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Ten Ways To Tackle Cleaning At Home And At Work

Get the home and office in order before the official start of summer.

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There are only two days left to tackle your final spring cleaning projects and get your home and office ready for the summer season.

Similar to New Year's resolutions and back-to-school shopping, spring cleaning is a universal ritual that helps us to prepare for a new season, feel renewed and invigorated. When most people think of spring cleaning, they usually think of cleaning up and clearing the clutter out of their homes.  

But let's not forget about our workspace, where we spend many hours of the day.

According to Scarsdale resident Charles Cestaro, president and CEO of Servco Industries, a 35-year-old commercial cleaning company that cleans the aisles of FAO Schwartz, Sears Holding Corp., Kmart, Sports Authority and other companies–spring is an important milestone for his business and clients. "Spring is the time when we have our biggest cleaning projects for our retail and commercial clients."

Cestaro said that the key to tackling a big cleaning job is to organize it like a math equation. He has it all down to a science, and organizes his massive cleaning operation into segments. For example, a restroom can be cleaned in 14 minutes, 60 urinals can be cleaned in one hour, one person has the capacity to clean 3,500 square feet of space in one hour and 60 pieces of gum can be scraped and cleaned off chairs in a movie theater in an hour's time.

At home, you can expect to clean 250-300 square feet per hour. Cleaning a home can be approached in the same way, according to Cestaro. He offers these tips and tricks based on 35 years of massive spring cleaning projects:

1. Develop a Cleaning Plan/Schedule: Don't plan to do just one overall cleaning without first breaking down the entire project into individual tasks per room and creating an estimated time schedule for each task and room. Have the right products set for the job at hand. Never skimp by using no-name products for tough cleaning spots. 

2. Cleaning Starts Outside: First Impressions Count! Cestaro always begins his evaluation of a cleaning project in the parking area and front entrance of the store. At home, it's important to note whether your entrance area and front steps are cleared of twigs and trash. Then, ask yourself if your house has curb appeal and looks inviting from the outside. 

3. The Front Door and Outside Windows: Is the glass clean and free of fingerprints? Customers and house guests alike will assume that if the front door is dirty, the rest of your home or store may be the same. Special tip: spray window cleaner onto the inside and outside of the pane, and use a sponge to scrub the spray from top to bottom. Always wipe your sponge with a paper towel in between sprays. Clean the window frame around the pane with a sponge.

4. The Key Three–Sparkle, Shine and Shimmer: All glass, metal, countertops and floors must be thoroughly cleaned, wiped, dusted and mopped. Always make sure that solid surfaces, shelves and tabletops are completely wiped down. Use a dust mop to sweep the floor by first placing the mop on the ground at a 45-degree angle and start at the front of the room. After each "sweep," pick up the dust mop and shake off the debris so that you are cleaning the whole area and not leaving behind any trash. Then, fill a mop bucket with a solution of equal parts floor cleaner and water. Move the mop back and forth over the area that you are cleaning until you notice a shine and have removed all spots.

6. Your Not So "Hidden" Areas: In a store, it can be a cluttered fitting room or a messy back stock area. At home, it can be your front coat closet when items fall out as you open the closet door, or your stuffed-to-the-max cabinets, refrigerator, etc.  Finding time to de-clutter and organize these spaces needs to be a top priority.

7. Freshen the Bathroom: Customers and house guests alike expect an immaculate restroom! Wipe down the toilet and the area around the toilet, as well as all sinks and hard surfaces with an antibacterial agent. Replace used supplies including soap, toilet paper and paper towels. Add a colored cleaner to the bowl and leave a refreshing scent in each restroom by using a spray or an automated odor eliminator. 

8. Clear Away Clutter: Stacks of papers, magazines, boxes, etc. should be out-of-sight and neatly stored away.  Looking messy and disorganized leaves a lasting negative impression.

9. Make it Easy to Move Around: In a store that is overstocked with merchandise or in a home that has more furniture than free space and way too many knick-knacks - it's assumed that your place is messy. Make an assessment of how easy it is to move around and how much free wall and floor space you have available. 

10. What is that Smell? Smell is one of the senses we use to evaluate our surroundings. Does your store/home "smell clean" and inviting? Or, can you smell even the faintest hint of mustiness, food or pet odor?

For more information about Charles Cestaro and Servco Industries visit: http://www.servcoind.com

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