The Future is Bright, The Future is (Pink &) Orange!

fullsizeoutput_39Did you miss us?

Hello! We have been rather quiet on social media for a month or so. We’ve missed out on all the baby shark videos and all those adorable school uniform first day pictures. In fact we are a little bit horrified to see all the autumnal leaves swirling about on social media, I mean, how on earth did October creep up on us already?

But is’s all been worth it. You see, we’ve been earning ourselves quite a reputation over the last few months for providing the best housekeeping and cleaning services in and around Chorley. And so, all of a sudden we’ve had an influx of requests for us to make people’s homes sparkle.

And more business means we get to bring more people into our team. It’s an exciting time for us because we get to pick out the top talent to come and join us. (And also exciting as obviously we get to do the Lord-Alan-Sugar-dramatic-arm-pointing-gesture……….. ‘Your Hired!) It really is an enviable position to be in. We’ve been getting ourselves five star reviews from our clients, and that means we need to recruit five star housekeepers.

But finding people who embody our company’s values can take time. We are looking for a particular type of person that will fit with us and our Bright and Beautiful ethos. Because we are offering a career, rather than a job, we need to get it right.

Not only do our housekeepers need to be able to drive, be professional and prompt, we also demand a high level of customer focus, integrity and respect. And we won’t budge on that.

If you’re reading this after contacting us about a position with Bright & Beautiful, here are a few things you might want to know before you come along for an interview:

You will be someone with a keen eye for detail, who is a great people person. Our team are proud of their meticulous standards and we are looking for someone who can bring energy to the team whilst helping us to maintain this high level of work. If this sounds like you, and you would describe yourself as positive and polite, read on to find out what we can offer the right person.

We have hours to suit your family life and we do not work evenings, bank holidays or weekends. (Yasss!!!) We love to share our trade secrets with our team and so full training in our proven methods will be given, along with a Bright and Beautiful company uniform. All our drivers are entitled to  mileage allowance when using their own vehicle and all team members receive a full employment contract – no zero hours contracts here! Our team offer a supportive environment, and the managers are great too…… all whilst having fun in the process.

If this has left you wanting to know more about life at Bright & Beautiful, why not visit our Instagram or Facebook pages. If your really serious, you can apply for one of our coveted Housekeeping positions here by filling out our short online application form.  Either way, it would be great to hear from you.

Our future is Bright (& Beautiful)! Is yours?

Life in Pictures

Pink camera

Yesterday, July 17th, was ‘World Emoji Day. Love them or hate them, it seems emoticons & emojis are here to stay.

Having originated from the Japanese market and adopted the world over after Apple introduced an ‘emoji keyboard’, even my 90 year old grandma is quick to comment on the smiley faces etc. when we share messages from my cousin in Canada. But are we getting lazy with the ability to click ‘like’ on a social media post rather than engage in a more meaningful way? Or is just a quick ‘like’ enough to let someone know you have spent a few minutes on something that is important to them? Either way, it seems that we have become a much more visual community, based on the popularity of apps such as Instagram and Snapchat.

We have a client who often greets our team at the door wearing full suit attire on their upper body and lounge wear on their bottom half, complete with novelty slippers. The client is a renowned professional, and spends a lot of the time (when we are around) on conference calls to various worldwide agencies, unbeknown to their audience, clad in bright fleecey pyjama bottoms with a cat on their knee. Our client isn’t changing reality, they are still wearing a suit (in part) but just modifying their audiences perception, or providing the image that they expect to see.

You might have heard of the instagrammers hiring private jets for little over 10 minutes in order to take the all important photo to post showing their supposed Champagne lifestyle. Most of us have at one point or other arranged the table of drinks or added a filter to make our social media post look a little more appealing. However, the picture of the cocktail doesn’t always tell the full story. The story that starts with the blisters on your heels after you walked for miles because the train you should have caught was cancelled, and then getting soaked when a taxi drove through the puddle as you waited to cross the road and receiving a painful elbow in the ribs as you hustled in the queue at the bar to be served your cocktail. We just see the cocktail. The exotic-looking-fun-time-with-friends-in-a-bar-in-Manchester-on-a-week-night cocktail. We all know that looks can be deceiving but by predominantly sharing the glossy, glittery, filtered images are we slowly filtering out ‘real life’?

At Bright & Beautiful home, part and parcel of our services is the presentation and dressing of our clients homes. Our ‘hotel feel’ finishing touches means that our clients are greeted with the ‘wow’ factor when they arrive home, and not just a sparkling clean house. Luckily, there isn’t a filter needed for this but my blog musings have made me wonder whether we are promoting this fake version of reality by providing the the ‘hotel feel’. I know that this is not really the case though. We are providing a service that is real. The property is clean and the cushions are arranged in a way that the client may very well have done them selves if they had enough time to devote to this. There is not way to put a filter on the feeling you get when you walk into your Bright and Beautiful home. This is our reality.

So perhaps,as a community, we do ‘over share’. My grandma certainly wouldn’t have taken a picture of her bed on a camera, sent the film off to Super Snaps for processing and a week later shown her friends her 6×4’s of her bedroom, back in the day. Imagine if every significant life event still required a formal announcement being sent to the local paper. ‘Births, deaths, marriages & ‘in a relationship with…’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? It is very easy now though to snap a picture, add an emoji and post it on social media or send as a direct message in a matter of seconds. I guess it is only ‘over sharing’ if the recipient is not interested or feels that there is too much information being offered, and clearly for some of our clients friends, its a welcome interruption to their day. (We have won clients through social media and picture sharing). For us, it really is all about the picture perfect home.  As for our clients, we will encourage every hashtag, share, like, recommendation, review and post because without our clients, we would definitely have FOMO.

Decorate like a Designer.

Decorating a room can be so exciting until you have to stop dreaming and narrow down your ideas. It can get even more tricky when you start to make decisions and big purchases. Try following these simple tips below to channel your inner Kelly [Hoppen] or Lawrence [Llewellyn-Bowen]:

1. Before you start decorating, plan your room using a mood board by collecting pictures of items, colours and fabrics that you like to help you keep on track. This can be so easy using an electronic mood board on Pinterest or Houzzz website/app.
2. When arranging items out on display, try grouping them in odd numbers as it is more pleasing to the eye.
3. Avoid excess matching of colours for a more natural, relaxed look. Instead, try using colour themes. A few similar shades of the same colour adds a bit of variation to the room whilst avoiding a very formal look. If your feeling a little daring, why not brighten up a neutral scheme by adding a bright pop of colour in the form of a couple of statement pieces of furniture or artwork. This week I have seen a few brightly coloured Chesterfield sofas doing exactly this, incredibly well!
4. When choosing key pieces of furniture, think about practicalities such as how you will clean that beautiful but intricate chandelier you have your heart set on, or a whether a mirrored tv stand will drive your crazy when it is covered in sticky finger marks or puppy wet nose smudges.
5. If you have too many lotions and potions in your bathroom or on your dressing table, invest in some extra storage to draw the eye away from clutter and focus on the areas you do want to give attention to. Stand at the door to the room and see what you notice first, if its a pile of clutter then you perhaps need to find another home for it.

If you are interested in our picture perfect finishing touches, why not book a quote and see what we can achieve in your home.

The White Stuff

Christmas in June and baking ingredients in the wash – Has the world really been turned upside down just because the weather is warm and sunny in England?

Untitled-1Yesterday was National Leon day. Yup, that didn’t really mean anything to me either until I googled it. It turns out that Leon is an anagram for Noel……. Can you see where I am going with this? Yes, we are talking about the ‘C’ word in June. Now anyone reading this blog who knows me personally will be floored, as I dislike Christmas with a passion. I have some good reasons for my festive negativity, mixed with a hefty dose of ‘scrouge’. I am repeatedly told that my festive outlook will dramatically change and I will grow to love Christmas as my toddler becomes more aware of this magical time. (Yeah right). I just don’t think people realise how much I do actually dislike it.

But exactly what has this actually got to do with housekeeping in June I guess you are probably asking? Well, the concept of having a successful small business (which is kind of where Leon day comes from-crafters having to start creating festive merchandise in time for December sales) is all about the planning and looking ahead to landmark dates throughout the year. By talking to our clients, we are finding that this is not just a small business thing and that a successful household needs planning all year round too. At home I have a white board with our meal plan written on it for the week. Am I super organised? Well actually this weekly practice was born out of weakness for all things ‘take away’ and tiredness from working stupidly long hours in a corporate role. I would arrive home, peer into the fridge uninspired, and in an attempt to deflect the thankless task I would ask my husband what he wanted for tea. After 60 minutes procrastinating and a few raised voices, we would often plump for a ‘quick-and-easy-but-nutritionally-poor’ meal, or worse still, a takeaway. To reduce costs (and waistlines), now I write a menu for the week and then do my weekly shop based on that menu. It stops us buying masses of exciting looking carbs or veg that go to waste and takes the decision making away at a time when we are possibly likely to make poor choices.
I have to be honest, I was mocked for my white board when I introduced it years ago. Mocked by both my mum and my friends. It is tucked away in the utility room, my dirty little secret, set out with tape gridlines and lots of magnets. Nowadays though, on a Tuesday night when my mum arrives for ‘Grandma’ duties, she checks the board to see what delights we have in-store for her this week. And it’s the same friends who now do exactly the same (albeit not everyone has a white board) to keep this part of their evening simple and on track, allowing them to actually enjoy their free time without arguments over what is for tea (we are northern so it really is ‘Tea’).

Top Tips:

We wouldn’t be British if we didn’t talk about the weather. The fantastic sunny days that we are currently experiencing usually bring out questionable fashion choices for a few, and the whitest of white T-Shirts for the masses. For some though, a white T-Shirts also mean unsightly sweat marks that linger long after the sun has set. In the war against yellowing ‘whites’ try adding a spoonful of Bicarbonate of Soda to your washing machine (just pop it in the drawer with your washing powder) and just like the sun disappears as soon as you get your suncream out, sweat marks and other unsightly stains will vanish as if by magic. Did you know that ‘Bicarb’ can also be used to fluff up your towels too. Use in place of fabric conditioner and you might just be surprised.

You could leave the laundry to Bright & Beautiful if you prefer. We don’t just provide domestic cleaning services – we can help out with all manner of housekeeping tasks including Ironing and Laundry as we do for a lot of our clients. Click here to make an enquiry about how our services could free up your time.

As Safe As Houses

Keeping the smallest members of our household safe can be a real challenge, but one client had a simple solution…

private padlock imageAs we offer bespoke housekeeping solutions, the only real way to ensure the service we offer reflects the needs of a potential client is to visit them at home. I really enjoy this part of my job as I love to meet new people, (and often) their family and pets too. Needless to say, you never quite know what you will encounter when you are invited to tour a home, as we are invariably shown the rooms that other guests do not see.
A few weeks ago I had been invited to quote a family home, around tea time, not very far from where I live. I was greeted at the door by a lovely man who let me know that everyone was out except him, and invited me in. It was a modern new build property on a lovely quiet estate, tastefully decorated and clearly a family orientated home. We began our tour around the neat and tidy home, and he showed me every nook and cranny. (By the way, I don’t really need to see the cupboard you keep your cleaning supplies in although most people like to show off their collection as proof that they do actually clean!)
There were quite a few rooms, and I was making notes on my clipboard as we go round so that I could provide a structured quote for the client. We were chatting away and I had mentioned a few things about the way we work. After the family bathroom, we reached a regular interior door which was bolted shut and my tour guide paused, raises his eyebrows and said ‘Oh you don’t need to see in there’, blushed and moved on. Hang on….. you have shown me the interior of your wardrobe (very neat!), the inside of your fridge (clean and methodical), yet this seemingly normal white door that has a huge silver bolt at the top corner, is out of bounds? The architrave had been chiselled out to make way for such a big bolt at the top, and my 5ft tall best friend would have struggled to reach the bolt as it was positioned at the very top of the door. I am feeling a little uneasy now, almost as uneasy as when I had my toes nibbled by someones pet ferret whilst quoting last year. Are the contents of this room suggestive of 50 shades of grey? Does he have a stalkers picture wall dedicated to a single celebrity female? Maybe he is into time-travel? We continue but I have to say, my mind keeps flicking back to that room, and the reason for such a big bolt.
We finish the tour and as we are headed back down stairs, and I am just recapping which rooms the client wants included in the deep clean and which will also be included on the regular cleaning schedule. To check, I say, as we approach ‘THE’ door, ‘So we are leaving that room completely for now?’ The owner turns to look at me, with a very sheepish look on his face and dramatically reaches up to the bolt. ‘Well you could give it a deep clean I guess’ he says, throwing open the door, to reveal his Ironing room.  ‘I am so embarrassed’ he goes on to explain, ‘its so messy in here, there are clothes everywhere and our ironing isn’t very good. We just keep it bolted because we are so worried that the toddler will hurt himself in here as you hear such horror stories about accidents in the home. We probably go a little OTT as we worry about safety a lot.’ And just like that, I gained myself a new ironing contract and dissipated the mystery of the bolted room.

As national child safety week comes to an end, remembering this encounter made me consider how many different obstacles the small people in our lives have to navigate in our homes and the masses of products on the market that we have available to help us safe guard them. Some of which are impractical, expensive and not necessarily as effective as a nice big silver bolt on the top corner of a door.

Top Tips

They say that the best form of prevention is to remove the danger, but if we think about household cleaning products often this isn’t practical. If you can’t eliminate, then substituting for something less harmful is the next best thing.
When your next in the supermarket, consider picking up an Eco-friendly alternative. Bright & Beautiful pride ourselves on achieving perfect results with eco-friendly products without the use of bleach or other nasties. Eco-friendly doesn’t mean reduced cleaning power. Think about where you store your cleaning products – are little hands able to open the cupboards? What about paws and jaws? Family pets are often as inquisitive as children. There are lots of different types of cupboard safety locks available to help if you are unable to store your cleaning products out of arms reach.

Children often copy us through imaginative play, a toy vacuum may be a better alternative if your little person likes to help with the household chores so that they can feel involved without encouraging them to reach for the something that they may hurt themselves with.
If you would like to see the results that we can achieve with our Eco-friendly cleaning products in your home, or even if you have an ironing room you would like to show us, feel free to contact Bright & Beautiful (Chorley) for a no-obligation quote visit or take a look at our Bright & Beautiful website.