Even the most avid of clean freaks will admit to wanting, or even needing, a little help around the house. From dirty plates piling to dust bunnies taking over, there are times when hiring a cleaner is the right decision. However, it can be hard to get over the hump of inviting a stranger into your home – especially if you’ve never done it before.
To help put your mind at ease, we’ve put together a thorough guide on hiring a cleaning service for the first time. From knowing what questions to ask during the hiring process to preparing your first cleaning session, we’ll cover everything to make the experience as seamless as possible.
The Benefits of Hiring a Cleaner
There are numerous benefits on why you might want to hire a cleaner. Maybe you’re too busy with work or other obligations to keep on top of things at home. Perhaps you’re not feeling well or have recently had surgery, making your spring cleaning or house cleaning checklist difficult to carry out.
Whatever the reason, hiring a house cleaner can give you back valuable time in your day. You can spend this time working on that side hustle you’ve been putting off or catching up with friends. Time-saving aside, here are a few other benefits of bringing in professional help:
- You’ll be less stressed out due to not having to do the cleaning
- It can be cost-effective if you spend your time wisely and focus on work or other money-making activities
- You’ll be less likely to get sick since a cleaner will help remove harmful bacteria and allergens from your home
- Saves you doing labour-intensive cleaning tasks like degreasing the oven, washing wallpaper or window cleaning
- A professional house cleaner uses industrial-grade equipment and supplies you might not have access to
- Cleaners generally have higher standards than the average person, so you can expect a better clean
Now that you know what to gain from hiring a cleaner, the next step is finding one. While you could go for the cheapest cleaning company, know that you usually get what you pay for. A bit of extra money upfront could save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Steps on Finding a House Cleaner
Instead of picking the first name that comes up on a Google search, take some time to do your research and find a reputable cleaning company or individual.
Here are a few tips for finding qualified local house cleaners:
Get a Recommendation
Word of mouth may be a traditional way of finding a house cleaning service, but it’s still one of the best. Talk to your friends, family, and neighbours to see if they are using a cleaner and are happy with the service.
A referral generally carries more weight than an online review since you trust the person making the recommendation. This is especially true for close family and friends who have no reason to lead you astray.
If you don’t have anyone in your network who can give you a referral, you can always post in relevant Facebook groups or forums to see if anyone has a suggestion. This is better than going off a random Google search since you’ll be getting feedback from people in your community.
If you can’t get a direct recommendation, turn to google or similar search engines.
The easiest way to find a reputable house cleaner near you is to type “house cleaners near me” into Google. This will include a list of companies or individuals in your area, their contact information, website, and reviews.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of options, sites like Craigslist and Homeadvisor can be helpful. HomeAdvisor is especially useful as they have an extensive screening process for service providers to ensure that only the best are listed on their site.
Websites such as Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Trustpilot are all excellent sources for finding genuine reviews from past customers. And unlike a cleaner’s main website where testimonials can be faked, these platforms provide an unbiased look at a company’s strengths and weaknesses.
Be sure to read both the positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded idea of what to expect. However, take particular note of negative reviews that mention things like missed appointments, damage to property, or unprofessional behaviour. These are major red flags that you should take seriously.
We’ve already mentioned that the cheapest option isn’t the best, but that doesn’t mean you should overspend on a cleaner. While premium cleaning companies have a long history of providing quality services, plenty of other competent cleaners are just as good without the same hefty price tag.
To find a middle ground, request quotes from a few different providers and compare the services they offer against the price. Many websites will have a cleaning list outlining their various services and the corresponding cost. This makes it easy to compare quotes and find the best deal.
How to Properly Interview a Cleaner
Once you’ve found a couple of potential candidates, the next step is interviewing them to see if they’re a good fit. This is a critical step and should be your decision’s make-or-break factor.
With that being said, how do you know which questions are relevant? While your own unique circumstances will dictate the specifics, there are general questions you should always ask:
Can you provide proof of insurance and bonding?
While you may know a charlie hustle who cleans houses part-time, hiring an established company is always the safer bet. Accidents and damages happen, even to the most experienced cleaners. To safeguard yourself from having to foot the bill, only consider hiring companies that are insured and bonded.
As such, always ask your cleaner to provide evidence of insurance and bonding. These are industry standards for professionals and protect you and the cleaner if something goes wrong. The last thing you need is to be held financially responsible for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
It’s important to note that insured cleaning companies will typically charge more than those without coverage. But despite a higher up-front cost, it’s best to have peace of mind knowing that you’re protected.
What’s included in your price?
We’ve all purchased a service where we’ve assumed they included certain things, only to be disappointed later. This is why it’s important to always ask your cleaner what their fee covers.
For example, some companies charge extra for bringing their own supplies while others include it in the service cost. Others may have a minimum charge and include hidden fees for things like travel time.
Like any proposition, the devil is in the details. Ask exactly what’s included and what’s not to avoid any surprises or hidden costs down the line. And if you do specific requests i.e fabric couch cleaning, ask if they provide this specialised service.
Can you provide references?
If the cleaner is new to the scene, they may not have a solid online presence for you to reference. In this case, ask them to provide contact information for past clients who can attest to their work quality. Sure, they’ll only give you the satisfied ones, but it’s still a useful way to get an idea of what they’re capable of.
If they’re unwilling or unable to provide references, either you’re their first client, or they simply don’t have a good track record. In either case, it’s best to look elsewhere for someone with more experience.
How long have you been in the cleaning business, and have you undergone training?
Nothing substitutes hard-earned experience. The longer your cleaning company has been in business, the more likely they will know how to handle any situation. This can range from deep cleaning a specific type of flooring to handling delicate items without causing damage.
In addition to raw experience, it’s also vital that they have some professional training. Usually, the employer will provide this on-the-job, teaching how to clean efficiently and safely and using the correct chemicals for each surface. If not, you’re taking a gamble on how well they’ll perform after they’re hired.
Can I customise my service package?
Don’t assume that the cleaner will take on-board your specific cleaning requests. Some companies follow strict cleaning protocols regardless of the client’s wishes. Others may try to upsell you on additional services you don’t need.
Always ask if the company is willing to customise its service to meet your needs better to avoid any potential conflict. Additionally, find out what their definition of “clean” actually is. Do you expect to see your reflection in the windows or just have the general dust and grime removed?
Do you provide discounts?
Many cleaning companies will offer discounts if you sign a long-term contract or book a cleaning package. If they haven’t mentioned this upfront, it never hurts to ask if they’re willing to offer a discount.
You may also be able to negotiate a lower price if you’re willing to forego certain services or have them cleaned during off-peak hours. Remember that the goal is to find a fair price that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
The Cons of Hiring a Cleaner
This guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the potential downsides of hiring a professional. So, here are some things to keep in mind before making your final decision:
- Cleaning services are an extra expense that many people could do without
- You may be tied to a lock-in contract with a cancellation fee
- If your agency employs multiple professional cleaners, you could get inconsistent scheduling and quality of service
- You’re entrusting strangers with access to your home
- You’re wasting money on a job you could do yourself – don’t be lazy!
While there are some potential drawbacks to house cleaning services, the right decision comes down to what’s best for you. If you can afford it and don’t mind the potential cons, then the pros of professional cleaning typically outweighs the alternative of doing it all yourself.
Phew, that was a lot of information! We hope you found this article helpful and informative. Good luck in your search for the perfect professional cleaner!
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