You’ve thought about hiring a cleaning service, but you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of their time in your home and your hardworking dollars that are going to have your space cleaned.
Finding the right personal cleaner might take some legwork. You’ll want to ensure the company is trustworthy, has good referrals and does a good job. You might start by asking friends, family members or neighbors if they have a service that they use and love.
Once you have a few businesses to meet with and interview, keep these tips in mind to ask about so that you are making the most of using a cleaning service for your home.
1. Ask if they’re bonded and insured
Talk to the business owner to know if they are insured, licensed, and bonded. This can add a layer of protection should there be any accidents, or they damage anything as they clean every room in your home.
You can also ask if they’ve had a background check run on all employees, suggests Kathy Cohoon, Operations Manager at Two Maids Cleaning. This can give you additional peace of mind when a service provider is cleaning your home.
2. Know what is and isn’t included
When you’re getting a personalized price quote, discuss all of the areas you’d like to have cleaned and the frequency you want them cleaned. “Make sure you understand what is and what isn’t included within the cleaning service you have chosen,” says Cohoon.
Your cleaners might make the beds but not touch the windows. They may clean the outside of the refrigerator and oven but not the insides. Some services offer to do laundry for an additional fee or do some deep-scrubbing services a few times a year. Once you’ve established what’s included, you’ll have a better understanding as to whether they’re doing a satisfactory job. Which brings us to…
3. Voice any complaints or dissatisfaction
If something is cleaned below your standard, make sure to share that feedback immediately so your cleaning provider understand your expectations, suggests Cohoon.
You could let the housekeeping manager know right away or discuss it the next time they come by. Some things may be missed or overlooked during their time there. Don’t get annoyed. Just let the company know that you’d like it addressed the next time.
It's also a good idea, in the beginning, to ask the cleaning service how they’d like to receive feedback and to communicate in general. Some prefer cell phone texting, others may want a call while some businesses will prefer email.
4. Understand what type of service you’re getting
Is it an hourly cleaning service or a flat-rate cleaning service? “An hourly service means the cleaner will only stay at your home for a limited amount of time,” says Toby Schulz, CEO of Maid2Match. “A flat-rate service means the cleaner will stay until the entire job is completed.”
If it’s flat-rate cleaning, make sure it’s clear everything that’s supposed to be addressed in that service. Don’t just say “Please clean the bedroom.” It should be stated — at least the first time — if you’d like the baseboards cleaned, the fan cleaned, furniture moved to clean under and the bed sheets changed.
5. Let cleaners know if certain areas need special attention
The rooms in your home will get dirtier at different rates. Talk to the cleaner to let them know if there are specific areas you’d like them to focus on, suggests Schulz. “Do you want them to give the kitchen a little extra attention? Do you want them to scrub the shower grout really well? Is it important for them to not move anything in your kid’s room?”
Detailed, proactive communication with your professional cleaner is key to ensuring the work is done satisfactorily and that’s it’s a mutually beneficial working relationship.
6. Do some decluttering and prep for them to arrive
C’mon, you knew this tip was coming! Yes, many cleaning companies recommend decluttering and organizing a little before the cleaning company arrives so you can get the most out of their time there. “A quick declutter, securing of pets, and clear communication on focus areas can transform the cleaning experience,” suggests Lina DaSilva, owner of Toronto Shine Cleaning. “It’s… about creating an environment where the cleaner can be most effective. This will maximize the efficacy of the professional cleaning servile.”
Think about it: If you have an hourly cleaning service coming to your home and they have to spend half of the time picking up clothes and dirty laundry all over the house, they won’t have as much time for the deep cleaning type of work you’re likely hiring them for. Just don’t use theses TikTok cleaning hacks while prepping your home.
7. Stay on top of post-cleaning with a routine
The upkeep begins when the cleaning team exits your door. “Establish post-cleaning care, a rhythm of maintenance that elevates the longevity of the professional clean,” says DaSilva.
Staying on top of spills, dishes piling up, and wipe down surfaces on the days and weeks you aren’t using a cleaning service with these underrated cleaning tools that will cut your cleaning time in half.
8. Use labels for an organized home
When you have multiple people in your home, the clearer you can make your organizing systems the better. “Use labels to create a really clear set of instructions for what goes where,” suggests Laura Price, owner of The Home Organisation. “Your cleaner will never be confused about where to put the Legos and where the dolls go if there’s a big label on the basket!”
You could also leave out a note with specific instructions or areas to pay attention to if you aren’t home when the cleaning service arrives.
9. Stock up on supplies
Talk to the cleaning service about who will provide the cleaning materials as well as any products you don’t want them to use in your home. Voice your thoughts on using bleach to clean and how/where to use it in the home.
If you provide cleaning materials and/or need to make sure they have plenty of garbage bags, always make sure you have a clearly defined and well-stocked home for refills. You may not notice when a product is running low, but if your cleaner can quickly grab a new one when they need it, they’ll barely break their stride and can keep doing a good job of cleaning without any delays or interruptions, says Price.