How do I prepare for the cleaning lady is a question I have heard many times through the years.
Whether you just hired your first cleaning lady, if you are considering hiring one or you already have one and it isn’t going so well, this advice will help you. We owned a residential and commercial cleaning business for many years so our advice is real.
I have been asked a number of times over the last almost 20 years of owning a cleaning business, “Why do we have to clean the house before the cleaning lady comes?” That question usually comes from acquaintances who need a better understanding with their cleaning lady.
Do you have a cleaning lady or a housekeeper, I might ask. The two are not created equal. Let me explain.
What kind of cleaning agreement do you have with your cleaning service?
Cleaning Lady or Housekeeper?
The cleaning lady usually comes from a service you have hired to clean your home. They may or may not send the same person to clean your home on a regular basis. You may or may not have even met the person(s) who clean your home. If you have a problem, you usually call the company office.
The Housekeeper is a person you hired personally, have met and are on a first name basis with. She is very familiar with your home and family and is in fact considered to be a extension of your family. She will likely do more personal cleaning services for you and may even be willing to pick up scatter and do dishes.
Most common service you can expect
- sweep, mop,
- vacuum, dust,
- clean the exterior surfaces in the kitchen including the sink and counters,
- thoroughly clean the bathrooms (tub, toilet, sink, floor, shower and mirrors),
- take out the trash
- and probably make the beds.
You may be able to negotiate with your service provider to wash the bed sheets as well. We never mind washing the sheets as the washer and dryer are running while we are cleaning so no problem.
What NOT to expect your cleaning lady to do
- Pick up all the scatter
- load the dishwasher or wash dishes
- clean up behind pets
- anything outdoors such as enclosed porches
You Should Pick Up Scatter
You can expect that your cleaning lady will NOT pick up scatter.
Scatter would be defined as anything which is temporarily out of place. Dirty clothes on the floor are the most common scatter. Sofa pillows on the floor, socks and shoes left in the living room or anything out of it’s natural place, is scatter.
Scatter and clutter are nearly the same with very minor differences.
Clutter has taken up residence in it’s location. All of the mail from the last several months in piles on one end of the kitchen counter is clutter.
Bathrooms are a common location for clutter. Do your bathroom counters look like a store shelf with lots of grooming and hygiene products to select from? Be sure to put all of those things away when the cleaning lady is coming so your counters can be properly cleaned and disinfected.
Do these things before the cleaning lady comes
- Pick up all the scatter
- Clear the clutter from areas expected to be cleaned
- Load the dishwasher
- Do not leave dirty dishes out in the kitchen
Communication is key. Make a list of questions prior to getting a quote for cleaning. If you are getting quotes for cleaning, that should be done in person. Someone from the service will have to come out to your house and meet with you and see your home for a proper quote. This is your opportunity to communicate everything you wish to have done on a regular basis. Use this time to ask those questions.
Here is a good tip for you. When you take care of your housekeeper, she will take care of you and your family.
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