Which Cleaning Services Will Cost You Extra?

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When you hire a housekeeper, you typically have a range of services that are covered by the cost of hiring them. Dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning countertops is pretty standard. Some of them will include taking out the trash, whereas others charge extra for that. So it goes with many services. There are no industry wide mandates, but there are some standards that many maids adhere to.

 

First Clean

 Oftentimes, the first clean will be the most expensive one. That’s because the cleaning service does not know how clean your home might be. If it’s very unkempt, it could take them hours to get it clean. Subsequent cleanings will likely cost you less because they will have that baseline level of clean that the housekeepers can expect. So, a first cleaning is a service that will likely cost you extra.

 

Specialty Products

 You can expect to pay more if you have special cleaning product needs. Some people have allergies or sensitivities to certain chemicals used in cleaning. Others have ethical objections to certain kinds of chemicals. If you want your housekeeper to use uncommon cleaning supplies or to use eco-friendly cleaning supplies, you’ll likely see your costs go up. There are two reasons for that. Many housekeepers buy their cleaning supplies in bulk, which means that they pay less per item. If you want them to use something they don’t normally use, they might have to pay consumer prices for it. Also, those eco-friendly cleaning supplies are often just more expensive than alternatives.

 

Cleaning the Oven

 Cleaning the oven is an arduous task that involves a lot of bending and scrubbing. It also involves oven cleaner, which is a very harsh chemical. If you want your housekeeper to clean your oven, you should expect to pay more.

The same is true for cleaning the refrigerator. It’s a task that takes a lot of work and a lot of time. You’ll likely have to pay more for that.

 

Washing Windows

 If you want them to wash your windows, especially if you have windows on a second or third floor, you’ll need to pay extra. That will often require they bring more equipment. It might even involve a ladder or pressure washer. Washing windows is simple but it’s time-intensive.

These are just a few of the things you might pay extra for. You should discuss with your housekeeper what tasks you expect from them. That will ensure you’re not surprised by the price tag.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Freelance Maid

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If you’ve decided to hire a housekeeper or to move on from your current housekeeper, you have two basic options. You can hire a freelancer or you can hire someone who works for a company. Each option has benefits and disadvantages. If you’re going to hire a freelancer, here are the pros and cons.

Pay Flexibility

 When a housekeeper works for a larger company, they likely have firm payment schedules that are not very flexible. They’ll charge by the hour or by the job and certain tasks will cost certain amounts. Generally, it’s not negotiable. With a freelancer, however, you’ll have more flexibility. That does not mean you can change after the work is done or that you should treat them differently than a company. It simply means that you’ll be able to negotiate on the price or the payment schedule with a freelancer. You can agree on something that is more tailored to you and works better for you both.

For example, cleaning an oven is an intense process that often costs extra with a maid. However, a freelancer might have the freedom to inspect your oven and charge you less than they would normally. Alternately, they have the freedom to charge you more if it’s a bigger job.

Less Insurance

 Maids are often insured against broken items. If they work for a company and break something while cleaning, the company will generally cover the value of that item. If they are freelancers, they might have less insurance or no insurance at all. That will increase the risk to you but it could also lower the cost of hiring them.

Finding Backups

 If you hire a company, there will be multiple housekeepers who work there. So, if your usual housekeeper is out sick or on vacation, you’ll still be able to get your house cleaned by someone else. If you hire a freelancer, there’s a chance that he or she will not have a backup to cover for them. So, if they’re sick or on vacation, you could just be out of luck.

Greater Specificity

 There are restrictions on what housekeepers who work for companies can do. There are sometimes restrictions on how long they can be at each job as well. Alternately, a freelancer can agree on different amount of specificity. If you need something cleaned in a certain way, you might need a freelancer who will agree to it.

House Cleaning Service Is Growing as a Necessity

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Twenty, or even ten, years ago, house cleaning service was considered a luxury. It was something that you could pay for instead of cleaning your own house on the weekends. That’s definitely true thirty or more years ago. Now, with the job market and the economy the way they are, it has moved from a luxury and closer to a necessity. There are several converging factors that make it a brilliant time to become a house cleaner. For one, jobs have come to rely less on the 9 to 5 schedule. Many people have steady employment that is just not on that schedule. Others work in what is called the gig economy; they work haphazard hours on an unpredictable schedule. Also, two income households are become more normal than ever before. So, you might have a married couple in a house but neither one of them has time to clean. Those are all realities that make it a great time to become a house cleaner.

 

Social Media Is a Must

 Social media a  few years ago was something that was nice to have but not necessary. Customers now want to be able to look you up, look at recommendations from past customers, and then contact you. They also want to be able to type to you; they don’t usually want to talk. There are several reasons that people have become less comfortable talking on the phone. For one, typing leaves a record. You can quote prices, send data, and recommend different links. A strong social media presence makes it easier to contact you and to share information; that makes it more likely you’ll get hired.

 

Expectations Are Higher

 Freelance markets have exploded on the internet. You can find someone to do just about anything you can think of. That means that there are dozens of people in your area who are cleaning houses poorly and for very low wages. That sounds like it might be a bad thing,but it can actually work in your favor. Most customers have experience with inferior service from a poorly-paid freelancer. That means they’re now willing to pay higher wages but their expectations will be higher. If you can deliver on those expectations, you’ll have an easier time getting paid well. A lower barrier to entry means that lower quality work has grown; you’ll look great in comparison.

Now is a great time for a quality house cleaner to grow their business.

Green Cleaning Is on the Rise

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Renewability and sustainability have been growing focuses for the entirety of the 21st century. Consumers as well as companies have grown, on the whole, more aware of the impact they are having on the environment. While often used interchangeably, renewability and sustainability are not exactly the same thing. A renewable resource is one that will regenerate on its own or can at least be regenerated. For example, trees are renewable resources. When left alone, trees obviously will reproduce. Also, companies can plant trees to offset the trees they fell. However, there are also sustainability concerns. Sustainability refers to the ability of a practice to continue in perpetuity. For example, trees might be renewable but if a company strips forests with no consideration of good practices, that will not be sustainable. The trees will not regenerate fast enough to offset the damage done. The same is true of cleaning chemicals.

 

Green Cleaning Chemicals

 Many housekeepers and housekeeping companies are switching to green cleaning chemicals for several reasons. In many cases, it’s simple economics. Green chemicals are sometimes less expensive because they are less processed. Sometimes, it is a matter of practicality; some house cleaners are sensitive to the harsh chemicals used in cleaning solutions. Lastly, some are choosing green chemicals because that’s what they would like their company to represent.

 

What Are Green Chemicals?

 Green cleaning chemicals have several characteristics. Some of them are focused on the chemicals themselves; those would be solutions that are made from renewable resources that are harvested sustainably. For example, many oven cleaners contain fossil fuels. That’s part of the reason they’re so caustic. Those are obviously not sustainable or renewable. You would replace that fossil fuel oven cleaner with a  renewable resource. Acids derived from fruits are very common; when refined properly, a natural acid or base can cut through the toughest grease.

Other chemicals are focused on the manufacturing or shipping involved. They will be focused on how the chemical is produced and shipped. For example, if you have an all-natural cleaning solution that uses inefficient machines and is shipped halfway around the world with fossil fuels, it could easily negate the cleaning chemical benefits. That’s why many housekeepers are also focused on locally-sourced chemicals. The closer to its final destination a product is created, the less fuel is consumed in its transport.

Housekeepers are on the cutting edge of which products work and which don’t. That’s why you can trust their choices for cleaning chemicals.

Seven Questions to ask when interviewing Maid Services

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When interviewing a new maid service you may wonder what questions are important to ask. These questions can save you headaches down the road.

1- Are your insured? Are you bonded? This question is vital to protecting yourself. The company you are hiring should have worker’s compensation insurance and liability. Worker’s comp is really important for keeping you from being held liable for any job-related injuries. Some homeowners insurance may cover these costs but does not always cover people working in the home.

2- What cleaning products do you use? Many cleaning services use their own cleaning products. If you have specific cleaning needs like green products, speciality cleaners for surfaces in your home or other preferences you will want to discuss this during the interview.

3- What references can you provide? References are so important when hiring a service like a cleaning service. They will be in your home and you will want to make sure you can trust them. Also look at online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends or on Facebook. Sites like yelp, angieslist and other service websites can be good for finding reviews and references.

4- How do you select your staff? Are they background checked? A background check can be vital to ensuring your cleaning service is a good choice. You will be allowing these people in your home, often unsupervised and for peace of mind it is nice to know they are background checked and often times drug screened.

5- Do you have certifications or training? This is a newer concept but many cleaning services are starting to add certifications to their resumes. These trainings and certificates are for skill, professionalism and safety.

6- What is the cost? When you call they will likely give you a basic quote and then when they come to your home for an interview you will be able to get a concrete price. If they are unwilling to do the project on a flat fee you may have to do an hourly cost. When working with them on the hourly cost ask them to set a cap of how many hours they can work on your home at any given time to ensure there is no big sticker shock.

7- How can I get ahold of you? Now that you have set up an interview you likely have the company’s phone number but you may need contact information for your specific crew. Make sure you have this info in case you have questions, last minute cancellations or other issues arise. Open communication lines are vital in this industry.

These questions should help you get through the basics of any maid service interview.

Keep the Messes Away in Just 5 Minutes a Day

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Tips and tricks for maintaining your home in just five minutes per day.

1- Always make your bed. An unmade bed can make even the cleanest room feel messy. In many bedrooms the bed is the biggest surface and keeping your surfaces tidy is vital to keeping your space feeling clean. It just takes a minute per day to make your bed.

2- Wash one load of laundry per day. Take the time each day to start one load of laundry. You may want to run the laundry in the mornings while you are getting the kids ready for school or prefer to wash it after dinner during the bedtime cool down. One way to make this even easier is to keep the households laundry sorted into separate laundry baskets each day. Then it is simple as throwing the laundry in, adding the soap and pushing start. Then you will never have a mountain of unwashed clothes and be able to keep the house cleaner and your closets full of fresh clean clothes.

3- Put things away as you use them. Take the time to rehang clothes you tried on but decided not to wear, put toys away as they are used, keep your toothpaste tucked away in a drawer not on the bathroom sink and other similar items put away. This helps to keep messes from building up around the house and the whole house will feel easier.

4- Load the dishes as you finish eating. Dirty dishes can make the kitchen feel much messier than it is. Keeping the dishes rinsed and tucked into the dishwasher as you go can be a big help with keeping your kitchen clean. Start the dishwasher every night and unload it each morning. By keeping the sink clear of dirt dishes you will have a much cleaner kitchen.

5- Keep your car tidy. Remove trash and take out unwanted or unneeded items like extra coats, sporting equipment or other things than may clutter your car. Keep a trash bag and wipes for tidying up in the car. Keeping the car tidy can really help you feel more put together and organized.

5 Habits To Stay Organized

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Staying organized is easier when you following a few basic steps and tricks. Life is busy but if you can stay on top of a few basics you will be happy to see the difference it makes in your home.

  1. Multitask when you can. When you are the phone you can walk through the house and put stray items away. Fold laundry while you catch up with family. Walk your kids toys back to their places while on the hold with the bank or other important calls. Unload the dishwasher while your kids eat breakfast. Watch a show while folding laundry.
  2. A place for everything and everything in its place. If you have an item that’s important to you that give it a home. Don’t let things pile up around your house, find them all a place. A junk drawer may seem like a waste but it can be a great place for items you need but don’t have a zone in your home for.
  3. Clean up the kitchen immediately following dinner. Clean the dishes and load them into the dishwasher, clear the counters and wipe the counters and table off. This is one of the best ways to keep your kitchen clean.
  4. Sort and throw out junk mail as soon as your bring it in. Mail is very easy to get behind on but it can be very simple to file and purge. Sort the mail and have spots reserved for to pay mail and to file items.
  5. Purge your home frequently. It is amazing how quickly new items come into your home and cause clutter. There are a lot of different strategies for clearing clutter from your home and lots of awesome books that can help you get rid of items in your home that are causing you stress or distracting from your happiness.

Keeping your house organized is just part of the work. Keeping it clean is the next step. Hiring a professional cleaning service is a great way to keep the house clean each week.

4 Ways a cleaning service benefits you!

4 Ways A Cleaning Service Benefits your Family

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As the school year gets underway life can feel very hectic. Between sports, school drop offs, work, meals and homework it can be hard to find the time you need to clean. The whole family can really benefit from having a house cleaning service for a variety of reasons.

summer cleaning tips

Summer Cleaning and Organizing Tips

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As the summer starts to heat up your likely have some questions about how to prepare your space for the change of seasons. There are areas you need to clear out, clean and tidy. When summer hits we all want to get the most out of our decks or patios. Starting with cleaning and inspecting this space can help you get the most out of it all season.

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