SUMMIT, NJ - After working several years in the corporate world in New York City doing consulting, Ines Cohron realized it was time for a change. With kids at home and a long commute, she wanted to do something more meaningful, so in 2004 she started Total Home Cleaning in Summit.  

However, she did not want to be like the typical cleaning service, she said. She decided to use environmentally friendly cleaning products and did extensive research on how to treat fine furnishings, stone and wood. With the exception of their bathroom products, everything is Green Seal Certified.

“I felt like this was an opportunity to be in Summit, to be in New Jersey and to create jobs,” she said.

She was very nervous changing careers, but glad she did it. She started with a few people, but business grew through referrals and today there are 20 employees.

They are open Monday through Friday, clean 100 homes a week and serve all of the surrounding towns and even go into Westfield and Basking Ridge. More importantly, she emphasized she is always trying to find new innovative products to use and attends conventions throughout the year to help improve the company.

Leaving people satisfied and wanting them to return as clients is the most important thing, she said. She visits each home before they clean it to consult with the family about what they want done, how they live and if there is anything they don’t want touched or rooms not to go in. The people feel much more at ease, she said.

“There’s a much higher comfort level,” Cohron said.

Over the past eight years, she has formed great relationships with her customers and many of them are grateful for their work, she said.

On occasion, they have encountered neglected or post-hoarder homes and those can take a while, she said. But, Cohron said the biggest challenge is adjusting to the company as it grows.

“We’re a human resource development company and we provide personal services for people in their homes,” she said. “We’re looking to be the service leader in all of the communities that we serve.”

They participate in Cleaning for Heroes (reduced cost cleaning for disabled vets) and numerous local charity events. They are also donating 1 percent of November revenues to relief effort and have a team scheduled to participate in clean-up and construction efforts this weekend for a Keansburg community that was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.