Shop

Save Your Employees from the Dreaded Spring Time Flu

Springtime flu’s cost your business money, hinders performance and deters sales.

With spring comes varying temperatures. If we experience anything in the Kootenays, it’s summer-like weather one day and a winter snowstorm the next. Now, these varying temperatures aren’t only hard on our mental state, they also affect us physically. With a rise in sick days happening every spring, Goldstar wanted to remind you that a clean office will cut down on sick days.  Save your business money, encourage productivity and increase sales.

 On average

sick womanCanadians are taking 9.3 sick days per year which is costing the economy $16.6 billion and that doesn’t even cover replacement workers, CBC reports. Plane and simple, sick employees are costing you money. The thing is, you aren’t helping them stay healthy. The water cooler is a breeding ground for germs, no one’s cleaned the microwave in years and don’t get me started on those keyboard keys. By hiring a cleaning company to make weekly visits to your business you are proactively protecting your employees from unwanted germs and illness. By providing a clean workspace you are encouraging your employees to stay healthy and work harder. After all, we know what our personal productivity is like when we are sick.

 

employee Performance working-hard-productivity-employee-spring-sickness

We’ve all been there, we woke up with a headache we can’t shake and our stomach has never felt so uneasy. But somehow, someway, we convince ourselves to go to work. We’re snotty and blowing our nose 30 times a minute. We’re running to the bathroom at the thought of coffee and that darn office chair is SO stinking uncomfortable. Our productivity sucks, our mood is sub-par, and our bodies HATE us! Keep productivity at its peak by scheduling weekly Goldstar visits. Clean environments allow employees to concentrate on what’s really important. Their work!

SALES, SALES, SALES!

cash-money-canadianClean offices don’t only lead to happy and healthy employees saving you money, they also promote business. A clean office means a business is professional and detail oriented. Think of any time you have walked into an untidy business. What kind of first impression did it leave? I’m sure not a very good one. In the business world, first impressions mean everything. It is likely that if you do not leave a good first impression, chances are you are not getting the client.

Though we may not think of these important factors off the top of our heads, it’s great to have a reminder that a clean office leads to overall job satisfaction, builds trust with clients and saves/ grows your money!

How Partnering with Goldstar Can Boost Employee Productivity and Sales

Boosting employee productivity seems to be something any business could use a little more help with. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a simple solution? Would you believe me if I told you there was? Think about partnering with Goldstar Cleaning Services, no matter what industry you work in. Goldstar can help you reestablish organization¬†within your company, boost employees overall health, and create that flawless first impression that will lead to improved sales down the road.  

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits when partnering with Goldstar.

Organization

Disorganization can lead to wasted time and wasted money. Employees find it distracting to be in a cluttered environment. Organization is a simple habit to build. Start off with creating a place for every item. Good organizational practices include labels, proper filing systems, and diligence. By hiring Goldstar you are setting a certain standard for the employees. Each week a certain level of cleanliness and organization must be kept up in order for Goldstar employees to effectively do their job.

Health Benefits

We’re often spending more time at our workplaces than we are in our own homes. This makes it SO important to have a clean and healthy environment to work in. With weekly cleaning regimes, you will eliminate¬†dust and other allergens that are making their way around your workspace, stop the spread of germs and alleviate¬†stress. According to the National Post, on average Canadians who work full time are missing 9.3 days a year due to illness. By partnering with Goldstar you can help your employees reach new health standards. Remember healthy employees have a greater work ethic, are more creative, and happier. After all happy employees lead to happy customers and happy customers make positive recommendations.

First Impressions

Though we may agree, sometimes first impressions aren’t always right, we are still being judged on our first impressions. Especially if you are a business. A messy office gives the impression that you are sloppy, you aren’t professional and you just don’t care.¬† Hiring Goldstar can make sure that your customers or potential customers are seeing you at your best, every time. With a positive impression clients are more likely to conduct business with you. People want a company that is diligent, caring, and above all professional. If they don’t see that you care enough about your own workspace, it makes them think you won’t care enough about whatever it is you’re selling them. So put your best foot forward and really sell your services, not your dirty office!

Resolutions for a Stress Free and Organized 2018

I know what you’re thinking, “Another New Years Resolution post in January?!” but bear with me. Here are four resolutions you will actually want to keep in 2018. Follow the easy tips provided to help you stick with them too.

 

De-clutter

Now you either love to organize or you hate it, there is no middle ground. It’s liberating letting go of the things you don’t need anymore, almost like the stress has immediately vanished when you donate that figurine your aunt Patty gave you last year for Christmas. However, sometimes it’s stressful! Constantly doubting if you actually need something or if you’re going to get rid of it only to need it again in a couple of weeks. Try these handy methods that will help make the de-cluttering process liberating and not stressful.
The Box Method
  • Take the items you are wanting to get rid of and place them in a box.
  • Put the box in the basement, garage, or storage.
  • Set a time limit. (example: one month)
  • Once the time is up, if you haven’t used the items in the box, it’s time to donate them.

Simply organize your items into three categories

  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Trash

Get Organized

Organization is such an important skill! We don’t realize the amount of stress added just from being unorganized. So clean up your act in the new year with these helpful tips:
  1. Get Recycling and Garbage Bins – Not only in the kitchen, you’ll be amazed at how handy it is having a garbage and recycling bin in places like the laundry room or the kids living room.
  2. A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place РStop by the local hardware, craft, or housewares store for great organizational tools. With different shelves, bins, and baskets the possibilities are endless.
  3. Write It Down – When you’re thinking of a task that needs to done or a goal you would like to accomplish, don’t forget to write it down. Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews found that people are 42% more likely to achieve a goal if it is written down on a regular basis.
  4. A Calendar and White Board – Not only are calendars and whiteboards genius to keep your schedule on track, they are also a great place to write down your goals and uncompleted tasks. Being aware of a task is the first step in completing it.
  5. A Key Rack – Constantly misplacing items is frustrating but something as simple as a key rack can help keep you organized. Start with something simple like putting your keys on the key rack each time you get home. Remember, it only takes 21 days to make something a habit.
 Stop Procrastinating
We all use the famous four words, I’ll do it later. Some of us stick to our word but some of us don’t. In 2018 become a person of your word and stop procrastinating! You’ll feel so accomplished when you set your goals and crush them. Instead of setting your goals and forgetting about them. Here are a few helpful hints to get you started
Be Realistic- Set realistic tasks and realistic time frames. trying to accomplish more than you can in a day is setting yourself up for failure.
Remove Distractions- turn off the t.v., put away your phone, find your perfect workspace, and listen to music without lyrics. REWARD YOURSELF- set up a simple reward system for yourself. something as simple as completing two tasks on your to-do list = one episode of your favorite show on Netflix.
Do it Now- stop saying you’ll do it later. we all know later is a magical place that doesn’t really exist.
 

ask for help when you need it

This may seem like an easy concept, but a lot of us seem to struggle with it. Asking for help is giving up control. However, we know that as one person, we simply cannot do everything. Think of how lovely it is to walk into a perfectly cleaned home. The floors are clean, the garbage has been taken out and the bathrooms counters don’t have a trace of toothpaste. By asking for help and scheduling bi-weekly services you now have the extra time to go skating with your kids or take up competitive dog grooming again.

So there we have it, three easy resolutions to help make 2018 your best year possible.

 

How to Keep That Hockey Bag and Gear Fresh

 

largehockeyword

There it is again.¬†Sitting, lifeless. Dropped off again right beside the washing machine. Its been there for three whole days. Left to fester, left to seep, left to marinade. The dreaded hockey bag, consequently full of sweaty equipment you’d rather forget about. It belongs to your roommate, your kids, your significant other, but honestly, it doesn’t matter who’s it is, you just want it to stop wafting through the entire house. So let Goldstar guide you. Here are four helpful hints to keep that hockey bag winners circle fresh.    

1.Air it out; don’t let the wet gear sit.

First of all, don‚Äôt let it sit! The worst thing you can do is let the wet sweaty equipment sit. An indoor clothing rack will become your¬†best friend. They’re¬†easy to find and you can purchase at your local housewares stores. Somewhere like Fernie Home Building Center is sure to have what you need. Add a heater, a fan, or a dehumidifier to help speed up the process. On those bluebird days, lay it out on the deck. The cold temperatures will surely kill any smelly bacteria that may be lingering.  

2.Wash what you can, regularly.

Aside from airing it out, it’s important to wash our hockey equipment to keep it fresh. A lot of hockey hockey equipment equipment is safe to add right to the washing machine! Both front or top loading machines will do the trick. (make sure you leave enough room for equipment to move once it‚Äôs in the machine. A washing machine overfilled will lead to tears in equipment.) Here is a list of the hockey equipment you CAN and CANNOT wash in the machine.   WASHING MACHINE FRIENDLY
  • Socks, Jerseys, and base layers.
  • Jock (don‚Äôt forget to remove the cup as it cannot be washed in the machine. Fasten the Velcro so it doesn‚Äôt attach to anything else in the wash.)
  • Shin Pads*
  • Hockey Pants*
  • Elbow Pads*
  • Shoulder Pads* and
  • Gloves*
DO NOT use bleach; white vinegar CAN BE added to the wash is a great alternative, as it will kill odor-causing bacteria.
* DO NOT put equipment in the dryer. Allow it to air-dry.
  NOT WASHING MACHINE FRIENDLY
  • Goalie Pads
  • Goalie Mitts
  • Skates
  • Helmet
If you’re not sure about any items, you can drop anything off at our dry cleaning depot and we’ll take care of that for you.  

3.Don’t forget the inside of the helmet.

In addition to our body equipment, an important piece of equipment that we never forget to play without, but sometimes we sometimes forget to wash, the helmet. To effectively clean the inside of your helmet you will need to follow these simple steps.
  1. Mix a bowl with hot water and no tears kids shampoo.
  2. Dip the sponge in water/shampoo mix, ring well, and scrub inside of the helmet.
  3. Repeat process with only water and dry out.
(With sweat commonly built up in the helmet, it is especially important that you use no tears shampoo. If there is any chance that soap hasn’t been properly rinsed out and drips into your eyes while playing, this will save you from a tearful accident.)  

4.LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Those smelly skates!

Finally, our most dreaded piece of equipment… the hockey skates. Though they may seem like the most daunting task, they are actually¬†the easiest piece to clean.¬†All you have to do is sprinkle some baking soda in those stinky blades, let them sit overnight and dump it out in the morning! You‚Äôll be amazed by how effective this simple trick is.

Closing your summer vacation home

Wintery Cabin ReflectionBetween Labor Day and Thanksgiving, owners of second homes perform the annual ritual of closing up their un-winterized rural cottages, beach retreats and mountain cabins. If you plan on vacating a seasonal property for any extended period of time, there are a few basic things you can do to help safeguard your house through the cold months ahead. Outside the home -Check the foundation, siding and trim for cracks and crevices that could admit moisture or provide an entry point for unwelcome creatures. -Examine where the roof overhang meets the house. Pests as teeny as wasps and as large as squirrels often seek to nest in the solar-warmed space of house attics. -Clear the gutters so that rain and snowmelt run freely away from the base of the house, and using a ladder or binoculars, inspect the roof for raised shingles, making repairs if necessary. -Store outdoor furniture. Place tables, chairs, hammocks, delicate garden ornamentation, and other outdoor accessories in a garage, shed or storage unit. -Trim back any tree branches near the house that could cause damage in a strong storm. Power, gas and plumbing -Shut off electricity at the main. Leave on circuits that control such essentials as the alarm system. Also be sure to unplug appliances, especially the large and expensive ones, just in case lightning strikes. -Gas can be turned off at the main, but for many, it‚Äôs easier to call the utility and temporarily suspend service. -Drain all water pipes.¬†Accomplish this by turning off the main water supply, opening all faucets and leaving them open. Remember to drain the supply hoses to indoor outlets like the dishwasher and outdoor outlets like the sprinkler system. -Prevent water in a toilet‚Äôs trap from evaporating (and thereby permitting sewer gases to enter the home) by raising the toilet‚Äôs lid and seat and covering the bowl with saran wrap. Kitchen, living and dining room -Clean out closets and cabinets, leaving them open to ventilate. -Clean out the refrigerator and freezer. Don’t keep anything that is likely to go bad during the time you are away. -Remove and store all bedding in plastic (throw in moth balls if you have them) and for protection against burrowing mice, cover all mattresses. -Store non-perishable food in metal containers and relocate cans to the basement if possible, or take them back to your primary residence. Security and service -Cancel your mail service. Ask a neighbour to watch out for any special deliveries that might arrive on your doorstep while you’re away. -Lock your house at all entry points and close the shutters. -Have someone make regular check-ins.¬†Leave your caretaker¬†with a key for emergency entry¬†if something should go wrong. -Make it look like someone is home. Buy a couple of light timers and set them up to turn on automatically in the evenings. Do not leave valuables in a vacation home that may attract thieves. At the very least, move them out of the line of sight from windows.

Cleaning tips for crafting with kids

Mom and Daughter CraftingFrom paper¬†m√Ęch√© to play dough, crafting is a great bonding exercise for parents and children. Age-appropriate arts and crafts projects also give¬†kids to the chance to¬†unleash¬†their creative energies in a constructive way.

As much as we love crafting, the clean-up afterward can definitely be a chore.  Fortunately, there are ways you can prepare your work space to make cleaning up easier and deal with any accidents that may occur.

Cover up!

Protect any areas that will get messy during craft time Рthis includes the workspace, any cleaning/drying stations and yourself.

Cover tables with a vinyl table cloth or shower curtain. These can be easily washed. (Avoid using newspapers, which can allow liquids and glue to soak through).  Wear a canvas apron to protect your clothing. For some crafts, it may be advisable to wear rubber or latex gloves.

Keep cleaning products handy

The best way to limit the spread of messes is to keep cleaning products¬†close to¬†your work surface.¬† For painting projects, keep a tub of water nearby,¬†placing paint brushes, sponges, stencils, and other items in there as soon as you’re done using them.

Consider keeping a container of baby wipes or disinfectant towels near your craft area. These are handy for quick clean ups.

Be prepared for stains and spills

-Use a lint roller with disposable adhesive panels for all sorts of tiny objects, like glitter.

-To remove ink pen stains from clothing or walls, try using hair spray. You can also try blotting the area with rubbing alcohol.

-To remove glue stains on fabrics, wash article in warm, soapy water. To remove stuck-on glue from hard surfaces, try dabbing on a little vegetable oil, let sit for a few minutes and rub off gently.

-Acrylic or tempura paint stains should be cleaned while¬†they’re still wet. To remove paint from clothes and carpets, dab the fabric with¬†a damp cloth to soak up as much paint as possible. If¬†the stain persists, dab with rubbing alcohol.¬†For paint on walls and hard floors, wash the surface with warm, soapy water.

-For crayon stains on fabrics, try spraying a little bit of WD40 (a spray lubricant) onto the spot and dab clean with rag, then wash the area with liquid dishwashing soap and water.

Get the kids involved

Clean up is an important part of crafting, and¬†kids should lend a hand. Assign your child chores appropriate to their age level, such as putting away supplies, cleaning the work station or throwing out any garbage. When all is said and down, don’t forget to display your child’s masterpiece somewhere everyone can see it!  

Some Back-to-School Organizing Tips

‚ÄúIt’s the most wonderful time of the year…‚ÄĚ Staples Business Depot’s¬†iconic 1996 commercial, featuring an exuberant dad back-to-school¬†shopping¬†with his not-so-enthusiastic kids, captures the feeling of relief felt by many parents at the end of summer. However,¬†the daily school routine¬†comes with its own organizational challenges for both¬†adults and children. So before you start singing from the rooftops, take some time to prepare a back-to-school plan that will make everyone happy to be hitting the books this fall. Start a back-to-school routine Routine is important for school-aged children.¬†Two weeks before school starts, re-introduce¬†kids¬†to a¬†typical school day schedule.¬†Younger children in particular will benefit from earlier bedtimes, while teenagers¬†should be gradually woken up closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins. Make sure you leave enough time for things like breakfast, bathroom time and the trip to the bus stop. As the week progresses, you can make adjustments to ensure everyone has plenty of time to get ready. Create a centralized school calendar Keeping track of parent-teacher meetings, band rehearsals and hockey practices can seem like an impossible task. Take some of the stress out of after-school scheduling by¬†creating a one-stop calendar for events and deadlines. The calendar¬†should be prominent, easy to¬†use and utilize a format that everyone is comfortable with.¬†(A large dry-erase board or a 12-month paper calendar works serves as an excellent visual reminder for younger children, while¬†older kids may benefit from email or text-based reminders). Make the calendar part of your daily routine:¬†Get in the habit of adding events to the¬†calendar as soon as you hear about them (older children can help with posting duties). Talk to your kids about upcoming events so they won’t forget. Organize your back-to-school shopping Involve your kids in¬†back-to-school shopping¬†by having them help you prepare a shopping¬†list before you hit the mall. This (hopefully) will prevent in-store arguments and tantrums. Most schools will¬†provide¬†you with¬†a list of required back-to-school supplies, which¬†can serve as a starting point for back-to-school shopping. With clothing, clear out some space in your kids’¬†wardrobe before going on a spending spree. Go through each item in¬†your child’s¬†closet,¬†setting aside anything¬†your child has outgrown (older children can help with this).¬†Discard or donate anything your child will no longer wear. Don’t go overboard buying stuff you think your child might need. Instead, wait until the first week of school to purchase any items you may have left off the list. Gather your documents Now is the time to start looking for vaccination records, birth certificates, doctors notes and other documents your child might require for school. Make photocopies of these documents before you send them off to school. Check your school’s website to make sure you have everything necessary to start the year off right!

Find the right cleaning company for your business

glovehandshake

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.
iPad-Maplist-enhanced
Image courtesy mindmeister.com
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. mindmeister.com 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. evernote.com
Image courtesy dropbox.com
Image courtesy dropbox.com
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. dropbox.com 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.¬†scanbizcards.com
Image courtesy square.com
Image courtesy squareup.com
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. squareup.com 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. taskforceapp.com  

5 ways to stop dirt in its tracks

Image courtesy J & M Home Fashions LLC.
Image courtesy J & M Home Fashions LLC.

It’s your home’s dirty little secret:¬†much of the¬†grime in your house comes from outside, trekked in on shoes that don‚Äôt appear to be either muddy or dirty.

Fortunately, a bit of smart planning can keep those messes from ever getting inside. We run down the top five ways to stop dirt at the door.

1. Choose the right doormats

Ideally, your house¬†should¬†have doormats at every entrance and exit. The mats should be as wide as the door’s width, and long enough to cover the length of a typical stride – that way, people¬†will¬†walk over¬†the mats as they cross the threshold, depositing dirt into¬†them¬†as they go.

When selecting an outdoor mat, choose a durable material like rubber that can withstand the elements. If your area is prone to wet conditions, consider installing an outdoor wire rack to scrape off mud.

Indoor mats come in a variety of materials; look for mats that can be easily cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or shaken clean outside. Clean your mats at least once a week.

2. Keep pets from bringing their messes inside

Let’s face it: dogs and cats¬†are less than diligent about wiping off their paws before coming inside, which is why you need to be ready to clean up after them. Keep a rag or towel handy near¬†the door to wipe off dirt, water¬†and mud.¬†Brush your pet’s coat¬†regularly to keep hair from accumulating indoors. Most importantly, do these things outside – there’s no sense unleashing tumbleweed-sized hairballs in your home.

3. Use floor mats indoors

Use indoor floor mats to catch dirt in high traffic areas like the fridge, the kitchen sink, the toilet and the bathtub. Be sure to choose non-slip mats to keep your dirt-catchers from becoming tripping hazards.

4. Prevent dirt from traveling through your house

Open doors and windows are an invitation for all kinds of particulate matter to occupy your home. Keep screens on windows and doors leading outside. Keep doors inside closed. You can also install door sweeps to keep dirt and debris from sneaking under entranceways.

5. Keep outdoor shoes outside

It can be tempting to hop outside in your loafers to grab the paper, but be sure to take off those shoes¬†(or at least¬†wipe¬†off the soles)¬†before you walk around the house.¬†If your home doesn’t have a mud room,¬†consider designating¬†a garage, closet or shoe cubbie¬†as¬†the place to put outdoor footwear. If it was worn on your feet outside, it should stay outside.