Hiring a Cleaning Service

4 Reasons Stay at Home Moms Shouldn’t Feel Guilty about Hiring a Cleaning Service

Staying home with the kids is no walk in the park.  (Except that you do end up taking the kids to the park a lot, but you know what I mean.)  For some reason, stay at home moms end up feeling guilty about asking for help.  I blame the dreaded “mom judgment.”

 

Either way, there’s absolutely no shame in getting some help.  Here are 4 reasons why stay at home moms should ditch any guilt they feel about hiring a cleaning service!

 

  1. You spend a lot of your days out and about.

Just because you are called a “stay at home” mom doesn’t mean you actually stay home all day.  Adventures to the grocery store, trips to the park, and play dates take up a lot of your days!  It’s hard to clean your house when you aren’t home.

 

  1. You have a job… Actually, you have several jobs.  

I know, you’re tired of hearing it, but it’s so true!  From the time your kids’ feet hit the floor to the moment their little eyes shut at night, you actually have many jobs.  You are teacher, nurse, chef, singer, personal wardrobe assistant, and chauffer.  You have enough on your plate.  Let a Fort Collins cleaning service handle the dishes for you.  

 

  1. Everyone outsources

We hire professionals to cut our hair, do our taxes, and cook our food at restaurants.  Do we let them handle those tasks because we are lazy?  Nope.  We hire professionals because they are good at what they do.  The same goes for professional cleaning services.  These are trained professionals who will clean quickly and efficiently.  Plus, no one will be tugging on her shirttail asking for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

 

  1. Your kids deserve the best “you” possible.

Let’s face it.  When someone does something wonderful for you, like clean your house, it’s hard to be in a bad mood.  When you’re in a great mood, your family can sense it.  Isn’t this happy, joyful you the mom that they deserve?  Plus, the extra time you aren’t spending cleaning the house you can spend with your family.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve that.

 

As you can see, there’s absolutely no shame in being a stay at home mom with a cleaning service.  

 

If you’re ready to take the plunge and hire a Fort Collins maid service, click HERE for a free quote from All Star Cleaning.  

 

Leave us a comment below to let us know what you would do with the extra time saved by hiring a cleaning service!

Get a Clean Dream Home: 5 Reasons You Need to Hire All Star Cleaning Services

If your mornings are like a crazed comedy routine (minus the laughs)—with packing lunches, getting everyone dressed, grabbing permission slips and preparing breakfast, you know all too well the drill of playing mom or dad and the amount of never-ending tasks that it entails. Playing the role of momager, chauffeur, homework helper, cook and maid, is often too much to try to juggle. If you need relief from one of your roles, we’re here to help. All Star Cleaning Services in Northern Colorado offers a solution to helping families put more time back into their days.

 

Here are five excellent reasons to hire All Star Cleaning Services now:

 

1.) Less Stress

While a home needs to be cleaned regularly, neglecting to do so can result in increased anxiety and frazzled nerves. A clean home is a refugee and should be a place to relax. All Star Cleaning helps improve the quality of your life by tending to the needs of your home.

 

2.) Green Scene

All Star Cleaning is a maid service with an eco-minded mission. We offer green cleaning services to benefit the health and harmony of your home and serve the greater good.

 

3.) Outdoor Bliss

Colorado is the perfect place for hiking, biking and enjoying the outdoors. Not having to spend time wiping the pantry and vacuuming the floors, will leave more time for recreation and play.

 

4.) You Time

With add-on services like dishes and laundry, our maid service professionals will make your days feel more free and allow for time for errands, self improvement or hobbies.

 

5.) Family Bonding

More time away from the duster and the mop means more time for family baseball games, movies and visiting amusement parks. Our cleaning team will allow you to enjoy time with your family sans guilt. No more worrying about the messy bathrooms, kitchen stoves or floors!

 

Get Your Clean Dream Home Today! Call Our Professionals in Northern Colorado at 970-215-2224 (Fort Collins) or Visit Us online and We’ll Send You a Quote.

Check THIS Membership Before You Hire a Maid Service

By Wells Ye, Fresh Tech Maid

Thank you to our colleague Wells Ye of Fresh Tech Maid in Chicago Illinois for providing this guest post for us. Here at All Star we also are active members of The Association of Residential Cleaning Services International, and have been awarded the ARCSI Seal of Excellence.  Check out Fresh Tech Maid’s Blog for more great articles about how to select the right maid service for your family.

Before hiring a house cleaning service, check out if the company has the membership of ARCSI!
There are associations and groups for many different industries. When it comes to house cleaning services – or cleaning services nationwide and throughout the world –there is ARCSI. ARCSI stands for Association of Residential Cleaning Services International. Companies must pay a yearly membership fee to join, and can achieve the ARCSI Seal of Excellence if they meet a series of important criteria.
ARSCI is a member-based professional trade association. It was established in order to provide business owners in the house cleaning industry with opportunities to come together to share ideas and information, as well as experience. These business also came together in order to promote professional standards in the house cleaning industry. Without it, many people looking for a cleaning service would not know where to turn. This professional association provides them with a starting point.
So, you might be wondering, why it is so important to make sure that the house cleaning company that you are thinking of hiring is a member of ARCSI? Easy.  Companies that join ARCSI constantly and consistently perform on the professional level. They meet industry standards, and some even exceed those parameters.  Holding an ARCSI membership speaks loudly about the professionalism of the company.  This is due to that fact that ARCSI promotes professional standards in performance. These include safety on the job, the quality of their employees, and the quality of the services that they offer.  Think of it as being kind of like the top 5% of cleaning companies in the world. You want to hire one of them, as they will do the best job, will strive to meet your realistic needs, and will offer great customer services on top of everything else. You will find this company through their membership in ARCSI.
A company that joins ARCSI shows that this company intends to learn from the best businesses practices in the industry.  Do you want to hire a company that always tries to learn and improve? Of course you do! Any good house cleaning company will be more than pleased to work with you and answer your questions honestly. You may not like the answers (especially when asking about having the same technician every clean, which just is not possible, or whether or not the “perfect clean” is within reach, which is not something that can be attained) but they are honest and that is what matters. These types of residential cleaning services are the ones that are members of ARCSI.
When you start looking for a house cleaning company, make sure that you go to ARCSI’s website (www.arcsi.org). They offer a searchable data base of companies. You can look for one in just about any country, or, if you are in the United States, you can narrow the list down by state. This database has companies listed nearby you, as well as reviews and other information on that company. If they have a website, that will be listed as well. You can do your research on the site, and then move to other sites (like Yelp, or Google Plus) for extra resources. Of course, once you find a few companies that look promising, you will need to call them up, ask questions and seek out referrals in order to narrow that short list down to one. Make sure to do your homework, and let the company know that you found them through ARCSI. This shows that you are an educated client, and residential cleaning services like educated clients, as they are more likely to work with the company and understand that cleanings need adjusting before they meet everyone’s expectations.
ARCSI also offers a Seal of Excellence program. This is an award that is given to the top performers in the industry.  “We believe the Residential Cleaning Seal of Excellence will become the industry standard for professionalism, ethical conduct, and consumer service,” said ARCSI. The Seal of Excellence is not given out to just any company. It must be earned. In order to a company to receive one, they must meet a list of specific criteria. These criteria include being properly licensed and bonded (this includes worker’s compensation insurance where it is required, as well as other forms of insurance protection) and proof that background checks and other tests are done on applicants in order to weed out and hire the best possible employees. Plus, the company has to have been in business for at least two years and the residential cleaning service has to have been present in industry functions, education sessions and conventions. This shows that the company is dedicated to the industry.
Once a company is awarded with a Seal of Excellence, their work is not complete. They must sign a document and agree that they will keep up their business practices. This includes being courteous when responding to complaints and general inquiries, constantly striving for improvement in all categories (as even the best company can improve in one area or another), and compliance will all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Ethical business practices must be adhered to, employees must be properly trained and provided with the correct equipment, and the cleaning company must be willing to contribute to industry wide improvement efforts and involved in related activities. This Seal of Excellence is not something that is easy to achieve. There are around three or four companies in each U.S. state that have been awarded it. Fresh Tech Maid is one of three in the entire state of Illinois to be given this honor.
When you are looking for a house cleaning company, check the ARCSI website first. A membership in this organization is a strong indicator of the company’s performance, and is a sure sign that you are hiring someone trustworthy and willing to work with you in order to meet your cleaning needs. Sure, there are other companies out there, but why not make your search easier by going straight to those who have been vetted and are the best of the best?

7 Ideas to Save Money on Your House Cleaning Service

Hiring a house cleaner is not outrageously expensive, nor is it just for the wealthy like it is usually depicted in the media. However, if you are on a budget sometimes the usual routine needs to be changed in order to fit your comfortable price range. Here are our best suggestions for reducing your cost of housecleaning services!

  1. Leave off the kids rooms. Whether it be by a chore chart or a quick “ten-minute” pick up rule, it is one room that can usually be maintained by your child without outside help. Explain to your child/teen that only he/she knows where everything goes and keeping a clean personal space is an important skill to learn.
  2. Apply the “10 minute pick up” rule before the cleaners arrive! Tidy up! set the time and get your house scrambling! Take 1-2 minutes to go from room to room and pick up all personal belongings and put them back where they belong (most likely your house cleaner will not know where you like to keep your games, bills or other personal out of place items) In doing so creates the opportunity for your cleaners to focus on the more thorough cleaning (aka the stuff that makes us want to hire a cleaner: floors, walls, dust, grime etc.). Less time picking up before scrubbing=less money spent.
  3. Rotate your cleaning service. The whole house takes some time to clean. Yes, it gets easier if the house stays moderately maintained, but it is still a large area to cover each visit. Consider areas that are easier to maintain and can skip clean, and leave one session for the high traffic areas (example: bathrooms and floors) one week and the whole house the next. Give it a try and see how suites your home (and your wallet!)
  4. Request less-used rooms be cleaned “on request” only. Depending on the size of your house and how many occupy it, there are sometimes rooms that are less used than others (craft room, guest bedrooms, guest bathrooms) and do not necessarily need to be cleaned each time. Usually with a little notice these areas can be added on request.
  5. Leave off the basement. If you haven’t already, leave the basement off the check list unless it is used often (assuming it is a finished furnished basement and not a cold cement one). Once or twice a year have a full clean to dust out any spider webs and clean window sills.
  6. Avoid the Add-on offers. Your cleaning service may also want to do your dishes, laundry and linens–at typically pricey add on charge, increasing the final cost noticeably. It sure seems like a dream to come home to a clean house, clean dishes, and folded laundry on the foot of your bed and I can relate completely… but it is a lot cheaper to just fit it in to your daily routine.
  7. And lastly, the ultimate money saver: Have your cleaners come less often. Shortening your cleaning service from weekly house cleaning to bi-weekly or once a month doesn’t set your house up for disaster, it will still be cleaned but you must take the responsibility to maintain your house in between cleans. That may include adding bathrooms (scrubbing tubs/showers/toilets) and kitchen (sanitizing counters/appliances) to your weekly chore chart.

Combining a few or all of these options above will help reduce your service bill while still keeping a clean home! If you do not have a cleaning service and are considering please browse our website and see what our wonderful team has to offer! We guarantee our services and know you will be confident with our All Stars in your home!

Click for a House Cleaning Quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Fully Bonded and Insured” – What Does it Mean to be a “Bonded” Company?

BondedThere are two types of Bonds that a company can have.

Fidelity Bond – This is known as an “feel good” bond because it essentially just reassures the client that if there were ever an instance of theft inside their home, they would be protected.  There is a caveat that there would need to be a trial and a guilty sentence for this bond to take effect.  Since most thefts are not required to go to trial, the bond is actually less important than many people think.

Surety Bond – This type of bond is known as a “Performance” bond.  This bond just lets the client know that if there were ever an issue where the job was not being completed as promised, they would have the opportunity to contact the business’ insurance company so that they could be reimbursed to use the funds to hire another company to complete the job properly without being out any money.

The important part of the term “Bonded and Insured” does actually appear to be the latter.  However, when searching for a cleaning service, or other service professional, it is definitely important to find a company that takes that extra step to bond themselves.  It is always reassuring, not to mention professional, to have a backup plan.

Should I hire a Professional Cleaning Service or an Individual Home Cleaner for my Home?

When hiring a new house cleaner, there are several important factors that you need to consider.  The most important begins with whether you should hire an individual or go through a professional cleaning service.  These two paths differ in regards to price, experience, insurance, as well as legality.

cleaning ladyPrice: When pricing cleaning services against individuals, there is a clear winner.  Individuals are, for the most part, much cheaper than going through a cleaning service.  One can expect to save anywhere from a few dollars to up to half off of the price of a professional service. Before you start checking the want-ads, you should know that this cheaper price can quite literally come at a cost.

Training: Professional cleaning services hire individuals and, through a company-wide training process, they become professional cleaners.  Using a company means that you can be confident that the person that you have invited into your home has been trained, not only to clean thoroughly and efficiently, but also to handle your valuables in a professional manner.  If someone is not properly trained on what products or chemicals can and cannot be used on different surfaces in your home, expensive and/or irreparable damage can be done.

Insurance and Bonding: If something is broken or damaged in your home when being cleaned by an individual, it is much less likely that this person has any bonding or insurance to cover this.  Hiring a service that is bonded and insured also comes with the added security that the company more than likely does pre-employment background checks on all of their employees to keep from being susceptible to unnecessary claims. If you do choose to hire an individual cleaner, you need to make sure you check that your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure that you have high enough liability coverage to your belongings and any damage that may be accidentally incurred.

Legality: Perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing whether to hire an individual or a professional cleaning service is the legality. You should be aware that if you pay more than $1700 per year to an independent cleaner, you technically become their employer.  If this is the case:

    • You  must contact the IRS to apply for an Employer ID Number.
    • You are legally required to pay Social Security, Medicare, and Federal Unemployment Tax on your employee’s earnings.
    • You must verify that the person that you are hiring is legally allowed to work in the United States.  You do this by having them fill out an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form.  (This form can be acquired through the IRS website.)

Once these forms are completed, you can legally hire an individual cleaner.

So, when the important decision arises, you should have the tools to arm you so that you can make an informed decision.

Fort Collins Contractor Accused of Scams

According to a recent story in The Coloradoan (article has been removed), a Fort Collins man has been accused of scamming residents of Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and Greeley by agreeing to perform landscaping and other services, collecting payment, and never following through with completing the work.

“According to the victims, [the contractor] is alleged to have either collected cash in advance from homeowners for services not delivered or to have hired subcontractors and failed to pay for services rendered,” [Fort Collins Police Spokeswoman Rita] Davis said.

These stories really twist my stomach, because every one of the poor people he stole from could have avoided their situation by following a few simple steps everyone should use when hiring a residential service, house cleaning or otherwise.

  1. Always agree on a price and scope of work before the work has begun.
  2. Ask for a list of references- and check them.
  3. If possible, ask a friend who they use as their service professionals.
  4. Always ask for proof of insurance and bonding.

On My Soapbox – Trunkslammers

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Hilo, Hawaii. My younger sister lives there, and I flew out for a week to see her graduate from college with a degree in business. Having fallen in love with the island, she has decided to stay and open Aloha All Natural, and natural cleaning service servicing the big island of Hawaii. Having worked for me off and on for years, she knows the industry well and I am sure she will do great things. While there, I spent some time helping her with startup, since I have been there, done that and know the ropes.

The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the abundance of hand written signs tacked to phone poles: CLEANING LADY, $8 an hour call 555-5555. You could hardly pass a phone pole without at least 2-3 of these signs.

My sister scheduled an estimate for my final day that we had planned for me to do for her while she watched, so she could learn the sales process first hand. It was quite clear to me within the first few minutes that this woman clearly was looking for one of these $8 an hour housekeepers. My sister did not get the job.

The industry refers to these under-the-table workers as trunkslammers, and they frustrate me to no end. What do you get when you hire a trunkslammer? Cheap labor for sure. But what happens when this worker uses the wrong product and ruins all of your granite countertops? You will be the one footing the bill, as insurance would be far out of reach for such a low income worker.

What happens when that worker falls and breaks their ankle in your home? Contrary to popular belief, homeowners insurance will NOT cover such injuries. If the person was performing work in your home for money, that makes them your employee and workman’s comp insurance is the only thing that would cover them (I pay an average of $1000 a month for workman’s comp – not something individual homeowners are likely to consider for their cash employees.)

An $8-15 an hour cash worker is virtually guaranteed to not have health insurance of their own (although once again, even if they did they would not be covered) and they are not likely to have savings to cover their expenses during their recovery period while they are unable to work.

So what happens when your $8 an hour cleaner falls in your home and breaks their ankle? You get sued. It does not matter how nice your housekeeper is or how close you may have become, when faced with no income, no savings, and high medical bills, she will sue you and she will win. After all, you were her employer.

9 Essential Questions to Ask When Hiring a Cleaning Service

Hiring a cleaning service you can trust can be a daunting task. With so many available options, from franchises to mom-and-pops to individuals, and prices ranging from $10 an hour to $45+ per hour, it is easy to get lost in the process. Here are some recommended questions to ask to facilitate an apples-to-apples comparison, and ensure the person(s) you finally hire are properly prepared to care for your largest asset – your home.

How long have you been in business?

It takes little more than good intentions and a mop and bucket to start a cleaning business, but it takes far more to run a professional, sustainable company.  As a result the failure rates for the industry are staggering.  50% will go out of business within the first year. By the end of the fifth year, nearly 90% will have closed their doors for good.  This is not to say you should not consider hiring a newly formed company (we all start somewhere,) but generally the longer a company has been in business the more likely they are to be around in the future.

Are you insured? What happens if something in my home is broken or damaged?

Proper insurance (at least one million dollars in coverage – two million is better) is vital.  An uninsured company will absolutely be cheaper, but when the finish is eaten off your wood floors, your stainless steel appliances are scratched, or your grandmother’s vase is broken, they are also the ones who will not be able to afford to compensate you for it, leaving you to foot the bill.  Always verify insurance coverage through the company’s insurance provider.  Ideally there should be a written policy in place regarding procedures for dealing with breakage/damage.  Ask to see it.

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