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Persnickety Cleaning Lives Up To Its Meticulous Name

By Pamela Sosnowski

Anna Zanthos remembers the moment when she decided to launch her own cleaning business. "I was 32 years old," she recalls. "I noticed I could not hold a job longer than two years. I was either fired or I would quit. Surely all the bosses I had over the years were not jerks, as I had initially thought. It dawned on me that I was the common denominator. I always thought I could do the job better than my supervisor/manager."

This realization, along with a belief in the motto, "Do what you love and the money will follow" inspired Zanthos to launch Persnickety Cleaning in 2002. With just a trunk full of cleaning supplies, what began as one house soon spread via word-of-mouth until she eventually had to hire other employees after just two years in business.

The Atlanta-based business now cleans everything from homes that could use a little regular housekeeping help to what its website calls "dirty, dirty homes" ("there is no house too dirty for us to clean nor are we in the judgment business," it assures) and everything in between. Persnickety Cleaning can also take on commercial cleaning and construction clean up jobs, and prepare homes for moving into or out of.

One of the company's differentiating factors is its staff, and the way they are treated. When Zanthos began taking on employees, she wanted people that she knew would do the best job?but she also knew they deserved to be treated right as well. She knew first-hand the physical challenges of cleaning multiple homes in one day, and decided she would only hire the best workers, and pay them fairly for their labor.

"Instead of paying minimum wage, I decided to pay my cleaners top wage," she says. "That is the key to Persnickety's success. That is why I have a zero turnover rate. That is why I have loyal, dedicated, honest, reliable cleaners. They are invested in their work because if they do a bad job or get a complaint, they lose a house that is providing them with income to care for their own family. Minimum wage does not inspire people to do their best."

Persnickety's staff is also licensed, bonded, and insured. Zanthos assures that every client's privacy is of utmost importance, and her employees, which have been with the company anywhere from one to ten years, are trusted and honest.

In addition to hiring persnickety workers, Zanthos also uses environmentally friendly cleaning products when possible. Some of the company's standbys include vinegar and water, baking soda, lemon juice, borax, and microfiber cleaning cloths. But sometimes a truly dirty job requires a traditional cleaning agent.

"Mold and soap scum tend to build up in showers," explains Zanthos. "I have yet to find a green product that actually removes these deposits. The kitchen is another area where we may need to use degreasers to provide you with a persnickety home. Outside of those two areas most other areas we can clean 'green.'"

Persnickety Cleaning wants every customer to be 100% satisfied with the job, and Zanthos says any complaints unacceptable and rectified immediately. Judging from the numerous testimonials, such incidents are far and few in between. "We are a small company with a big heart," she says. "My goal has not been to be the biggest cleaning service in Atlanta or even nationwide. My goal is to provide quality cleaning for each and every client.

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