In our last post, we talked about how to find a cleaning lady you can trust, I hope you found some useful pointers to get you started in your search for a cleaning service. In this post, we’ll talk a little more about what to expect from a house cleaner, how you can prepare your home and what a house cleaner should do. We will give you a detailed house cleaner checklist so you know what to expect when you are getting your house cleaned for the first time.
Getting a cleaner for the first time is not easy and it can be quite daunting having a cleaner come into your home to clean around all your personal belongings. This post will ease that worry and let you know what to expect from a cleaner and how to prepare your home so you and your house cleaner can enjoy a long and fabulous working relationship built on trust and respect.
- Always arrange a walkthrough of your property so you can explain what house cleaning you’d like them to do, and they can explain the service they provide. Consider where you would most benefit from, not having to clean yourself. Consider the amount of time you are paying your cleaner for and be reasonable with your expectations. Think about how long it takes you to clean each room in your house and bear in mind that you are hiring a professional cleaning company who will be cleaning places you don’t usually clean, and they’ll be cleaning them much more thoroughly, so, with that being said, expect it to take a lot longer! Remember how long it takes for you to do your spring cleaning!
- If you notice something small that wasn’t cleaned after the first time clean don’t panic! Your cleaner will be aware that they’ve not had the time to get to it and should make sure they get it done on the next visit. If however, you notice it is getting missed each cleaning session, a gentle reminder is the best way to deal with it. Cleaning houses is hard work, and it takes a while to get into a routine when you first start cleaning a house. Your cleaner will not be able to deep clean your whole house each week in two hours. So unless you’re paying for a deep clean, your cleaner will get as much done as they can in the allocated time.
Questions to ask when hiring a cleaning lady.
- Are you and all your employees CRB checked. this is important as the cleaning company will be working around valuable possessions, possibly children or vulnerable adults and pets. they may also be responsible for keys.
- Do you have liability insurance? This is a huge factor to consider due to breakages, damages, spillages or loss of property.
- Do you bring your own cleaning products and tools? I discuss this in more detail later on in the post but it is definitely something to consider.
- Can you provide references? It’s good to know that your cleaning company comes with five-star reviews and good references from clients.
- What should I do with my pets? some house cleaners like me love every kind of pet and think its a perk of the job to work around animals. However, this is not true of everyone. Your dog may be the softest, cutest little bundle of fluff ever, but that will not matter to someone who is terrified of dogs. Some companies also have a policy to cover their employees from potential dog bites, so it’s always a good question to ask.
- Do you have a cleaning services checklist I’ve included a cleaning lady checklist below to give you a better understanding of what to expect from a cleaning lady, be sure to ask what services will be included in your house clean.
- How long will you be here? This is a question that needs to be asked . if you are paying by the hour your house cleaner should be there for the full amount of hours they are contracted for. If you are paying for a job then the cleaning team will leave when the job is done. If you are paying hourly for two hours and there is a team of two then you should expect the team to leave after an hour because they have compleated two man hours of work in one hour!
- How will you gain access to my home I have keys to all my client’s homes just in case they are not home when I call, however, some people may not like to make you a keyholder and may prefer you to clean when they are at home.
- Will you be cleaning solo or in a team? both options have their benefits depending on the client as explained in my post here , but its good to know from the start who will have access to your house and as explained above how long they will be in your home.
- Do you have a contract for me to sign? This will help you, in the long run, should there be any disputes or discrepancies about the work.
Cleaning lady checklist.
Typically in a weekly maintenance clean, these are the jobs you would expect your cleaner to cover, however, bear in mind every cleaner is different and will work differently so this is just a guide on what to expect from a house cleaner! Try to remember that you are employing cleaning services not a maid service or a housekeeper, so there will be certain things the house cleaner will not do such as laundry, shopping, pet care, meals unless otherwise agreed upon as a separate service.
Cleaning the kitchen
- Sanitise all surfaces
- Wipe down cupboard doors,
- Wipe down outside of all white goods,
- Wipedown outside of cooker and oven
- Sanitise all eating surfaces
- Degrease all tiles, splashbacks and cooker hood.
- Wipedown woodwork doors and handles.
- Clean and disinfect floors
- Clean windows
- Clean cobwebs.
Cleaning the family room
- Hoover and mop
- Clean windows
- Clean mirrors.
- Feather dust doors, skirtings and blinds.
Cleaning the bathrooms
- Sanitise all surfaces
- Empty bins
- Sanitise door handles and light switches
- Clean and sanitise shower, bath, toilet, and sink.
- Clean the windows
- Sweep and sanitise the floors
- Wipe down the tiles
Cleaning the bedrooms
- Clean windows
- Wipedown woodwork
- Sanitise light switches and door handles
Cleaning the entryway and porch
- Clean windows and doors
Cleaning the hall, stairs and landing
- Sanitise bannisters
- Hoover stairs and landing
- Clean windows
Deep cleaning lounge and family room
- Move furniture and hoover underneath
- Clean under the sofa cushions.
- Move heavy furniture to clean underneath.
- Clean light fittings.
- Wipe skirtings
Deep cleaning the kitchen
- Clean on top of kitchen cupboards.
- Clean Oven.
- Wipe down skirtings and kickboards
Deep cleaning the bedroom
- Clean underneath beds.
- Clean woodwork,
- Clean light switches and door handles
- Wipe woodwork
- Clean windows
- Clean cobwebs
Other deep cleaning jobs
- Any windows missed.
- Anything not completed in the last session
- Brush stairs
- Wipe skirting boards
- Wipe radiators
- Wipe any missed woodwork
- Any jobs requested by the client
- Dustpan and brush
- Bin bags
- Mop & bucket
- Stepladder ( we can’t reach unless we can get up there ! )
- Telescopic brush if you’ve got very high ceilings!
For inspiration, read about the products and tools I keep in my professional cleaning kit, in this post.
I prefer to bring all my products as I know which cleaners are best for each job, some house cleaners prefer to use the client’s products, and this is something which is discussed during the walkthrough.
Decluttering before your cleaner comes
If you want to get the best bang for your buck, make sure your home and surfaces are clutter free to allow your cleaner to speed around your house efficiently. I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I waste in a week moving my client’s unnecessary clutter. If you’re struggling to start decluttering, read my post How To Declutter When You Have No Motivation
Tidying up before your cleaner comes
Clutter is one thing, but a general mess is another, tidy up before your cleaner comes so they can get more cleaning done!
- Put away clothes and dirty laundry, read how to speed up the laundry here
- Hang up towels
- Clear away dirty plates and dishes from all rooms
- Clear up pet messes
- Empty overflowing bins and recycling
- Clear all the floors
- Put away kids toys and books, read how to reduce toy clutter here
I prefer to use all my own products and cloths as I know exactly which cleaning products are safe and achieve the best results in the quickest time. however it is ok to ask your cleaner to use your own products but it will be at your own risk, it would be wise to check with your cleaning company to check whether using your cleaning products will invalidate their cleaning insurance.
There are many cleaning professionals who offer a green cleaning service including oven cleaning services. you may also find that your cleaner offers this service too as well as the usual cleaning products. if you prefer a green clean mention it to your cleaner on the initial walk through.
Frequently asked Q&A
Do I need a cleaner to clean my house?
Hiring a cleaning lady will enable you to spend more time with your family, free up weekends, and keep your house visitor ready. it will enable you to focus on maintenance cleaning and general day to day jobs rather than deep cleaning windows, skirting boards etc. If you work full time, suffer from an illness or are elderly hiring a cleaner can make a huge difference to your quality of life.
Should I leave a checklist list for the cleaning lady?
On the initial walk through your cleaner should advise you what they will be able to achieve in the time allocated. They may even bring their own checklist to let you know what has been cleaned. I would recommend leaving a list if you’d like a slight variation from your normal maintenance clean, for instance, if you’ve got guests coming or you’re having a get-together and have special cleaning needs, but other than that there should be no need to, as your cleaner should know where they’re up to in your cleaning schedule. If you feel unhappy with the standard of your weekly clean it is always best to have a face to face meeting with your house cleaner to iron things out.
Should I be at home when the cleaning lady comes?
If you want an honest answer, no! As much as we love our clients and love to chat, we can get twice as much done in an empty house. If you want your house cleaner to get as much done as possible in the time you’ve paid for then get out of the house and leave them to it!
we love to stick our headphones on and whizz through the dirt without worrying about someone tripping over a lead or try to work around kids watching tv.
What should a house cleaner do?
If you’re not sure what a cleaner should do this is something that you need to discuss on the walkthrough with your cleaning lady. Ask your cleaner if they have a checklist to follow or provide them with a list of cleaning duties or housekeeping you would like done regularly and ask them if it is included in their service.
Where do I start looking for a cleaning person?
Word of mouth is a good place to find a person who cleans houses. Ask around the parents at school or your friend on social media to see if they know anyone. you may find all the best cleaning ladies have a long waiting list!
Should I tip my cleaning lady?
Your cleaner does not expect tips and I am of the view that you shouldn’t feel pressure to leave them a tip, however, some people like to give a small gift at Christmas time or other holidays. Some of my clients leave gifts for my kids at Easter and birthdays as a way of thanking me for my services throughout the year, this is really appreciated by me and my family and is a nice way to show that you care.
Writing a thank you note for the cleaning lady
If you have a reliable, trustworthy cleaner who is worth their weight in gold, it’s always nice for them to hear that you’re happy with their services. Christmas and holidays are a great time to drop them little a note to let them know how much you appreciate them.
If you’re looking for a fantastic vacuum for your cleaning lady to use, I recommend the shark duo clean. It allows you to get right under and between furniture, you can see it reviving an old carpet and producing some fantastic carpet lines here on my youtube channel, you can click on the photo link below to buy it from Amazon.
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