Cleaning Service--what do you have them do?

bstnjohnMay 18, 2007

I enjoy reading this forum and now understand the difference between clutter and cleaning. The clutter I'm dealing with and have really gotten into purging to get rid of "stuff". I'm ready to hire a cleaning service (every two weeks) because I don't have time to keep up with the cleaning because my unit has three bedrooms/three baths. (I'm a single guy but everything still gets dusty even in the rooms I don't use often!) Haven't used a service in a few years. Obviously a service should clean the kitchen, baths, floors etc., but what other things do you have them do that make your life easier? I've been thinking about having them change the sheets, make the bed, put away the laundry and other tasks. Everyone's ideas and thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the girl who cleans my house occasionally clean the fridge (after I've gotten rid of all the science projects in there). She also cleans out the fireplace and wipes down the woodwork and glass shades on the fans and bathroom lights. Every so often I ask her to clean the dog smudges off the walls in the hallway.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 9:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I had a cleaning service, the only thing that really annoyed me was that when they broke things, they either threw them out or hid them. Accidents happen, but I would have appreciated having the chance to glue the piece of wood back on the antique box, to mention one example. And I'm sure they would do any of the things you mentioned, even washing windows (probably for an extra fee).

Personally I would prefer to put the laundry away myself. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You might ask them to do some extra things on a rotating basis, like clean baseboards, move the furniture to vacuum, clean under the fridge, clean inside the fridge, etc. Or perhaps pick one room each time to get an extra thorough cleaning.

The woman who cleans my house washes the sheets and towels. This may not be something that a cleaning team would have time to do, as they will clean in less time than one individual.

Sometimes a cleaning service will have a set routine that they do for everyone, and won't be real flexible. Not always the case, of course.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The cleaning service may have things that they won't do, so work w/ them.

I do not have the cleaning service do things that I think are very individual. If it will bother me to have them do it THEIR way instead of MY way (in other words, if I have to live with it that way for a while), I do it myself.
Here's what they DON'T do in my house:

-folding laundry: I do it; I have specific ways I like it folded, and specific ways it must be folded to fit in the drawers or cabinets

-make the bed: nobody, except my DH whom I've trained, ever makes the bed w/ the sheets the way I like them. So, I deal w/ the bed.

-laundry: I do NOT want to be mad at the cleaning lady because she fried a stain in my shirt by drying something she shouldn't have. Or shrank something. I do my own laundry.

-put anything away: I do not want to be searching for my shirt, or my dishes, etc. (In fact, I think this is a bit much, to ask them to do this--why should they have to memorize where you put what? Also, it bothers me to ask them to open cabinets or drawers; were I the cleaning person, it would be my policy to never touch them, as a privacy issue, and I would not want you to ask me to open them.)

I agree w/ the idea of having them do deep-cleaning extras on a rotating basis--wash the kitchen cabinets, dust baseboards, inside the fridge, clean the ceiling fan, etc.

I used to ask my cleaning lady to add one extra task each time she came. Dust the chandelier, stuff like that. It never occurred to me to ask her to clean the fridge--that "opening doors" thing, I guess, though of course I don't think of my fridge as private, and I used to encourage her to stash her lunch, or I'd keep sodas.

I tended to stick strictly to the idea of "cleaning"--not "housekeeping" or "putting away" or even "doing the laundry" or "doing the dishes"--just "cleaning." I'm not asking them to live my life for me; I just want them to clean my house.

Also, I have them do the things I don't want to do, or that I find it hard to carve out time to do. Laundry, I don't have trouble fitting in my schedule. Washing dishes is something that gets done routinely. Cleaning the bathroom, or vaccuuming, or wiping down the baseboards, or dusting the entire LR--those are things I either don't want to do, or don't have time at the right time of day (can't vacuum in the evening, what w/ dinner time and kids in bed, and downstairs neighbors, for example).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I scurry around the night before my cleaning service comes to put things away so they don't shove stuff in odd places where I can't find it. It helps me stay on top of my messiness.

For me, the big thing is dusting before doing the sweeping/mopping. I have them dust from the ceiling fans to pictures on the wall and especially those endless rows of blinds!

Oh, they also use Murphys oil soap to clean all the kitchen cabinets and pledge on all the furniture. What about vacuuming under the pillows on the couch and rotating them while their at it?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 2:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I find I can remove cluuter or clean , but not both. I wish I could find a cleaning person or service who would keep me company while I declutter aoom, then jump in and do the actual cleaning. That I would definitely pay for!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 3:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jannie, I bet you could find someone to do that with you! I put myself through college by cleaning houses, and I would have been happy to do that. And right now I'm thinking of hiring a 19yo to help out around the house - what I'd like for her to do is be my 'gopher' (for lack of a better word) while I'm decluttering. So I can sit near a pile or box and say "Please put this in the Trash box. And this goes over in that corner." When we're done she can clean the room.

I hate hiring cleaning service companies - they overcharge, do bad work, and rarely do extra's (in general). Hiring an individual - ideally an older person or college student has always worked out better. They are willing to work hard!

In case anyone would like to know, this is what I regularly did when I cleaned homes (20+ years ago):

Emptied trash cans in kitchen and bath.
Put clean sheets on beds if they were already stripped.
Vacuumed all carpets, but did not move furniture.
Swept all other floors.
Mopped kitchen & bath floors (anything not carpet).
Cleaned sinks and countertops & wiped off the things sitting on those countertops or sinks; the kitchen sink had to be dish free, though I might put a cup or two in the dishwasher.
Washed tubs and showers.
Dusted - with no responsibility if something broke.
Straightened books/magazines laying about.

Extra's would have been:
Cleaning walls.
Dusting baseboards.
Washing windows & windowsills; dusting/washing blinds.
Cleaning picture frame glass.
Moving furniture to vacuum.
Doing laundry; putting away laundry (no one ever asked for this)
Cleaning large appliances.
Cleaning trash cans.
Cleaning inside or outside of cupboards/drawers.

I only used their cleaning supplies, and cleaned the way they wanted me to. I did not clean out from under beds or pick up toys or junk left around.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 10:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know many women who had cleaning services. My mom, my sister in law, my friend Gladys shared their experiences. My mom found evidence of broken, hidden items. My SIL has her cleaning lady do only the tasks she doesn't like, such as clean the oven, washing walls, etc. My friend Gladys had two Chinese dog statues she bought from a Chinese restaurant that was closing. The cleaning lady attempted to clean them,and they didn't come fully clean, but Gladys discovered the "brown" coloring was accumulated grease from Chinese cooking, not the original "paint" on the statues. She ended up discarding her Chinese "art". So it's a range of experiences, good to bad. I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have only had a total of 4 cleaning ladies in 30 years. Not interested in a cleaning service. The lady I have now is young, energetic and really good. When we were remodeling I worked with her, and now she cleans when I am at work. She folds laundry and puts it away. She folds it better than I do. I have one of these glamorous dressing rooms with shelves in cabinets and she folds all the sweaters, t shirts, and underwear. When she puts silverware away she nests the spoons and it looks great. She does the floors, etc.
I do scurry around before she comes and clear up the clutter and get organized.
You do have to explain what you want, etc. but I think you have to start with somebody who likes cleaning, or at least likes the money and does a good job for it.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 2:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I scurry around the night before my cleaning service comes to put things away so they don't shove stuff in odd places where I can't find it. It helps me stay on top of my messiness.

This is what I miss about not having a cleaning lady anymore.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can anyone suggest how to find a great cleaning person vs. a company? I have hired and fired so many companies that I am starting to lose my mind. They underpay their cleaning girls and there is so much turnover. I would love to find a great person who I can pay very well and work with.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You could look at notices put up in the supermkt, or you could look under 'Services ..." in the newspaper, but particularly for the latter, ask for references and if they are bondable (local people who post in the market are less likely, I think, to be a problem).

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ask your friends or neighbors for recommendations. Three of my neighbors and I have the same cleaning ladies (they clean as a team and are great).

Here is what they do for me every week:
Dust furniture, fans, knickknacks & blinds
Strip beds, wash sheets, and put on clean sheets
Wash towels and mats
Fold sheets & towels
Unload & load dishwasher, put away dishes
Move furniture & clean under it
Clean bathrooms
Sweep front porch
Clean mirrors
Clean kitchen
Clean inside microwave
Empty all trash

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am in desperate need of a cleaning lady and never have had one. I hear that it is always better to have an individual person come to your house rather that a service.

I have looked in the paper and also online with not very many responses.

What I am wondering, what is the general cost of a cleaning lady on a biweekly basis? I would like to find someone that charges by the house, but that seems our of the norm. Please help!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 3:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Christie - the price charged by a cleaning person depends on where you live and how much cleaning they do. If you want to get a general idea for pricing in your area, calling the local services will give you an idea - on the high side of the scale.

I had a service clean my house for a couple years, and about half of the employees approached me saying they were going out on their own and wanting to take me on as a client.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 8:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After lots of experience, I would definitely hire an individual over a company. With one person, there's a level of personal responsibility you can't get with a service. It's generally safer to have fewer people in your home, and it's much easier to customize your service. Ask friends, coworkers, and neighbors if they use someone or even if they've heard of anyone. You can also check the Better Business Bureau online for some names.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 3:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The only way most of my friends and I get cleaning ladies is recommendation from somebody we know. As speedqueen says, ask friends, coworkers & neighbors. I don't believe I would use the Better Business bureau. If I was unhappy with a cleaning lady I wouldn't complain to them, I would simply fire her. Graywings idea of determining the charge is excellent. I hired a cleaning lady and initially she charged $60 for cleaning, but we discussed what I wanted and we negotiated for more. Plus I give bonuses on holidays.
I like the list that tex has but I also wanted windows washed on a rotating basis so a few are done each time.(inside only) My husband had some things he wanted cleaned specially so it was more work and I was willing to pay more.
Our cleaning lady is great.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 12:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just one little comment ... as I was considering hiring someone to help me clean up as well ....

but I've put it off for the past few months because of my new helper has distracted me a bit ....I bought a Roomba - and it takes care of that one chore - vacuuming. I hated vacuuming because my old house only has a couple outlets in each room and the rechargeable vacuums always run out of juice before I finish. Now, I'm fascinated when I'm washing dishes and hear my roomba (Helen) cleaning one of the other rooms. I swear, it's the best gift I've ever given myself. Silly, I know. I still need to get some help - as the rest of the stuff still isn't getting done though --- the time I save not vacuuming I relax with a beer rather than clean the bathtub. Oh well - cheers!

No, this isn't SPAM. I'll prove it ---- Roomba isn't good for carpets (IMO). I have all wood/tile floors and few rugs - so it's easy. I had a carpet down during the holiday - Helen couldn't get over it and almost broke one of her little sweeping feet. And she will get lost under my couches or dining chairs if I don't pull them out. So, there is some "prep" work that I have to do before she goes to work.

why did I just post this? I'm a dork.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My friend had a Roomba that did fine on her carpet.

But like you, I have wood, and a few rugs, so I don't think Helen would do so well in my house. Plus, there's a lot of furniture, so I've never figured it would work for me.

But my friend loved hers, and my mom likes hers too.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 5:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have lots of furniture, especially crammed in my tiny kitchen and kitchenette. I figure a Roomba would get trapped by all the chair and table legs in there. Anyone know about this?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mine doesn't necessarily get "trapped" by the chairs in my kitchen but, all the chairs prevent it from getting around that area efficiently. The roomba seems to bounce around that area and never really gets to the edges or corners of the room because of my kitchenette placement. So, I pull the chairs to the next room when I want a good cleaning. Surprisingly, mine has only gotten stuck once - when a picture that was standing behind the door fell over and on top of the roomba so it couldn't move. I'm so amazed that it gets around so well under my beds!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hence, perhaps, the killing of a British teacher last week.

Even when *I* am vacuuming, I move the chairs out of the way in the DR, so I'd think w/ a Roomba, it would be sensible to move the chairs.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Oh my goodness--I tried to cut and paste the phrase "all the chairs prevent it from getting around that area efficiently"

Instead, I got the line I'd cut and pasted from an earlier e-mail to my husband, about a story in the news in England about apostacy and Islam.

Sorry, everybody

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a cleaning service for awhile several years ago. They came in with a check off list of all the things they would do, and then charged accordingly. It was, in retrospect, expensive, and every time they were there I had to clean up things they had missed or not done well. So I fired them, and did my own cleaning (such as it was) for a couple of years.

Then I was complaining to a friend of mine about my cleaning woes, and she said that her cleaning lady was looking for another house. So I went with her and she is fabulous! She comes every two weeks. She is fast and thorough, and will clean "extra" things that need doing. She left a note for me this week saying that she had just started on washing the windows. What a gem! She charges half what the cleaning service did, she gets more done, and does it better.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 12:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am glad you made the correction Talley, I thought maybe those roombas chased some poor British teacher around leading to a fatality. Sounded like a Stephen King story.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Waayyy back when we were a two income family and I had a cleaning lady come once a month for something like 6 hours (we lived in a 860 sqft apartment with a 32ft long balcony), every time I had her clean just ONE room in the greatest possible detail (dust ceiling, walls, heating elements and baseboards, spot wash walls, wash doors, doorframes, windows and shutters, clean light fixtures, move furniture and clean behind it, clean over bookcases and such, vacuum sofas and bed mattresses, take down curtains, wash and iron and hung them up again etc... in short, EVERYTHING!) so the whole apartment was deep cleaned every four months or so, and then in the rest of the rooms she just vacuumed, moped, dusted, and also scrubed the bathroom, and washed the balcony. I did light work alongside her and midway through we had a cofee break together. It was a very good arrangement for us.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2015 at 10:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting topic. I have had a single lady do entire house by herself. She left b/c it made more $en$e for her to work in a team and I was also growing tired of having her for several hours in my house. The parting was on good terms. Have had teams and the upside is there here and gone in no time, but when teams change b/c somebody gets fired, sick, etc., I always notice things out of place or cleaned unlike I specified. New people in teams = retraining and I really don't like having to be on constant watch to ensure consistency. But overall, I think a team is best, as mine has insurance if something is broken or damaged.

Nobody does my laundry, makes my bed or cleans fridge or oven. I hired them to dust all, vacuum, polish furniture, clean windows, fans, cabinets and doors every 15 da. Will give them a little extra if I have visitors, in which case they do make that bed, and whatever extra is caused by the visit.

Used Home Advisors to get my latest cleaning service. On an unrelated subject, I once recommended my cleaning service to a neighbor that turned out to be a sleaze ball and they didn't pay the lady for 3 months. I was mortified that I hooked her up with the slimeballs, so I doubt I will recommend anybody to avoid this kinda stuff.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 12:38PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Are there lateral file cabinet organizers?
I have a new lovely two drawer lateral file cabinet...
Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!
I don't think I've ever seen that happen on this particular...
Where to donate a 15yo nebulizer
Years ago, when my now-17-y-o was a little one, he...
What to do with hundreds of CDs
I have nice storage boxes filled with hundreds of CDs...
How do you let go of stuff that's worth money?
On the "share your success" thread, taft...
Sponsored Products
Viceroy Area Rug
Home Decorators Collection
Parq Modern Clear Acrylic End Table
Kristal Thermostatic Shower System with 12 Ceiling Head & Handshower
Hudson Reed
Eliot Chair - Key Largo Grape Purple
Joybird Furniture
DENY Designs Elizabeth St Hilaire Nelson Cocophony Of Color Outdoor Throw Pillow
$49.00 | Hayneedle
54" Quorum Trimark Studio White Ceiling Fan
Lamps Plus
Esoteric Throw Pillow Cover
$34.99 | Dot & Bo
Mocha Mosaic Jute Rug
$24.99 | zulily
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™