The First-Timer’s Guide to Independent Living: What You Need to Know

Venturing into the world of living on your own presents an adventure filled with growth and discovery. It’s an opportunity to develop independence, self-reliance, and a sense of personal accomplishment. However, the transition to solo living requires more than just the enthusiasm to have your own space; it demands preparation, knowledge, and a proactive approach to tackle the challenges that come with independence. These essential tips are designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in your new solo living environment.

Select Your Perfect Living Space

To streamline your quest for the ideal rental, leverage online platforms that offer filters for budget, size, and specific features, allowing for a targeted approach. This strategy enables you to explore options that not only fit your financial plan but also match your desired living standards, including the number of rooms, available facilities, and location. Prioritizing areas that seamlessly integrate with your daily life enhances your overall satisfaction, making your new place more than just a residence—it becomes a reflection of your unique lifestyle and personal preferences.

Master Basic Home Maintenance

Living alone means taking responsibility for the upkeep of your space. Acquainting yourself with simple maintenance tasks can save you time, money, and inconvenience. Whether it’s unclogging a drain, resetting a tripped circuit breaker, or patching up a small hole in the wall, these skills ensure your home remains in top condition. Empower yourself with the know-how to address minor issues, enhancing your independence and ensuring a well-maintained living environment. If you’re short on time for household chores, you can elevate the comfort and cleanliness of your home with top-rated cleaning services from Absolute Shine.

Design an Efficient Work and Study Area

Creating a productive home workspace starts with defining a dedicated area that minimizes distractions and enhances focus. Investing in ergonomic furniture, such as a chair that supports your posture and a desk at the correct height, can significantly improve comfort and productivity over long periods. Good lighting and a tidy environment also play crucial roles in maintaining energy levels and motivation throughout the workday.

Prioritize Home Security

The safety of your home is paramount. Regular checks on your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are essential preventative measures. Familiarize yourself with your home’s security features and consider additional safety measures such as installing deadbolts or a security system. Peace of mind in your living space is invaluable, and taking proactive steps toward safety ensures a secure and worry-free environment.

Enhance Your Resume and CV

In today’s competitive job market, a standout resume and CV are your ticket to securing employment opportunities. Utilize CV templates to design a CV and add your own copy, design elements, and images. By creating a CV and resume, you can open doors to new possibilities and career growth. Seeking feedback from industry professionals on your resume and CV can provide valuable insights, helping you refine it further to stand out among applicants.

Invest in Quality Sleep

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Investing in a quality mattress is essential for health, mood, and overall well-being. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for rest and rejuvenation, with a comfortable mattress as its cornerstone. Proper sleep supports your daily activities, enhances focus, and contributes significantly to a healthy lifestyle.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Emergency preparedness is a crucial aspect of living alone. Keep a list of emergency contacts, including local authorities, medical facilities, and trusted friends or family, in an easily accessible place. Having a basic first aid kit, knowing your evacuation routes, and being familiar with how to turn off your home’s main water and power supply in case of emergencies can make all the difference in critical situations. Regularly updating your emergency supplies and rehearsing your plan can enhance your readiness, ensuring you remain calm and effective in any emergency.

Empower Yourself with Self-Defense

Self-defense is an invaluable skill that enhances your confidence and security. Consider enrolling in a self-defense class or workshop to learn basic techniques that can protect you in unforeseen circumstances. Being prepared to defend yourself not only boosts your self-assurance but also ensures you are equipped to handle situations that require physical defense. Understanding situational awareness and adopting preventive measures can significantly reduce the likelihood of finding yourself in hazardous situations.

Embarking on the journey of solo living is a significant milestone. By incorporating these essential tips into your daily life, you are not just preparing yourself for the practicalities of living alone; you are also embracing an opportunity for personal growth and independence. Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to create a safe, comfortable, and fulfilling solo living experience.

Image: Freepik

Bathroom cleaning – Ultimate guide

How to do bathroom cleaning properly
Bathroom cleaning is a task that definitely needs a special attention when cleaning your home. Usually the smallest rooms in the house, bathrooms demand extra care and cleaning effort. You can decide to do it yourself step by step or hire house cleaning professional. Either way, here are the essential tips.

Remove all the toiletries from their places

All the bathrooms are full of cosmetics, cleaning products, hair accessories, brushes, holders, makeup items. Name it – and you have it. All those bottles, tubes, hairpins, shampoos and the other little buggers need to be removed prior to cleaning. So, make sure you put them away from sinks, bathtubs and floor before you even start cleaning.

Start from the top and move to the bottom

Clean the highest places first. Start from shower glass or curtain rod and hanging cabinets. Move to mirrors, and then countertops and sinks. Toilet bowl is the item you would want to clean before you start with floors. That ensures that none of the dust, dirt and stains fall or drip down while you are cleaning.

Make sure your toilet is cleaned properly

Bathroom cleaning tips and tricks
First step is always plain flushing, with the lid closed. Dd the cleaning liquid in the freshly flushed toilet, and move to the other parts. Then start with cleaning the exterior part. Make sure you cover all the rims and hidden parts. Clean the board and the lid, too. Then lift it and clean the part below the board. When you are finished with that – clean the interior and flush. Sounds pretty easy but, in fact, it can get messy.

Use different cloths for different parts

Professional maids at Absolute Shine Cleaning Services are trained to use color-coded microfiber cloths for each and every part of the home. So, if you are environmentally conscious as we are, and use reusable cloths for bathroom cleaning, make sure you dedicate one microfiber cloth for sink, the other one for toilet etc. To learn how to do it, click here.

Make sure you do bathroom cleaning regularly

Shiny bathroom is a matter of clean house as well as the matter of maintaining a good health of the entire family. It is understandable that you might not have enough time to do it yourself, so hiring a professional maid service for that task remains as an option. Feel free to contact us and book an appointment!

Tips and tricks for home cleaning with microfiber cloths

Both soft and sturdy at the same time, microfiber cloths are one of the most popular options for home cleaning when people are environmentally conscious and like their home to be spotless at the same time.

maid services cleaning microfiber cloth

Professional maids at Absolute Shine Cleaning services like microfiber cloths as well. They help us leave the homes of our customers virtually spotless. In addition, their advantage is that they act like abrasive, but they are soft and gentle and never leave any scratches on your furniture, sanitaries, counter tops and precious items.

However, there is a big issue that we need to take special care about: all the reusable cloths need to be perfectly clean and used on one surface only. This list of tips and tricks from Absolute Shine professionals will help you to take good care of your microfiber cloths at home and make sure you never mix up the one used for bathroom and for kitchen (yikes!).

1. Bring in some color when you shop for cleaning supplies

Color microfiber cloths for cleaning home

When you are buying microfiber cloths, make sure you buy a few sets of cloths in different colors, or individual ones (2-3 of each color). The more colors – the merrier 🙂 Add a permanent marker in your shopping cart as well.

2. Use one color for one room

Decide which color to use for which room. For instance – you can use blue microfiber cloths for bathroom, pink for kitchen, white for dusting… You got the idea!

3. Mark the cloths with permanent marker

You wouldn’t want to use the same cloth for toilet sink and toilet seat. Or kitchen cabinet and kitchen sink. That is where marker comes in place. Write down the name of the item you will use your cloth for and never mix them up again.

4. Make sure your reusable microfiber cloths are always clean

You can wash them in your washer on high temperature. Many people say that fabric softener diminishes the cleaning effect, so try to avoid it. Dryers can also make them less soft, so sun drying is the best option if you want your microfiber cloths to last longer.

Whether we want it or not, everyone’s homes are full of germs. No matter how they enter it, we need to make sure that we do our best to prevent them from spreading. That is why regular house cleaning is very important. And when your lives get too hectic or busy, we are there to help you out!

Absolute Shine Cleaning Services team

Move out cleaning checklist – how to get your rent deposit back?


No matter if you decide to hire a professional maid service for your move out cleaning, or you want to do it yourself, a thorough and meticulous house cleaning will save you deposit money.

It is generally not advisable to wait for the last day of your lease to do the cleaning, but we understand that sometimes people need to do it last-minute.

So, if you are among one of the many families who have left it for the last day in your old home – it is time to step up your game, leave the place in mint condition and leave no space for your renter to deduct from your deposit just because you have a soap stain on the bathroom sink or a dust particle in a hidden corner of your balcony.

These 8-step guide through move out cleaning will definitely help you to give yourself the best chances to get your money back and enjoy your new home once you move in.

Step 1 – Gather the cleaning materials at one place

Check the kitchen cabinets, all storage spaces, garage, bathroom drawers and all the other places where you think you may find the leftovers. It will be super useful to get rid of those bottles before moving out, but there is a strong chance that your supply is limited or low.

Also, gather all the dusters, mops, vacuum cleaner, sponges, rags, old T-shirts… just about anything that can be used for this opportunity.

Step 2 – Bedroom cleaning


Blue Icon Tidy, vacuum and wipe these unfilled rooms.

Blue Icon Remove all nails and screws from the walls and roof and putty the holes.

Blue Icon Remove the dust from ceiling fans.

Blue Icon Clean all light switches and electricity outlets.

Blue Icon Clean all corners.

Blue Icon Spotlessly clean all windows and window panes.

Blue Icon Clean the door handles.

Blue Icon Move Out Cleaning Services Company

Blue Icon Vacuum (get any stains out of the carpet, or hire professional carpet cleaning services).

Blue Icon Find and remove of all cobwebs.

Blue Icon Move Out Cleaning Services.

Step 3 – Bathroom Cleaning

bathroom move out cleaning

Blue Icon Wash and thoroughly clean all tiles (both floor and walls).

Blue Icon Wipe clean all cabinets, drawers and medical cabinet.

Blue Icon Take special care of the mirror.

Blue Icon Check sinks, tub or shower cabin and make sure there are no visible soap or water stains.

Blue Icon Clean all drains.

Blue Icon If you have glass door, make sure it is spotless.

Blue Icon Take out all exhaust fans. If you need a vacuum cleaner for extra dust, use it.

Blue Icon Thoroughly clean the toilet inside and out.

Blue Icon Wipe all counter tops.

Blue Icon Clean light bulbs, lamps, fixtures and covers.

Step 4 – Floor or Carpet Cleaning

Blue Icon Remove all the stains from carpets.

Blue Icon If you are unsure how the carpets will react to cleaning, it is more cost-effective to hire professional carpet cleaning service

Blue Icon Check for any dents or damages. Repair them if possible.

Blue Icon Vacuum clean the floors and carpets in all areas of your apartment or house

Step 5 – Kitchen cleaning

kichen move out clean

Blue Icon Empty the cabinets, clean any leftover crumbs. Make sure there are no cobwebs in them.

Blue Icon Thoroughly clean range and take special care of broiler pans

Blue Icon Make sure that oven is clean. Check the oven glass and remove any spots.

Blue Icon Polish the microwave

Blue Icon Empty and polish the inside of the refrigerator and freezer

Blue Icon Remove and pack all gadgets from counter tops

Blue Icon Clean the counter top

Blue Icon Take special care of the door handles, because they can get dirty

Step 6 – Find someone “neutral” to inspect your home

Moving out imposes a huge stress. If you decided to do the cleaning by yourself, please find someone who can assess the state of your house before the landlord comes to inspect it.

In case of hiring professional cleaning service, you need to make sure that all the items from this checklist are taken care of properly.

Step 7 – Be assertive and argumentative with the landlord

Each of you have your own interest. Your intention to get your deposit back is honest, especially when you put a lot of effort in cleaning and getting the apartment ready for the new tenants.

Step 8 – Move in with ease

Be sure to inspect the home with your landlord and find any damage from previous tenants. Take some photos, and keep them until you move out, just in need.

Why should you consider hiring Absolute Shine Cleaning Services for your move out cleaning?

Apart from careful and thorough cleaning of everything on the list, our move out/in include cleaning of the oven and stove inside and out, fridge, wet wipe of everything. Steam carpet cleaning is also available if needed.

We can accommodate your last-minute requests,
so feel free to
book now
or call 1-866-771-9945

Shiny Tips for a Clean Home


If your shoes are beginning to smell, the old trick putting them outside to air doesn’t work.

Instead, simply take two used tea bags, allow them to dry out, and then place them near the toes inside each shoe.

This method is particularly effective on gym and sport shoes, as it absorbs moisture therefore eliminating any bad smells.


When you spill something on your carpet, don’t be tempted to scrub it. This will spread the stain and damage the carpet as fibres begin to untwist and come apart.

The experts say you should spread a little baking soda over the affected area then press down gently on the stain with some kitchen roll. Let the mixture dry before vacuuming up any residue.

Of course if you need a professional carpet cleaning call us


or book online


Baking soda offers an easy, chemical free way to keep your mattress clean. Simply strip off your bedding and sprinkle the baking soda all over your mattress.

Leave to settle for 3-4 hours and vacuum up any excess.



People often rely on expensive harsh chemicals to unclog their pipes and drains, but there is more affordable and safe way to tackle the issue.

Simply sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda down your clogged drain, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. Cover with a cloth for 5 minutes before flushing with hot water.


How to avoid some mistakes in our spring clean!

Do you know how best to banish dust,

the cleaning tool you should never use,

and when to change a vacuum bag?



Moisture attracts dust and therefore it’s better to use a dry anti-static wipe.

Additionally, the experts recommend polishing your surfaces with a mixture of water and a drop of fabric softener, which

penetrates surfaces and slows down the return of dust build-up.


Do you only replace the vacuum bag when it’s bursting at the seams? You’re not alone.

In fact, it should actually be replaced when it is two thirds of the way full – likely to be around every six to eight weeks.

Sand and dust residue reduce suction power, making your vacuum less effective as it becomes fuller.

Additionally, food residue decomposes in the warm environment and mould evolves to create a bitter smell.

Even though it’s tempting, you shouldn’t clean your windows when it’s sunny


When the sun is shining through your windows, it might seem like a good time to give them a clean.

But that sunshine will cause your cleaning solution to dry too quickly and will leave lasting streak marks. Instead, clean them on a cloudy day and use a combination of white vinegar and newspaper for a sparkling finish.


It’s tempting to regard our washing machines as ‘self-cleaning’, but Hassle says that slowly evaporating moisture eventually turns the drum into a germ incubator.

To avoid the spread of bacteria and odors, pop 50g of baking soda into the drum and fill up the detergent drawer with 50ml of white vinegar, and run a 60 degree wash on the empty machine.


Despite being home to around 10 million germs, the kitchen sponge is not the dirtiest cleaning tool.

The mop is even more filthy, given that it can accumulate up to a billion bacteria for every ten square feet of floor it covers.

After each use, wash the removable fibre head at 60 degrees, and replace it altogether every two months.

If you drop something on the carpet, make sure not to scrub it as it will spread the stain. Instead, use a little baking soda


Three ways to make the most of Spring Cleaning Season

Spring presents an excellent opportunity to throw open the windows and sort out the clutter, well we want to bring you the best tips to make spring cleaning easy — and even fun. Here they are!
  1. The Truth, The Whole Truth

Be brutally honest when evaluating items in your closet. Do you fidget with the item once it is on? Does it squeeze your arm or ride too low on your hips? Do you have to continually pull it up or down? Yes? Then it has to go. Replace it with something that fits properly and feels great!

  1. Keep It Clean

Once you’re organized, stay organized. Here’s how: for each new piece of paper or object that enters your home or office, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” If not, put it in a recycling bin or a box for donations. Put the keepers with similar items for easy access. To keep clutter from returning, practice the One-In-One-Out Rule when buying things like office supplies or clothes or shoes: When something new comes in, something old must get donated.

  1. Make it Fun! 

Shake up your spring cleaning routine with fun contests: Challenge everyone in your family to find 10 items to put away and 10 items to donate. This can become a race, with the prize of a traveling trophy (or a hot fudge sundae, if you don’t want more clutter!) and you can repeat it once a week for the entire month of March. You can take pride in the positive impact donating.

We at Absolute Shine Cleaning Services hope these tips make spring cleaning just a little less intimidating and more exciting for your family. We look forward to seeing you soon to make a Deep Clean in your home

Happy Spring!


10 Romantic Destinations In Virginia


A great dining experience is an integral part of a destination’s appeal, Wouldn’t you know it? Virginia has several destinations find some below.1. Middleburg – The Goodstone Inn & Restaurant sits in the midst of Virginia’s hunt country and offers a fine farm-to-table menu of French Country cuisine.

Stay and Play:

Goodstone Inn itself offers six distinctive dwellings.
~ Salamander Resort opened in August 2013 and can easily be described as lavishly luxurious.
~ Salamander Spa
~ Barrel Oak Winery Fine Art Gallery & Tasting Room

More about Middleburg

2. BoyceL’Auberge Provencale French Restaurant is ZAGAT rated and holds AAA Four Diamond status.

Stay and Play:

~ L’Auberge Provencal Bed and Breakfast has been recognized by USA Today as one of Seven Irresistible Country Retreats.
~ The Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail

More about Boyce

3. Vienna/Fairfax CountyCafe Renaissance blends French with Italian and gives it a modern twist.

Stay and Play:

~ The Ritz-Carlton caters to your needs with a full service spa and upscale dining.
~ Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

More about Fairfax County

4. Virginia Beach – Boasting two recommendations on the OpenTable list, Virginia Beach is a fantastic romantic destination any time of year. The Cellars is located in an authentic 1860’s farmhouse cellar, making it a truly unique experience. The menu is described as French County with a Southern flair.

The second Virginia Beach restaurant on the list is Salacia, the only AAA Four Diamond steakhouse in Virginia.

Stay and Play:

~ Church Point Manor Bed and Breakfast is the historic farmhouse in which you’ll find The Cellars. It’s full of beautiful antiques and only a mile from the Chesapeake Bay.
~ Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is home base for Salacia and is one of the most upscale resort hotels in Virginia Beach. Check out the Sky Bar, too.
~ Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

More about Virginia Beach

5. Charlottesville – Livability offers a list of Top 10 Romantic Cities and this historic area of Virginia happens to sit at number four.

Stay and Play:

~ Clifton Inn is a luxury boutique hotel of Relais & Chateaux esteem. Fewer than 20 uniquely appointed rooms and suites are available, and world-class dining is at your fingertips.
~ Keswick Hall is a “country house hotel” with 48 rooms, and is part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection.
Jefferson Vineyards
~ Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

6. Alexandria – Amazon has released its annual list of Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S., including Alexandria at number five.

Stay and Play:

~ Morrison House is a romantic, small hotel with big acknowledgements: Mobil four-star and AAA Four Diamond.
~ Lorien Hotel and Spa is a luxury boutique hotel that is sensibly sophisticatd. Adjacent dining at BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier is a delight.
~ Potomac Riverboat Company

Additional romantic destinations you might consider:

7. Richmond: The Jefferson Hotel and Lemaire Restaurant
8. Washington: Inn at Little Washington and Inn at Little Washington Dining
9. Williamsburg: The Williamsburg Inn and Cafe Provencal
10. Orange: The Inn at Willow Grove and Elmwood at Sparks

What’s your romantic style?

Maybe you can share your love with a Gift Card, just click in the image below


Another benefits of a clean home


Lessening the spread of germs

Although most people think of bathrooms as the most germ-ridden spots in the house, findings indicate the kitchen is the biggest area of concern.

The kitchen is a prime area for germs because of the many crevices that can hold water or splatters of food,

He advises that counter tops should be made of an impervious material that can be cleaned with bleach after preparing raw meats and fish, and that cleaning sponges and cloths, which support the growth of pathogens, should be sanitized after each use.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gastrointestinal illness can be spread by contaminated food, and food-poisoning is less likely in kitchens that have been properly cleaned and sanitized.

He also stresses the importance of paying attention to the bathroom.  The toilet and flush and faucet handles are easily contaminated with potential dangerous germs and need to be disinfected. These are a major focus of environmental cleaning in the hospital and need to be in the home.

Keeping pests away

Bugs and rodents can multiply and easily hide in messy homes. They are attracted to liquid spills, food debris and dirty pet bowls. Their presence is trouble, as they spread disease, bacteria, germs and allergies.

Cockroaches are not just annoying, but can spread dangerous germs to humans.  They are a well-established cause of asthma, carry numerous bacteria and parasites and they spread germs that can cause gastroenteritis.

Mice can also be a problem for many homes.  They can spread diseases to humans, including Lymphocytic Choreomeningitis, Salmonella and Hantavirus.  It’s very important for the health of the entire family to prevent pest infestations.

Regular cleaning, including putting all food away in air-tight containers after each meal, and daily trash removal help to keep pests away and uncover them before they become a serious issue.

Improving your diet and waistline

Research has shown that women eat more sweets and high-fat foods when faced with daily hassles or professional stress. Researchers from Cornell University found that a chaotic physical environment may play a role as well. They set up two test kitchens with healthy and unhealthy snacks – one organized and the other messy and disorganized – and found those working in the chaotic kitchen consumed nearly twice as many calories in sweets as those who worked in the organized kitchen.

So, another reason to call Absolute Shine Cleaning Services

it’s good for your health!


Some benefits of a clean home

A study found a correlation between a clean home and physical fitness. Researchers found participants with cleaner homes exercised more. At the end of the day, the interior condition of their house seemed to be the only thing affecting their physical activity.

The question remains: do fit people have more energy to clean their homes, or are they simply disciplined in terms of their fitness and house cleanliness? Regardless, keeping a clean home has its benefits a potentially fit body being just one.

Other reasons to keep a clean home include:

Lowering stress and fatigue

When you live in a messy home, you are subconsciously reminded of work that needs to be finished and visually, your eyes do not have a place to rest, Ill. Too much clutter can cause tremendous stress and fatigue. When things take longer to find, or can’t be found, stress levels rise, and so does your risk for illness.

Reducing allergy and asthma symptoms

Not staying tidy in areas with carpeting, upholstery or bedding, or in areas that are naturally damp, such as basements and garages, can worsen allergies and asthma.

Dust mites, pet dander and mold lurk in physical possessions, which can trigger allergic reactions, decrease air quality and increase potential asthma problems.

The more stuff you have in your home, the harder it is to clean, Messy areas increase the potential for dust, pet dander and mold to accumulate in closets, on surfaces and in crevices.

So, grab the vacuum and work up a little sweat cleaning your home – it’s good for your health!

Of course you can call us any time