Cleaning efficiently and cost-effectively— all while reducing toxic hazards, sources of indoor air pollutants, and waste. I’ve navigated it all, in professional settings. First as owner of a health-based cleaning service. Then working as House Manager while still cleaning.
My professional approach is best described in my following one-page story, told in present tense.
Launching a health-based cleaning service
I launch one of the first health-based cleaning services in the U.S., prioritizing clients with environmental allergies and asthma.
The whole idea: help clients breathe easier. That means going beyond cosmetic cleaning, to reducing sources of indoor air pollutants.
The main features: deep, detailed cleaning. With non-toxic, low-waste products. And highly-personalized customer care, with extensive support.
De-cluttering and organizing
Deep cleaning and clutter don’t mix. Labor costs compound, fast.
Minimalists get it. If that’s not you, though, you can still minimize the problem.
To streamline the job I’m adding de-cluttering and organizing services. The more stuff cleared out, the less to move in order to clean in the first place.
We clear out one corner or closet per session. Family members weigh in on what stays and goes. Everything gets pulled out. Deep, extreme cleaning follows. We put back only what the the family uses, then donate the rest.
We start with cleaning closets, a major source of air pollutants. Then master bedrooms. And more closets. Next we’re weeding out home offices, ending with paper shredding and vacuuming. Then pantries.
Coaching DIY clients comes next. Making my services as obsolete as I can.
Developing non-toxic cleaning trainings
Next I’m training college students in non-toxic, low-waste cleaning skills.
Then training founding trainers and members of four worker-owned cooperatives through Prospera (formerly WAGES). The programs transitioned the women from General Assistance to self-sufficiency.
The cooperative services grow steadily. Even with sudden competition from big, national chains rebranding as “green”.
You won’t see my name in Prospera’s history. And that’s OK. It’s all about rights to training materials I developed— Prospera wanted exclusive rights, while I believed that many more low-income people can benefit, beyond Prospera’s cooperatives.
Detoxing cleaning operations
Learning House Manager skills on the job
When a House Manager I work with leaves her job, I back-fill her routine duties. With a major remodel underway. Plus a hyper dog and two cats to keep safe and loved.
Initially, this looks daunting. But the Manager whispers, on her way out, “This is not rocket science“. Easy for her to say— she, with her management degree.
But wait— I’ve got transferable skills. Plus, I’ve worked closely with several House Managers. And good at researching. And love scouting for healthy home products and services that are needed, like, yesterday. And field-testing them on the job.
I hit the ground running, learning more on the job. Falling on my face, yes. But getting back up and dusting myself off. Rinse and repeat.
Laundry, dishes, and vacuuming are still on my plate. Increasingly, homeowners prefer fewer people in their homes, cross-trained. Done.
What keepa me motivated— creating a healthier home, for an awesome family.
Coaching for House Managers
The Shutdown hits. And more homeowners are demanding healthier indoor environments. And at the same time, requiring more tech skills from their Managers.
Now I’m coaching another Manager in sourcing and purchasing healthy home products and services. Plus in project management on the cloud. And basics of internet security and privacy.
Writing my first book, with blog mostly on hiatus