Why We Use Cloth Towels Instead of Paper Towels

Hey! This is Madeline, Carpe Diem’s General Manager checking in to let you know why we use cloth towels instead of paper towels!

Why We Use Cloth Towels Instead of Paper Towels | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Many people, including other cleaning companies, use paper towels when cleaning because it is so easy to toss the soiled cloths into the trash can and keep cleaning. However, we use cloth towels for cleaning, which can be washed and reused many times, while paper towels can be used only once before going in the garbage. We also use cloth mop covers on the amazing Sh-Mop which can be washed and reused many times, unlike Swiffer pads.

 

We also use an energy-efficient washer and dryer to clean and dry our towels. As participants in the global economy it is our objective to contribute positively to the health of the Earth’s environment at large, and to protect its precious resources.

Looking for some extra help around the house? Look no further! We offer house cleaning services in Cary-Apex!

Make Valentine’s Day Sweet Again

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and chances are you’re already being barraged with pink and red hearts and coma-inducing amounts of candy. You may be stressing over what to plan for your special someone, or maybe you’re single and dreading the prospect of a night in… alone.

Alright kids, take a deep breath – don’t stress! Valentine’s Day is about expressing your love to the special people in your life, and truth is, you don’t need to break the bank or even be in a romantic relationship to do that. We’ve scoured the web for inspiration and have even come up with some ideas of our own for making Valentine’s Day sweet again.

Sweet, Sweet Romance

Make Valentine's Day Sweet Again | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Aphrodisiac Recipes from The Huffington Post

  1. Tired of shelling out the big bucks every year for a fancy meal? Dine in and try your hand at one of these delicious aphrodisiac recipes, like “Asparagus Rolls With Prosciutto And Basil Ricotta Cheese” or “Warm Chocolate Cakes with Marscapone Cream.”
  2. Have a favorite local restaurant but it’s already booked up? Why not celebrate valentine’s day after valentine’s day? Seriously –  restaurants won’t be packed, and all the accompanying Valentine’s Day stuff in stores will be half off. You’ll just want to make sure that your partner is on board with this plan before hitting “execute”!
  3. Looking for a creative (and cheap!) alternative to the same old same old? Check out these fun ideas from The Daily Dish. We love #3 and #12 – let us know if you need help with #11!

Singles Unite 

Make Valentine's Day Sweet Again | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Valentine-themed cocktails from Saveur

Single ladies, and you single gents too,  let’s get real with this! Now is the time to ignore all those Hollywood stereotypes, because truth is, you do not need to be in a romantic relationship to be a whole person. Take this holiday as an opportunity to love the people around you, and don’t get bogged down by what pop culture says about romance.

  1. Throw a partay for your fellow single friends! Plan for ladies only or guys only, or make it a mixer. Have a chocolate theme and try out some of these savory chocolate recipes, or mix up some of these tasty Valentine-themed cocktails.
  2. If you’re really craving that night out on the town, plan a traditional date with a friend, or get a few friends together for a less-traditional group date.
  3. Destined for a night in? Raise your spirits with a good comedy like… Bridesmaids (R-rated!), Hot Fuzz, Mean Girls, The Producers (1968), Miss Congeniality, Starsky & Hutch,  The Devil Wears Prada,  Death at a Funeral, Bend it Like Beckham…

Family Fun

Make Valentine's Day Sweet Again | Carpe Diem Cleaning

DIY Valentine’s Day crafts from Woohome.

Want to celebrate with the kiddos? Give the little people in your life some love!

  1. Make a fun treat together, like these tasty ice cream sandwiches.
  2. Try out some easy and fun Valentine’s Day crafts from these lists: 10 last minute crafts and 30 fun crafts for kids.
  3. Want holiday themed goodies but don’t want to over-dose your loved ones with sugar? Give these healthy (and fun!) recipes a try. The “Valentine’s Day Egg in the Basket” is adorable, and the “Blood Orange Margaritas” are a great way for the grownups to start the night.

Give your sweetheart (or yourself!) the gift of a clean home! Call us for a free consultation if you live in Raleigh!

Last-Minute Valentine’s Gifts

Are you scrambling to find that perfect Valentine’s gift for your kids, sweetheart, friends, or teachers? Don’t worry because we’ve found the best last minute Valentine’s gifts that are both heartfelt AND easy to put together in an afternoon!

The Little Munchkins

Last-Minute Valentine's Gifts | Carpe Diem Cleaning

3D Paper Heart Box from Oh My Creative

It’s easy to be inundated with candy while celebrating Valentine’s Day. Do you want to give a healthy treat instead of candy? Then try giving clementines with this “You’re a Cutie” printable tag! If your child hands these out to their friends, you can spread healthy, delicious holiday cheer beyond your family.  Other parents are sure to appreciate one less piece of candy making its way into their house, too. ;-)

If you’re feeling crafty, why not make this 3D paper heart box  from the free template? The box can hold a small gift from you to your child. If they’re handy with scissors, they could make these with you and hand them out to their friends!

 

For your Special Someone

We all know that some couples are more sentimental than others. Here are a few ideas for some last-minute gifts for your husband or wife.

Last-Minute Valentine's Gifts | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Valentine’s Candy Wreath from Crazy Little Projects

If your partner has a sweet tooth, this Valentine’s candy wreath could be the perfect gift! Pick out their favorite candy and hot glue the pieces to a styrofoam wreath, and you’re done. Bonus points if you add in ribbon!

Who doesn’t love snuggling up in front of a good movie? Make a movie date night basket in one of two ways.  First put a bag of popcorn andyour sweetheart’s favorite candy in the basket. Then add either the movie of your choice OR a gift card to a local theater in the basket. Set a date, and you’re done!

There’s nothing like a good ice cream sundae with your favorite toppings. Make a sundae-in-a box gift (just add ice cream!) with your partner’s favorite toppings for a sweet present!

If you’re trying to give a gift that’s both festive and practical, this is it! Make a box of treats full of your partner’s favorite things. You can include little notes about the things that you love about him/her that are sentimental without having to write a full-blown love letter. Include your partner’s favorite chocolates, wine or beer for a fun treat, too! Take this gift over the top by making coupons for breakfast in bed, a massage, & more.

Last-Minute Valentine's Gifts | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Open When Letters from Andréa Matillano

Whether your sweetheart is near or far, Open When letters can be a huge hit if you’re looking for a gift that’s more sentimental. Write several letters to your loved one and write “Open When…” on the outside of the letter, depending on what circumstances they’re dealing with.  For example, you could write “Open when you feel like you’re failing” on the outside of the envelope.  Then you could write a note to your sweetheart about a time when they succeeded and encourage them to not give up. Here are links to Open When Letters for couples who are apart, and here are ideas for when the couple is close.

Then There’s Everyone Else!

Last-Minute Valentine's Gifts | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Hugs & Kisses Mason Jar from The Happier Homemaker

Here are some simple gift ideas that only require a trip to the store (maybe!) and a printer to show appreciation for those special teachers, neighbors and friends in your life.

This Valentine’s Candy Bouquet is a super easy (& delicious!) way to show that you care. Flowers are pretty, but you get to eat candy!

If you have a few spare jars hanging around your house, you can put chocolate in this Hugs & Kisses Mason Jar. Or, for your child’s teacher, you can print off this put your heart into teaching free printable and put it on the same jar.

Looking for a non-candy gift option? This You’re the Balm free printable will go perfectly on a tube of lip balm, which anyone will appreciate this time of year!

 

The perfect gift for anyone on your Valentine’s list is the gift of time! Until February 13th, get 15% off the purchase of a deep cleaning…for you or someone who you love! We clean homes in the Chapel Hill and Pittsboro area, so reach out to us today for a free consultation.

Anniversary Interview with Team Member Maria

This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s Branch Manager, checking in today with an interview of Maria on her one-year anniversary with Carpe Diem!

 

How did you start at Carpe Diem?
I heard about Carpe Diem from a former employee.

What do you like about working at Carpe Diem?
I enjoy working with my co-workers and developing relationships with them.

Any advice for preparing your home for a cleaning?
My advice would be to pick up before your cleaning team arrives.

 

As of this month, Maria has been with us for 1 year.  We appreciate her kind spirit and how she accepts change and improvement.  Maria lives here in Durham, and we are so glad to have such a responsible helper as part of our cleaning teams.  We have loved having you as a member of our teams for the past year!

Our ladies can help keep your home clean year-round! Call us for more information on house cleaning in Durham!

Why We Use Re-Purposed Police Cars in our Fleet

Hey! This is Madeline, Carpe Diem’s General Manager checking in to let you know why we use re-purposed police cars in our fleet!

Why We Use Re-Purposed Police Cars in our Fleet | Carpe Diem CleaningThe majority of our fleet of vehicles are police cars that have been re-purposed for our teams. We buy the cars at auction once they have accumulated around 80,000 miles but have plenty of life left in them! Our long-term goal is to continue to find creative sustainable solutions for the challenges of conducting business in a changing world. By purchasing used instead of new fleet cars, we are able to extend the life of vehicles that are used daily.

From the business side of things, there are definitely a few perks that come with using old police cars. We love that our fleet cars have automatic transmissions instead of manual, which was not the case with some of our original fleet cars!  Since the police cars are American-made, the repairs are more affordable than repairs on imported cars. We feel comfortable knowing our cleaning teams drive around the Triangle in these safe, solid cars.

Want to know more about our police cars? See last summer’s Herald Sun article and CBS’s news story for more details!

Ready to start the new year off right with a clean home? We offer house cleaning services in Cary-Apex so give us a call today!

Prepping your Home for Snow + Free Checklist

Prepping your Home for Snow + Free Checklist | Carpe Diem Cleaning

In North Carolina, we never know what to expect from the weather, especially in the winter!  Some years we have lots of snow and ice and power outages, and during other years we barely have a snowflake.  Whatever comes our way, it’s good to be prepared!  Scroll to the bottom of this post for the link to a Winter Home Maintenance Checklist to get your home ready for snow and ice.

Serious Snow Prepping
Prepping your Home for Snow + Free Checklist | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Worried about possibly being without power for a few days if a snow or ice storm hits?  Buy gas heater or generator and have everything on hand and set up in advance.  Make sure that you have a thorough knowledge of safety hazards around a gas heater as it can be a serious fire hazard if used incorrectly.

Never leave a gas heater unattended, and keep it clear of any fire hazards, such as curtains and blankets.  If you have never had a generator set up before, have an electrician come to your home ahead of time to set it up so that you know that it is functioning correctly.


During the Snow Storm
Prepping your Home for Snow + Free Checklist | Carpe Diem Cleaning

If your car is parked outside, do yourself a favor and put your windshield wipers up and cover with old tube socks.  This prevents your wipers from sticking to your windshield and saves them from the ice and snow.  If temperatures drop below 25 degrees F, turn your faucets to just a drip so that your pipes don’t freeze.  If your pipes freeze in the winter, wrap your pipes in newspaper, towels or rags as needed.  Then warm them with a hair dryer if they freeze.

Make sure that you have charged electronics as needed if there is a threat of snow or ice before there is a power outage.  If you lose power, unplug important electrical equipment to avoid ruining it in a power surge when power is restored.

Click here to download the FREE Winter Home Maintenance Checklist!

Hopefully, we’ll have safe and happy snow days this year, and with these tips, you’re sure to have a peaceful rather than stressed snow day! 

Want to get a head start on a clean home before inclement weather strikes? We offer house cleaning services in Durham!

Creative At-Home Date Night Ideas

We all know that as important as staying connected to our spouse or significant other is, it can be challenging.  With all of the demands on our time and energy, sometimes it’s easy to skip date night altogether.  Having an at-home date night can take the stress out of scheduling a baby sitter and figuring out where to go.  Here are 11 creative at-home date night ideas to keep you and your special someone connected!

Creative At-Home Date Night Ideas | Carpe Diem Cleaning Have a beer or wine tasting with delicious frozen appetizers from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or your favorite grocery store.  Grab a few of your favorite beverages and write down the complex flavors that you taste.  Compare notes with your sweetheart!

Fondue seems decadent and best suited for a special occasion, but it can actually be a super simple treat.  If you make cheese fondue, dip pieces of bread, sausage, apples, broccoli and carrots in the fondue!  If you make dessert fondue, eat it with strawberries, marshmallows, pretzel rods, bananas and graham crackers.

Love to travel?  Have a date night dinner inspired by your favorite country!  You could make pad thai and spring rolls if you love Thailand, paella and sangria if Spain is your jam, or jerk chicken and plantains if Jamaica is your fave.  Get creative!

Sometimes vegging in front of the TV can be just what the doctor ordered!  Plan a themed movie night with your significant other with movies that you both enjoy. Pop some popcorn and watch Harry Potter movies, Martin Scorsese movies, Marvel movies, or your favorites together!

Creative At-Home Date Night Ideas | Carpe Diem CleaningWe all have those nights when we don’t want to cook and just want to spend time with our loved ones. Order take out from your favorite restaurant and play cards or a board game together!  Whether you choose a game that brings out your competitive spirit or has you working together, you’re sure to have a blast!

Walk down memory lane together by watching your wedding video together or going through old photo albums.  It’s fun to see younger versions of yourselves and to reminisce!

Video games aren’t just for kids and gamers! Have a video game night where you and your spouse play video games together — or against each other if you’re competitive.  Fighting games and role playing games can take you on an adventure together — without leaving the comfort of your home!

Creative At-Home Date Night Ideas | Carpe Diem CleaningIf you’re exhausted, then an at-home spa night could be the most relaxing date night for you and your spouse! Give each other massages and soak in the tub.  Put on that face mask that you’ve been saving, light candles and let your stress melt away.

So often we’re distracted by our kids, our work and just our phones that we lose focus when we’re talking with our significant other. Write down 10 questions that you’ve always wanted to ask each other and talk about the answers together.  You might be surprised with what you learn about your sweetheart!

Snuggle under a blanket and watch a movie outside with hot chocolate.  If you really plan ahead, then you can project a movie onto a sheet or screen.  If you’re more spontaneous, simply grab your laptop or tablet and enjoy a movie in the outdoors on a cool night.

Roast marshmallows and make s’mores over the fire pit.  You could technically do this one over a gas stove, but we can’t recommend it! ;-) Hang out by the fire and chat and take in the night sounds.

What are your favorite at-home date night ideas?

Need more time in your life?  We provide house cleaning services in Raleigh, so get in touch today!

 

Inclement Weather Policy

 

We’ve had a chilly winter already, and who knows what the weather will hold for us this season! Whatever comes, it’s good to be prepared.

 

Inclement Weather Policy | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Safety is our number one priority!  Please be familiar with our policy during inclement weather.  We will work hard to accommodate each of our clients’ needs while also making sure our crews are not out in dangerous conditions.

During a normal workweek, Carpe Diem Cleaning follows the local public school systems to determine our hours of operations in the event of dangerous inclement weather conditions.  School system closures are determined by the safety of bus routes.  This provides a good indicator for both the safety of our crews coming to work from their own homes, as well as the safety of the routes to our clients’ homes.

Since our office and operations are based out of Durham, we follow the Durham County schools for closings or delays.  However, our route schedules into specific cities will follow the local schools for their respective counties (Wake and Orange).  For example, if Durham schools are open, but Orange County schools are closed, the Carpe Diem office will be open however we will not service homes in Orange County that day.  (As an alternative example, if Orange County schools are open, but Durham schools are closed, our office will be closed with the Durham schools and will not be in operation in any county that day).

If Carpe Diem is delayed for the day, your cleaning team will likely arrive in a different time window than normal or could possibly be switched to another day.  If your cleaning is switched to another day, we will contact you as soon as possible; otherwise expect the crew on a delayed schedule that same day. Please contact us that morning if this is a problem or if you have an urgent scheduling need.

Inclement Weather Policy | Carpe Diem CleaningIn the event of a closing or delay, our office will quickly respond to all email and phone communication as soon as we are able. If you have any questions regarding how we handle scheduling during inclement weather, please feel free to contact us at any time. While safety concerns can necessitate schedule changes in dangerous weather conditions, we will work very hard to accommodate each client’s scheduling priorities once we are back in operation!

You can also “Like” our Facebook page where we’ll be posting information about delays and closings. 

We offer house cleaning services in Chapel Hill, so give us a call today for a free consultation!

 

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

We’ve had a fantastic 2017, but we’re so excited to see what 2018 holds for our Carpe Diem family!  We wish you and yours all the best in the coming year!

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018! | Carpe Diem Cleaning

Behind the Scene of Wendy Clark’s CBS Interview

Here are a few links to the highlights of our year and top blog posts:

Carpe Diem Voted “Best in the Triangle” 2017!

Interview with Branch Manager Daly

Herald Sun article – From Crime to Grime: Durham Maids Hit the Streets in Style

CBS News Video – Durham Cleaning Company Uses Old Police Cars as Company Fleet

Here are some blog posts to check out, if you missed them!

Why We Want your Feedback–Good or Bad!

3 Benefits of an Organized and Clean Home

Our Organizer + Home Organization Tips

Our Recommended Painters & Window Cleaners

Want to start the year off with a clean slate? We clean houses in Durham so contact us today for a free quote!

Anniversary Interview with Alma

This is Daly, Carpe Diem’s Branch Manager, checking in today with an interview of Alma on her 4-year anniversary with Carpe Diem!

Anniversary Interview with Alma | Carpe Diem CleaningHow did you start at Carpe Diem?
A Carpe Diem employee told me about the job.

What do you like about working at Carpe Diem?
My favorite thing about working at Carpe Diem is how management makes their employees feel loved and appreciated, making it a great place to work! They have support me as a team leader and are flexible with my work schedule.

Any advice for preparing your home for a cleaning?
My advice would be to pick up your counters before your cleaning team arrives.

As of this month, Alma has been with us for 4 years.  We appreciate how responsible and calm she is as a driver and team leader.  She works well with anyone who’s a part of her team and readily accepts change and improvement.  Alma lives here in Durham with her husband and two sons.  We have loved having you as a member of our teams for so many years!

Our ladies can help keep your home clean year-round! Call us for more information on house cleaning in Cary-Apex!