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Choosing a Housekeeping Service

Choosing a housekeeping service is a big decision. So what should you look for?

With competing priorities of work, family, social engagements and organising the home, a housekeeping service can save you precious time. But when you are bringing housekeepers into your home, you will want the peace of mind that they are the right service for you. Here is our helpful guide on choosing a housekeeping service.

Professional

Managing a home is a considerable responsibility. As well as cleaning and caring for your furnishings, clothes, and belongings, your housekeeper may be making reservations for you, managing deliveries, preparing meals and more. You will want to ensure that you choose a professional housekeeping service, with fully trained, vetted staff so that you can feel confident while they are in your home.

At Liberty, our housekeepers are selected through a rigorous, 3 stage process. We invest in our team with regular training and mentoring to ensure our service is professional and of the highest quality.

Experienced

Your housekeeping service should have the experience to be able to learn and anticipate your needs, so that everything runs smoothly. When you are selecting your housekeeper, make sure you ask about their previous work and clients.

Liberty team have over 50 years of combined experience in hospitality, and we share our expertise within our housekeeping team, through our training process.

Flexible

Your life isn’t the same from week to week, and so your housekeeping needs will change too. You will need a service which can be flexible to meet those needs, whether that’s arranging specialist cleaning, preparing for guests, or arranging appointments. How quickly can you make a change to your housekeeping? How easily can you contact them?

At Liberty, our flexible range of options means our service is fully adaptable to meet you needs. Just contact the Head Housekeeper to arrange any changes.

Quality

Your home should be a calm, clean and organised haven to enjoy at the end of a busy day. You will want to be sure you are choosing a housekeeping service that delivers these results for you, on every visit. Will your housekeeper have enough time to deliver the service you expect, or will they be rushing and cutting corners? How will quality checks be carried out?

At Liberty, we are passionate about delivering an excellent service, and we are in regular contact with our clients to ensure they are delighted with our work. Our Head Housekeeper will visit your home to carry out spot checks, to ensure we are meeting our meticulous standards.

Reputation

With a personal service such as housekeeping, an outstanding reputation is essential. Look for ratings on websites such as Trustpilot, or search our recommendations from existing clients.

At Liberty we are proud of the wonderful testimonials we receive from our clients, and they are available to read on our website.  Our sister company, Just Helpers, has a 5 star rating on Trustpilot, so you can be assured of our reputation for excellence.

Values

It is a sad fact that the hospitality and cleaning sectors are often characterised by poor pay and working conditions. However, if you are a conscientious consumer – choosing sustainable, or organic, or Fair Trade – why should your housekeeping service be different? Ask any potential provider about their corporate values and how these are put into practice in their employment practices.

All of our people at Liberty receive the London Living Wage, as well as holiday pay. This is one example of how are values are at the heart of what we do.

If you want the peace of mind that comes with choosing a housekeeping service which is professional, high quality, and shares the values you care about, contact us now to become a VIP Founder Member.

 

Getting Down to Business This September

This September, more than ever, feels like a time for getting down to business. 

Whether you have school-age children, or your school days are a distant memory, September always has that “new pencil  case” feeling. But after 18 months of COVID chaos, and the changes in routine that summer always brings, now is the time for a fresh start, and new focus, and for getting down to business. 

Chances are you have been working from home during the last year, and you may be adapting to getting back to the workplace this September. Seeing colleagues face to face is a welcome change, but also means restarting some not so welcome daily tasks.

Laundering and ironing shirts and work wear, cleaning and polishing shoes, and planning, shopping and preparing for workday lunches are back on your to-do list.

Plus, your commute has suddenly taken back a chunk of time. Your work day feels longer, and you have even less time for you.

Getting down to socialising

This September will hopefully see a return to favourite leisure activities.  Sports clubs, bars and restaurants, and theatres are opening, and you are probably already seeing your diary fill up with all the social events and family celebrations which have been postponed over the last 18 months. 

September is often a chance to enjoy the last of the summer, with lighter, warmer evenings. It’s a chance to grab a game of tennis, or a round of golf, or after-work drinks outside. 

It’s about making the most of every moment of your time.

Staying focused

Before getting caught up in all these new demands, September is also a great time to take stock of your “why” .

Whether you work for a large corporation, or you have your own business, you are probably very clear on why you do, what you do, at work. 

Here at Liberty, our investment in our people is central to our “why”. We are proud that all of our team receive the London Living Wage as well as holiday pay and sickness pay, and we believe it is what makes our service special. 

But are you equally clear about your Why in the rest of your life?

Your Wellbeing

One of the unexpected pleasures of lockdown, as normal life and its business was suspended, was a chance to rediscover things we love to do. Maybe you reconnected with reading, or music, or working on your fitness.

Perhaps lockdown reminded you of how much you value time spent with friends and family, or perhaps you really missed the exhilaration of big collective experiences such as gigs, concerts or sports events. 

Keeping focused on your Why is a great way to maintain and improve your wellbeing. It helps you to ensure you are prioritising those aspects of your life which make you feel happy, healthy and fulfilled.

This article from Tony Robbins has some helpful pointers on how to reconnect with your why.

But we understand, this is more easily said than done. 

Liberty Can Help

In your work, you may often need to delegate tasks to give yourself the space to focus on your priorities – the “Why” of your business.

By bringing Liberty Housekeeping Services into your home, you are giving yourself the time and space for the things that really matter to you. 

We offer a range of flexible options to suit your individual requirements and our professional, handpicked team will listen to you, understand and anticipate your needs. 

Visit our website to find out more about how Liberty can help you stay focused on your Why while you’re getting down to business this September. 

We are welcoming VIP Founding members to our waiting list now. Register here to join the waiting list and find out more about our PRICE FOR LIFE exclusive membership.

Introducing Liberty Professional Housekeeping in London

Do you want your home to run more smoothly? Do you need a service that goes beyond cleaning?  Liberty, from Just Helpers,  is the solution you are looking for.

At Just Helpers we deliver exceptional cleaning across the city. When our clients book their cleaning through us, they know that their Helper will receive the London Living Wage, with decent working conditions too. Clean home, clean conscience.

We are proud of  the strong reputation  we have built with our award-winning, ethical cleaning business.  

But we know that sometimes our clients need more than cleaning.

So we are proud to be launching Liberty by Just Helpers- our new, live out housekeeping service.

Living in the city can be stressful, juggling work, social life, family responsibilities, and organising your home. It can be difficult to find time to relax.

You need someone who can take control of all those little tasks that make your life complicated.  You need someone who can restore calm and make sure that your home runs smoothly. Liberty is the housekeeping solution you have been looking for. 

Take Control of the Clutter

We all feel calmer when our space is organised, orderly and clean, in fact there’s evidence that clutter in our environment causes stress. If you work from home, it can even affect your productivity. Our expert cleaning service can restore calm to your space, to get back on track. 

And modern life brings other clutter – that never-ending list of tasks that fill up your diary and your headspace. At the end of a busy day at work, the last thing you want is to tackle another long to-do list. 

Tasks such as:

  • Ordering groceries, taking delivery and putting them away
  • Arranging dry-cleaning
  • Making reservations for events
  • Preparing for guests
  • Arranging repairs
  • Taking meter readings 
  • Polishing shoes
  • Meal preparation
  • Laundry
  • Changing beds
  • Ironing

These tasks soon mount up. Your precious free time can quickly disappear leaving you no time to relax. 

Liberty Housekeeping can help. 

With Liberty, your personal housekeeper can take control of all of these tasks, and more, with a flexible and agile service that fits around your life. 

How would it feel to know that all of this daily mental clutter was being handled for you, by a professional housekeeping service, so your leisure time was yours to enjoy? 

We are welcoming VIP Founding members to our waiting list now. Register here to join the waiting list and find out more about our PRICE FOR LIFE exclusive membership.

An Ethical Cleaning Agency: What Makes Us Different?

This month it is Living Wage Week.  So, what better time to reflect on what it means to us to be an ethical cleaning agency?

At Just Helpers, our values are at the heart of what we do. Our Founder Antoinette started the business to combine her two passions – tackling exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers, and providing a professional cleaning service. The Living Wage is central to this.

From the beginning, Just Helpers has been about “just doing the right thing.” For us, this means:

  • Paying the London Living Wage – a good day’s work for a good day’s pay.
  • Developing People – we mentor our Helpers to grow their confidence and improve their communication skills.
  • Professionalism – All of our Helpers are vetted and go through three hands on cleaning interviews.
  • Pride – We reward a job well done with our Helper of the Month and Annual Awards.
  • Recognising Potential – Where we can, we promote our Helpers to become managers.

What is the Living Wage?

The Real Living Wage reflects the real cost of living. It is independently calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. The Real Living Wage is higher than the government’s National Living Wage, because it is  based on real living costs.

It has two rates – a National rate for the whole country, and a London rate to reflect the higher cost of living in the Capital.

Over 5000 businesses in the UK voluntarily pay the Living Wage.  These include big names such as Ikea, ITV and Chelsea Football Club. At Just Helpers we are proud to be affiliated to the Living Wage Foundation,  because we ensure our Helpers receive the London Living Wage. Last year we were delighted when Antoinette received the Venus Award for Employer of the Year in London. This award recognised the work of the whole team in addressing fair pay and working conditions in the cleaning industry.

 

“Please make sure you know how much you pay your cleaner,… and if you are going to use an agency, make sure they are ethical. A good day’s work for a good day’s pay – everyone deserves that.”  (Antoinette Daniel, Acceptance Speech, Venus Awards 2018)

What does this mean?

Sadly, low pay and poor working conditions are all too common in the cleaning industry.  Migrant workers, and particularly women, are vulnerable to this kind of exploitation.

When you arrange your cleaning through Just Helpers, you know that your Helper is being paid fairly for a fair day’s work.

Our cleaner Miglena was absolutely amazing and dealing with the Just Helpers Team was always a breeze. We also loved that this company pay the London Living Wage and really seem to value people.

Plus you have the peace of mind of dealing with a professional business, with a passion for providing you with a high quality, efficient cleaning service.

How to Clean Silver by Antoinette

There’s something very satisfying about sitting down to clean silver.

If you are lucky enough to have inherited a silver cream jug from Granny, or if you have silver jewellery, you’ll know that it can become tarnished very quickly.

But there’s nothing like bringing something dull and dirty-looking to a bright, shiny polish. Here are our tips on how to clean silver.

Before you begin to clean silver items

First of all, ask yourself whether the object actually needs cleaning. Sometimes a bit of tarnish is part of the design, to give it more character.  If you remove all of the tarnish you might spoil the appearance. You might not be able to see the details on engravings, for example, if you clean all the tarnish away.

Here are our Top Tips for Cleaning Silver

Wash it away

A simple solution of washing up liquid, or laundry detergent, can be enough to clean silver.  Wash the surface of the item carefully, then rinse and dry.

Rub it away

You can clean silver by rubbing the tarnish away using something mildly abrasive. Make a paste with cornstarch and water. Rub it onto the surface and leave to dry, then rub away with a cloth.  Toothpaste, and baking soda can also produce the same results.

Dissolve it away

Many people swear by tomato ketchup to clean silver. Squirt a small amount onto a piece of kitchen towel and gently rub over the surface. For more stubborn tarnish, leave the ketchup to work for a few minutes before wiping it away, then rinse in clean water and dry.  It is the vinegar in the ketchup which removes the tarnish. Lemon juice works in the same way.

Soak it away

This method uses a chemical reaction between aluminium foil and baking soda to clean silver.  Take an aluminium foil dish, add baking soda and boiling water, then place the silver items in the solution to soak for a few minutes. The tarnish should disappear, without affecting the silver underneath. Read more about how this method works, here:

How to Clean Silver Jewellery

If you want to clean silver jewellery, you will need to take special care.

  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to clean delicate fastenings and small areas.
  • Do not clean jewellery over the sink it case you drop it!
  • Put small items into a sieve or an old tea strainer, and clean over a bowl.
  • Be very careful if your jewellery includes gemstones. Pearls can be easily scratched, for example.

How to Maintain Your Clean Silver

Now that you’ve cleaned your silver, you’ll want to keep it looking its best.

  • Silver becomes tarnished by moisture so make sure it is fully dry before storing.
  • Try storing your silver with silica gel bags.
  • Chalk can also help to absorb moisture.
  • Don’t wrap your clean silver items in newspaper; this can cause them to tarnish.
  • Try wrapping items in silver cleaning cloths.
  • Never clean silver items in a dishwasher.
  • Remove silver jewellery before washing your hands or showering so that it doesn’t get clogged with soap or hair conditioner.
  • Always take off rings before applying handcream or other cosmetics.

More Information:
For more great tips on how to clean silver and valuables, try these:

Good Housekeeping
The Victoria and Albert Museum

What the Venus Award Means to Just Helpers – from our Founder Antoinette Daniel

“Just Doing the Right Thing” is at the heart of what Just Helpers is all about.

So when I was recognised as Employer of the Year in London, in the Venus Awards, I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

What are the Venus Awards?

The Venus Awards have been called “The working women’s Oscars”. They recognise the achievements of hard-working women, and female-friendly businesses, across the country. I was lucky enough to be nominated for the award by a Just Helpers customer. From 45 nominations, I made it down to the shortlist of 4. Then, at a glamour-filled ceremony at the Waldorf Hotel in London, I was announced as the winner! For me, the award is a recognition of the achievements of the whole team at Just Helpers.

Values

I founded Just Helpers out of a passion for justice, fair pay and decent working conditions. Inspired by my charity work with an anti human-trafficking organisation, I placed these values at the heart of the business.

In our cities, vulnerable migrant workers, and particularly women, are often exploited by unscrupulous employers with poor pay and working conditions.  I saw this injustice first hand, and so I decided to begin my own business to provide an alternative – providing domestic and commercial cleaning services.

The Just Helpers Approach

Being an ethical, professional business which nurtures and supports women is central to the Just Helpers Approach.

  • Paying the London Living Wage – a good day’s work for a good day’s pay
  • Developing People – mentoring our Helpers to improve their confidence and communication
  • Professionalism –through our process of vetting, hands on interview and shared standards, we ensure your Helper is right for you
  • Pride – Our Helper of the Month Award, nominated by our clients, rewards a job well done
  • Recognising Potential – where we can, we grow our Helpers into Managers

Campaigning

Campaigning is a big part of who I am. The award has been a great opportunity to encourage people to follow the Just Helper’s approach. In my acceptance speech I said: “Please make sure you know how much you pay your cleaner and if you are going to use an agency, make sure they are ethical. A good day’s work for a good day’s pay – everyone deserves that.

A good day’s work for a good day’s pay – everyone deserves that.

Just Helpers is affiliated to the Living Wage Foundation. This organisation campaigns for workers to be paid fair wages which reflects actual living costs in the capital, and across the nation.

Expertise

In further recognition of what we have achieved at Just Helpers, I am excited to have been asked to be a Champion for the London Mayor’s “Good Work Standard”. This initiative aims to bring together the best employment practices in London. It will work to raise standards for workers across the city, through educating employers and informing government policy. I’m looking forward to sharing my expertise and working alongside them to ensure a robust and fair policy for all sizes of businesses.

The Future

The Venus Award has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and to reflect on all that we have achieved so far at Just Helpers. The positive validation from someone outside the agency has encouraged us to punch bigger and higher. Our greater passion has now become to end exploitation within the UK cleaning agency. Watch this space!

Over the coming months, Just Helpers will continue to grow, with a new Just Helpers App, an exciting new rebrand and new services such as Lifestyle Support for people in retirement.

Just Helpers Journey – by Antoinette Daniel

Just Helpers Journey – The Reason

I started the company in 2013 when I landed an amazing part-time job working for an anti-human trafficking organisation.

Having loved being a secondary school teacher for 12 years, the cut in salary to pursue something that I am so passionate about was tricky. I have always loved cleaning for friends and family and took pride in seeing peoples faces after my efforts. Coming home after a long day of work and knowing that your home space is serene, organised and clean is a joy to behold. Ensuring that “wow” and “ahhhh” feeling when clients get home still gives me the same satisfaction today. This motivation was key in inspiring and brainstorming business ideas to help support my charity work. So through my love of cleaning and hard work a business was born.

Small Beginnings

Consequently, through friends at church, I was connected to my first amazing client (Eve, how apt!) and the cleaning agency has rapidly grown from there.  My passion for justice, fair pay and working conditions was at the core of the business from the very beginning. As I received more and more referrals the business grew and gradually evolved through word of mouth recommendations. From a one-woman business to appointing my first colleagues Barbara and Yana Yaneva along the way, to what you see today – Just Helpers.

It was clear by 2015 that my role should evolve more strategically and I should continue to combine my two passions:

Cleaning and Empowering Women

Unfortunately, through my anti-trafficking work, I saw first hand the exploitation that happens in all communities even those right on our doorsteps. In our UK neighbourhoods, vulnerable people are taken advantage of and not given the opportunities, rights and kindnesses that every person should be afforded. I knew early on that If I could provide an alternative career, where women were nurtured and encouraged to build their own businesses: then my vision would help many individuals in their own journeys.

Fair pay and good working conditions are rare in the cleaning industry

I decided that this ethic should underpin everything that we do. So “Just doing the right thing’ became our motto. Just Helpers from its very inception have been proud affiliates of the London Living Wage Foundation. An organisation campaigning tirelessly to ensure fair pay is awarded to workers and help highlight the poverty crisis in the UK (please find out more here). Just Helpers supports your cleaner by ensuring they receive an equitable wage from their clients but my conscience pushed that we go way beyond that. Just Helpers is my family and I instil pride and enthusiasm in all of my teammates from the very start. With a team of great in-house, ‘home-grown’ managers, we mentor your Helper to improve their confidence and assist them in their communication with their clients.  Where we see Helpers with the potential for growth beyond cleaning, we promote them to be a manager at the earliest opportunity.

Ethics are central to our company operations and we employ this internally within our office team and in our interactions with you and your cleaner.

We have grown to be a management agency providing London cleaning services for both domestic and commercial clients. We act on behalf of professional, affordable and conscientious cleaners (we prefer the term ‘Helpers’), who will love your home like their own. Our experience in the industry enables us to help you and your Helper develop a strong, solid relationship.

All of our Helpers providing cleaning services in London are vetted and put through three hands-on cleaning interviews to make sure that they are the right Helper for you.  We want to know that they subscribe to a shared standard that they have agreed upon as a collective over time. This is ever-changing, especially as new Helpers join the ranks and share their expertise. We have learnt how to spot a great ‘Helper’ through our robust interview process and are regularly approached by women wanting to join Just Helpers as our honest, fair and empowering reputation spreads across communities both here and abroad. I am so proud and delighted to advocate and administrate for such a committed team of colleagues.

So that is the Just Helpers Journey so far. What’s next?

The Future

Being a South Londoner, London has always been my home but since childhood, I have had a love of the sea. In my younger years as a teacher, I taught both in the UK and in Africa and have been fortunate enough to travel broadly.  Even with experiencing many countries, I love nothing more than coming home. This summer I took the first step in making my longer-term dream come true. I moved to live by the sea. Just Helpers now has a team of Operations Managers and over 40 Helpers providing high quality, reliable and efficient cleaning. My aim is to eventually own my own home by the sea and help raise teenagers through fostering.

This is my 5-year plan

Professionally, Just Helpers must continue to grow and I have some great people supporting me in navigating the next exciting phase of growth. I have also been privileged to have been invited to contribute to the Mayor of London’s ‘Good Work Standard’ initiative as a Champion.  The aim of this initiative is to promote equitable and nurturing working standards in London businesses. This exciting committee should help to educate and inform other businesses and government policy in this sector. Ensuring working conditions improve for all is the focus for the future.

I am also extremely excited to have been nominated for the Venus Women’s Awards (by one of our clients) in the category of ‘Employer of the Year – London’. This team effort is a great recognition of how far we have come. We are thrilled to have just found out we are Finalists. The whole management team will attend a lovely event in December to find out if we win. Regardless of the outcome I am so proud of everyone and cannot wait to celebrate!

Who knows what the future holds after that, Homecare and Life Administration is another string to our bow coming soon to London’s postcodes. A new system and App to streamline our communication between Helpers, Clients and the office team,  Just Helpers in another part of the UK…Watch this space!

For now though lets ‘Just’ take one step at a time!  And thank-you to all of those who have journeyed with us along the way.

Need a hand cleaning your home?

Life in London is demanding and time is at a premium. Get some sparkle back into your life and home with one of our domestic cleaning packages.

Looking for commercial cleaning?

We provide a regular cleaning service for offices and commercial premises in the Greater London area, helping you maintain a professional, healthy and productive work and business environment.

We’d love to chat with you, see your space and walk you through our process.

Call us

020 3995 4810 - Clients
020 3995 4820 - Helpers

Email us

info@justhelpers.co.uk

Our office

Kings Parade, Lower Coombe Road, Croydon, CR0 1AA

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