Tag Archives: New Jersey

Diva Outdoor Entertaining Tips

Summer is here (YAY!) and we know all of you will be entertaining fabulous people in the beautiful Jersey Shore weather.  We wanted to hook-up you up with some easy Diva Tips that will make you the Entertaining Diva, and a genius to all of your guests!

  1. Place a few dryer sheets under your table runner. This will help keep the bees away from your food.
  2. Take cute cupcake wrappers and flip them over on top of your drinks to keep pesky bugs out!  Punch a hole through and slip in a decorative straw that matches your color scheme. bugsanddrinksvideohero
  3. Fill a metal tub with frozen water balloons for a fun and cool drink cooler. When the balloons defrost, end your party with a water balloon fight with your guests!                          water balloon tub copy
  4. Don’t let keeping your guests comfortable and protected by the sun be an afterthought.  Place hanging baskets on garden stakes throughout your event so your guests can party comfortably!                                                                                                             bug spray sunscreen copy
  5. Put condiments in muffin tins to make it easier for transporting outdoors and easier for guests to serve themselves.  If you want to get really crafty, decorate your tins to match your party them!                                                                                                                                cookout-hacks-10

We hope these Diva Entertaining Tips make your next party a success and know they will help make you this summer’s Entertaining Diva!  Happy summer and happy entertaining Divas!  Cheers!

The Cleaning Diva

 

Summer Sweep

It seems like every year the summertime gets shorter and shorter. As August ends, and September approaches conversations seem to revolve around curiosity about where the summer went, what we did, and how bummed we are that our beach time is closing in on us. For many people, including The Cleaning Diva, the end of summer marks major cleaning time. It’s time to clean out our summer homes, clean out our closets, and clean college abodes in preparation for fall.

Here are some tips to use while getting it all done:

Purge First, Clean Second

Throw out or donate the things you don’t need. Get rid of old papers, household items, expired food and medication, and any clutter in drawers, cabinets or surfaces that are just collecting dust. Donate any lightly worn clothes, shoes or accessories that you’ve shoved in the back of your closets and don’t planning on wearing again next summer.   Many non-profit organizations will come to you to pick up donations, such as the Lupus Foundation of America. Don’t bring anything with you from your current residence to your next dwelling that you do not need or will not use, especially if it’s a dorm room. Space is limited, and clutter adds up quick, preventing a clean and comfortable environment.

Leave your summer house looking spotless!

Leave your summer house looking spotless!

Time to clean

Take this literally. You need to dedicate a few hours (at least) to clean. If you are local and can’t make the time to clean yourself, call The Cleaning Diva for help. If you’re cleaning out your summer home, you’ll need to wipe out and disinfect your small and large kitchen appliances, such as toasters, coffee makers, microwaves, stoves/ovens, and refrigerators. You’ll also need to wipe down cabinets, surfaces, blinds, ceiling fans, lights, fixtures and furniture around the house. If you want to do all this the “green” way – mix some vinegar, water and fresh lemon juice in a spray bottle and grab a Scotch-Brite multi-purpose scrub sponge (the blue one). Add the solution to some baking soda and make a paste if sticky spots or caked on grime is an issue. If you prefer not take the all-natural route, then I suggest using Fantastik, all-purpose Heavy Duty cleaner spray in the kitchen. I’ve found that it works best for easy cleaning of stuck on food in appliances and on cabinets and surfaces. Either way, wear gloves. For both methods – spray down surfaces, scrub with the no scratch, abrasive side of the sponge, and wipe clean with the sponge side. Wipe with paper towels or a dry rag. If your appliances, especially the refrigerator, need more TLC, it’s best to take shelves and drawers out and wash them in the sink. Make sure you get in all the crevasses. Use an old toothbrush if you need to.

This is also a good time to move furniture around the house to get behind and under it with the vacuum and to wipe down hidden wood work and trim. Wipe down dusty closet and cabinet shelves with a damp rag and vinegar mixture mentioned above or some Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar. Don’t forget the bathrooms! Give your commode a good wipe down, including the neck and base of the toilet. Give tubs, showers and sinks a good scrub down with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a bleach based product such as Clorox Bleach Gel or Soft Scrub Mold & Mildew Stain Remover Spray Gel with Bleach. Throw out your old shower liner and replace it if it’s in bad shape.

If you’re heading off to college – or one of your kids are — the dorm or apartment should be move in ready, but it’s still a good idea to give everything a quick disinfecting wipe down with an antibacterial solution like Windex Multi-Surface Antibacterial spray. Make sure you wipe door knobs and handles. If it’s not really clean – follow the steps above!

As sad as it is to see the summer end, you’ll be happy everything is clean and ready for you when you arrive next year! Cleaning feels good!

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