Having a busy life and a beautiful home should be good things. If the burden of tending to household chores is starting to squeeze all the free time out of your schedule, why not call on the assistance of a professional house cleaning service? Here’s everything you need to know if you want to turn your day-to-day chores over to experts.
Define The Scope Of The Job
The first thing you’ll want to do is get a firm idea of exactly how much help you need with your cleaning. Decide which rooms will be “out of bounds” to the cleaning staff. You should also prepare some general information to help cleaning services give you pricing on the job - if you happen to know how large your house is in square feet, this will be tremendously helpful.
Take the time to draw up a list of the cleaning tasks you’d like your service to handle. Be comprehensive to start with, but bear in mind that a lot of chores fall outside the typical scope of a cleaning service’s workers. (Window washing, for instance, is a common example of a task that household services generally don’t handle.) For some tasks, you may not find a service willing to handle them; with others, you may need to pay extra fees.
Build Your Short List
Of course, it’s not feasible to talk to every cleaning service in your community. In order to narrow down your search, begin by asking friends, relatives, and coworkers for recommendations. Remember to ask how satisfied they are with their service - you probably don’t want to waste your time with a company that’s caused problems for someone you know! You can round out your list by using the Internet to find services that operate in your neighborhood. With local services, it’s generally pretty easy to speak directly to a client to find out how happy they are with their cleaning staff.
You can start narrowing down your choices with simple phone calls. You’ll want to have the information you gathered about your cleaning job handy, and some firms may be able to quote you a price sight unseen. What you’re really interested in at this point is credentials, though. You need to verify that any company you hire is bonded and insured; this protects you in the case of accidents. Also, ask the service about their hiring policies. You want to verify that anyone who works in your home is a legal resident and has passed a criminal background check.
Interviewing Potential Services
A good house cleaning service will send a representative to your home in order to get a better feel for the job. This is the time to really define what you expect from your cleaning service. The service rep will want to know some important details at this time, like what schedule you’re looking for, how many people live in the home, whether there are pets or children, and so forth.
This should also be when you talk about pricing. Some cleaning services work on a flat fee, some charge an hourly rate, and some use a hybrid model. Many homeowners are leery of hiring hourly cleaning services because they assume the staff will “pad” their time. If you are considering a service that bills at an hourly rate, inquire about a cap on the total overall charge for a single cleaning visit.
Starting With A Trial Run
Even once you’ve made your final choice, your job isn’t quite done. You want to try out the service you’ve picked to see if it’s a good fit with your needs. The best way to do this is to pay them to work a small sample of cleaning visits. You want to get through more than one so that you can confirm they’ll provide a consistent level of service.
Be very wary of any service that tries to get you to make a long-term commitment before you’ve gotten a first-hand look at the job their employees do in your home. At the same time, though, you shouldn’t raise unfair expectations on your service’s part: Make it clear that you won’t make a final commitment until you’ve been through a few cleaning visits.
Working With Your Service
Once you’ve picked a service and are happy with their performance during their initial visits, you can settle into a long-term routine. Make sure you keep contact numbers for your service convenient in case you need to make scheduling changes. Don’t be afraid to issue instructions to the staff members who clean your home; it’s important to make sure they have a clear understanding of your expectations. Just remember to be civil. Your cleaners are professionals, and they deserve to be treated as such.
If you run into any difficulties down the road, you should always start by attempting to resolve your problems with the staff members who handle your cleaning. Do not contact their supervisors unless speaking to them has proven to be pointless. If individual cleaners simply aren’t working out, though, you’re entitled to ask for a replacement.
Good cleaning services can make an enormous difference in your life. Finding a great company with great employees is well worth investing a little extra time in the hunt for the right house cleaners. You won’t regret the effort you put into the process when you see how clean your house becomes!