How to Prepare for a House Cleaner in 8 Steps

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated February 21, 2022
A female janitor vacuums a living room
Photo: Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock

Brush up on these house cleaner etiquette tips

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If you’ve decided to get your home professionally cleaned for the first time, you may not know what to expect. However, learning how to prepare for a house cleaner just takes a few quick steps. We’ll go over everything you need to know to prepare for a visit from a house cleaner to set you both up for success.

1. Research Your Cleaning Service

Doing thorough research before a cleaning service comes to your home will help avoid any surprises or misunderstandings. If you’re wondering how to find a good house cleaner, it’s important to do your homework first. Check out top-rated house cleaning services in your area and find out what they cover. It’s also important to ensure the business is properly insured before you hire. 

2. Declutter for Your Cleaner

You don’t want to task your house cleaner with figuring out how to organize your cluttered surfaces. Pick up toys, junk mail, loose change, and whatever else found its way to your countertops. The less clutter you have around, the easier it’ll be for your house cleaner to focus on more important tasks, such as wiping down your baseboards and dusting your vintage figurines.

3. Clear Away Dirty Dishes and Food Messes

Detail of a man’s hands doing the dishes
Photo: Maskot / Getty Images

Unless otherwise specified, most house cleaners don’t wash dishes or deal with food messes. Washing and putting away your dirty dishes will make it much easier for your pro to clean your sink and the surrounding areas. Plus, once everything’s all sparkling clean, you won’t have any additional chores to worry about.

4. Communicate Any Questions or Special Requests

Once you’re meeting with cleaning pros, communicate your needs clearly. For example, if your dusty Venetian blinds are driving you crazy, bring this up so your house cleaner knows not to miss them. If you’d like your house cleaner to do a quick walk-through with you, prepare all of your talking points beforehand so no time gets wasted.

5. Secure Fragile Items

Close-up of a beautiful vase with cotton flowers
Photo: Anastasiia Krivenok / Moment / Getty Images

It’s always wise to secure anything that could easily get broken. Accidents happen, and you don’t want your grandma’s favorite vase to come crashing down. If anything is especially valuable to you or needs to be cleaned in a specific way, let your pro know ahead of time. 

6. Put Your Pets Away

Good house cleaner etiquette means crating your pup and keeping your kitties behind closed doors. Your animals might get in the way during a house cleaning, especially if they follow your cleaner around looking for scratches. Your house cleaner may also have allergies or phobias, so it’s best to be considerate and tuck away the fur babies until they’re finished.

7. Know Proper House Cleaner Etiquette

Researching house cleaning etiquette beforehand will prevent any awkwardness or miscommunications between you and your house cleaner. If you have any specific concerns or questions beforehand, make them known. You can also ask any pressing questions during the hiring process, as pros will be happy to set your mind at ease. As far as tipping house cleaners goes, it’s never a bad idea to give a little extra (around 20%) for a job well done.

8. Avoid Over-the-Top Expectations

When you’re hiring a cleaning service, you’ll usually have to choose between a general house cleaning versus a deep clean. Each has a set of basic tasks the house cleaner will cover. If you have anything extra in mind, be sure to communicate that—and prepare for any fees that might follow. Going in with clear expectations is the key to happiness and a spotless clean.

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