Emily's Maids Blog

Emily's Maids House Cleaning Tips and Company News


How to Clean the House in 10 minutes for Unexpected Guests

February 1, 2013 by admin

Have you ever been lazing around on the weekend, relaxing in your pajamas  when the phone rings? It’s a friend of yours…

Them: “Hey buddy! I’m on my way to your house!”
You: “Oh, yeah, um… great! Wait- what???”

You hang up, horrified at the post apocalyptic state of your home. No time to waste, follow this quick list to save face with an unexpected guest.

1) Pick a room. You don’t have much time so you should choose one area to receive your guest in, this is typically the living room. Most of your efforts will be made in this area.

2) Hide the evidence. Grab a trash bag or a laundry basket and make a quick sweep of the surfaces, furniture and other surfaces. You want to gather all the clutter, trash, dirty dishes… EVERYTHING. Don’t worry about sorting it, set the container in another room and close the door.

3) Grab a dishtowel. Use furniture polish or a multi-surface cleaner to wipe down the surfaces in the room you chose.

4) Dim the lights if possible. Not that you want to be sitting in the dark, but the stronger the light in the room is the more noticeable the dirt  or dust will be too. No dimmer switch? Maybe closing the curtains will help.

5) Light a candle. Or spray some clean smelling air freshener. Smell goes a long way towards making a room appear clean and inviting.

6) Bathroom blitz. The bathroom is perhaps the only other part of your house that your guest may need to visit. Give it a quick once over with a multipurpose cleaner and a cloth. Start with the mirror(s), then the counter tops and sink. Push any clutter into a drawer or hide it in a cabinet. Wipe down the toilet tank, lid and seat. Spray some product into the bowl and give it a fast scrub with the toilet brush. Now flush. Close the shower curtain or shower door to block the view of the bath/shower area. Take the trash out with you when you leave.

7) Block off the rest of the house. This is as easy as closing the door on every room.

8) Create a distraction. Turn the TV on or put some good music on. If you have some ready made snacks you can set those out (a bowl of chips, a plate of fruit, etc.) The point is to channel your guest’s attention away from any spots you might have missed.

Going into Overtime!

There you have it, 10 minutes to clean! But let’s say you get lucky, finish this list and your guest still hasn’t arrived, then what? Use these ideas to maximize your extra inning:

  • Get cleaned up. Wash your face, brush your teeth, put on a clean shirt, shave, whatever you have time for. After all, YOU are the main attraction! (this is for spaghetti guy especially, clean up your act)
  • Sweep or vacuum the room you speed cleaned
  • Tidy other rooms in the house, like the kitchen.


7 Winter Cleaning Tips: Clutter Cleansing

January 30, 2013 by admin

January can be so … blah. I always feel exhausted from the back-to-back holiday madness. January is the month long Christmas hangover, a time to lay low. But, it should also be a time to map out the rest of the year. It’s back to business and cleaning is on the top of my list. (Isn’t it always?) Where did I get all this sudden motivation from? Mini mops did a winter cleaning list on their blog (which is one of my all time favorite cleaning blogs). That post is what got me off of the couch today!

Things get swept under the rug in the holiday rush; its not procrastination, it’s survival! January is a good time to rid your home of the accumulated dust and clutter from the past season. So pick a Saturday, rally your family (it’s not child labor… it’s life lessons) and get cracking!

Down and Dirty Organizing Blitz List 

Rather than rehash the excellent list that Michelle wrote on the MiniMops blog let’s focus on the organizational, clutter-busting side of winter cleaning.

  1. Drag everything out into the open. We’re talking closet clutter not emotional baggage leftover from the holidays 😉 . Work one room at a time, pull everything out of closets and drawers, from under beds an all those spots where junk gathers. If you can take everything to a wide open space it will be less overwhelming. Outside is great if the weather permits!
  2. Sort and separate. Have boxes and bags on hand. Designate one for trash, one for donate, one for “needs cleaning” and one for “needs mending/fixing”. You might also have a pile for storage or things that need to be returned to other rooms of the house.
  3.  Be ruthless. Clothes that don’t fit, things you don’t use, duplicate items; they are all just space wasters. Let them go. Anything that is broken or damaged and has been that way for some time probably isn’t important enough to keep. For useful stuff that you just don’t happen to use you could always plan a spring yard sale, everyone loves a good yard sale right?
  4. Throw your children’s broken toys away when they are asleep or not home. Yes, I said it. Mothers with small kids know what it’s like to try and throw away a doll head or half a toy car (shrieking an tears). Anything broken (not fixable) is trash, mommy has to make those tough calls or the whole house would be filled to the attic with broken bits of plastic. Obviously this doesn’t apply to HIS FAVORITE TOY HE’S HAD SINCE HE WAS BORN (!!!)… he gets to keep anything that is really important to him (and not dangerous) but all those fast food toys? Trash those suckers and don’t look back!
  5. Go house-wide! Apply these same concepts to all of your clutter-prone storage areas around the house: the fridge, the garage, the linen closet, the pantry, etc. Leave no drawer un-emptied, leave no  cabinet un-explored!
  6. Clean up the storage areas. Before you start putting your room back together give the storage areas a thorough cleaning while they are empty and easy to access. Vacuum or sweep/mop the closet floors, turn drawers upside down to empty any debris and give the interior of the drawers and cabinets a good wipe own
  7. Rethink your system. Now is the time to put that new organizational system into place. That could mean adding shelves or bins or maybe just moving things around. The best rule of thumb is that the things you use the most should be easiest to reach, while stuff in long term storage would be high up  or down low for example. Kid’s stuff should be accessible and organized in a way that they can help keep their space tidy according to their ability and age.

From House Cleaning to Blog Cleaning

January 25, 2013 by admin

Ok, yes, we are noobs! At least at setting up blogs apparently. We caught a nasty little virus yesterday, maybe you have heard of it: The Blackhole exploit kit. But the good news is we found it, squished it and plugged up the tiny crack where it had gotten in.

Our site is clean as a whistle now thanks to our fabulous webmaster Shane, so a big high five for Shane! He double dog dares you to scan this site, it is C-L-E-A-N!

The only bummer is that in our thorough fumigation of the blog some stuff got moved and we lost all of our previous comments. 🙁 Sorry folks! But hey, we are comment friendly as always so hit us up if you have something to add.

The Good News: We have lots of awesome posts scheduled for this month AND we got our RSS feed up so hit that little orange button to stay tuned!


Cleaning After Kids- Removing Crayon Scribbles

January 24, 2013 by admin

Kids. They change your life, they change your priorities and they can turn your home upside down in 5 minutes flat. As parents we are constantly facing new challenges, not the least of which are the mind-boggling cleaning tasks created by our little angels. Gum in the carpet? Crayon graffiti? Stickers on… everything?? This post is the last in a three part series for all my puzzled parents.

Crayon on Painted Walls

If your little Michelangelo created a waxy, technicolor fresco in the dining room you might try…

  • Toothpaste. Nothing fancy, no gels! Only paste will do. Just rub the marks with the paste then wipe it clean with a damp rag.
  • Hairspray. Just spray it on and wipe it off! This works good on pen and even permenent marker too!
  • A “magic” eraser. You can get them cheap at any art supplies store so stock up!

Remember to test your stain busting method for removing crayon scribbles on an inconspicuous part of the wall before you try and treat the whole stain.


Cleaning After Kids: Removing Gum from the Carpet!

January 24, 2013 by admin

In part two of our kid’s messes series we will deal with a very sticky predicament: removing gum from the carpet. All corny puns aside, a tutti-frutti wad of sugary chewing gum is a cleaning nightmare. The trick is to first address the stickiness and then remove the blob without damaging your carpet.

First: Freeze it

Take a plastic bag with some ice and hold it against the gum. Check your progress and when the gum is completely frozen solid you are ready for step 2.

Then: Get a spoon.

Use a metal spoon to chip away at the frozen gum, removing the chipped away pieces as you go. If it starts to get sticky again bring back the ice. Careful not to pull or tear the carpet fibers, they can be delicate!

Last: Treat the spot.

It’s important to treat the area with a mild carpet shampoo after you have removed the gum to zap any remaining sugar and stickiness. If you don’t the spot will be a dirt magnet! A little shampoo mixed with warm water should do the job, just rub it gently into the affected carpet then rinse with clean water and blot dry with a towel.

Cleaning After Kids: How to Remove a Sticker

January 24, 2013 by admin

This is our first post in our “Children’s Messes” series for all you puzzled parents!

Kids think everything looks better with stickers on it… to any grown-up’s dismay. If your child has sticker-fied your walls, appliances or furniture we have some handy tips to cope with stickermania.

When you try to remove a sticker you might be left looking at a white or gray blotch of gummy residue with some paper still stuck to it. Not cute. Here are 5 things you can try to remove the goo. As always, test your chosen methods on an inconspicuos spot before you go ahead with it.

– A hair dryer. Aim a hot hairdryer at the sticker spot for  or 40 seconds and the goo should soften up and come right off. Still got some tacky residue? Finish up with some soapy water! This is a fairly gentle method though be careful with heat sensitive surfaces.

-Eucalyptus oil. Smells great and works great too thanks to it’s astringent properties. This one works best when it’s not much paper, mostly leftover glue. Just put some of the oil on a clean cloth and wipe the sticker gunk off. Tea tree oil works just as well!

-Nail polish remover. This one is almost sure to work but can be really bad for painted surfaces so be careful!

-Rubbing alcohol. Again, effective but don’t use it on anything delicate!

-Hairspray. Seriously, is there anything hairspray can’t do?? Just spray and wipe it clean!

5 Ways to Stop the Winter Cold Cycle

January 24, 2013 by admin

Winter with small children doesn’t have to mean months of back-to-back colds and runny noses. Here are five simple ways to stop sharing germs back and forth between family members!

1.) Create tiny germaphobes. Ok, not that extreme, but talking to your kids about how sickness spreads can be very educational. Explain how people can get each other sick, paint  pictures of germs and hopefully they will be grossed out enough to remember to wash their hands. Other things to teach: Cover your face when you cough or sneeze (I like the elbow method!), no kissing on the mouth (preps them for another talk later) and no sharing of dishes, drinks or silverware.

2) Quarantine. Already have someone sick? Keep them away from the rest of the family, except of course their caretaker. Once they are well make sure to thoroughly sanitize the “sick room”. Wash bedding in hot water and spray the area down with disinfectant.

3) Toothbrush control. Toothbrushes  are a germ paradise. They should be replaced every couple of months but I also recommend tossing them after a nasty illness. You can sanitize toothbrushes weekly by setting them bristles down in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes then setting them out to air dry. Toothbrushes should be stored individually (never touching one another) in a closed bathroom cabinet or drawer.

4) Disinfect and sanitize. One of the best ways to stop the winter cold cycle! Use a spray disinfectant often to wipe down common surfaces and objects. Light switches, doorknobs, banisters, electronics… anything that multiple family members touch on a regular basis. Put out hand sanitizer in the bathroom and kitchen.

5) Boost immune systems. You can strengthen your family’s defenses by serving nutritious meals and encouraging everyone to drink lots of liquids. Ask your doctor to recommend a good vitamin supplement for each member of the family. Getting enough sleep is also vital, so set a bedtime and stick to it!

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