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Inspired Living With: Melissa Maker

Inspired Living With: Melissa Maker

Melissa Maker is going to revolutionize the way you clean your house, and that’s a life-changing endeavor!

Melissa is the founder of Clean My Space, the successful cleaning service in Toronto, the star of the wildly popular Clean My Space YouTube channel and, now, is the author of the Clean My Space book that will become your definitive guide to all things related to housecleaning. 

In feng shui, there’s an ancient concept that your home is a mirror of your life, so housecleaning is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your life soaring. Melissa sees this daily from her clients and audience online, recounting stories of marriages saved, depression lifted, focus regained and so much more… all improvements that came about after embracing housecleaning!  

I was lucky to talk with Melissa about so much that will inspire you to clean your space with the new book, Clean My Space!  And, I should tell you, I watched about 10 of her YouTube videos before Melissa and I spoke, and spent about 5 hours deep cleaning on a whim because I was so inspired afterward! 

Were you always in love with cleaning?   

I took a non-traditional route into cleaning. I graduated from business school in 2005 and I took a job working at a bank shortly after. I realized very quickly banking wasn’t for me, and I also knew that I wanted to start my own business and I wanted to be an entrepreneur from a very young age, like 6, so basically I quit my job.

And you know when the universe just pummels you with a message?  The message I kept getting was that people were having a really tough time both finding and hanging on to a good cleaning person. And I thought: “Well, I have a business background. I have a really good understanding of customer service. I know what people want." I found a high-end reliable, upscale, well-trained staff and built this cleaning service called “Clean My Space” in 2006. 

Fast forward to 2008, and at that point, I trained some people and I was learning my way through cleaning, because the thing I haven’t told you yet, is that I hated cleaning from a young age. I talk about this in the book actually. But I opened this business despite the fact. I read, researched, practiced and was applying techniques, and over the years that I was doing the cleanings, I hired people on and I taught them how to clean. 

In 2008, I quit my job waitressing and I was able to do this full-time. Our business grew five-fold despite the Recession, so we knew we were doing something good. In 2011, we started making YouTube videos… and here we are. 

That is so awesome because people will say to entrepreneurs “find what you love, and do it”…but instead you found a need and you found a way to love it. 

That’s exactly right and you know it’s funny, I still wouldn’t use the word love. I don’t love cleaning, but I have a profound respect for cleaning, and I think more than anything that is what you and I have in common about cleaning, we just understand on a deep level how important it is for a home.  

Marble Redo

Have you seen lives actually changing when people start cleaning?

You know it’s not a gimmicky phrase, it’s really not... when you clean, your life does change. And it changes for the better.

And the other thing is, when you understand how to clean properly by using the proper products, tools, and techniques, which is the bulk of my book, you are so much more efficient at it and cleaning becomes easier.

I had no kind of idea what kind of effect this was going to have when my husband Chad and I started making videos. We thought, “Let’s just put up some cleaning tips on YouTube."  Then people started emailing us about these transformations, and I have heard stories from all over the world, and they come in every single day.

Messages come in where people had a loss in their life, perhaps recently widowed or divorced, they’ve gone through a depression… for whatever reason, their home becomes cluttered and messy. You can really see the light again and start restoring sanity and organization and pleasure to your place when you clean it and you also develop a love and respect for your space when you take care of it.

How much time do you think, realistically, people need to dedicate every day to cleaning?

Well you know that is a great question and I have a few answers for that. The first one I’ll say, and I talked about this in my book, is re-examining your current, daily routine. And I talk about 4 routines in the book we have each day. I talk about what mine used to look like and how I’ve tweaked them to include cleaning in each day so that way I don’t have to carve out extra additional time each and every day to clean.

Every home and every space have different needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and ultimately, what it comes down to is not cleaning every space in your house all the time, it comes down to cleaning your most important spaces in your home.

So we have to establish what those needs are in the book.  With all of the tools, people can get really granular about it and say, “I actually want A, B and C to be clean, so I need about 14 minutes a day to make sure that all of this happens, each week and here’s how I schedule it in, and now I’m going to get to it.”  

Time estimates are included in every part of the book.

That really demystifies and breaks down the overwhelming part of cleaning.

I love the word demystified. It does.

For Chad and I, we know it takes us between 20 and 30 minutes a day to maintain our house the way we want it to look. If I set the bar even higher, I’d probably need to spend more time. If I set the bar lower I could spend less time. So you know it’s sort of a barometer that you set. 

Wouldn’t you say that’s a very 2017 approach to things? It’s whatever works for you and it’s very customizable.  

I could literally spend hours watching all of your videos and I think it’s so wonderful that people are going to have a guide that they can pick up and really learn to clean easily!

It’s a real thing! Cleaning is a life skill, and I wanted to create a book that wasn’t intimidating. It’s a simple, easy-to-follow handbook.

4 Copy

I would love it if you could share the Maker Method of cleaning – the MIA’s, PTT’s and the schedules and routines.

I’m all about time-saving because I come from a place where I don’t like cleaning… I don’t want to spend all day doing it. My job over the last ten years has been to refine and render down this process as much as I can so I can get maximum impact with minimum time.

The MIA’s are figuring out what your most important areas are. What do you need to clean and what don’t you need to clean? You do have to clean everything, but we talk about strategies to get the things you don’t care about so much daily, like, for example, your chandelier – we talk about how to deal with that as well.

The PTT’s are the products, the tools, and the techniques. And this is really the core of cleaning. You know when someone says, “I don’t know how to clean” something, its either they don’t know what products to use, they don’t know what tools to use or they don’t know what technique to use.

Products and tools are so confusing, but I break it down in the book and explain exactly what you need, and what exactly each product is for so that you don’t have to waste your time on a cleaning aisle.

And then there are to easy-to-follow cleaning techniques that save people time. So rather doing something the long way and wasting effort and getting frustrated, I just say, forget everything you know and do it my way and you’ll save a lot of time.

So mastering the tools products and techniques, we go room-by-room and talk step-by-step about how to clean each space.

The third and final step of the Maker Method is the Scheduling and the Routines. Once you know your most important areas, once you understand the products, tools, and techniques, now all you have to do is schedule in time for those cleaning tasks and work as many of them into your routine as possible, so you don’t have to spend any additional time doing the work.

You need to have great products and great tools that get the job done.

What should people know about you and cleaning?

The thing to know about me is that I don’t live in a perfectly clean home. I’ve had to adjust my expectations and make myself feel good because, truthfully, if I have these expectations that I need to live in a perfectly clean space all the time, given the fact that that I run a cleaning service and I’ve been writing a book for almost 2 years, I film videos and write these blogs and do all the things that I do… there’s only so many hours in a day.

So part of this comes down to a really self-love and acceptance component.  I do have a clean space, I clean it really well, but I don’t beat myself up.

I love it:  Love yourself. Love your home. And, clean your space.

Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving Your Home Every Day can be ordered right HERE.

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