Residential Cleaning

Dorm Cleaning 101

The semester is wrapping up—and it’s been a weird one, hasn’t it? Some college students stayed home for the duration of the pandemic shutdown, but many others did indeed return to campus, to their dorm rooms, even if they had a whole or partial virtual course load.

The upshot? Dorm rooms are probably even more in need of end-of-school-year cleaning given the added time spent in them, the meals eaten and food stored there while more public eateries were limited, the socializing that occurred inside the building instead of at the usual campus spots, and all those many, many, MANY videoconference calls taken atop that little twin bed.

Despite the widespread sequestering of the last year, it’s now time to move out—permanently and by the required deadline—and these tips will help you do that as thoroughly and efficiently as possible.

  • Start with the desk area, packing up in sturdy boxes all textbooks, notebooks, school supplies, and technology peripherals. Keep your laptop and/or tablet safe and secure in a backpack or briefcase.
  • Next, head to the closet, dresser, or trunk—wherever clothes were kept in the room—and empty it, one piece at a time, in organized piles on the bed. Fold up clean clothes and pack them in a duffel or suitcase. Separate what needs to be washed in a plastic bag or pillowcase.
  • Once the bed is clear, it’s time to strip it—remove all the pillows, blankets, sheets, etc., and pack them in a large drawstring trash bag.
  • If you were lucky enough to have your own bathroom, head in there next and pack up all the toiletries and cosmetics you’re taking home. Plastic zip bags or small plastic tubs are preferable for this task, to make sure your belongings don’t come home splattered with toothpaste or covered in shampoo from a bottle that opened in transit.
  • Now comes the real work, the real cleaning: with a sponge, all-purpose cleaning spray, and some elbow grease, it’s time to tackle the microwave, the fridge, and the bathroom. Toss out opened, uneaten food (or munch on those chips while you work).
  • With everything emptied and cleared off or out, it’ll be easier to wipe down the furniture with cleaning wipes or a dust rag, spray the mattress and closet with disinfectant, and clean up the floors as best you can, with a handheld vacuum or a borrowed upright.
  • Check your school’s regulations for proper dorm-exiting procedures just to be sure you’ve ticked off all the items so you can depart with a clean slate and a clear head.

That should do the trick! On your way to the car for your drive back home, dump all that accumulated garbage and feel proud of the last school assignment you completed for the year—the next tenant in your dorm room will thank you!

We’ve got lots more cleaning tips and techniques on our website. And we’ve got availability for dorm cleaning … so if you’re in a Maryland area we serve, give us a call if you’d like a helping hand.

Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

Home and office cleaning

A Breath of Fresh Air: Allergy & Asthma Cleaning Tips

It’s spring cleaning time again! And although most people associate this yearly ritual with doing “a full sweep” of their home from floor to ceiling to get things fresh and ready for the warm weather months, there’s actually a very good reason beyond just neatness and cleanliness to pull out the mops and wring out the sponges: eliminating your home of allergens, particularly for those suffering from allergies and asthma. Spring cleaning is about health and hygiene, too!

Luckily, we no longer have to beat our rugs with a broom or air out our linens over a clothesline or tie rags to poles to wash down the walls like our grandmothers did. These days, we have an array of convenient and affordable products and tools at our disposal to help us swiftly and successfully dispose of allergy- and asthma-inducing agents, including disposable wipes, replaceable wet/dry mop cloths, spray disinfectants, lightweight vacuums, and rentable steam cleaners. So set aside a weekend to attend to a top-to-bottom spring cleaning to keep your household both sanitized and safe.

Here are some tips to make the best use of your time in the most targeted areas, starting with two things to keep in mind: (1) make sure the cleaning products you use aren’t allergy or asthma triggers themselves and (2) if you’d rather keep that weekend to yourself, call in a professional company to tackle your spring cleaning for you!

  • Ceilings: Take advantage of extension rods and poles to wipe down your ceilings and loosen the dust and cobwebs lurking in corners and crevices. You don’t have to capture every last bit with your mop or vacuum attachment—you can sweep up anything that falls to the floor later.
  • Walls: Next, proceed to your walls, using a dampened dust mop to wipe them all clean, starting from the top and swiping downward. Again, you can later vacuum up anything that falls to the floor.
  • Nooks & Crannies: Now it’s time to manually reach wherever and whatever you didn’t already capture—spaces behind furniture, in back of the refrigerator, the backs of the shelves in your curio cabinet. You know where those pesky areas are that stay hidden but should still be accessed every now and then!
  • Carpets & Floors: Vacuum all wall-to-wall carpets, area rugs, and throw rugs thoroughly to suck up all the loose debris that’s been collecting in them all winter. If you have wood or tile floors, it’s time to fully mop them. Thereafter, do touch-up vacuuming and mopping weekly to stay on top of everything your family walks upon.
  • Curtains: Once a year, you should remove your curtains and wash them. If that’s not practical or possible for heavy drapes, use your vacuum’s attachments to reach into folds and pleats, where dust is often trapped and overlooked. If heavily soiled, it’s worth a trip to a professional cleaner’s to breathe new life into your window dressings.
  • Linens: Once the curtains are drying, keep the washer running for all your bedding linens in every room. This includes cleaning pillows, mattress pads, and bedskirts. Dust mites love to hide there, so before reassembling your bedding, consider purchasing dust-mite-proof covers for your pillows and mattresses.
  • Knickknacks: All the little things that make a house a home? The statues and figurines, the picture frames and pottery, the souvenirs and collectibles? They can be BIG dust collectors. Turn on some tunes and wipe every single piece of bric-a-brac down with a dust rag or damp cloth. Vinegar works great on glass surfaces.
  • Windows: Save the biggie for last so you can look forward to looking both out of and into your home through gleaming windows once your annual deep cleaning is done. This requires cleaning your windowpanes inside and out since smudges and buildup collect on each side. And don’t forget to remove the screens and hose them down too, getting off all the pollen and outdoor pollutants.

Spring cleaning is a big effort, but it has a big payoff—especially for your family’s respiratory systems. You can do it yourself, or you can call in some experts to help. We’d be happy to be at your service!

Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

House cleaning

Cleaning Tips for the Working Professional

If you’re one of the many professionals juggling a demanding career while still trying to maintain all the demands of home and family, you know how tight time can get and how exhausting an endless list of chores can be. Weekends and after-hours are often filled to the brim as well, and sometimes something’s just got to give, right?

All the more reason to streamline and prioritize wherever you can. You can’t always have dust-free shelves or sparkling appliances or pristine lines on newly vacuumed carpets … but you can concentrate on a few areas and a few tasks that will make the most impact in your house and go the longest way toward longer-term peace of mind and fulfillment.

Here are some ideas of “big ticket” items that will give you a large sense of accomplishment and noticeable, measurable results:

Area of Focus #1: Organize Your Closets. Don’t underestimate just how much lighter and brighter you’ll feel if you finally get those closets in order, particularly your own. Your mornings will go smoother, dressing will be less stressful, and clear open space will replace cluttered and crammed rods and shelves if you devote one solid chunk of time to organizing your bedroom closet. You know those beautiful shoes you’re never going to wear again because they kill your toes? That suit that’s never coming back in style, that dress you haven’t worn in 10 years, those pants you’re never going to fit into again? Time to chuck it all! Sell items of value online, bag up wearable items that can be donated to shelters, charities, or even your friends, and just toss what needs tossing. Clear your closet of anything and everything you don’t actually wear and enjoy—old ratty pajamas, faded tights, pilly sweaters, sneakers with cracked soles, shirts with stains or missing buttons. Out of your closet means out of your way and off of your mind! Forever.

Area of Focus #2: Give Bathrooms a Deep Clean. The least-liked cleaning chore of them all is actually the single-most powerful step you can take to get your house spick-and-span on the foundational level. It’s no surprise that the bathroom holds the most germs, bacteria, mildew, and soap scum in your home. So attending to just this room alone goes a long way and makes a huge difference in all the others. When you scour fixtures and scrub tiles once in a while, you can do touch-ups with cleaning cloths in between, so it’s worth taking a deep dive now so you can just maintain later. The good news? At least the bathroom is the smallest room in the house—make a concentrated effort on Saturday morning and then take the whole rest of the weekend off!

 Area of Focus #3: Move the Furniture. Even when you mop, even when you vacuum, you’re not really getting your floors clean until or unless you move the furniture and big items out of the way to get underneath. Take this extra step to banish the dirt and the dust bunnies from flying around so that what you see and what you don’t see is all fresh and clean. These hidden areas are usually overlooked during routine cleaning, but making this extra effort once a season should be all that’s needed.

Area of Focus #4: Have Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned. And speaking of hidden bothers … Lurking dust mites and a wide array of irritants and allergens take hold in your carpets, draperies, and upholstery and stay there until you forcibly remove them. Investing in a professional steam cleaning (particularly after the winter season) won’t just freshen your whole home, it will literally clear the air, keeping your pets and family members breathing much easier and more healthfully. Again, you don’t have to do this often to get a big bang for your buck!

If you start with just these essentials, the smaller daily stuff won’t seem as overwhelming and you can tackle them in smaller steps, in smaller bursts of time. Want some help? Give us a call today to find out what we can do assist all your cleaning and organizing needs:
Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

House cleaning

Winter To-Do List to Optimize Your Home

A few months ago, our blog was devoted to making your home as snug and hygienic as it can be during the months in which most of the country is hibernating inside due to the cold weather … and now that most of us are still hunkering down inside due to health reasons, we thought we’d expand our list of recommendations and suggestions for cold-weather to-do items to not only keep you busy, but to greatly benefit your house.

Now’s the time to:

  • Inspect All Openings – For the typical homeowner, addressing the drafts coming in through doors and windows will make a major dent in your energy costs. Weather-strip and caulk all openings to prevent drafts, and watch your utility bill dip lower even as the temperatures do.
  • Maintain Your Heating System – It’s very important to change your air filters at least once a year. You should also check the ductwork in your basement or attic for any gaps. You can use metal-foil tape to seal any gaps you find so that heat doesn’t escape.
  • Caulk Trim & Baseboards – Inspect the caulking on your trim and your baseboards to see if any areas are old or worn away. Just like windows and doors, drafts can enter your home through cracks in the walls and floors, so you’ll want to fill and fortify these openings for wellness and warmth.
  • Attend to the Roof Over Your Head – Preventing ice damming should be a top priority for any homeowner who lives in a region that gets snow and ice. Caulking the roof—either by doing it yourself or by hiring a roofer—is an investment you won’t regret. As snow melts, insufficient drainage can cause serious damage to your roof and possibly leaks inside your home, so do what you can to eliminate ice dams by ensuring proper drainage.
  • Check the Fireplace – Do you know how many people forget to close their fireplace flue after use? A LOT! If you’re feeling coldness in the house and aren’t sure where it’s coming from, check if your flue was inadvertently left open and then make sure it’s only reopened when you build a fire. It’s also a good idea to have energy-efficient fireplace doors to help optimize the heating in your home and decrease energy costs.

These few steps will keep your house in tip-top shape all winter and prevent costly repairs later on down the road. For more winterizing tips or to schedule a cleaning, get in touch with us today! Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

House cleaning

Quick Tips to Sanitize the Kitchen & Bathroom

It might be common sense, but it’s “common” for a reason: In times of particular concern over germs, bacteria, and infections—especially when families are spending so much time indoors together—it’s only logical to sanitize the most susceptible areas of your home to keep everyone and everything in it as safe and healthy as possible.

Which rooms see the most traffic and carry the most risk? The kitchen and bathroom, of course. And although they get the most wear and tear, they’re also the easiest to target and tackle, with all their hard surfaces, removable parts, and washable elements. These on-point checklists will leave the most essential rooms in your home spotless and hygienic in no time. Whenever possible, use alcohol- and bleach-based products to best kill germs and eliminate odors. Don’t have those on hand? Good old-fashioned water solutions featuring vinegar, lemon, and baking soda work beautifully—always have, always will!

Quick tips to sanitize the kitchen:

  • Wipe down all countertops and appliances
  • Clear and wipe out all drawers and cabinets
  • Defrost and wipe out the freezer
  • Pull the refrigerator out and clean behind it
  • Clean the stove and under the range
  • Run the dishwasher with vinegar
  • Run the garbage disposal with baking soda and some frozen diced lemon cubes
  • Mop floor
  • Throw out any old food in the pantry, fridge, or freezer

Quick tips to sanitize the bathroom:

  • Clear out all drawers and replace any liners
  • Wipe down all countertops and sinks
  • Clean all tile and inspect seals, caulk, and grout
  • Clean the tub and toilet
  • Wipe down the shower doors and clean shower
  • Replace the shower curtain
  • Disinfect and update any first-aid kits
  • Mop the floor
  • Throw out old and expired hygiene and beauty products

During the busy holiday season, you may not have time to get to all these to-do items yourself. Home Services Enterprise can help you thoroughly sanitize and sterilize any of your living and working spaces, greatly reducing the risk of exposure and contagion with the proper cleaning products and procedures. Call us today for availability and pricing: 301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

A Cozy Nest for Winter

Can you believe winter is almost upon us again? How does the time fly so fast? And more to the point, how is it already time again to prep our homes for the cold season, making a nice little nest we can hibernate in until spring?

There’s really not all that much to do, actually, to “winterize” our interiors for optimal health and hygiene—in fact, you don’t even have to leave the house to take any of these recommended steps (and you might not even have to open your wallet at all if you have some backup supplies on hand). So bring it on, Snow Miser! We’ll be safe and snug inside our homes whatever the season has in store.

  • Turn Down Your Bed: Sheets get washed regularly, but when was the last time you laundered your comforter, quilt, or duvet cover? Nothing is more comforting than snuggling up in a clean bed on a cool night, so wash all of your linens, including your mattress cover and bed skirt. While the washer and dryer are spinning, give your mattress a flip.
  • Filters, Filters, Filters: Since you’ll be locking all your windows and doors for the season, it’s a good time to replace all the filters in your home to better purify the air: the furnace filter, the filter in your kitchen range hood, even any water filters you have in the refrigerator, basement, or under your kitchen sink.
  • Clouds of Dust: Dust collects everywhere, especially high up and in out-of-sight spots that we don’t look at every day. Before cloistering indoors with all that buildup, grab your step ladder and wipe down ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, and door and window frames. While you’re at it, your baseboards can no doubt use a dusting too.
  • It’s Pillow Time: Breathe easier at night by breathing new life into your pillows. To aerate and freshen them, simply put them through a cycle in your dryer. But be sure to have the dryer heat turned off when you do this—you just want to fluff them, not scorch them.
  • Fridge Cleanup: Make a clean start (and make room for all that holiday food!) by cleaning and cleaning out your fridge. As you wipe away sticky summer lemonade spills and school-day PB&J smudges, toss any expired items, get rid of those month-old leftovers, and replace your box of baking soda.
  • Attend to Your Disposal: Without any fresh air circulating, you just might find that your disposal could use some TLC. Cut up a fresh lemon into ice-cube-sized pieces, then freeze them. Once frozen, put them down your garbage disposal and run it with no water until the frozen lemon chunks are gone. Turn the water on to rinse. The lemon chunks not only grind food residue off of the disposal blades, they also leave your sink smelling great.

Need some help getting your home or office space shiny and spotless this season? Call us today for a free consult and estimate:

Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

Six Tips for Fall Cleaning & Maintenance

With another fall upon us—its beautifully falling leaves and its welcome cooler weather—it’s the opportune time to get your home ready for winter. Just like we do regular maintenance on our cars to keep them running safely and efficiently with routine oil changes and tune-ups, a few quick preventative measures in your home can go a long way toward avoiding costly and time-consuming repairs once winter hits.

Follow these easy tips to put your mind at ease this autumn:

  1. Inspect your doors and windows. Check for any weather stripping or caulking that may be worn and need replacing. Making sure that all windows and doors have a good, tight seal will not only keep your home comfortable and warm, but also save you money on your monthly heating bills.
  2. Give your carpets and floors a good cleaning. A thorough spring cleaning gets rid of all the accumulated dust and debris of winter. Likewise, starting the colder seasons off with mopped tiles, polished floorboards, and well-vacuumed carpets removes all the dirt, sand, and bare footprints of summer. A professional carpet cleaning provides the added advantage of eliminating any allergens that may have collected in your carpeting and rugs during the warmer seasons.
  3. Clean your upholstery and drapes. Your furniture and curtains, too, harbor all sorts of summer dust and allergens, including last spring’s pollen. Different types of materials and fabric will need different care, so it’s a good idea to call in a professional for cleaning these absorbent items in your home.
  4. Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned. This step has a dual purpose: You want to be sure that your flue is functioning properly for when your fireplace is in use and keeping cold air out for when it isn’t in use, but you also want to ensure that your chimney is in good shape and free of creosote to provide a safe environment for cozy fires all winter long.
  5. Check your heating system. To say it’s no fun when your furnace shuts down on a Friday night during a snowstorm is an understatement. Avoid this crisis situation by getting your heating system serviced and changing your filters regularly. Check for any gaps or leaks in your ductwork to help save on heating costs.
  6. Assess your roof. Just as you did for your doors and windows, inspect what shape your roof is in—assuring good sealing, replacing any eroded caulking, and making any necessary repairs before the vagaries of winter can cause an emergency call to a very in-demand and expensive repair service. The last thing you want to deal with this winter are leaks (or even worse) from accumulated snow on your roof.

There’s wisdom in old adages: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Take the precautions now that will pave the way for a safe and snug winter at home.

We can help! Call us today for a free consult and estimate:

Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

Reboot Your Environment for Greater Productivity

Goodness knows we all have enough to do every day. So if you had at your disposal a tool or technique to get it all done more efficiently and effectively, wouldn’t you use it? Think of your life like your computer, running multiple programs at a time, doing more than one task at time, responsible for navigating, storing, dating, organizing, saving, automating—and everything in between. But leave it running for too long or overload it with too much all at once, and eventually it’s gonna crash. As you will if you’re running on too many cylinders at the same time, without adequate maintenance and reassessment breaks.

How to avoid this inevitability? It’s time for a reboot!

Just like your computer will run faster and better once you shut it down once in a while and let it start from scratch, so too will your life run more smoothly and productively once you hit the reset button to “declutter your headspace” and clean up your personal space.

Tips for Your Home & Life to Function at Maximum Capacity

Tip #1: Attend to unfinished projects. You know what they are and you know where they are: the bunches of yarn stashed in a corner for that sweater you’re not going to knit; the scattered wood and tools and hardware in the garage for that bookshelf you started four months ago; the piled boxes of old clothes and shoes in the guest room that you’ve been meaning to try on one more time before making a donation run; the craft supplies spread out all over the dining room table for that scrapbook you’re gonna start any day now. You’ve got three options when it comes to goals like these: (1) scrap ’em entirely, (2) get ’em done already, or (3) put all the materials back where they belong until you’re ready to actually tackle the project in a scheduled span of time.

Whether your pending projects are relatively small (going through your medicine cabinet or polishing tarnished silver) or relatively large (building a treehouse or creating a custom slideshow of all your travels), it’s time to just dive in and get it done or admit defeat and give in. Either way, you’ll feel infinitely better when unfinished business isn’t hanging over your head every day, weighing you down. Tie up the loose ends or just cut them loose. On the other side of either of those options lies freedom.

Tip #2: Clean up rooms to make room for order. Not just anecdotal experience but also research studies have proven that messy and disorganized living and working spaces hamper productivity, not to mention plain ole happiness. It’s worth the time it’ll take you to finally dust your office top to bottom, clean all the ceiling fan blades, reorganize the kitchen cupboards, empty the fridge and pantry of expired foods and items you’re never going to use, finally clear out the attic or storage shed. Again, some organizing tasks are more tedious than others—rehanging all the coats in the coat closet nicely is going to be far simpler than finally going through your own clothes closet item by item—but mix up the quick tasks with the not-so-quick ones to get as much done as you can in the shortest amount of time.

Here are some tasks you can knock out one-two-three to leave you with more free time before you know it:

  • Fold up and put away all loose blankets, throws, rugs, and pillows you’re not using now or at least not using this season.
  • Run the dishwasher and put all dishes away.
  • Do every load of laundry that’s been patiently waiting for you.
  • Go through the whole pile of waiting mail and sort through it as needed.
  • Dust, clean, and polish all those surfaces caked with spills and smudged with fingerprints.
  • Get small little thank-you cards so you can write the notes you’ve been meaning to send—just a few lines, just a few a day.
  • Toss out or donate anything and everything in your home that you don’t use.
  • Take out the trash and recycling.
  • Dust the blinds and clean the windows.

As an added bonus, you’ll be sanitizing breeding grounds for bacteria and virus. Disorganized to organized and dirty to clean? What’s not to love about that?

Tip #3: Turn to your technology next. It’s not just tangible and touchable items that can benefit from some TLC. When was the last time you cleared out your DVR, emptied your voice mails, updated your contacts list, and—here come the biggies—sifted through your email folders and tidied up all your computer files? Give yourself the immeasurable peace of mind that comes from knowing your pipelines are cleared and that you can access what you need right when you need it without all kinds of obsolete and unnecessary data and information blocking your way.

Don’t have the time or inclination to do all this yourself? Home Services Enterprise can do it for you, whether it’s folding all your drawers or folding up your map collection and properly archiving it. Contact us today to meet any or all of your cleaning needs in the Metropolitan area, including DC, Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, and surrounding regions.

Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

Choosing the Right Storage Containers for Your Stuff & Your Space

It’ll come as no surprise to anyone that a decluttered space creates a decluttered mind. When your living and working places are neat and organized, when your belongings are logically ordered and easily accessible, and when everything fits in the most economical, efficient way possible, it brings a peace of mind that’s hard to quantify … because it’s a “quality of life” thing.

Improve your quality of life by streamlining your space with storage options that suit the contents on hand, align with your lifestyle, and make the most of the space you have available.

To start, it’s necessary to determine what you want to organize, because only once you’ve grouped items for storage can you identify the appropriate receptacles for them. Why use a crate-sized container for what one kitchen drawer can handle? Why use six small boxes to store all your winter sweaters when one snazzy trunk could hold them all? In other words, don’t run out and buy a bunch of organizers and storage containers and then try to fit your belongings into them; instead, do it the other way around to save yourself a lot of time, energy, effort, and money.

Pick just one room to start with—the area most in need of putting things away instead of leaving them spread all about—and see how things work out, learning as you go, before tackling the rest of your house. Say you pick your master bedroom and en suite bath. Where do you go from there?

Steps to Efficient Storage

  1. Sort. Go through the whole room distinguishing between what you need “out” every day (leave it where it is, like your undies and socks in your dresser drawer), what you don’t need at all anymore (get rid of it), and what you want handy but not on display—what can be tucked away somewhere neater and more organized than it currently is. Gather this last category of belongings in the middle of your bedroom and sort them by type: all your scarves here, all your swimwear there, your supply of scented candles over there. Same goes for your bathroom, grouping all the cosmetics, shaving supplies, medicines, and toiletries in distinct areas, leaving everyday items where they are (like your toothbrush and toothpaste) but deciding which backup items and infrequently used supplies can be put somewhere under, over, or else.
  2. Size. Start a list how many containers you need for each grouping of like items. Not only how many, but how large? Write them out one by one—the size and shape you need to accommodate the grouping. The first-aid items probably only need a shoebox-sized container; your quilts and throw blankets will work well in a sealable plastic tub.
  3. Measure. Okay, you’d like an under-the-bed sliding bin for ties and belts, but now you have to measure the space from the floor to make sure you buy one that will clear the bedframe. You’ve got 12 pairs of slippers, flip-flops, and slide-ons you’d like to store together in a shoe cubby in your closet, so go measure the width and height you have available there. Preparation is going to work in your favor big-time when you’re standing in a store aisle overwhelmed by all the choices.
  4. Fine-Tune. Organizing isn’t just about boxes and bins stored in cabinets and cupboards. It also entails making commonly used, messy areas tidier and more useful with things like drawer dividers, utensil holders, spice racks, and jewelry pouches. So now it’s time to dive into that makeup drawer and plan what type of drawer organizer will work in there, to figure out how many shelf spacers you can use at the top of your closet to separate stacks of sweatpants, pajamas, and clutches. Write it all down on your inventory list—better yet, take pictures of what you plan to store and where to use as visual aids when you’re ready for the final phase.
  5. Shop or Switch. This last step is the most fun! If you want to buy new, head to the store armed with your shopping list and your excitement to procure your perfect solutions. Don’t have the budget for that? Then go hunting in garages, attics, sheds, and flea markets for available containers that are either empty already or can easily be swapped out with something else. Recycling and repurposing will do the trick just as well as retail!

NOTE: Keep in mind that this whole process is very subjective—you’re free to organize and group things according to your own preferences, not any hard-and-fast rules. For example, you might use your office supplies more in your kitchen than the den, so feel free to store them in your pantry. Your stuffed animal collection might not be a big part of your everyday life, but you’ll be darned if you just pack it away in a zippered bag! Some people might prefer stacked squares and some might prefer over-the-door hangers. Do what works for you, in a way that works best for you.

But whatever you do, just take your time and proceed practically and productively, whether you’re now filing all your paperwork in an accordion folder or finally transferring all those disks onto flash drives. Setting realistic expectations and a manageable schedule will keep this process fulfilling and free of stress.

Need a helping hand with this or any other organizing, straightening, or cleaning task? We’re at your service!

Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com

4 Tips to Get the Most from Your Vacation

Boy, are we all in need of a vacation around now, right? Home schooling is harder than regular school, having to stay in is just as challenging as having to go out, and being home all the time makes you dream all the more about leaving home. At least temporarily. On a well-deserved getaway that makes you feel like you actually got away.

How do you accomplish that? With all the planning and packing, the kids and the pets, the arrangements and adjustments that need to be made to vacate your home and your life for a little while, a break from your daily life can feel like anything but a break! Well, the answer lies in a few very basic, but always applicable essentials that focus on balance and self-care.

Simple & Effective Tips to Maximize Your Vacation Time

  1. Pace yourself. You’ve been going strong and working hard, and you’re excited to spend a week or so away doing things you enjoy. But you really can have too much of a good thing! So, yes, go ahead and schedule those scuba lessons, sightseeing tours, river rides, ziplining adventures, and jewelry-making classes. Just make sure you also allot time for naps, lazing on the beach, reading, watching a movie, getting a massage. Believe it or not, scheduling downtime is a sure-fire way to lift you up.
  2. Hydrate. It’s not just an empty adage—water really is the end-all, cure all. When you’ve been on planes, trains, or automobiles to get to a new environment where you perhaps indulge in more cocktails than usual, are exposed to more sun than usual, and stay up far later than usual, dehydration is a real possibility. Drinking plenty of water is a free, easy, and immensely efficient way to nurture your body and rid it of toxins. The goal is to stay energized and feel relaxed simultaneously, and there’s no clearer path there than the water way.
  3. Reward yourself upon returning home. Rushing to get out the door and to the airport, families on vacation too often come home to a sink filled with dishes, unmade beds, items strewn about the floor, and messy bathrooms. You can either build some extra time into the schedule before you leave so that you’ll return to a tidy home; or, better yet, you can arrange for a cleaning service to come in and take care of your house top to bottom while you’re away. It’s a great time to have professionals do a professional job for you or even a deep cleaning while the house is totally accessible and available. What better homecoming gift than a house as spotless and welcoming as a hotel room?
  4. Give yourself some breathing room. Once you are home, it can be extra challenging to shift back into “real-life” gear. So plan to give yourself at least a full day to regroup and reacclimate before jumping back into your regular routine. You can get the laundry done, stock the fridge, open the mail, pay the bills, and then get a good night’s sleep. Taking care of the details on a leisurely day off instead of your first day back to work will make all the difference between a vacation that ends in satisfaction versus one that ends in stress.

Let Home Services Enterprises reward you with a clean home upon your return home!
Home Services Enterprise  |  301-674-9564  |  www.homeservicesenterprise.com