Chicago

In The News: Chicago Loop Cleaners Covered by Voyage Chicago as Inspirational Company

An inspiring community organization

Recently we were honored to be sought out by Voyage Chicago to be covered in their news. Emily Taylor, our founder, was interviewed by the staff and her comments about the company were recorded. 

About Voyage

Voyage Chicago seeks to cover the most inspiring stories in Chicago.

Every neighborhood in Chicago has it's own vibe, style, culture and history...."

Their sections range from articles about Food and Entertainment, Local Community, Business, Art, and people that are amazing. 

Their mission indeed focuses on making Chicago seem a little smaller, a little more closer and connected.

Our mission is build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions and those that make our city interesting. 

Chicago Loop Cleaners came as a recommendation from the community.

Our company has not necessarily taken the road-most-travelled by entrepreneurs. We didn't seek outsider investment, and we also have a social enterprise mindset that seeks to develop people and communities. Our growth has been intentional and one small step at a time. But that has given us time and space to create really good internal processes and procedures, work closely with staff, fix mistakes quickly, and learn how to make a scalable model. 

We believe in the growth of small things and are in this for the long haul! So we're thankful that news outlets like Voyage have found our story as one that resonates with the community-driven, entrepreneurial mindset. 

Here's our article in Voyage: http://voyagechicago.com/interview/meet-emily-taylor-chicago-loop-cleaners-downtown-river-north-south-loop/

Interested in reading more about our company's vision? Check out Our Vision.

Our favorite (and LEAST favorite) things to do on the 4th of July in Chicago

Chicago knows how to through a 4th of July party

However, as locals living downtown around the Loop, we've come to learn that there are certain places to really enjoy the 4th ... and certain places to steer clear of! We wanted to share a few of our own suggestions based off our experiences. Think we missed any? Please share in the comments!

 

Places to go

1. Signature Lounge at the Hancock Tower

The Signature Lounge is an ideal location to view the city from the 96th floor of the Hancock Building in River North. This is a perfect view to take in, no matter what time of year. But if you can get up there on the 4th in time for fireworks, the views are even more extravagant!  Be prepared for lines, of course, but if you have a table, you have no worries of dealing with crowds and rowdiness. If you absolutely must be downtown, we suggest going here. https://www.signatureroom.com/lounge/

2. 2017 Napperville Ribfest

That's right-- get outta town! Napperville is about a 40 minute drive from the city, and you won't have to deal with the same kind of crowds. Plus, what's more American that feasting on ribs?? Find out more information on their website: 

3. International Festival of Life in Union Park

Here you'll find a family-friendly festival featuring music, food, arts, crafts, educational contests and more. We love the international spread of music they'll be having: Reggae, Caribbean, African, R & B, Blues, Gospel, Latin, Indie, and other global sounds. Celebrating America means embracing all of our global diversity. It's what makes us so beautiful! 

Places NOT to go

1. Navy Pier

While some may claim that you need to experience the 4th of July at Navy Pier at least once in your life, we feel that we owe it to you to save you from the trauma. It is unbelievably packed! And not only that, they close access to the Pier pretty early once it is filled to capacity. While there are many cops everywhere, the masses are overwhelming and sometimes the young crowd can get rowdy. Avoid at all costs!!

2. North Avenue Beach

There are many places in Chicago that are family-friendly. This is not one of them! Yes, the waterfront views of the city are lovely, but you never know when a fight might break out around you, or indecent behavior is conducted right next to you as you try to enjoy your nice outing. This is definitely the hangout spot for teens and college students. So unless you want to party with them and like them, we promise that it will overwhelm you! Stay clear!

3. Grant Park

This was a swing vote for us, because the music there is pretty awesome. But quite frankly, the crowds are a headache. This is a post for locals, so we know how much tourists can be the bane of our existence! On this one day of the year every tourist coming to Chicago wants to be in Grant Park. Sidewalks are packed, lines are long, and seating is limited. We know there are better ways to enjoy Chicago. So we vote this one out!

There are many great things to experience in Chicago on the 4th.

Sometimes, though, it just takes some creativity. Perhaps go just a little further south or north of the city if you want to stay on the Lake. Or get out to the burbs and enjoy a break from the city life. Celebrations are about memories and having fun, not feeling unsafe, confused, or annoyed with the atmosphere around you. 

So have fun and be safe! Share any of your favorites spots in the comments below.

 

Our Vision for 2017: Developing Our Social Enterprise

Chicago Loop Cleaners is a high-end luxury house keeping service that not only brings peace and rest to homes in downtown Chicago, but we also have a passion for the development of our community and city. We stand in the gap for the marginalized and are doing our part to participate in the economic development of Chicago's neighborhoods. Whether that looks like those who are economically strained, marginalized, the immigrant or refugee, we stand in solidarity and are doing something about it.

Our Goals For 2017

We're shooting for the stars this year. After 3 years of developing a solid internal structure and process, we are excited to make a larger impact for our clients and our community. Contribute directly to our fundraising campaign.

1. HIRE 4 EMPLOYEES

We put each applicant through a rigorous hiring process which includes an online software application and match, a personality test, a phone interview, a working interview, and in-person interview, and a background check and drug test. We bring on only the most serious cleaners who have a vision for their future. We bring the resources and they bring the passion and commitment to both cleaning and development.

The cost of recruiting, hiring, on-boarding and training these new employees for 2017 is approximately $15,000.

2. LAUNCH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

We are developing a year-long training program that will enable each employee to identify their vision for their own life and to have developed professional and interpersonal skills that will make them highly desirable for future jobs. The first 3 months will teach the team members professionalism and cleaning skills. The next 6 months will focus on personal development. This will include training on self-esteem, life visioning, goal setting, conflict management, nutrition, and financial education. In the final months of the year each team member will be able to identify the direction they want to take their career by using those skills within the company. While still cleaning, they will have opportunity to become more involved with social media marketing, blog writing, sales, management, employee training, accounting, or any other career-building skill.

The total cost for the fully-developed program is $130,000. The most basic functional version of the program can be created for $56,000. 

Help Us Reach Our Funding Goal

In order to hit our goals this year, we need to raise $50,000. With this money we'll be able to hire new employees and put them through a full internship program that not only involves becoming a highly skilled house cleaner, but also puts them on a path of professional and personal development so that they can take the next steps of success in their lives. If our communities are developed, then we all win.

Click here to support us!

 

Emily's Story: how this all began

"I started CCLC in August of 2013 hoping to create a business that business that I could use to “do community development” in the neighborhood of Little Village. I had gotten involved in Little Village as a college student, and after a few years away from Chicago after graduation, it was time to come back and make a life be a part of my community again. I came back to Chicago because I was looking for a way to do community development in Little Village.

I came to Chicago initially for college. After graduated from Moody Bible in 2011, and went back to my hometown in Colorado for a couple of years. I was looking for a way to come back to Chicago though, to be involved in Little Village, where I had gone to church while in school. I had no idea what I was going to do; I just intended to “do community service”. My plan was to get a job to fund a move back to Chicago, but I was given the opportunity to work for a small business owner as his first employee. He offered to train me to start a business that I could use serve my neighborhood by providing jobs. I worked for him for 7 months, and then moved out to Chicago with his blessing.

I’ve now been in business for 3.5 years and have a small team. I always knew I wanted to use the business as a way to teach people professional and personal life-skills, but not until mid-2016 did I was I really able to solidify what that will mean in my company."

 

Final thoughts

In light of recent events, we want to be clear that Chicago Loop Cleaners is committed to supporting, hiring, and developing the lives of immigrants and refugees. We understand the complexities of their lives as well as the process to integrate in American society. This is an opportunity and not a threat from our perspective. As we have the opportunity to assist in developing self-sustainable options for their lives, we will partner as much as possible.

Holiday sweet tooth on your mind?

Preparing meals and desserts, and let's face it, just being around so many sweets during the holidays is hard! Having nutritious, energy packed snacks on hand is a great way to keep the sugar cravings at bay. Additionally, if you are craving sugar, it may be your body telling you that it is under stress, needs rest, exercise, or just a simple energy boost. Sometimes a nap or quick walk can help with all of those! At other times it is your body craving good nutrition.

Whether it is the holiday season or not, some great snacks to keep in mind are:

Pistachios

Rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin E, minerals, protein, oleic acid, and vitamin B complex groups such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and folates, pistachios are a high energy snack that is great on the go. If you have more time on your hands, pistachio oil can be used for cooking your favorite meals.

Almonds

Take a handful! These delicious nuts may look pretty plain, but they contain protein, vitamins, and minerals which can be a great compliment to a more sugary snack such as fruit or yogurt.

Kale Chips

Kale is a low calorie food that is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron, protein and is low in cholesterol and saturated fat. If you're craving something a little crispy, instead of reaching for the potato chips, try something new! Adding olive oil and a pinch of salt give this snack option even more flavor.

Kale Chip Recipe: http://pin.it/C6R_Z81

Dairy (or non-Dairy)

Cheese, yogurt, and milk drinks are easy ways to help with the desire for sugar intake. Whether it is dairy based or a milk alternative, this creamy snack can help add calcium, vitamins, and other nutrients while curbing the cravings.

Which Came First, Chicken or Egg..?

High in protein, low in calories, and easy on the wallet, eggs can be an easy way to get the nutrition you need. Mixed with a piece of whole grain bread, folded in with spinach, or just a pinch of salt and pepper, these can make a tasty snack or meal.

Fruits and Veggies

Apples, oranges, bananas. High in water and fiber, fruits and vegetables are beneficial and essential for obtaining the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need! Try to go for leafy vegetables as much as possible and don't shy away from bright fruits and veggies. If you are needing more protein, try adding steak, grilled chicken, boiled eggs, or avocado! These foods can help you feel energetic and also keep you feeling full longer.

Tired of eating bananas every morning? Smoothies are a fantastic way to have a nutritious between meal boost.

Most of the time, if done right, you can add spinach or another green, leafy vegetable and never notice! Remember flax, chia, hemp, granola, or yogurt can be tossed in too!

Need ideas? Try some of these:

Banana Berry Smoothie https://www.pinterest.com/pin/520376931926094790/

Green Smoothie Chart http://pin.it/tGwjAoD 

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie http://pin.it/tDQS1zM

Raspberry Lime Smoothie http://pin.it/n-TxB2s

Water

Don't forget to stay hydrated! Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and it is recommended that adults drink over 64oz of water a day. As obvious as this element sounds, sometimes it is the most challenging to get throughout the day. Sometimes we even mistake our need for water with the nagging craving for sweets. It is estimated that about 400 of the calories that adults and children consume a day come from beverages! Water can make a huge impact in dropping that calorie count and give your body the pure hydration it needs.

If water isn't naturally your favorite, try adding a slice or two of cucumber or a wedge of lemon or lime. Melons or berries can also be added for taste. Just remember to wash out your water bottle more frequently!

Don't Forget!

After working hard to keep those cravings at bay, don't forget to enjoy some of those delicious and delightful desserts! Adding some of these tips along with an active lifestyle will go far and your body will thank you for it too!

Come home and rest in your Chicago Loop condo

Chicago Loop high-rise condos are the best.

We have met the best door staff, kindest people, friendliest staff, and several adorable dogs (we ride the service elevator together -- that's how friendships are made!). 

Right now we clean condos and apartments in 5 buildings downtown. We find that sticking with a few and keeping things neighborly works the best for everyone. Plus we love the staff, so the relationships all-around are great!

If you are in any of these buildings, you'll know why we love it.

33 W. Ontario: The Millennium Centre

The luxury abounds at 33 W. Ontario. Our clients' apartments are floored with granite and hardwood, and the fourteenth-floor pool and patio is truly lovely. Just steps away from excellent dining- Quartino, Osteria Via Stato, and M Burger among many others- and blocks away from Magnificent Mile, 33 W. Ontario is a prime location. 

If you're interested in a beautiful condo not far from the Loop or Navy Pier, check 33 W. Ontario out here: http://www.themillenniumcentre.com/

The Legacy at Millennium Park

Luxury? High-end? Spacious? Look no further. We love The Legacy!

If you want stunning views of the Loop, Lake Michigan, and Millennium Park, this is your place to be! They offer luxury, cosmopolitan living in downtown Chicago and we agree they live up to it and beyond. 

Whether you work from home or use this as a space to escape work, The Legacy is the space for living fully and luxuriously. Browse their website here:  http://www.thelegacyatmillenniumpark.com/

One Superior Place

Near Gold Coast, One Superior Place is what it claims to be: Superior. They have apartments with all the amenities you need to live a fun, full life. There's even a Whole Foods on the first floor! Everything is nearby and you are only steps away from the hub of downtown Chicago life. 

See if this building is the right home for you: http://www.onesuperiorplace.com/

Eight O' Five

At 805 LaSalle you'll find a brand new building that is causing a stir in the neighborhood as the luxury building to plant your home. Have a dog? They have a unique outdoor, secure dog run on the 4th floor. Not to mention the views of the River North city skyscrapers are stunning, especially at night. 

See if this is home you could like to end up in -- research them here: http://805lasalle.com/

21 W. Chestnut

Another apartment building in River North, this one is conveniently close to the Water Tower Place and all the wonderful shopping and restaurant that brings. If you're a coffee and book lover, look no more -- there's a Starbucks AND a resident library all in one place! With Magnificent Mile close by, you can be sure to find everything you need with a couple minutes walk. Check them out here: http://www.21wchestnut.com/

Need a high-end cleaning in your high-end home?

We would love to meet you! If you live in any of these buildings, shoot us an email or phone call and we'll set up an assessment with you to find out what clean means to you. When it's all said and done, we want you to come home and rest in your Chicago Loop home.

312-620-2105

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Save your dog this summer with these tips

Who let the dogs out?!

School is out, the weather is nice, and you're ready to take on new opportunities for you and your pet. Whenever we clean your house, we can just feel the yearning of your dogs to get outside and romp around in the warm sun. Believe me, we want to as well!

Don't let those sunglasses fool you though -- summer can bring plenty of dangers to your furry friend like…

Heatstroke

Yes, you read that right, heat stroke. What I find so interesting about animals, especially dogs, is that what we lack in physical similarities we gain in emotional ones. Unfortunately, we also suffer from the same dangers, in this case it's heat stroke. Dogs don't possess sweat glands, so in order to keep cool, they'll drool on themselves. As a responsible pet owner, it's your job to keep them as cool as possible. This means finding them a shady place to play, keeping the house air conditioned when eating or relaxing, and always having cold water available for them to stay hydrated. Keep in mind when it's too hot to touch the pavement with the back of your hand for 20 seconds, it's too hot for them to walk on. Try to keep them on the grass on those days. 

Allergens

There are primarily two types of allergies: food allergies and environmental allergies. Symptoms of seasonal allergies include: constant scratching and chewing on the skin, rubbing their face on the floor and against vertical corners, constant head shakes, and heavy breathing. Allergic pets often have puffy red eyes, red oral tissue, a red chin, and even red paws so keep an eye out for those symptoms. To help aid your pet, be sure to give them a warm bath and paw soaks every morning and night to help clean off any irritant residue on their skin. Vacuuming the house will definitely help, though I suggest you do it while they are in the bathroom away from the noise.

Sunburn
 

Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned too. Light-colored dogs and dogs with thin fur are at a high risk. If you prefer your pets to be outside, make sure that you give them a healthy application of sunscreen that doesn't contain Zinc Oxide. If you can’t find sunscreen that’s formulated for dogs, using one that is for babies is the best alternative. Apply it to the bridge of the nose, tips of ears, belly, and groin areas.

Pests

We often thing of the warmer months as being flea and tick season, but pests are actually a danger year-round. Flea and tick symptoms go hand and hand with seasonal pet allergies, minus the general redness. Throwing on sunscreen and flea repellent is the best thing to do, but the repellent has to be natural. If it's chemical based your pet won't like the smell and will take any chance they have to rub against something to get it off. Opt for a flea collar and rubbing them down with a lemon half. The juices and collar will repel the bugs and keep the coat clean and smelling great.

Chlorine

You may not know it, but all dogs are instinctual swimmers. If you're planning on hitting the pool this summer, introduce your dog to the water. Once you’re done though, a towel dry won't finish the job. You'll need to wash your dog completely clean of chlorine. It can cause severe chemical burns if left on too long. If you notice your dog is drinking more pool water than swimming, leave immediately and give them a lot of fresh water to drink. You may notice your dog vomiting but don't fret: his body is rejecting the chlorine water. If you dog doesn't vomit the chlorine, it may urinate more during its walk. So don't make them hold it too long when they have to go!

Be pet-safe this summer!

We all know that this beautiful Chicago weather will be great times for you to bond with your dogs outdoors. Use these tips to ensure that your pet is safe and happy this entire season!

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning ideas

Happy Spring!

As the weather warms up, Spring Cleaning is probably on your mind. Have you thought about simply decluttering your home in addition to a total deep-clean?

Here's our favorite decluttering tip:

Don't keep it if you wouldn't buy it now!

Take a good, hard look at all your belongings -- we know they may have some special significance, but honestly assess the situation. Would you actually buy that item again right now? No? Then toss it, donate it, or give it away to a friend who needs it. Take back your home again!

Here's a few more golden rules of decluttering

 From levo.com

From levo.com

What do you normally neglect in Spring Cleaning?

If we only do deep cleaning once a year, there's most likely areas that you miss out on. We found a list of the top 10 neglected areas of spring cleaning on premeditatedleftovers.com and completely agree. 

  1. Trash cans
  2. Medicine cabinets
  3. Blinds
  4. Behind Appliances
  5. Under sink
  6. Oven
  7. Mattress
  8. Dishwasher
  9. Door jambs and trims
  10. AC vents

Want more Spring Cleaning tips and other cleaning hacks? Follow us on Pinterest!

We always focus on cleaning tips that are helpful, practical, and quite frankly, things that we see every day here at Chicago Loop Cleaners!


Do you live in a high-rise building in downtown Chicago? We're offering a Spring 50% offer right now! Claim your offer online today! We look forward to giving you a home where you can come home and rest.

You're invited to a Jazz Brunch!

You are invited to our mid-winter Jazz Brunch! Chase away the winter blues by coming to Scafuri Bakery for some live jazz music from Shorty and the Sugar Pushers, hot drinks, tasty Italian treats, and brunch food.

And this jazz brunch is extra special! Since it's Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Scafuri is excited to partner with the Young Activist Council from CAASE (Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation) for this event to bring awareness of human trafficking in Chicago and to support survivors. A portion of profits from the bakery sales will go directly to help survivors of human trafficking to get the help they need. CAASE will also have a drawing that day to give away free gift certificates from local businesses. Donations are accepted.

Scafuri Bakery has been serving the Little Italy neighborhood for over one hundred years. For five generations the Scafuri family has been helping customers reconnect with memories of grandma's kitchen, celebrate life's milestones and enjoy a sweet moment every day. The bakery is famous for Italian cookies, cannoli, and specialty cakes, while the coffee, donuts and cafe menu have the neighbors coming back for more.

So make sure you come out to 1337 W. Taylor Street on Jan 31 from 11am-2pm. Entry is free. Also, the space is small, so if you invite lots of friends, try to come at different times so that we can all fit. We'll see you there!

RSVP on the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/905949879519144/

Fall is here in Chicago!

Fall In Chicago

What have you been up to this Fall? We love seeing the unique views that come as a result of the season change. 

Cleaning high-rise Chicago Loop homes is always interesting and different every day! Here's another great snap shot:
 

Shower cleaning tip

Your shower cleaner is too expensive!

Meet Clean Building Bathroom Concentrate, affectionately known at CLC as "Pink Stuff". A 1- gallon bottle is less than $15, and since it comes highly concentrated, it will last a VERY long time. This is the solution that we trust to cut soap scum, and not get us high on fumes while we clean. Pour some in a spray bottle and get going- just remember that the ratio is 1:20 Pink Stuff to water.

Happy cleaning!

Celebrating Champions of Change with CAASE

Please mark your calendars for an exciting event this fall hosted by Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. They're hosting a cocktail party to celebrate sexual exploitation survivor leaders who inspire and guide us as CAASE seeks to transform our community’s response to rape, prostitution, and sex trafficking. The event is Thursday November 15th. Register here today.


Check out the circus in Downtown this month!

What to do in September

Well, how about the circus? It’s a little different, and we like that. And it’s outside, in a tent, in a park. 

We really like that. 

Midnight Circus is a troupe of performers who use their art to help support local Chicago parks. Events are held in the parks, and staffed by volunteers. Their 2015 tour goes through October, so be sure not to miss out! 

http://midnightcircus.net/

Cleaner tip! Let's think about Patio Doors.

If you want your patio doors cleaned, ask soon! Window cleaners don’t typically to the exterior of patio doors, and your cleaner can only do them weather permitting.   Advance warning is appreciated if you would like your doors cleaned, as it takes extra time to do the cleaning.