By LeRae Haynes –

Having more time to spend time with your family, time to relax after a long day at work, or time to pursue a hobby than can enrich your life, can be as easy as a call to Tidy Nest Cleaning and Errands.

The staff at Tidy Nest. Photo: Rick Magnell / Northern Development Initiative Trust

Owner Shalene Ostrom and her team do residential house cleaning, move-out cleaning, deep cleaning, window washing, and errand running, providing professional, exceptional customer service. “We do things for people that they’re too busy to do themselves, or unable to do,” Ostrom explained. “Sometimes we help seniors stay in their own homes longer and make it easier for people to come home after work and relax with their families.

“We say, ‘do what you love and let us do the rest.’”

Tidy Nest got its beginning when Ostrom saw a real need in the community—one that was close to home.

“My mom had knee surgery and needed someone to do things like get groceries, lift the heavy water bottles, move things around the house, and clean the litter box,” said Ostrom. “She tried to find someone to help but couldn’t.”

She stepped in to help her mom and realized that there was a need for these services in the community.

After conversations with her husband and her mother, Ostrom went to Community Futures to get her business started.

Community Futures was a huge asset for her, as was her education (degree in biology and psychology) and background. Another benefit was finding the right people to hire.“I really lucked out,” she said.

A great piece of advice Ostrom got along the way was in a psychology presentation from Harvard. “One professor said, ‘When you’re trying to decide what to do, ask yourself what you’re good at, what do you love, and how do you give back. Put your stuff together, and where they cross over, that’s where you end up,’” she said.

Ostrom took on her first client in February 2017 and has grown to five employees. “It grew really fast. People are very happy with us, and say they love coming home to a clean house,” she continued.

“It’s has a social aspect to it, too, making positive connections and relationships with seniors who may live alone.”

Within three months of starting the business, Tidy Nest was fully booked with a waiting list. “It’s hard work, but satisfying, and our team has fun,” she said, adding that a sense of humour is a huge asset.

Treating both clients and employees with kindness is important to Ostrom. “I had a wonderful boss myself for 10 years and wanted to be a wonderful boss, too,” she said. At Tidy Nest they work around family schedules for employees.

Another important focus at Tidy Nest is safe, natural cleaning products that are kind to the environment, but still get the job done. “We’re very careful,” she continued.“We breathe it, we touch it, and we use it in people’s bathtubs: it needs to be green. It matters in my own home, and it matters in others’.

“We also recycle all our bottles, clean and re-use spray bottles, and use cloth, washable rags—I treat your house like I treat my own.”

She said she likes working with people and helping people. “They thank us profusely; it feels really good to know you’ve made a difference,” she explained.

“We take stress off people—give them one less thing they have to do. A ‘busy mom clean’ is different than a ‘clean.’”

She said they also take on people on a temporary basis, for example, after they’ve had surgery. The team at Tidy Nest looks after things until they’re back on their feet. They also have move-out cleaning and residential window openings available without a waiting list.

Customer service is everything at Tidy Nest, and being friendly, efficient, and trustworthy is top of their list. “At the end of your day,” Ostrom said, “we can make your house clean and peaceful and ready to welcome you home.”

For more information about Tidy Nest Cleaning and Errands, visit, phone (250) 302-1244, email, or find them on Facebook and Instagram.

LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of music with kids.


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