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Business Bullies

Unfortunately Take Time has been dealing with attacks from competitors for years but they have really ramped it up lately. Business owners who do this are the BULLIES of the business world. Bullies exist everywhere. They’re in every area of your society, including business. They are probably the same people that taunted and started damaging gossip about classmates in school. They’ve learned how to put their friendly face on but underneath it’s all about them. They don’t care how much damage they inflict. Unfortunately the internet and social media gives bullies the power and means to continue their behavior, usually anonymously and without repercussions.

Attack Number 1:
A competitor posted a 1 star review on our Google listing from someone we’ve never heard of and then posted a 5 star review on their own site from the same person on the same day. Not only is it not true but it brought down our Google rating. Then a couple of days later we receive an email from 3BEST Rated saying that they had received an email asking why Take Time was selected when our rating was low? Coincidence? You be the judge.

Attack Number 2:
Purposely set up someone to apply with Take Time to get hired and learn how we operate our business. Then they can tell find fault with our systems and tell everyone how in comparison they are so much better. So we paid a lot of money to have this “employee” trained, just to have her quit and take all that information back to our competitor.

Take Time is a rule follower. We don’t BUY Facebook likes or Google Reviews. We learn the best ways of operating our business through trial and error, NOT by stealing information from the competition and especially not to use it against them. Who are these business bullies? Think Pink. Think 3BestRated House Cleaning.

Think S & M (wait don’t think that) Think… well, you can decide for yourselves. We are really tired of this behavior and hope that people can see through the hate that they spew online with their false reviews, comments and accusations.

False Reviews Affects Us All

Small, independent companies like Take Time Cleaning spend years building our businesses, creating jobs, and working hard to provide excellent service. All the years of sweat and tears can be wiped away in a few minutes if a competitor decides to take a short cut to success by slandering their competition with false reviews online, and providing glowing 5 star reviews for themselves without taking the time to earn it.

Below is an example of an recent attack on our business. The reviewer, Gerald Bruck, is not and has never been a customer of Take Time, yet he gives our company a 1-star review. The same day, ‘Gerald’ gives one of our competitors a 5-star review, and then an anonymous email is sent to 3-Best Rated stating that we should be removed from their recommendation. Suspicious? Highly.

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Unfortunately the people that will mostly be affected by these false reviews are the customer. They will either choose companies with the 5 star reviews and be disappointed or avoid the legitimate companies that provide great service. False reviewers pollute the whole review process to the point where the consumer cannot trust any reviews at all, good or bad. Mark Kozak, Cindy Chen… the list of fake accounts and non-existent customers goes on and on.

What can you do as a consumer? Flag suspicious reviews online when you come across them, if a majority does the same then those reviews could get removed. The best way to know about a company is to contact them and ask for referrals. Take Time Cleaning will gladly provide you with REAL customers to talk to and get feedback direct from them. Also, the Testimonials on our website are from our actual customers, many of whom provide their real names. Many of these people do not have Gmail accounts so they cannot provide reviews online but we happily post their accolades when we receive them.

Finding a trusted and reliable cleaner for your home is important, and we hope that you Take Time to find a good one!

How To Reduce Stress During The Busy Holiday Season

The Holiday Season Can Be A Very Stressful Time of Year!
Here are just a few tips to reduce the stress so you can enjoy the season.

1. Regular schedules may become disrupted because of decorating, shopping and entertaining, leaving people short on time and feeling rushed.

2. Make a list of everything that needs to be done and look for ways to get help: gifts to purchase, decorating, baking, cleaning

3. The holiday season can cause many people to feel lonely or depressed, which can be very stressful.

4. If you are feeling lonely, join others in volunteering to do something for those in need. You will find company and feel good about yourself for helping others.

5. Time pressures can disrupt eating, sleeping and exercising habits, so our bodies become more vulnerable to stress.

6. Continue your exercise program, get plenty of rest and eat healthful foods. Keep the Christmas baking in the freezer or if you are really tempted…keep it at your neighbours

7. Extra financial pressures and not being able to afford the gifts you would like to give can also cause stress.

8. Look for ways to reduce the stress of shopping and financial pressure.

Every year Take Time Home Cleaning sells $1000’s of dollars in gift cards. Who doesn’t want their house professionally cleaned? Our gift cards can be purchased in any denomination. What an easy and inexpensive way to cut down on the stress of shopping.

Too busy to clean? Take Time Home Cleaning can help you with that. We do residential cleaning as well as carpets and upholstery.

Need help with decorating or running errands? We do that too.

Take Time Home Cleaning provides 100’s of hours of free cleans every year through our volunteer efforts.

For an instant estimate and information on all of our services go to www.taketime.ca or call 204-770-7103.

The Mental Health Benefits of a Clean and Organized Home There is a Science to It!

One thing we often hear from our clients is how much they love walking into their home after Take Time has been there. “Energized, a great pick-me-up, happy and more patient with kids, New-lease-on-life” …. Just a few of the reactions we hear from clients.

Having a clean home is a huge boost to a person’s sense of well being.

Blogs and websites that focus on cleanliness and organization are numerous — for instance, Things Organized NeatlyApartment Therapy and Unclutterer, to name only a few examples. Pinterest contains countless organization pictures and tips, and Buzzfeed regularly runs listicles designed to appeal to “your inner neat freak.”

What is it about a clean well-organized home that makes people so satisfied? Why do some people spend their free time scrolling though blogs that teach them how to clean efficiently or rearrange their closets or the best way to color-code their filing cabinets?

Keeping things clean and organized is good for you, and science can prove it.

study led by associate professor NiCole R. Keith, Ph.D., research scientist and professor at Indiana University, found that people with clean houses are healthier than people with messy houses. Keith and her colleagues tracked the physical health of 998 Americans between the ages of 49 and 65, a demographic known to be at an increased risk for heart disease. Participants who kept their homes clean were healthier and more active than those who didn’t. In fact, house cleanliness was even more of a predictor for physical health than neighborhood walkability.

In 2011, researchers at Princeton University found that clutter can actually make it more difficult to focus on a particular task. Specifically, they found that the visual cortex can be overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects, making it harder to allocate attention and complete tasks efficiently.

The human body is made up of tens of thousands of integrated biological and neurochemical systems, all of which are — yes — organized. Many of our cells operate on strict schedules, or circadian rhythms. Even at the atomic level, we are well-regulated and well-organized. Without this organization, our bodies would collapse into chaos. Maybe we crave symmetry and cleanliness in our homes because it supports our physical state.

Whatever the reason, staying clean and organized is a good thing. It helps us feel better about ourselves, it keeps us productive and it may very well keep us physically fit.

Want to have a clean and organized home but just don’t have the time to keep it that way. Give us a call! Take Time Home Cleaning & Lifestyle Services 204-770-7103

Is Your Kitchen Pantry a Gong Show?

  1. Divide your pantry into zones. For example, group dried rice, beans and quinoa together in one zone. Then create another zone for flours, another for sugars and so on
  2. Use clear storage containers so you know what you’re looking at.
  3. Tape cooking or soaking instructions for rice, grains and beans on their respective containers, as well as the dates you last filled each bin.
  4. To organize cans, use Can racks to keep cans in control. They come in varied shapes and sizes. Tip:Make sure your labels face out in order to easily identify the contents of each can.
  5. Use shoe racks:You read that right. Hang a shoe rack (the type with pockets) on the back of your pantry door. You can use it to store anything from packets of yeast and instant oatmeal to measuring spoons and afterschool snacks.
  6. Use Magazine racks to organize the lids of plastic food storage containers or pots and pans. You can also use these racks as receptacles for boxes of foil, plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  7. Next, hang a dry-erase board or chalkboard on the door of your pantry. When you use the last of an item, note it on the board. That way you’ll always know which dried goods you need more of and won’t have to suffer from any shortage or surplus.
  8. Alternatively, you can keep track of inventory by making a list of items you always keep in stock, along with the quantity you currently have. For example:
  • Marinara sauce — 2
  • Cans of black beans — 4
  • Aluminum foil — 1

When you use an item, update the list by reducing the number, so that you never have to worry about being caught without your favorite food or necessary cooking materials.

  1. Hire Take Time Home Cleaning to help you plan this out and set it up for you.

Take Time Home Cleaning offers a full menu of additional services all designed to help you TAKE TIME to live well!

Check us out at www.taketimecleaning.com or call us at 204-770-7103.

Minimize Headaches While Maximizing Profit

You want to get the best out of your home when you put it up for sale, and we can help you do that. Homes often need a little help getting ready to go on the market.  Our Showcase service will help you get your home market-ready and looking fabulous while maximizing your home’s sale potential. Staging is a great way to put your best foot forward and to showcase your home to potential buyers, and we are passionate about helping you display your home’s potential!  We assess the areas you need help with, both inside and out, and get to work helping you get your home ready to show.  From house cleaning to decluttering, we make the inside of your home buyer ready. We can also help you maintain the outside of your home with lawn-mowing or snow removal services, and help fix up anything that needs a little sprucing up, from painting to re-attaching baseboards to repairing holes in your drywall. From inside to out, and anything in else that needs a little work, we’ll help you get your home ready to show and help maximize the value of your sale while minimizing headaches for you in the process!

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How to Turn Your Bedroom into an Oasis for Sleep

Did you know that your bedroom can have a big impact on the quality of your sleep? It’s true! From how hot or cool it is, to your light sources, to where you put your electronics; it can all be affecting how well-rested you feel each morning!

Whether you’re looking to wake up feeling more alert, or simply want to turn your bedroom into a retreat for relaxation and sleep, these tips will help you make the most of your bedroom and turn it into a calming, welcoming oasis which is perfect for getting a good night’s rest!

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Stay Cool

Did you know that those mornings when you wake up covered in sweat are actually indicative that you didn’t sleep well? You’re not crazy! In fact, being in a warm or too-hot room can drastically affect the quality of your sleep. In fact, the optimal temperature for the best rest is 15 to 22 degrees Celsius.

If you’re not comfortable with leaving your AC on all the time, invest in a can (ceiling fans are great for this, but a regular standing or desktop fan works well, too), or even open the windows a little to let some cool air in.

Keep Things Dark

Your internal clock is based on light signale which are fed to your brain through your eye’s optic nerves. When light is detected, even when you have your eyes closed, it can delay the melatonin release which brings sleep, so always turn off the lights when you’re ready for sleep.

If you have to keep your phone or electronics in your bedroom, keep them as far away from your bad as possible and keep them face-down. Studies have shown that exposure to electrical light before and during sleep suppresses melatonin, meaning that your phone could be disrupting your sleep cycle and making you tired!

If your windows let light in, or you tend to sleep in past sunrise, investing in heavy shades and light-obscuring blinds can also make a world of difference.

Is blocking light just not feasible? Consider buying a sleeping mask. No longer for glamour-pusses and old ladies, they come in a variety of cute styles with comfy strings or elastics to help you sleep better.

Keep Your Bedroom Quiet

Noises and disturbances can affect the quality of your sleep, so if you live in an environment which is particularly loud – maybe you live near or on a busy street, or your partner snores like crazy – investing in some earplugs can go a long way towards a restful night’s sleep.

If earplugs are uncomfortable or bothersome, you can also try investing in a white noise machine, or wave machine which can block out other, more unpleasant, sounds.

Keep the TV Out of Your Bedroom

It may feel relaxing to lounge around in bed and watch Netflix, research has shown that watching TV can negatively impact your sleep.

The motion, sound, and light from the TV all keep your mind stimulated, and in particular the light from the TV affects your internal clock, making it harder to fall asleep and to have the kind of sound sleep you need to feel rested and productive.

Additionally, research has shown that small kids and infants can experience sleep problems, such as resisting going to bed and increased anxiety, when exposed to TV right before sleep.

Upgrade Your Bedding

Make sure to have the right kind of bedding for optimal sleep. Fabrics like cotton, wool, silk, bamboo and linen absorb the moisture from your body and keep you comfortable, while fabrics like polyester trap moisture and can make you warmer

It’s not necessary to get the highest thread count available, but it is important to select bedding which feels nice against your skin, and doesn’t distract you while you’re lying in bed.

For those of us on the prairies, and in other places where we experience the full range of seasons, having separate sets of bedding for both winter and summer can go a long way to keeping you comfortable at night.

Invest in a Mattress

We spend 1/3 of our lives asleep, so it makes sense to be as comfortable as possible! Most people keep their mattresses for around 10 years, but the Better Sleep Council suggests that you begin looking for a new mattress every 5-7 years. However, if your mattress is showing signs of wear and tear such as deep impressions, or is causing you pain to sleep on it, it’s time to look at getting a replacement.

Additionally, if you’ve recently been having physical issues, are recovering from an injury, or experience chronic pain, speak to your doctor about the right kind of mattress to suit your needs.

Upgrade Your Pillows

Pillows should be replaced every 1-2 years, especially in the case of down or poly-filled pillows, which can lose their shape more easily. If a pillow is too flat, or too thick, it’s time to purchase a new one.

Also, don’t forget to regularly wash your pillowcases! While it’s important to regularly wash your bed linens, our pillowcases quickly pick up and trap all the grease, bacteria, dead skin, and other unpleasantness from our faces while we sleep and rub our hair and faces on it.

Want more tips on how to make your home a comfortable and welcoming place to be? Sign up for our newsletter!

5 Mobile Apps to Help You Go Green at Home

If you’ve been thinking about “going green ” at home and in your life overall, but aren’t sure where to start, or are worried about maintaining it once the initial feel-good vibes wear off, there are a variety of apps out there to help you make this important lifestyle change. Living green and being eco-friendly isn’t just about saving the planet, it’s about living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle which benefits everyone!

In this post we’ll share five of our favourite eco-friendly apps to help you get started on your sustainability journey:

Green Kitchen App

1.Green Kitchen

Green kitchen is an app designed to help you make healthier meal choices. Banish those carps and fatty, processed food and explore a variety of organic, vegetarian (delicious!) sustainable dishes which require less energy consumption to make. It features hand-picked recipes which are easy to follow and beautiful photos which will have your mouth watering!

Available on: iOS

Green Genie App

2. Green Genie

If you’re new to the idea of living sustainably, this is the app for you. Green Genie is developed by a slew of eco-friendly professionals and features a massive database of green living tips, sustainable projects to make your home more eco-friendly, and resources to help you make the right purchasing decisions.

Available on: iOS

Locavore Green App

3. Locavore

Locavore uses your phone’s GPS to find farmers market’s and farms close to you which sell in-season, local food. Locavore gives you profiles, directions, and lists of what’s in season, as well as a ton of delicious recipes to put that locally-grown food to good use. Yum!

Available on: iOS and Android

UNEP Carbon Calculator App

4. UNEP Carbon Calculator

The UNEP Carbon Calculator is an app designed to help you understand the impact of your emissions as you travel. As many of us know, greenhouse gasses have some of the worst effects on global climate change, and understanding and curbing those behaviours is one of the best ways we can work to be more eco-friendly. This handy calculator lets you calculate how much CO2 is given off when you travel.

Available on: iOS

GoodGuide App to Living Green

GoodGuide

Are you the kind of person who wants to know which toothpaste is the greenest, or how “green” your makeup products are? Then this is the app for you!

GoodGuide is a terrific little app which allows you to scan the barcodes of more than 120,000 products to see if they’re safe to use or consume, healthy, socially responsible, and green. You can look up the ingredients, nutritional value,  impact on animal welfare and human rights, how energy-efficient the product is, and more!

Available on: iOS

Do you have any favourite green or eco-friendly apps? Tell us in the comments!

5 Ways to Naturally Clean Your Kitchen With White Vinegar

5 Ways to Naturally Clean Your Kitchen With White Vinegar

Many people don’t realize it, but white distilled vinegar is one of the best tools to have in your kitchen – both for cooking, and for cleaning! Vinegar has a variety of uses, from scrubbing scum away, to disinfecting your butcher blocks, and today we’re going to cover 10 great ways that you can use vinegar to naturally clean your kitchen.

1. Shine Your Stainless Steel Appliances

We love the look of stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, but they can easily show streaks, fingerprints, and hard water marks. Multiple months (or years!) of use, touching, and water stains can leave your stainless steel looking flat and dirty.

Luckily, adding some new life to your stove, fridge or dishwasher is easy! Just combine vinegar and olive oil in a spray bottle, mist your appliances, and wipe away with a soft cloth or paper towel.  This salad dressing-like mixture works wonders and will have your appliances gleaming in no time flat!

2. Soak Before Buffing Tarnished Silver

With Thanksgiving coming and Christmas just around the corner, many of us will be opening up those silverware drawers and polishing our best silver. Want an easy way to make your silver shine? Try out this easy project:

Use an aluminum or glass baking dish and line it with aluminum foil (shiny side up). Make sure the dish is deep enough that your silver can soak in the mixture we’re about to create. Next, combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of sea salt, 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of boiling water. Pour the mixture over your silver and allow the pieces to soak until the tarnish can be buffed away. Older, more tarnished pieces may need to sit longer.

3. Refresh Your Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is looking like it’s seen better days, empty it and run a cycle with 2 of cups of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher. By the time the cycle is complete the vinegar will have washed away hard water deposits, streaks and even odours! You can also use vinegar to clean around handles, scrub the utensil rack, and wipe off the exterior as well!

4. Wash the Dishes In the Dishwasher

If your current dishwasher soap doesn’t include a rinse aid, don’t worry about buying any; white vinegar works as an excellent rinse aid. Just fill the rise aid reservoir in your dishwasher with white vinegar and run as normal. The vinegar will leave your dishes sparkling!

5. Clean Your Coffee Carafe

Over time coffee carafes can become stained and unsightly, so use white vinegar to restore a clean, shiny look! Simply follow these steps:

After emptying out any old coffee grinds from your coffee maker, fill the carafe full with equal parts white vinegar and water. Fill the water reservoir with the mixture from the carafe and begin a regular brew cycle. Shut the cycle off halfway through and leave your pot to sit with the mixture for an hour. Once the hour is up, start a fresh brew cycle with enough water to fill your carafe. Do this 2-3 more times to ensure that all the vinegar is washed out, and you’re left with a sparking coffee carafe!

Looking for affordable, trustworthy house cleaners in Winnipeg to help you shorten your to-do list? Request a free estimate for our professional cleaning services!

10 Ways to Get Your House Ready for Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Get Your House Ready for Thanksgiving

For those of us in Canada Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you’re hosting a large meal for family and friends the laundry list of things to do before your guests arrive might seem overwhelming.

Luckily even if you haven’t had the chance to do a deep clean before guests start arriving, there are a few key things that you can do to instantly make your home feel cleaner and more inviting.

Below are our favourite ten ways to get your house ready for Thanksgiving:

  • Clean the bathroom. Most guests will overlook dust on the TV, or lint on the couch, but dealing with a dirty bathroom is an unpleasant experience that your guests shouldn’t have to deal with during their visit. Wipe down the toilet and sink, spray and wipe down the bathroom mirror, empty the trash, make sure the toilet paper is stocked up, light a candle or incense, and put out fresh towels.
  • Dust and tidy. Remove clutter from surfaces and give them a wipe before your guests come over. Some areas to focus on are coffee and side tables, electronics (which are usually dark and show dust easily) and low shelves.
  • Fluff your pillows. Having fluffy, fresh-looking pillows instantly makes a room look more inviting. Plus, if you had a nap earlier your guests will be none the wiser!
  • Wipe kitchen countertops. No doubt you’ve been busily preparing food for your guests, but wiping down your counters is an easy way to make your kitchen look (and feel!) less hectic than it’s likely been over the past few hours.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor. Once you’ve wiped off the countertops, sweep the debris away and wipe up any drips or food splatters on the floor.
  • Vacuum. Ran the vacuum in rooms where your guests will be spending most of their time: the front hallway, living room, dining room bathrooms, and any guest bedrooms for overnight visitors.
  • Do the dishes. Wash, dry and put away any dishes you can before your guests arrive. If you’ve got a dishwasher, running a cycle in-between when your food is finished (or nearly finished) and after dinner can make a huge difference in the time that it takes to clean up.
  • Create inviting lighting. Turning off the overhead lights and using lamps not only creates a cozy, more intimate feel for your guests, but it also helps draw attention away from areas which might not have been cleaned as thoroughly.
  • Make room for coats and bags. Make space in your front closet or coat rack for your guests jackets, or choose a room like your bedroom or a guest bedroom with space for guests’ bags and jackets.
  • Put on some music. Music instantly makes your home feel more inviting, and fills any pauses in conversation, which help guests feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Want to know how we can help ease the workload the next time you’re hosting an event or get-together? Request an estimate and see how easy hosting a get-together can be with a little extra cleaning help!