Tips for maintaining a clean home

Our third child is due in mid-November, and I have officially entered “nesting mode.” Image result for pregnant nesting With the other two, I was going strong up until right before they were born; I shampooed the carpets in the week before my second was born, and even attended a concert on the day of!  However, this one feels a little different and I am losing steam much more quickly.  Therefore, I felt it was important to start the cleaning early so I don’t have to worry about being unable to do it later on.  The problem with this is the chance of the house being destroyed between now and my due date, so I have to focus on maintenance, which is not my strong suit so I have come up with a few rules to follow to help me out.  If it isn’t yours either, maybe you will be able to use these tips as you are working to maintain a tidy home!

  1. Laundry – start a load every morning.  If you go to work and don’t want to leave wet clothes sitting in the wash all day, look for a delay start function on your washer and set it for about an hour before you get home.  Also, try to have a basket for each person, as well as towels so you can separate straight out of the dryer instead of creating an additional task for yourself.
  2. Batch toilets – I hate toilet brushes, and have gotten rid of all of ours.  Clorox wands have disposable brush heads with cleaner built inside.  This is a convenient and sanitary way to keep your toilets clean; however, it’s not as cost-effective as a reusable brush.  So to cut down on use, I try to clean all toilets at the same time and reuse the brush head a few times to get more out of each one.  Even if you use brushes, cleaning all toilets at the same time is a great way to stay on track and ensure that toilets are all clean.
  3. Have a drawer for all paperwork and bills so that things don’t get lost – having one specific drawer for these items keeps things organized and minimizes the chance that something will get lost or misplaced.
  4. Straighten up before bed – when I come down in the morning to a tidy house, I am much more likely to keep it that way throughout the day.  On the other hand, if I come down to a mess, it is likely to get worse before better.  This is certainly a mental thing on my part, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences it!
  5. Break up tasks – instead of lying in bed thinking “tomorrow, I’m cleaning the whole house!” and then feeling like a failure the next night when you haven’t done much Broom, Ragpicker, Mop, Picker, Toilet, Cleaningat all, try breaking up your tasks each day.  For my “baby cleaning,” I set a seven day schedule for myself that covered all parts of my house, but was broken up enough that I didn’t feel overwhelmed.  I found a few templates online, but in the end decided to come up with my own schedule, specific to my home and my preferences.  This was for a deep clean, but for maintenance purposes you can use the same list; you will just have less to do after the first time!
  6. Go digital with as many things as you possibly can – this is less about cleaning and more about being prepared, but setting things up online is a great way to stay on top of things and make sure you don’t get behind.  This includes utilizing auto-payments whenever you can, as well as automatic shipping on household items, such as toilet paper, diapers, laundry detergent, etc. to make sure you don’t run out.
  7. Remotes for lights – this saves both time and money and is something that we have found extremely useful.  I prefer lamps to overhead lighting, so I have a lot aroundLight, Lamp, Bedside Lamp, Illumination, Lampshade the house in various places.  We had some remotes for our Christmas lights and this year instead of packing them away, we have continued using them for the lights in our house.  When the sun goes down, I simply have to press a few buttons to turn the lights on, and at the end of the night do the same to turn them off.  Rather than walking around flipping a ton of switches multiple times a day, this simple tool saves so much time and also prevents leaving lamps on, leading to a spike in the electric bill.

Hopefully these tips help you as much as they have helped me!  Do you have anything else you like to do that I have forgotten?  Please put it in the comments below, and as usual, Expect the Exceptional in everything you do!


Home delivery all the way into your fridge

Not sure what everyone’s thoughts are on this, but this is definitely something that I am going to let other people try first? What will be next, a pizza delivery guy letting himself in and then proceeding to serve you and your family so that you don’t have to get out of your chair?

Walmart is now testing a service that will allow employees to enter your home and stock your fridge while you’re out. Because nothing appeals to me more than the thought of a Walmart employee entering my home while no one is there and handling my food. Somehow I don’t see this catching on.

via Walmart Home Delivery to Your Fridge — PART TIME PUNDIT

Dedication & diligence in the workplace

Dedicated employees are the driving force behind any successful company.  Dedication can be described as an “exceedingly strong feeling of support and loyalty for something or someone.”  When your employees are loyal to your business, it usually means that they love what they are doing and have a vested interest in the company doing well.

You can recognize a dedicated employee by noticing the first people to show up and woman on computer in bedthe last to leave at the end of the day.  These employees will typically continue working once they get home, as they experience great pleasure with the success of the company’s success, as well as their own.  These added hours are not put in due to a fear of losing their job, it is just that they truly enjoy what they are doing and have trouble putting their work away.


Here are 12 characteristics displayed by loyal employees who are described as being “dedicated”:

  • An infectious passion for work and belief in the company’s mission and vision
  • Steers clear of negativity and drama, instead focusing on positive ideas
  • A positive attitude in personal interactions with teammates and clients
  • Punctuality at all times for work, meetings and functions
  • High attendance and low absenteeism at work
  • Knows the history, mission, values and vision of the business
  • Frequently shares new ideas and ways in which the company can grow
  • Flexibility and excitement when it comes to change
  • Incredible work ethic
  • Always manages to get things done, regardless of obstacles they may face
  • Leaves work when the job is complete, not when the clock strikes 5pm
  • Continually looks for ways to improve individually so that they can contribute more


On the flip side, burnout is a common trait among employees who have been in their position for an extended period of time.  If you notice a high rate of turnover, it’s probably time to examine where the problem lies and make changes accordingly.  It could be a simple matter of employees being in the wrong position at your company and a few lateral changes may just do the trick.

It is possible to love the actual work that you are doing, but have major problems in your current work environment.  I was in a position previously that made me miserable.  I shed many tears and suffered major stress over finding a new job, if only for my sanity.  When my husband asked me what I would like to do, I realized that I really enjoyed the actual work I was doing; the problem was WHERE I worked and those that I worked with.  That was very eye-opening and led me to hasten my retreat so I could find something that made me happier.  As an employer, it’s important to ask yourself if you are creating a positive workplace environment that nurtures those who love what they are doing, and in turn leads to positive growth in your business.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter, so please share your comments below. What are some ways in which you research a company prior to joining to make sure that you have a strong chance of loving your job and sticking around for multiple years? As an employer, what do you do to create a positive environment that encourages people to stick around because they love their job? Where have you previously worked where you experienced burnout? Until next time, have a brilliant week and in everything that you do, Expect the Exceptional.





Keeping Active on Holiday

Expect the Exceptional often discusses travel, be it customer service abroad or tips for traveling with kids.  This blog from Bonnie in Wonderland includes some great tips for staying active while traveling!

As you well know, I love travelling! But often travel is associated with over indulgence, the classic ‘I’ll do exercise/start the diet when I’m back from holiday’ seems to come up far too frequently. So when To Tuscany got in touch about writing a post about incorporating exercise into travel, I thought it would be […]

via Keeping active on holiday — Bonnie in Wonderland


Integrity: Do the right thing & make smart choices

Definition of Work Integrity: According to the BusinessDictionary the definition of Integrity means the following: 1. Strict adherence to a moral code, reflected in transparent honesty and complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does. 2. State of a system where it is performing its intended functions without being degraded or impaired by changes […]

via Having Integrity at Work — Coaching for Inspiration with Patti


The top 9 things to do in San Fran

Living in San Francisco for six months gave me the opportunity to explore one of the country’s most famous cities. Read about my favorite attractions here.

via Top 9 San Francisco Attractions — katherine anne hayes


Is your brain getting mushy?

The skills gap has been a hot topic among business leaders, educators, and politicians over the last several years. According to a recent study by Career Builder, a company on average loses more than $14,000 for every job that says vacant longer than three months. Rather than waiting for the perfect employee to come along, we suggest you consider utilizing professional development to build the skill sets you need in your organization.  Below are just five of the many benefits professional development can provide for your business.

1. Increase Retention

In an era where more and more employers are cutting costs by taking away giving a presentationopportunities like training, your organization can stand out from the rest by offering and promoting some professional development options. Offering professional development shows your workers that you care about their career progression and are interested in keeping them at your organization long-term.

2. Make succession planning easier

Professional development programs are great tools for training future leaders at your organization. Rather than hiring outside the business, promoting from within is a great way to show your staff that they can have a long career with your organization. It can also reduce the knowledge gaps that are inevitable with turnover and outside hires. By choosing professional development programs that help your employees master skills they need to progress, you can shape the development of your future leaders.

3.  Re-energize your staff

Get-Moving-at-Work-to-Prevent-Varicose-VeinsProfessional development can help break up the monotony of everyday work and re-energize your staff’s creativity. Providing periodic professional development can also help your staff gain new skills and perspectives, which can translate into how they approach their jobs.  It also allows for discussion among peers, giving employees a chance to bounce ideas off of and learn from one another.

4.  Give your employees an edge


Professional development can give your employees the confidence to step into a role they may not normally have the courage to take.  This can lead directly back to number two, allowing you to hire from within rather than find someone brand new.

5. Keep minds active

There are many studies that discuss the importance of keeping your mind active, cube-2582067_960_720essentially “exercising” your brain the way you exercise your body.  Personally, I feel my brain getting “mushy” if I am not learning something new.  After I graduated with my bachelor’s, I looked forward to returning to school to complete my master’s degree, as school kept me sharp in all aspects of my life.  But now that I am finished with schooling, and have no plans to return, I need to look for new ways to keep my brain active.  The Brain Yoga app on my phone helps a little, but I need something more, and I imagine your employees do as well. Professional development is a great way to keep your employees sharp and teach them new skills at the same time.


Hopefully these ideas will give you some inspiration for some additional education for your team.  And if you are a member of a team that could use some extra knowledge, this is a great thing to recommend to your boss, and will show initiative on your part!