How to Find an Affordable Housecleaner
HIRING A REGULAR housecleaner was once considered a luxury for anyone but the ultra-rich. But today, especially with more dual-income or single-parent families stretched for time, outsourcing the scrubbing, dusting and sweeping can be real a sanity-saver
“Consumers are starting to wake up to how much their time is worth,” says Melissa Homer, chief cleaning officer for MaidPro, a Boston-based cleaning services company and franchise. The ability to spend an extra few hours each week on work, childcare or relaxation, she says, makes it worthwhile for many families to contract out regular cleaning tasks to the professionals.
Do your research. There are myriad places to start your search for a housecleaner. You can head online to Google, Angie’s List and other home services sites. Investigate the services and rates offered. Don’t forget to read online reviews for housecleaners on several different review websites. Why? “It’s easier on some sites than others to stuff the ballot box,” Homer says.
Ask questions. Make sure that you ask the potential housecleaner or cleaning company insightful questions to determine whether they’re the right fit for you
Note costs. The costs to hire a housecleaner vary widely, experts say, depending on the size of the house, the frequency of the visits, the level of dirtiness and the type of cleaning required. At Molly Maid, for example, the price may range from $100 to $140 for a houseclean once every two weeks, Roberts says, but those costs depend on the customer’s specific needs, services provided and even the region in which they live – the company needs to pay cleaning professionals higher wages in pricier parts of the country.
How To Find A Cleaning Lady You Can Trust
Anyone who has ever used a professional house cleaning company knows that it can be complicated finding cleaning professionals you can trust, and it’s even more challenging to hold onto them once you’ve found one. I owned my own cleaning company for 15 years, so from a cleaners point of view, I will tell you how to find a cleaning lady you or house cleaning company you can trust! I will give you all the trade secrets about how to keep your cleaner happy so she will be with you for years!
Who needs a cleaning lady?
Elderly customers who struggle to keep up with daily tasks
Professionals who work full time
People who have chronic pain or depression
People who have just compleated building work
New mums who struggle to find time to clean
People who dislike cleaning
People who are moving into or out of a property.
Landlords and end of tenancy.
Offices, shops and other commercial buildings.
The medical profession
Different types of cleaners.
Professional house cleaners are people who are paid to come and clean your house as often as you require.
They may be a house cleaning professional run by an individual cleaning lady who cleans solo with no team members or staff, often referred to as a cleaning lady or cleaner.
They may be a house cleaning company who employs various team members who rotate your house clean often referred to as a crew.
They may offer end of tenancy cleans, post-construction cleans, move out cleans, move in cleans, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly cleans.
There is a difference between a cleaning service and a housekeeper so be sure you know which service you require before hiring! Housekeepers often live in and do jobs such as meals, laundry, beds, childcare and many other jobs a professional cleaner does not.
The benefits of having a solo cleaning lady.
It can be difficult to know how to find a cleaning lady but when you find a cleaner you can trust the benefit are huge:
The routine of having the same person cleaning your home is attractive to the elderly, people who have small children, and dogs, as the family get used to seeing a familiar face each week.
Working relationships between house cleaner and client often get stronger the longer, the cleaner works for the client.
Often clients say how they enjoy the convenience of having someone they are familiar with in their home as it allows them to feel relaxed.
Continuity of cleaning increases, the more times a cleaner cleans your property.
Flexibility from both client and house cleaner increases as the solo cleaner becomes a valued member of the client’s circle
Solo cleaners often come via word of mouth and with personal recommendations.
Tips for Hiring a Cleaning Service
Cleaning companies may find themselves following a different method of deep cleaning when going into homes, home offices, and businesses during the COVID-19 panemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued recommendations on how to clean and disinfect multiple surface areas to help prevent the spread of the virus. Several states and provinces may be considering opening businesses or relaxing strict stay-at-home mandates as well. This may mean employers are finding ways to keep a clean environment for their employees if/when they come back to the office.
Research the company. Ask friends, family members, and neighbors to recommend a reputable cleaning business or individual. It’s a good practice to interview at least three companies to get an estimate before selecting one to hire. Check out the businesses through bbb.org to read reviews or complaints on them. Beware of businesses with poor reviews and multiple complaints, more importantly see how they address them.
Interview candidates. Interview multiple candidates to determine if you would prefer to hire a large cleaning business or an individual cleaning person. Request to meet with someone from the cleaning business, as well as with the person who will actually clean your home or office. During the interview process, determine if you would be comfortable with them since they will be in your home or office. Ask what type of cleaning products are used, especially if there are family or employees that may be sensitive to harsh chemicals.
Check credentials. Any individual or business that is considered for hire should be registered*, bonded and insured. This will protect your company and family in the event something is broken, stolen, or if someone gets injured on the job. Whether you hire an individual or a business, request that the employees working in your home have a background check done, or you may want to complete one on them yourself for peace of mind.
Request references. Before making an offer, ask that the business or individual provide a list of references you may contact. When speaking with the references, look for a business or individual that has repeat satisfied customers. Ask the references about the services they use and if the business met expectations.
What to Know Before You Hire a Housekeeper
Finally hiring a housekeeper can bring such a sense of relief, but only if you’ve done your homework. It’s important to find someone who is trustworthy, particularly if they will be cleaning your home while you’re at work or running errands, and will take their time to do the job properly. Ask around for referrals and consider the ins and outs of using a sole proprietor or hiring a larger cleaning company before you commit to a housekeeper.
Independent Workers vs. Cleaning Companies
A number of housekeepers work as sole proprietors of their own business, but you might be more comfortable with a larger cleaning company that hires their own employees. There are pros and cons to both: A benefit to hiring a cleaning company is that they are responsible for screening the employees to ensure that a background check comes up clean. On the other hand, if you want the same person cleaning your house every week, you should choose a sole proprietor—turnover tends to be higher with cleaning companies, and they might send someone different each time.
Find a Referral
The best place to start looking for a great housekeeper is to ask your family and friends if they have a company or person that they use and love. One of the great things about using a cleaning service is that they have multiple people who might work out well for your needs. A lot of services will allow you to try out different housekeepers until you find one that is perfect for your needs.
Take some time to come up with real questions, and make sure that you’re thorough with the interview. Ask questions about what they enjoy about their work. Why did they choose housekeeping as a line of work? Check references, work history, and criminal history. A lot of services will do these things in advance, but be thorough and check out the results.
Decide on a flat fee or an hourly fee
When considering hiring a housekeeper, one of the things that you might have to decide is if you’re going to pay by the hour or pay a flat fee, though the housekeeper or company might have their own non-negotiable policies.
How Hiring a House Cleaner Made Me Happier, Healthier and More Productive
Sometimes you have to admit mom was right. When my husband and I moved into a behemoth old Victorian in need of some love, she shook her head. “You’ll never have any time to enjoy the house,” she warned us. “You’ll spend all your time cleaning.”
Enthralled with the acres of hardwood floors, fireplaces in every room, and gorgeous trim you only find in houses of a certain age (this one dates to 1890), I laughed it off. We had moved from a 900 square foot home that took a team effort of just 20 minutes to get it clean enough for company and I couldn’t envision spending any more time than that. We’d just get a Roomba, we figured.
We tried various approaches; one room a day, x number of minutes per day, refrigerator lists, apps, paper planners with chore lists. But when there was always more to be done it came to seem pointless to even make an effort. So we’d let it slide. Then something would spur us into action; family coming to visit, hosting friends, wasting half an hour looking for something we’d misplaced, and we’d lose an entire weekend to mopping, scrubbing and fervent proclamations that this time we’d get clean and organized and stay that way.
Between those frenzied bouts of cleaning I’d find myself in one of two untenable situations. Working from home I don’t get to leave dirty dishes or the mountain of laundry behind each day. So I had to either look at it all day, which left me feeling stressed and overwhelmed, unable to focus — or just deal with it myself, which ate away large chunks of my work day and left me feeling stressed and overwhelmed. You see where this is going.
We needed professional help. But I felt guilty at even the thought. What would people think? My own mom cleaned houses when I was a kid and I helped sometimes. We’re not one-percenters by a long stretch; I’m a freelance writer plus Airbnb host with a full-time rental on our home’s third floor, and my husband works in HR and is pretty much an eternal college student. We share a car and are more likely to shop consignment and thrift stores than luxury boutiques. Thoughts of a housecleaner conjured up fancy people with shiny jobs and paychecks to match. Who did we think we were?