3 tips for hiring a house cleaner

3 tips for hiring a house cleaner

House cleaning can seem like an easy task to those who have had a housekeeper or cleaning company before. But for first timers, it can be really overwhelming. You are letting people into your home that could potentially be seeing all your dirty laundry (no pun intended). 

There really needs to be a level of trust and communication unlike any other relationship with outside companies you have ever established. What follows are a few tips for hiring a cleaning company or housekeeper.

1. Communication.

If you can comfortably tell your house cleaner what your expectations are and not feel intimidated, that is a plus. Also, cleaners are only human. They miss things sometimes. Often clients don't feel like they can tell the cleaners where they fell short. 

If you cannot express areas of concern to a company without getting a snotty attitude or snooty response, then they aren't right for you. Open communication is key on both ends of this relationship.

2. Trust.

The first person to blame when something goes missing is generally the housekeeper. Many times, it turns out that whatever item went missing shows up in a spot a few days later. 

You want to make sure you know the people coming into your home. Start a conversation with them or ask if the company runs background checks. There is no doubt that some people are out for themselves and are tempted to steal, but a company with solid ethical structure and moral employees should not be tempted. 

Also, don't let previous experiences hinder your trust for new people. It is hard to get past a previous burn, but just remember – the new cleaner is not the person who burned you, so give them a chance.

3. Price.

There are a few ways you can price out the competition in your area. In most cases, companies will charge about the same as their competition depending on size. Don't be afraid to shop around. 

Call a few companies who can provide price quotes over the phone. Most will ask the size of the home, location, the number of rooms and the amount of detail needed. Some do not do quotes over the phone. 

Large corporation chains often provide you with a total once they come in and completely clean your home from top to bottom. That works for some, but not all. The majority of the people have budgets they need to stick to. 

Medium companies’ prices vary but are often reasonable. The companies are usually well established and you can ensure that the majority are insured properly. This is where you will find the best quality with the best price

Independent cleaners are individuals who clean who may or may not be licensed, bonded and insured. You will want to see their insurance certificates and business licenses if they claim to be. 

If they are not, you will have to make sure your homeowners insurance covers this and you will need to provide them with a 1099 as you are personally employing them. 

There is so much that goes into price quotes for cleaning because all homes and all clients are different. You can probably look to spend $25 to $35 (average) per hour for a cleaner to come into your home. Due to taxes, insurance, fees and licensing, that is the most common price range.

To give you some confidence when selecting a company for hire, remember to ask yourself the following:

  • Are you able to openly communicate to each other?
  • Do you trust these people in your home?
  • Is the price right for your budget?

Remember, house cleaners are there to make your life easier. You are probably at a point in your life where you may feel a little overwhelmed and you just need someone to help. Or you may just detest cleaning so much that you want to hire someone. Whatever the reason, don’t be nervous. Just set up the appointment – it will be worth it!

About this Angie’s List Expert: Sara Victory is the owner of Victory Residential Cleaning, providing house cleaning services in West Palm Beach, Fla. Since 2012, Victory Residential Cleaning has specialized in basic cleaning, move-ins and move-outs, garage cleaning, post-construction cleaning and home sitting.

As of September 13, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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