You don't have to be wealthy to hire a maid service or residential cleaning services near you.
Many busy families arrange for a service to come in once a week, once a month or something in between.
Professional house cleaners can take care of tasks like vacuuming, dusting, mopping floors and so on while family members focus on keeping control of clutter and light cleaning of the bathrooms and kitchens.
If you've never hired house cleaning services before, it can be a daunting task. After all, you're inviting a complete stranger into the most intimate areas of your home.
Make sure you have the inside track on what questions to ask before committing to a house cleaner.
– How do you set your rates?
Most cleaning services charge an hourly rate for the initial visit, but they may also charge by the project or by the number of employees they send. Get the cleaning service to give you an estimate on how long it will take to clean your home.
– Do you conduct a background check on employees?
Most reputable services perform background checks on all of their employees. When you hire an independent cleaner, you act as their employer; thereby making you responsible for doing any background screenings. A background check allows you to know who is entering your home, ensuring your safety and the safety of your property and belongings.
– Will the same cleaner be sent to my home every time?
Most experts recommend keeping consistency in cleaning. It's preferable to use the same person every time if the experience is satisfactory, as different cleaners are likely to clean in different ways.
– Are you bonded and insured?
Professional cleaning services will carry liability insurance and bonding, and they will also have a policy in place in case something gets broken or damaged – or in case something goes missing in your home. And if they have employees on the payroll, make sure they carry workers' compensation in the event an employee is injured on your property.
– Do you bring equipment and supplies?
Some companies bring their own equipment and supplies, while others may only bring the equipment, and you may be responsible for providing cleaning supplies. In the event that you are unhappy with the provided cleaning supplies, you should be able to substitute your own.
– Do you have a satisfaction guarantee?
– How will you gain access to my home?
Options include leaving a key under the mat and asking the house cleaner to leave it inside when they're done, granting access via a keypad or choosing to be home during the cleaning. Make sure both you and your house cleaner are comfortable with the option you choose.
– What services are included in the job?
Be sure you know whether you're getting basic day-to-day cleaning or a deep clean that addresses everything from dust on fans to baseboard scrubbing.
– Can I get all this in writing?
Remember: You're letting someone into your home. Getting as many of the details as possible in writing can help you avoid disagreements down the line.
Paul F. P. Pogue is a reporter for Angie's List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.