Category Archives: Cleaning Tips

June Newsletter 2021

Queen Bee Anniversary

20 years.

Yes, you read that right, our very own Queen Bee, Angela Danessi, has been with the company for 20 years this week. It is also her birthday today, July 1st, which is why we waited just a little longer than normal to send our “June” newsletter.

We are grateful and so incredibly lucky to have her on our team as our client liaison.

Many of you know Angela very well through years of speaking with her, but here are some fun facts you may not know about her.

She speaks five languages! You can talk with her in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and most recently Hindi. In fact, she actually taught herself Hindi without ever having gone to a class. She’s a natural linguist.

While she grew up in the Midwest, she spent many of her early years in Europe, having lived in London, Paris, and Ibiza. She moved to Denver from Taos, New Mexico where she worked at the Taos Ski Valley. She has been in the hospitality space for some time now, including a stint at what is now the Ritz Carlton in Denver before she came to us here (a great day for our company).

She has the coolest protective dog, a feisty Corgi also known as Frank. Sometimes known as Rishi, but that is a story for you to ask her about directly.

In short, she is one of the most unique people on the planet and we want to take this opportunity to recognize her for her loyalty, consistency, and for being the main person in our company for so long.

While we aren’t sure we will be able to convince her to stay another 20 years, we are thankful for whatever she will give us.

Please join us in wishing Angela both a happy birthday and a hearty congratulations for her 20 years of making clients happy. 

Guide to Summer 2021

We made it to Summer. Sadly, no one seemed to tell Spring, which evidently took a wrong turn and never made it here.

But that’s ok because the nice people at 5280 Magazine came out with a bunch of fun and interesting things to do in our wonderful state.

They covered nearly everything, from road trip gear to the best rooftop patios in Denver. We didn’t know that Le Meridien hotel actually has the highest open-air rooftop deck in Denver, the 54thirty lounge.

We also love to eat so seeing the best BBQ joints in Colorado made our mouths water.

From the best bike rides to try to improving grilling skills, they did a great job of encapsulating all that is Colorado in one place, and that can be found here.

We hope you have a wonderful Summer!

Colorado Income Tax Cut

You read that right, income taxes are going down in our state.

Amazingly and despite COVID, Colorado now is expected to exceed the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights revenue cap for both this fiscal year, which ended on June 30, and for the next two years as well.

From the article in the Denver Business Journal:

“Colorado will have to employ all three of its methods for giving back excess revenues — reimbursing local governments for Homestead property-tax exemptions, reducing the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.5%, and offering sales-tax refunds directly to state residents.”

Great news for all of us, and the article also goes into Colorado’s unemployment numbers and why we are still slightly behind the national average.

The full piece from the Denver Business Journal can be f0und here.

Is Working from Home Here to Stay?

Last month we asked how much working from home was worth. In many cases, $30,000 wasn’t enough.

We wanted to dive into this issue further, more specifically what are most companies planning as they move forward? What are the pros and cons for both employee and company?

In a great article, Stanford Business published a piece on how the pandemic “Blew up the American Office, for Better and Worse.”

As the graphic in our header shows, working from home increased eightfold in 2020 from 2017. Where will it go from here and how will it impact business going forward?

What are the takeaways? For starters, it seems that a consensus is emerging about a hybrid approach where employees would work both from home and at the office in a split.

More fascinating to us was the belief that innovation would be impacted by working from home in the long run, due to the creative collaboration that it requires.

Finally, this shift has harmed cities’ downtown areas in many ways, as people remain at home in the suburbs and not spending money downtown.

Very informative piece and it made us think about this tricky issue. You can find the entire article here.

How’s Your Sleep?

Hopefully, it’s getting better as life is getting back to normal around us.

When we found a simple sleep assessment tool, we took the leap to see just how many bad bedtime habits we really have.

The answer? A lot.

The quiz took us only a minute or so to complete, and then gave us a score of 10 out of a possible 18 points.

Normally scoring a 10 is perfect, but in this case, it told us we have some work to do.

At the end of the survey, you can provide your email and you will get a five-part series on improving your sleep, along with exercises, videos, and the like.

If you aren’t sure about your sleep, the stats say it can probably be better. The most recent data shows that in America, 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night.

With thanks to the folks at Better Humans, you can link to the quick sleep survey here.

For more data on sleep habits and the state of sleep in America, visit the American Sleep Apnea website here.

Good luck improving your sleep, we are surely working on ours!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for May were Simona Estrada, Rosario De La Rosa, Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez and Patricia Rodriguez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Isela Mendoza.

We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of May.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

This month I celebrate 20 years with Denver Concierge. 20 years!! Yikes!

I doubt many people can say that their job is so closely aligned to their personality that the two actually mesh and the word ‘work’ ceases to apply.

It’s a tough business we’re in and can be stressful if not handled with care, respect, and endurance. A sense of the absurd is always handy; a sense of humor is essential.

I applaud our clients for offering me all of the above.

As I accept this gold statue of a giant bee, I’d just like to say that I have been inordinately lucky to work with the best in the business and for the best in the business.  Bar none. I love you all!

Bee

April Newsletter 2021

Judi’s House

One thing we have learned after the nearly 20 years we have been serving Denver is that who you associate with matters.

It goes without saying that our clients are the best in town. We have some wonderful partners as well, many of whom get mentioned here on a regular basis.

We also have a few charities that we support, but none more important to us than Judi’s House.

Founded by Brian Griese, former Broncos QB, Judi’s House provides grief counseling and support for young people and families that have suffered loss. Brian lost his mother Judi at a young age and founded this amazing venture to honor her and to help others that are going through tragic events.

We support this touching and important cause by donating cleaning services every week to make sure their environment is spotless and welcoming to all.

Last week was National Volunteer Week, and Judi’s House was kind enough to recognize us for our efforts in supporting them.

They put out a very kind piece recognizing our efforts on their Facebook page and we wanted to share it with you here. If you read on, you will realize we have an intensely personal connection to what Judi’s House does, and we are certainly grateful for the recognition, but the recognition is not what drives us.

So, thank you to each and every one of our clients that indirectly supports such a great cause with every clean we provide. We love giving back and being part of such a wonderful cause, and the wonderful city that is Denver.

To learn more or to donate to Judi’s House, you can visit them here. 

My How We Have Grown

Did all of you participate in the 2020 Census? We did too.

It doesn’t take a census report to tell us that lots of people are moving to Colorado.

In fact, we were one of the few states that gained a new congressional district, our 8th. 

Overall, new data shows the state added nearly 745,000 new residents since 2010, a 14.8% increase.

The biggest gain? Texas, which gained just under four million people in the last 10 years.

Three states showed a population decline over the last decade: Illinois, Mississippi, and West Virginia. West Virginia had the largest percentage loss of any state at 3.2%.

California is the most populous state with more than 39.5 million residents. Wyoming is the least populous state with just over 500,000 residents.

This means that Colorado gained more residents in the last 10 years than Wyoming has in total. Crazy.

Full 2020 Census results can be found here.

Reopening Denver Venues  

Yes, that is a photo of Red Rocks.

Remember Red Rocks!?

It’s reopening. Along with many other venues and attractions across the Front Range and we wanted to share some of those dates and events with you.

In fact, Red Rocks reopened on April 22. Only 2,500 attendees will be allowed for the time being.

Elitch Gardens is also reopening to the general public on May 1. 

Our museums are using timed ticketing and they are open as well.  Denver Botanic Gardens is also using this system and they are now open for visits.

The big bummer in all of this is the DCPA postponing most of their shows until early 2022 but will be featuring the Lion King in December.

5280 Magazine did a nice recap of many of the venues around Denver and their piece can be found here.

We love going to concerts and shows, so even a small return to normalcy is welcomed.

We hope to see you out there Denver!

10 Small Things to Improve Your Life 

We can never resist sharing “life hacks” or anything that we find compelling regarding self-improvement.

So we visit again the helpful and informative site that is Medium.com.

They published a quite simple list of little things that can make life better. Not the big sweeping changes that we always try to make, but subtle ones that can be very impactful.

For example, did you know the average person spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media every day? Tell me that isn’t stressful!

Also, over half of Americans say the news causes stress, and studies have shown that constantly seeing negative stories can make us feel more negative.

So, what to do? The article has some obvious but underutilized techniques such as using airplane mode on our phones from time to time, as well as utilizing the timer features on our phones to parse out tasks.

It’s a simple list, but sometimes in life, it’s the simple things that make life better.

The full article can be found here, enjoy!

Facebook Data Breach 

We have trust issues with Facebook.

Truth is, we don’t use it much, but seeing reports about data breaches doesn’t exactly make us more comfortable.

In fact, Facebook has been under fire for its data management, and just exactly what they do with our personal information.

The most recent news really gave us pause.

It seems that details from more than 500 million Facebook users have been found available on a website for hackers.

While the information appears to be several years old, it’s another example of the vast amount of information collected by Facebook and other social media sites, and the limits to how secure that information is.

The most concerning part is that Facebook didn’t feel like it was important enough to notify its users.

Business Insider did a nice piece on this “breach” and why Facebook’s response should give us reason to pause. 

The moral of the story? Change your passwords regularly and make sure you protect your data as much as possible.

Also, maybe blindly trusting a massive company with a gold mine of valuable data is a risky proposition at best.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for March were Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Quinonez, Sandra Vidales, Yesica Censo, and Juana Luna.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Natalia Olivas.

We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of March.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

The hot ticket lately is the plant-based diet, no meat, no dairy.

As a lure to the lifestyle there are suddenly videos and photos everywhere of animals accomplishing amazing feats, or bonding with other species, or just being darn cute. Whether these efforts have the desired effect remains to be seen.

In any case, as a possible reflection of the sudden surge in animals to the forefront of our consciousness, or simply a reaction to being cooped up for a year, our clients have adopted some unusual pets.

We have two miniature pigs, a very large rabbit (not our first), and a pair of brilliantly colored birds. There may be more in the offing. Rest assured we are up for it.  It brings much-needed cheer and a bit of frivolity we could all use a dose of.

Bee

March Newsletter 2021

One Year Ago

On March 24, 2020, the state was closed and Denver was told to “stay home”. All non-essential businesses, including ours, were closed.

It made us wonder just how this new world changed us here in Denver over the past year?

Let’s dive in. For starters, did you know that on March 20, 2020, Denver County only had 67 Covid cases? That number is now just north of 60,000.

DIA passengers dropped by 50%, and that included a Thanksgiving spike.

Bankruptcy filings were down, dropping 25% to only 8,300 over the period. This one surprised us.

How about housing? Active inventory according to the Denver Metro Area Realtors, dropped by 60%. Back in March of ’20, there were nearly 6,000 homes in inventory for sale across Denver. Today, that number is around 2,000.

Hotels have been hit hard as well, with occupancy rates currently at about 33%. It bottomed out at about 16% last April. Normal rates would be about 65% occupancy.

Lots of fascinating data, and we thank the Denver Business Journal for publishing it. The full piece can be found here. They also look at job posting data (down), restaurant reservations (down), and crude oil pricing (up).

Kind of a cool review, although most of the data is hard to look at, knowing the real impact of what we went through, and all the pain businesses and families everywhere have had to endure.

For the infographic showing the numbers we mentioned above, plus a few more, check it out here.

I think we can all agree that the last year has been one of the more challenging ones we have ever faced.

It has tested our resilience and resolve, but through it all we are still here, serving our wonderful clients. We thank you for your loyalty and for sticking it out with us!

16th Street Mall Renovation

What was once a bustling and iconic part of Denver is getting a facelift.

Our 16th Street Mall has been under fire for the past few years due to problems with homelessness, drug use, panhandling, and other unsavory behaviors.

According to the Downtown Denver Partnership, the original life span for the mall was 30 years. We now sit at nearly 40 years and most would agree the area is in need of a makeover.

Enter PCL Construction Services, the winning bidder in earning the right to design and build the “new mall”. Costs are estimated at $149M and construction won’t likely begin until the end of ’21 at the earliest.

The full description of the project by the Downtown Denver Partnership can be found here.

We aren’t sure about you, but we hope this project restores this once-proud area of our city back to its roots.

Of course, we aren’t 100% sure what a redesign and upgrade have to do with our homelessness and safety issues, but we will leave that in the hands of our elected leaders to sort out.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how they tackle this massive three-year project and if it truly delivers on its intentions.

Rockies and McGregor Square

Did you realize that Opening Day is tomorrow? This is not an April Fool’s joke, we promise.

We were surprised as well, it sneaked up on us.

So, baseball is back, and with it comes Spring, and the hope that our beloved Rockies will be contenders this year.

What will baseball look like in the mile-high city this year?

For starters, Coors Field will be allowing 21,000 fans in for each game. This is up from the original plan of 12,000 and hopefully will increase as COVID settles down.

The biggest news is the opening of McGregor Square, across the street from the ballpark. Named for former Rockies exec Keli McGregor, the mixed-use development will contain everything from residences to restaurants and bars. You can even find Top Golf hitting bays.

In short, it looks like a wonderful entertainment venue for those of us heading down to the ballpark this year.

5280 Magazine did a very comprehensive view of McGregor Square here and all that it entails. 

Now if we could only get over the trade of future Hall of Fame player Nolan Arenado to the Cards.

That one might take some time to recover from.

Enjoy the festivities!

Life Expectancy 

If you are a regular reader of our newsletter, you know we love to see where we rank as a region in various categories.

When we saw life expectancy by state, we had to share.

Colorado is used to being in the top-ranked places in most categories, and life expectancy is no different.

Overall, we came in 8th. Male life expectancy in our fine state is just under 78 years. Women actually rated just a bit higher, coming in 7th at an 82.3 average.

Even more fascinating are the ends of the spectrum.

Hawaii, for example, where men live until 81, and women until 84, both rank first.

The other end? West Virginia. Both men and women ranked 51st, with men averaging 74.4 and women 77.3.

We aren’t drawing any inferences about what that all means, only that we are fairly healthy here in the Rockies.

Finally, in a rare occurrence, life expectancy in total dropped by a full year, largely due to COVID.

The article from CNN can be found here, and the full table from the CDC (for you stat geeks) can be found here. 

Productivity and Working from Home

Nothing like debunking a good theory.

When COVID drove us all back home for work, there was a significant shift in our worlds.

It was also a shift for our employers and/or businesses that we run. In an instant, everything changed.

Almost immediately the call came that working from home would lead to increased productivity, a happier workforce, and would be very virtuous.

While both sides of this equation have learned to make do, we came across a fascinating article that flies in the face of the “increased productivity” narrative.

Stanford Grad School of Business economist Nicholas Bloom published an article recently titled “The Productivity Pitfalls of Working from Home in the Age of COVID-19”.

From the article, “We are home working alongside our kids, in unsuitable spaces, with no choice and no in-office days,” says Bloom, “This will create a productivity disaster for firms.”

“I fear an extended period of working from home will not only kill office productivity but is building a mental health crisis.”

Wow, it seems the “experts” aren’t so sure the way that it is currently working is the best.

We aren’t smart enough about this sort of thing to know the best solution but if you want to learn more, the complete article can be found here.

 

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for February were Guadalupe Caloca, Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Paz Jimenez, and Simona Estrada.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Isela Mendoza.

We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of February.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Peeps!

After a 9-month hiatus, they’re back just in time for Spring.

In their 1953 debut, a Peeps chick was a handmade specialty item that took 27 hours to sculpt. Currently, they have a daily production run of 5.5 million.

You can’t escape them, and you can’t buy just one.  They come in a joined row like cutout paper dolls. The original yellow and white chicks have morphed into other colors, animal shapes, and other flavors. They have found their way into literature, art, theater, and dioramas.

PEEPS are a cheery addition to our Spring this year.   Thankfully they bounced back from the pandemic just when we needed cheering the most.

Happy Spring!

Bee

 

January Newsletter 2021

2021 Labor Law Changes

2021 is starting with a bang. Lots of labor law changes are now in effect and they will impact both employees and employers going forward.

For those of you that haven’t dug into these yet, we wanted to encapsulate them here.

First off, on January 1, Denver implemented a new minimum wage of $14.77. Mandated in 2019 by the Denver City Council, it will rise to $15.87 beginning next year. This is out of phase with the state minimum wage which is lagging behind at $12.32.

Any employee of the city or one that works in Denver will be subject to the city minimum.

Also, starting in 2021, the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act or HFWA will require that Colorado employers with more than 16 employees provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work, up to a minimum of 48 hours. Those hours are immediately available once earned and can be taken in one-hour increments.

Finally, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act has been implemented and the new law prohibits paying different wages for similar work on the basis of sex, beefing up existing federal rules on the topic.

There are also new provisions protecting whistleblowers primarily related to workplace safety and health.

We do our best at Denver Concierge to take great care of our people and support their safety, families, well-being, and ability to make good wages. We hope this shows through in the quality of work we do in your homes.

We will continue to do so, along with fully supporting all the city and state requirements to benefit our associates.

A full recap of the 2021 labor law changes can be found here. 

Restaurant Update

We may have mentioned we have quite a few clients and partners in the restaurant space and they have been hit particularly hard by COVID.

You also may have heard about the new “5 Star” program that is allowing restaurants and other businesses to gradually move towards normalcy. The basics are as follows:

The 5 Star State Certification Program enables businesses that meet enhanced safety guidelines in qualifying counties and municipalities to open at a greater capacity. The voluntary program recognizes businesses that have gone above and beyond to keep their communities safe.

Further, each county or municipality can decide whether to implement the 5 Star State Certification program.

So how is it calculated?

Well, it depends firstly on the dial level of the area the business operates in. Ranging from Green (good) to Purple (Very Bad), each area has a rating.

Establishments can then apply for variances based on where they currently operate and the “dial level” around them.

They are expected to exceed normal COVID requirements, hopefully making them much safer to visit.

We are excited to see the state helping small businesses get back up and running.

While we haven’t been able to find a certified list of 5 star approved restaurants yet, we hope one is coming soon.

Meanwhile to learn more about the program click here.

Better Peace of Mind

Yes, 2020 was a bear.

There were many days when we struggled with the uncertainty, chaos, and disruption caused by COVID.

We like to think that we are mentally tough over here at Denver Concierge, but we are human and are always looking for better ways to cope.

Along that journey, we ran across a solid piece by the folks at Medium.com (one of our favorite self-help sites) about how we might obtain better peace of mind during these tough times.

One of the great concepts from the article is to focus on the stressors, not the stress.

Our minds are hard-wired to outrun animals that might be chasing us, looking for their next meal. While those were real concerns for our ancestors, they really aren’t anymore (at least for most of us hopefully).

Yet our brains are hardwired to react with “fight or flight” reactions to things that truly are not life-threatening.

We found the article informative and helpful and we sure hope you do as well.

The complete piece on psychological habits for better peace of mind can be found here.

We wish you much peace of mind in 2021.

 

2020 Words of the Year 

Want to take a guess at the word of the year in 2020?

If you guessed PANDEMIC, you are correct.

Words fascinate us and the ones that come to the forefront each year are an interesting cross-section of what is going on in our world in a given year.

We were extremely interested to read Merriam Webster’s top 12 words of the year in 2020.

Based on search history they list the most-searched-for words

How about “Kraken”? “Schadenfreude”? Those were two words that were very popular, mainly thanks to the Seattle hockey team calling themselves the former and for people delighting in other people’s failure for the latter.

Our guess is our tumultuous political climate pushed schadenfreude into that spotlight. Plus, as the article says, it’s a fun word to say.

In respect to Kobe Bryant (rest in peace), the word “Mamba” was the most searched word shortly after his tragic helicopter crash.

It’s a quick read but gives great insight into our culture and the words we use in our daily lives.

The full article can be found here, and we are sure hoping that words like “vaccine” and “normalcy” are popular this year!

101 Ways to Enjoy 2021 in Colorado

Wait, isn’t there a pandemic going on?

Well, yes, it technically is still here, although we are making progress. Knowing that, what can we do safely and enjoyably in our wonderful state in 2021?

The nice people at 5280 Magazine published some great ideas in their article titled “101 Things to Do in Colorado This Year”.

Everything from adventure-packed road trips to cool classes you can take, the list is diverse and comprehensive.

Besides, if you are like us, we are ready to get out of the house at least a little bit (socially distanced of course).

Did you know, for example, that Denver has a “beer spa”? For $89 you can soak in a tub of unfermented beer. We aren’t sure about the health benefits of this but may just have to go see for ourselves, mainly because it involves the word beer.

Some great ideas to put a dent in the repetitive boredom of home confinement.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, the complete list can be found here.

Annual Award Winners

We are super excited to announce our annual winners for Team Leader and Cleaning Associate of the year.

First, our monthly award winners for December were Rosario De La Rosa, Paz Jimenez, Martha Garcia, Simona Estrada, and Juana Luna.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Rosa Chavez.

Now, drum roll please…..

Our winner for best Cleaning Associate in 2020 is Maria Zapata. Runner up goes to Aurora Dominguez.

Our top Team Leader for 2020 goes to Socorro Ibarra. Our runner up is Juana Olivas.

It was a close race and one that was determined over only 9 months (thanks COVID) rather than the usual 12.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for 2020, the year of COVID.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Denver Concierge is a Green Certified Company.

This makes us a bit old fashioned, as we don’t use harsh chemicals or cleaning methods. Our cleaning is meant to be thorough and yet preserve what we clean, whether furniture, carpets, keepsakes, or collectibles.

We are not alone with our preservation mantra.  There is a local contractor who has bought several rundown houses in one area of the city and surprisingly renovated them, rather than razing them, preserving history with a touch of progress.

His current endeavor is a hundred-year-old church which he has somehow managed to convert to inconspicuous condos without changing the street view.

Preservation teamed with artistry and imagination. A good roadmap to the future.

December Newsletter 2020

Here’s to a Better Year in ’21

Hopefully having a better year next year will be easy.

We want to wrap up the year on a positive note and hopefully springboard into a more normal 2021.

First of all, our holiday schedule. We will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, which is Thursday and Friday of this week. We will, however, be open on New Year’s Eve but will be closed on Friday the 1st to celebrate the new year.

In this month’s newsletter, we give you some ideas on ways to enjoy the holiday season and plan for some fun and exciting things in ’21. Of course, this starts with the hope of vaccination for each of us, and we think you will find the tool further down highly informative.

We also have a guest writer this month, who provides some good ideas on making your home healthy and safe.

Beyond that, we hope you have a calm and relaxing holiday season this year. As Charles Swindoll famously said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

In talking with our clients, partners, and friends, we get the sense that most of you are already approaching things this way, but if you need a reminder about adversity and some of the ways people have dealt with difficult things in life, we found a good refresher here.

Finally, we say thank you again to our wonderful clients. Your patience, resolve, and kindness have known no bounds this year.

We wish you peace, prosperity, and above all, good health as we move into 2021.

Thanks for including us in your lives.

The Best of the West

In the spirit of a better 2021, we are starting to think about all the fun things we can do!

5280 Magazine published their “Best of the Mountain West” piece this month and we found it very interesting.

They celebrate 26 captivating people, beautiful places, and irresistible things from the West.

It made us feel good about where we live, and the culture that surrounds us.

Beyond the places to visit, which are cool, like Polebridge Mercantile (see below photo) in Montana, the article is a celebration of style, culture, and the people of the West.

We found it uplifting and makes us happy to be part of it.

The complete piece can be found here.

Vaccination Schedule

Thankfully, vaccines are arriving in cities everywhere, including Denver.

So just how long will we have to wait to get ours?

Well, that depends.

Healthcare workers will be first.  Folks in nursing homes, first responders, and those with health risks will go next.

Other essential workers, teachers, and even some prisoners (yes, you read that right) will go before healthy folks do.

The New York Times came up with a calculator that will show you roughly how long it will take before you are vaccinated depending on the category you fall into.

It even depicts where you would be in a virtual line, which is sort of cool as well.

The full calculator can be found here. You should be able to view and operate the calculator without signing up for the Times, which is a relief.

If you don’t have the patience to look at the calculator, the rough numbers put a healthy person living in Denver County behind about 500,000 people.

The bottom line? Be patient for sure. The WHO published a full list of Q&A about the vaccine, timing etc. and that can be found here.

Stay safe Denver, we will see most of you in line in early to mid-2021!

Best Home Light Shows 

One of our favorite things to do during the holidays is to load up everyone in the car, get some hot cocoa, and drive around looking at the light displays.

This year it’s also one of the few things we can do that is socially distanced and somewhat normal.

So many neighborhoods have beautiful holiday light displays in and around Denver, we have many options to explore.

From downtown Denver to Cheesman Park, Arvada, and many of the suburbs, there are some very creative and special people that take the time to make their homes special.

So you don’t’ wander around aimlessly, we have provided the best info we can find on where to go to see these wonderful displays.

We found a good article from Trips to Discover, that gives some good neighborhoods to take a peek in and that information can be found here.

Of course, our friends at 5280 Magazine also published their list as well, with specific homes and addresses listed.

The list includes the Gingerbread House, “which features 10,000-plus lights meticulously outlining nearly every edge of Walter Hazard’s home, and is beloved by those near (neighborhood kids were the ones who named it “The Gingerbread House”) and far (German magazine Der Spiegel featured it in a roundup of the best holiday displays in America). ”

The complete article from 5280 can be found here.

Finally, we found one more resource from milehighonthecheap.com that lists many places in and around the Front Range to view holiday light displays.

See below for a preview of some of our favorites.

Here’s to making the best of this most different holiday season!!!

A Healthier Home

By Guest Writer Curtis Fisher

We naturally think of our homes as being a place of comfort, but have you given thought as to how much your home promotes your well-being? Your house doesn’t need to be a passive player in your health regimen! Here are some ideas for ensuring your home plays an active role in your personal wellness program.

Is Your Home ‘Breathtaking’?

The air in your home plays a vital role in your general wellness, but most of the time, we don’t give it much consideration. Yet the American Lung Association says our homes can harbor indoor pollutants like lead, allergens, and asbestos. Those pollutants can cause a variety of health problems, such as asthma and respiratory illnesses.

If you have symptoms like headaches, sneezing, coughing, or memory issues, it’s wise to get a feel for your home’s air quality to find out if it’s a contributing factor. There are kits you can use to test the air in your home that measure mold, radon, and so forth. It’s a step toward wellness that you can easily DIY!

Better Breathability

One of the easiest ways to tackle air quality is to regularly replace your HVAC filters. The type of filter will determine how often it needs to be replaced. By updating your filters when it’s time, you can ensure healthier air and a healthier HVAC system.

Looking for an air-refreshing DIY? Add some houseplants to your household! It’s a simple way to help eliminate toxins from your air, and if you opt for an herb or two, you can even add them to meals. Your Indoor Herbs notes lavender (Lavendula), mint (Mentha), and rosemary (Rosmarinus) are a few selections you can grow to help reduce your home’s indoor pollution, and they offer the bonus benefit of being useful in culinary pursuits.

Lighten Up — Naturally

Allowing more natural light into your home is a simple and effective way to enhance your health. It’s a great way to boost your mood and productivity and can even help you sleep better at night. If your home has small windows that don’t allow in much light, you could have them enlarged for around $2,000.

A window can be enlarged by most handymen. Just like with your HVAC system, whenever you’re hiring someone to work on this type of home upgrade, check their credentials and get some references. Be alert to red flags like requests for advance payment or vague proposals. And once the work is complete, just make sure you open your window coverings throughout the day to make the most of those sunbeams!

Looking for a light-oriented project you can do yourself? Consider changing up your light bulbs. As Alpha Emerged explains, the artificial lighting in your home can play a significant role in how you feel. Red spectrum bulbs promote slumber, while daylight-simulating halogen bulbs help you feel more awake. Choose the former for bedrooms and the latter for places you intend to be productive, like the kitchen and your home office.

Cut Your Clutter

One last home upgrade that can really pack a wallop on your well-being: decluttering. As Prevagen explains, being surrounded by too much “stuff” can take a toll on your health. It can make you less productive and more anxious, and even appears to encourage overeating. Decluttering is an undertaking you can DIY, and once you’ve pared down and are organized, you’ll be feeling great!

Plan Ahead

In addition to all of this, it helps to plan for inclement weather. For example, if you live in an area that’s prone to heavy snow and ice storms, it might be a good idea to purchase and install a generator. That way, if anything happens to your electricity, you’ll have a way to stay warm until power gets restored. However, keep in mind that it could cost upwards of $30 a day to keep the generator fueled.

Is your home playing an active, positive role in your health regimen? Make sure your air is fresh, let the sunshine in, choose healthy artificial lighting, and cut down on clutter. Your house will have your back with these simple, health-enhancing steps!

 

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for November were Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Guadalupe Caloca, Maria Zapata, and Rosario De La Rosa.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Natalia Olivas.

We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of November.

Our annual award winners will be announced in January 2021.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

2020.  What’s to say that hasn’t been said?

Still, soldiering on, I would like to offer my deepest thanks to our clients, this year especially. You stood by us when the pandemic forced us to close for weeks,  when it necessitated last-minute schedule and team changes, cancellations, and even shortened cleans.  You all made it work.

I spoke to each of you many times over the past months. Your kindness and easy acceptance were universal and overwhelming despite the hardships you all undoubtedly had in your own lives due to this beastly pandemic.

We end the year grateful to have such amazing clients. May 2021 usher in a healthy and happy time for all.

Bee

November Newsletter 2020

Giving Thanks

What a strange and memorable year.

We know it may seem a bit counterintuitive, but we are very thankful.

We are thankful for our wonderful clients. Our people. Our health. We know so many of you have been impacted by COVID, some of you worse than others and for that, you have our sympathy and love.

We are thankful to be open during this time, doing our jobs. So many people aren’t able to do this currently, especially our friends in the restaurant and gym business. Not to mention schools and the extra work many of you are putting in as “part-time” teachers at home. Crazy.

We genuinely want to use this space to express our gratitude for all of you, our readers and friends.

Without you, we have no company, no employees, and no business to be thankful for. We will continue to operate as safely as possible and try to bring you the peace of mind you need to keep your homes germ-free.

We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, although we know it will be different from all the others. If you are deciding to get together, we have an interesting resource below that may ease your mind (or may not).

Either way, please know that we appreciate you and wish you a safe and happy holiday and weekend.

Just How Risky is Thanksgiving?

Ah, the tradition. We love getting together for Thanksgiving (and any other holiday where we can eat).

So much controversy this year about Thanksgiving being “cancelled” and everyone being discouraged from getting together.

That said, nearly 40% of people say they will likely attend a Thanksgiving gathering with 10 or more people despite the risk of catching COVID-19, according to a recent survey by Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

Another survey of parents nationwide found nearly a third say the benefits of gathering with extended family for the holidays are worth the risk of spreading or getting the coronavirus. The survey, conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in partnership with the University of Michigan, says almost 3-in-5 plan to see extended family in person.

We get it.

Should you decide to expand the guest list, we wanted to provide a resource that will help guide you regarding exposure risk.

Denver 7 published an interesting, interactive map created by professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology, that shows the likelihood that at least one person would test positive for COVID-19 when gathering with a group of 10 or more people in a given area.

For example, under current case rates, a gathering of 10 people in Denver would have a 38% chance that one person there would be infected.

Fascinating data and you can look anywhere in the US to determine the risk.

The source interactive map and planning tool can be found here.

Upsizing Your Home? 

By Guest Writer Bob ShannonSeniors Meet.org.

Downsizing has become an incredibly popular retirement trend in the past few years. While many benefits come with sizing down into a smaller home—lower costs, less maintenance, and simpler living—there are also many good reasons to go against the grain.

Depending on your retirement goals, upsizing to a larger home and property might be the better choice! Keep reading to learn more about upsizing in your senior years and how to make it happen.

If you’re selling your existing home to help pay for a larger one, use a site like Redfin to learn how much comparable properties in the Denver area are selling for.

If you’ll be taking out a mortgage for your new space, increase your borrowing power by paying off debt and boosting your credit score.

Having a larger home in retirement comes with many perks for seniors. For example, you can set up a hobby farm your grandchildren will love visiting, and you can rent out the basement for some side income.

Once you’ve made your move, unpack strategically by setting up your living room and bedroom first. You can dive into bigger projects later, like setting up a sewing room, so you’re not overwhelmed with laying out your new home.

Downsizing isn’t for everyone. If your dream is to spend your golden years on a big, beautiful property and you have the financial means to make it happen, go for it! As long as you take your time to plan your big purchase and prepare for your move, your transition to a larger space will be smooth, stress-free, and, most of all, exciting!

How Expensive is Denver? 

Last month we were happy to report that Colorado fared very well in the annual Best Places to Live survey.

With all that excitement, we thought we would take a look at just what it takes to survive in our fair city.

For example, if you are a renter and want to live in Denver, you need north of $100k annually to do it. Wow.

In Albuquerque, NM, in comparison, you would “only” need $73k annually.

Interesting data and a fun list to pore over.

The complete listing of 50 metropolitan areas and what it takes to live comfortably was published by GOBankingrates.com and Yahoo Finance and can be found here.

Oh, what is the most expensive metro area to live in?

San Francisco, where one would need $164K annually just to rent. Plus, it’s foggy there and they have no mountains.

Just sayin’.

Things to (safely) Do this Holiday Season

We thought planning for Thanksgiving was tough. December is coming and it has even more complexity.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or something else, December is full of reasons to gather.

So, what exactly will be going on around Denver this year?

Some things will remain, such as the Blossoms of Light festival at the Botanic Gardens. The Mile High Tree on the 16th Street Mall, and the Parade of Lights.

The nice folks at Denver.org published a complete list of everything going on around Denver starting Thanksgiving weekend.

They also put out a clean and safe guide that you can provide to any guests that might be visiting about just how things are working downtown these days.

We hope whatever you decide to do you have a wonderful holiday season and stay safe!!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for October were Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Martha Garcia, Cecilia Reyes, and Paz Jimenez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez and Juana Olivas.

We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of October.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

According to a recently published book, hunter-gatherer societies worked less than people in other modes of subsistence, while not only providing for their needs but also enjoying a substantial amount of leisure time.

This has raised some questions and opened discussions about our current work hours, which driven by the increase in what our society considers basic needs, has resulted in chaining us to extremely long work hours with minimal leisure time. Theories abound.

With Thanksgiving upon us, however, let’s put the theories aside, and pause to be grateful for the benefits of our labors, as is fitting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bee

September Newsletter 2020

We’ve Been Here Before

Check out the following quotes and tell us if they look familiar:

“Wearing a mask violates my rights, I refuse to do it”

“Businesses need to be reopened, it’s illegal to force us to close”

“They can’t close the schools; our kids need socialization”

If those seem to be quotes from today, they are not. They are examples of common complaints being levied against governmental pressure during….the Spanish Flu of 1918.

The more things change, the more they stay the same it seems.

The point is, we have been here before. The lessons we learned in 1918 and through other pandemics in history are still there for the taking if we pay attention and show some empathy for our fellow men and women.

One of the big takeaways that we found is that non-pharmaceutical interventions work.

Simple, but true. Masking and distancing have a greater effect than we all care to admit, but the truth is they work. The photo below shows Seattle policemen during the epidemic in 1918, so yes, we have indeed been here before.

We found a few interesting articles about the social phenomenon of prevention and intervention and wanted to share them with you.

CNN did a nice piece on the 1918 flu versus COVID and it can be found here.

The Guardian also put together a cool article (with photos) on how humans have handled pandemics in the past and it can be found here.

The most common theme we could identify? That we need to take care of one another and not just ourselves. This pandemic has brought out the worst in people and the best in others (Big thank you to our front-line workers, health care providers and all of you that risk your lives daily for our well-being).

At the end of the day, this virus will eventually die off. Sadly, it will take many of us with it. We are going to do our part to make sure that the number is as low as possible, and we hope you will as well.

Lastly, thanks to all of you for being kind to us as we have fought through this together. We will continue to do our best to show respect, empathy, and kindness to all during this tough time.

Move Over…New Traffic Law

As usual, when we see an item that we think might help our readers, we share it.

How many of you know that when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the freeway that you are supposed to move over and/or slow down?

Yes, it seems like common sense, but very few people do this.

Last year five state troopers were killed by careless drivers, so the legislature passed changes to Colorado’s “Move Over Law”.

The new law not only requires that you move over a lane if possible, but that you slow your speed to 20 MPH below what is posted.

While it doesn’t sound like much, if you get caught violating this law, it is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense and comes with 10 to 90 days in jail along with fines of $150-300. It’s also a 4-point violation on your license.

Definitely not worth it.

A recap of the law including a link to the CSP podcast about it can be found here.

Best ‘Hoods in Denver

Do you live in the best neighborhood in Denver?

Well, if you live in South Park Hill, 5280 magazine says you do.

That locale was followed by Wash Park, Congress Park, West Highland and Cherry Creek.

They published their annual list of the best neighborhoods in Denver and we wanted to share.

The ranking system utilized four variables as follows: home prices, crime data, school rankings, and an X factor score that accounts for things that can’t be easily quantified, such as access to open space, nearby public transportation, and the prevalence of restaurants and shops.

They weighted each one and came up with a firm ranking. Of course, there is always some subjectivity in these sorts of things, but we found it interesting.

The complete article from 5280 Magazine can be found here.

750 Million Years Ago….. 

Ok, we did it again.

Found a cool, time-wasting website to distract you from the chaos around us all.

Ever wonder what earth was like say 750 million years ago? We did and went down the proverbial rabbit hole to learn more.

In doing so, we learned about the continental drift theory and how it was upended by plate tectonics.

I’m sure you are saying “get to the point”, so we will.

In short, a California paleontologist has created an interactive map that allows people to see how far their hometowns have moved over 750 million years of continental drift.

So, if you are curious as to where your hometown was millions of years ago, the map will show you.

Our spot on the planet has changed dramatically over the years. In fact, 540 million years ago, Denver was a beach town it seems.

Kind of a cool thing to check out, we hope you enjoy playing with it as much as we did!!!

Can Air Conditioning Spread Covid?

One of the main concerns about COVID is how exactly is it spread?

Oh sure, we get it. Don’t touch your face. Check. Stay 6 feet apart. Check. Wash my hands. Check.

Those are all great pieces of advice, but beyond those, there has been a great amount of misinformation and confusion about how this virus really spreads.

One of the ideas is that COVID droplets can get into an HVAC system, say in any building where people gather. Then one infected person can infect everyone else, as the droplets pass through the system back into the entire space.

What we found is very similar to what we have found so far regarding this virus to be true….no one is sure.

The CDC performed a study, which was authored by researchers with the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China.

It suggests that an air conditioning unit at a restaurant in China may have contributed to as many as eight other people being infected with the coronavirus in January.

While the science is not 100% clear on this, it does seem that the use of HEPA filters on HVAC systems “should” capture the virus particles.

The bottom line? No one really knows with 100% certainty. In the meantime, we will be checking to see if HEPA filters are present in the places we visit, and we certainly won’t be sitting directly under the vents!!!

Stay safe Denver.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for August were Rosario De La Rosa, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Cecilia Reyes, and Maria Zapata.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Juana Olivas.

We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of August.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

The Autumnal Equinox last week brought a feeling of closure to this extraordinary summer, and we are pleased to have come through it with our health, our optimism and most of our wits.

However, we can’t let up.

We will continue with all precautions and ask that the clients continue to keep us informed of any changes to their home situations.  It is commendable that we have been able to seamlessly work together to keep both team members and clients safe and happy for these past months.

As always, you can reach me for any changes, questions, comments, or really anything house related. Just a text or a call away.

Bee

August Newlsetter 2020

Staying Sane During COVID

It seems like we are all getting just a bit stir crazy.

As this was all beginning, very few of us thought about the mental and emotional toll that being locked down could cause. Now, it’s coming home to roost.

Domestic violence is up. Substance abuse is up, and in a more benign category, the “COVID-15” weight gain seems to be a real thing.

So, what do we do to stay sane in this crazy environment? We tried to do some heavy lifting for you and came up with some great suggestions and resources.

For starters, organizing your life can lower your stress and give a sense of control over our environment. That’s why we are offering some great organization tips in this month’s newsletter. We have a wonderful partner that can assist as well….read on for details.

The ADAA has published a list of solid ideas to cope with the isolation and frustration that this quarantine brings on. It includes organizing for sure, but also some tools that we can all use during this time. Their thoughts can be found here.

Our favorite (and less clinical) list comes from the folks at Blue Zones. They came up with 50 ways to stay sane and we love it. It adds an element of structure, as well as some new ideas to cope with all of this. You can find their creative article here.

In short, you aren’t alone if you are feeling angry, frustrated, and/or helpless during these crazy times. As always, we are here to make your lives easier, at least as far as having a clean home goes.

We continue to operate safely and efficiently, so if you haven’t started your service back up with us yet, we are standing by when you are ready.

Thanks to all of you for being great clients and partners, stay safe, and know we are here for you when you need us.

Colorado Labor Stats

With all the data we are constantly being fed, sometimes it’s hard to understand what is real and what is not.

Colorado unemployment and our labor situation is no exception.

We recently wrote about Colorado running ahead of the rest of the country in terms of recovery from the pandemic.

At face value the numbers look good. July unemployment dropped to 7.4%, good enough for the 15th lowest in the nation. This is a nice drop from the 10.6% we were showing in June.

Where it gets dicey is in how we are adding jobs back. From the DBJ article:

“While Colorado’s unemployment rate sits well below the national July average of 10.2%, however, it is not replacing jobs lost from the pandemic at the same rate. With the state having so far gained back just 134,200 of the 342,300 nonfarm payroll jobs it lost between February and April, its recovery rate sits at 39.2%, below the nation’s 41.9% average.”

“Part of the mismatch in unemployment and job-recovery statistics stems from the fact that Colorado had so many jobs and such a low unemployment rate before the pandemic struck.”

The full DBJ article can be found here.

The Colorado Sun also did a good article dissecting what is going on in our labor market and that can be found here.

Let’s hope for a speedy continued recovery.

Is it Hot in Here?

We are on fire, literally and figuratively.

With wildfires burning and creating haze, we also get to endure what is shaping up to be the second hottest summer on record, at least in terms of days over 90.

This week, we topped that number for the 15th straight day (good for the 8th longest streak ever), and the 65th day over 90.

Those 65 days represent the second highest number of days ever, trailing only 2012 with 73 days over that mark.

The longest streak of 90-degree days is 24, set in 2008 and 2012.

On top of it all, we are now officially in drought conditions, with fire bans in effect and very little precipitation.

So yes, it is EXTREMELY hot “in here” these days.

We hope you are staying cool during these times. The good news is that there may be a little rain coming as we inch into September.

A full recap of our crazy summer weather can be found here, courtesy of the folks at Denver 7.

For those of you looking ahead to a cooler time, the old reliable Farmer’s Almanac seems to think we will have a cold and snowy winter.

Something to look forward to!

Saving Our Restaurants 

They aren’t dead yet, but they are not faring well during COVID.

The Independent Restaurant Coalition has determined that 85% of independent restaurants could be closed in six months.

And while take-out and delivery are helping, fine and casual dining establishments are down 85% and 65% respectively.

That is a staggering number and one that gave us pause.

It appears there may be relief in sight.

5280 Magazine ran a piece on the RESTAURANT act, which we had never heard of.

The program provides $120B in grants to independent restaurants, and specifically targets businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans.

The first 14 days of funding would be available only to the smallest establishments, those with less than 1.5MM in annual revenue.

The bipartisan bill has not yet been passed and the industry is asking our support.

So, if you are passionate about the Denver dining scene and your local watering holes, now is a great time to get involved.

You can contact your congressperson here to make your case.

Getting Organized

One of the hardest parts about COVID is the feeling of having no control over the situation we are in.

Psychologists will tell you that while we don’t control much in our environment, the sense of control can go a long way in reducing our stress.

One of the ways to do that is to take control of your space, and with many of us working from home now, it gets cluttered up even faster.

Enter organizational tactics, from de-cluttering our desks to sorting through our e-mail inboxes. “Being organized helps with a sense of control,” says Ari Meisel, entrepreneur, organization guru and founder of Less Doing, More Living, who focuses on optimizing, automating, and outsourcing daily tasks to reduce stress. “We all need some control in our lives in order to stay motivated.”

Here are some resources to help you do just that. MyMove has a good starter list here.

Good Morning America did a nice piece on organizing as well, and that can be found here.

Finally, for those of you too busy to tackle this stuff yourselves we have the perfect solution. Our friend Allison Welch at As You Wish, is an expert at this.

She has a team of people at the ready to make your lives better, and she can be found here.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for July were Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Cecilia Reyes, Josefina Quinonez and Maria Zapata.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Laura Varela.

We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of July.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

These days being constantly informed of current events is a downer. But there is optimism.  I hear it when I text daily schedule confirmations to our clients.

Bravo to those of you who are parents suddenly coping with homeschooling and home offices, added to a schedule and house already at capacity on a good day. How you keep your sense of humor intact is nothing short of amazing.

From other clients I hear about a cooking mania revisited, books long unread being opened, new movies discovered, a new language, new family connections. There is mention of never before online opportunities like art shows, concerts, museum and city tours.

We are nothing if not resilient and resourceful as a society. Just keep repeating, we will get through this.

Bee

July Newsletter 2020

Our “Real” Fearless Leader

Who are we referring to, you might ask?

If you thought we were talking about our owner, you are wrong. We are talking about our General Manager, Maria Herrera. Way back in 2000 she joined Denver Concierge as a housekeeper. It didn’t take long for the company to realize that we had a star performer on our hands.

We are sure you know Angela as the “client” piece of the operation and the author of the monthly “Queen Bee” feature at the bottom of our newsletter. However, if you have wondered how we organize our teams, handle payroll, safety, and all the other operational stuff behind the scenes….the answer is Maria Herrera, our General Manager.

She doesn’t like the limelight much, but she has done an exemplary job for 20 years!!!!! We are so thankful to have her leading our field operations and making sure your house is spotless.

Sadly, with COVID, we haven’t really been able to celebrate the way we normally do, but we have recognized Maria internally with her service award and our undying gratitude.

Please join me in congratulating Maria for her service and dedication to making sure we are the best cleaning company in Denver!

The New “Work/Life” Reality

It’s hard to believe but for the first time in our history, for most of us, the three major facets of our lives are occurring in our homes.

Work, school, and family life have all converged on us in the place where we live.

From an employer perspective, things like productivity in the face of monumental stress at home is becoming harder and harder to measure. Many companies have suspended performance reviews as they re-work what it all looks like in the “new normal”.

Not to mention the change in remote working that for some of us may be permanent, as companies figure out that the need to have everyone in an office may not be all that we thought it was.

The smart folks at the Stanford Graduate School of business wrote a great piece on this and how it impacts equality and inclusion.

We wanted to share it, the full article can be found here.

Stay balanced Denver.

Denver’s Drinking Problem

Do we have a drinking problem in Denver?

We certainly know more alcohol is being consumed as a result of COVID.

The most recent stats show that 27% of Denverites binge drink regularly. From the 5280 magazine article:

“The standout statistic: More than one in four Denver adults reported binge drinking in the previous 30 days. That puts our penchant for quaffing ahead of residents in every other comparable Western city, including Seattle, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Austin, Texas.”

Liver disease is also up in Denver, with the death rate up 35% between 1999 and 2017.

Fascinating stats, and we are surprised by what we read.

The entire piece can be found here, and it is very comprehensive.

Here is to staying healthy and being keenly aware of the effects of too much alcohol!

Failure vs. Success 

It sure feels nice when things go well. There are fewer greater feelings than when we nail a project at home or at work.

What about when things don’t go as planned?

For us, we always seem to learn more when things go wrong than when they go right.

We found a very cool article from Association Universe that confirms this feeling. From the article:

“The moments where things are hard, where you’ve made a colossal mistake, are likely the most valuable times in life. These moments are filled with lessons that guide us toward success. This is something many people have heard before: We learn from our mistakes, right?  So why do we feel so terrible about making them?”

We loved the brain science behind failure and how we are wired to evolve and learn.

The full article can be found here.

Healthy Home Lifestyle Products 

We draw again here on our friend Marina Daganais of Designer Premier. We love her newsletter and frequently print items from it since she is so in tune with all things home decorating and improvement.

In her blog this month, she writes about healthy lifestyle products that can improve your home.

While some of it is COVID related, such as a touchless faucet (who knew such a thing existed?), she also enlightened us about sanitizing dishwashers as well.

In short, we learned a lot. We also found a great piece from the people at This Old House, with a long list of ways to sanitize and keep your home germ free.

Of course, using Denver Concierge on a regular basis helps as well!!!

Monthly Award Winners

We can finally provide a list of winners over a complete month of work (thank you all for that).

Our monthly award winners for June were Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Maria Zapata, Simona Estrada, and Patricia Rodriguez.

In the Team Leader Ranks, it was Martha Anchondo and Natalia Olivas.

We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

Special congrats to all our hard-working associates who are risking their own safety to make sure your home is clean.

Thanks again to you, our clients, for allowing us to do what we do best.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Quick update on our COVID-19 ongoing procedures:

We continue to have the ladies’ temperatures taken in the morning before dispatch and duly noted.  We also make sure we converse directly with each employee re how they look, feel, their family health etc.

We have ordered what seems like mountains of disinfectants in many forms; towelettes, liquid, foam, cream, and spray.  Masks are mandatory as are gloves. Disinfecting interiors of the vehicles and equipment between houses continues and we are issuing a much larger supply of vacuum bags and rags to each team.

So far, we have been truly fortunate as our ladies and clients have remained healthy.  There will be no letup in our procedures in the foreseeable future.

Be safe, stay sane,

Queen Bee

June Newsletter 2020

COVID-19 Update

As most of you already know, we are back to work. We closed in March as part of the Stay at Home Order. April as well. In May, we went back to work as soon as we could (May 11), with all precautions we could think of in place.

June is our first full month back and we are happy to report, so far so good.

Our precautions seem to be working, and we are thankful that our ladies are well, and not one has shown signs of any illness. As we have mentioned to many of you, the key for us all to stay healthy is to avoid one another while in your homes.

If you aren’t close to our ladies, and they aren’t close to you, we can reduce the risk of any transmission to nearly zero. We know many of you are at home while we clean, if you can ensure that you are in a different area of your home than our cleaning teams, we are certain we are both safe.

Our PPE protects us from any germs that may be on surfaces, so if we continue to distance, we should have no issues.

Beyond those obvious changes, it is business as usual for Denver Concierge. As time passes, we hope that we can get back to normal topics here, but we want to make sure you know that we are being highly vigilant in our efforts.

Thank you from all of us for your trust, support, kindness, and care.

Please stay safe and if you have any questions about our operations or ideas on how we can do better, please let us know.

Green & Proud

We don’t like to toot our own horn. In fact, we rely on your feedback, reviews and loyalty to get us through our days.

However, there is one thing we are super proud of.

Way back in 2008 we led the way in Denver as the very first Certified, Green Clean maid service. In fact, we were the first certified residential company in Colorado.

Sure, many have followed, mostly because of perception and marketing….and because we did it first.

Marketing and perception are not the reasons we went through the certification process.

We did it because taking care of the environment and being responsible corporate citizens was and remains very important to us.

We remain committed to the environment and are happy to announce our recertification.

We go through an annual process to ensure we are operating properly and using only green certified products and procedures.

Full details on the Green Clean Institute and all they do can be found here. We look forward to many more years of doing things the right way.

It’s the only way we know.

Colorado Economy Rebounding

We know things aren’t great. We aren’t anywhere near the robust economy that we were all enjoying before this madness began.

However, there are signs of life.

Colorado added 68,000 jobs in the month of May. That is the good news. The bad news, of course is that only represents 20% of the lost/suspended jobs that this crisis has caused.

Unemployment in May dropped a full two points from 12.2% to 10.2%.

Both of those numbers outpace the national average fairly substantially.

From the DBJ article, “Luke Teater, OSPB deputy director, said in a presentation to the Joint Budget Committee that the state’s small businesses are doing better in aggregate than national small businesses, according to several measurements. The number that are missing rent or utility payments is about 12%, below the national average of 15%, and the number that have had to reduce work hours recently is about 20%, compared to about 25% nationally.”

This is good news. Also, unlike many states, we seem to be managing the transition with no big spikes in cases.

The full article in the Denver Business Journal can be found here.

Can we go out now? Please?  

Last month we mentioned restaurants and how much they need us. It got us thinking….what else are we missing?

We know many of you love the arts. Denver has such a vibrant scene of music, museums, the Zoo, we have been wondering how this could all work in this era.

For starters, all the concerts and shows that we know of have either been rescheduled or cancelled. Too tough to socially distance a concert.

Our friends at the convention center are not faring well either, as there really isn’t an effective way to host meetings of hundreds or thousands with good social distancing.

What about the museums? The Zoo?

The nice people at 5280 Magazine published a good piece on how 9 Denver institutions are reopening. 

This includes the Zoo, Botanic Gardens, the Aquarium, Libraries and more.

Each has its own restrictions and guidelines, but how nice to have some of our cultural mainstays back!!!

I am so proud to be a resident of a state that is handling this so well. Our people seem to understand and for the most part, abide by rules that are allowing us to get back to some sense of living our lives again.

We will join you all in doing our best to resume our lives, safely and responsibly as we try to get back to normal.

Be safe Denver!

The 4 Second Workout

There was a funny scene in a movie with Ben Stiller years ago about “8-minute abs”. The question came up “why not 7-minute abs? Or 6-minute abs?”

Great questions that we can’t answer, but it was a funny scene.

So, when we saw the headline about a 4 SECOND workout, we had to dive in.

It seems that most American adults sit for nearly 10 hours each day. Now that many of us don’t have a commute anymore, we suspect that number is creeping higher.

Now what do we do? Can’t really go to the gym safely right now. If you do, it sure isn’t the way that it used to be, with appointments, distancing and the like.

Many of us don’t have gyms at home.

So how what? From the article, “The health impacts of this inactivity can be considerable, with studies linking prolonged sitting to increased risks for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disruptions. In particular, multiple hours of sitting can contribute to a later rise in the bloodstream of fatty acids, known as triglycerides, probably in part because muscles at rest produce less than contracting muscles do of a substance that breaks up triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides, in turn, are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other metabolic problems.”

It turns out that small bursts of intense activity can potentially assist with the downside of all this sitting.

The full article can be found here, it’s quite interesting. We don’t want the “COVID 15“, so this is definitely something we may try!!

Monthly Award Winners

We misspoke (or wrote) here last month. We were closed in April and only restarted in May, so we still only have a partial month to report.

Look for our list of top performers for the first full month (June) in next month’s newsletter.

I can tell you however that our ladies have been courageous and determined in their efforts to keep working safely and to make sure you are taken care of.

We have not had anyone complain or push back on our new protocols. Our people are fully engaged and so happy to be back doing what they love.

In truth, they all deserve an award.

There really aren’t a lot of words that would effectively describe how we feel about our people.

Their loyalty, grit and love for what they do in your homes shines through every day.

Another salute to our wonderful workforce!!!!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

When the pandemic first started to show itself as the monster that it has become, I think we all felt as if we’d been transferred overnight to an alien world. The reality of it was nigh on impossible to grasp.

Oddly, several months later this world doesn’t seem quite so new. It’s interesting what we can adjust to. Equally interesting is to realize that while many things in our lives have not changed, our perception of them certainly has.

Take Denver Concierge as an example (of course). Once we opened and were cleaning again, getting the teams dispatched in the morning, last minute schedule changes, day to day problems cropping up without notice and many times without precedent; what used to appear as hectic overdrive in the running of a service business suddenly took on an aura of welcome normalcy.

We gained a new appreciation for sameness. The frantic pace was suddenly soothing.

I guess this is my way of saying it’s great to back with you. As always, thank you for inviting us into your homes!

Queen Bee