House and Home - How to Choose a House Cleaner
If you're going to pay someone to clean your home, ask the right questions to get the best deal.
Everybody loves having a clean house. But who really likes to clean?
You can try cajoling your husband. Or change the wifi password daily and hold it hostage until your kids do their chores. But when all else fails, hire a professional.
There are essentially two options to consider when choosing someone to clean your home: An independent house cleaner, like Royersford's Donna's Cleaning and Reflections Housecleaning or a larger franchise cleaning company, like Merry Maids.
You can find local cleaners using search engines by looking up “house cleaning” and your zip code. Also check Craigslist.org, and, of course, ask your friends and family about their experiences.
Whether you decide to hire a small mom-and-pop-op or a matching-outfitted outfit, your selection process is basically the same. Here are things to consider:
Bonding and insurance – This should be the first question you ask. If the cleaner isn’t bonded and insured, end the interview. Bonding and insurance protect not only the cleaning service, but they protect you in case an accident occurs in your home. A cleaning service that is not bonded and insured leaves you open to unnecessary risk. Ask for proof of insurance.
References – You should ask the cleaner to provide references from other clients, and check them. Ask for honest opinions about the cleaner’s work and reliability. Also ask how long the cleaner has been in the reference’s employ – the longer, the better.
Your expectations, schedule and fees - Discuss your expectations, specific cleaning needs or requests, and how often you would like your home to be cleaned. Is this a one-time spring-cleaning? Many cleaning services offer reduced rates for regular weekly or bi-weekly cleanings. Do you have a preference for a particular day? Find out if the cleaner has availability that meets your requirements. Finally, discuss payment. What can you expect the charges to be? Be sure to ask about any additional fees or charges you could potentially incur.
Who will do the cleaning? Find out whether the cleaning service will do the work themselves, or use their own employees. Or do they intend to outsource your home to someone else? Beware of a cleaning service that farms work out.
Supplies – Ask whether the cleaner will use his or her own supplies, or if you will have to provide them. What tools and products will be used in your home? Make sure you mention any potential issues like allergens, and any areas or furniture that require special care or products.
If you could hire someone to take over one chore at your house, which would it be? Share your thoughts in the comments below.