Monthly Archives: August 2014

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Like many American, your garage may be the dumping place of all the “stuff”  you don’t need or don’t know where to put.  Looking for a great way to get rid of your household and garage clutter and make some extra cash at the same time? A garage sale or yard sale may be just the ticket. Not only will you earn some quick cash but you will reclaim your clutter-filled garage.  Check out our tips on how to hold a successful garage sale.

  1. Collect sale items all year.  It may sound like a long process, but if you know you plan to have a yard or garage sale in the spring or fall next year start collecting and organizing now.  Keep empty boxes available for when you find items such as toys, clothes, games or household items that you no longer use.  Organize them into boxes for each category as you collect.  That way throughout the year you can just put new items in a consolidated area all year long.  When it comes time for the sale it is already collected and organized by type of item.
  2. Do a clean sweep a month or so before your sale.  Go through each room in your home or business and see what you no longer use or need.  Put those items into the boxes that you have already started collecting.
  3. Advertise – Once you have collected as many items as you can, advertise, advertise, advertise.  You could buy an ad in the local paper but if you would like to not spend money-  social media and craigslist are a great way to get the word out.  Don’t forget posters in key spots near your street on the day of your sale.
  4. Pricing – Now that you have a good stash of items you should start pricing them a week or so before the sale.  Instead of having to make up prices on the spot, people will know exactly how much something is. In addition, some people are too shy to ask the price of an item, so you’ll lose a sale if an item isn’t marked. Price things to sell.  People who frequent garage sales expect items to be a great price.  Remember the ultimate goal is to clean out your clutter not make huge dollars.  If you plan to do a multiple day yard sale, mark things down on the last day so they will go!
  5. Time the Garage Sale well – No one wants to go out to a yard sale in sweltering heat or frigid cold so hold yard/garage sales in the spring or fall when you can be sure the temps will be moderate.  Find out when most yard sales in your neighborhood are. . . most will be weekends but some towns have Thursday night sales.

Hosting a garage sale may not be the most exciting way to spend your weekend but in the end you will have a cleaner and more organized home and garage as well as some cash in your pocket.  Happy selling!

Importance of Maintaining Clean Gutters

Most of us lead very busy lives juggling work, family and friends.  Gutters are pretty much the last thing on our minds, right? While gutters may rank close to last on the priority list they should be maintained for the safety of your house or business.  Fact is, the gutters on your home or business serve a critical service and without regular cleaning there may be problems down the road.  Most homeowners don’t really think about them until a problem occurs.  Here are some of the events that make cleaning and maintaining your gutters so important.

  • Leaking basements or cracked foundations –   Clogged, dirty  gutters are the number one cause of basement water problems.  Roof water overflows and accumulates around the foundation.  If this happens, basement leaks may weaken the footings and cause cracks not to mention water problems.
  • Wood deterioration – The debris that builds up in gutters can hold moisture against the boards of the house/business.  That moisture can cause rotten wood and a very expensive fix.
  • A haven for critters – Debris that builds up can be a welcome home for birds and small critters looking for a warm dry place to live.  Unfortunately these little critters can cause more damage.  Termites have also been known to find haven in rotting wood along the trim of gutters.

A professional gutter cleaning in the spring and fall can save you and your business a lot of problems from happening later.  A little upkeep goes a long way when it comes to gutters. Keeping the system clean not only looks good, but is also going to save you time and money in the future!

Why Clean Windows are important for Your Business

Keeping your office windows clean may not be high on your daily priority list but keeping your windows clean with a commercial window cleaning service is an investment in your business that pays off. Believe it or not clean windows can contribute to your company’s income in several vital ways.  Let’s look at why keeping a clean appearance is so important for the vitality of your business.

  • Like windows into our souls.  Just like the old saying that the eyes are the window into a person’s soul. . . well windows are the view others have into your business soul.  A dirty, streaky appearance may communicate a business in decline.  Brightness and clarity indicate a business that is intelligent and in good health.
  • Professionalism – In these hard economic times it might be easy to cut back on window cleaning to save a few dollars.  Be careful what that may say about your business however.  If the view into your office looks less than clean, it may indicate a lack of vitality and may shake consumer confidence in your company.  It may also cause an unspoken shadow over your professionalism.
  • Value: Businesses often have displays at which passersby can look, and you don’t want them to view your displays through dust, cobwebs, and stains. It reduces the viewer’s estimate of the value of what is there.

Therefore, hiring a professional window cleaning service makes good financial sense, as window cleaning is not a job for amateurs. Small businesses are unlikely to have the proper tools, expertise, or interest in doing a complete window-cleaning job on their own. Consider a regular service of window cleaning as it will add value and help show off your business as a healthy and professional company.

The Top Germ Infested Places in Your Office

A majority of us spend 8 hours or more a day at the office.  For the most part the office is usually a tidy place that looks and feels professional.  Despite the professional atmosphere, the office can still be a haven for all types of germs and bacteria.  It is a business owner’s responsibility to maintain a clean work environment and help prevent these germs from spreading around the office, risking employees with illness.  Let’s look at the top five areas that can be a refuge for germs.

  1. The Office Kitchen – The break room is often a great meeting place for employees! Unfortunately bacteria tends to gather there as well.  The kitchen sink is home to various different types of bacteria that can easily be transferred to different surfaces, including the food we eat. Everything from E. coli to Salmonella could be lurking in the kitchen or break room.
  2. The Refrigerator –  Old food and drinks which are neglected and aren’t thrown away can grow a variety of illness-inducing microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and mold. The office fridge is an important place to keep clean as bacteria can spread onto food that is not properly stored.
  3. The Floors – High traffic areas can become very dirty as employees and clients track in dirt and bacteria from outside.  Bacteria feed off of moisture and dirt, which is why custodial staff and cleaning companies concentrate on the floor more than anything else.
  4. Door Handles – Virtually everyone uses the door handles for entrance to and exit from the building. Door handles to individual offices can be germ ridden too, but all pale in comparison to the inside door handle of the bathroom. Door handles for therefore should be sanitized regularly.
  5. Copy Machine – The copy machine is another resting place for office germs. Users can try to avoid directly touching its buttons by using a pen cap or pencil top to operate the machine. A bottle of hand sanitizer and regular cleanings should help maintain the area.

While we may love where we work, be aware of these top places where germs may be gathering.  A professional cleaning company and personal safeguards can stop the spread of germs that could lead to illnesses.

Tips for Cleaning your Keyboard

Our computers are our lifelines to work, friends and news.  Most of us spend hours a day in front of the computer and typing on the keyboard.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t take the time to properly clean our keyboards until a spill or accident occurs.  The frequency of how often a computer and the keyboard should be cleaned varies on different factors. Do people eat, drink or smoke near the keyboard? Do you have dogs, cats or small children that use the computer? All of these factors increase the need for regular cleanings.  So let’s look at some cleaning tips for this very important part of our lives.

Warnings:

  • Do NOT squirt any liquid into the computer parts including the keyboard.  If you do use liquid cleaners spray it on to a cloth first.
  • Do NOT use a vacuum to suck up dirt inside your computer.  The static electricity can damage the computer.  Use the vacuum to suck up dirt, dust or hair around the keyboard and monitor.
  • ALWAYS turn off the computer when cleaning its components.

Cleaning Tips

  • Compressed air.  This is also known as canned air and is a favorite for easy cleaning of keyboards and computer parts.  The canned air can blow dust, hair and crumbs out from between keys.
  • Microfiber Cloths – A microfiber cloth is designed to pick up dirt and dust much better than a napkin or dust cloth. Swipe it over the keys every once in a while.
  • Q- Tips – Dip Q-Tip into the isopropyl alcohol, and brush it along the tops of all the keys and surfaces, taking care to scrub heavily used areas (such as the Enter key and space bar) to remove buildup.
  • Post-Its – Take that little yellow square of paper from your desk and slide the sticky part into the key crevices. You’ll be surprised what it picks up! This is something you can do regularly without taking the board apart.

For keyboards that need special care or those that have not been cleaned in a while,  try removing the keys with a butter knife or screwdriver.  Once the keys are removed they can be washed in soap and warm water.  Be sure to dry completely before placing back on the board.  With a little regular maintenance your keyboard can remain clean and free of debris and germs.