Finding a Reliable Cleaning Service
We all want a clean, tidy home. The problem is we don’t all have the time and energy to invest in the undertaking. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: find a professional cleaning service. Reliable, quality cleaning services take off pressure, give you a break, and leave you with valuable free time. Follow our advice to hire the best cleaners and get the job done right.
HIRE THE RIGHT CLEANER
Independent Cleaner or Agency?
When you hire cleaning help, there are usually two choices: an independent cleaner or a cleaning agency.
When you hire an independent cleaner, you are the one in charge. But if the cleaner is sick or otherwise unavailable, you’ll be left without cleaning help. In addition, you are considered the employer. Unless you yourself pay their insurance (liability and workers comp), you will not be covered in case of damage, accident, or theft.
When you hire a cleaning service, you will be a customer, avoiding the headache of being an employer. However, you may have less flexibility in certain matters, such as which cleaning products are used in your home. And unless you request otherwise, the service could send you a different employee every time.
Check Them Out
Ask for references. Request references from long-term customers. Then call to find out about the caliber of the work, reliability of the cleaner(s), and overall level of satisfaction.
The following apply only to a cleaning company, not an individual cleaner:
Check credentials. Find out how long the company has been in business. Make sure they are bonded and insured and have an up-to-date operating license. Ask whether they perform background checks on their employees.
Contact the Better Business Bureau. Check the company's standing and look for consumer complaints. You can also see what action, if any, the company took to resolve problems.
Read online reviews. Usually a third-party site, like Yelp!, is the best source of objective reviews to help you choose reliable cleaners.
Sign a contract. Many cleaning services provide a standard service agreement. Read the terms carefully before you sign. Does it offer return service if you are not satisfied with the work?
GET THE JOB DONE RIGHT
Ask yourself the following questions first. Then discuss them with the cleaner or house cleaning service you think you’d like to hire.
- Type of Service: Do you need cleaning-only service, or do you require maid service that might include running errands or folding laundry? Are you looking for someone to declutter your home? (This last job is more appropriate for a professional organizer.)
- List of Tasks. What exactly do you want the cleaning service to handle? Make a clear, detailed list and print it out to share with your cleaner. For example, “clean the bathroom” could include scrubbing the tub and shower, disinfecting the toilet, polishing the mirror, emptying the trash, and mopping the floor.
- Frequency of Service: Do you need cleaning weekly, twice a week, every other week? Perhaps you only require a deep cleaning once a season.
- Supplies and Equipment: Will you provide all the cleaning supplies and equipment, or would you prefer that your service handle it all?
- Products Used: Do you want all-natural organic cleaning products, or do you feel that it's not clean unless it's "Lysol clean"?
Find out average cleaning costs. Research the average cost for professional house cleaning in your area. Remember that a cleaning company typically charges more than an individual, to cover overhead including insurance and bonding, supplies, and customer guarantees.
Get multiple quotes. Request price quotes from several professional cleaners. Be sure to look into what each one includes so that you’ll be comparing apples to apples.
Agree on a rate. Agree on a dollar figure before the work starts. Will the rate be per hour, per room, per job? Is there an upcharge for certain chores, such as window cleaning? Does the cleaning service/person charge for transportation?
Choose a payment system. Will you be paying weekly or monthly? Do you pay the cleaner directly or send a check or digital funds transfer to the cleaning company? What will the payment arrangement be?