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What your cleaner wishes you would do

What your cleaner wishes you would do
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These six tricks will help you get top value from your domestic help

Bringing in a domestic cleaner allows you to off-load housework. It can be costly, though, so anything you can do to make your cleaner’s task easier will mean you get better value from their services.

Tell your cleaner what you expect

Ideally a cleaner will decide for themselves what tasks need doing each week leaving you with nothing more to do than pay them and enjoy your clean and tidy home. But in the real world… cleaners are paid very low wages and are expected to do hard physical work in a limited period. So they may not have the time or the energy to work out a schedule.

When you first hire your cleaner you should agree with them a basic task list for each week. Organise My House has step-by-step instructions for working out a cleaning task list for your home. You may want to ask them to give the entire house a quick clean and then to focus particularly on one room; or a task like doing a detailed clean of a display.

If you would like services like bedmaking, or rubbish taking out, or ironing, you will need to agree this.

You should also talk about pets – will they be confined to one room during the clean. Is it okay to turn them out into the garden? Can they cope with the noise of a vacuum cleaner?

Listen to your cleaner

When you hire an experienced cleaner, they will have a good idea of how long it will take to clean a given room. They may request particular cleaning products or equipment. It is to your advantage to listen respectfully to their expert advice, just as you would listen to what your GP or solicitor or accountant tells you. You may have budgetary or other reasons for not following that advice – but explain why you do not wish to take their advice and agree a compromise. For example, you may have to agree a less detailed clean of some spaces.

Leave clear instructions for each clean

Unless you live in a space, it is hard to see what needs cleaning. Don’t be a client who seethes over a missed cobweb! Give instructions each week. All you have to do is say, ‘Please pay extra attention to dusting the ceilings’.

Every house has its quirks, and you may need to let your cleaner know that your marble worktops need a specific cleaning product, or that dust collects behind the kitchen door.

Instructions can take many different forms. It might be a chat with the cleaner as they arrive. Or it might be a written list of tasks for the session. Or it might be a sticky note saying ‘do not touch’ on a pile of paperwork. Your cleaner might like you to write the jobs you want done in a notebook. They can then use the same notebook to list any cleaning products or tools that need replacing or servicing and also to note any breakages.

Tidy up first

There’s a joke about a fussy client who cleans before the cleaner arrives. But actually it’s well worth your time to give your house a once-over the evening before. Anything that slows your cleaner down (like picking up toys) will decrease the amount of time and energy they have to actually clean.

A decluttered house is likely to be quicker to clean. So keeping your spaces clear might keep your cleaning costs down. Consider whether you can save money each month by moving some items into the attic, or into a self-storage unit. Of course, you will have to factor in the cost of self-storage each month. We’ve got some advice if you are wondering how much is self-storage per month. And don’t forget to get a quote from Store and Insure so you don’t overpay for your insurance.

Lock valuables and cash away

If you’ve hired your cleaner through a reputable company, or got a good referral from several friends, you should have no concerns about your cleaner’s honesty. Even so, consider locking away your valuables when the cleaner is due. This means that if anything does go missing, you will know for sure that there is no fault on the cleaner’s side.

Check the equipment you provide works

Check that the cleaning equipment you supply works. And make sure there is a plentiful supply of cleaning products, too. Ask your cleaner to make a note of empties or cleaning tools that don’t work so that you can get refills and replacements before they come next time.

Follow these tips and you will get better results from your domestic cleaners.