Real Housewife of New York City Sonja Morgan once regaled viewers of her Bravo reality show with what she considers to be an ideal existence. Its all about the clothes, the travel, the pets, the house, the surroundings. In short, your environment speaks just as much to your character in the housewife world as your appearance. While I may not be a housewife and while I may not live as extravagantly as Ms. Morgan, I would argue that such a creed should apply to all women, mothers and non-parents, Jews and gentiles alike. Note that this is one of the very few times that I took a life lesson from a Real Housewife of any city. That being said, nobody can argue against the fact that keeping a clean home is key. By creating a living space that can only be described as pleasant, homey and well-kept surroundings, your stock is bound to go on the up n’ up. This is where Team Clean comes in. They take care of your dirty work – literally. The weird part is, they actually like it.
Passionate and anal compulsive, Team Clean caters to ridding you of your sense of "ick". Toxins of all kinds have no place in a clean environment according to co-owner Candace Mills, who recently explained Team Clean’s process to me in an impromptu visit she made to the Jewcy HQ. After starting her business only a few weeks ago, Candace had just finished cleaning her first client’s home in New York after seven years of owning and operating Two Chicks and a Broom in Memphis, TN. Curious as to what makes someone get up in the morning and want to clean a home that is not her own, I could not help but sit down with Candace to get a grasp on what made her start Team Clean.
Carrie Goldberg of Jewcy: What made you start a cleaning business? How did that happen?
Candace Mills of Team Clean!: I have a knack for getting really obsessively compulsive, so I thought I should capitalize on that disorder.
CG: Why New York? Things can get pretty disgusting in the small and cramped spaces some of us live in.
CM: Well, we’re just doing our job, which is helping make someone’s life easier. I started Two Chicks and a Broom when I was 23 and then years later I sold it and realized ‘Wow! I can move and do something else.’ It still is the only non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning company in Memphis. Now I realize that I have a real knack for starting these cleaning companies, so I partnered with two people here and we started Team Clean.
CG: Is there anything you won’t clean? Is there a client too dirty for you to take on?
CM: We won’t clean… crime scenes. I’m just a big fan of green cleaning and training people to do that.
CG: Do you train the clients you have to live in a green-clean way outside of your services? I always hated the notion of cleaning for the cleaning lady/service when I was younger. Do you encourage that?
CM: My teamsters, that’s what we call those who work on Team Clean, are available to answer any questions and give advice on how to make the job we do easier and accessible. We are here to educate if clients care to know, if not we will just take care of the mess. We bring all of our own supplies too, which most services do not.
CG: Describe your clean.
CM: It’s a very mindful, thorough clean with a lot of…common sense. You definitely need to have an understanding of the products, how they work, how to move through someone’s space. We work efficiently in the amount of time we have – its really like a dance.
CG: Are the products you use child proof? I know many an Upper West Side mother that wants her children as toxin and paraben free as possible.
CM: Everything is non-toxic and child safe. You could literally bathe in my cleaning products.
Looking for a testimonial, I reached out to Team Clean’s first New York client for details. She reported that she liked "their idea of how clean my house should look, they put things in the places I would put them if I had the time and energy to organize my space, they were incredibly detail oriented."
After hearing about scents Candace has used in the past like geranium and rose-tobacco for her adventurous clientele, I may just be willing to take a bath in her products. Once she told me that she resists the urge to alphabetize peoples DVD collections, I was smitten. Candace brought out the inner anal compulsive that lurks just beneath my overly accessorized exterior and can rid my shower of potential mold and color code my closet any day. After meeting her, I can trust that she will treat my closet’s contents with care as she dances from room to room of my miniature New York space. Once the smell of sweet lavender fades, I’ll know its time to bring back the teamsters for another round of mindful, detail attentive clean.
Visit Team Clean at TeamCleanNYC.com or contact them at TeamCleanNYC@gmail.com / 901.262.6610