5 Tips for Thanksgiving Hosts

  1. Set the table early – two days in advance if you can. If you think it’s creepy to have the dishes out that long, cut dry cleaner bags up one long end and across the shoulders to create big, lightweight sheets. Cover your fully set table with overlapping sheets. Remove and place your centerpiece before guests arrive.
  2. Dole out dessert assignments. Having potlucks can be stressful – you can’t be sure food is safely sourced and prepared or how many guests will need serving pieces, trivets or oven time. What if dishes are incompatible? But dessert is so much easier than appetizers, entrees or sides because fewer desserts require on-site baking and even if they do, they aren’t competing with the main attraction for oven time. It also won’t matter if a guest is late to arrive.
  3. Consider alternate palettes. It’s easy to remember to offer a vegetarian option at each course, but try to remember those eating gluten-free and/or low carb as well. Most canned “cream-of” soups contain gluten, so research alternative ingredients for your green bean casserole.
  4. Don’t pre-stuff your bird. This promotes the growth of harmful bacteria. Stuff the turkey while the oven is pre-heating and put it in the oven as soon as the oven reaches temperature. Even better, cook the stuffing in a separate dish, stirring in some pan juices from your turkey as the moistening ingredient. Yum.
  5. Delegate the choresūüôā Maid Brigade has the cleaning under control so you can focus on feeding your guests. Book us for a deep cleaning, or add a la carte tasks to your regular cleaning. Get on our schedule today!
When you want cleaning help, we’re the cleaning help you want. Please give us a call, send us an email, or click on the link above, and let’s get you on the schedule!
Maid Brigade of Northeast Ohio
 
330-453-6000
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5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Cleaning Service

Not all cleaning services are the same. And the difference is all about the people doing the cleaning. This PDF will help you understand more about the people you’ll be bringing into your home.
DOWNLOAD “Ask these 5 Questions” PDF
When you want cleaning help, we’re the cleaning help you want.¬† I know our cleaners can do a great job for you, so please give us a call, send me an email, or click on the link below, and let’s get you on the schedule!
330-453-6000
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3 Rs of Garage Organizing

How is it that the garage nearly always ends up becoming a home for stuff we are tired of looking at, we don’t have room for, and we’re not even sure we need?
¬† WHAT’S PARKED IN YOUR GARAGE?

 

Cleaning the garage sounds worse than it actually is. Follow the 3 R’s of garage organizing and reclaim some space for what you actually intended to store there: your cars!

 

REMOVE

 

Step 1 is to remove everything (yes, everything) from your garage. Then, separate unused and unwanted items into two piles: one for the dumpster and one for donations. If an item hasn’t been used in the last 12 months, it’s a safe bet that it should go.

 

RETHINK

 

What do you really want to store in this area? Once you’ve decided, divide the garage into different zones – one per category. Separate the zones using different colored bins, tags or walls.

 

RESTORE

 

Return the items you want to store here, placing them in the appropriate zone. Take advantage of peg board, stacking bins, specialized hooks and DIY shelving to help you maximize space in each zone and get items to be stored off the floor.

 

If it seems too much to tackle on a Saturday, or even a whole weekend, mentally divide your garage into sections and address one at a time. Even clearing and re-organizing one fourth of your garage will give you a sense of accomplishment, some peace of mind and an excuse to exercise a fourth “R”¬† – REJOICE!

 

For more information, see Marie’s blog on clearing and organizing the garage.

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Smart Parents Involve Kids in Cleaning

Ever wanted your kids to help out more with chores around the house? You don’t have to resort to financial rewards. Here are two examples of parents who have found a different way to involve their children in the household chores.

This first chart sets a point system to different tasks. By the way, your kids don’t have to be grounded to use this system. Assigning points for chores can also be a way kids can work to earn a special event, trip or toy.
  • Cleaning out the microwave = 40 points (must be a pretty dirty microwave)
  • Dust the Great room = 25 points
  • Scrub the bathroom sinks = 10 points per sink
It is a great way for parents to incent their kids and the tasks can be set for all ages.
Speaking of teens who love the Internet, this parent is using the ability to change their Wi-Fi password to get their kids up and going each day:
Let’s face it, kids who help around the house learn responsibility, time management, and life application skills that will carry into their adult life. So sit back, kick up your feet and let your kids help out this summer!
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Keeping The House Clean this Summer

35771410_s.jpgSchools almost out so before the kids are underfoot 24/7, it is time to create a plan that will help keep your home clean and organized all summer long.
The best tip is being organized:
Р Prepare the night before
Р Have a place for everything and everything in its place
Р Hire Mary Poppins.
Okay, so perhaps we need a little more detail, am I right?
Clean Momma Blog has five great tips that you can really use to keep your home clean even with kids under foot all day long:
  1. Give everyone 3 tasks to do every single day. Why three tasks? Everyone can remember what they have to do, it builds a habit, and it gives them responsibility. My recommendation? The 3 tasks that my kids have to complete are Рmake their beds, put away clothes (clean and dirty laundry), and straighten their rooms.
  2. Get out.¬†The more time you spend out of the house, the less mess you’ll be creating inside the house. Enjoy the weather, play in the yard, go to a pool, the park, and the library. Make the most of the summer!
  3. Eat outside.¬†When my kids were littler we’d do stroller picnics just about every day for lunch, and now we do picnics outside for lunch. This keeps the food mess outside and it’s so much more fun to eat outside anyway.
  4. One thing in and one thing out.¬†It’s a hard habit to get kids to do, but if they put things away after they use them it will keep things tidier and make it easier for clean up later. Lazy summer afternoons can be a great time to sort through toys and games and weed out stuff that isn’t getting much use anymore. Kids (generally) like sorting jobs like organizing Legos and other toys with small pieces. Give them a little direction and let them be in charge of the organization of their toys.
  5. Let the kids clean with you. Choose age-appropriate cleaning tasks and let your kids clean right along with you. Give them a mini cleaning bucket or tote, a spray bottle with water or non-toxic cleaner, a duster, and a microfiber cloth and they can dust and clean their rooms and the rest of the house right along with you.
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Cyndi Morrow – Canton Resident is Making a Difference

One of the reasons we have enjoyed our business over the past decade plus, has been because of the people we encounter. People helping people.
We like to think that our Maid Brigade teams offer a little helping hand to members of our community. In this edition of our newsletter, we thought we’d spotlight someone else who is doing some pretty amazing things.
Cyndi Morrow is the founder of Wishes Can Happen.She was recently spotlighted in an article posted by the Our Town news.
Morrow started serving her community in a number of ways including starting Wishes Can Happen 33 years ago to help make the wishes of kids who are facing a threatening illness come true. To date, the organization has made 1,237 wishes come true.
Morrow has served the community through sitting on a number of different committees. She has been awarded the Junior League’s Woman of the Year President’s Award. She has also received the Aultcare 30 recognition where Aultcare selected 30 people in Stark County who were advocates and made a difference in their communities. She was also inducted into the Plain Local Alumni Association Hall of Distinction.
I have known and admired Cyndi as a local business owner for years, but I had not been aware of the impact of this wish-giving organization that she had founded.  When I was asked to join the Board of Directors of Wishes Can Happen last summer, I agreed without hesitation.  In the last few months, Ray and I have been learning more about the organization and have been involved in sending three families to the Give Kids the World Village in Florida where they can visit all the Disney parks and spend a care-free week just being pampered and enjoying life as a family.
This June Ray and I will get to see the Give Kids the World Village for ourselves when we travel to Florida to attend the annual conference of the national Association of Wish Giving Organizations.
Wishes Can Happen is a local organization which raises funds to grant wishes to qualifying kids throughout Ohio.¬† If you’re interested in learning more about the organization, please reach out to me with an email.¬† Most importantly, if you know of a family with a child age 3 – 21 with a life-threatening illness, please let them know thatWishes Can Happen is here for them.¬† They can be nominated to receive a wish through the WCH website, or send me an email and I will get the process started.
 
In the meantime, be good to each other!
PS – There are many fun community events that serve as fundraisers for Wishes Can Happen – one that is coming up is the“Musical Memories,”a concert by Majestic Voice,¬†a delightful singing group…it’s a dinner and concert in Massillon on Saturday, May 7 – we would love to see you there!
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It Is Spring – Time for a Thorough Cleaning

It is time to open up the windows and let the fresh air in! Since the beginning of time – back in pioneer days – our female ancestors used this time of the year to pay attention to every detail in the home – turning mattresses, washing baseboards, and sweeping up the dirt floor.
Luckily times have changed but we still stick to the tradition of giving our homes a thorough once over when the frost thaws and crocuses pop through the dirt.
So who better to turn to for suggestions and a detailed checklist than the woman herself –
Martha Stewart.
Just like with everything Martha does – her Spring Cleaning checklist includes details you might have never considered.
Thinks like:
Cleaning your porch ceiling and walls: Sweep up cobwebs and debris with a corn broom, and wash walls with a solution of all-purpose cleaner and water using a polyester sponge.
 
Reseal Grout Lines: The cement-based material between wall, floor, and counter top tiles is extremely porous and stains easily.
Polish Metal Door and Window Hardware: Liquid polishes and polish-impregnated cloths work well for medi- um-tarnished surfaces; pastes and creams are for heavier work.
To print our the complete Martha Stewart Spring Cleaning Checklist – click here:
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