Humble mayonnaise does more than give your salad leaves a lift – it’s also great for a number of household chores!
1. Shine stainless steel
To remove marks and smudges from stainless steel, place a small dab of mayo on a cloth and use it to buff your stainless steel appliances until the marks are gone and the shine is restored.
2. Remove sticker residue
Removing sticky labels can be challenging. Remove as much of the sticker as you can, then cover the remaining sticker and residue with a thick layer of mayo. Let it sit for a few minutes so the fat in the mayo can start to dissolve the adhesive. When the adhesive has dissolved enough, just rub the rest off with your fingers or a sponge!
3. Nail treatment
Try soaking your nails in a shallow dish of mayo. The mayo will soften and moisturise your cuticles, and your nails will get a boost of protein for added strength.
4. Removes crayon from walls
Removing crayon marks can be made much easier with mayo! Use your finger to apply a layer of mayo to the crayon marks, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then just wipe the crayon marks and mayo away with a clean cloth.
5. Remove water stains
You can remove water rings and stains from wooden furniture using mayo! Cover the mark with a thick layer of mayo, and let it sit there overnight. The next day wipe it clean with a cloth, and be amazed at how the water rings just disappear!
We all start the year with the best of intentions – a tidy house, birthday cards sent on time, meals planned for the week – but after a short while, the stresses of work, family and daily life can once again take over. As part of our mission to make this your most organised year yet, we’ve put together some tips that will help you keep on top of it all. It’s not about grand organisational schemes – just simple, daily actions that will make your life easier.
1. Make a note
Write everything down immediately, whether in a diary, on a calendar or in your phone, to:
- Focus your mind
- Prevent you feeling overwhelmed
- Help you remember important dates and make arrangements
2. Set yourself a time plan and deadlines
These should be small, achievable goals that will keep you focused and motivated. Again, mark them in your diary or calendar to stay on track. If you’re looking for ideas, we love this printable planner (pictured right), or Vicki Arnold’s comprehensive collection should offer everything you might need.
3. Stop procrastinating!
We all do it, but putting things off will reduce your motivation and leave you with a sense of guilt, leading to further stress. Tackle your jobs one at a time, and they never feel quite as bad as you imagined when you were sitting there and thinking about them.
4. A place for everything.
A simple idea – put things away in their place as you go along. It requires a lot less effort than one big tidy up, and means that you can easily find the things you need.
5. Look for ways to simplify and save time
A few simple changes in the way you do things can make a big difference overall.
- Shop online and save your weekly basics in a pre-ordered list. That way, you can just add any additional extras as and when you need them.
- Plan your meals before you shop. This not only saves time but also money, as you’ll only be buying the items you need. Don’t forget that Hour Hands can help you with meal planning.
- Set up direct debits for bills, and add a reminder to your calendar when you need to review your service providers.
- Prepare your lunch and clothes the evening before, to save time in the morning rush.
- Keep a birthday/special occasion file or book. At the beginning of each month, buy all the greetings cards that you need that month (perhaps add them to your online food shop?), to avoid missing any important dates. You can also do the same with gifts.
- Open your post immediately and either file or shred each day. That way, you won’t end up with reams of paper around the house.
We’ve reached the final steps of our Business Countdown, and we hope that we’ve helped you feel ready to face the challenges of the new year head on. We’ve put together our tips on last-minute office organisation to help you clear your desk for the holidays, and if you missed any of our earlier posts on how to make a difference to your business by Christmas, we’ve provided a quick recap below.
Don’t forget, if you struggled to find time for any of these activities then Hour Hands can help you get on top of it in 2018. Our Business Support team can handle all your business needs, either on a project basis or as a package, so please get in touch to find out how we can help.
So far in this series, we’ve covered:
- Set up a cloud-based bookkeeping system
- Implement a Business Management System
- Undertake competitor analysis
- Review your KPIs
- Develop a social media plan
- Have a financial overview
- Appreciate your staff
- Grow your business
- Develop a marketing plan
But before you close the office door, here are our last-minute tips to make sure nothing has been forgotten.
Make use of technology
Check which last-minute tasks really need doing before the break, and which can wait, then prioritise your time accordingly. There are plenty of time-management apps available to help you organise your time efficiently – check out the Hour Hands favourites.
Update your calendar
Make sure that all key dates and reminders are entered into your 2018 business calendar (also make sure that you do have a 2018 calendar!). Include items such as insurance renewals, business utility renewals, and any finance-related dates such as your VAT returns. Consider whether you need any help with your bookkeeping for next year, if you currently do this yourself.
Don’t forget the out-of-office!
Finally it’s time to double-check your office cover arrangements over Christmas and New Year, update your answer machine message, and set up your out-of-office email response. And then it’s off to the pub!
The Hour Hands team
As we head towards the big day, it’s the final stretch of our Christmas Countdown and we hope that we’ve helped you prepare your home for the holidays with less stress this year. In this post, we’ve suggested some last-minute tips to make sure nothing gets forgotten and, if you missed any of our earlier posts in this series, we’ve provided a quick recap below.
And don’t forget, if organising Christmas was more stressful than you’d hoped, then Hour Hands can help you get on top of it for next year. Our Christmas Preparation service can take care of your decorations, presents, cards and wrapping, plus we can even wait in for your Christmas food delivery. Please get in touch and we can make a note to contact you in good time next year.
A quick recap
So far in this series, we’ve covered:
- Create a Christmas planner
- DIY and house maintenance
- Decluttering for Christmas
- Gift buying
- Christmas cards
- Advent calendars
- Shopping for Christmas dinner
- Posting and delivery
Just before you crack open the sherry, take a few moments to check these last-minute points:
- Make sure your home looks occupied if you’re away over the holidays by installing timers on lights, and ask a friend or neighbour to move any post that could pile up in sight of the door.
- Wrap an emergency gift just in case there’s someone you’ve forgotten – we’ve all done it! A scented candle or some luxury biscuits are always popular, and will avoid anyone feeling unloved.
- Keep a mince pie aside for Santa – and a carrot for Rudolph – before they all get eaten.
- Turn up the carols and put your feet up – you made it!
The Hour Hands team
Have you got your marketing plan for the new year in place? Creating, and following, a clear marketing plan is one of the most important things you can do to set your business apart from the competition, so it pays to spend a bit of time getting it right.
Read on for our tips on how to get your products and services in front of the right people. And if you’re short of time to get this underway, or could do with some expert advice, then Hour Hands can help. We can take specific tasks off your hands, or even provide a bespoke marketing package to promote your business. Contact us to find out how we can help you.
There are a multitude of things you can do to promote your business. The key is to find the ones that work for you and your audience:
1. Mix it up
Start by trying a variety of different ideas, and run them for a while to see which ones work best for you. You might find that some promotions get a better response than others, but in our experience a mixed approach gives the best return.
Make it relevant and interesting, but above all, use it.
There are many ways you can do this, so look around. Pay-per-click (PPC) is worth considering, as is sponsorship of events that your potential clients will attend.
4. Exhibit at events
This could be a conference, a school fair, a trade show, or any other event, but exhibiting at the right event for your business could be the perfect way to get your name out there. We won’t lie – it can be hard work and your feet will hurt at the end of it, but plan it well and it should be worth it.
5. Website and blogs
Make the effort to keep your website up to date with relevant blogs. Create keywords for every page – Google’s Keyword Planner is an excellent tool to help you find just the right word, and will improve your visibility in online searches.
6. Mailing list
Send regular and interesting newsletters to your contacts, with links back to your website. Create your own content to attract visitors to your site, and build up your mailing list by providing subscribe links on your website. You could also consider running a competition on social media to get people on your list. Don’t forget, if you need some advice on putting together a professional newsletter or setting up your mailing list, then we can help.
We appreciate this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there are lots of friendly groups out there who would be very pleased to meet you. And it really is true that you buy from people you know, or people that have been recommended to you!
Print is an expensive option, but can be very effective if you use it wisely. Put together an attractive flyer, and make sure it appears in all the places your clients might be.