One minute seems impossible, doesn't it? Especially in the bathroom—there are so many things to clean, after all. The trick is to remember, though; that you likely spend a lot of time in your bathroom anyway, and minutes add up!

While it won't replace the occasional thorough, deep clean, this little bit of house cleaning will definitely lengthen the times between those cleans and also keep your bathroom looking and smelling great most of the time!

Make It Count

To use this method, you're going to have to make those 60 seconds work for you every time you're in the bathroom. Here's how you do it:

If you've got pets, there are a few things you can change about your cleaning habits to make sure that your house not only stays clean, but also that it remains safe for your pets. Before you start your cleaning, check out these tips:

Use Natural Cleaners. A lot of the most common household cleaners you buy at the store have extremely strong chemicals that can, in a high enough dose, be dangerous to pets. Since animals are naturally curious and likely to get into whatever they can reach, don't risk it; use natural, safe cleaners instead, and make sure your cleaning services do the same!

In addition to cleaning, housekeeping  is about making your house what you want it to be, decorating included, but it can be hard to find exactly what you want. That's why do-it-yourself projects are so popular.

Like this one: if you want colorful, abstract art for your home but aren't sure how to make it look good, event planner Jordan Ferney and her professional artist husband decided to give it a try and share their tips with readers.

What results is a DIY abstract project that will get your creativity flowing and result in artwork that you enjoy!

The Plan

To Start: Change Your Canvas. You're going to start with a blank canvas, but as Ferney points out, you want texture and layer to show through as you work. This means you want to give your canvas some depth before you even begin, and you start by adding color.

You're probably going to want to go with a lighter color or colors so you can build darker, brighter colors on top of it. While Ferney and her husband went with yellow and gray, you can use whatever color suits you—and your room—best.

“We used lots of water and were sloppy...” she says about trying to get some blending on the canvas. The result is a great, background that serves as a jumping off point for the rest of the painting.

Carpets are notorious for holding onto germs, dirt, and moisture—things you definitely don't want in your home. How can you tackle the dirt and germs that are unavoidable over time? Maintenance is the key, and knowing what is needed to keep your carpet fresh and beautiful will get you there.

Maid services make it a point to vacuum while they're there, but there is more you can do to make sure your carpet is healthy.

  1. Deep Clean Once a Year. One of the best things you can do for your carpet is to give it a good deep cleaning once or twice a year. Whether you use steam cleaning or chemicals, you want something that's going to kill germs, remove dirt, and leave your carpet looking great. If you aren't sure where to start, check to see if your housekeeping services provides carpet cleaning.

Vinegar, water, baking soda, and a little bit of lemon are often enough to freshen up the air in your home, but sometimes they don't scratch the surface. What happens when you have a pervasive smell like cigarette smoke or pet odor, how do you clean it?

When a couple wrote into the San Francisco Chronicle, they wanted to know how to get the smoke smell out of their rental house once their tenant of 15 years moved out. Unfortunately, years of cigarette smoke has caused a permanent stench, and the experts have advised them to remove all fabric and scrub every inch, right into the duct work and subfloor!


The ultimate prevention for this level of pervasive odor is to remove it altogether. Smoking outside or having your pet spayed or neutered will help limit the amount of smell making it into the house.

How long does it take you to clean the kitchen? Ten minutes? Thirty? One blogger has turned kitchen cleaning into a science. At iDream of Clean, 5 minutes is all it takes to get a kitchen clean. The “secret” is simple: do similar things together and plan ahead. It's a maid service worthy strategy!

Do Similar Things Together

For instance, you might:

  • Collect & wash the dishes.

  • Collect and throw away all the trash.

  • Put away everything that goes in the refrigerator.

  • Put away everything that goes in the cabinets.

  • Wipe down all the surfaces.

We are pleased to announce that The Maids Durham has won the 2012 Gold Readers Choice Award! This award is given out annually by The News Advertiser serving Ajax and Pickering, and in order to be chosen, we were first nominated. Once nominated, readers choose the winners.

It is a great privilege to be nominated and then also selected after only 5 years. We especially want to thank all of our loyal customers: you are a joy to work with and it is our greatest honour to serve you all.

Art on the wall can liven up a space, bring focus to a wall or a feature of a room, or even become a focus of a design. Unfortunately, it can also run up a pretty hefty bill if you're decorating your whole house, so it's great when you can find more affordable ways to add art, especially if you can easily create it yourself—no painting skills required!

These two art projects are beautiful, affordable, and simple enough for anyone to do!

Wallpaper Art

This project from Homedit is made for the not-so-crafty but do-it-yourselfer at heart.

The absolute best way to put an end to clutter is to give everything you own a particular place. Then, get used to putting things back in their place as soon as you finish with them. When you master this housekeeping habit, you'll successfully reduce clutter—and keep it that way.

But what about finding a home for things? What if you're limited with space and storage even for the things you need and use every day? That's when it's time to get creative and find stylish, functional ways to store your belongings. Sometimes, one tool can go a long way, so here are three of our favorites:

Drawer Dividers

Separating small items and grouping them with similar things do wonders to an overflowing junk or craft drawer. Use a thin crafting box with built-in dividers or adjustible dividers made especially for drawers to improve your organization.

If you're really crafty, you can even use small baskets or the bottoms of cereal boxes!

In February 2008, Lynn and Sean Mulroy opened The Maids Durham. Within the first year, the franchise was chosen as Startup of the Year at The Maids International Convention, and over these last four years it has continued to grow, serving Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Claremont, Brooklin, Port Perry, and Uxbridge.

Despite the economic plunge, The Maids Durham completed almost 11,500 cleans (about 250 per month!), received positive feedback, and built a loyal customer base we're thrilled to serve.

Looking Back, What Brought Success?

Success came quickly and determination and optimism helped keep the momentum going even in difficult economic times. Having the best people filling the perfect roles for their strengths makes a big difference, as well.

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