Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

Clean From the Start

Two of the inevitable questions I’m asked when I give potential clients a cleaning estimate, is “How long have you been doing this?” and “What made you start?”

I usually try to give the abbreviated answers to both of these questions, which is 1.) About five years, and 2.) I wanted my own business. While those answers are concise and true, there is more to my story than just that.

I have really been cleaning most of my life. Clean is a gene my mother passed along to me, although she’d say I fought it most of my childhood. Of course I disagree. I am not saying my teenage room wasn’t always a little messy and dusty. But when I would clean it, I seriously cleaned it. I mean, seriously. I would dust and clean every nook and cranny, wipe down every bottle of perfume (which was at least a dozen), use Q-tips to get into creases of my furniture and trophies, and use newspaper and rubbing alcohol to shine my hairspray caked mirrors. And afterwards, I would feel euphoric. I loved it. I loved having a clean space, and felt so accomplished when the transformation from dirty to clean evolved. I still do. Ahhhhhh.

On the flip side, I would get totally skeeved out whenever I went over someone else’s house whose wasn’t as clean as mine. Granted, my mother was “the”  cleaning queen, I know, but I would cringe if a friend’s toilet wasn’t sparkly and smelling of fresh roses when I went to use it, or if their bathroom sink was riddled with toothpaste splatter. Ewww, gross. I couldn’t even think about heating something up in a microwave that was layered with old food remnants. I still can’t. In fact, a longtime friend of mine recently reminded me that I told her how dirty her microwave was when I was younger, and then I cleaned it before I heated up my snack. I was the babysitter who would put your kids to bed, and then clean the kitchen and living room before you got home because I couldn’t sit in the mess. Yeah – that was me. Still is.

My college and post-URI years weren’t any different. I lived with my best girlfriends, and to this day, they’ll attest and joke that I was always the one trying to keep everything clean.

So what prompted me to start a cleaning business? Well for one, I love to clean as I’m sure you’ve gathered. Plus, I’m really good at it. I like helping other people. It makes me feel good. But beyond that, I wanted to be my own boss. After working the 9-to-5 gigs for several years, I knew that working in an office wasn’t for me anymore. Especially if it was someone else’s office. Even if it meant leaving a job where I was the editor of a cruise publication. People used to be envious of me because I would travel the world and write about it. But then I would sit at a desk behind a computer for days at a time and stress out to make deadlines that would fill my boss’s wallet. I had enough of that. Something was missing for me. So I moved on.

I dabbled in a couple of things, but ultimately, was still working for someone else. While I was in between jobs, I cleaned a couple of houses for friends. They referred me to someone else, and that person referred me……and that’s when it hit me. I could make a business out of this. So I named my business The Cleaning Diva (because that’s what I am) got some business cards and put an ad on Craigslist.org promoting my services. One phone call led to another, and another, and I soon had a steady roster of clients, most of who are still on my current schedule and continue to refer me.

Today I have the best of both worlds. I work for myself and I’m writing all about it.  Not many people can say they love what they do, but I truly can, and it shines through in my work. I’m OCD – an Obsessive Cleaning Diva. I’m passionate about cleaning and it’s contagious. I clean my clients’ homes as if they were my own, and I also value the strong relationships I’ve built with them. For real.

The Cleaning Diva is here to do your dirty work, share clever cleaning tips, and catch up on everything clean and Jersey! Follow me, and keep it clean!

~ Jessica

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