Spring Cleaning!

spring_blog

 

Soon, the leaves will be returning, flowers will bloom and the dreaded winter will finally come to an end. It is also the time of year most people bust out the big guns and get some serious cleaning done, as nothing is more refreshing than having a spotless home as the seasons change. If this task seems a bit daunting, than worry not because Gleem has you covered!

In this blog pose we’ll break down spring cleaning into manageable sections.

 

 

 

Out with the Old!

First thing’s first, it’s time to get rid of those knick-knacks you no longer have use for. It is difficult parting with belongings, as you never know when you might need it, but they are just taking up valuable storage space.

Prioritise your things–what is it you need? You might have to be especially ruthless if there is still a lot.

If you feel like doing good with your belongings, charity shops are always looking for donations. Check the websites of your local stores, as they might offer free pick-ups.

 

 

 

Start Small

Before dealing with the more tiresome chores, start with the easier tasks, as then you won;t wear yourself out before you’ve barely begun. Take care of clearing off surfaces, such as taking care of the dishes, tidying off your desk and folding away laundry. That way, you’ll notice immediate results of your work and you’ll still be energised enough for the bigger tasks.

Once the surfaces are cleared off, it’s now time to clean them! Gleem covered dusting in detail already, but the rule of thumb is to start with the higher surfaces then work your way down, and steer clear of dusters! They are proven to be less effective than the tried and tested damp cloth.

 

 

 

Down to the Nitty-Gritty

No doubt there are several household appliances that go forgotten over the year. Now is the time to clean these spots!

Kitchen cabinets can build up dust, or even dripped-down grease from the surfaces. There are products especially designed to break down tough build-up and leave wood moisturised and treated.

Make sure to tackle both sides of the windows. The outside is more imperative as this is where dirt and smudges is more likely to reside. Hot soapy water and a little elbow grease who be more than sufficient to leave your windows crystal clear. Professional domestic cleaners suggest cleaning windows on cloudy days to avoid the sun drying out the products you’re using before you’re done cleaning the windows, as that will result in leaving smudges.

Don’t forget your refrigerator! Now is the perfect time to wipe down the outside and in. Liquids from food stuff can drip down onto shelves and into the drawers, so make sure to give the interior a good clean to keep it hygienic and safe to use.

 

 

 

Take Breaks!

It’s easy to get burnt out doing a long day of cleaning. Gleem recognises how strenuous cleaning can be, so we’re here to remind you not to neglect your needs–keep hydrated, have snacks and meals to keep your body energised and sit down to give your body a break every forty-five minutes to an hour.

 

 

 

Hire a Cleaner

Doing a deep clean absorbs much of your valuable time, so why not hire a cleaner. Gleem hires only the most professional domestic cleaners, so book your deep clean here! We even offer business cleaning and gutter cleaning!

 

Spring Is Almost Here! How You Can Get Motivated For Spring Cleaning

 Spring Is Almost Here! How You Can Get Motivated For Spring Cleaninggetting motivated

The cold weather is slowly becoming a thing of the past and the warmer days are just around the corner. And with those warmer days also comes the dreaded thought of spring cleaning. While some people can not wait to tackle a number of those do it yourself projects and clean out the garage others would much rather go back to hibernating until the winter comes again. Luckily there are a number of ways you can get into the Spring cleaning spirits and get yourself and your home ready for spring.

How To Tackle The Spring Cleaning Blues

Continue reading Spring Is Almost Here! How You Can Get Motivated For Spring Cleaning

Cleaning Granite Tops – Cleaning Hacks (Part 1)

Cleaning Granite Tops

Granite worktops: a stylish but often sticky choice!
Granite is a popular choice for kitchen surfaces; it’s cool appearance compliments everything from the most minimalist to the most eclectic of kitchens. However, in our experience it’s also notoriously good at attracting grease and grime, with sticky surfaces ruining an otherwise pristine kitchen. Many specialist cleaning products have been developed to combat the streakiness, but these are more often than not extremely expensive. By our reckoning, these are simply not necessary, as the products hanging around in your kitchen cupboard are more than up to the job, saving you valuable pounds.

Continue reading Cleaning Granite Tops – Cleaning Hacks (Part 1)

We love our cleaners – Startup Serial #11

We love our cleaners

Our stock phrase here at Gleem is ‘adding sparkle’.

We use it to steer our customers away from the event of cleaning, and towards the idea of a Gleem clean being an experience: a seamlessly operated clean, with happy cleaners, who are friendly, professional and go the extra distance, ensuring our customers’ satisfaction.

Two of our excellent Gleem cleaners
Two of our excellent Gleem cleaners

But the metaphor ‘adding sparkle’ doesn’t end there; we use it to talk about our opportunity to provide clean drinking water to India through Frank Water.

frank-water

We use it to outline the professionalism and kind nature of our operatives on the end of the phone, live chat and emails.

The most poignant place we enjoy saying we ‘add sparkle’ is regarding our cleaners: I started the business because I wanted to build a business that people enjoy working for.

I didn’t want to feel bossed about and undervalued, and so why would I want anyone else at my business to?

From Day 1, we have focussed on finding cleaners who identify with the service that we are looking to provide.

We vet our cleaners thoroughly (http://www.gleem.co.uk/portfolio/meet-the-team) and so, when they start, we know that they are the right fit for us, we are the right fit for them and together we can provide an amazing service for Bristol and Bath citizens.

And it works!

My conversations with other cleaning companies mark this difference: the comparative churn rates of our workers.

Gleem has barely let go of any cleaners since the day we started, whereas other firms talk to me about the volume of turnover being the main sticking point in the businesses. They struggle to expand because they keep losing their cleaners, whereas we are growing strongly, primarily due to our commitment to finding the best: this may take more time, but it is worth it for the long term sustainability of the business.

Next Serial>>

VISIT WEBSITE

A Clean Lifestyle : Life Cycle UK

A Clean Lifestyle : Life Cycle UK

Life Cycle is a local Bristol charity aiming to improve the fitness of locals so they can get out and about and enjoy the beauty spots Bristol has to offer. Young or old; the charity hopes to encourage all to get out and about, proving that age shouldn’t be a barrier to getting out and about and seeing the South West in all its glory. Gleem spoke to Ed Norton, Fundraising Officer at Life Cycle to discover more about the foundation’s links to Bristol, and what it has planned for 2015; the year of Bristol Green Capital…

1. Can you give a brief history of Life Cycle UK in Bristol?

Our interviewee!
Our interviewee

Life Cycle was born in Bristol back in 1996 – before becoming a registered Charity in 1999. Over time, we have grown and diversified well beyond our initial focus of helping employers to increase the number of people cycling to work – our “inclusive cycling” projects now include a bicycle recycling project inside Bristol Prison and a project which takes blind or visually impaired individuals out cycling on tandem bicycles.

2. How do you think the city has changed since Life Cycle was established?

There has definitely been an ongoing feel of positive change in Bristol and a real improvement of attitudes, visibility and awareness of the general public about cycling. We still have a long way to go to achieve European levels of cycling, but for the UK, Bristol is doing pretty well – let’s hope Bristol Green Capital helps notch things up another level!  

3. Agreed! What campaigns are you currently working on to promote cycling in the South West?

We offer loads of practical schemes to help people in the South West to cycle: we offer free secure cycle parking stands to small businesses and community organisations in Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham & Gloucester and Bournemouth; confidence boosting cycle training for adults and children, bike maintenance tuition – and provision of affordable refurbished bicycles. Check out our website for upcoming events – and get in touch!

An Inclusive Cycling volunteer with some biking devotees
An Inclusive Cycling volunteer with some biking devotees

4. What plans have you got in the pipeline for 2015, especially considering Bristol has been awarded the impressive accolade of Bristol Green Capital?

We’re running a special programme of “nature-themed” cycle rides in 2015 thanks to a grant from Bristol Green Capital – specifically aimed at helping those with mental health issues and the over-55s to get out and about on a bike and discover Bristol’s green spaces and wildlife. Apart from that, we’ll still be running all our other cycle promotion schemes – and hope to engage even more people than last year. 

Life-cycle-uk-logo

Thanks Ed! As keen believers in fitness here at the Gleem offices, we’re especially interested to hear what’s going on to get us moving in the South West! With the evenings getting lighter with Spring, we can’t think of a better reason to get out and see the beauty of Bristol. For more information on the brilliant schemes afoot at Life Cycle UK, check out http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/our-projects.

Don’t forget, this week’s posts are all part of ‘Spring Cleaning Week’. Alongside our social media campaign, Gleem is offering some stupendous deals on a spring clean in the Bristol Post, so you can start the new season afresh. Make sure to buy your Post and keep an eye out! 

Visit us at www.gleem.co.uk or call 0800-808-5544 to have a friendly chat with someone from gleem team!

Interview with Freddy – The Lido Spa & Restaurant

Interview With Freddy – The Lido Spa & Restaurant

Next up in our Spring Cleaning Week spotlight on Bristol’s institutions is The Lido Spa and Restaurant in beautiful Clifton. Gleem caught Head Chef, Freddy Bird between the busy lunch and dinner service to discover a bit more about this Bristol institution…

1. Can you give a brief history of The Lido – both it’s Victorian incarnation and in its current format?

Freddy
Head Chef and discoverer of the best ingredients the South West has to offer!

Of course! The current owner – Arne Ringer – bought The Lido in 2004, though it had lain derelict since 1991. Before that, it had been used solely as a pool since 1849. Initially, the structure was going to be developed into flats, but Arne then thought of the innovative idea of restoring the pool to its former glory; retaining as many original features as possible – such as the original Victorian changing cubicles – though adding the restaurant. In its present incarnation, there are over 700 solar tubes to heat the pool and we collect our own rainwater to fuel the showers and pool. We also have a ‘wash naked’ policy whereby we ask our guests to remove all perfumes and cosmetics so we can keep the chlorination of the water relatively low. Originally, The Lido was just a pool with snacks, but we’ve expanded considerably since then with a tapas bar, several restaurants, the spa and six dedicated treatment rooms. These extras make the site a viable business.

2. How do you think the unique setting impacts on the customer’s experience at the restaurant?

I see dining out as theatrical, and not just about food. With the pool open at night and clearly visible to our diners, there’s definitely more of a relaxed vibe, though at the same time ‘a hive of activity’. We wanted to create a certain atmosphere that’s not stuffy and formal, but relaxed. With the addition of water, this gives the restaurant a therapeutic ambience, absorbing the outside noise so you’re not aware that you’re actually in the buzzing area of Clifton.

Swimmers and diners alike enjoy The Lido's relaxed atmosphere
Swimmers and diners alike enjoy The Lido’s relaxed atmosphere

3.  What is the importance of healthy food to you? 

I actually avoid the word ‘healthy’, and prefer the term ‘natural’ as I think we want to avoid any branding as a health spa. We believe ourselves to be a little more hedonistic than that. Locally sourced food is definitely a priority – only this morning I was out and about visiting a local farm to source chicken and eggs, particularly investigating what they’re being fed. Recently I paid a visit to Frampton Cotterell, where we source our bucks. Key to me as a chef is knowing and trusting the suppliers – after all there’s no hiding if you meet them face to face! I’m a great believer in good animal husbandry, and spend a great deal of time sourcing ingredients physically and getting on the phone to possible suppliers. For me, good ingredients are the start of a good meal and distributors and chefs alike should prioritise the provenance of their food. 

4. Do you think your approach to ethically sourced food is particular to the South West, or can you see it expanding across the country?

I regard it as increasingly national. However, the West Country is typically known as the ‘larder of England’, with its food and farming traditionally its lifeblood. Bristol’s burgeoning food scene does make it unique, we’re not pretentious here and don’t use smears and foams, we simply want great quality ingredients and tasty food.

5. Any plans in the pipeline?

We’re currently busy creating the next Lido in Reading on the Thames, to open near the bridge at the beginning of 2016. The old abandoned lido there is the perfect base for our next project, where we are seeking to pursue the same ethos as at Lido I. The restaurant and spa at Reading will be slightly larger in Reading, but Bristol is ultimately my home so I will be based between the two, especially as I currently split my time between the other restaurants of ‘The Glassboat’ and ‘Three Brothers Burgers’.

The site of the next Lido, opening early 2016
The site of the next Lido, opening early 2016

Thanks Freddy! Glad to hear The Lido’s prospering and is expanding as coincidentally, Gleem’s expansion plans do extend to Reading, so our paths may cross in the neck of the woods too! To hear more from Freddy, do take a look at his blog over at http://www.lidobristol.com/blog/

 

Philanthropy & Frank Water (1)

Philanthropy & Frank Water

First up in our focus on Bristol ‘institutions’ is Frank Water. Frank is a magnificent charity trying to solve poor sanitation over 5,600 miles away in India, all from its Bristol base. We are very proud to count Frank as our charity partner – indeed, in our recent 1000th clean we decided this growth warranted a celebration, and donated some of their bottles to the recipients of the landmark service. 

Frank are tireless in their innovative campaigning – Joe was amazed to hear about Jon Shepherd – Frank’s Programme Manager – and his tale of a week on water, cutting out all caffeine and alcohol to highlight the significance of humble H20. We had a quick chat with Jon about Frank’s history and his story…

Jon - putting a face to the name!
Jon – putting a face to the name!

1. Can you give a brief history of Frank Water?

In 2005, Katie Alcott founded FRANK Water. On a shoestring budget, she bought a few cases of bottled water, sold them to local cafes and restaurants and donated the profits to an NGO in India. Today, FRANK Water is a small, successful safe water charity with a big impact.

There is still a child dying every minute from illnesses related to contaminated water – and India has the worst sanitation in the world, with half the population having no access to a toilet at all.  FRANK Water filter and pipe in water, build toilets and educate people about hygiene and sanitation. We work in the poorest communities, in hard to reach rural areas.

Over 10 years work in India, we have supported over 200,000 people to improve their health through increased access to water, sanitation and hygiene education.

A Frank Water collection point
A Frank Water collection point

2. Why did you decide to undertake the challenge of drinking only water for a week?

I wanted to do something to highlight the desperate state of sanitation in India. I think many people know that poverty exists in the world but are a bit lost on where it is worst and also what poverty means for the average person. A shocking 1 in every 3 malnourished children in the world lives in India (Source: UNICEF 2014)

Secondly, I work on community projects with people who are spending hours every day collecting water or having to walk for ages to find a quiet spot to go to the toilet. When I was asked to lead ‘Join Jon’ I thought it might be a bit of a struggle in the mornings but let’s face it, caffeine addiction is a very Western problem – if I can’t give up coffee for a week, do I really give a damn about others?

3. Very true! Any longer-term impacts of the challenge?

Join Jon highlighted to me that changing your habits is possible. They say it takes 3 days to start or stop a habit and it made me realise that maybe I should drink a little less coffee, beer and wine. It also made me realise that doing things for charity is easy, you just have to agree to do it and not over-worry yourself with how difficult it could be, or stress so much about the fundraising target that you don’t ever do anything. It also encouraged my wife to do something and a few weeks ago, she ran the Bath Half for FRANK Water.

Jon on the campaign trail
Jon on the campaign trail!

4. Wow! Though after the challenge of 2014, what have you got to top the 7-day detox?!

I’m thinking of doing an exercise based challenge like the Coniston Lake Swim in September or maybe volunteering at a festival like WOMAD. Karma Korma happens every March and is all about encouraging people to cook a curry, get together with friends or colleagues, raise funds and save lives. In September, we will be running Give It Up for Water – the initiative we piloted in 2014 where people are sponsored to only drink water for 7 days.

frank2

Thanks Jon! As you will have read, Frank truly are a whirlwind of activity this month and Gleem would like to congratulate them on their efforts and wish them the best of luck for 2015 – their tenth anniversary! As Gleem grows, we will maintain our commitment to the charity. In fact, Gleem’s very own Emily is raising awareness and funds for Frank by running the Copenhagen Marathon in May – ‘Held Og Lykke’, Emily!

If you’re interested in fundraising for Frank, check out www.frankwater.com/fundraising-events/  for some frankly (!)  fabulous ideas!

(All images c/o of Frank Water)