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Jasper County Tribune

Colfax cleaning business sets up shop in Prairie City

Renee Littrell of Renee's Cleaning Service poses at her desk at the business's new location in Prairie City Jan. 4. The business moved to 101 S. West St. from Colfax Oct. 1.
Renee Littrell of Renee's Cleaning Service poses at her desk at the business's new location in Prairie City Jan. 4. The business moved to 101 S. West St. from Colfax Oct. 1.

For years, Renee Littrell and her cleaning service staff would meet at her home at 302 E. Broadway St. in Colfax. The team would discuss the tasks for the day, enjoy some breakfast, share positive vibes and then go their separate ways to fulfill their cleaning duties.

But when the Colfax native decided she was going to move to Runnells to live with her husband and business co-owner, Eric Littrell, she knew she did not want to lose the family, togetherness and sisterhood that came with working in her hometown.

Thanks to careful planning, help from her husband and a little luck, Renee’s Cleaning Service found a new home at 101 S. West St. in Prairie City – only six miles away from her previous location in Colfax.

“It was very hard for me to leave Colfax. It took me two years to move in with my husband,” Littrell said. “(Jasper County) helped me. Everyone around me has helped me ... I am a small town girl and it is just ingrained in me. This is who I am – Prairie City, Colfax.”

According to the local entrepreneur, she decided to open her business in 2007, after working about 15 years in the medical field in order to spend more time with her three sons.

Littrell said her staff consisted of only her in the beginning, as she cleaned two houses that belonged to members of her place of worship, the First Baptist Church in Colfax. Her business slowly began to grow, and her service area expanded to the rest of Jasper County and trickled into east Polk County.

Before she knew it, her staff grew from only her to a group of eight.

“When I started, I would iron for people. I would work for elderly and hang curtains for them. As it grew and my phone kept ringing off the hook, I hired my cousin, Leona Lewis, and she helped me for five years. Year after year, it just kept growing,” Littrell said. “Two (houses) turned into four. That four turned into six. Then I just started seeing where it could go. I saw the potential in it.”

Littrell said currently, the business serves about 110 clients in Newton, Colfax, Baxter, Ira, Prairie City, Mingo, Altoona, Ankeny, Johnston, Urbandale and Polk City.

She said her three cleaning crews do everything from top to bottom – ceiling fans to base boards. She said her staff takes pride in focusing on the little details.

And within those little details, Littrell said you can find priceless memories.

“There is a little couple in Mingo, and we cleaned for them seven years ago. Whenever we would come in, (the husband) would say, ‘Mom, those crazy girls are here.’ Then (we) would say,’ Yep, the circus is in town,’” Littrell said. “Small town communities have treated us well.”

With the move to a business office in Prairie City, Littrell said it has boosted her staff moral and has helped maintain organization and professionalism in the business.

“Now, we have a board on the wall. People put up stuff there to compliment each other,” she said. “It is very inspiring, the positive attitudes we have here. We all need that ... Being here has brought us closer.”

The business owner said she is excited to get to know Prairie City. As her business takes pride in small town camaraderie, she said she and her crews are ready to take on any task in the town of about 1,700 people with personalized attention.

“I am Renee. You are still talking to me,” Littrell said. “I still do the walk-throughs. I still do the quality checks. I still do estimates. I still do payroll. I still clean ... I still love it.”

Littrell said Renee’s Cleaning Service has green cleaning products available upon request and is fully insured.

For a house estimate or for more information, call 515-491-5319 or find Renee’s Cleaning Service on Facebook.

Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at areyes@myprairiecitynews.com

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