Spring Clean Challenge winner announced

For demonstrating a¬†stubborn¬†commitment to cleanliness¬†by¬†tackling a month’s worth of daily chores, Amy¬†will receive¬†3 months of bi-weekly residential cleaning services from Goldstar. (That’s quite a return on investment!) “It was just a perfect prize to win,” Amy tells Goldstar. “The 31 day challenge was definitely a good motivator to get things done.” Amy,¬†a travel agent who works from home, estimates that she and her husband completed three-quarters of the assigned tasks during the Spring Clean Challenge. Amy says she also worked hard to keep the house clean, despite the best efforts of her two-and-a-half-year-old twins. “Often, they’ll get something dirty while you’re in the middle of cleaning it,” she jokes. In her application, Amy¬†stated that her least-favourite household chore was ‚Äúdusting and cleaning the walls in my house.‚ÄĚ “I live in a round dome house, and my walls don’t often get dusted, ” Amy explains. We’ll be sure to tackle that unpleasant chore first! Goldstar will begin cleaning¬†Amy’s house¬†later this¬†week, so stay tuned. Thank you to all the participants in the Spring Clean Challenge. Due to¬†an¬†overwhelming¬†response, we will be hosting the challenge again next year. In the meantime, stay tuned for the 2nd Annual Goldstar Extreme Makeover: Clean Home Edition, coming this fall.

8 time-saving spring cleaning tips

There’s no way around it – spring cleaning takes work. But if you’ve been following our 31-day Spring Clean Challenge, you know that the most effective way to tackle a big job is to turn it into several smaller jobs. Well, here are eight more time-saving tips to help you along.
Put together a cleaning caddy to keep your cleaning supplies close by (istockphoto)
Put together a cleaning caddy to keep your cleaning supplies close by (istockphoto)
Make a cleaning caddy You can find these handy organizing buckets at most hardware stores. Fill the caddy with multipurpose cleaners, microfiber cloths and dish soap. That way, you’ll always have your basic cleaning tools on hand as you move about the house. Find a place for everything Tackle large piles of clutter by subdividing the task into smaller pieces. Label a set of Rubbermaid containers with general areas in your home – kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, bedroom, office, garbage etc. Before you begin cleaning a room, place clutter into the appropriate box and place the box it in the room where the items belong. Once you’ve finished your cleaning for the day, sort through each box and find a home for your stuff. Repeat as necessary. (This is also a good way to sort through items when planning a garage sale.) Move your furniture and appliances just enough to clean around them¬†Unless you’re steam cleaning the carpets, there’s no need to clear a room of all furniture before you start. When vacuuming, simply move those big items a little to the left or to the right, vacuum the area previously occupied by the furniture and then move it back into place. As an additional task: check the pads on the feet of your chairs and couches, and replace any that are dirty to prevent scratching your floors.
A squeegee is your best friend when it comes to washing windows (istockphoto)
A squeegee is your best friend when it comes to washing windows (istockphoto)
Use all the tools in your cleaning armada Do you use the attachments that came your vacuum cleaner? You should. The upholstery brush attachment is perfect for cleaning cushions and drapes, while the crevice attachment can get into tight spots with ease. You can also use an extending rod to clean up high. And when cleaning windows outside, save time (and a small fortune in paper towels) by using a squeegee with a pole attachment. Let water do your work Metal and plastic blinds can be removed from the window and cleaned outside. Scrub down the blinds with soapy water, then spray them clean with a garden hose. Lay the blinds flat on a towel to dry in the sun. Garbage cans, plastic furniture and toys can also be hosed down. Doing the work work outside will prevent you from accidentally bringing dirt and grime back in your house. Make a lost and found box Don’t waste time fretting about where to put that orphaned sock or how to neatly arrange your collection of extra shirt buttons. Instead, set aside a container for items that have no obvious home. Then you can resume your cleaning duties and worry about the little details later. Identify and eliminate clutter hotspots My personal hotspot is right next to the microwave on the kitchen counter. It’s a magnet for pieces of mail, flyers, old receipts and other documents I’m too lazy to sort. The trick to keeping such spaces clean is to remove the temptation; once you’ve cleared a hotspot, put something in its place – a lamp, a vase with some flowers or an art object – to block the clutter from re-appearing Get rid of dust at the source A lot of the dust in your house gets recirculated by dirty air filters, vents and fan blades.¬† Remove dust and dirt from ceiling fans and air-conditioner vents with a cloth and a vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment. Replace your air filters regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Take the Spring Clean Challenge and Win!

We could all use a little motivation to get the chores done. Goldstar has 31 days’ worth. Starting May 1, Goldstar Cleaning Services¬†is launching its Spring Clean Challenge,¬† a 31-day regiment designed to take your home from drab to fab in time for summer. “The Spring Clean Challenge focuses¬†on what people can do individually, each day, to de-clutter and clean up,” explains Goldstar owner Jill Barclay. “Each task is small, but over the course of the month, it adds up to a clean home.” And there’s an added bonus: those who¬†participate in the¬†challenge will be entered into a draw for three months of bi-weekly residential cleaning from Goldstar’s professional cleaning staff. Here’s how to enter: -Go to Goldstar’s Facebook page¬† (Goldstar Cleaning Services Ltd.) and click “Like” -Follow the daily tasks posted on Goldstar’s wall.¬†(Don’t worry, the tasks will be simple, like¬†cleaning out from underneath the kitchen sink, or sorting through the medicine cabinet.) -Register at Post your feedback when you’ve completed a task. You can also post photos or personal testimonies. Goldstar will also be posting cleaning tips throughout the month, to¬†help you along. -At the end of the month, all¬†registered participants will be entered in¬†the draw. The more tasks you complete, the more chances you have to win!
Good luck, and¬†be sure to follow Goldstar’s Facebook page throughout the month of May to finish¬†as much of the Spring Clean Challenge as¬†possible!

Before and After: Goldstar’s Extreme Cleaning Makeover

George Toressani (center) and the Goldstar Team celebrate a job well done!
Earlier this month, Goldstar Cleaning announced the winner of its Extreme Makeover: Cleaning Edition contest. To recap: George Toressani and his wife, Rochelle Simmons, have been living apart since last summer after their eldest daughter Brooke, 17, relocated to Vancouver to undergo treatment for lung cancer.
Goldstar staff hard at work!
While Rochelle and Brooke have been living at the Ronald McDonald’s House in between treatments at the B.C. Children’s Hospital, George has had to stay behind in Fernie to work and take care of their high school-aged son Wesley. Fortunately, Rochelle and Brooke are returning home for the holidays later this week. Goldstar made sure their house was ready for them, sending a team of nine professional cleaners to¬†give George and Rochelle’s home an extreme makeover. “One of the reasons we felt good about choosing this particular family is because they had been separated for so long,” explains Jill Barclay, owner of Goldstar Cleaning Services. “This way, they’ll have this time to spend together rather than worry about tedious chores.” With their trademark attention to attention to detail, the Goldstar team left no spot untouched, judging from the before-and-after photos (see below).
Goldstar staff hard at work!
“We had set ourselves a goal of completing the whole house in two hours,” Barclay says. “If fact, we went slightly over that, but we ended up cleaning the exterior windows and steam cleaning the floors.” In fact, it took just over three hours to finish the job,¬†which included everything from¬†scrubbing¬†walls and dusting furniture to doing¬†laundry for the home-alone bachelors. A¬†simple gesture like cleaning can help bring a sense of normalcy to family members whose lives have been affected by cancer. That’s why Goldstar is a supporter of Cleaning for a Reason, a charity that provides professional free cleaning services¬†to women affected by cancer. Thanks to everyone who entered the Extreme Makeover: Cleaning Edition contest. Stay tuned for more exciting promotions from Goldstar Cleaning Services!

Before-and-after shots of George and Rochelle’s House

Wesley's bedroom - before
Wesley's bedroom - after
Brooke's bedroom - before
Brooke's bedroom - after
Bathroom - before
Bathroom - after.

Meet the Winner of Extreme Makover: Clean Home Edition

In the end, there can be only one. Goldstar Cleaning Services would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate their neighbours, friends and family members for the Extreme Makeover: Clean Home Edition contest. It was a difficult decision, but we managed to narrow down the entries to a single winner: George Torresani of Fernie, B.C. We were genuinely touched by the story of George, his wife Rochelle Simmons, and their family. We were also overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from their friends in the community, who submitted nominations on their behalf. The story is best told by those who know George and Rochelle best, so we’ll let them do the talking. Here’s what nominee Cindy wrote:

“Rochelle’s daughter Brooke, who was 17 at the time, was diagnosed with lung cancer last December.¬† She had her lung removed at that point.¬† Unfortunately, the cancer didn’t go away, and she has been going through chemo since then… Right after graduation, Brooke and her mom headed to Vancouver to undergo more chemo. They have been there ever since, staying at the Ronald McDonald House in between treatments at the Children’s Hospital.¬†

Rochelle has a partner George (the meat manager at Overwaitea) and a son Wesley, who is still in high school.¬† So, not only has Rochelle been living away from Fernie since the end of July, she has left behind her partner and son. One can only imagine how difficult it must be for her to be by herself in Vancouver, and how hard it must be not to be at home, being a “family.”¬† The boys have been bachelors, looking after each other as best they can.

“I know there have been some very kind people in Fernie, who have been doing a meal train for the guys, making sure they eat properly. George has been an amazing step father to Brooke and Wesley, and again, one can only imagine the toll this must be taking on him. Working full time, being a single parent to Wesley, and having his loving partner and step daughter miles away.¬† Now, being guys, working full time, going to school, I’m sure house cleaning hasn’t been on the top of their “to do” list!¬† I can’t imagine any family more deserving of needing this extreme make over.”

Cindy, we couldn’t agree more! Goldstar understands the importance of helping families affected by cancer stay on top of everyday household chores. That’s why Goldstar is a longtime supporter of Cleaning for a Reason, a charity that provides professional free cleaning services for women affected by cancer. So get ready, George, because your bachelor pad is about to receive an Extreme Makeover! On Tuesday, November 13, the full staff of Goldstar Cleaning Services will be at George’s house, says Jill Barclay, owner and founder of Goldstar. “We’ll be giving the place a complete clean makeover, from the floors to the ceilings,” Barclay says. Stay tuned next week for a wrap-up of Extreme Makeover: Clean Home Edition, including amazing before-and-after shots of George’s house!