Spring Cleaning with Goldstar Services

  spring-cleaning-organization-kids-can-help-tooWith Spring officially arriving in Canada we’re now welcoming longer days, melting snow, and an increased urge to be outdoors. Unfortunately, along with spring never-ending muddy boots appear, sticky fingerprints are all of a sudden WAY more visible on your windows and yet another cold and flu season is here to tear through your office or family. Luckily there is a quick solution to all of your spring cleaning dilemmas and that solution is simple. Goldstar Cleaning Services.  

 Spring Cleaning Floor Care Solutions

carpet-cleaning-goldstar-floor-care-spring-cleaningHow is it that no matter what you do to keep it outside, mud is always making its way inside? It sneaks in on your husbands work boots, the kid’s rainboots (wait a minute, let’s be realistic here. ANY footwear your kid’s own) and that adorable little fur baby. Before you know it, the celebration of spring suddenly becomes servitude to the mud Gods. Instead of buying the expensive equipment yourself or renting a machine that doesn’t sanitize your carpets, a professional carpet cleaner will ensure your carpets are receiving proper treatment. After all different carpets DO require different methods.  Spring clean with Goldstars confident carpet cleaners and floor care experts.

Spring cleaning Window WASHING

cleaning-windows-spring-cleaningSticky fingerprints, dog drool, and is that, someones…face? How did all of this end up on your once crystal clear windows? It’s amazing what we are blind to during the long dark winter months. However, now that it’s spring ALL you can see is those cringe-worthy smudges. Hire a professional to help protect your windows and save yourself the accident waiting to happen. Start off Spring with sparkling windows to really help soak in that sun. Spring cleaning just keeps getting easier.

Combat Germs and Reduce the Risk of Flu Season

SPRING-CLEANING-KILLING-GERMS ANOTHER cold and flu season, you have got to be kidding! Unfortunately, we’re not. Spring is the perfect time of year for those pesky germs to cultivate and attack when you’re at your weakest. How can we beat them to the punch? By hiring a cleaning company. The average Canadian is missing eight work days a year because of illness. By hiring a professional you are attacking germs head on as the employees know that high traffic areas aren’t only the employee lounge or the bathrooms. They know that germs are most commonly on keyboards and phones, doorknobs and microwaves. Schedule your weekly office cleans with Goldstar today and keep your employees healthy and productive.
So don’t let spring stress you out or cause you unwanted illness, be proactive by hiring Goldstar. Let us take care of all of your spring cleaning needs.

Find the right cleaning company for your business


You wouldn’t hire just anyone to clean your house. Similarly, if you’ve decided to contract out cleaning and janitorial services at your office, it’s important to thoroughly review your options.

A cursory search online will unearth numerous cleaning companies in your community. Which one you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including your own personal preferences, cost and the cleaning needs of your workspace.

To help narrow down the field, Goldstar has compiled this handy list of questions to ask yourself when comparing the services of different cleaning companies.

How frequently do you need cleaning done?

Your answer will depend on numerous factors, including the nature of your business, the number of employees and what facilities (kitchen? bathrooms?) are present in the office.

What do you need cleaned – and what can you handle yourself?

Most cleaning companies provide a checklist of services they can perform. Once you’ve hammered down a routine that works for your office, make it clear to your employees that personal cleanliness is still their responsibility.

Who are your cleaning company’s references?

Don’t settle for online testimonials. Ask to speak with references from other companies that hired your cleaning service. Ask your references what the cleaners do well, what they can do better and whether they’re satisfied with the quality and cost of service.

Do you have special cleaning requests? 

If you have cleaning requests that go above and beyond what’s on a cleaning company’s checklist, ask whether they will accommodate you and request a quote for the extra work. Training, health and safety laws and insurance may inhibit some companies from performing non-standard cleaning jobs, so be realistic in your expectations.

Is green cleaning important to you?

Some cleaning companies specialize in using products that are hypoallergenic, biodegradable and low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, these eco-friendly plans will likely be costlier than normal service.

Office tech: 6 tools to increase office productivity

For all its amazing uses, sometimes technology can feel like an impediment to getting things done, rather than tools to increase productivity in the office. But fear not! Goldstar has scoured the Interweb for apps and online platforms that actually do work, rather than create more of it. Give these six productivity tools a spin and you’ll wonder how your office ever got along with them.
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MindMeister: Brainstorming sessions, long the realm of the dry erase board, get a 21st century makeover with MindMeister. Record and alter flowcharts via a shareable online platform that makes creative use of icons, flowcharts, links, collapsible lists and other tools. Free. Evernote: A storage app for all your bright ideas, musings and stray thoughts, Evernote seamlessly syncs your personal notes across devices and can store audio, video, notes and photos on a single searchable database. Free.
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Dropbox: This cloud-based folder is the answer to the age-old question: “How am I going to send you this huge file?” Organize and upload files and share those files with whoever you choose. It’s easy to use, and the free version comes with a huge memory cache. Free. ScanBizCards:  With this time-saving app, simply take a picture of a business card and it automatically records the information in your phone’s address book. ScanBizCards can also sync with other devices and send you reminder emails to follow-up with your new contacts. Perfect for networking events ad first-time client meetings. $4.99.
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Square: Take your business on the road with Square, an app that turns your iPhone, Android or iPad into a mobile point-of-sale (POS) machine. With a small (free) attachment, customers can swipe their credit or debit cards and complete a transaction directly on the phone’s screen. The app will even text message a receipt to the buyer’s phone. Bonus: You pay just 2.75% per swipe for Visa and MasterCard, with no other fees or charges. TaskForce: Feeling overwhelmed by an inbox full of requests? Take control of your to-do list with TaskForce, an app that converts email messages from various providers into tasks that can be accessed via your computer or smartphone. Set deadlines, share work with co-workers and organize tasks from most-to-least important with the click of a mouse. Free.  

Choosing the right office: 6 things to consider

Choosing the right office space for your company can pay dividends in the form of increased productivity, better workplace morale and more customers. (istockphoto)
Choosing the right office space for your company can pay dividends in the form of increased productivity, better workplace morale and more customers. (istockphoto)
It’s not a stretch to say that choosing an office is one of the most important decisions your company will ever make. It’s easy to see why; even in an age of telecommuting and e-work, day-to-day productivity at most companies is still heavily influenced by how employees interact with their working environment. Does the space make workers feel energized, or fatigued? Does the layout of the office encourage productivity, or stifle it? When searching for an office to rent or lease, it’s important to ask the right questions. Here are some things to consider before your company sets down roots. How much space do I need (and how much will I need in the future)? This is a bit of balancing act. On the one hand, you don’t want pay for more space than you need. On the other hand, you don’t want to feel trapped in a confined space as your company grows. An industry standard  to provide between 150 and 250 square feet of office space per employee. Expansion options in your lease agreement can help your company address the need for additional space down the road. Is the location right for my customers and employees? For some businesses, setting up shop in an out-of-the-way location is perfectly fine, while other businesses will want to be easily accessible to their clients. Leasing an office in a bustling downtown neighbourhood may bring in more customers, but is also likely to cost more than an office in the suburbs. You should also make sure your employees can easily get to the office, whether that means being accessible by public transit or ensuring there’s adequate parking. What are the hidden costs? Moving is an expensive proposition. Costs like utilities, renovations, cleaning services and loss of productivity during the move should all be factored in to your rental budget. Down the road, a landlord might increase your rate when re-negotiating your rental agreement. A real estate broker can provide advice and help you plan for the transition. Is the space flexible enough to my company’s needs? With the ability to work wirelessly, many companies are eschewing walled-off offices and cubicles in favour of multi-purpose workstations, shared common areas and glass dividers (or no dividers at all). The benefit of an open-concept office is that it encourages collaboration among employees and can be easily re-arranged to suit the changing needs of your company. Of course, an office stills need to have some private spaces to host meetings, or for when a worker just needs some quiet time to focus. Does the space promote the health and well-being of my employees? Nothing saps the energy out of an office faster than bad lighting, poor air circulation or unhygienic conditions. Make sure your office is well-lit, has good ventilation and is scent-free (potted plants are one cheap way of improving air quality in a building).  If your lease doesn’t come with a cleaning services contract, get one. The decision will pay dividends down the road with clean floors, squeaky clean bathrooms and happy workers. Does the space allow for both work and play? Every office should make room for fun. Depending on your office environment, you could set up a coffee bar station, a games room, a relaxation space or a lounging area for co-workers to chat. Socialization encourages collaboration and the sharing of ideas, decreases stress and generally makes people feel good about coming to work.

Spring clean your business

Organizing your files can help clamp down on clutter (istockphoto)
Organizing your files can help your business clamp down on clutter (istockphoto)
The office is second only to the bedroom as the most lived-in space in our daily lives. And yet, our workplace rarely gets the kind of special attention that we commit to cleaning our homes. It’s time for that to change. This year, consider “spring cleaning” different aspects of your business to make your company more efficient and effective year-round. Clean your physical workspace: A clean workspace can improve employee morale, prevent office-borne illness and create a more professional working environment for workers and clients. Give your office a makeover by: -Deep cleaning carpets or floors; -Dusting office furniture; -Wiping down computers and other office equipment with electronics-friendly cleaning cloths; -Vacuuming behind your desks, making sure to unplug electronics and pull away the wiring first. De-clutter your filing system: This applies to both paper documents and computer files. Create archives to store old data. Invest in organizers. Throw out any files that are no longer useful or necessary for record keeping purposes. Your goal should be to clear your desk (and your computer’s desktop) of extraneous files. Finally, consider going paperless in the office; online storage systems like DropBox or Apple’s iCloud allow you store files securely and share them across a network, rather than constantly making copies. Fix up your website: A company’s website is a direct extension of its brand. An old or outdated webpage may discourage new customers from contacting you, no matter how amazing your in-house products or services are. Take some time to perform some basic e-maintenance by: -Repairing broken links -Updating contact information, logos and company bios; -Introducing new pictures and testimonials; -Integrating features like Twitter and Facebook into your website. If your web design skills are less than stellar, consider enlisting third-party help. Content management platforms like WordPress provide customer support services and can help you create a design practical, stylish (and affordable) website from the ground up. Evaluate your goals: If you’ve set business goals for 2013, now is the time to check in and see how those goals are progressing. If you haven’t set goals, it’s not too late. A simple visioning exercise, like this one developed by Purdue University, can help you identify where you’d like your business to be five to ten years down the road, and develop a strategy to get there. Organize key information: Put together an administrative manual that contains all your processes, passwords and contacts. Having the information readily available will help ensure that you and your employees follow proper procedures when performing day-to-day tasks, which in turn promotes productivity and consistency. Thank your customers: Take the time to craft an email or a newsletter addressed to all the clients who have frequented your business in the past year. Thank them for their patronage and tell them that you’d love to work with them again. It’s a small gesture that goes a long way towards fostering positive relationships with your customers.

How a security check can help reduce your vacation home insurance premium

Most insurance companies now require a signed report showing that an empty vacation home has been checked once or twice a month during the off-season.

Goldstar cleaning crews will combine their housekeeping visit with an insurance security check, and record the date, time, and results of their visit so you can send a clear record to your insurance company.

This means you get to enjoy your vacation time without worrying about cleaning – and it could save your house insurance premiums from rocketing if you need to claim repairs.

Security checklist

Goldstar cleaning crews routinely check for:

• Open or unlocked windows and doors all around the building

• Signs of an attempted break-in or vandalism

• Lights or appliances that have accidentally been left on, causing high energy bills and a risk of fire.

• Broken or incorrectly programmed heating systems, which could cause your pipes to freeze in winter

• Sounds or signs that there might be a water leak or damage

• Early signs of rodent or pest infestation

They also:

• Flush each toilet and scrub the water line to avoid build-up of limescale

• Check all lights to make sure no bulbs have blown

• Can carry out deep cleaning tasks, such as carpet or furniture steam cleaning

Potential damage

Goldstar owner Jill Barclay has seen firsthand the damage that can be caused by a small problem that is left unnoticed for weeks.

“I knew one client who started using our services after a pipe in their basement burst, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

“When they last visited the home it would only have been a small drip in the water filtration system that they didn’t notice, but during the summer the pipe burst, flooding the entire basement.

“Unfortunately because they hadn’t used any kind of security check contingency plan, the insurance was cancelled and they had to cover the huge cost of the damage themselves.”

Rental peace of mind 

When you rent out your vacation home, it’s particularly important to make sure everything is in good shape before your renters get there, says Jill.

“At another of our client’s homes, snow had piled up against a plexi glass barrier around the deck, causing it to shatter and making it unsafe to use.

“We came round to check the vacation home ahead of a rental, and were able to clean it up and get it replaced before the renters got there, which meant the owners didn’t have to cancel the booking or deal with poor reviews of their rental vacation home.”

Contact Goldstar now to arrange for a personalized quote to clean and check your home.

How a shiny floor will make your business more profitable

Did you know that a great looking entrance floor accounts for 80% of a customer’s first impression when they walk in to your business? Shiny, well-maintained floors directly impact how a customer sees the overall cleanliness of your building, but most importantly how they perceive the quality of your business, your merchandise or your service. Due to the long winter and harsh weather throughout the Elk Valley, your business may be suffering from wear and tear on the floors. Spring and summer are the best times to implement a comprehensive floor care program starting with restorative stripping and finishing. Once you have a shiny floor you will want to start thinking of how to protect and maintain it in the most cost-effective manner.   Goldstar Cleaning Services suggests three stage floor care plan: 1. Daily maintenance The most important step – make sure you have sufficient entry mats, and clean the floor first with a dust mop or vacuum and then a damp mop to keep the dirt and grime from being tracked through the building. 2. Periodic maintenance Every month (ideally) or every quarter (at a minimum) you should scrub floors and and re-coat with 1 or 2 layers of finish product, to help protect them from wear and tear. 3. Restorative procedures After one to two years, the floor will be showing visible signs of wear and tear which can no longer be treated with maintenance. This is when you should plan a professional stripping and re finishing procedure to ensure your floor reaches its maximum lifespan.   How Goldstar Cleaning Services can help The most important element in a successful floor care program is developing and maintaining the optimum service schedule. Having an understanding of the specific flooring material throughout your building and its care history will help you decide what is best for your business. Goldstar Cleaning Services can help, providing on site floor care consultation and working with you to put the shine in your business and give your clients that valuable positive first impression. Please contact us for a personalized quote