On to 2015!

Golden Scores Post January 8, 2015

Whelp, the holidays are over and done with, the toys are (mostly) put away in our basement and we’re officially into 2015. Happy New Year, in case I didn’t say it in a previous post. I’ll be honest with all of you, 2014 was a whirlwind year for me. I started a new job, knocked up my wife for the second time (boom!), moved into a new house and was just insanely busy all year long. Sometimes during 2014 I felt like my head was about to explode from stress, it was that crazy.

The good news is that the end of the year was awesome, and I’m pumped to be headed into 2015 on such a positive note. We finally finished dealing with the remnants of the floods that forced my mother to re-finish her entire basement, which was a huge issue to deal with throughout the Spring and early Summer. Though it was a rough patch for her, it was really cool to see how so many people came out of the woodwork to help her in her time of need. People from all over her neighborhood showed up during the flood to help move stuff from the basement up into the garage, a local carpet cleaning company gave her a huge discount on water damage remediation services, and the community in general just really showed up to help her out. It was fantastic, and one of those moments when you think “humanity isn’t all that bad after all.”

The last few months have been awesome, too. As much as I complain about all of the commercialism associated with the holidays, Christmas really is a lot more fun with kids. This was the first year that my kid really “got it” about Christmas. Last year was pretty much just about tearing wrapping presents and stuff, but this year we got to watch movies with her, read her books, talk about Santa, etc. It was pretty cool to see her so freaking excited about Santa coming to bring her presents. Hopefully, like I said in my last post, we can just find a way to tame the commercialistic beast that is the holidays in the coming years.

Anyhoo, yeah, I’m really looking forward to 2015. I think it’s going to be an even better year than last year was, and I’m trying to make sure I approach the year with optimism, an open mind and with renewed focus on my goals and my family.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Too Many Christmas Gifts

What does having a toddler do to your house over the Holidays? Well, I can tell you what it does not do, and that’s create any more space. Especially when you have a mother like mine who likes to absolutely spoil her grandkids. Before Christmas, we cleaned the basement head to toe to make sure that we had more room for all the toys that we knew Nana was going to buy our little bundle of fire.  We steam cleaned the carpets, cleaned out and threw away boxes. We even had a handyman come in and create the very last bit of storage possible in our house!

Turns out, we underestimated the haul that we were coming home with. Let’s put it this way, we almost had to leave some presents at Grandma’s. When you can barely fill your car, which happens to be an SUV, there’s something severely wrong with the amount of presents that are under the tree. Not to mention the amount of money that is most likely put on a credit card, as my Mom isn’t a rich stock broker!

Happy adorable little girl with gift box

Why is that every Christmas we have the same conversation with all the grandparents? It goes something like this:

Me: Please don’t buy us, or our kiddo so many presents. We would appreciate a couple of course, but 20 is going overboard.

Grandparents: Okay, that’s fine.

Me: So then we have an agreement?

Grandparents: Yes.

Listen, I get it that Grandparents want to spoil their grandkids, but there’s only so much room that we have in our 3 bedroom house with unfinished basement. We can’t add any more storage without building an extra-large shed outside, and I doubt that my loving wife is going to want to put a nice Mickey Mouse doll in a massive Tupperware out in the garage. The wife had a great idea that we would like to institute in the future. Every person gets 5 presents. Something they want. Something they need. Something to wear. One book. And to finish it off, one activity. Sounds simple enough right? The problem is that even if the G’Parents agree to it, we know the rule will be violated.

I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining about receiving extra gifts because I’m not. In all reality, the thing that I’m complaining about is the fact that it would be hilariously expensive to have a contractor come into this house, and magically create a boatload of new space to put all the crap that accumulates just over the joyous holidays. Zoning laws state that we can’t pop the top and go up. If we wanted to go further down to create more space, I would have to take out a second mortgage, as well as pick up a second job. Now, since I don’t really feel like bartending until past 2 in the morning, or go back to training baseball players part time, I think there’s only one good solution.

Looks like I’ll be donating some of the gifts she hasn’t seen to the local Goodwill store. Hopefully that makes someone a bit less fortunate a little happier after the holiday season. To me, that’s what the holidays are all about.

Broken Vacuum Got You Down?

Does this picture seem like a pretty good representation of your experience with your vacuum cleaner?

Hands cleaning vacuum cleaner

I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to find a vacuum cleaner for less than a billion dollars that won’t break. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to. In the old days (or so I’ve been told…), you used to buy a product that, if serviced and taken care of properly, would last a lifetime.

Take dress shoes for example. Old dress shoes used to be made with stitched soles. The idea here is that if the sole wore out, you could easily take the existing, worn sole off of the shoe and put a new sole on. As long as you took care of the leather with regular shoe shines and storing the shoes in shoe trees when they were not in use, those shoes could last for years and years. Cut to today, when the large percentage of shoes sold in stores have soles that are GLUED ON. So when the soles are worn down to nubs and have holes in them, you’re out of luck and just have to go to the store to buy a new pair of crappy shoes. Rinse and repeat.

Anyway, apply the shoe analogy to your vacuum, and you see where I’m going with this. The vacuums sold in stores are meant to break down. Otherwise, how is the vacuum company going to get any more money from you? Don’t get me wrong, you’re going to need a vacuum if you’re going to try to avoid living in filth, so simply not having a vacuum or not cleaning your floors and carpet isn’t a viable option. What I’m saying, though, is the really economical and smart way of dealing with this is to use a carpet cleaning company and to limit your use of your home vacuum to light duty.

If you’re just occasionally doing a light vacuum to get some surface dirt up, your vacuum is probably going to last for a longer time than if you try to use if for serious, deep carpet cleaning. Doesn’t that make sense?

Carpet cleaners make their money by getting the tough to reach and ridiculously soiled areas in your carpet spic and span, so it makes sense for them to splurge on the latest and greatest state of the art machines they’ll need to get the job done right. In the long run, if you call your carpet cleaners twice per year for deep cleanings and just use a consumer model, like a mid-range Dyson or something, you’re probably going to save money in the long run and won’t have to worry about your vacuum self-destructing any time soon.

Thanksgiving Awesomeness List

I love Thanksgiving. Don’t you? If you don’t love Thanksgiving, you must not love anything – not kittens, not ducklings, nothing. It’s got to be one of the top three, if not the absolute best, holidays of the year. Think about it… here’s a quick list of some of the awesome things you get to do on Thanksgiving:

  1. Sit around and binge eat snacks without worrying about what people think.
  2. Drink beer in the early afternoon without Aunt Edna or anyone giving you shit, because clearly the pilgrims and Squanto drank beer in the early afternoon and we want to honor their memory.
  3. Play football in the backyard or at the park with your family members. Playing football is awesome, but being able to tackle or at least cut block your uncle to get back at him for the time he sent you a white bath towel for Christmas is the real icing on the cake.
  4. Watch football. Not as good as tackling your uncle, but still pretty great. How many times do you get to watch a whole day of football and not get a ton of grief for it?
  5. Binge eat dinner after binge eating snacks and drinking beer all day.
  6. This is the best part – a bunch of grown adults napping in the mid-afternoon and blaming it on some magical ingredient in the turkey. Think eating 2 helpings of mashed potatoes the size of your face had anything to do with it? Probably not….

And this isn’t even all of it. Thanksgiving is just the best. The only thing that sucks is having to clean up after it’s all over. The dishes are all stacked as high as the eye can see, there’s turkey juice everywhere, wine stains everywhere. That’s why I do my best to be seriously involved in the cooking part of the day, cuz everyone knows that you get off the hook from cleaning if you cooked. Also, I think my family just knows that I’d do a terrible job. They’d be better off hiring a full team of professionals to take care of the mess. If it were my house, I’d just plan all of my cleanings for right after turkey day. I’d get a housekeeper to come scrub the kitchen, the carpet cleaners to do my bi-annual deep clean and even get the chimney swept while I was at it. What the hell, right? Anyhoo, thankfully for my wallet Thanksgiving wasn’t at my house this year.

Now pardon me while I go eat a bunch of leftovers and gain an extra 10 pounds.

Think Vacuuming Keeps Your Floors Tidy? Think Again!

I don’t know about you, but I was a filthy slob when I was a kid. Hell, I was a filthy slob into my mid-twenties, if I’m really being honest about it. I just didn’t give a rat’s you know what about keeping a clean house. For one, I didn’t really spend much time at my house unless I was playing video games or sleeping, etc., so who was I to care if the dishes weren’t done, there was a beer stain on the couch or the carpet hadn’t been cleaned in months. I had video game bad guys to kill and sleep to get!

Cut to today… I’m older now (mid-thirties) and I do care about being clean. I’m not saying I’m an old man or anal retentive or anything, but yeah, I’ll admit it, there’s something peaceful about a nice, clean house. It’s relaxing. It makes me feel calm and collected. Most of all, in a life with many things I can’t control, having a clean house is something I can control. l guess that’s the meat of the issue, if I’m being honest.

Also, I like to read. Add these two things together, and occasionally I find myself reading articles or how-to blogs on cleaning. I know it’s kind of stupid, but I think if you’re going to do things right, you should be informed. My theory is that if you know the right way to do something, you’ll do it faster and save way more time and headaches in the end.

So anyway, that’s a pretty long winded intro to the whole point of this rant. I was surfing over at HuffPo the other day when I came across this post about how you can vacuum your carpets as much as you like, but it really isn’t same as a good, old fashioned carpet cleaning.

I’ll let you read the article for yourself, ’cause it has all sorts of good information in there, from how you could void the warranty on your carpet if you don’t get it cleaned, to the fact that you need to act super duper fast if you spill something on the rug.

It’s a pretty good article all things considered, though I do wish it had a section on how to handle upholstery cleaning. That would have made it a bit more comprehensive. It’s cool, I can go read another blog or something about that I guess.

In the meantime, I’m going to give the carpet cleaners a call. I don’t think I’ve ever, ever had a thorough cleaning on it, and I’ve been living in my pad for about 3 years now. I can only imagine what kind of dust, dirt and other gunk might be hiding there….

Talk to y’alls later!

Kill Those Dust Mites By Cleaning Your Carpets!

Do you have a runny nose, itchy eyes or sneeze all the time like it’s nobody’s business? If you’re like me, you probably chalk this up to having a common cold, and move on with your life. Sure enough, the symptoms go away for a while, and you think the cold is gone. Then when it comes back a few weeks or a month later, you think “Oh, man, I got a cold again. Bummer!” Well, you could have a common cold, but if you don’t clean your carpet, upholstery, furniture or other items in your house enough, it might be microscopic, nasty old dust mites causing your grief.

Dust mites are nasty and live everywhere! They live in the fibers of just about anything in your house that has fibers, and though they’re microscopic, they do macroscopic damage. Dust mite allergies can be so bad that you might have to take prescription drugs to deal with them, left unchecked. No one wants to give pharmaceutical companies more money, so that’s just stupid. The best thing you can do to keep dust mites at bay is to give your house a thorough carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning once every six months or so. You may not think it’s a big deal, but if you’re chronically experiencing nasal drip, coughing, watery eyes or sneezing, then yeah, it’s a big deal.

You could even have a dust mite allergy and not even know it, or have been told you have hay fever or some such nonsense. Heck, I don’t know, you might indeed have hay fever. But if you have allergies all throughout the year, especially if you have allergies when pollen really isn’t an issue, then it might be must mites causing that allergy. The FDA even says so.

If you do have an allergy to dust mites, or any other sort of allergy that seems to persist even during the cold months, carpet cleaners can probably help. Aside from dust mites, other things that can cause mold are nasty things like mold, mildew and pet dander. Think about it: all of those things go away with a good, freshly minted clean house.

Allergies suck. Not all of the things that cause allergies suck (I think flowers are rad, and I don’t give a rat’s you know what who knows it!), but a lot of them do. Dust mites belong in that latter category – they suck. Mold sucks too. Where I live in Fort Collins, Colorado we have a lot of dust, but we also have floods and stuff, so we have a lot of moisture. Dust mites and mold, all over the place, so lots of different ways to get allergies.  If you’re like me, do yourself a favor and get your s#*t together and call the carpet cleaner, like I did just a while ago.

Bonus: My toes feel like brand new toes walking on this cushy carpet.

How to Score Big with a Golden Carpet Cleaning Company

You know what’s surprisingly golden? Carpet cleaning companies. I know, I know, it sounds boring as hell, right? Well, just because something is boring, doesn’t mean that it isn’t golden and can’t help you to score BIG.

These guys must make bank. Not Diddy bank or anything, but definitely enough bank to have a sweet ride and a huge house, at least. Think about it – everyone needs their carpets cleaned. Houses, restaurants, movie theaters, hotels – they all have carpet, and all need them cleaned. Think about how much flooring there is in a Macy’s or Nordstrom or something like that. Those stores all want their customers walking on cushy, comfortable, clean material. I bet there’s enough rug in one of those department stores to make a couple of football fields if you laid it out the right way. I bet if the Broncos played Seattle in a department store carpet stadium, they’d finally figure out a way to beat those bastards.

Anyways, where was I? Oh right. You know who has carpet? People with kids do. Just imagine having three kids running around on hardwood or tile floors. Accident. Waiting. To. Happen. Having cushy, soft carpeting softens the blow when one kid dive bombs the other kid from the couch and hits his elbow on the floor. No one wants to see a kid with a broken arm, especially their parents.

Know what happens when you put kids and carpet together? Stains happen. Lots and lots of stains. Don’t get me wrong, most parents will try to clean up those stains by themselves and will do a decent job of it for a while, but eventually those kids will spill something super dark or track enough mud in that the parents finally buckle and will call the good old, trusty professionals for help. And then, bam! Dinero in your pocket. Once those parents see how new and fresh their family rooms floor looks and smells after that first cleaning, they’re sure to book repeat appointments over and over again.

Like I said before, businesses will need your services too, even more than homes. Some large businesses see thousands upon thousands of customers per year, and they have more motivation than even parents to keep their carpets looking good as new. Ever walk into a store with old, shabby dirty floors? Even if you didn’t realize it at the time, I bet you didn’t buy anything, or at least didn’t buy as much stuff as you would have if the ground was spic and span. If you take my advice and open a carpet cleaning business, you should really try to focus on commercial cleaning more than residential cleaning, because that’s where the big bucks are.

I have no idea what the overhead is like for starting this kind of business, but it really can’t be all that much. You probably need a few state of the art cleaning machines and then some good cleaning products. I would recommend using all natural products for residential cleaning, as you want to appeal to the moms and dads who shop in the all-natural, gluten free aisles at Whole Foods. For restaurants and hotels and such, you can probably get away with more industrial cleaning products though. The customers just want to see clean carpets in those places, and most likely couldn’t care less about what went into making them clean.

So, do yourself a favor and think about opening a carpet cleaning business. If you want to start a golden business and score it big, it’s probably a good thing to do.

Come back and visit my site in the future for more stuff that’s golden and can help you score big!