Archive for August 31, 2013

5 Time Saving House Cleaning Tips

Article Written by Arco Cleaning Maintenance Company

The age old problem of having so much to do and such little time to do it in has been a problem plaguing homeowners for years. Luckily, when it comes to house cleaning there are many time saving practices you can follow to not only increase your cleaning speed, but to clean more efficiently as well. Here are several cleaning tips to consider to help save you time spent on house cleaning.

Be prepared: Accidents happen and the more prepared you are the quicker you can clean up the accident. We recommend carrying a Tide to Go Stick in case you stain your clothes while you are out. For your home we recommend putting white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. Vinegar is a great stain fighter and disinfectant.

Clean as you go: Procrastination and cleaning have never gotten along and unfortunately putting cleaning tasks aside for later will not save you time and in some cases will make cleaning even more difficult. Cleaning dishes is a perfect example because over time food hardens and becomes more difficult to remove.

Have a plan of attack: Cleaning a large area like a living room or kitchen can seem overwhelming at first, but by creating a strategy you can reduce to the time it takes to clean the room. One example of a cleaning strategy is to pick a corner and work your way around the room cleaning clockwise. Creating a plan of attack will make your cleaning time faster and help you get started.

Practice: Practice makes perfect especially when it comes to house cleaning. The more you clean the more efficient you will become at cleaning. When cleaning you should focus on your plan of attack and make it a routine. Once you develop a cleaning routine your cleaning time will be reduced and you will become a more efficient cleaner.

Hire a Cleaning Company: Sometimes no amount of cleaning tips or tricks will help fit cleaning into your busy schedule. The next best option when you can

What is a Personal Concierge?

 

The first comment that one makes when I introduce myself as a Personal Concierge is “oh, you can get Broadway tickets for me or plan my summer vacation”. Then they look at me quizzically and say “what exactly is a Personal Concierge”? Most folks don’t know the definition of a Personal Concierge. In 2002, Entrepreneur Magazine included concierge and errand service businesses in their annual list of top ten start-up ideas. A Personal Concierge takes on tasks that their clients are too busy to get done themselves. Everyone from dual-income families to single parents to traveling executives can be totally time strapped and willing to pay for what is known as “lifestyle management”.

With lengthy commutes, longer work hours and children engaged in after school activities, time is of the essence for the two-income family. These clients do not require a full-time assistant, yet one who can manage their everyday time-consuming errands and tasks. A Personal Concierge, along with their lifestyle management services, helps accomplish that and gets control back into their lives. She/he is a convenient time saver that helps you simplify your life and reduce the mounting stress which ultimately increases your productivity. You can than spend time on what really matters!!

Although one might initially feel that they are giving up control and are resistant to engage a coach to partner with them, the feelings of being able to relinquish decisions and time consuming tasks will ultimately ease their burden with reliability, discretion and caring. The relationship then becomes very familial and trusty.

 

 

Seniors Aging-in-Place with the Assistance of a Personal Concierge

Most adults would prefer to age in place. In fact, 78 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 report that they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age.(1) This desire to age in place is an issue that is certainly pertinent to the nation today. That being said, what services are offered to compliment this aging process? For one, Judie Kaplan anticipated this need and launched her business, Judie Kaplan Personal Concierge to Westchesterites. She provides a valuable service to the senior population by assisting them in maintaining their sense of independence while performing tasks that enhance their ADL (activities of daily living). The sky is the limit for service that can be provided to the elderly. The focus should be on helping them maintain their quality of life and doing that their way.

Seniors often pay more for medical care due to confusing insurance practices, including filing and tracking claims. A personal concierge will assist seniors by comparing medical records with medical bills to catch mistakes or erroneous charges. At times, they can also help reverse denied claims. See post on “Westchester Personal Concierge Recovers Hundreds of Dollars”!

Judie assists her clientele with life activities. These include but are not limited to:

  • Arrange for Vehicle Maintenance and/or other Services
  • Arrange Home Services i.e. Cleaning, Maintenance, and Lawn Care
  • Assist with De Cluttering and Home Organization Tasks
  • Assist with Letter Writing and Emails
  • Bill Pay, Bookkeeping and Banking
  • Food Shopping
  • Gift Buying
  • Help Plan for the Holidays
  • Help Plan Travel and Make Arrangements
  • Plan and Arrange Social Activities
  • Run Errands or Make Deliveries

(1) Taken from AARP website “Beyond 50.05: A Report to the Nation on Livable Communities: Creating Environments for Successful Aging”

Ten Commandments of Decluttering

1) Thou shalt handle it once; deal with the item (mail, invitation, schoolwork) right away.

2) Thou shalt put away stuff in its designated place (and if you don’t have one, make one).

3) Thou shalt use labels.

4) Thou shalt know that there are only two options: less stuff or more storage.

5) Thou shalt know that it didn’t get like this overnight, and it is not going to get fixed overnight.

6) Thou shalt write things down.

7) Thou shalt keep in mind that just because you have it doesn’t mean you have to use it.

8) Thou shalt be discriminate with printed material.

9) Thou shalt be charitable, and by doing so, be decluttered.

10) Thou shalt use, display or store important items with respect.

*credit Patty McPherson, WickedLocal.com

This really can apply to your life, honest! It’s much easier than you think and can be accomplished by making the decision to change your mindset to live an uncluttered lifestyle.

Routines are important and will change the neuroplasticity in your brain. What do you do with your keys, change, purse, briefcase when you walk through the door? Find a place near your coat closet where you can set these things down and know that they will stay there until you need them.

Sort your mail near a waste basket so that you can practice commandment #1 with ease. If you are not tossing junk mail, deal with the item right away.

Every time you bring a new item into your home, think about whether or not it is replacing another item. If so, recycle or donate the older item that performs the same function. When you get a new magazine, recycle the earlier editions. This applies to newspapers as well. AND, have a basket or rack to store them rather than cluttering table tops (or the floor).

Where is your junk drawer? Establish a place of convenience for odds and ends and create organizing tools such as eggs crates or bins for sorting. This will contain the item as opposed to spilling over into other areas of your home.

You can make money with your clutter by consigning items, having a yard sale, donating to a good cause where you will garner a tax write off, sell it on eBay, Amazon or Craigslist, or you can go green and recycle.

 

Westchester Personal Concierge Recovers Hundreds of Dollars!

A Personal Concierge need not only run errands and do your shopping! The value of employing one is limitless. All that is required of you is to select the task that will give you back the gift of time in your day, and make the phone call that will change your life.

For Suzie, a senior who is disabled, hundreds of dollars were recovered from various insurance companies, both medical and non-medical. We were relentless with phone calls, faxes and correspondence to recoup the dollars that she paid that were ostensibly owed by her. In actuality, these dollars were not her responsibility, and with research and perseverance, they were recovered for her.

Unknowingly, when Suzie received a bill from her medical group, etc. for a copay or a balance due, she diligently paid it. The medical group (and others) did not bill her secondary, and therefore the balance due was sent to Suzie. This also applied to providers who did not participate with Medicare. She did not have the awareness, nor the know-how, to submit the forms to Medicare or her secondary for reimbursement. Doing this, many times for her, hundreds and hundreds of dollars were reclaimed to her from Medicare and her secondary insurance carrier.

Suzie also had a Personal Injury case pending and was unable to comprehend the nuances that were necessary for her to hold others accountable for payment. For instance, one example is that she took taxi cabs to providers, and the understanding was that the insurance company would reimburse these fares back to her. We filled out forms and filed them with her insurance company and voila, all that money now sits in Suzie’s bank account as opposed to her insurance company.

These illustrations are simply a few that indicate to you the value of the engagement of Personal Concierge services. Suzie is like a changed person each time that we conclude our appointment with her and is so grateful. She doesn’t feel as though she has lost her independence but rather has gained the trust and assurance that someone is in her corner and looking out for her.

This speaks volumes, in just one area, the manner in which a Personal Concierge can enhance your life. Saved time is not the only metric that matters. There is also the mental stress factor. There is a sense of freedom that is gleaned by aligning with someone who can give you back the gift of time in your busy life, the ultimate time saving reprieve.