Hiring a housekeeper can pay great rewards. It can free you from nasty tasks and allow you to spend time doing things you enjoy. Regular professional cleaning can also make your home more comfortable and inviting.
Of course, these benefits don’t come cheap, so you want to make the most of every housekeeping visit. Here are 7 ways to maximize your house cleaner’s effectiveness:
Clean up. No, you don’t have to “clean the house before the housekeeper comes,” but taking care of a few things in advance will net you more sparkle for your buck. Picking up clutter around the house, putting last night’s dinner plates in the dishwasher, and making the kids straighten up their rooms will save time that your housekeeper can use doing more serious cleaning – including the nasty stuff that you are really paying to avoid.
Deal with the dog. An aggressive dog is all sorts of problematic during housekeeping visit. But a fearful, barking dog can also be an annoyance and obstacle. So, if your canine companion hates strangers or the vacuum cleaner, come up with a solution. Crate her, leave him in the backyard or, in extreme cases, send her to doggy daycare.
Give directions. They are housekeepers, not mind readers. If you want the baseboards wiped, refrigerator cleaned out, or the bathroom deep-cleaned, be sure to let them know.
Be honest about the job. When seeking estimates, be honest with yourself and prospective housekeepers about the scope of the job. Don’t downplay your messiness out of embarrassment. These folks are pros; they’ve seen a lot worse. A lot. Providing a candid assessment of your needs is key to getting an accurate estimate of how much time and money would be required to make your home spic and span.
Stick with insured cleaners. Your home is likely sprinkled with expensive and delicate items. An insured house cleaning operation is in the best position to make good if something happens to one of those possessions during a cleaning. Of course, you need to use good judgment, too. Maybe take that irreplaceable Victorian teapot off the mantle on cleaning day?
Know the limits. Don’t expect your housecleaner to deal with pet waste, a clogged toilet, or anything even remotely close. Any household situation that you find gag-inducing is something you need to handle.
Stay on top of things. Integrating a few simple tasks into your daily household routine can make your housekeeper’s job much easier, and perhaps cheaper. Just sweeping the kitchen floor, wiping down the counters and cabinets after cooking, and washing toothpaste out of the sink can make a difference in how long it takes to clean your house.