Does It Spark Joy?

You can’t decide what to do with your old pair of jeans. You’ve had them for awhile, and they looked great on you a few years ago, but your body has changed and they don’t fit so well anymore. They’re not quite in fashion right now, either, but trends change with the wind, and you could see the style catching on in a few years. You really are trying to clean your place, though, and getting rid of some unused clothes is probably a good idea; how do you decide? The answer, according to Marie Kondo, is to hold the item close to you and ask yourself: “Does it spark joy?”

In our lives, we so often hold onto things that have outlived their usefulness, but it’s worth asking yourself: what is useful? There’s the utilitarian element of usefulness; does this object still serve a purpose or fulfill a need? You might not feel joy when you hold an old set of tools, but if it’s the only toolbox you have, it might be worth keeping. An old photo, on the other hand, might not be usable in a traditional sense; it’s not like you could sell it for money, or use it practically for much more than fire kindling. When you hold it, the memories flood back; it serve the purpose of bringing you joy.

There’s an argument that bringing joy to your life is the most useful property anything or anyone can have. Someone might live their life as a perfect ascetic and still be full of joy; another can have a life full of possessions and still not find meaning. A philosophy of cleaning based on what brings you joy is one that encourages mindfulness and introspection; you’ll keep what really makes you happy, and discard what doesn’t.

Cleanliness has its own psychological benefits; things that we can’t use and that don’t bring us joy are, in essence, clutter. Clutter distracts from what’s real and important in our lives; when our minds or homes are filled with clutter, it’s hard to find what we need, both physically and spiritually. When you look around your home and find it’s filled with non-things, you might see this as a reflection of your life; when every item in your home brings you joy, your life is quite literally filled with it, too.

Cleaning a whole house and discarding the joyless can be a daunting task; it must be something you commit yourself to, both mentally and physically. Once the task is done, it’s important to remember not to let clutter assemble itself again; only make purchases that bring you joy or use, and don’t be flippant about buying new things. This upkeep is important, and one good way to maintain it is hiring a fully insured home cleaning company; they can help you keep the clutter out of your life, so there’s more room for what sparks joy.

3 Signs Your Home is Messy (Even if it Looks Clean)

A clean home is oh-so pleasant to look at. When we look around, and we don’t see clutter or mess, it’s easy to plop down on the couch and relax for the rest of the evening. The problem is that our eyes can deceive us, and it may be that our home is messier than we think, even if it looks beautiful. This can lead to lower quality-of-life, and if unchecked, even health problems, especially for those prone to allergies. Here are three signs that you may need to do a deeper clean.

  • Breathing Problems and Allergies Keep Flaring Up

Our homes may look clean, but microscopic particles and dust can be lurking everywhere. We tend to clean the visible surfaces of our home, but you may neglect to dust the back of your television, or beat your rugs as often as you should. The undersides of tables, radiators, vents and other less commonly cleaned surfaces and areas can be breeding grounds for dust, allergens, and bacteria. This means that if you’re regularly coughing or sneezing in your home, or that guests complain about your home’s air quality, it may be messier than your eyes have lent you to believe.

  • Odd Smells Keep Popping Up

As clean as our home may look, the nose knows. Like with our breathing, we can pick up messes that our eyes might not spot when we smell something unusual. These smells don’t have to be overpowering to signal to you that something is amiss; when you’re in your kitchen or bathroom and something smells a little off, it may mean you need to clean more thoroughly. It may be behind the toilet, or in the nooks and crannies of your fridge, so be alert and aware of the numerous surfaces you may need to clean.

  • Your Socks Get Dirty, Fast

This rule stands for any worn fabrics becoming dusty or covered in pet fur, but our socks are the most likely to pick up particles. Our feet are in constant contact with the floor, so if an area hasn’t been properly swept, vacuumed or dusted, you’ll see the residue on your socks. Some wear and tear is to be expected on a fabric taking so much strain, but if you find your socks are getting dirty shortly after you put them on, it’s a good sign your floors need some work.

There’s a plethora of different causes for all the signs we see above; messy floors, hidden messy areas, dust too thin to be seen by your eye; it can be hard to handle all of these tasks on your own. That’s why it’s practical to get a professional home cleaning service like Minty Maids. We offer the top home cleaning services in Winnipeg, and we’ll be more than happy to investigate what hidden problems may make your home messier than it looks, and then clean those problems away!

4 Signs it’s Time to Get a Cleaner

Living in a nice, tidy home is a daily joy that’s hard to match. The peace, the serenity, the calm state of mind that come with a well-kept space can have a truly positive impact on your life. That said, some people find it hard to tidy; some of us our just slobs, and that’s okay, so long as someone cleans our space. Here are four signs that you might just need some outside help.

  • You Just Can’t Get Rid of that Funky Smell

You’ve cleaned out the fridge, tossing out that several week old chicken you were planning to barbecue. You’ve managed to scrape off the goodness-knows-what off your kitchen floor, and you took out the pile of garbage that’s been sitting there for who-knows how long. You’ve taken a carpet cleaner to your carpet, scrubbed the bathtubs and dumped more toilet cleaner in the bowl than you knew was possible, and STILL that ripe smell is keeping your friends, family and potential lovers at bay. Time to hire a cleaner.

  • You Can’t Remember the Colour of Your Floor

Amidst the clutter, you think you see carpet? Over in another spot, you see hardwood though; or at least you think you do. Maybe the carpet you saw was actually just really dusty hardwood? You manage to clean a spot on the ground to find out, but that area is a different colour than the other two bits of floor you’ve managed to spot, and it’s…a different texture, too? You wonder if you’ve ever had solid flooring, if it’s always been a patchwork of different flooring types, and whether or not the mess on the ground was there when you moved in. Time to hire a cleaner.

  • Your Friends Bet on How Long it will Take You to Find Things

Some of your best pals manage to tolerate walking into your home, though they might be well prepared with face masks and car fresheners in hand. When they do, it’s time to party; if you can find the remote for your TV! Johnny bets it’ll take you about an hour, and Erika laughs and puts twenty dollars on it being longer than that. Time to hire a cleaner.

  • You’re Tired, Your House is Messy, and You’re Feeling Sick

Jokes aside, you can tell you need a cleaning service long before it gets as bad as above. An unclean house can leave you feeling drained by the very prospect of cleaning it. Dust, allergens and bacteria on surfaces around your home can make you sick. When you feel you really don’t have the energy to tackle the important task of cleaning your home, it’s time to hire a cleaner. Experienced cleaning services professionals can take the task into their hands, and make sure you have a space that has you feeling happy and healthy long before you don’t know your own floor.

Cleaning Your House Regularly with Bleach may be Killing You

There are a wide variety of different products and chemicals in the world that we can use to clean a home; as a consumer, it’s hard to keep track of them all! One of the most commonly used and available cleaning products is bleach. Bleach is excellent for whitening clothes and disinfecting surfaces, and is used in our homes as well as commercial and industrial spaces due to its efficiency and availability. The issue here is the properties that make bleach so effective carry serious health risks; here’s why you should use less bleach when cleaning your home.

Bleach is incredibly reactive, which gives it whitening and disinfectant properties. The problem with reactive substances like bleach is that they are indiscriminate in what they react with; they’ll destroy most organic matter, which is what makes them so good at killing bacteria. There’s a reason that corrosive warning label is front and centre on your bottle of bleach; it’s so reactive it can damage skin just by touch. Ingesting bleach is a medical emergency. There’s no surprise, then, when we learn that constantly ingesting bleach fumes can cause irreversible lung damage. One study showed that nurses who were exposed regularly to bleach due to their working conditions were 32% more likely to get Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Just like it kills the cells in bacteria, bleach fumes can begin to work away at the proteins and cells in your lungs and respiratory passages.

A further complication from bleach is when it is combined with other cleaning products. As we’ve discussed, bleach is highly reactive, which means it can form new and dangerous bonds with other chemicals. Combining bleach with ammonia creates chloramine, and bleach and vinegar create chlorine gas; both powerful irritants which can quickly damage your lungs, tear ducts, and other sensitive areas. Bleach and rubbing alcohol can create chloroform gas, which while not as fast-acting as the movies, can lead to serious health problems. As a rule, unless you are an expert, well-trained cleaner, don’t combine bleach with anything but water.

This isn’t to say you can never use bleach; it’s a useful chemical with some helpful properties, but overuse can result in severe health complications. Try to limit your use of bleach, and when using it, precautions like a face-mask and making sure the area is well-ventilated can go a long way to reducing your risk of problems in the future. When doing your own at-home cleaning, research the different cleaners and disinfectants you can use, but remember not to combine anything if you don’t know the possible consequences.

The simplest and safest way of avoiding the toxic combinations bleach can create, as well as limiting your exposure to bleach, is to hire a highly-trained home cleaning service. Minty Maids offers home cleaning services in Winnipeg, so we can keep your home spick and span with a wide variety of cleaning products, so your exposure to toxic and corrosive chemicals is washed away.

5 Things You Need to Clean on a Daily Basis

Keeping a tidy household can be a chore! We know how nice it is to live in a clean space; our minds are more at ease, and it’s simple to relax and enjoy life in a well-kept space. This said, we don’t always have the time to do all the cleaning we might like to; between our other chores, work, kids – it can get to be too much! There are, however, some things that you should absolutely clean every day. These items could pose health risks if not cleaned regularly, so make sure to clean them!

Hand Towels

Hand towels are a hot spot for bacteria! They get damp and moist, and are often touched by dirty hands that have worked with food. They might seem clean, because they’re usually only damp with water from our hands, but bacteria and other germs thrive in dampness! Be sure to change the hand towels in your bathroom and in the kitchen daily, especially if you’ve used your hand towel to dry dishes.

Bathroom Tiles + Sinks

Bathroom tiles and sinks also have to be cleaned daily. This can definitely feel a bit overwhelming, as many folks relegate their bathroom cleaning to once-and-awhile. Bathrooms are terrible for bacteria; again, the moisture is the culprit here. Shower tiles can quickly fill up with grime and germs, which is a huge problem when we shower to get clean! Sinks have the exact same issue, and should be cleaned daily to keep their shine and cleanliness.

Kitchen Counters

Kitchen counter cleanliness should also fall into your daily chore routine. Food, hands, utensils, and any other number of things can touch the kitchen counter. This means there’s a wide variety of possible cross-contaminants. The Food Network has a few tips on avoiding cross-contamination, and a big one is making sure you wipe down those counters with hot, soapy water! An unclean kitchen simply isn’t worth the risk.

Kitchen Floor

The kitchen floor is another spot you should strive to clean every day. This time, the worry isn’t germs and bacteria, but our other small foes – vermin! Bugs, mice, and other pests are attracted to crumbs of food that may be left on the floor; a good sweep every day, making sure to get into every nook and cranny, is essential for warding off would-be home crashers.

It’s important to strive to keep your house as clean as possible; as we’ve seen, it’s not just about the peace of mind that comes with a tidy space, but about the safety of you and your family. We want to reduce the likeliness of illness or pest invasion in your home; it’s understandable if you can’t find the time in your busy schedule, so let us help you. We’re Minty Maids, a fully insured home cleaning company ready to help you with any home cleaning needs you have. Keep your family happy and healthy, and don’t fret the cleaning; we’ll be there for you, and clean to your specifications, taking a load of your mind.