Let your home shine while you enjoy more free time
Let’s be real: after a long day of work and taking care of the kids, cleaning your kitchen or scrubbing the toilet is the last thing you want to do. So why not have someone do it for you? Follow these expert tips to find a local house cleaner you won’t want to live without.
1. Know What to Look For
When hiring a housekeeper for the first time, look for someone who has experience and seems open to direction and feedback. Because the cleaner will be in your home, it's important to choose someone reliable and trustworthy.
You also want to ensure the cleaner's schedule matches up with the times that work well for you; you probably don’t want them to come during family dinner or when you host your book club.
2. Get Referrals and Check Out Reviews
Ask friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers for recommendations. You can also use online resources to look up reviews from past customers. Talk with at least three different house cleaning services or individual cleaners to get a feel of who is the best fit for your home and your needs.
3. Interview the Service or Cleaner
Ideally, it's best to chat with the individual who will clean your house. But with larger cleaning companies, you’ll likely talk with a representative who handles new clients. No matter which path you choose, prepare a list of questions to ask a house cleaner:
How many years of experience do you have cleaning homes?
Who is responsible for the cleaning supplies?
What type of cleaning supplies are used?
What guarantees do you offer, and are you insured?
What are your rates?
Do you charge hourly or by service? If hourly, what can you usually accomplish in three hours?
Do you offer weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly services?
What days and times do you have open in your schedule for our home?
What are your terms of service? (i.e. rules or fees for changing and cancelling services)
Do you have references of other clients I can talk to?
Will it be one cleaner or several who come to the home? Will it be the same crew each time?
In addition to regular cleanings, do you offer one-off services like a deep spring clean or an extra session before a special event like a party?
What extra services do you offer?
4. Ask for a Background Check and Verify Liabilities
Your house cleaner will have access to your personal space and be near your family, so ensure they are trustworthy and responsible. Ask if the cleaning company does background checks on their employees and if the service maintains liability insurance. Go over details about liabilities such as damaged items or an on-site injury, and get the agreement in writing, if possible.
In most cases, a residential housekeeper doesn’t need to have a specific license to become a housekeeper.
5. Define Your Agreement
Once you've decided on a cleaning service, outline the details of your arrangement. Decide how often they'll come, what services or hours will be included, and a price.
Include what rooms, floors, and items will be cleaned. Discuss any specifics about your home, such as keepsake dishes to dust or new flooring that needs to be handled in a certain way. Take a walk through your home and note any details you want to relay to your cleaner.
If you’re working with a cleaning company, you may wish to define this in a contract. If it’s an individual cleaner, you might feel comfortable without an official agreement.
Most house cleaning services need a couple of weeks’ notice before their first visit, so get on their calendar sooner than later—especially if you need help cleaning and organizing during the holiday season.
6. Know What They Take Care of and What Your Job Is
When your house cleaners come, you want them to be able to focus on cleaning surfaces and spaces, not moving aside your clutter or clearing off your kitchen counter.
Knowing what to do before your house cleaner arrives helps maximize their time and ensure they're comfortable in your home. Here are some things to take care of before your cleaner shows up:
Put away jewelry, valuables, and fragile items in a safe place
Pick up clutter where your cleaner will be working
Clear away your dishes, as most house cleaners won’t wash dishes but will want to scrub your sink and countertops
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A House Cleaner?
Hiring a house cleaner costs anywhere from $120 to $235 per visit, depending on where you live and the size and condition of your home. Homeowners typically spend between $30 to $50 per hour on a cleaner, though deeper cleans and one-time visits may cost more, such as the cost of move-out cleaning services.