Hiring a Cleaning Service
If you believe that a cleaning service is completely out of your price range, you're probably wrong. For one thing, you don't have to use it every week, or even every month. And if it's important enough to you, you won't mind cutting back on other things, like lattes or manicures.
The most cost-effective cleaning service could be a neighborhood preteen who's looking to make some extra bucks. Notice we said preteen—it's best to catch them before they start driving and can find more lucrative employment. If you have the means and no trustworthy, hardworking preteen is available, it's on to the professional services. Below are some tips on how to hire the right service for you.
1. Ask friends, coworkers and neighbors for recommendations. Be sure to ask about the particulars like how much does their service cost and how often do they have the service in to clean.
2. Make a list of the things you'd like a service to do: laundry? Cooking? Full-house cleaning? Running errands? That way you can determine what kind of service you need to contact.
3. Be sure to interview services on the phone as you would any employee: Check the service with the Better Business Bureau to make sure no complaints are lodged against them. Here are questions to ask:
a. How long have you been in business?
b. Are you insured and bonded?
c. Are your employees working in the U.S. legally?
d. Are your employees contractors or are they actual employees?
e. What services do you provide?
f. Can I get an estimate?
g. If I need to cancel, how far in advance do I need to call without a penalty?
h. Do you take checks and/or credit cards?
i. Do you guarantee your work?
j. Will the same people be cleaning my home each week?
k. Do I need to be home when you clean?
l. Can I get a list of references?
m. Do you supply cleaning products and appliances?
4. With most services, the first few cleanings will be more expensive than subsequent cleanings. This is because most services do a deep cleaning or two from top to bottom to start and then after that, cleanings will be more maintenance cleanings.
5. Don't let everything go between cleanings. Having a cleaning service doesn't give you license to live like a pig. Chances are good that having someone else do the heavy cleaning will be incentive enough to keep the place looking neat and uncluttered between times.
6. If you're going to hire a service, don't clean before they come. You're defeating the purpose. Yes, keep things tidy and picked up, but don't clean the sinks and tubs!
7. Don't expect your housecleaner to read your mind about how you want things done and where you want things put away. Spell it all out. Make a list with pertinent details about how your want things. They'll be grateful.
8. Even though you're paying for the service, you should give tips to the individual cleaners because they don't get every cent you pay. Be sure to give praise and compliments, because people who are valued tend to work harder than those who aren't.