Do you Have this Common Cleaning Problem?

Do you Have this Common Cleaning Problem?

I started writing as a way to offer value to people who may need help with cleaning in their lives, to pass on what Ive learnt and hopefully solve a few peoples problems.

Id like to extend this further.

WHAT IS YOUR CLEANING PROBLEM? – is there something you struggle with, something you can’t work out, something you want advice on?

I feel community is important, So I’d like you, the community to answer any of the questions asked, offer some of your advice and experience to the community.

Maybe you’ll be able to help someone or maybe someone will help you.

You can join the discussion here on this post, Over on the our facebook page, or over at my twitter @zcleanau.  Please use the Hashtag #cleaninghelp on all platforms so others in the community can easily find your comment.

 


What cleaning problems do you have in your home or office?

I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @zcleanaus or leave a message on our Facebook page with your stories.

This post is for the Pro Blogger 7 Days to Getting Your Blogging Groove Back Challenge.

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How to Clean your Computer’s Keyboard

How to Clean your Computer’s Keyboard

Computers have become a staple of our daily lives, we sit in front of them for hours on end, but they are also something we pay the least attention to when cleaning the office or home.

Whether its from eating in front of the computer, or just from every day use, our keyboards will eventually get dirt and dust stuck on and in-between the keys, overtime causing the keys to feel sluggish and making the keyboard un-sanitary. This is something most people don’t think about, and considering we put our hands on keyboards everyday, its always a good idea to clean your keyboard – at least on the surface – on a regular basis.

In this post I will guide you through cleaning Desktop and Laptop Keyboards.

 

DESKTOP KEYBOARDS

What you will need

  1. Microfibre Cloth
  2. Cotton Tips ( Q-Tips )
  3. Isoroypyl Rubbing Alcohol
  4. Plastic knife or some kind of thin prying tool
  5. Soapy water
  6. Towel

1. Firstly,Unplug your keyboard from the computer.  Take a Photo of your keyboard – this is so you can easily re-assemble they keys in the right order once you are done cleaning.

2. Using your plastic knife or Prying tool, place the flat edge in between 2 keys with the edge under they key and gently pry they keys up one at a time. Be extra careful with the space bar as they sometimes have metal rods holding it in and you don’t want to bend them.

Note: Don’t force it, they should come off with relative ease.

3. Once all the keys are removed, fill up a bucket or a sink (making sure the drain is plugged up) with warm soapy water. Place the loose keys into the water and let them soak as we go on to the next step.

4. Take the main keyboard body, turn it upside down and shake out all the loose dirt. Dip the Q-tip in the rubbing alcohol and scrub the inside of the keyboard until its nice and clean.

5. Going back to the keys in soapy water, grab a cloth and wipe over each key one at a time – the dirt should come off easily now then place the keys on a towel to dry off.

6. Once everything has dried off, refer back to the photo you took of your keyboard and place all the keys in their appropriate places.

Note: Don’t force the keys on, they should clip in a with ease

You now should have a clean and responsive keyboard!

 

LAPTOP KEYBOARDS

What you will need

  1. Microfibre Cloth
  2. Cotton Tips ( Q-Tips )
  3. Isoroypyl Rubbing Alcohol
  4. Compressed Air Can

1. Turn off your laptop ( remove the battery if its possible)

2. Grab the can of compressed air and send bursts of air in between the keys to blow out any dust and dirt.

Tip: try to avoid shaking the can while spraying as this will cause liquid to come out and risk damaging your laptop

3. Grab a microfibre cloth and lightly dampen the cloth with the rubbing alcohol. Gently run the cloth over each key of the keyboard until each key is clean.

You can also use this opportunity to clean the body and trackpad of the laptop.

 


Did you find this post helpful? Do you have rules when it comes to eating at the computer?

I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @zcleanaus or leave a message on our Facebook page with your stories.

This post is for the Pro Blogger 7 Days to Getting Your Blogging Groove Back Challenge.

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4 Tips For A Clutter Free Office Space

4 Tips For A Clutter Free Office Space

Keeping an office clutter free can be a hard task to accomplish, even a well organised business can struggle keeping their surroundings looking presentable as the paperwork and items build up leaving you with a messy desk lacking free space when you actually need it.

The following tips are just the first steps you can take to help remove some of the causes of mess and will help keep your office space clutter free like a well oiled machine.

1 . The Purge

The first step in your journey to a clutter free enviroment is simple – Throw out what you don’t need.

Grab yourself a garbage bag and start throwing out all the junk that you don’t need. The best way of doing this is to make 2 piles; The KEEP pile and the TRASH pile.

Go through all your possessions and start the purge …

Do you really need Every piece of stationary under the sun? Are the items on your desk something you use often or is it a “Maybe one day I’ll need it” Item? If so, then in the TRASH pile it goes – This is no time to be a hoarder, our goal is to minimise the amount of useless stuff you have around you.

The final part of this step is to throw out the trash. This may be hard for you to do , but trust me, once you do and you are rid of that clutter, you will feel relaxed and glad you did.

2. Storage Solutions

One of the culprits for a messy desk is bad storage. If you don’t have a proper place to put your items, then they generally just end up in a pile on your desk or in the corner until you are overwhelmed with the mess.

The right storage could be the difference between a presentable office and one looking worse for wear.

Choosing the right type of cupboards, cabinets and file drawers for your situation will drastically improve the way you organise your office, and if you followed Step 1 then you will already have a good idea of what items you had and what storage you will need to put them away in their own special place.

 

Handy Tip: –

Organize the drawers on your desk from everyday to sometimes use.

The Top draw should only be filled with items that you use and need everyday. This will make them easy to reach and you won’t have to go hunting around in other draws.

Each draw below it should decrease in usefulness, so the 2nd draw is a Sometimes use, the 3rd a rarely use and so on.

Once you have this system in place then you will quickly and efficiently find what you need, when you need it.

 

3. Get rid of the Inbox and Outbox

“Get rid of my Inbox & Outbox?” you say.

Yes, the trusty Inbox & Outbox has long been a permanent feature of office desks around the world but this isn’t always the right solution or the best motivator of a clutter free desk.

Firstly the presence of 2 A4 sized trays takes up a fair bit of space on a desk, cutting this down to 1 or even none will give you back valuable space, especially on smaller desks.

Secondly, the side effect of having a Inbox or Outbox is that we tend to use them more as a “Do it later” device and thats where is starts to build up.

The better option would be to have ONE “Today” box. The difference between a in/outbox and a today box is that you put yourself in a mindset that you don’t leave the that day until everything in the Today Box is completed. This will force you to take care of your responsibilities straight away (even more so if you had no box all together) or have the thought in the back of your mind all day that you have a every growing itinery waiting for you a the end of the day before you leave the office.

3. Minimalist Desks

Big desks = Big Mess

Small Desk = Smaller Mess

If the above is true, then it’s not far from the fact that switching to a minimalist desk will help you minimise the clutter you keep.

If you keep your desk to a size that suits your bare minimum needs, there you won’t have space to accrue any clutter. Your desk should be simple; enough space to hold your monitor, a keyboard and mouse and a mug for your morning coffee – thats it.

If you need space for documents to reference off, then invest in floating paper holders that attach to your desk, these will take your documents off your desk and place them infant of you in a easy to read position.

4. Staff Participation

If the issue of clutter is office wide, then a dedicated time to tidy up might be a good solution for you.

Option 1: Giving your staff 15 minutes at the end of each day for a quick tidy up is one option to consider. This will not only make the office a bit cleaner for the next morning, but it will give your staff some time to wind-down after a days of hard work before heading home.

Option 2: Instead of just making your staff clean their areas after a long days work, you organise one day a month (or day of your choosing) and have a staff bonding day. Shut down the office for the day or finish up at midday and invite your staff to come in and spend time together as a team. You can use this day as an opportunity to get your staff to clean the office, but also add in fun team-bonding actives and a BBQ for lunch.

Not only will this get the office looking good, but it will give your staff a day to relax and have fun which will increase productivity when your staff return the next work-day refreshed and ready to work.

These steps are just some of the ways you can start implementing into your office routine today to help reduce that clutter, throw away junk, and have a clean and more importantly distraction free environment to help you focus on you work.

 


Do you have any tips that will help with minimizing clutter?

I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @zcleanaus or leave a message on our Facebook page with your stories.

This post is for the Pro Blogger 7 Days to Getting Your Blogging Groove Back Challenge.

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4 simple strategies to keep a tidy office

4 simple strategies to keep a tidy office

With the daily grind and long hours in the office it can be easy to neglect the importance of a tidy and clean workplace. Having a clean and tidy workplace has many benefits and should not be overlooked in your daily routine.

Some of the benefits include;

  • A better first impression of a well presented office for walk-in clients increasing your business’s bottom line.
  • A well presented office space will improve the atmosphere and make it a more pleasant and productive environment for your staff.
  • A clean and sanitary environment will reduce office flu, decreasing sick-days taken by staff which will save you money and the stress of being understaffed.
  • It will reduce the need of a daily cleaner, saving the business money.

Below is a list of 4 easy and fun ways to implement a better cleaning strategy into your business.

1. STAFF PARTICIPATION

Your staff work hard for you everyday to help your business run at its full potential, this doesn’t mean they are not responsible for their own mess. Teaching your staff to get into the habit of keeping their area clean will not only help when it comes to the Spring clean, but presentable looking desks will keep the atmosphere of the room bring and happy for all the people who work there.

Giving your staff 15 to 30 minutes at the end of each day for a quick tidy up is one option to consider. This will not only make the office clean for the next morning, but it will give your staff some time to wind-down after a days of hard work before heading home.

2. TEAM BONDING & CLEANING DAY

Instead of just making your staff clean their areas after a long days work, you can organise one day a month (or day of your choosing) and have a staff bonding day. Shut down the office at midday and invite your staff to come and spend time together as a team. You can use this day as an opportunity to get your staff to clean the office, but also add in fun team-bonding actives and a BBQ for lunch.

Not only will this get the office looking good, but it will give your staff a day to relax and have fun which will increase productivity when your staff return the next day refreshed and ready to work.

3. DESK ORGANIZATION

pic border

Light at the end of the cleaning tunnel

Sometimes, the biggest cause of mess  is bad desk organisation. A badly organised desk with books, papers and folders laying around can not only make it harder for the staff member to find something fast when they need it, but it is also easy to lose and not notice pens and papers fall off the desk and accumulate on the floor with the other rubbish.

GOOD STORAGE ACCOUNTS FOR A CLEAN DESK

Having appropriate desk storage solutions will help move the clutter off the desk and place them in their own specific spots that can be easily recalled at a later time when needed. Most stationary stores will have storage solutions that will suit most peoples needs, wether it be a stack of drawers that fit on the desk, filing cabinets or wall units, clearing up your desk will not only decrease your clutter and mess, but also increase your daily productivity.

4. THE OFFICE CHALLENGE

Sometimes all you need to help your staff keep a clean office space is a bit of competition.

Set up a friendly in-office challenge where you split the room up in to groups and you offer rewards and prizes for the group who has the cleanest office space at the end of the month. It may seem silly at first but people do like to compete with each other and if done right you could turn this in to a ongoing fun event for all to enjoy throughout the months.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Before hiring a cleaner, give these tips a try and see if they are a good fit for you and your business. It may just save you money and offer value to your business.

If all else fails then you might have to bite the bullet and find a cleaning company for the business. The overall benefit and value you will receive will outweigh the investment in a cleaning company.

If you need help with your office cleaning, contact us at Z & Z Cleaning (or your local equivalent) and ask them how they can help you brighten up your office space.

4 simple strategies to keep a tidy office

Drilling 101 : 6 Essential Tips for a Better Drilling Experience

A drill can be a useful tool in the shop, and is a necessity in most projects you undertake, but improper use and techniques can make your job harder and leave your product with imperfections.

Whether you are a novice handyman or a professional carpenter it is always a valuable to refresh your knowledge base on the basics and seek out some new tips and techniques to make your drill work easier for you. It is easy to get set in your ways, and even the professionals can sometimes get lazy with their tools, but if you revise some of the basics it will ensure that your skills will stay as sharp as your tools.

When you undertake any job it is always important to make sure you have the right quality tools for the job. Sure, its the skill of the person using the tool that matters in the end, but it is good to remember that it is your tools that are there to help you make the job easier not just for the convenience.

THE DRILL

There are many different types of drills on the market, all with their own settings, so it is important to read the user-manual for the drill you are using so you can properly operate the torque and speed settings when you start your next job or project.

As with any job you undertake it is always good to do some research on the particular type of material you are drilling into to get the best out of your drilling techniques, but the following is a quick guide to some of the common materials you will be drilling into.

  1. WOOD – Wood is probably the least scary material to work with when it comes to drilling. Wood bits generally are spiral and come with pointy tips to help dig into the grain. Start off slow until the bit starts digging into the wood then you can increase the speed. Try not to go too fast or keep the drill in the same position for too long otherwise you risk burning the wood.
  2. METAL – When it comes to metal bits you have High Speed Steel(HSS) or Cobalt (Cheaper of the 2 but more brittle), both resistant to the high temperatures that the bit will reach when drilling into harder metals. If you are drilling into Hard metals like Stainless Steel and Iron it is recommended to use lower RPM and a firm pressure, stopping at times to let the bit cool. When using in a drill press on thicker metals it is always a good idea to keep the bit lubricated with a coolant like a Drill Oil. When working with softer metals like aluminium, a higher rpm and prolonged drilling can cause the heat to deform the metal- so take it slow.
  3. MASONRY (brick) – When you need to drill into stone or brick you need a masonry bit. These come with hardened tips and should be used with the hammer setting on your drill. When drilling apply firm pressure and keep removing the bit and blowing out the dust from the hole – this will stop the dust getting in the way and causing he bit to polish the stone instead of cutting into it.

drillTHE DRILL BITS

Drill bits come in many styles and sizes depending on what job they are designed to do; Wood, Metal, Masonry and Forstner are just some of the main bits you will be using. The following simple tips are what I recommend when choosing and using your drill bits.

  1. Choose Quality Brands – A quality Drill Bit is essential when choosing bits for your next project. They may cost a bit more initially but you will save money in the long run when they outlast all your cheap bits and stay sharp longer. Remember, you don’t need every single size of drill bit so if price is an issue then slowly build your collection by buying the quality bit size separately as needed instead of a whole pack. Just don’t forget to get a suitable container to store them in (see tip 3)
  2. Keep your bits sharp – Blunt drill bits will make your job harder as they are more likely to polish and rub against the medium you are working with then cut and remove dust from the hole you are drilling. Take the time to learn how to hand sharpen your bits as most cheaper Electric Drill Bit sharpeners will not do a good job and are more likely to case damage bit than sharpen them.
  3. Store your bits in a suitable container – The last thing you want after you have your expensive sharp bits in your possession is to have them slowly blunt as they rub and grind against themselves when you just chuck them loosely into a box. Most quality drill packs will have a suitable container, but if you’re re buying each piece separately then there are many drill bit holders on the market that will keep the drill bits organised and held securely in place.
  4. Right bit for the job – Before picking up that drill it is worth while doing a bit of research on the material you’ll be drilling into; doing this will not only guarantee that you are using the correct drill bit for the job but could also help you find the right techniques and drill settings for that material.
  5. Pre-drilling holes – Before drilling a hole, or driving a screw into any material is an important step to pre-drill guide holes to avoid splitting of fragile materials or snapping of screws when dealing with hardwoods. When you need to drill a larger hole it is always good to start with a small pilot hole and gradually increase the size of the drill bit until you get to the desired size. This will not only make sure the hole you drill is clean, but will also make your job easier, faster and protect your drill bit from overheating from friction which can cause your bits to dull.
  6. Rubber Grommets – A simple but effective trick is to use a rubber grommet (if you cant find a grommet you can use the grommet off These Screws) to protect surfaces you are drilling into. Just slide the grommet over your drill shaft bit until its against the chuck head and you’re done. Next time you drill through something this will prevent the chuck rubbing against the material, especially the moments when you accidentally slip and slam the drill into the material you’re working with. A must if working with a lot of tiles. (Click here for Tile Drilling tips)

Now that you have the tools and the knowledge, go out and master your next project!