You've decided that the best solution to free up some time in your busy life is to hire a house cleaning service. That's a great plan; about 10 percent of households in the U.S. benefit from a professional cleaning service. But as someone who has never used a service, you may not know what you should do to be the ideal client -- and to make sure you get the right cleaner for you. Here are five things you should ask your new house cleaning service to make sure you get the best results.
1. What supplies do you need?
Some house cleaners bring their own supplies, but many will only use what you provide. That's because you may have certain preferences about the products that are used in your home. As well, it lowers costs if you provide what your cleaning service needs to make your home spic 'n' span.
2. What cleaning or tidying do you want done before you come?
The idea of hiring a cleaning service is that you have less work to do -- but if your home is a cluttered mess, you're not going to get the best results. House cleaners will do what they can to dust, sweep and vacuum under and around your piles, but you won't get a completely clean home unless you do some pre-work to reduce the mess. Be especially sure to pick up:
- piles of papers
- clothes that aren't in dressers or on hangers
On the other hand, you don't want to make things too clean -- otherwise there's no point in hiring a cleaning service. For other clutter, communicate with your house cleaner to determine what can stay in place and whether you want them to tidy up.
3. Will you handle any other services?
Don't just assume that your cleaning service will also do laundry, wash dishes or make beds. Some do, but you may have to pay extra. Find out if the service you've hired has a list of other household chores they will tackle and what the additional cost will be.
4. Do you have insurance?
Many professional house cleaners carry their own insurance that covers both any injuries they may receive on the job and any damage that they may inadvertently do to your property or possessions. Check to make sure that your house cleaner has insurance; otherwise, you'll be on the hook for any problems that may occur. (If your cleaner doesn't have insurance, call your agent and find out if your homeowners or renters policies will cover them.) You'll worry less about having someone in your home if you know they are covered in case of emergency.
5. Did you run a background check?
Most services do require their employees to have a background check, but some do not. You want to make sure that anyone who comes into your home is trustworthy, and while a background check isn't a failsafe measure, you'll know that the company you hired does their due diligence to check employees. Also know that if you hire a commercial franchise to do your cleaning, that they tend to have the least turnover -- around 2 percent.
Communication is key to making your house cleaning service work well for you and your household. If you have questions, ask. Leave notes if you need to explain what you need help with. Or call and leave voice mail messages as needed. You'll get the best cleaning service for the cost.