Monday, October 20, 2014

Ask The Cleaning Coach

Marie and I are doing a new segment on the radio show this week called: Ask The Cleaning Coach. I love answering all your questions about living cleaner and greener at home.  While I was doing a talk at the Congregational Church of Needham yesterday, I had some great questions and I thought I'd share both the questions and the answers here.

Question: Now that I've decided that I want to go greener - how do I get rid of all my old cleaning products? Should I just pour them down the drain?

Cleaning Coach: OH NO! These cleaning chemicals are considered hazardous waste. You want to check with your town and find out the dates they have for turning in toxic chemicals. One great place to go online to check is or  Both sites will use your zip code and let you know the locations, dates and times of local recycling centers.

Question:  I'm overwhelmed and feel like a failure. I tried switching to greener cleaners a few years ago, but don't have the time to mix up all these cleaners. Is there a place where I can just go buy green cleaning products?

Cleaning Coach: I'm so glad you asked! I've been promoting, testing and using green cleaning products for twenty four years. In that time I've learned what works, and what doesn't. I now have created a store where you can shop and buy products that I know and trust. I've organized it by room, brand or product. I home it helps you find switching to green cleaning a touch easier.

Question: Where can I go to find out how safe or unsafe a product really is?

Cleaning Coach: There are a few great web sites that even have apps so you can look an item up right on your phone. I have two favorites -  & If you are using make sure you are looking at the health rating first. This tells you about the ingredients and how safe it will be for your home. Not every item is listed in these guides, but they will definitely help you learn about the ingredients
in the products you're using in your home.

If you want to hear more questions AND enter to win a wonderful package of products from Better Life listen in tomorrow on or find the show on You can enter the give away here: 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A New Direction - Different But Much Better!

The last six weeks have been more than interesting. Right before Memorial Day I made the decision to change the way I do business. For over 24 years I've run a traditional retail store, specializing in the best cleaning products in the world. I really enjoy cleaning and teaching and my store let me combine both of those gifts while helping others. I loved my store and every day I woke up and looked forward to going to work.

But over the years retail has changed. When I started, there were just a few web sites and no one was buying on the internet. But now the tide has turned and each day I heard from more and more of my customers that my products were available online. Not only were they online, but they were cheaper and more convenient.

Since January I've been trying to figure out how to compete with this online competition. I found that every vendor I had in my store was also on Amazon - with prices far less than I could sell in my store. They also provided free shipping on orders over $35 or if you were an Amazon Prime member it's free shipping. My products are heavy and shipping is very expensive. One $9 bottle of hand soap costs $10 to ship to the west coast. I tried everything I could to find a profitable way to compete agains Amazon. Unfortunately, nothing I tried worked.

So I decided to join them. My new business model lets me connect you - the customer - to the best prices and inventory in the world. With minimal shipping costs! What's not to love about this?!

A lot of you are mad at me for closing my retail location. I'm want you to know that I'm going to miss the store too. If things were the same as they were 24 years ago - I would continue to serve you at my store. But things aren't the same - and change, though difficult, needs to happen.  Some of you think I'm crazy - some think I'm sick - others think I'm quitting. I'm not crazy, sick or giving up. Just making a change that will be good for everyone.

A lot of you have already gone to my website and have found it VERY convenient. You get your products in two days or less! And you can shop at your convenience - not the limited hours that my store was open. I'm telling you - this new website is going to be great!!

I also want you to know that I'm just a phone call away. My phone number still rings on my phone. I'm just not at the store. But I'm happy to help to answer any of your questions. Even if it's "What kind of bags do I need?" I have all your buying history in my computer.

Faster! Easier! Cheaper! - It's everything you want. Trust me. It's different, but much better.

There was a great article in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that discussed the changes happening to retail locations. You can read it here:

Happy Cleaning!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dressing up for the radio?

I love doing my radio show! I can crawl out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and slip on a set of headphones and I'm on! You don't know what I look like - and trust me, some days you definitely don't want to see how bad I look! Today I thought I'd dress up for the radio. I even put on makeup! I stopped by a Sephora store yesterday and sprung for a new eyeliner. They also showed me how to put it on. Eyeliner is much more complicated than I ever knew - inside - outside - top inside - bottom outside - it started to make my hair hurt!  But I think I got the hang of it. I bought the stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner, Stingray ">Stila smudge stick in "damsel". "older women don't want to go too dark" she said.  So I bought it and love it! Thanks Stila for making makeup we ALL can wear.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

S.L.O.B.S. TV - A Snippet Of Our First Show!!

Rachel is a full time mom and executive that has just hit overwhelm with her home. Watch as Leslie Reichert, The Cleaning Coach and her team put her back in control in only 8 hours.  Leslie's team includes a nurse, a professional organizer and the professional staff at the Container Store.
Please watch, leave a comment and like on YouTube. I'd also love it if you'd share it with your friends. I'm trying to show the networks that this would be a great show!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Shadazzle - Product Review and Video

I’ve done a video review of Shadazzle to show you how it will work on your stainless steel pans, your kitchen sink and especially your glass topped stove. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I’m here to help you!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

How To Find Extra Storage Space (Guest Blogger)

Finding that extra space through self storage
We'd all love to have unlimited space to store our personal belongings and professional items, but the truth is that sometimes it just doesn't exist in our homes and places of business. But does that mean that all hope is lost and we should just toss everything that we aren't going to need right this second?
Of course not! Fortunately, there are ways to maximize the space you do have and a means to store the excess and overflow – in a personal self-storage unit.
Regardless of whether your needs relate to your home or business, here are some tips on de-cluttering and organizing your existing spaces and a bit more on how to settle on the self-storage unit that will work for you.

First Things First: Kick Clutter to the Curb
Even the most vigilant organizers and cleaners recognize how "things" can accumulate in our homes and businesses despite our best efforts. With the busy lives we lead, we barely have sufficient time for ourselves and our families, let alone time to keep our stuff straight.
But that's just it: by prioritizing organizing and keeping things in order, the rest of our lives follow suit.
Think about how much time is wasted hunting things down and how much money we spend on buying items we already own (we know we bought them before, we just can't find them when we need them!). Plus, the mental stress that sneaks up by living in chaos eventually takes its toll.
So, to put clutter in its place – and out of your place – consider these de-cluttering guidelines:
  • Set aside items of clothing that are clearly out of fashion or of which you have too many multiples (arguably qualifying for both categories: how many pairs of jhorts or jean jackets does one person need?).
  • Pull out pieces you have not worn in 5 years and those you will never wear again (embrace the two kids you've had since your size 4 college days when you were running 10 miles a day on the track's time to let go). This also includes formal wear and bridesmaid's gowns.
  • About those two kids: remove things they have outgrown and those you cannot hand down to the next kid in line.
Toys & Furniture:
  • Once your children outgrow playing with dolls and stuffed animals (that we all know collect dust and take up tons of space in a room), donate them to charity or younger relatives.
  • Remove unused pieces of furniture, like cribs, side tables and chairs that are space-hogs but provide little in the way of storage options.
Documents & Receipts:
  • Become a filing fanatic: create folders and files for bills and receipts, clearly label them and sort them into their places as soon as possible.
  • After three years (for IRS purposes), scan documents and shred them.
For everything that you haven't donated to charity, given away to friends and family members, recycled or trashed, rather than allowing it to pile up in your house, store it off-site in a self-storage unit.

Supplemental Storage Solutions
There are many things in life that we need to keep/want to hold onto but we just don't have the room within the four walls of our house or business. For that, we need a supplemental storage unit so that things are within our reach without being underfoot.
For example, what parent wants to part with their child's receiving blanket, or christening gown, or first pair of tennis shoes or ballet slippers? What about those boxes of photo albums and old books/magazines that you flip through once every couple of years or so?
In addition to long-term storage of items with sentimental value, folks often find themselves in need of a self-storage unit for short-term uses like:
  • When moving your family or relocating a business
  • During remodeling, redecorating or other construction projects in the home or business
  • Storing seasonal items like patio furniture, grills, pool accessories, outdoor sports equipment and "toys" like jet skis, ATVs or surf boards
  • Storing excess inventory before a holiday season at your place of business
  • Storing holiday decorations or winter clothes and other temperature-sensitive items you either cannot or do not want to store in a garage or attic
In terms of what you should look for when selecting the self-storage unit that will work best for you, make sure you consider:
  • Size: Don't pay for space you don't use and don't jam everything into the space to the point that you can't navigate inside and access what you need.
  • Climate Control: Extreme temperatures and humidity can cause damage to items in regular storage. Climate Control storage maintains a temperature of 55 – 80° with central heating and air conditioning and is a good option if you are storing items that are difficult to replace.
  • Security: This includes the physical security of the premises as well as insurance on your property.
  • Arrangement: Make sure everything you store is noted in an "Inventory" list that you keep with you, clearly marked and labeled, and placed within reach in the unit.
What other ways have you found to cut down on clutter or organize your self-storage unit?

Jessica Johnson works for and contributes to the Extra Space Storage blog, exploring various aspects of organizing and storing possessions.

Monday, November 04, 2013

11 Dirtiest Areas In Your Home [guest blogger]

11 Dirtiest Areas in Your Home

If you take pride in your home, you probably think that you know the key offending areas when it comes to dirt. In many cases though, you might be surprised!

Let’s take a look at the dirtiest areas in any home.

The kitchen

It’s no surprise that the kitchen is one of the dirtiest areas. One of the key problems here is that items such as clothes and sponges are used again and again without being cleaned.

Door knobs and handles

Regardless of where exactly in the home they are, knobs and handles are breeding grounds for germs and other nastiness.

Bathroom cabinets

Make-up brushes and applicators are notoriously dirty, and can harbor all kinds of dirt and grime. Make sure that you regularly change your brushes to avoid any health problems such as sore and infected eyes.

Office desk

If you regularly eat lunch at your desk, your keyboard could be one of the dirtiest areas in the whole home. It’s often neglected as homeowners simply don’t realize how bad it can get. You can find office cleaning in Wimbledon to Wembley if you feel that you can’t keep on top of things yourself!

Toilet flush

Most people know that the toilet needs to be cleaned regularly, but it’s easy to forget about the handle! It’s touched dozens of time each day with dirty hands, so requires some special attention.


The grouting in between tiles can get really grubby if it isn't regularly cleaned. This applies to bathrooms, kitchens, and flooring.

Your toothbrush

Bacteria loves warm and moist areas, making your toothbrush the prime candidate for the spread of germs.

The fridge

Having lots of food in one place means that your fridge is a high-risk area. Try to make sure that the correct temperature is maintained at all times, and give it a regular wipe to get rid of germs.

Television remotes

Yet another one that people often forget about! Every member of the family touches remote controls, yet it’s rare that they get so much as a quick wipe.

The laundry basket

Even if you think you’re being super organised, keeping all your dirty laundry in one place means that it’s a concentrated area of dirt! Get into the habit of getting the washing done as soon as possible.


Don’t forget that it’s usually human beings that spread dirt around! Always remember to wash your hands at regular intervals, especially while you’re doing the housework.

By taking action in these specific areas, you can be better placed for a cleaner home.

This article was brought to you by Ruth Smith on behalf of First Choice Cleaners, a professional company that provides domestic and commercial cleaning in London and further afield.