What Causes House Sickness

There’s a real difference between three things: being homesick, being home sick, and being house sick. When you’re homesick, you feel a nostalgia for the place where you’ve set your roots, when you’re home sick, you’ve called into work; you can’t come in, because you’re not feeling well. When you’re house sick, you’ll find that you’re often home sick, and rarely homesick; that’s because your home is causing your illness. There are a few possible culprits causing your continual illness; there’s likely something in the air that’s causing allergic or asthmatic reactions.

One of the most common causes of house sickness is your Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system; the vents in these systems can accumulate moisture over time. Moisture creates breeding grounds for bacteria, fungus and other nasty things that can trigger your illness, cause headaches, and other general misery. The solution here is to regularly clean your air ducts; consider hiring a professional to do regular upkeep of your HVAC system.

Dust mites are another potential cause of your woes; they tend to dwell on sheets, pillow covers, and towels, and they can trigger illness. They can be mitigated by washing your sheets in hot water weekly, then drying them thoroughly. Vacuum and dust regularly to get rid of the mites on the floor and in your furniture.

The kitchen and bathroom can be the cause of your woes, too! Your bath mat should be cleaned regularly, but it often isn’t; as you can imagine, the humid, warm environment after a shower is great news for microbes and bad news for the mat. Refrigerators function much like HVAC systems do, so dust and microbe build-up from the coils can blow right through your home if you don’t dust regularly; this obviously means you should keep the inside of your fridge clean, too.

Watch out for leaks! As you might have gleaned from the rest of this article, water means bad times for people who aren’t looking to keep pet moss. Check under your pipes and be sure to look for dampness regularly in your home.

The cleaning products you use may also create an environment hostile to your health; many products have irritating chemicals that can affect your respiratory system. When using chemical products, be sure to thoroughly ventilate your home to avoid triggering a reaction.

The lesson here is that if you’re house sick, it’s probably because something somewhere needs to be cleaned; it’s possible everything does. This task can seem exceptionally daunting, especially if you’re not feeling well; you might want to find the source of contamination and deal with it but find yourself too encumbered by respiratory problems to pick up the cleaning spray and get at it. That’s okay; you can hire top home cleaning services in Winnipeg to clean your entire house for you. Don’t find yourself staying at home sick with house sickness; give us a call, take the day to enjoy yourself, and when you’re feeling homesick, you can come back to a healthy house.

Unpaid Housework

There is a growing tendency in our society to evaluate work that was once taken for granted and recognize its importance. This trend is best understood through the lens of feminism; as women began to enter the workforce in droves during and after World War II, old conventions of splitting labour between men and women changed. The days of single-income households are quickly entering the rearview mirror, and now that both parties are often working full time, it’s becoming clear that we’ve undervalued the work it takes to maintain a household.

The difference between the division of labour between men and women in the household remains stark; women still do over 50% more unpaid housework than men do, with women averaging 13.8 hours a week versus the 8.3 hours per week of men. There are other estimates which indicate women may work 3.6 hours per day on unpaid housework. This contrast likely comes in part from traditional gender role, but the gap is more obvious when there is a single-earner household and the single earner is male. This creates a real challenge when it comes to determining the value of work; when one partner takes care of household duties significantly more than the other, is it fair that the work should be unpaid, or should there be compensation for the hours spent?

Any time spent on housework could be spent furthering a career, or hobbies, or anything else you might like; when it is unpaid, there is a discrepancy between the labour being done and the compensation that could be had. This is especially unfair in a dual-income household; if one partner is working significantly more than the other, it might be best to arrange payment. This is untenable for many partnerships, however; perhaps because of our social standards, it feels strange to pay a spouse for labour, and such payment might be rejected, to begin with. The problem is aggravated in households with children, where women might spend more than 50 hours a week on childcare; that’s more than a full-time job.

When we add up one male and one female partners’ unpaid household labour hours in a week, we end up with about 22 hours a week spent unpaid on housework; assuming a similar division of labour between same-sex or otherwise oriented partners, it may be fair to say the average Canadian spends about 11 hours a week on housework. The average hourly wage paid to Canadians is about 27 dollars an hour; if 22 hours are spent on labour per household, the unpaid labour being done amount to $594 per week.

Considering this, it can be an excellent idea to smooth the division of labour and hire experienced cleaning services. These services will generally clean much faster than the average Canadian, given their experience; you might actually save money in unpaid labour by hiring the service, because your time is worth money, and 22 hours a week is a lot of time. This can also smooth over the gender gap; if you’re not going to pay your spouse for unpaid labour, hire a cleaning service instead, and split the difference by going on a date. You’re worth it.

Things to Remember Before Your Vacation

You’re going on vacation; for what is such an enjoyable part of life, the preparation can certainly be stressful. The best way of handling this stress is to begin preparing for your trip at least a couple of days before you actually leave; assuming you’re leaving an empty house, there might be a lot to prepare!

A week or two before your vacation, you should ask someone to house-sit for you; this can be as big a task as living at your house when you’re away (especially useful if you have pets) or simply coming by to check the mail and water the plants once a day. You’ll want to get your ducks in a row; pay all of your bills, make sure you have all the items you need for your trip, refill any medication that may run out during your travels, and put holds on any mail items you might receive if you can’t find a housesitter. Let friends and family know where you’re staying and what your itinerary looks like.

The day before you leave, it can be prudent to confirm the details of your trip with the housesitter, as well as reviewing what will be required of them. You’ll want to confirm your flight, the location you’ve booked, and any other reservations. Download music and movies, stock up on reading materials, and acquire any other entertainment that will make the travel portion of your vacation easier. Charge all of your electronic devices, exchange any money that needs exchanging, and run your dishwasher and laundry. Call your bank to let them know you’ll be travelling, and set an away email for work.

The day you leave is the day of double-checking; make sure your bag is compliant with airport guidelines, make sure you lock all the windows and doors, and make sure to set the thermostat lower to save energy. Wash any residual dishes, make sure you’ve taken all the perishables out of the fridge, and take out any remaining garbage. Remember to pack your toiletries, and double (or even triple) check that you’ve got your wallet, keys, phone, medication, and other essentials.

There are checklists tailored to families and individuals to help you pack appropriately for your vacation; keep the weather of your destination in mind, but be sure to pack for fluctuations in temperature. Make sure you have your passport at the ready for international flights, and be sure to purchase travel insurance in case of injury.

Going on a long vacation is relaxing, and coming home can be an equally wonderful part of the experience. When you return, you’ll want a clean, comfy place to lay your head, so you can rest from all the resting you’ve been doing. Minty Maids offers home cleaning services in Winnipeg, so get in touch before you leave to arrange for a customized cleaning that will have you on cloud nine, even when you return to the -40 weather from Cancun.



Hosting an Unforgettable Party

Hosting a dinner party is one of the most exciting things you can do in your home; the joy of having dear friends share their time in your space, enjoying good company and good food. The feelings we get when we attend a great party; relaxed, happy, conversational; the electricity that keeps the party buzzing until the early hours of the morning – these are the hallmarks of a well-hosted event.

A great host creates a positive vibe, and there’s no way of doing that when you feel too stressed; your guests will pick up on it if you feel rushed, so be sure to prepare as much as possible before the main event. Invite your guests to the event at least two weeks in advance; this will give them the time to reply, which helps you to plan the meal. You’ll certainly want to create a theme or aesthetic for your party, so your invitation can include information about what to expect at the event.

You’ll want to keep in mind that your guests may have certain dietary restrictions or health concerns so you can accommodate their needs. Decide on a dinner menu once you’ve got this information; keep in mind that your guests will want to snack throughout the night, so having a variety of snacks placed throughout the eating area is essential before supper. A great host will always keep a variety of alcohol on hand to keep a buzz going throughout the night.

Design a playlist before the night begins, tailored to the mood you want to set for the night. One of the thrills of hosting is the diversity of atmospheres you can create, using colours, music, scents and foods holistically to create whatever mood you’d like. Keep the vibe in mind constantly when you prepare your party, so that every detail works in your favour.

The night of the party, you’ll want to have most of your meal prep already done, so that the only thing you need to do is actually cook the food. Have snacks and drinks already set out on the table, with a fully stocked cooler nearby. There will be guests who arrive early who aren’t interested in just sitting around while you work; have tasks for these guests to do, like setting the table or helping with remaining prep, but don’t rely on them – have enough work done that doing the rest yourself won’t be burdensome. Gregarious guests are helpful for taking drink orders, restocking coolers and welcoming people to the party.

The New York Times recommends you outsource everything that you don’t need to do yourself, including the cleaning. A fully insured home cleaning company will help you get the job done; remember, a relaxed host is the number one predictor of a good dinner party. A clean place will relax your guests, as they’ll see there’s no work to be done, and they’ll feel your positive energy, so having your home professionally cleaned before and after the party is a great way of setting the mood!