Angie’s List tips for hiring a house cleaning service
You made breakfast for the kids, drove them to school, and then put in eight hours at work. When you finally arrive at home, more than likely, you’re faced with even more responsibility — such as cleaning the house.
“Let’s face it, few of us look forward to cleaning the house and some of us just downright hate it,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “In a recent Angie’s List poll nearly 60 percent of respondents said their least favorite room to tackle is the bathroom – the most common complained about areas are toilets and cleaning soap scum.”
Angie’s List provides a great resource for finding a quality house cleaner. To get the best results from your search, it important to plan ahead and note the services you desire, as well as issues that could arise like security, and who will pay for the cleaning supplies.
Tips for hiring a house cleaning service:
Interview the service: It’s important you interview not only a representative from a house cleaning service, but also the actual person who will be cleaning your home. You should be comfortable with them, especially if they’ll be working while you’re not at home. Ask if the same crew from the house cleaning company will be at your home each time.
Ask about background checks: House cleaners have access to your personal space, so you need assurance that the crew that comes into your home is trustworthy. Ask if the company does background checks on their employees and if the service maintains proper liability insurance.
What’s the rate? The cost for a professional cleaning service will depend on the services you request, the frequency of visits and the size of your home. Ask if they charge by the hour or by the project? Don’t settle for an estimate over the phone – most house cleaning services offer free in-home estimates.
Establish clear expectations: Don’t be shy making your wishes known. If you want clutter removed from under beds or a 7-foot bookshelf dusted at every visit, put it in writing. The house cleaning service may have requests of their own, such as bedding being stripped prior to their arrival. Do a walk-through of your house and make a list of your priorities and desires – it may take a couple of cleanings for you and the company to get accustomed to each other.
Make preparations: Put away all jewelry and valuables in a safe or in a discreet compartment. This will keep them from getting misplaced or damaged.
Who’s responsible for supplies? Some house cleaning companies use their clients’ rags, paper towels, cleaners and other household supplies. Be sure to ask whether they’ll bring their own or if they need access to your stash under the kitchen sink.
Are you green? If you hire an environmentally-friendly house cleaning company, ask what specific products they use and research those products if you are not familiar with them.
Call ahead: Most housecleaning services need at least two weeks’ notice for an appointment. During the holiday months when business picks up, they may need even a bit longer.
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