question about professional cleaning

blackcats13September 7, 2013

If someone helps/cleans your house, what do you expect them to do and how long does it take? We have a nearly 1800 sq ft house, 2 kids, 2 dogs. Not sure what my expectations should be based on weekly or every other week cleaning service.

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It all depends on how much junk you have in your home. It would cost me at least $100 a month for 1440 square feet and other than the floors I don't mind cleaning it. I do hire my floors done once a month for $45.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 7:55PM
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I expect the cleaners to dust, vacuum and mop all floors, and clean the bathrooms. If I have stripped the bed and have clean sheets waiting they will make it up, but they don't do my laundry.

I usually have one other "deep cleaning" job, each time they come. I keep track of those and schedule them in advance, so they know what's going on the next time they arrive.

Deep cleaning jobs might involve helping me emptying and cleaning several kitchen cupboards and drawers, or emptying a bookcase to wipe all the books and dust behind them - in other words, more than a surface dusting.

They come every 2 weeks, and I pay $80 for my 2200 sq ft house. But I do have 2 bedrooms and one bathroom that are not in usual use, so they get cleaned just occasionally, when I ask.

Sometimes one is here for four hours, sometimes a little less. It is a family group, and sometime I get all three people. Zip-zow and oiut of the house in record time!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:49PM
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Actually, I should have also said - the night and morning before the cleaners arrive is PICK UP ALL YOUR CRAP time.

It took the housecleaner here giving us an estimate, taking ONE look at DH's study to say "I do not organize, and I can't clean around THAT!"

You are hiring someone to clean, not to declutter or organize. You don't want them putting things away - clear the decks so they can CLEAN.

Honestly, paying someone for the cleaning has been the biggest incentive for my "could-become-a-hoarder" husband to be at somewhat in control of his stuff.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 11:00PM
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I got an estimate from one of those "Maids" businesses. The owner came, walked through my home, said we don't touch stuff like collections, bookcases, etc. Meaning they clean "around" clutter. Prices varied a lot, the cheapest was $80 for once a week because you sign a contract, more for twice a month, the most was a one-time cleaning for around $250. I opted for the one time because I had just had surgery. I removed clutter or stashed it in closets. The cleaner (a lone woman, no crew) came for about 4 hours and did a very excellent job. She hit the ground running, sprayed the upstairs bathtub first, got everything very clean. She brought all her own supplies. By the time she finished, my kitchen and bath sparkled, all surfaces in every room had been dusted or vacuumed or shined, all floors clean. She apologized because she had tried but couldn't remove a glob of food from the refrigerator door kickplate. I paid her the $250 plus a nice tip. As I said, it took her about 4 hours. I didn't have to give her any verbal instructions. The supervisor who had come first and looked around and given me the estimates told me their cleaners are all fully trained to completely clean a home. My SIL recently hired a cleaning lady for her apartment. It's small, a kitchen, bath, living room and one bedroom, and the cleaner charges $35 a week. But SIL did have a small disagreement with the cleaner. The cleaner forgot to empty a wastebasket in the bedroom. So I guess experiences vary a lot.

This post was edited by jannie on Tue, Oct 1, 13 at 8:53

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 9:03AM
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Thanks for the info! We do keep much of the house as uncluttered as possible and wouldn't expect them to clean around it. DH's office doesn't get cleaned for example. That said, they seem to think that 2 people for 1 hour should be enough, don't get nearly enough done (of course) then told us that they needed to come weekly for a bit in order to "catch up". I'm not sure they could even dust/floors/bathrooms in an hour honestly.

I've also heard twice now that they didn't have the supplies to get something completely clean (the toilet once and the shower doors a different time) neither of which are overly dirty, just have build up. And I was told they spent so much time on the shower that they didn't get to vacuuming. Um, what??

I'm leaning towards looking for someone new but DH is strangely resistant. Getting help was his idea (because he doesn't help) since I spent more time doing chores every weekend then anything else. I like the idea of saying: dust/floors/bathrooms and then 1 deep clean area each time, but they aren't even accomplishing the basics.

He did get me a "surprise" cleaning last year, where he FINALLY understood why I kept saying no to the idea - the house was always too cluttered. They couldn't really "clean" anything! That said, they did a fantastic job cleaning what they could and finding other things to clean (like kitchen cabs). The shower doors were much worse there and they sparkled when they were done! I want them back!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Going a little off-topic here. I have a friend who cleans houses on her own (not with a service). She accepts just one job per day and charges $100. I know her customers love her, because she has turned down extra houses to clean, and her "regulars" routinely give her very nice Christmas gifts to show their gratitude. She once bought a customer/client a new soapdish because she was tired of wiping up the same globs of melted soap in their bathroom.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:23AM
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I appreciate the savings and personal experience of hiring someone who runs their own business, as in cleans the house with help. It has worked with one problem at my end: I have had to hear several stories about them moving out of state or something like that and they then turn the "business" over to a friend, or more often, a family member. But then I have heard they never moved, or the excuse changed. So I have to start all over again with someone new. I think this last time I reached the end of this. Anyone else have this problem?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:00AM
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In all that digression I forgot to answer your question!

I have floors vacuumed and mopped, 2 bathrooms cleaned (with my own cleaning stuff), beds made sometimes, if I have them stripped and ready to go, dusting and of course the kitchen sink and counters well cleaned. Total is about 2000 s.f. for $90. Takes about 2.5 hours on average. The job has varied with the people, but it gets better when I can "train" just a little - which is to say I customize what I like and don't. I have given raises on my own over time, not much but enough to appreciate the work done. And I always make a coffee for them, usually near the end. I work to clear all clutter both ahead of them coming and also a bit while they are here.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:08AM
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I have an 1800 sq. ft. house with 1.5 baths; we cook a lot so the kitchen needs some work. My cleaner takes 4 hours every week, and she works hard and works fast. She does basic cleaning -- dust, vacuum, damp-mop hardwood floors. She's very thorough in the kitchen and bathrooms.

I don't see how your house could possibly get clean in 2 hours. Mine would probably be okay with 3 hours IF certain things just got done every other week.

If your husband isn't dealing with the cleaning people at all, I think you should just tell him you're going to make a change and you'll take "full responsibility." Ask him specifically why he thinks it's not a good idea to switch. Then you can address those reasons... like, if he's afraid it'll be too expensive, or the new people will do a worse job.

You're better off having 4 hours every other week than 2 hours every week.

If money is an issue (as it usually is) then try to find an individual instead of an agency. That way all the money goes to the self-employed cleaning person, and they do a better job.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 6:50PM
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