Tips for Hiring a Home Cleaning Service
As a homeowner, you’ve worked hard to secure your piece of the American Dream. You love your home, and you want to take care of it, but in today’s busy world, between working, raising children and tending to day-to-day tasks, it can be tough to set aside time for things like cleaning. After all, who wants to spend their free time dusting and mopping when they could be playing with their kids, enjoying a date with their spouse, or simply relaxing and taking in some much-needed downtime?
One way to ease the burden of home cleaning is to hire a professional company to do it for you. Most home cleaning companies offer a full range of services – from just basic occasional cleaning for a few rooms, to weekly deep cleaning of the whole house – so depending on your schedule and your needs, you can likely find a service that will fit into your budget.
So how do you go about hiring a great home cleaning company? Here are a few tips to help you find a service that’s dependable, professional, and reasonably priced.
1. Check references and reviews.
When you contact a cleaning company, don’t be afraid to ask for references from current or previous clients. Most cleaning companies get the majority of their business via word of mouth, so they should already have a list of satisfied clients ready for you to peruse. As for reading reviews, you can check out the company’s website, Facebook page or other social media outlets, but be aware that the company will likely only publish stellar reviews. You can check out unfiltered reviews on other sites like Google or Yelp, but just keep in mind that every business is likely to get one or two negative reviews. Look for positivity – not perfection.
2. Make sure the company/agency/individual is licensed and insured.
Anyone can claim that they are a professional home cleaner. But that doesn’t mean they have the proper business licensing or insurance policy. If the person cleaning your home breaks or damages something, will they pay for it? If they are injured while working in your home, who will pay the medical bills? These are questions you’ll need to ask.
3. Be specific about what you want.
Don’t presume that the company or individual will know exactly how you like things to be cleaned. For instance, if you say you want them to dust a room, they may or may not dust the blades of the ceiling fan. If you say you want them to vacuum, they may or may not vacuum under the couch cushions. Tell them exactly what you want, and if it helps, put it all in writing so they can use it as a checklist.
4. Have a clear understanding of price.
Do they charge by the hour or by the room? Are there extra fees for homes with animals? How about weekend rates vs. weekday rates?
5. Understand the tax implications.
If you’re working with an individual, you are most likely hiring them as an independent contractor. That means you’re not responsible for taking things like taxes and social security out of their pay. However, you should consult a tax professional to make sure the IRS does not think you are hiring them as an employee. (Please note, this blog is not written by tax professionals. Consult a licensed accountant or tax professional for specific information).
6. Know what type of supplies will be used and know who is responsible for providing them.
Some companies, particularly “green” or eco-friendly companies, are very specific about the products they use. If you’re OK with this, that’s fine. But some homeowners are very particular about the types of products they want used on their furniture or floors. For example, vinegar is an excellent “green” cleaner, but it can be damaging to certain types of material. It can eat away at the finish on wood floors and can even damage ceramic tile if it’s not diluted properly. Be very clear about what type of products you want them to use and also be clear about who is responsible for supplying the products.
7. Ask how many people will be cleaning your home.
Cleaning can be hard work, even if your home is relatively neat. The job can get done a lot faster and more efficiently if there is more than one person cleaning your home. This can also save you time and money. If it usually takes you four hours to completely clean your house, a company might be able to get it done in half the time if they have two or three people working simultaneously. This can save you money if they charge by the hour. And even if they charge by the room, it will still save you time. After all, you probably don’t want a cleaning company in your home for four hours.
Home Cleaning Company Resources
- Association of Residential Cleaning Services International – http://arcsi.org/
- Cleaning Service Directory – http://www.cleaningservice.directory/
- Spring Home Maintenance Tips
- Awesome Home Organization Products
- DIY Home Staging Techniques
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