t going to get that grout clean (for those cases, you have to actually remove the grout, kill the mold between the tiles with bleach or acid, and re-grout).

After she had the soap scum removed and the mold/mildew of the grout killed and scrubbed away, only then, I told her, can she use her favorite cleaning product to do a final clean to the shower.

I suggested one final step that we at Mini Mops save for just the very worst cases, and that is to rinse the shower with hot vinegar water to remove all the residue of the cleaning products. (We use vinegar for lots of things, and I think it’s great! Watch for future posts about other uses for vinegar.)

My friend was grateful for the tips, and I was happy to help. I didn’t ask her exactly how much she had spent or which particular products she had tried, but I certainly thought about it later … she could have saved herself some money, some time, and especially some aggravation if she had only thought to hire a professional housecleaning service to come in and clean her problem shower.

There’s no shame in not knowing how to triumph over soap scum and dirty grout (hey, there’s lots of things I’m not great at!), and there’s certainly no shame in hiring professionals to do the jobs that you can’t — or don’t want — to do. It’s what we DO … we’d better be better than your average person when it comes to cleaning!

Next time, I hope she’ll just call me and let me send one of our Mini Mops crews in to help her. I think she’d find our hourly fee to be worth it to save her time and effort, and I think she’d be SO happy with the results! I think you would be, too! If you live in the Fresno-Clovis area of California, Mini Mops is just a phone call away. Call us, and see how great your shower can look!

It’s about TIME

So, why do people hire a housecleaning service anyway? How has Mini Mops, Inc. stayed in business since 1975? It’s all about TIME.

When you hire a housecleaning service, you pay us for a certain amount of time that we work cleaning your house … Guess what? That is the time that you give yourself to do something else!

For example, say you hire Mini Mops, Inc. to spend just one hour cleaning your house every two weeks. Mini Mops sends a crew of four workers, so you’re really getting four hours of work done each time they come … which means you have given yourself an extra eight hours each month to do something other than cleaning your house! What could YOU do with an extra eight hours?

This is the “secret” that our clients have discovered: Mini Mops, Inc. gives you more than just a clean house … we give you the gift of TIME!

*Please leave us a comment and tell us what YOU do (or would do) with the extra time you gain from hiring a housecleaning service. Thank you!

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