Business Presentation and Cleanliness

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Business Presentation and Cleanliness
December 26, 2023 
My experience has taught me that most if not all Business owners are visionaries. They create a vision for the future and lay out a rough plan that they can commit to, whatever the sacrifice might be. There is a need to dream big and build the perseverance to see that vision to actualization. My experience has also taught me that the best visionaries also often miss out on some of the smaller details that lay the groundwork to make those dreams a reality. Today I want to focus on a crucial smaller detail that will makes the world for your clients and employees: Presentation and Cleanliness.

The Presentation of your Office is how you Present your Business

While it may seem superficial, it is absolutely true. How your customers see your office gives them an impression of what to expect with your services. A dirty office gives the impression of carelessness and apathy. On the contrary you can use your space to create mood, whether that be through your use of colors, space, or rhythm. Consider your business front as a form of marketing, how would you like to sell yourself? Do you want to be seen as cozy and intimate, create a environment that feels more comfortable, lived in, and inviting. Do you want to be seen as more modern? Then your business front should look more sleek and fresh.
This also extends to smells. If you are using toxic chemicals for your cleaning, you are creating an uncomfortable environment that will bring irritation to your customers and employees. Instead use green cleaning products like Mrs Meyers clean Day, Method, Aunt Fannies, etc. to facilitate an environment that is free of toxic chemicals and full of of natural scents. I would also suggest avoiding conventional candles. If you are insistent of having candles consider using candles that are made using soy or beeswax with essential oils for the scent. This is to ensure that your are using scents that are less likely to have a negative effect on your staff or customers. You want to avoid giving your customers a headache or making them nauseated when they are at your storefront. In that vein, know what your employees sensitivities are; a nauseous employee isn’t going to be as productive or positive.

Air and Light are crucial to creating a Healthy Atmosphere

Consider how you are utilizing air and light. Natural lighting will help to make your business look bright and keep your energy bill down. Having dusty windows obscures natural light and makes the atmosphere more dingy. Make sure you are cautious when you clean your windows, use a squeegee or something you know won’t harm the glass. In interior design, light acts as one of the central components to creating an inviting atmosphere. By utilizing light in an effective way, you are creating an invitation for the customer.
Likewise the air in your office is pivotal to creating a productive work environment. Bad air flow can create a stuffy workplace that invites pests. Make sure your vents are changed regularly and that the workplace is actively dusted. Not only will having fresh air keep the environment smelling clean, but it will also reduce the static electricity in the air which can be dangerous for electronic equipment.

Maintaining Order and Cleanliness is Important to Safety

Besides being an effective marketing tool, maintaining a clean and neat workplace will ensure that your workplace is safe for your employees. It will communicate to customers that they are in a safe place which influence their spending habits. This is particularly important for a storefront or restaurant that serves food, but is also valuable for any business. It should be noted that by maintaining a clean workplace, you are sending the customers a message that you care about their safety and health.

Consider your use of Whitespace

Even if you maintain a high level of cleanliness, a cluttered workplace will create the sense of dirtiness. It is always good to have a measure of openness to your storefront/office to give a sense of freedom of movement. Both customers and employees alike will always appreciate more room to move around and having open counter-space may ease unwanted frustration. However too much empty space can have a negative effect as well. If the places has too much white-space, it gives the customer a sense that place is empty and barren. Again consider the mood you want for your customers and employees to have and emulate it with space management.

Train Your Employees On Proper Cleaning Practices

To keep things manageable, it is important to maintain a good cleaning schedule that is shared amongst the team. If an employee isn’t actively doing a small part in maintaining a clean work place, they are likely just adding to workload for the team. what are your companies cleaning habits and protocol? Team members should know what their daily cleaning expectations are, where to find and put away cleaning products, and what habits/products to avoid to keep a clean workplace. Cleaning habits should be an active part of the employee’s on-boarding process and should be taken seriously on all levels of management.

Consider How you Manage Waste

This includes disposing waste on a regular basis and in the correct manner. You want to make sure you’re cognitive in how you manage your waste. Also consider where waste is disposed. Be deliberate in where you put your waste baskets so that they aren’t in a location that would negatively affect customers or staff. Waiting areas for instance may benefit from a waste basket that is either smaller or away from the customer seating. If it is a larger trash bin, ensure it has a cover that is less likely to be stained by grime and that is cleaned regularly. Consider how you manage outside waste. If you have an outdoor waste disposal, keep the premises around it clean and out of the way of parking.
Generally speaking there shouldn’t be litter around your store. The outside of your business is the first impression customer get of your business and it sets the mood for what the day is going to be like for you and your employees. Down-time is a great time to get some air and clean up around the office.

Make Cleaning easy and fun

You can also invite cleaning by encouraging cleaning at the office by having the proper supplies in a relatively easy to access location. I fr there is a way to incorporate your employees passion as a way to provide a green environment, take the opportunity. For instance, if you have the time supply your employee(s) with the tools to create candles with essential oils. It is a relatively quick way to encourage creativity, give your employee(s) a small break and stock the store with a healthy smelling option that your employee(s) can be proud of. There are tons of ways you transforming cleaning from an additional job to a clean break from the mundane workday.

The Importance of Green Cleaning

We discussed in briefly before, but it is important that when you clean, that you don’t default to conventional cleaning practices. You want to create safer, healthier, inviting climate for your customers and employees. By using green cleaning practices, you are using methods that are non-toxic, better for the environment, easier, and cheaper, while being just as effective. Green cleaning sends your customers the message that you care about their health as well as the world around you. In today’s Eco-friendly driven economy, it is important to let your customers know that you are being intentional on every level of development and planning.

Get Help from the Pros

That all said, not every business has the time and resources to keep the workplace in tiptop shape. By hiring a professional cleaning company, you can be rest assured your business maintains a professional level of cleaning that besuits your business. By getting help from a professional cleaning service, you can take advantage of their expertise and focus on what building your vision

Starting DIY recipes for Green Cleaning

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Starting DIY recipes for Green Cleaning
August 15, 2023 

Sometimes you will want more control over the your cleaning chemicals. Due to my wife’s allergies, we found that it is better to create our own cleaning ingredients to remove allergens and save money on cleaning tools. Here are just a few cleaning recipes to start your DIY green living journey. For this entry I wanted to focus on healthy cleaning recipes for home cleaning.
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MULTIPURPOSE SPRAY

*do not use on anything sensitive to acid.
i.e. marble, granite etc

• Equal parts water and white vinegar
• Add essential oils to preferred strength
• We use about 15 drops wild orange and 10 drops peppermint in a conventional spray bottle. Gently shake to combine.

 

LAUNDRY DETERGENT POWDER

We based this recipe off of This recipe by Rebecca. When we had our child, My wife tried substituting with the Dr. Bronner’s baby bar soap; however she found the soap to be too gentle; it did not get out newborn spit up stains (the smell). We went back to using the recipe with the Fels-Naptha bar and it did not bother our baby at all.

What you’ll need:

• A 1/2 gallon – 1 gallon container with tight fitting lid. If using essential oils, choose glass.
• A large cheese grater, preferably with non-skid bottom
• A stout mixing spoon

Ingredients for Safer Laundry Detergent:

All that is required are three ingredients (in equal amounts):

• Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (you can make your own out of baking soda as well if you want!)
• 20 Mule Team Borax (brightens colors and gets whites dazzling). Adding borax boosts detergent and it helps to “soften” hard water so there are no traces of rust.
• Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar (stronger for work clothes). You can also buy high quality soap granules from Earthborn Elements.
• (optional) essential oils (consider lemon, orange, or mandarin for an uplifting, clean scent) or (lavender for relaxing and calming).

I love this recipe because a little goes a long way.

SHOWER CLEANING PROCESS

This one is simple.

• I use dawn soap,
• baking soda
• water
• kitchen sponge (designated for bathroom cleaning).

Splash a line of soap on the tub floor and sprinkle baking soda. Get the sponge wet and scrub away. For the shower walls I put dawn soap and baking soda on the sponge and scrub the walls. Then I rinse the sponge thoroughly and scrub the soap/ baking soda off. I use a cup to fill with water to rinse the rest away.

This process is so cheap, very effective and I have found my tub stays cleaner longer.

Are there DIY recipes that you would like to share for home cleaning or a recipe you would like to see? Let us know below and it may show up in a future blog entry.

Are the products in my home safe or toxic?

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Are the products in my home safe or toxic?
June 19, 2023 

Living a clean, healthy lifestyle can require a lot of effort in our modern industrialized nation. In many ways our use of technology has become unbalanced. Pursuit of convenience and profit outweigh wisdom, stewardship, and wellness. The same scientific and industrial advancements that transformed society with sanitation, hygiene, and medicine have polluted every part of our natural and cultural world. It’s hard to find a place in nature not polluted by heavy metals, pesticides, carcinogens, and EMF radiation. The more I learn on this journey, the more I am tempted to be frozen in survival mode. Truly, everything in the modern world seems to be aimed at choking out life.

Which is why I believe life is truly a miracle. As a Christian, I lean back and trust the Lord to protect my family, and me. I am one small person. I may not be able to change governmental policies or close evil corporations, but I can make empowered choices about the products my family consumes. With the internet and the free market, we can find products (or make them) that will have a limited negative effect on our well-being.

I’ve learned to focus on the little I can control and let go of what I cannot. I think these small changes can make a big impact as we share what we learn with our family, friends, and those in our sphere of influence. I hope the principles below help you make empowered choices that serve the well-being of you and your family.

I hope this strategy serves you as much as it has served me…

pay attention
• PAY ATTENTION
• READ LABELS
• DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH
• DISCERN WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR LIFE

PAY ATTENTION

Have you considered that each individual person has their own “normal”? Based on our family of origin, where we live, what social groups we belong to, even our diet; they all create a familiar atmosphere. That atmosphere has programmed us to make habitual choices. Often to grow as a person we need to think above “normal”.

This is essential for our health. Many of us have been programmed to trust the medical industry and we may assume that corporations that make consumable goods have our best in mind. But corporations are not people; they are driven by survival and the desire to make a profit. For some companies, if the product they make is harmful to people and the planet but increases profit, they have no hesitation to sale it.

I say this because, often the food and products we consume are making us sick. We’ve become accustomed to inflammation, fatigue, and obesity as a society that we don’t realize we are a part of the problem. We are putting things in, on and around our body that hurt us. Do you get a headache after you drink diet soda or eat sugar? Does your skin get itchy when you apply lotion? Do you get dizzy after you scrub the shower? Those are signs that something you’ve been exposed to is hurting you. Your body is telling you to pay attention.

READ LABELS & DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH

You must first read the label to know what’s in the product. Search out what each ingredient is and discern how vulnerable you are to that toxin. Once you do this long enough, you can develop a running list of ingredients to avoid. Then, when you are examining a new product, toxins will stand out to you, and you can move on quickly.

Safe and environmentally friendly products are very trendy right now. Corporations have caught on to the demand for less toxic products. They will use words like “green”, “all natural”, and “nontoxic” to make their products more attractive to the consumer. But these claims are not regulated and are open to interpretation by the company that sale the product. They mean nothing. Pure marketing. You must read the actual ingredients and decide for yourself how toxic or safe the product is. Typically, Ingredients with long chemical names that you cannot pronounce are red flags.

Examples of ingredients I avoid: SLS, EDTA, Formaldehyde, Bleach…

I use search engines to find information. I also recommend the Environmental Working Group. They have strict standards and rate products based on their toxic level. Beware info could be out of date. You can also find books and many people on Instagram that inform about this subject.

RESOURCES:
ewg.org

Books:
A Healthier Home: The Room by Room Guide to Make Any Space a Little Less Toxic – Shawna Holman

Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home – Renee Loux

I really appreciate Shawna Holman’s approach to less toxic living… ALLT:

evaluate what you use
ASSESS – What do you really use? Eliminate what is not used.
LET GO – Use less; only what you need.
LEVEL UP – When you run out of something, try to make the replacement less toxic – within your budget and lifestyle.
TRANSFORM over time. Changes add up; we never arrive; just keep going.

I looked up products my family uses on EWG’s website. Overall, I think we are doing well. EWG Verified is “0”, the best rating and “10” is the most toxic rating.

Everyone 3-1 Soap Lavender Vanilla, EWG verified
Seventh Generation Baby Wipes, 2 Rating – Fair
Honest Baby Wipes, EWG verified
Mychelle Fruit Enzyme Facial Cleanser, EWG verified
Old Spice Swagger Men’s Deodorant, 6 rating, moderate hazard

A simple and often cheaper way of ensuring the products you use in your home are safe and less toxic is to make them yourself. We will cover this topic in our next post.


Disclaimer: We do not claim to be experts on these subjects. We communicate what we understand to be well sourced facts. We acknowledge that information on these topics evolves over time and that we may not have uncovered the full story on these subjects. Please do your own research and follow your peace. We make suggestions out of good will and state that you follow them at your own risk. Our heart is to spark curiosity and empower you to make incremental changes that deeply improve your wellbeing. Thank you for going on this health journey with us.

Healthy Living for the Elderly

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Healthy Living for the Elderly
April 24, 2023 

It is an inevitable truth that as we age, keeping up with cleaning becomes more challenging. Regardless it also becomes more necessary to ensure that the house is clean to provide a healthy happy home. For the Seniors, it becomes imperative to create a system of cleaning techniques and support. This will allow for healthier living conditions and in respect longer lives. Here we have provided an overview on healthy home techniques for Seniors.

Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!

With a long life comes an accumulation of objects and memories. However more objects in the house allows for more places for dust to accumulate and makes the house harder to clean. If it is becoming too cumbersome, it may be time to pass sentimental items to loved ones or perhaps it’s time to store unused sentimental items in storage. Consider items that could be considered hazards and organize objects to keep all possessions orderly. For electronics and lamps, Professional organizer and family caregiver Carrie Kauffman recommends “placing cord organizers to keep them contained. Also consider any objects that may cause slipping hazards such as rugs. By having an organized and decluttered arrangement, your living space becomes easier to navigate that eases the cleaning process.

If you are struggling to declutter and organize, consider hiring a professional organizer or asking your home care assistant for assistance. Consider how the space is being used. Has an old family member’s room become a place for storage? Try to dream up the potential of what that room could be used for, whether it be a quite study or a sun-room. Not only is this a great way to declutter, but it’ll allow more freedom of house navigation.

Set Labels

If you or a loved one are having trouble navigating around the house, marking containers and goods may be a great way to add some extra organization to your living space. This should include lables for refrigerated goods and their time of expected expiration. Try to keep foods that are closer to expiration closer to the front of the fridge to ensure they don’t get lost in the shuffle. It is also wise to make it routine to check the fridge every couple of weeks for lost or expired foods.

The importance of Techniques and Tools

For elders who are cleaning, it is important to protect oneself from being injured. Avoid bending or stretching when possible. If there is a job that requires bending or contortion of the body, try to limit work to 10 to 15 minutes or ask a care giver, family, or friends to provide the cleaning for you. Try diluting any cleaning solution into a bottle to refrain from having to bend down and dip the sponge into a bucket. For vacuuming, consider the floors you have and use a vacuum that accommodates for that flooring. Light weight vacuums typically have an option for hardwood floors so you should be able to avoid needing to sweep.

Set a schedule

Cleaning an entire house can be daunting. However by setting cleaning tasks to specified days, you can create a rhythm that ensures that the house remains in a healthy condition and makes house cleaning more manageable. Prioritize rooms that are used the most such as the bathroom and kitchen, setting tasks by their importance. Tasks such as washing the dishes can be done on a nightly basis while vacuuming can be set as a weekly task.

Try not to put off the dishes, it is a daily task that can become cumbersome quite quickly. It is suggested that seniors clean dishes after every meal or at least daily. If dishes are becoming a problem, consider your cookware, it is much easier cleaning a glass dish used for baking then a cast iron skillet.

The importance to staying green

Greener cleaning tools equates to a healthier home, a purer environment and better air quality. According to Leslie Reichart, a nationally-recognized green homekeeping expert and writer of the book The Joy of Green Cleaning, [when you use many cleaning products] “harmful chemicals are being released into the environment.” It’s important to stay mission focused. The purpose of cleaning is for health and safety so it’s important that you prioritize your health with cleaning. Avoid using chemicals with strong chemical odors; instead focus on green cleaning products.

Stayed tuned to the healthy home blog for more resources on green cleaning products. You can also contact us to get a professional green cleaner to providing a safe clean environment for living.

Have a network of support

You want to ensure that you have a plan of support to assist your aging loved one. This can include establishing roles, delegating tasks and having an emergency assistance plan. It is also important for caregivers to consider your own health. Experts suggest the healthiest course of action for Seniors relying on care providers is that they should adopt minimalist living approaches while keeping the house organized. As a caregiver, if you find that you are spending too much time cleaning or organizing unnecessary unused items, it may be time for that item to go into storage or passed on.

Pure and Simple

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Pure and Simple
January 9, 2023 

There are so many different resources on the internet about living a lifestyle that is family and earth friendly. The facts and opinions of so many people can be absolutely mind boggling. I like to keep things very neat and simple, I will respectfully do that here as well. I truly believe that sticking to the products that came from the earth is always the best and simplest solution. As with any chemical that you can find, natural or toxic, there will be cautions that need to be taken. Do your research for your own personal uses and adhere to the information found. That being said; I love essential oils for literally EVERYTHING! A few staple items like baking powder, white cleaning vinegar, any sort of soap (like castile) and some essential oils and you will have a power house of cleaning assortments that you can create. This is the simple and easy truth of creating your own cleaning products. There are products that have come out to completely eliminate all toxic solutions that we use to clean our homes. The norwex or e cloth was designed and I can attest to both products being very efficient. There are washable mop heads and biodegradable trash bags. The list goes on and on. The simple truth is that when we take things back to their truest form we find a much safer, cheaper and self controlled way of keeping our families and our earth healthy and happy.

Here’s an easy recipe that I found with a quick google search
1. Take the top off of an empty spray bottle, place a small funnel into the opening
and pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and wait for the foaming to subside.
3. Add in 10 drops each of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil.
4. Fill the rest of the bottle with water.

Doterra Recipe Link

Guide to Baking Powder and Vinegar

Norwex

I am always ready and open minded to learn more. Please feel free to
reach out to me with your knowledge
nchealthyhomecleaningservices@gmail.com

 

~Angelina