Friday, November 14, 2014

Your Forced Air Heating/Cooling System Can Help Keep Your Home Cleaner!

One thing I know most people dislike doing is dusting. However, it is very important to keep the dust count down in our homes so we are not inhaling dust particles with every breathe. Even if you don't have allergies, having clean air in your home is very important. 

  1. Forced air system- a furnace that pumps the air through air ducts and out through registers in your floors or ceiling. 
    1. Make sure you change/clean your filter monthly. As the dust builds up on the filter it can no longer do it's job.
    2. Have your duct-work blown out at least once per year. Dirt and dust settle in your air-ducts and get blown through your home when your air turns on.
    3. Purchase, or make, filters for your floor/ceiling register. If you make your own filter, ensure that it is made of a fabric that will allow air to flow through it. Any remaining dust will get trapped in the additional filter before it can be pumped into your home. Keep these filters clean by taking them out and washing them or replacing them, at least once a quarter, if not more often.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My 21 day fix review

My husband and I have been physically active since the day we met. We work-out 6-7 days a week and we "try" to eat healthy. Lately I have been doing the '21-Day Fix' program and I'd have to say that I love it! Not only does it come with some great 30 minute workouts, it also has a simple nutrition program.

This is important for me because, in our early days of working out, we were both all about gaining muscle which equaled eating mass quantities of food -especially protein. That lead me down a path of overeating. So, although I have changed my workout routines to more cardio and lean muscle building/toning, I still eat like I'm trying to pack on the muscle. This has created a layer of fat that I have been trying to get rid of for years.

Now, I'm not over-weight mind you, but I have never had that "six-pack" and have not been able to rid myself of the dreaded hip-bulge. So this new program has helped me to realize what a healthy portion of each food group is and how many times a day I should be eating that food group. It's great because I am not starving myself but I am consistently losing the weight and seeing great results with less time exercising than I have done in the past (30 minutes vs 60-90 minutes).

I also sweat my tush off in the short 30 minute workout which, in the past, I would rarely sweat. My husband always harassed me that I didn't sweat. I told him "I'm a lady, I don't sweat I perspire". However this program has me dripping sweat. The reason: you get your heart rate up quick and keep it there for the entire 30 minutes (less warm up and cool down). There are "rest" periods but they are only 15-20 seconds so your heart rate doesn't get a chance to go down much before you're back in for another 60 second round. Autumn (the trainer) is very motivating and keeps you going through the whole workout, which is needed and appreciated.

I'm excited to see the end result (on day 15 of 21).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Don't Let Your Home or Office Fall To Pieces

Many people don't realize that implementing a consistent and effective cleaning routine can greatly reduce, or eliminate, the need for more costly home & office maintenance remedies. 

What do I mean? Well let me tell you....


Bugs and rodents are attracted to bits of food and candy that are not cleaned up. Whether it be under a desk or under a bed, these pesky pests can zero in on the smallest of crumbs and invite their friends and families over for a good ole time. Left unattended, these pests can quickly grow out of control in which only an expensive pest control program can eradicate. However, if you have a consistent and effective cleaning routine, whether that be by you or a hired professional like Clean Right Co., you can completely avoid this hassle by keeping the crumbs and candy from ever attracting these buggers.

Mold & Mildew:

Mold and Mildew are nasty little things. They grow in moist conditions so our bathrooms are a perfect breeding ground for them. Once they take route, usually in grout and calking, they can be near impossible to get rid of without having to re-grout or re-calk. However, if you keep your shower grout and calking clean and use a proper disinfecting routine, you'll never have to worry about that dark growth. Don't wanna scrub your tub? Then let us do it! Visit Clean Right Co for more information about our services.

Carpet Replacement:

Getting our carpets cleaned seems a luxury to some but it is actually a necessity. By not properly maintaining your carpet, with professional carpet cleaning, your carpet will quickly become worn & torn and eventually, will need replaced. Prolong the life of your carpets by having them professionally cleaned at least once per year. (However twice per year is recommended.) Don't have a trusted carpet cleaning professional? Well you do now! Visit Clean Right Co for more information.

Window Replacement:

Routine window cleaning is important to the longevity of your windows. And let's face it, windows are not cheap! Good quality windows are one of the biggest expenses to a home yet they provide many energy saving functions. So don't just ignore them! Windows that aren't cleaned routinely will develop hard water stains which, not only effect your ability to see out them, but also effects their ability to be energy efficient. Along with that, the seals of the windows will begin to fail as water can do major damage to any surface (think Grand Canyon). Keeping your windows clean will keep them performing for many, many years. Let us help you see the light (literally and figuratively)! Visit our website for details.

So have I convinced you that having a good cleaning routine is worth it's weight in gold? I sure hope so. If you find it hard to keep up on these routine tasks don't be embarrassed. Call your local professional cleaning service and get these tasks scheduled. The price you pay for the cleaning will pay for itself in the longevity of your home or office. ~Erica Jensen, President Clean Right Co.

Visit us at Clean Right Co for your Free Estimate on cleaning of your home or office. 
*Servicing Spokane and surrounding areas. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Simplify Your Holidays

"It's the most wonderful time, of the year...." Right?

Anymore, the Holiday's have become a major strain on our family life, wallets and sanity. For many, they no longer represent a time to cherish family and friends but, instead, represent hardships. Whether you are torn between which family you'll spend the day with, the stress of getting your home ready for a large family gathering and dinner or feeling bad because you just can't get the gifts you'd like to give for each of your family members.

What if you could find a way to Simplify Your Holidays so you aren't feeling these burdens. Sounds too good to be true right? Well it's not.

Here are some easy tips to Simplify Your Holidays so you can actually enjoy them!

  1. Plan In Advance - Don't wait till the last minute to decide what you and your family will be doing for the Holidays. Whether you'll be traveling to family or having family over, think ahead so you aren't scrambling the last minute. 
  2. Split It Up - This comes into play in multiple ways. 
    1. Split up your traveling versus staying at home. One Holiday, go see family, the next, stay at home. You also should split up the Holiday chores. 
    2. When having a large gathering at your home, split the cleaning chores between the kids. You have enough on your plate, they can chip in to help out. (You could also hire a professional cleaning service like Clean Right Co!)
    3. If going to a family member's home, bring a dish with you so you can relieve some of the stress and burden from their life. If staying home, have your visiting family bring a dish so you can actually enjoy spending time with them when they arrive. 
  3. Parents and Kids - When gift giving becomes a burden instead of a pleasure, it's time to rethink things. However much we'd all love to be able to give a wonderful, heartfelt gift to every single family member, this just isn't realistic. Stick to giving gifts to your parents and the children in your life. As far as your Aunts, Uncles, Sisters and other adult family members, a heart warming card will suffice. We can't go broke trying to be Santa! Trust me, they'll understand. 
  4. Home Made is Always Better - If your crafty, a baker or just like DYI projects, why not give them as gifts. Some of the best gifts I've given were things I made and they always end up being less expensive than buying some mass manufactured gift. 
    1. Something my family members are asking that I make again is a rice warmer/cooler. All you need is uncooked brown rice, large cotton socks, large holiday themed socks and a sewing machine/a needle and thread. Fill the large cotton sock with the uncooked brown rice. Don't fill it so full that it is rock hard. You'll want enough rice that it can be distributed evenly yet flexible so you can sling it over your neck. Sew the open end so the rice can't come out! You could leave it here but, since this will be a Christmas gift, I like to cover the cotton sock with a Holiday themed sock then sew the open end on that one too. You should also add a handcrafted tag with directions on how to use the sock. (For Heat - put in the microwave for up to 3 minutes. For Cool - put in the freezer for as long as needed.) And that's it! 
  5. Cook early - You don't have to make everything the day of. You can make pies one to two days before and refrigerate (or just buy them!). Same with the stuffing! For things you need to cook the day of, prep and put them together in advance so all you have to do on the big day is pop them in the oven or stick them on the stove top!
  6. Though we all love coming to a spectacularly decorated table for the big meal, this can be one of the biggest stresses for the hosting family. Eating on china and fancy table cloths is not what makes a Holiday dinner so forget it! Use disposables!!! They make them in wonderful Holiday themes and they aren't your run of the mill, white picnic plates and plastic forks. Most guests won't even notice or care.
  7. Stay at Home - You don't always have to have a big family gathering. This year, keep it small. Just you, your husband and your kids. The rest of the family will understand. Even better, go on a vacation! 
I hope these tips help ease your stress this Holiday Season and allow you to actually enjoy them and your family. Remember, it's not about how fancy your table is or how much you spend on the gifts, it's about enjoying the time you have with your family and friends.

Till next time, Erica Jensen. President Clean Right Co of Spokane. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Employee vs Independent Contractor -ensure you are in compliance when hiring for your company

We have recently hired a young gal who previously worked for a local competitor. During her interview she mentioned that she was paid the same wage we were hiring her at, but that she was responsible for paying her own taxes. So I asked her if she had her own business license for cleaning and she said "no". Red flags instantly started going off in my head, as I was listening to her story, because I knew that this other business was doing thing illegally. Now I'm not an Human Resource professional, in the sense that I have a degree in HR, but I have been hiring people for twelve years and I know that hiring Independent Contractors can be risky business if you do not do it by the book.

Here is a list of questions to ask yourself, as a business, to ensure that you are actually hiring someone as an independent contractor and not as an employee.

*Information obtained from the State of Washington Department of Labor.

Is Your Subcontractor Really an Employee?

Take the "Six-Part Test" below

A “yes” answer to all six questions usually means the worker has a business of his/her own, and you are not responsible for workers’ comp premiums, unemployment tax or wage and hour requirements.

  1. Supervision
    1. Do they perform the work free of your direction and control?
  2. Business office
    1. Do they maintain and pay for a place of business that is separate from yours? A cell phone and a truck is not enough. You need to visit his or her place of business and make sure. 
  3. Previously established business
    1. Do they have an established, independent business that existed before you hired them? Evidence may include other customers or advertising. 
  4. IRS taxes
    1. When you entered into the contract, was the contractor responsible for filing a business tax return with the IRS for his or her business? 
  5. Maintains books
    1. Do they maintain a set of books dedicated to the expenses and earnings of the business? You can ask to review them for your protection.
  6. Required registrations
    1. Are they up to date on all required registrations and accounts?
      1. UBI number? Check Washington State Department of Revenue tax registration account. 
      2. Contractor registration number (RCW 18.27), electrical contractor license (RCW 19.28.061) or elevator contractor license (RCW 70.87.240)? Check L&I's Look Up: Contractors or Tradespeople application.
    2. If they have employees, do they also have these required accounts?
      1. Unemployment insurance account with Washington State Employment Security Department? Call 360-902-9360.          
      2. Workers' Compensation account with Washington State Department of Labor & Industries? Check at Verify Workers' Comp Premium Status.

Note: If you plan to treat your worker/subcontractor as an independent, make sure you can prove it. You may always ask the person you are hiring to see the above documents.

Did you answer “yes” to ALL SIX questions on this page?

Then they are a contractor, and usually you will have:
  • No workers’ compensation premiums due.
  • No wage and hour requirements.
  • No unemployment tax.

Did you answer “no” to ANY of the six questions on this page?

You usually DO have to do the following for the worker(s) you are hiring, since they are NOT independent contractors.

Many companies are tempted to hire independent contractors, and not employees, as it saves them time, money and headaches but most companies do not ensure they are doing things legally. The other business, my new employee worked for, was definitely not in compliance and, if she reports them, could get in serious trouble.

So, don't make the same mistake and ensure your "Independent Contractor" is truly an independent contractor and not an employee.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A must read before sending your college kids back to the dorms.

A great article from

Tips To Keeping Colleges Bed Bug Free

With bed bug populations on the rise, protecting your dorm or apartment from bed bugs has become a growing concern among college students and university officials. Bed bug sightings have increased dramatically in recent years in public places frequented by students including libraries, movie theaters, and malls. As students are settling in for another school year, there’s one routine they should add to their daily repertoire – checking their school items for bed bugs.

Suggested tips for checking for bed bugs:
• Store backpacks and other big items in Tupperware containers.
• Use resealable plastic bags for smaller school items.
• Dissolvable Laundry Bags are great for college students worried about bringing bed bugs into their dwelling or home to their parents for a weekend or break - these help to isolate clothing until they are able to be laundered.
• Interception devices are one of the most cost effective ways to keep an eye out for bed bugs.
• Bed encasements is another way to further protect your home and provide you with the ability to detect infestations early on.
• Portable heating devices, which heat treat items that can’t be laundered can be an advanced form of protection against bed bugs.

“With bed bug reports in public setting on the rise, students should be aware that, although unlikely, bed bugs can be found in schools and there is little a college or university can do to prevent this from happening,” says Jeff White, Technical Director at BedBug Central & host of BedBugTV, an online podcast. “Therefore knowing what bed bugs look like and what you can do to reduce the chances bed bugs are brought home with you is an important step in the bed bug prevention process.”

White just finished filming a new BedBug TV episode bed bugs in schools – college, where he discusses a few easy steps college students can take to reduce their chances of bringing bed bugs into their dorm or apartment.

One popular myth is that bed bugs prefer unsanitary, urban conditions. The reality is, bed bugs are nondiscriminatory and can be found anywhere from prestigious private schools, state universities to inner city schools.  With more and more schools reporting bed bug outbreaks each year, it’s important for college students to be aware and know it’s extremely simple for these pests to hitchhike a ride home with you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gathering and Filtering Your Applications

The Continuation of creating a comprehensive application process to filter the potentials from the qualified

Over the past 11 years of being an employer in the cleaning service industry, my partner and I have read thousands (if not tens of thousands) of applications and resumes, have hired hundreds of people and have parted ways with most. Through this journey we have learned what type of people work well within our organization and what type do not.

Unfortunately, finding the right employee is like finding a needle in a haystack. There is a huge population of unemployed persons that are all applying for the same jobs. So how do we find the right people within this mountain of applications and resumes? My partner and I have developed a hiring system that includes a series of steps, which we will discuss in a series of blog posts, that give us an insight as to which applicants are worth knowing more about.

This blog post is a continuation of a series of posts on how to find the "perfect" employees for your cleaning service business. If you haven't already, read the previous posts which are linked below.

How to hire the RIGHT people for your cleaning service business
How to write a job description that works!
Creating a Comprehensive Application Process to Filter Potentials from Qualified
The Continuation of creating a comprehensive application process to filter the potentials from the qualified

In our last issue we discussed what type of application you will use and where to post your employment advertisement. This issue, we are going to focus on collecting and filtering those applications so you can identify the qualified from the rest.

As mentioned in previous posts, Clean Right uses a fully electronic system for hiring staff. We find this very useful in collecting and filtering the hundreds of applications we receive during recruitment. This post will focus on the use of technology but, if your are less tech-savy, you will find helpful information regardless. 

Here's where we're at: We've created a list of requirements of employment and a list of attributes that we've found in our successful team members, we've written a job description that is informative and clear as to what the position requires and has to offer, we've written a draft of our application making sure to use our lists from the first step, and we've planned where we will advertise our position to get the most potential applicants interested, as possible. 

Now we need to gather and filter the flood of applications. 


Technology is very useful in gathering your applications, especially when you have a home office or do not have a space people can come to get and fill out your application. We use our website and an electronic form to gather our applications. First, we have a link that potential applicants click to read the job description. At the end of the description, there is another link that takes them to the online application. We use a third party's web software (Constant Contact) to create this online survey form and to also save the responses for us to view, print or delete. It's very useful for filtering responses as well.

If you choose a paper method, you must decide how to hand out and gather those applications. You could have the potential applicant print the form from your website than email or mail it in, or you could hand them out and have them fill the application out on the spot. It all depends on what works best for you and your company.


Filtering your applications will dwindle the hundreds of potential applicants to your top 10-20 prospects. Your filters are the "required criteria" that you decided on in earlier steps. If an applicant does not have any one of these "required criteria", cut em! (Not literally mind you I just mean they're cut from the potential list.) Do Not Falter from this. Don't say "well maybe just this once" or "let's bend the rules this time". Trust me, I'm trying to save you some pain here! Every time you do, you'll have to learn all over again why you made that a "requirement" in the first place. 

Whether you filter your applicants using technology or by hand, the process will be the same. The point is to "cut" the unqualified applicants down to the potential candidates and finally leaving you with the top prospects.

Cut the unqualified

  1. Step one is to make sure the application is complete and legible. If they didn't answer each required question then don't look at it any further. If someone can't take the time to completely fill out your application, then they aren't going to take the time to help your business succeed. With paper applications, you will have hand writing that must be deciphered. This could be a great "filter". If you can't read it easily, then cut em! If they won't take the time to write clearly and legibly so they can get the job, then they won't put the time and effort into the job either. The legible problem can be avoided using the online form.
  2. Again, if they answer any of the required criteria wrong, cut em! These are requirements for a reason and you will be tempted to make exceptions now and again but please, please, please, DON'T!!! When you begin to think about making an exception I want you to take a deep breath kick yourself in the shin. This will be far less painful than learning not to make exceptions by being let down when you do. Again, these are requirements for very good reasons, stick to em!

Potential Candidates vs Top Prospects

  1. Now you left with a much smaller pile/list of applications. Each of them fulfill your company's requirements for employment but there are still a great many applicants that would not make a good fit for your team. This is where the questions relating to the attributes of your successful staff members come in. When reading the applicant's answers, your looking for:
    1. Similarities - to your successful staff is a good thing, to your past problem staff -not a good thing. If they have similarities to problem staff members, then it's best to learn from your mistakes the first time. Pass on these potential applicants. 
    2. Schedule conflicts -if they go to school during the hours you'd need them to work, then they obviously don't fit your needs so pass. We pass on anyone that can't conform to our scheduling needs. 
    3. Anything that doesn't look or sound right -if you just don't feel it, then move on. You need to find the candidates that will bring the most to your company.

Now what?

So we have our top 10-20 (or more depending on how large of a response you got) prospects. Now it's time to interview. Don't forget the old saying, "Quick to Fire, Slow to Hire". Sometimes it's difficult but you need to take your time so you make good choices in your hiring. Your team will work best when it is full of people that work well together. "One bad apple spoils the bunch" is another old saying that is very true in team environments. You must foster a fun, comfortable and rewarding work environment or you will never build a team that you can depend on to help your business succeed. 

"Wow, It's hard to believe that we've actually come to the end of this series. I truly hope it has helped you in your hiring process. It's taken many years and many, many sleepless nights to realize what we were doing wrong with our hiring and what to do to fix them. Though our system is not perfect, when we stick to it (yes even we sometimes "make exception" and yes, it has never paid off),  it works. Happy Hiring!" Erica Jensen -President, Clean Right Co.