Being in a constant state of anxiety because your house isn't clean is no way to live. And as much as you try, it can be tough to keep on top of cleaning your home when you already lead a busy life.
Finding the time to perform deep cleaning can be almost impossible between work and the kids' schedules. And you certainly don't want to rely on family and friends — it's not good practice, and it can sometimes sour relationships. That's why professional cleaning exists.
A lot goes into hiring a professional house cleaner, as you'll want to ensure you get one that's the right fit for you, your wallet, and your house. The following guide provides tips on hiring a competent, reasonably priced cleaner that will come into your home and leave you with a spotlessly clean home.
Search well and far
While contacting the first option you find after a quick Google Search may be tempting, it's worth waiting and doing your homework on the local options available. Read reviews, and visit the cleaning company's websites and social media pages.
Are they in good working order? Do they have good reviews on them that seem genuine? Do they have good pictures of before and after their work? Ask your family and friends if they have any recommendations. Referrals from friends are always a great way to get quality help. Check if the cleaning business you're interested in has satisfaction guarantees.
The important thing is that you search well before contacting anyone. Also, ensure that the cleaning company's employees are bonded and insured. That way, you're doubly protected against any breakages or accidents while doing their jobs.
See if they're a good fit
From your list of house cleaners, you'll want to pick one that's the best fit for you and your family. After all, these people will be coming into your home. This may require trial-and-error or multiple phone calls and seeing what kind of feeling you get from those conversations.
You should set up an interview for prospective cleaners to get a feel for them and their work. They can also offer you an in-home estimate during this interview.
Establish a rate of pay
During this interview, you must establish a fair pay rate if they're a one-man-band operation. If not, they may be salaried by their cleaning company. This distinction should be made evident within their online presence; if not, you should ask the question during a phone conversation.
Rates of pay are usually an hourly fee, and they'll be able to give you an estimate of how long it'll take them to clean your space. Be sure to check on the costs, as the price varies quite a bit between residential and commercial cleaning.
This is why it's critical to have everything written down in a contract if you're hiring a cleaner for the long term. Keep in mind a larger cleaning company has more variety for a cleaner to match your home (they also do office cleaning), but individual cleaners may be cheaper to hire.
Contact previous clients
If this professional house cleaner has come recommended to you by friends and family or has decent online reviews, don't hesitate to reach out to their previous to get information on how good a job they did.
This is part of your homework on who you hire and one of the last things you'll do before inviting the prospective cleaner into your home. Your home is your castle, and you want to have your house cleaned by a professional who has experience in regular cleaning to the highest quality.
Feel free to inspect their work and ask questions
Once the cleaner is inside your home and begins their work, you may be tempted to be out while this is happening to make things easier. But, at least for the first couple of times they clean, you should be present until you develop trust.
Also, it doesn't hurt to ask questions of your cleaners and inspect their work accordingly. You can ask any questions you like, and if you have allergies, it might be an idea to ensure that they're bringing in scent-free cleaning products.
They may also have tips on cleaning the home yourself so you can keep the space fresher in between cleans. Any cleaning tips will benefit your regular cleaning schedule. Also, pay attention to how long it takes them to clean certain home areas so you know how much time in the future to allocate.
If carpets are on the agenda, ensure they're cleaned
This will definitely need to be discussed beforehand, but sometimes cleaners come in and don't clean carpets, wash floors, or clean ovens — they only do surfaces and the rooms in the house.
If they don't disclose it and want them to clean your carpets, make sure you ask. They will likely come with a professional carpet cleaner, which may be the last thing they do before leaving. Either way, it's a good idea to double-check their cleaning checklist.
Make sure they cover all the bases
It's part of your job to decide what you want your professional cleaner to clean when they get to your home. So, make sure that you have thought about this before they arrive. Many will clean the house in its entirety, and they'll welcome regular cleaning work. Others, however, will need further information from the potential client before they start work.
While they should be proficient enough to do all the work themselves, they may also need specific directions for cleaning windows or hardwood floors. It's also worthwhile ensuring that they clean things like ceiling fans and light fixtures in the living room, as this is where dust and dirt accumulate over time, and they're often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the job.
Do they provide bathroom cleaning? Or a spring clean as part of the cleaning routine? Will they do a full home clean in the time allocated, or will bathroom cleaning take up all their time? You might also ask if they offer services like running errands, pest control, or other cleaning solutions that might be outside the norm.
Provide adequate feedback and pay accordingly
You must let them know if you are unsatisfied with any element of the cleaner's work. They're probably not there to take your money and run, and most cleaners will relish the opportunity to have feedback on their work, positive or negative.
It'll help them do their jobs better next time and help you form a happier, healthier bond with the cleaner. You should make payment upon completion or in the way you've arranged to do so under your written contract.
Depending on the type of cleaning you're looking for, it's important to note that there are two types of cleaners for your home. First, a large company with many cleaners on their books, and second, individual cleaners who are either cleaning as a side business or as their primary source of income, working on a sole proprietorship only.
Before trusting the latter in your home, you might want to check to see their credentials, ask about insurance and, of course, find out their business registration details.
Before hiring, you should also see if they do house tours for a more accurate estimate on price and to find out how much time cleaning will take. You could also ask about green cleaning, whether cleaning of homes and gardens can come in a package deal, and see if they do holiday cleaning to ensure your home is looking its best during busy festive seasons.
No matter what purpose you're hiring a professional cleaning company, the goal is to come out of the experience with a clean house and in a happier and healthier mindset than before. So make sure that this is the case before inviting them back.