We have had some jolly strange weather in the last couple of years. As a youngster I can well remember we had proper seasons when the weather was pretty well predictable and as a result, various domestic jobs were timed in accordance with the likely weather and light conditions. For example, we still use the word springcleaning – the point here is that the days got longer and warmer; the fug of a house shut in over winter, with coal dust, every day living debris and mucky stuff trodden into rugs and sofas would benefit from a really good clean in one fell swoop. Generally there being no vacuum cleaners until after the second world war – it was brooms, dustpan and brush and a bucket and wash cloth. Coal firs and kitchen ranges used to produce a huge amount of dust and coal coloured mess. This needing sweeping up twice a day and all solid floors were swept regularly to stop vermin from finding anything too interesting! I still use the old ways when I can’t be bothered to fetch the heavy vacuum cleaner out of the garage!
You don’t hear of housewives planning their spring clean in the same way we used to when I was young. It was always a big thing for most of the families i mixed with. Christmas and new year would rapidly go and we’d be back at school. Between that and Easter would be the half term holiday. This signalled the big push for getting the house & home ‘righted’, as my grandmother would say. To her, this was almost spiritual and involved not only the cleaning of the rugs from each room, but totally stripping the beds, taking the matresses out and giving them an equally violent battering. This was to remove as much dust, grim, nits and other grim stuff as could be removed. The paintwork and cornices were washed down whilst the rugs were outside. It took huge efforts and everyone pulled together. So much easier today – pick up the phone and call the local cleaning agency – it can all be arranged just like that!
There are many ways that a house cleaning service can really help to bring a home back to shiny newness. Perhaps you have a wedding or other big family occasion coming up this summer and expect to entertain visitors over a period of weeks. It can be daunting to try and do this cleaning yourself. Engaging professionals mean that the carpets, flooring, all fitted white goods and especially that oven, will be thoroughly cleaned. Maybe there is spilled juice, soups or nail polish that have stained areas. A professional has the equipment and know how to get rid of these – with special chemicals and sheer experience. The kitchen is always tricky – normal housework will take the surface grubbiness away on a daily basis but that won’t get the oven, fridge, freezer or dishwasher stripped back to absolute pristine freshness – and don’t forget that overhead cooker hood or exractor fan!
You really do need to keep an eye on children when they have their pals around. All the houses around this way were finished off with fitted carpets, back in the day. It wasn’t considered at all odd to have carpet in every room, including kitchen and bathroom – seems very peculiar now though. Most times, I would like to have completely wall to wall wooden floors downstairs where all the activitiy happens, and then carpet up the stairs and througout the upper storeys. Children who live in houses with wooden floors only appreciate their worth when they spill something nasty on or leave muddy footprints on someone else’s carpeted floor! If carpets get very grubby, a professional carpet cleaning agency will make a splendid job of them. They have the correct equipment and the expertise on how to use it – carpets feel and smell wonderful after a professional clean.
I had a truly brilliant Christmas break away in the country with some friends and a couple of dogs. They’re not mine, but belong to the host’s family. We had lots of walks donw the lanes and across fields, and Iean real walkies, around 5 miles each time. Coming back with mud drenched hounds is no laughing matter and cleaning down has to be handled quickly and preferably by two people – 8 very shaggy wet muddy legs and paws could definitely cause carpet melt down! happily babysit the same dogs occasionally when their owners are away. I have learnt by trial and error just how to keep the house relatively mud free when the dogs stay over. It can be rather hit and miss in my case without the 2nd responsible adult! But having access to a professional carpet cleaning agency is such a boon. They come in twice a year and make a fantastic job of my honey coloured wool carpet!
Oh that happy time of year is nearly upon us. Yes, Christmas and New Year. When I was small we always had a busy round of visiting to do at Christmas and mum used to go balmy trying to keep our main sitting room as clean and presentable as possible. Not easy with several youngsters about, one coal fire, parquet flooring and no fitted carpets. Gosh it seems unbelievable how good my memory makes it all look!
Last year when approaching the same period, I did hold a family pow-wow to deal with the accumulated junk that was now taking over our old family home. Mum no longer able to cope. We had one weekend of clearing the piles of clothes, crocks, papers etc. and then a professional cleaning company was brought in to completely clean throughout from top to bottom. The carpets look fantastic and feel incredibly soft. Hurrah!
Referring to an earlier post, it reminded me of when I worked in the offices of a very well known and respected wool and worsted fabric mill in a very smart northern town. I was not born up there and was wary of joining this old fashioned family outfit, as the secretary and export clerk, and lunch time telephonist. I learned so much from my colleagues about cleaning the office and why they were so fastidious about sweeping up after any snack or lunch was eaten. I laughed at them at first but was soon put in my place when signs of vermin near my desk drawer were discovered. We had to get the cleaning lady in to strip out the area and once the deep cleaning had dried, I was named and gently shamed – forgiven, for being a southern nitwit I suspect. I’m a much wiser and cleaner one now though, they taught me proper like!
I can remember when we last had dramatic heat waves througout the summer. 1976. It was so unbelievable and I don’t recall there being any summer season anywhere near as hot or for so long – until this year. I was living in the north of the country and they are well known for being a might more careful about their cleaning of houses and windows. Not the quick swipe over with a duster and spray window cleaner for them. No, a full scrub down with hot suds and a brush, but not after the most viscious round with the vacuum cleaner had got any possible crumbs or loose stuff up. This was to ensure no wildlife made their prescence known and I know now from bitter experience. I had problems with smelly vermin. It required me to hire a carpet shampooing machine and really hard elbow grease. I also vowed to engage a professional cleaner for the rest of my born days!
This is definitely the time of year for weddings, baby showers, christenings and family parties. I have been helping out at a heritage property lately and every weekend sees some kind of function going on – it’s the most effective way of making enough money to swell the coffers sufficiently. With all this activity brings a great deal of muck and mess. Up the main steps to the magnificent front door there are massive pots with various plants. Then inside the hall door, the rush matting takes a pasting when the wind blows the leaves and debris inside. The volunteers keep it neat and tidy on a daily basis but a professional company comes in 6 monthly to carefully but thoroughly cleanse all the carpets and rugs that can be done. They hand finish where necessary so as not to damage anything. There are some very special rugs that needs that kind of spoiling.
There have been some very important public events going on recently – not least the Royal Wedding last weekend. Lots of cleaning activity needed at Windsor Castle for that of course. There is a double edge to cleaning up important venues these days for functions. It also give the security teams ample opportunity to search premises and ensure absolute safety for the folk invited to attend. I help out at a country house on a regular basis and the cleaning there is carried out by local ladies who are very quick and extremely efficient. They have industrial powered vacuum cleaners of course and have to be careful in some areas. Can’t go banging about with heavy hoses in case the delicate furniture gets marked or damaged. On the other hand, the need for absolutely clean carpets, floors and cabinets is paramount. A tricky medium line needed to please all.