December Newsletter 2023

2023 Review and 2024 Outlook 

How was your 2023?

Ours was fun and eventful but much too short!!! As the years go by, they seem to go faster and faster.

We want to be among the first to wish you an incredibly Happy New Year and hope for a prosperous 2024. 

Before we wave goodbye to 2023, we thought we would reflect on our year and share the good and the bad with you.

For starters, the good. Our clients. We love you. It’s not about the money or the reputation, for us it’s about our relationships. With you and your family, with your pets, and with your home in general.

Angela tells me cute stories all the time about her interactions with you and it truly feels like family to us. Thankfully, we employ a lot of happy people as well and each one that cleans your home feels a bond with you, which we appreciate. In short, it’s way more than housecleaning for us, and for that we are grateful. 

You may not realize that we started back in 1998, so for many of you there are 25 years of relationships. Hard to believe really, but here we are, still chugging along, in many cases cleaning the homes of the young children, now adults, that we met way back then.

We also are thankful for our many partners and contributors, and we feel like those relationships got even stronger in 2023. Coming out of the weird “pandemic times” seems to have brought many of us closer, which is also a wonderful feeling.

So, what could have been better in 2023?

Well, those of you who know us well know that we suffer from painful honesty as we traverse this world of commerce, so we will tell it like it is.

The labor situation across the Front Range is challenging at best. 

You may not be aware that Denver had the third-highest statutory minimum wage in the United States at $17.29. That will be rising in 2024 to $18.29. We absolutely hate raising prices, but with the majority of our costs coming from labor, our fine city has left us no choice. 

If you look at recent history, you can see why local businesses are facing such pressure. 

The citywide minimum wage was $12.85 per hour in 2020, $14.77 per hour in 2021, $15.87 per hour in 2022, and $17.29 per hour in 2023. The 2024 wage represents a 42% increase from 2020. Pretty startling when you see it in print. 

Also startling is that the federal minimum wage is still only $7.25. Wow.

Related to labor in 2023, we have also had difficulty hiring the right people to clean your homes. We will not hire just anyone, as we believe what we do and how we do it is quite different than anyone else, so this was a challenge as well.

Going forward into 2024 we vow to do everything in our power to offset the headwinds that are facing our business (and most others). We will continue to do everything possible to keep our costs down so we can manage our pricing effectively and give you the value we know you desire.

Angela has some pointers about how to keep the cost of your cleans down going forward, see this month’s Queen Bee feature below to learn more.

We are committed to remaining consistent and delivering the Front Range’s best housecleaning service. If for any reason you ever feel like we aren’t doing that, please let us know immediately. We stand behind what we do 100% and can’t live with anyone feeling unsatisfied.

So onward into 2024. For those of you who make resolutions, we found some tips about just how to keep them.

We wish you the best for 2024 and hope that it is a wonderful and truly magnificent year for every one of you.

As always, you have our gratitude and our commitment to be the best partner you and your home can ask for.

Happy New Year!!!

Pay Those Red Light Tickets

Ah yes, the old red-light tickets and photo traffic enforcement. For years we weren’t sure about whether or not they had to be paid. 

In fact, in Colorado before June of this year, we technically didn’t have to, unless we were served in person.

In a little-publicized law that was enacted this past June, that is no longer the case.

From the article on Fox News, “The new law passed in June says that when your citation is mailed first class, it’s been served to you. It doesn’t matter if it was sent to an old address, or you claim that you didn’t get it in the mail.”

“As soon as they send it out, you’re affirmed guilty,” said Ramirez. “It doesn’t matter if they have the right address or right anything, it’s on you to make sure that all your information is up to date, make sure all your licensing and information is up to date, at all times. Because if it’s not, that isn’t necessarily going to be an excuse for the fine.”

Looks like another revenue stream for our government indeed.

Should you fail to pay within 30 days, the fine will go up, and ultimately you will be sent to collection, which could negatively impact your credit rating.

The complete article on the law change can be found here.

The bill and all of its juicy details can be found here, in case you want to see the nuts and bolts.

Finally, we found a comprehensive list of all red light and traffic cameras here, in case you want to be on the lookout.

Do be aware though, that there are temporary cameras that are often set up in places not on this list, so keep your guard up!!

2024 Lower Heating Bills 

Not long ago, we covered the increases we have all had to endure with our monthly energy bills.

It appears Xcel has listened and there is good news coming.

From the recent article in the Denver Business Journal, “Xcel said Friday it expects monthly natural gas bills for home heating to drop by 4.5% on average in the first quarter of next year compared to current prices, and the typical monthly bill will drop 28% when compared to what it was in the first quarter of 2023.”

“That’s an average residential savings of $4.87 per month compared to bills for heating this month and represents a typical heating bill reduction of $39.11 per month compared to what the typical homeowner paid Xcel for natural gas heating at the start of 2023, the utility said.”

“For small businesses, the heating bills in January-March will drop 5.14%, saving small companies on average $23.28 per month and making the typical small-business heating bill $429.46. Compared to the first-quarter bills in 2023, the prices will shave $186.45 per month off the $615.91 monthly bill the average small business paid at the start of 2023.”

This is great news for all of us and a fine way to start 2024. 

The complete article from the Denver Business Journal can be found here.

The Denver Post also did a piece today on what we can expect going forward into ’24. For those of you with a Post subscription, that article can be found here.

In this inflationary economy, every bit helps, so we are excited about this development!

Denver’s Best Restaurants New and Old 

It’s been a while since we discussed Denver’s dining scene.

We still love to eat and enjoy Denver’s great culinary scene, so here goes.

Let’s start with 5280’s list of the best new restaurants in our fine city.

From Chilean food to two new French restaurants, Denver has us covered. That dish in the photo is courtesy of LeFrench, and it looks delicious to us.

The complete list of newcomers to our dining scene can be found here, thanks to 5280 Magazine.

We love novel places, but we also love our staples.

So, what are the best 25 restaurants across the Front Range?

Well, avid reader, you might recognize some of the staples on this list. Frasca (Boulder) for example, is a perennial member of the list.

Uchi has also made this list before, but we also found many establishments that we haven’t tried yet that look fascinating. 

We can, however, recommend A5 as one of the best steaks we have ever had, including a bavette and tri-tip cut one rarely sees in restaurants. 

The complete list of the top 25 restaurants in Denver can be found here.

Unfortunately, they aren’t ranked in any order, so we will have to try them all and see for ourselves.

Hope to see you out there, fellow diners.

Home Downsizing for Seniors

By Guest Writer Max Stevens, National Contractors Association

You’re embarking on an exciting new chapter, transitioning into a smaller, more manageable living space that will ensure both your continued safety and a reduction in expenses. However, this journey requires careful planning and consideration, especially when it involves leaving a home filled with memories and possessions. In this article, courtesy of Denver Concierge, we’ll offer a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through this significant life change efficiently and thoughtfully.

Estate Planning Insights

As you consider selling your cherished home, it’s crucial to understand the estate planning implications. Consulting with an estate planner ensures that decisions about property ownership and inheritance are well-informed. They will guide you through potential tax impacts, helping you preserve your financial legacy for your loved ones. This step is vital for peace of mind and financial clarity.

Tech-Savvy Home Prep

In preparing your current home for sale, technology can be your ally. Home management apps are invaluable, connecting you with reliable contractors for necessary updates or repairs. For instance, if your home requires appliance repair, these apps can be a quick, efficient solution that allow you to find the best service for your budget. Leveraging technology streamlines the process, making your transition smoother and more efficient.

Evaluating Care Options

For some, the best downsizing option might be a skilled nursing facility, offering specialized care and support. Thoroughly research facilities online, examining each one’s services, reputation, and care quality. This decision is deeply personal and requires thoughtful consideration of your health, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Making an informed choice will ensure comfort and peace of mind in your new home.

Refinancing Strategies

Consider the financial benefits of refinancing your existing home. In an ever-changing economic landscape, refinancing might offer more favorable interest rates or access to additional funds, aiding your downsizing transition. This financial move could provide you with more liquidity or better mortgage terms, aligning with your current needs and future plans.

Declutter with Expertise

Downsizing often means parting with possessions that won’t fit in your new space. Hiring a professional organizer can transform this daunting task into an achievable, even enjoyable, process. They’ll help you sort through belongings, decide what to keep, donate, or discard, making your move smoother and less overwhelming. Their expertise can turn a challenging task into a liberating experience. You can also hire a professional cleaning crew to come in and help you prepare your home for sale, which will cut down on potential trip-and-fall hazards and ensure that the space is ready for your buyers.

Market Timing Mastery

Understanding the real estate market’s current state is essential before selling your home. The market’s condition significantly influences sale prices and the ease of finding a buyer. Conduct thorough research or consult a real estate expert to determine the best time to sell. Timing your move right could lead to a more profitable and stress-free selling experience.

Tax-Savvy Moving

Investigating potential tax exemptions or deductions related to downsizing is a crucial step in optimizing your financial strategy. A consultation with a tax professional could uncover opportunities to maximize the financial benefits of your move, which might otherwise be overlooked. Understanding these tax implications can lead to significant savings, directly impacting your financial health during this transition.

Your journey to downsizing is a multi-faceted process that involves more than just moving to a smaller space; it’s about making informed, strategic decisions for a comfortable and secure future. By thoroughly considering key aspects and utilizing tools such as a home maintenance repair app, you lay the foundation for a smooth transition. Embracing this change with confidence comes from knowing that you are well-prepared and have considered all angles of this life shift. This new chapter in your life, filled with potential and promise, is a testament to your thoughtful planning and readiness for change.

Ready to get some help with cleaning your home? Get in touch with the team at Denver Concierge today to learn more about the services you can choose from.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for November were Maria Zapata, Mary Moreno, Josefina Quinonez, Haydee Espinosa, and Patricia Rodriguez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Brenda Garcia 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 are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Be on the lookout next month as we announce our annual winners for 2023!

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Recently I have been receiving client texts asking what you can do as clients to make your housecleaning day more efficient, i.e., more timely and less costly, without forgoing the quality.

The following scenario, while likely unattainable in its entirety,  will illustrate the various traits that go into creating the optimum clean. 

On the clean day, the best scenario; a team arrives, parks next to the house, uses a code or key to enter.  Clients are not home.  Pets are corralled in a pet area, surfaces are uncluttered, and floors are free of clothing and toys.

Instructions have been relayed via text to the Team Leader at the time of dispatch so each team member knows her specific task.  Starting at the top of the house the team works its way down to the bottom, like clockwork, no hindrances. Orderly, efficient, detailed, and timely.

Obviously, individual family lifestyles, size, furnishings, and schedules all go into what aspects of the above scenario could be adopted on any given clean day.

More clients now work from home, unexpected workers or guests show up, science or craft projects need to remain in place; however, even managing one or two small aspects from the above will help with the overall efficiency.

And keep in mind, I am just a text away for any questions.

Bee

November Newsletter 2023

No Stress Holiday Season 

Ah the holidays, we love ’em. Well mostly, anyway.

We love the time with family and friends, but we don’t love the stress of holiday shopping, the commercial madness, and just how tense most folks seem to be.

So, for 2023, we are making a vow to de-stress this holiday season. That starts with a clean house, hopefully!!! We are here for your holiday cleaning, as usual, but wanted to provide other ways to de-stress and make this the best holiday season ever.

If this looks like you, then maybe join us on our journey!

For starters, see below for one of our favorite people to help you do just that. You can outsource a number of different things, including decor, gift-buying, and party planning to name a few. Read on for details.

Beyond that, Johns Hopkins put out a short list of tips to destress, and we also found a good list by mellowed.com which can be found here.

It’s easy to forget the meaning of the holidays when you feel like the person in the photo above. We hope your holiday season is exactly the opposite this year and leads you into a wonderful 2024.

Finally, we will be closed on Monday, December 25th for Christmas Day, and Monday, January 1st for the start of the new year and to give our folks a much-needed break or two.

We wish you all the best for a peaceful and stress-free holiday season!!!!

Tax Law Changes

Did you know there are seven tax brackets in the U.S. tax code?

The marginal rates — 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37% — remain unchanged from 2023.

While the rates themselves are not changing, due to inflation, the amount needed to hit each bracket has been adjusted upward.

This is done so cost of living increases don’t result in a bigger tax burden for taxpayers.

For example, in 2023, if you earned $89,450 you were at the top of the 12% bracket, with $190,750 at the top of the next bracket at 22%.

In 2024, those numbers change to $94,300 and $201,750, respectively.

The standard deduction has also been changed, with the single deduction going from $13,850 to $14,600, and the married joint-filing deduction from  $27,700 to $29,200. 

There are also changes to gift taxes, estate taxes, and HSA/FSA allowed amounts. 

Nerd Wallet did a comprehensive piece on this and all the changes and it can be found here.

Home Design Trends 2024 

What will be new in 2024 in terms of home design trends?

Well, we are glad you asked, because we have the scoop!!!

For starters, there will be a move away from minimalism.

From our friend Marina Dagenais at Designer Premier, “Home decor trends in 2024 will see a seismic shift away from minimalism.” “Colorful interiors are upstaging simple all-white interiors, grays, and black color schemes.”

“Thankfully, there are many ways to take the plunge and transform your home into a vibrant and unique space. These nine tips for incorporating color into your home interiors will prove minimalism isn’t the only way!”

Marina is always plugged into the latest design trends, and we found an article on Business Insider that backs up her predictions.

Marina did a wonderful blog about the new trends away from minimalism and goes into detail on bright wallpaper, textured rugs and the like, you can view that here.

Finally, one of our favorite things (we don’t know why) is the Pantone Color of the Year. The winner? 

Apricot Crush, of course.

As always, for interior design tips as well as finding the best interior designer, contact Marina here.

Partners We Love 

One of our favorite partners is Allison Welch of As You Wish. 

Allison is the founder of As You Wish, a personal assistant, event planner, and concierge. 

She and her wonderful team are available this holiday season to assist with just about anything you can imagine.

From personal shopping to party planning, the team at As You Wish are the consummate professionals.

From Allison directly: “If you are looking for more TIME this holiday season, our team of personal assistants can help with shopping, party planning, wrapping gifts, and all of your holiday decor”.

Having worked with Allison directly for years, we highly recommend her services.

She has many great testimonials and they can be found here.

To reach Allison and the As You Wish team, you can email them at [email protected], or by clicking here.

Here’s to a stress-free holiday season!!!

Is your Phone Secure?

Do you have an iPhone? If so, you should be aware of the latest security issue facing Apple’s flagship product.

It appears that following the recent update of IOS, iPhones can “trade” contact information with other iPhones.

The latest “feature” is called NameDrop and per Apple’s website: “With iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1, you can use NameDrop to quickly share contact information with a nearby iPhone or Apple Watch,” 

The ease and quickness of sharing information from phones has police sounding security alarms, while others believe the message is not necessary.

We aren’t taking any chances.

The feature defaults to “on”, so to turn Apple’s NameDrop feature off, go to settings → general → AirDrop, then tap the green button next to “start sharing by bringing devices together.” The green section should turn gray when it is off. 

Security issues aren’t just limited to iPhones either, they just have the most current and newsworthy issue.

Regardless of which phone you have, the end of the year is always a good time to check passwords and do security reviews on our devices.

A good checklist on how to proceed can be found here.

There are lots of creative scams out there that we should all be aware of. The folks at ZDNet came up with a list of the top 9 security risks for mobile devices and it can be found here.

When in doubt, don’t accept anything that pops up on your phone unless you are 100% certain you know the source.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for October were Maria Zapata, Mary Moreno, Guadalupe Coloco, Josefina Quinonez, and Yesica Censo.

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

As the year winds down, stay tuned for our “best of the best” winners for the entire year.

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

We are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

As we move into the winter season,I am starting to receive client questions on how best to leave a holiday gift for the ladies who clean your homes.

To be clear, tipping is always absolutely optional. Denver Concierge employees are paid a generous wage, and unlike employees in the restaurant business, do not rely on tips to balance out their pay.

However, should a client wish to give a gift, the best way to go about it is to leave it with a small card bearing the Team Leader’s name. She will know who has been working in your house the most consistently throughout the year and can share accordingly.

An equally simple way is to leave the gift with the Team Leader to be taken to the office. The office staff will know how to distribute fairly and ensure that the ladies know who the gift is from.

In any case we thank you for inviting Denver Concierge into your homes over the past year and for your kindness of spirit toward our ladies. We especially thank your four-legged members for their consistently enthusiastic welcome each and every visit. 

Happy Holidays!

Bee

September Newsletter 2023

How Clean is Your Air? 

One thing few of us seem to think about is air quality, especially indoors. Who out there has ever heard of a VOC?

We know all about VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and their effects on our health and environment. We had to, as part of our Green Clean Institute annual certification, discussed in past newsletters.

VOCs are a diverse group of chemicals that can easily vaporize into the air, emanating from various household sources such as paints, cleaning products, furniture, and even some building materials. While they are essential components of many products, high levels of VOCs can have adverse health effects, including headaches, respiratory issues, and even long-term health risks.

We try to do our part over here at Denver Concierge, and while we can’t do much about VOCs we can help improve indoor air quality (IAQ) by way of our very deep cleaning. 

A thorough deep housecleaning can significantly improve IAQ by removing dust, allergens, pollutants, and contaminants that accumulate in your home over time. Here’s how it works:

  1. Dust and Allergen Removal: Dust is a common source of indoor air pollution and can contain allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. Deep cleaning involves dusting, vacuuming, and wiping surfaces to eliminate these particles, preventing them from circulating in the air and triggering allergies or respiratory issues.
     
  2. Mold and Mildew Control: Damp or humid areas in your home can foster the growth of mold and mildew, which release spores and mycotoxins into the air. Deep cleaning tackles these areas, reducing the risk of mold-related health problems.
     
  3. Pet Hair and Dander: If you have pets, deep cleaning helps remove pet hair and dander from carpets, furniture, and other surfaces. This can significantly reduce allergens in the air.
     
  4. Chemical and VOC Reduction: Cleaning products and household items can release volatile organic compounds into the air. Denver Concierge uses only eco-friendly and low-VOC cleaning solutions, minimizing the introduction of harmful chemicals into your indoor environment.
     
  5. Reduction of Pest Allergens: Deep cleaning can help control pests and their allergens, such as cockroach droppings. Proper sanitation can deter pests and reduce their impact on IAQ.

In summary, deep housecleaning removes various sources of indoor air contaminants and reduces allergens and pollutants. Regular deep cleaning, in conjunction with good housekeeping practices, can lead to a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment, ultimately enhancing IAQ and the well-being of occupants.

Beyond housecleaning, there are other ways to improve IAQ, including these ideas by the EPA.

Also, some practical tips from realsimple.com can be found here.

There is even a school of thought that plants can assist in keeping our air fresh. Read on for a great piece by guest writer Jo Ellen Myers Sharp on the usefulness of various plants in your home, including ones that not only smell good but deter insects!!!

Thanks for letting us help keep your air clean and healthy!!!

Leaf Peepers Rejoice

Fall arrived quickly, and it is a wonderful time to enjoy the beauty of nature in Colorado, especially near Denver, where there are many scenic drives and hikes that showcase the vibrant colors of the aspen trees.

Whether you are looking for a short trip or a full-day adventure, here are some of the best places to see fall foliage near Denver.

•  Guanella Pass: This 22-mile road connects Georgetown and Grant, and offers stunning views of Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans. You can see aspens turning gold at elevations from 8,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. There are also many hiking trails along the pass, such as the Silver Dollar Lake Trail and the Bierstadt Trail.

•  Peak to Peak Highway: This 55-mile route runs from Black Hawk to Estes Park, passing through Nederland, Ward, and Allenspark. You can enjoy the views of the Continental Divide and Rocky Mountain National Park. You can also stop by the historic towns and attractions, such as the Carousel of Happiness in Nederland and the Chapel on the Rock in Allenspark

•  San Juan Skyway: This 236-mile loop takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in southern Colorado, including the San Juan Mountains and the San Juan National Forest. Along with beautiful fall colors, you can explore the charming towns of Durango, Dolores, Telluride, and Ouray.

You can also visit the Mesa Verde National Park and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad along the way.

The fine folks at Denver.org published a great list of day trips for leaf peeping and it can be found here.

More info from Thrillist as well.

Finally, our friends at 5280 Magazine published their list of day trips with 20 hikes near Denver that are “perfect for fall”.

These are just some of the best places to see fall foliage near Denver, but there are many more to discover. So grab your camera and your jacket, and head out to enjoy the splendor of autumn in Colorado.

Plants That Repel Mosquitos? 

By Guest Writer Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the fragrance of roses or honeysuckle repelled insects? They don’t, but some plants with an enjoyable smell do deter mosquitoes and other pests.

The trick is these plants themselves might not have an enjoyable scent – or any smell at all – but they yield a fragrance when turned into an essential oil or when leaves are rubbed together that will keep away mosquitoes and other bugaboos.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look (or sniff) at basil, catnip, citronella grass, lavender, and mint. All of these plants are commonly found in herb gardens, cat toys, flower gardens, and yards in Denver’s best neighborhoods.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) 

Probably one of the freshest fragrances of summer, basil adds a wonderful brightness to many foods. It is prized for its flavorful leaves, and like other insect-repelling plants, it’s the oil in basil that fends off insects.

You may find some repellant if basil leaves are rubbed on your skin. Basil also may be helpful when crushed and rubbed on insect bites.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Cats love catnip and so do bees and other pollinators, but the magic repellant in catnip comes after the leaves are crushed and rubbed on the skin.

Catnip is in the mint family, however, and can spread quickly to take over a garden. Catmint (N. racemosa) is a catnip relative and cats like it, too, but it is a clump grower rather than a spreader. 

Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) 

True citronella – that scent that repels mosquitoes via candles, tiki torches, and coil bracelets – comes from citronella grass, a lemongrass-like plant.

However, unlike edible lemongrass (C. citratus), citronella grass, an annual, is not edible. Rather, its stalks are harvested for their essential oil. That’s the oil found in candles and other products with citronella as an ingredient.  

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

A beautiful and fragrant plant, English lavender is a popular small woody perennial in pollinator gardens. If lavender attracts buzzing insects, will it deter others?

Two types of lavender are recommended for the Colorado landscape. English lavender and lavandin (L. latifolia). English lavender usually blooms twice a season. Lavandin plants are larger, but they bloom only once. 

The best bug-fighting part of lavender is its essential oils. Look for lavender oil at health food stores and other similar outlets. Rub the oil on the parts of the body you want to protect.

All is not lost with lavender plants, though. Harvest the stems, pick off, and lightly chop the leaves to mix with scones, ice cream, or other food. Yum!

Mints (Mentha spp.) 

Mint plants alone won’t deter insects, but the oils of peppermint, spearmint, and other mints have repellant characteristics. Research shows the oil – menthol – has insect-fighting qualities.

Remember mints can spread way beyond their space with underground stems (rhizomes). Mints have many other uses in the home garden, however. They can be harvested for teas, jellies, salads, and other food and drinks, including mojitos and mint juleps.  

What We’ve Learned 

These and many other plants are credited with repelling insects while smelling good. While we appreciate the fragrance of these plants, we also recognize that the bug-fighting attributes come from the essential oils rather than the plants themselves.

While rubbing the leaves of these plants on your skin to fend off insects may help, it’s not as effective as using the essential oils associated with the plants. Some people may have an allergic reaction to essential oils rubbed on the skin, so test a patch first.

One option is to place aromatic plants in pots on the deck or plant them around the patio in the hopes of keeping insects away. But will plants alone repel bugs and other pests? You might want to light a citronella candle or tiki torch, especially if you want to keep away mosquitoes.

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp is an award-winning garden writer, editor, and speaker. Known as a hortiholic, she frequently says her eyes are too big for her yard. Find her blog at hoosiergardener.com.

Colorado’s New Laws 

We recently wrote about Colorado’s new “move over law” as well as the crackdown on crossing solid white lines in traffic.

What other laws are hitting the books this fall? Effective October 1st, the following new laws are in effect throughout our fine state:

• A law that requires a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases and allows victims of gun violence to sue the firearm industry for knowingly breaching.

•  A law that changes the right-of-way rules in roundabouts, giving priority to larger vehicles such as buses and trucks.

•  A law that clarifies the 48-hour bond hearing requirement for people in jail.

•  A law that reclassifies certain felony offenses, such as aggravated cruelty to animals.

•  A law that expands the eligibility for postconviction DNA testing for people who claim innocence.

•  A law that prohibits landlords from requiring tenants to waive certain legal rights in their leases, such as the right to participate in class-action lawsuits or jury trials.

•  A law that regulates the sale and possession of “ghost guns”, which are firearms that are not serialized or registered. However, some provisions of this law will not take effect until January 1, 2024.

Be careful in those roundabouts!

Maintaining Mental Acuity

As we journey through life, one constant companion is the inexorable passage of time. With each passing year, our bodies and minds undergo natural changes, including shifts in cognitive function.

Sadly, we know many of you have had experience with aging family members and we have as well.

It makes us wonder what can be done to slow the aging process of the brain, and just exactly how we “stay sharp” as we age.

The good news is that there are ways to slow down mental aging and maintain sharpness, reducing the risk of conditions like dementia. We rustled up the best tips we could find online below:

  1. Stay Physically Active: Regular exercise not only benefits your body but also boosts brain health. It increases blood flow to the brain, encourages the growth of new neurons, and enhances cognitive function.
     
  2. Mental Stimulation: Engage your brain through lifelong learning. Read books, solve puzzles, learn a new language, or take up a musical instrument. These activities challenge your brain and keep it agile.
     
  3. A Balanced Diet: Proper nutrition is crucial. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in vitamins E and C all support brain health.
     
  4. Adequate Sleep: Sleep is essential for memory consolidation and cognitive functioning. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
     
  5. Social Connections: Maintain strong social networks. Interacting with friends and family stimulates brain activity and emotional well-being.
     
  6. Stress Management: Chronic stress can damage the brain. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation or mindfulness to reduce stress levels.
     
  7. Brain-Boosting Supplements: Some supplements, like ginkgo biloba or vitamin D, may support brain health, but consult with a healthcare professional before adding them to your routine.
     
  8. Regular Check-ups: Monitor your overall health, as conditions like hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol can negatively impact cognitive function.

The National Institute for Aging published a list of ways to combat mental decline and it can be found here.

By adopting these practices into your lifestyle, you can significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Finally, a fine list of tips on memory improvement can be found here, courtesy of the University of St. Augustine.

Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start working on your brain health. Embrace these habits, and you’ll be well on your way to a sharper, more vibrant mind throughout your life’s journey.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for August were Mary Moreno, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Haydee Espinosa, and Fernanda Gonzalez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Mayra Soto and Socorro Ibarra.

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

We are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

In response to a question I am frequently asked, we do not offer fixed quotes for house cleaning. We don’t feel that a walkthrough of taking notes while speaking to a client will result in a true reading of the time required to clean.

Quotes, by their nature, are based on an estimated time to do a job. If a quote is too low, there are two ways to deal with it. The team must work faster, or the company will lose money on that clean.

Neither option works for us. To put a time limit on a clean is not only unfair to our employees, but it most certainly would result in less than our trademark quality.

Denver Concierge has been in business for over 25 years based on the quality of our cleaning. We are the cat’s meow of home cleaning, paws down. We are certainly not going to jeopardize that.

As for losing money on our cleans due to erroneous estimates, well that would just be dumb. We don’t want clients losing either, by potentially overpaying if our time is off the other way on a given day.

Bottom line, we charge by the hour for a team to professionally, efficiently, thoroughly, and pleasantly clean your home for you and your family. Including the furry ones! 

Bee

August Newsletter 2023

New Cancellation Policy

Ok, not yet, but we hope it caught your eye, as it could be coming soon.

We pride ourselves in being a full-service outfit over here at Denver Concierge. However, we seem to be running into a very high number of cancellations, many at the last minute.

If you get to read Angela’s Queen Bee down below, it dovetails very nicely into the problem we are having. Our teams want to work, and when we get last-minute cancellations, there is nowhere for them to go.

Unlike other cleaning companies that pay by the house, we start paying our folks as soon as they clock in at the office. So, we end up paying a team of three people to go have coffee. Not to mention the cost of driving to get to the first job only to be locked out or cancelled at the last minute.

Needless to say, this raises our costs unnecessarily, and over time puts pressure on pricing as well. We don’t think it’s fair that clients that never cancel should bear the burden of people that do.

For the record, we have never charged for cancellations or lockouts, although many of our competitors do just that.

As you might imagine, we are in a conundrum. Life happens as they say, and most times there isn’t anything that can be done about emergencies. We have no issue with that and never will. That’s just part of trying to be a great company providing great service.

However, if we have a client that has canceled frequently, and at the last minute, we may have to reconsider our current stance. At a minimum, we may need to have a chat about whether or not that client should remain on their current schedule.

We are asking for your help. If you need to cancel, we fully understand, but would respectfully ask that it is done prior to the night before if at all possible. This will allow our scheduling folks to work their magic and make sure we are staffed properly for the jobs on the schedule.

In a perfect world, we would have a couple of days’ notice to shuffle things. Anything the night before or the day of is basically a nightmare for us, and results in all the bad stuff described above.

So, for now, there is no new policy, but we want to try and enlist your help with the problem, in the hopes we won’t need one.

Meanwhile, thank you for being a loyal client of our locally-owned company.

We will continue to strive to keep our costs down so you get a fair value for your price.  

We appreciate you and will always do our best to work with you when “life happens”.

Navigating Denver

Have you ever driven around downtown Denver and wondered just how drunk the city planners were when they laid out the streets?

We have been here a long time and we still aren’t sure what the rhyme or reason is. 

Did you know Denver has 225 one-way streets?

We didn’t either until we started snooping around at how our city is actually laid out.

We learned a lot! Did you know that there are two alphabetical groups that you can find on streets that run north and south? 

One group goes from east to west and the other from north to south.

Stick with us here.

The east-west streets are named for Native American tribes and begin with Acoma, ending in Zuni.

From west to east, and east of Colorado Boulevard, you’ll find Albion Street, followed by Ash Street to the east. This first alphabetical group goes from west to east and has two streets per letter.

More detail from the Fox 31 article can be found here.

If you want to go down the rabbit hole on the real origins of Denver’s street patterns, we found an amazing piece by Confluence Denver and it can be found here.

It all goes back to two rival settlements that combined way back in 1860. I suppose we should forgive them for not laying this thing out a bit better.

For now, we hope this helps you understand how this all came about, and hopefully where you might be next time you look up at a confusing street sign or wonder if you are pointing north or south.

Senior Moving Guide

Aging is tough. It becomes even tougher when you cannot function well inside your current home or need to move as you get older.

We also have a lot of clients and partners who are taking care of parents who are going through the same thing.

While the emotional part of moving an aging parent is hard to describe, there are practical considerations as well.

That’s where our friends at senioradvice.com come in. 

They put together a great resource for moving as a senior on their affiliate site caring.com.

From the intro to the article:

“For most people, aging brings a new set of challenges. New health problems may affect your ability to live independently, financial challenges make it tougher to maintain your lifestyle and adult children moving to faraway places may make you feel less connected to your home.”

“Some people move every few years or even more frequently, while others remain rooted in the same location for decades. But for many people, there comes a time in old age when it becomes necessary to move.”

“While relocating is never easy, moving as a senior carries its own difficulties. If you or a loved one is moving into an assisted living or memory care facility due to declining health, the very reason for the move will likely make the process even more difficult. A lifetime of accumulated possessions might be squirreled away in your home. And if the move is due to financial stress, moving itself can be expensive.”

We found it to be a very informative piece and we thank our friend Julia Walker for reaching out with this. 

The complete article can be found here, and we wish you patience and grace if you are experiencing this currently.

Denver Food and Wine Festival 

If you are a longtime reader of our newsletter, you know we love a good meal out.

Enter the annual Denver Food and Wine Festival. 

Billed as “A Multi-Day Extravaganza of Food Wine and Spirits”, we say yes, please.

The entire event will run from September 6-9 and features many great events and opportunities to engage with some of Denver’s best in the business.

From the “Shake and Brake” Showdown on September 7th, to the Grand Tasting on the 9th, this looks like a fun (and filling) event.

Reidel is also sponsoring a wine glass and tasting seminar (you get some great wine glasses if you go) which we love.

Full details of this cool event can be found here.

We hope to see you there!

Worst Drivers in the U.S.

Finally, a naughty list that Denver didn’t win on.

We meet a lot of folks from all over and nearly everyone thinks the drivers in their city are “awful”. 

We aren’t sure about why that phenomenon is, although most people think they are better at driving than they really are.

The good news is that for 2023, Denver did not make this list. 

Although the drivers in Lakewood and Pueblo said “Hold my beer”, as they managed to sneak into the top (bottom?) 20 in poor driving.

Consumer Affairs did a complete study on this for 2023 and the methodology is explained as well. 

The safest city? Green Bay, Wisconsin. No Colorado cities made that list.

Finally, Forbes did a similar review of bad driving by state, and we didn’t make that list either.

It can be found here.

So, next time someone says “Denver drivers are the worst!”, you will have some data to prove them wrong.

Safe driving!!!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for July were Maria Zapata, Sandra Vidales, Josefina Quinonez, Guadalupe Caloca, and Silvia Anguiano.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Mayra Soto and Martha Rosales.

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

We are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Our employees show up at the dispatch office every morning because they want to work.

Last-minute lockouts or cancellations during the day do not please them, as going home early means they lose hours and wages.   

It is disappointing to have their day cut short, unlike many less enthusiastic workers who might relish the idea of getting half a day off. 

With this in mind, our employees have done some really random things in their determination to clean the houses they were assigned for the day.   

Any request by a client in need is considered.

Forgot to leave the key? Can they climb over the side fence?   Forgot to have the dog sitter meet the team? Can the smallest team member squeeze through the doggy door?  You request and we do our best to oblige.

At times our teams will use their own initiative, which doesn’t always work out the way it should, but no one has ever been hurt, no property ever damaged, no dog or cat let loose. Thankfully, no harm has been done. 

A special thanks to our clients who find the humor in some of our maneuvers and have to defend us against a neighbor or household member who persists in questioning the logic when oft times there is none.

Suffice it to say that our intentions are always good. 

Bee

July Newsletter 2023

Green With Envy

Ok, not us, we try not to engage in envy.

But hopefully, our competitors do, because for the 16th straight year, we have been recertified 100% green by the Green Clean Institute.

In fact, we were the first cleaning company in Colorado to achieve this prestigious certification. It requires not only that we use products that are 100% certified green, but that our staff is trained as well.

We have to re-certify each year, and we are very proud that we have achieved this again in 2023. As a side note, we are currently the only cleaning company listed in the GCI directory in 2023 in Denver. Wow. 

We used to have a couple of competitors that were listed next to us, but it seems they have given up the pursuit.

The moral of the story for us is very clear. We are committed to doing things the right way, every time. Sure, it costs money and time to maintain our certification, but we do it simply because it’s the right thing to do.

We aren’t smart enough to understand all the ins and outs of our climate, our planet, and what is causing what. All we know is that we are trying to do our part. We hope that brings you a little comfort when you use our locally owned company.

For some reasons to use green products, the folks at Spruce came up with 10 Reasons to Start Green Cleaning Today and it can be found here.

We will always do our best to be unique in the way that we clean, communicate with you, and take care of your home. More importantly, we appreciate each and every one of you and we value our relationships beyond just being your housecleaner. 

We also take the responsibility of “taking care” of your home as seriously as we “take care” of the environment. We hope it shows through every day.

Thank you, as always, for your support and your business.

Social Security Myths 

Have you ever heard that our Social Security system is running out of money?

We have, and for those of us that have paid in for a very long time, it is quite alarming.

However, it isn’t true. At least not now.

Our fine friends over at Edward Jones published a great article entitled “5 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe about Social Security”.

AARP also did a great article on this. From that article: “As long as workers and employers pay payroll taxes, Social Security will not run out of money. It’s a pay-as-you-go system: Revenue coming in from FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and SECA (Self-Employed Contributions Act) taxes largely cover the benefits going out.”

“Social Security does face funding challenges. For decades it collected more than it paid out, building a surplus that stood at $2.83 trillion at the end of 2022. But the system is starting to pay out more than it takes in, largely because the retiree population is growing faster than the working population, and living longer. Without changes in how Social Security is financed, the surplus is projected to run out in 2034, according to the latest annual report from the program’s trustees.”

While that is the biggest myth we hear about Social Security, there are others, such as the annual COLA being guaranteed, the effective age is 65, etc.

These and other myths (along with the truth about each) can be found in the articles above. 

We were very relieved to know that it does not appear that Social Security is going broke anytime soon. Whew.

New “Move Over” Law Coming

We do our best to keep our readers informed about changes in our fine city and state that might affect them.

This new law is one of those things to pay attention to.

You are probably already aware that Colorado law requires drivers to move over for emergency vehicles.

The law requires a driver who is overtaking an emergency vehicle, tow vehicle, or public utility vehicle that is parked on the side of the road to reduce and maintain a safe speed, as follows:

  • 25 miles per hour if the speed limit is less than 45 miles per hour; or
  • At least 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit if the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or more.

So, what is the new law? 

Starting August 7, drivers will be required to behave the same way for ANY vehicle with hazard lights on.

The same requirements from the previous law (above) apply. Failure to do so, if caught, will result in a $100 fine and DMV points off your license, so beware.

It seems like a sensible law to us, and we sure don’t need a ticket.

We hope this helps keep you from getting one as well!

The full law can be found here, at Colorado CDOT. 

Scam Avoidance 

Dang, scams are everywhere. 

If we get one more personalized email from someone who pretends to know us, we might lose it.

Between fake LinkedIn profiles, cleverly worded spam, and the like, there are lots of scams and new approaches to be wary of.

We are here to help.

It seems like Amazon is everywhere. Most of us use them and rarely have problems, however, there are lots of counterfeit items to avoid.

We hadn’t thought about this until Prime Day arrived and we read this piece on counterfeit goods on Amazon. Quite eye-opening.

Also, we have noticed a very high number of fake profiles on LinkedIn. Typically a very pretty person in a photo, with a background that doesn’t seem to add up. 

Sadly, most people just “accept” invitations to connect, and then the fun starts. Scammers will attempt to befriend you, with the ultimate goal of getting your information and money. When in doubt, google the person, you might be surprised they don’t exist!

Then there is the “lottery scam”. Most of us would scoff at this one, but remember, if these tactics didn’t work, scammers would stop using them!

Finally, some great tips from FDIC on how to avoid falling prey to these very clever scams.

Meanwhile, keep your guard up!

Save on your Summer Utility Bill 

Well, we knew this was coming. Sticker shock on our electricity bills. Now that it’s here, many of us are stunned by the increases.

Along the way, summer arrived and it’s been 95 degrees now for a good stretch.

What can we all do to save some dough on our electric bill? 

For starters, Xcel Energy (who has been the target of most of the vitriol online) offers some good tips for saving money. 

More importantly, they are also offering rebates on smart thermostats, LED bulbs, and water heater installation currently.

Incidentally, if you already have a smart thermostat, there are seasonal savings programs there as well.

We also spoke with a client about the installation of a whole-home fan, which seems to help as well. 

Finally, from CNet, 8 ideas on how to lower your bill can be found here.

Stay cool Denver, we hope some of these tips help!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for June were Haydee Espinoza, Guadalupe Caloca, Aurora Dominguez, Maria Zapata, and Juana Luna.

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

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

We are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Cleaning is a dying art.  Much like ironing.   The modern approach to cleaning is the result of TV commercials starting in the ’50s featuring a well-dressed woman, often in heels, with a spray bottle in one hand and a pretty sponge in the other, sometimes wearing an apron. The message was clear. Our product can free you from drudgery.

So, what is the real art of cleaning?  Quite succinctly, it is Denver Concierge.

But to break it down, it is a solitary endeavor; a calm diligence and concentrated focus on taking away the dirt, grime, and dust from a room or object.  Efficiency is key. If too drawn out it becomes tedious.  If too rushed it becomes sloppy, with the likelihood of breakages. 

Non-toxic products are essential. Our products may not come in fancy packaging with fancy promises, but they have proven to be not only effective at cleaning but also at preservation and safety, allowing our ladies to do their job properly in the time they need, with no harmful cumulative after effects.

Of course, none of the products, applications, or methods are viable without employees who just quite simply know how to clean. 

Denver Concierge has the best of the best. Hats off to you ladies!  

Bee

June Newsletter 2023

Happy Independence Day 

247 years ago.

It’s been a long time since our great country formed its independence. Sadly, with all the strife and issues in our modern society, it is easy to forget the struggles we had to overcome together to survive as long as we have as a nation.

We are here today to share our appreciation for our country, its freedoms, and the liberties we all have thanks to the sacrifices made nearly 250 years ago by our independent and very stubborn forefathers.

In the words of French officer and American army volunteer Marquis de Lafayette, 

“The happiness of America is intimately connected with the happiness of all mankind; she is destined to become the safe and venerable asylum of virtue, of honesty, of tolerance, and quality and of peaceful liberty.” 

We love that quote, and we love our country, even with all its current challenges.

Many of us don’t realize that the Revolutionary War lasted nearly eight long years and we were massive underdogs against what was then the largest and most powerful military in the world, the British.

The American Revolution Institute does a great job of encapsulating our struggle in “One Lesson” which can be found here. We found it to be a great refresher to remind us of the sacrifices made and the difficult road to where we are today.

We sincerely hope you get to celebrate a wonderful holiday with your families this weekend and on Tuesday.

In that spirit, we will be closed on Tuesday but will be operating on Monday as usual. Odd holiday timing, but fortunate for our Monday clients who always get the short straw on holidays it seems. 

Meanwhile, happy birthday to our great nation. We thank you, our clients and partners for allowing us to prosper in it alongside you.

Happy 4th of July!!!

Casa Bonita Returns

Nothing like a good old-fashioned Denver institution making a comeback. 

In case you haven’t heard, the creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, purchased Casa Bonita last year.

Since then, they have invested $40 million into restoration and renovation, which is not a typo.

The duo has had a long love affair with Casa Bonita, even featuring it on a season seven episode of South Park.

On June 23-24, Casa Bonita reopened with a number of timed tickets. It is also open this weekend with a limited number of tickets for entry.

Dinner tickets are $39.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids aged 3-12. Ticket purchases also come with a 15% service charge.

Only eight people per group can get tickets at one time. Tickets must be purchased online and are final sales only, non-refundable, and non-transferable.

We found a great insider review from someone that attended the opening night last week and it can be found here.

It sounds like things are much better, yet familiar which is the way they should be.

We look forward to getting in and watching some cliff divers very soon!

Bravo to the South Park guys for restoring a Denver institution. Now, let’s just hope the food has improved, we bet it has.

Denver’s Best Neighborhood

Yes, it is that time again when 5280 Magazine unveils Denver’s best neighborhoods.

As they do each year, they followed a specific methodology which includes home sale prices, crime data, school ratings, and an X-factor score.

The winner?

Wash Park, followed by Hilltop, Berkeley, West Highland, and Cherry Creek.

You might recall we featured the 2022 list recently and those ranks were as follows: Wellshire. Belcaro, Wash Park, Platt Park, and City Park.

Quite the churn really, and congrats to Wash Park for moving up two spots to number one in 2023.

From the article regarding methodology: “Our ranking is based on four variables: home prices, crime data, school rankings, and an X factor score that accounts for things that can’t be as easily quantified, such as access to open space, public transportation, and restaurants and shops.”

“Each category is weighted: 30 percent for year-over-year percentage change in home values; 25 percent for safety; 15 percent for neighborhood school ratings; and 30 percent for the X factor. Our initial list of 78 neighborhoods (which was whittled down to 75, as you’ll read below) is based on the city of Denver’s official map. That’s why you won’t see areas like LoHi or RiNo listed; officially, they’re not considered their own neighborhoods, despite what locals might say.”

Lists like this always stimulate thought and debate, the complete article can be found here.

We love all the neighborhoods in Denver, especially the ones we clean in!!!

Outdoor Music Venues 

We love a great concert, even better at a place like Red Rocks, which we are incredibly lucky to have so close.

Of course, when considering outdoor music venues, that is the first place that pops into mind, but there are so many more across our fine state that we wanted to make you all aware of.

We also are all probably aware of Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, which holds 17,000 people and gets a lot of big acts. 

What about smaller venues?

For example, did you know that the Denver Botanic Gardens has a concert series? 10 evenings over June, July, and August, as well as local musicians playing during the week.

We also have seen shows at Levitt Pavilion, which is a non-profit venue offering 50 free concerts a year.

How about the Mishawaka venue near Fort Collins, pictured above? It started as a dance hall after motorcyclist and musician Walter S. Thompson stumbled across the site in 1916. 

We are so fortunate to have these wonderful venues and many more to attend concerts at. 

The complete list of the “13 Best outdoor music venues” by 5280 can be found here.

We hope you get a chance to enjoy these wonderful and iconic venues in 2023!

What Is “Wealthy” In Denver?

Being “wealthy” has a different connotation for almost all of us. 

It is also impacted by the area we live in, as a dollar will go a lot farther in some places than in others.

So, what makes one “wealthy” in Denver? Well, Charles Schwab did a survey of Denver residents to find that out.

From the article in the Denver Business Journal: “In an annual survey conducted by Charles Schwab Corp., a nationwide financial services company, 37% of Denverites who said they feel wealthy had a net worth of $474,000.”

“But those same people said that to be “considered wealthy,” it takes an average net worth closer to $2.5 million.”

There you have it. From an opinion standpoint, at least.

For more hard data, you can refer to this survey that shows how much you need to be “rich” in the top 10 cities in the U.S. (yes, it’s led by California cities).

What about how far our dollars go here? 

Well, that is where it gets interesting. For example, in New York City, $250,000 income is effectively just short of $83,000 after factoring in the cost of living and taxes, the bottom of the list.

The place where your dollar goes furthest? Look no further than Memphis, TN, where $250k gives you roughly $180K in purchasing power.

We found the complete study by Smart Asset to be very informative about the real value of a dollar, by city.

Denver comes in at 55th, which means $250k here effectively is worth about $150k.

The complete study can be found here, and was quite eye-opening!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for May were Guadalupe Caloca, Maria Zapata, Josefina Quinonez, Maria Concepcion Reyes, and Sandra Vidales.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Mayra Soto 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 are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

In the early days of Denver Concierge, we were less discerning than we are today.

We accepted jobs in outlying areas that sometimes meant a drive time of 2 hours one way. We accepted apartment move-out cleans where the teams had to wade through empty pizza boxes and dirty dishes. We cleaned offices and we cleaned the common areas of apartment buildings.

Then, gradually through the years, we developed a style more suited to the skills of our employees; a style that offers them a safe and attractive cleaning environment in some of the most beautiful homes in Denver, while allowing the company to thrive. 

We brought our service area closer to Denver and the South, focusing on single-family homes cleaned on a regular basis. The clients became part of the Denver Concierge family.

We pride ourselves on quality over quantity. With respect to our employees, we are very selective in who we hire to work alongside them. We are careful to bring in new clients who we feel will appreciate and respect our employees’ hard work.

This is Denver Concierge today. We’ve come a long way. 

Bee

May Newsletter 2023

Memorial Day & Spring Things

Memorial Day is upon us. Also known as the unofficial start of summer. Please don’t ask us what happened to spring, it seems like we don’t get those around here anymore.

Between our finicky weather, what seems like a moth infestation, and property tax notices from hell, it’s been a challenging time to say the least. The good news is we have updates on the last two items, read on to learn more.

Meanwhile, let’s find ways to enjoy what is left of spring!!! 

As you probably know, we will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day. We have often talked about the significance of Memorial Day so we will spare you here, but if you are curious, the history is a fascinating one and you can learn more here. 

We want to express our gratitude to all that have given their lives for our freedom. It certainly isn’t “free”, and many have given the ultimate sacrifice so we can have it.

So, what do we do with the rest of spring in our fine state? If the mountains are your thing, there are lots of fun festivals you can attend over the weekend. Vail and Beaver Creek have Blues and BBQ and comedy festivals going on, for example, and we also found a cool list of the top 10 things to do this weekend in the mountains and it can be found here.

For those of you wanting to stay closer to home, visit Denver came up with their list of things going on and it can be found here. The Rockies are in town as well as the Denver Arts Festival at Central Park’s Observatory Green.

Lots of great stuff to do in our fine city and surrounding areas. 

We hope that you have a wonderful three-day weekend and get some great time with family and friends. Be safe and we will be back at it on Tuesday!

Moth Problems?

We don’t like moths. Not sure why, maybe it was the creepy movie poster for Silence of the Lambs, we can’t be certain.

Either way, we have tons of them in our client homes (and ours) and wondered why, and what to do with them.

Evidently, the little guys make an annual migration from the eastern plains to the mountains and the native flowers there.

What we didn’t know is that they are big-time pollinators. We think of bees and butterflies as pollinators, but moths are critical to the ecosystem in that regard.

The folks at CSU put together a quick fact sheet on these intrepid insects, in case you want to learn more.

We also loved this piece in Denverite about why they do what they do and why they are called miller moths.

So, how do we handle this problem once it’s inside our home? Well, the good news is these aren’t the type of moths that will destroy clothing, so that is not a worry.

If you just can’t deal with them, the folks at Enviropest came up with some good suggestions and those are here.

The good news is this is a temporary situation, and they will all be headed west soon.

Property Tax Update 

A year ago, we warned everyone that this was coming. We have been hit by the perfect storm of COVID and home price escalation and the timing of tax assessments.

On top of this, the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment made it pretty clear this was on its way and going to be painful.

The good news is that our homes are going up in value, the bad news is well, quite obvious.

Douglas County saw the largest median residential increase at 47%, and the lowest was 33% in Denver. The metro area also includes Adams (38% increase), Arapahoe (42%), Boulder (35%), Broomfield (41%), Elbert (35%), Jefferson (36.5%), and Larimer (40%).

The good news is there will be a November ballot measure for a 10-year relief plan. The bad news is it will likely be at the expense of TABOR refunds. 

The other way to tackle this is to apply for relief with your local assessor via appeal. 

The procedure for this varies by area, but we found guidelines from Colorado Judicial here.

The deadline to appeal is June 8, but after that, you can still file an “abatement” petition for 2 years.

Links for appeals by county are here:

Good luck in your efforts, and let’s be thankful our homes are worth more, at least on paper.

Spring Home Makeovers 

Guest writer Ethel Lair, Legacy Based Living

Are you feeling stale in your home and need some inspiration? A home makeover is a perfect way to inject some energy into your living space. Here’s a step-by-step guide from Denver Concierge on how to revive your home with a makeover.

Rearrange Furniture

One of the easiest ways to refresh your living space is to rearrange and reorganize the furniture. Even small changes can make a big difference, such as changing the position of chairs or the use of area rugs. Experiment with different configurations before settling on the final layout that suits your needs.

Update Your Accessories

Updating accessories is an easy and low-cost way to breathe new life into a room. Consider adding colorful throw pillows or blankets, decorative vases, or pieces of artwork that complement your decor. Accessorizing also allows you to experiment with creative combinations until you find something that looks just right for each room.

Add Throw Rugs

Throw rugs are an ideal solution for adding color and comfort without breaking the bank. Look for sizes and colors that suit every decor style and leave plenty of blank space in between elements so they don’t start competing against one another visually.

Update Light Fixtures

Lighting can change the entire ambiance of a room simply by selecting bulbs with different wattages, temperatures, or styles. It’s often possible to find more modern fixtures at affordable prices if you shop carefully; this will instantly bring any room up-to-date while also helping create a relaxing environment perfect for unwinding after work or studying throughout the night.

Give Each Room a Theme

Creating a theme that ties each room together doesn’t have to be difficult. It simply means deciding on one palette of complementary colors and patterns per area in order to make them flow seamlessly together when combined with varying textures like throw rugs, curtains, furniture fabrics, etc. For example, choose an earthy boho theme in one corner of the living room while opting for something minimalist yet bold in another corner. This will create visual interest without making things too overwhelming!

Declutter and Organize Throughout

Decluttering and organizing are two critical tasks when it comes time for any renovation project, but they’re even more important if you want to revive your home quickly. Take some time out over the weekend, clear out what you no longer need enough space so that all remaining items can fit neatly within each area. Then, add storage baskets, shelves, or ottomans as needed for extra organization points around every corner. Don’t forget to hire Denver Concierge to help you keep your organized space clean!

Utilize Storage Solutions

Once decluttering has been done successfully, find solutions that will help keep everything in its place moving forward. Storage solutions such as baskets or shelves can be used strategically around walls or tucked away underneath tables/couches when not in use which helps maintain a modern clutter-free look throughout every zone inside your dream abode.

Hang Curtains or Sheers

Hanging curtains or sheers is an underrated yet impactful way to spruce up any living room instantly. Not only do they provide additional color/pattern options but they also give off texture and dimension which immediately makes things appear much more put together than before — plus they provide privacy from peeping neighbors outside too.

Digitize & Organize Your Documents

With many people looking to organize their personal files, digitizing documents has become increasingly popular. Fortunately, you can do all of this online using free online tools. Not only will converting files to PDFs help keep everything organized, but this format is also great to help with searching for important information when you need it.

Reviving the atmosphere of your home can be a simple and affordable process. Rather than extensive renovations, small changes such as rearranging furniture, updating accessories and light fixtures, introducing color schemes and textures, decluttering and organizing, and utilizing storage solutions can have a significant impact. Additionally, hanging curtains or sheers and adopting digital document organization practices by converting relevant files into PDF formats can further improve the feel of your home. By following these steps, your home can be transformed into a fresh and revitalized space in no time!

How Do You Say “Poudre”?

Ever have someone mispronounce your name? It’s so personal that it always feels a little weird.

We are sure if our different Colorado places could speak, they would feel the same way!!!

Did you know that Poudre is pronounced like “Poo-Dray”? We always said “Poo-Der”. Oops.

Closer to home, and we hear this one all the time, is Arvada (we also know people from Nevada, and the same problem exists).

The correct pronunciation is AR-VAH-DA, not AR-VA-DA, or AR-VAY-DA. Same with Nevada, if you are keeping up. 

We ran across a fun article that 9 News did about the correct way to pronounce many of our commonly mispronounced places and it is here.

It even includes quick videos on each, which are very fun.

How about a list of the four most mispronounced places by northern Coloradans?  

We had no idea Lyons was pronounced this way.

Finally a quick article from Fox Denver on this topic here.

Fun stuff, hope you enjoy!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for April were Maria Zapata, Josefina Quinonez, Cecilia Reyes, Sandra Vidales and Fidelia Bautista.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Mayra Soto.

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

We are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

I heard another disaster story yesterday from a client who had a plumbing problem.

It could have been resolved quickly if the plumber had not been completely inadequate   Maybe he wasn’t even a plumber. 

It brought to mind a short list of companies that I have used for my own house or who have been recommended by our clients, and I would love to hear from any client who has had a positive experience with work done.  

I don’t like having workers in my home and my dog Frankie doesn’t like it either,  but I have had one or two repairmen who entered and gained his trust right away. I think they must have had treaties in their pockets.

Just to name two companies we have used and recommended for years:

Chase Carpet – Rug and carpet cleaning and repair but also specializes in water damage, duct cleaning, and mold. I have used them for over 25 years. 

As You Wish – They recommended the kindest and most caring dog sitter to me and offer all manner of concierge services.  We have championed the company in our previous newsletters. 

In any case, if you have a minute or it occurs to you during one of our texts back and forth I would love some names that would help other clients feel more at ease when hiring in-home help. 

Everything is so wildly expensive suddenly that it isn’t as easy to just brush off a bad experience.

Speaking of recommendations, I have brought some amazing new clients on board, all of whom came highly recommended by neighbors or family who use Denver Concierge.

I am constantly amazed at the great compliments we receive about our service, especially when you take the time to brag about us to friends and neighbors.

Thank you!!

Happy Memorial Day! Woof!

Bee

April Newsletter 2023

Small Business Week

Let us take this opportunity to remind you that the first week of May is National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

So, what defines a “small business”? Census.gov has its ideas here,  but according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a small business has no more than 1,500 employees and less than $38.5 million in average annual revenue, depending on your industry.

As a point of reference, 90% of businesses have fewer than twenty employees and are far smaller than $40M. 

Supporting local businesses keeps tax revenue in the state and city as well as providing jobs and support for the overall economy. While we love Amazon too, buying locally has tremendous benefits for the community you live in.

Thankfully, you can’t presently order a detailed, green housecleaning on Amazon.

Did you know that more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year? 

Also, as a small business in Denver, we want to express our gratitude for supporting us. We try to keep every penny that we earn in Denver and support many other small businesses as well, including featuring local companies in Partners We Love.

Finally, we found a good list of ways to support small businesses thanks to localiq.com and it can be found here. (Yes, we love reviews and anything else on social media that helps people learn about us!)

Without your support we don’t have a small business to write about, so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Organization Tips

Organization tips, we love ’em!

As we often do, we are happy to share what we find as well.

The fine folks at 5280 Magazine published a great article this month entitled “18 Organizing Secrets for the Messiest Spaces in Your House” and we loved it, so we wanted to share it here.

One of our favorite tips was to “decant” your pastas, flours, and foodstuffs in your pantry.

From the article: “Decanting pastas, flours, and other foodstuffs into resealable containers looks much neater than a lineup of sundry boxes and bags.”

“It keeps your food fresh and allows you to see at a glance how much you have,” Sikora adds. Plus, decanting is easier on the environment: You can BYO bags and buy grocery essentials in bulk from stores like Sprouts and Natural Grocers and avoid wasteful packaging altogether. “

Lots of terrific tips, we also loved the factoid that people only wear 20% of their wardrobe. That’s a stunner, and makes us want to go through our closets today.

They even have tips on how to “smudge” your house and ways to change the energy, which appeals to our metaphysical side.

The complete article can be found here.

Partners We Love

It’s been a while since we featured one of our favorite vendors in our newsletter, so here we go.

In the spirit of Small Business Week, we wanted to feature another one that does excellent work across the Front Range.

Our friend Darrin Azar runs a great little company called Rocky Mountain Enterprises.

They do roofing, gutters, and windows, and they do it all very well. Even more impressive is their experience in working with insurance companies.

We have had numerous experiences with them and we were very impressed with how they worked with the adjuster and basically took the insurance company through the process.

Darrin is offering both free inspections and a special incentive for any client of Denver Concierge.

To learn more, please contact Darrin via email at  [email protected] or at 720-663-7766.

Mention that you saw him in the Denver Concierge newsletter for your special offer.

We thank you for supporting our small business and the partners we love!

Denver’s Ongoing Exodus  

People leaving Denver has been a recurring theme now for the recent past.

For years we grew and grew, then COVID hit, and many other factors that we aren’t smart enough to understand.

The net effect has not been good, and 2023 illustrates it further.

According to Redfin, Denver lost 4,200 people between January and March 2023. 

This was good for 9th overall, with San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles leading the way with nearly 75,000 residents leaving those three places in the same time span.

Where are people going? 

Miami, Phoenix, and Las Vegas topped the charts, with an influx of nearly 25,000 people.

One of the more interesting things we found in looking at this was the difference between generations.

It seems that Gen Z is the only generation that is not fleeing the coastal regions with the other generations. USA Today did an interesting piece on this here.

We don’t know all the reasons for Denver’s declining population, but we sure hope it stops soon. 

The photo above may be a clue.

The complete local piece from Fox News can be found here.

Safest Cities for Women

How sad is it that we have to write this, but with skyrocketing crime seemingly everywhere, we figured it might be time to figure out where it’s safe to go.

In the spirit of celebrating Women’s History Month each March, we enlisted the help of TripIt, one of our favorite apps to figure out the safest cities for female travelers.

They parsed the data into two groups, international and domestic U.S. travel.

The methodology involved TripIt partner GeoSure (who powers TripIt’s Neighborhood Safety Scores feature)  to understand what the safest destinations are for women based on their analysis of metadata captured from hundreds of trusted sources. 

The top five safest cities worldwide? Well, two of them are in Sweden, and two are in Switzerland, with Bregen, Austria rounding out the top 5. Basel and Geneva, Switzerland were rated the safest.

How about the U.S.? Close to home, Fort Collins came in fourth overall, a great recognition of one of our fine college towns.  The top five:

5. Bellevue, WA (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)

4. Fort Collins, CO (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)

3. Thousand Oaks, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)

2. Roseville, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)

1. Cambridge, MA (GeoSafeScore™: 74/100)

Interesting data for sure.

We honor all the wonderful women in our lives and wish them safe and happy travels wherever they go.

The full article and list can be found here.

Monthly Award Winners

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

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra 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 are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Over the years we have had a fair number of clients who moved houses but not neighborhoods. They called with a new address and we kept them on the same schedule at the new house down the street or around the corner. 

Some clients moved out of state only to return to Denver like the Swallows to Capistrano.  

Numerous studies around the globe have shown that social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress or trauma.

Reciprocity is the key. Not just being around people, but being truly heard and seen by those around us is fundamental to our well-being. 

Who better to fill that role than neighbors we have known for years?

Of course, not all neighbors are good neighbors. Perhaps our clients just have a sixth sense when it comes to choosing the areas with the best neighbors.

I’d like to think that they also have a sixth sense when it comes to choosing the best cleaning company, but I may be biased. 

Bee

March Newsletter 2023

Spring Cleaning

We love cleaning. We love spring.

Unfortunately, no one told the weather, as spring is taking its very sweet time arriving. No wacky, lingering winter will keep us down, so welcome to our March newsletter!

So, what are the most important things in getting our homes ready for spring? Let’s start with the outside first. One of the things we always forget about is our gutters.  Of course, unless you are super handy, you might pay someone to do this since it involves a ladder and some courage.

We found a good list of outdoor “spring cleaning” from the folks at True Value, and it covers pointers on not only gutters, but your yard, aeration, and how to prepare your patio for spring and summer.

How about the inside of your home? Well besides using Denver Concierge to keep it clean, we have some ideas to share.

We found a cute list of things to do inside, which includes pointers on everything from simple rearranging to sprucing up your mudroom, and it can be found here, courtesy of Heart’s Content Farmhouse.

The list we liked the most comes courtesy of Property Nest and their full Spring 2023 checklist can be found here.

Finally, from Family Handyman, another good list of stuff we forget.

As always, we appreciate you relying on us for the “big stuff” in terms of keeping your home spotless. 

Meanwhile, let’s get those grills cleaned and patios ready, we promise spring will show up eventually. We might even have a summer behind it!!!!

Happy spring everyone!

Memory Boosters

How is your memory? If you are anything like us, it could be better.

We have certainly had times when we have gotten up and walked into another room, only to say, “What did I need in here again”? 

Of course, as we age most of us expect some type of cognitive decline, hopefully within normal parameters.

But, what can we do to stave off the inevitable memory issues we will all face as we age?

New research by neuroscientists may hold the key, or at least some new habits for us to engage in.

For starters, how about food? Mushrooms, dark chocolate, and cinnamon have been identified as memory boosters. Of course so are vegetables of all kinds, according to a Harvard study.

Don’t forget friendships either. Neuroscience has shown that periods of social isolation can suppress brain function as well.

The fabulous article on Inc.com also goes into lighting, hobbies, and believe it or not….walking backwards. Check it out here,

Finally, 10 ways to boost your brain health in 2023, courtesy of Harper’s.

Here’s to staying sharp as we age!

Larimer Square Future

Historic Larimer Square, Denver’s iconic “main street” is in jeopardy.

Bistro Vendome, Green Russell, John Atencio, and The Market, to name a few.

All are businesses with long and storied histories on our historic Larimer block, and all are closed. John Atencio was there for 39 years. Wow.

In December 2020, North Carolina–based investment firm Asana Partners purchased Larimer Square for $92.5 million, and to date, the reviews are not good.

On top of an absentee management style that seems to be alienating tenants, there are structural issues with many of the buildings as well. 

The bottom line? Massive repairs and renovations are needed, but there are no outward indicators of Asana Partners’ plan to do so. Meanwhile, tenants are leaving, and our once vibrant part of downtown is lying dormant in many ways.

The fine folks at 5280 Magazine did an exhaustive piece about the future of Larimer Square. It covers the history of this amazing piece of Denver, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at what is going on between tenants and landlord in this messy situation. 

We certainly hope that a suitable solution can be found for one of our favorite Denver landmarks.

Odd Laws 

Did you know that you cannot roll a boulder in Boulder? It’s called trundling and it is illegal.

You can, however, taunt, insult or challenge Boulder Police, until they “ask you to stop”. Very handy to know.

It is also illegal to utilize upholstered furniture outside. This may include upholstered chairs, couches, and mattresses in the front, side, or backyard, according to Colorado’s “General Offenses” under Title 5, Chapter 4, 5-4-16. We suppose yard sales are ok.

As many of you know, it is illegal to sell a motor vehicle on a Sunday in our fine state as well. That’s a misdemeanor, punishable by a $1000 fine. Of course, the penalty these days might be less for stealing one, but we digress.

Other odd state laws? You cannot grow dandelions in Pueblo, nor can you fire a catapult (or other projectiles) in Aspen.

It’s also illegal to ride a horse while intoxicated. It doesn’t say anything about whether or not the horse may be.

We love silly stuff like this and hope you enjoy it. For a fun list of silly laws in Colorado and elsewhere, check out this article.

Lastly, you are indeed allowed to loan your vacuum cleaner to another person. This myth has circulated for years, but it is indeed allowed.

Of course with Denver Concierge on the case, there shouldn’t be any need for vacuum swapping!

Stay legal Denver.

Property Tax Increase

Anyone out there know about the Gallagher Amendment? Don’t feel bad, we had no idea either.

The amendment to the Colorado Constitution was enacted in 1982 and it set forth the guidelines for determining the valuation for property assessment.

This amendment sought to protect homeowners from rising property taxes by maintaining a relatively constant ratio of residential and nonresidential property values in the statewide tax base.

It mandated that, regardless of the total amount of collections, state property tax revenue be comprised of 45% residential property taxes, and 55% non-residential property taxes

The unwelcome news for homeowners? It was repealed in 2020.

This is a complex issue, but many estimates have our residential property tax increasing by 25-40% if no relief is offered. 

The potential good news is that there is a proposal for a “temporary” reduction in property tax, but it would be left to local governments.

With property tax-limiting ratios gone and home prices skyrocketing since COVID, we have a perfect storm brewing. 

County assessors in late April will mail out valuation notices based on property values as of June 30, 2022, which also happens to be close to when home values peaked in Colorado.

All we can say is that this issue is one all homeowners should pay attention to. Late April could be a big shock for most of us.

For a complete explanation of this amendment and the impact of the repeal visit Wiki here.

For those of you with a Denver Post subscription, they wrote a nice piece on this and it is here.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for February were Aurora Dominguez, Haydee Espinoza, Josefina Quinonez, Gabriella Barrancas, and Maria Zapata.

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

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

We are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Accidents happen no matter what precautions are taken, and as house cleaners, we know this more than anyone. 

We have safety rules in place to avoid the most obvious causes of concern. 

What is the most obvious hazard in a house? Unsurprisingly, the staircase.  It is known that in the United States about twelve thousand people a year fall and hit the ground and don’t get up again. 

There are no specific statistics to say whether the fall was from a cliff, a tree, or a front porch, but stairs are second only to car accidents as a common cause of accidental death.

Everyone trips on stairs at one time or another and puts it down mostly to inattention. However, the construction and location of the stairs play a great part.  Lack of good lighting, lack of handrail, busy design on the stair carpet, and width and height of the step all contribute to what could be a nasty accident. 

Our cleaning ladies when they need to vacuum steep stairs or stairs with no handrails are instructed to have another person near as a spotter, as in gymnastics.  We certainly don’t want to be part of the above statistics.

Our priority is a spotless house cleaned with care.

Bee

February Newsletter 2023

What Can We Do Better?

Surveys. We are not big fans of the way most places handle them.

It seems like most companies shove them in our faces every time we engage in the most basic of commerce. Then we respond, give feedback, and nothing changes. That is precisely how companies lose their most valuable resource and the people that pay the bills. 

That would be our clients.

If you have been part of the Denver Concierge family for any time,  you know we do things differently. We are that rare company that prefers human contact. We also like to think that our clients are pretty good at keeping us on the straight and narrow by giving us feedback in real-time.

We are lucky to have you and by the looks of things, we feel like we are doing a pretty good job for you.

But we want to know more. Rather than invite you to click on some link or go to some third-party site, we prefer good old-fashioned communication.

So, we ask today, please let us know what we can do better. Our loyal and trusty Angela is standing by to ensure you are always 100% satisfied with what we do.

We know we aren’t the least expensive company in town. Our goal each and every day is to exceed your expectations to the point where you believe every penny you spend with us is a great value.

So please email us at [email protected]. Or text us if that is easier, at 303-588-6847.  If you want to call directly, you can do so at 303-975-2808 as well. We promise a quick and positive resolution to whatever you might have going on.

Remember, in the absence of feedback, we will assume we are doing things perfectly. The only way for us to improve at what we do is when you tell us. 

Don’t be shy, we love getting better.

As always, thank you for being part of the unique company that is Denver Concierge. We will continue to earn your trust every day.

Senior Care Resources

The difficulty of caring for an aging loved one is a burden that one cannot relate to until you have gone through it.

We recently heard from the nice people at senioradvice.com about promoting their services and after doing some research we are happy to do so.

These folks have put together a wonderful resource for anyone looking for assistance with an aging loved one.

Their website not only includes a comprehensive list of providers but also other resources like the best cities for retirement, as well as advice, and much more.

From their representative, Julia Walker,  “Many aging adults are unaware of the available care options and programs that can help them maintain their independence and quality of life. So we created a free resource that provides comprehensive information on topics like financial support and in-home care options that are available in their area.”

We think that says it all, and we are grateful that they reached out to us for publication.

The complete website with all the wonderful resources can be found here.

What is Chat GPT? 

When we see interesting things, we love to share them with our readers. When we hear Elon Musk say that AI is the biggest threat to humanity, it really gets our attention.

So what exactly, is this ChatGPT that has been in the news lately?

From the CNBC article, “ChatGPT is an advanced form of AI powered by a large language model called GPT-3. It is programmed to understand human language and generate responses based on huge bodies of data.”

It first hit our radar when we saw college students using it to write papers. 

Musk founded OpenAI, which is the startup that created ChatGPT.

So why should we be concerned? Well, a recent article by Business Insider referenced ChatGPT “coming for our jobs” and 10 roles that AI could replace in the near future.

Those include tech jobs like coding, media jobs like ad creation and copy, and even legal industry jobs to name a few.

There is even a belief that ChatGPT could teach classes, replacing teachers entirely.

So while we may not have to worry about AI taking over the planet in the immediate term, job security could certainly become a real thing.

As long as AI cannot figure out how to clean houses, we feel pretty good, but we are watching you closely, AI, very closely…..

Dog Lovers Paradise 

The news in Colorado hasn’t been wonderful lately, as we rise up the rankings for car thefts, homelessness, and other categories we aren’t very proud of.

However, there is one nice category that we found that puts Colorado at the very top of the list.

Dog lovers. Yes, that is correct. Forbes recently did a survey and found that Colorado has the most devoted dog owners in the country.

Some fun facts about our love for furry friends:

  • Colorado dog owners were second most likely to move from an apartment to a house so their dogs would have a yard (19.5%).
     
  • 7% of Colorado dog owners left a job they liked because another company let them work from home or had a dog-friendly office (the third highest percentage, tied with Massachusetts and Ohio).
     
  • 11% stayed at a job they disliked because it allowed them to work remotely or had a dog-friendly office (the sixth highest percentage).
     
  • Colorado is also home to the fourth-highest percentage of dog owners who have lived on a tighter budget in order to afford their dogs’ expenses (43.5%), tied with Arkansas and Mississippi.

Finally, how much would you spend to save your pet? According to Forbes, 43.5% of Colorado dog owners would spend $4,000 or more out-of-pocket on life-saving medical care for their dogs.

Wow, that’s a big number but we get it. Pets are family. 

For the complete comprehensive study on dog friendly states you can also visit Forbes here.

Denver Restaurant Week

Since COVID, we have written a lot less about getting out and about. Now that it is mostly over and things are getting back to normal, it might be time again.

So, one of Denver’s traditions is back once more.

That would be Denver Restaurant Week, which has been going on here for 18 years, in some form or another.

This year, and from the Denver.org website, “Denver Restaurant Week will be held for 10 days March 3 – 12, 2023. The program will showcase the creative, exciting menus that diners have come to expect – with both to-go and in-person options.”

“Once again, Denver Restaurant Week will include three price points: $25, $35, and $45 for a three-course meal. The program will also focus on advocacy for the industry while keeping the health and safety of the community top of mind.”

Every step we take toward normalcy brings us comfort, and restaurant week is no exception.

The full list of all 221 restaurants participating, along with sortable categories including price point, location, and cuisine can be found here.

Happy dining Denver, hope to see you out there!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for January were Sandra Vidales, Maria Zapata, Haydee Espinoza, Maria Carmen Del Estrada, and Aurora Dominguez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez 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 are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

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

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

Confusion in the house!?

Denver Concierge Team Leaders receive instructions every morning at dispatch, so each house is custom cleaned according to the client’s wishes for that specific visit.

As Client/Team Liaison, I am the translator of instructions. 

Clean this room and not that room; this level and not that one. It sounds simple enough. Sometimes it isn’t. So I have to ask.

Downstairs as in lower level? Or basement (finished room)? Or cellar (as in wine)?

First floor as in American style? Or European/South American style (one level up from ground level)?

Every client has a unique vocabulary when describing the rooms, furnishings, and levels of their homes, based on their personal preferences and history.

A powder room sounds more delicate than a commode. Den has fallen out of favor and been replaced with library or study.  Sunroom has myriad synonyms going back thousands of years in various cultures, 

Unfortunately, to date, there has been no such upgrade for the room that is  “a filter that snares the debris of the outside before it can migrate into the public areas of the house.” 

The inelegant yet aptly named mudroom. 

I like to think I know many of the houses well enough to quasi-intuit the instructions but if Confusion arises I hope you don’t mind me asking. 

Bee