If you feel like you’re spending all your precious free time with a mop and bucket, perhaps it’s time to hire help with house cleaning. How do you find a housecleaning service or a housekeeper who can do a good job? Let’s look at how you can find the housekeeping help you need.
What do you need done?
Make a list of the duties you need someone else to take on. If you need someone to actually clean, you need a house cleaning service or an individual housekeeper. If what you really need is decluttering, then you should hire a professional organizer. Perhaps you need both. Also think about whether you need one-time help or ongoing, scheduled cleaning. Have these decisions ready when talking to prospects.
Company or individual housing cleaning service?
Hiring an individual who cleans homes usually is less expensive than hiring a house cleaning service. You also get to know the person and can expect consistent work quality. The downside may be a lack of reliability; an individual who cleans houses may not have a backup. On the other hand, a cleaning service likely will offer a systematic professionalism in how it bids jobs and have proper insurance and bonding. A service will schedule cleaning teams and have backup crews if needed. But hiring a company will cost more.
Get personal referrals
Ask friends and family for names of individuals or house cleaning services they’ve used or heard good things about. Ask for referrals on your neighborhood Facebook page or community apps like Next Door. You can also find suggestions, as well as reviews, through sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and Home Advisor.
Another good source for a referral: real estate agents. They sometimes recommend having a home professionally cleaned as preparation for a listing, so they know who’s good.
Questions to cover with house cleaners?
Contact at least three providers to ask questions and get bids. Here’s what you should cover:
- Question how long the person or service has been in business. Do they charge by the hour or by the job? Will someone come to the house to survey the job before providing a quote?
- Will they provide their bid in writing? Can you have a consistent day and time, and will they come weekly, biweekly or monthly?
- Spell out in detail exactly what you want done and any limitations. Detail all duties in a written quote.
- Ask for references that you can contact. An extra tip: When you communicate with those references, ask if that person knows someone else who has used the service or individual. Call that person, too.
- With a house cleaning service, ask whether employees’ backgrounds are checked. For an individual cleaning entrepreneur, ask if she will agree to a background check or whether she has a recent report in writing to provide.
- Ask for proof of liability insurance, bonding and workman’s compensation insurance.
- Ask who provides cleaning products and equipment: you or the house cleaner? Generally the cleaner does.
- If you would like the house cleaning service or individual to perform extra tasks such as doing laundry or cleaning draperies and upholstery, ask if the service or individual will take them on and what the extra cost will be.
- Ask if you need to have your pet out of the house or crated on cleaning day. It is probably best to remove or crate any pets, or introduce them to the cleaners on a day you can be there.
- Work out how the cleaners will access your house if you are not home. You can leave a key or a keypad code, or if you have home automation, open the door remotely from your phone.
- It’s also advisable to contact an attorney about your legal responsibilities in hiring household help.
On cleaning day
Clear clutter from all floors and surfaces so the cleaners can get right to work.
Related – 5 Forgotten Places to Clean in Your Home