Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

12 Things About Me

January 10, 2018

1. I love traveling, reading books, cooking, gardening, and crafting. I used to travel a lot – unfortunately, I don’t have much opportunity these days.

2. I am from West Ukraine. I have Ukrainian and Polish roots.

3. I am a daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother, and entrepreneur and love it!

4. I have quite a few pets, a cat, 2 degus and lots of tropical fish (cories, guppies, neons, and swordtails) but really, I’m a dog person!

5. I have 2 children. Although there are 2 years between them, people quite often ask me whether they are twins.

6. I respect honest, loyal, kind, reliable and perseverant people. I really value friendship and do anything to help the friend in need (without making a big deal about it). I don’t tolerate two-faced people. Cross me once and I’ll dismiss you from my life without a second thought.

7. My youngest child was born with several heart problems and other physical issues. She had open heart surgery when she was 3 weeks old. I now feel I know as much about the heart as your average medical professional. She is on medication to keep her heart working to an acceptable level; she will require more surgery on her heart in the future.

8. My name is Oksana but everyone calls me Roxy (a friend couldn’t pronounce my name and called me Roxy, and it's stuck to this day)!

9. I am lazy, not to the point where my feet stick to the floor or there are no clean cups, however, I’m just chilled and laid back. I save my energy for important tasks as I just don’t like wasting my time.

10. I am a really shy and private person. Sometimes I’m terrified of meeting new people. I hide this by trying to come across as confident, but I probably overcompensate and end up being very loud. Basically, I’m an introvert but I try really hard to be nice in social situations. It doesn’t always working out because I always speak my mind without sugar coating!

11. I started my cleaning business in 2010 because I couldn’t find a decent and reliable cleaner. The idea was to do something for a few months to keep me busy, while I was on maternity leave with my second child. I didn’t spend a single penny to set up the business, which took off and is still going. I believe this is because I pride myself in providing a personal approach to my customers and ensure that they receive the highest quality standard of service.

12. I love doing crafty things and am very good at it. If something is not quite working out I will spend as much time as is needed to learn how to do it correctly and will try over and over again to make it perfect. It is either perfect or nothing!

10 reasons to hire a cleaner.

January 14, 2018

1. It is not as expensive as you think. If you compare – buying all the required cleaning materials, spending time cleaning (with no spare time for your family or yourself) vs paying for a cleaner once a week or fortnight, the latter is always cheaper and more productive. Alternatively, you can look at it this way, the weekly cost of a cleaner is less than a night out, however, your house will be cleaned professionally and you will have spare time at the weekend! It is affordable, even for those on a tight budget.

2. You have just had a baby. Looking after a baby (or children) is not easy, you don't want cleaning to be on your ‘to do' list, as you are super busy and super tired. Small babies do not sleep that much and children need your attention frequently so you need to get some rest while the baby is napping. Doing housework instead of resting is not easy. A cleaner can come once a week giving you some free time to either rest or spend with your child. Using a cleaner at least once or twice a month will allow mum to do more and have extra sleep, which means less stress. Happy mummy – happy family!

3. You or someone in your family is ill. Day-to-day tasks plus illness can cause a vast amount of stress. In addition, having health issues means that your house has to be extra clean and germ-free. In this case, a professional cleaner is a must!

4. Having a cleaner will allow you to use your time efficiently. We are living in super fast times with big demands. Everyone these days is very busy, trying to juggle work, career, family, children, friends, exercising, leisure, self-education etc - there is simply no time to fit everything in, let alone keeping on top of housework! When you get a free minute, the last thing on your mind is cleaning the bathroom or doing a deep clean in the kitchen. Having a cleaner once a week or once a fortnight will enable you to have time for more important things like spending time with your friends and family or finally taking that guitar class you always wanted but could never fit in! You can use the time for pleasure, not for scrubbing or dusting! Most importantly – spending time on the weekend with family or doing what you want, rather than cleaning is priceless! Everyone is happy in this case – family because you spend time with them; you because you are enjoying yourself and not stressing, which is very important.

5. You don't like cleaning or simply can't do it. Cleanliness is very important. Everyone likes a clean house or office but if you are one of those people that don't like cleaning or simply can't do it then hiring a professional cleaner is the best solution for you.

6. You are having visitors round. Whatever the occasion – dinner party, family visits, movie night, kids play date or just a social gathering – having to clean before and after can really put you off and take the enjoyment and pleasure out of your mood. Save your time and get a cleaner – that's one task off your list and more time to have fun.

7. Professional cleaners need less time to clean than you do – the cleaner has been doing this for a long time and knows all the tricks of the trade; for example, what chemicals are good or not so good for a specific task. While you will be working out how to remove lime scale in those hard to reach areas, the cleaner will have already done it and moved on to something else.

8. Leave a professional job to professionals. You don't clean your carpets or you repair your car – you would rather pay someone who knows what they are doing. The same applies to cleaning or ironing; it is much easier, less stressful and much quicker to pay a professional cleaner than to do it yourself.

9. You have elderly family members. It is difficult for some young people to keep on top of day-to-day tasks. For older people, it can be almost impossible to keep up with cleaning to a reasonable standard. That's when a cleaner would be a valuable help.

10. You deserve an extra treat. Have you been working hard? Just had difficult and stressful time? Need to relax? Manicures and massages are great, an extra session in gym beneficial but it's not good if after great spa day you come back home and have to start cleaning and scrubbing. Treat yourself occasionally; it's relaxing to come back home and find your house is sparkling clean.

What type of cleaning services and which one to choose?

January 21, 2018

Individual/self-employed (sole trader).

Basically, without too much technical information - this is an individual, who working for themselves (self-employed). Usually, they are working by themselves for themselves (sole-trader). Normally, paying own taxes and insurance.

There’re few pros and cons to consider.

Pros. Individual/self-employed cleaner’s prices can be cheaper than the average price in your area, which could potentially save you some money in a short run. You could have a flexible arrangement between you and cleaner – it could be easier to rearrange or cancel. You are not tided to any contracts.

Cons. You can become too close to your cleaner, which could lead to all sorts of problems – for example, if quality will drop, it might be a bit difficult to point out. If a cleaner is off sick or on holiday – there’s no replacement. There’s no quality control. If some damage or breakage happened – there’s no guaranty that your cleaner would have appropriate insurance cover and could cost you quite a lot. Same with accident cover. Also, if it is just cash in hand job, technically you became your cleaner’s employer and you will be responsible for taxes and insurance.

Cleaning franchise.

In simple words, franchise is an agreement between two parties which allows one party to market product or services using the trademark and operating methods of the other party.

Positive. All franchise managers had few months training so does all staff. With a cleaning franchise you will get brands that are perceived as trusted and reliable as they have stood the test of time. A franchise will provide replace cleaners for holidays or sickness. Although that is not always the case and can be down to the franchisee and how meticulously the standards are checked

Downside. They usually focus on volume rather than quality. They often have fast turnover of staffs, which could be a bit unsettled – who want to see every fortnight new person, who cleaning their place? Even if you hire same company as your friend 2 streets down – chances are that you will get totally different management, which means different customer service and different quality. There’s no consistency throughout all company and cleaning staff, which could affect quality. Cost tends to be considerably higher than others and less flexibility.

Cleaning agency.

A cleaning agency is an organisation providing cleaning services on behalf of another organisation, person or group. Basically, a cleaning agency finds and (often) vets workers. It then “sells” the workers to people that need a cleaner. This is quite similar to a franchise.

Positive: Normally you will have a minimum contract. You do not have to worry about employing (or replacing) a cleaner. Additionally, you can tailor make their cleaning rota for your home. There’s always someone available, even at very short notice.

Negative: Cleaners usually have no training; there’s no quality control of cleans and most importantly, the customer is not provided with any support and there is no structure or plan. With there being little, or no benefit for the cleaner the staff turnover is high. Agencies are not always locally based so quite often you need to vet the cleaner and check their insurance. Additionally, the homeowner has to pay to the cleaner, the agency’s fee and supply all cleaning materials. It can feel like agencies do not give a value added service to either the homeowners or the cleaners involved. The only party that seems to benefit is the agent!

Cleaning business.

A cleaning business is normally owned/run by an individual operating in their own local area employing a number of cleaners. The business can be run as a sole trader or a limited company as the business grows.

The pricing tends to be similar to sole traders with (depending on if the business is subject to VAT, provides the cleaning materials etc.). There are usually several ways for clients to pay when using such as online, by card, direct debit etc.

A cleaning business may have a contract or, at the very least, Terms of Service which may impose charges on a client for cancellations and lock outs. This is because the cleaning business will have an obligation to pay its staff.

Positive. With a cleaning business you have the added security of an uninterrupted cleaning service and you will get higher insurance cover. Bonding on staff as well as spot checks and training to ensure standards are met and kept. And there will be a manager you can talk to who can either have a word with your cleaner or even replace your cleaner if necessary.

Negative. There is sometimes a high turnover of staff within the cleaning industry so you may not always get the same cleaner.