Everyone wants a clean, comfortable living space, but there are better ways to spend your spare time than dusting and mopping. It’s no wonder so many people hire a house cleaning company to handle their dirty work!
Between managing work, family time, and maintaining a social life, housework is bound to fall off the radar on occasion. We’ve all been there. That said, time is money. So, if you choose to hire a house cleaning company, you’ll want to make sure you get the most value possible from every moment they spend in your home.
Today, we’ll discuss five things you can do to get the most out of your house cleaning company, including what to do before the cleaners arrive and proper etiquette for communicating your expectations. By taking these steps to prepare your home, your cleaners will be able to do the best job possible – which means a cleaner home and better bang for your buck.
1. Remove Clutter and Tidy Up
Have you ever been guilty of leaving dishes in the sink? Tossing dirty laundry on the floor or a chair? Forgetting to put your shoes in the closet when you come home? Of course! You’re human and, by virtue of going about your life, you create clutter in your house.
However, the point of hiring a professional cleaning company is not to tidy up after your family. You should prepare for the cleaners’ arrival by picking up any items from the floor, ensuring counter spaces and table tops are clear, and removing any objects that might obstruct the cleaning process. You’re hiring a professional house cleaning company to clean your living space – not clear off your countertops.
2. Clearly Communicate Your Priorities
While you don’t want to micromanage every aspect of the cleaner’s job, it’s a good idea to outline what you expect from their services. Prioritize what you want to be cleaned by room, objects and surfaces within a room, and the type of cleaning you’d like done. For example, if you want the entire main floor cleaned, should the cleaner focus on vacuuming the carpets, mopping the floors, dusting the floorboards, or cleaning certain objects and surfaces?
We recommend prioritizing your least favorite cleaning chores and those that take up the most time. These might include:
- Cleaning the windows, including both sides of the pane, the sills, blinds, shutters, and curtains
- Dusting hard-to-reach ceiling fans and light fixtures
- Flipping and steaming your mattress
- Vacuuming under the beds
- Scrubbing toilet bowls, showers, and bathtubs
- Unclogging sink and shower drains
On top of listing your primary and secondary priorities (that is, what the cleaners should focus on if they have extra time), explain what you definitely don’t want to be cleaned. A simple “Please don’t worry about the garage” will do. Close doors to any rooms that you don’t want them to enter.
If you want to be extra communicative, consider leaving sticky notes in rooms you do want cleaning with a reminder of what to focus on. For example, you might leave the bathroom door open with a note that says: “Please scrub the toilet bowl, floors, and sink. The shower and bathtub do not need to be cleaned. Thanks!”
3. Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies
Most professional house cleaning companies come fully equipped with their own supplies, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra rags, towels, and mop heads on hand. It’s also a good idea to keep extra cleaning spray, garbage bags, and cleaning gloves in the house just in case. If you want the cleaners to use a specific product for certain surfaces, be sure to tell them ahead of time.
All supplies should be clearly labeled as well as easy to find and access. If you’re not home during the cleaning, tell the cleaners in advance or in a note exactly which closet or bathroom they can check for extra supplies.
4. Be Friendly and Helpful
Anyone who’s ever worked in the service industry can attest to the fact that a little basic human decency goes a long way. Not only is it more enjoyable to work with and for people who respect you, but being a model client can motivate your house cleaning company to go above and beyond when necessary. The bottom line is, you want to create a good relationship with your cleaners.
This goes without saying, but cleaners are not servants-for-hire. You can show them respect by making yourself available to answer any questions and providing all the information they need to do their jobs well. Some people also forget that house cleaners are not handymen. Asking them to do home maintenance or declutter your attic puts them in an awkward position and can start your relationship off on the wrong foot.
So, how can you make a great first impression on your cleaners? Leave cold water bottles or iced tea in the fridge and insist they help themselves when they need to rehydrate. If you’re home, offer them a small snack or leave it on the counter with a note inviting them to dig in when they take a break.
5. Provide Special Instructions for Pets
If you have pets, tell the house cleaning company about them in advance. You don’t want your cleaners to be caught off guard by your pooch (or vice versa). Plus, telling the house cleaning company about your pets ahead of time ensures they’ll bring any special equipment they use to tackle fur and pet-related messes.
In addition to stating how many pets you have and what species they are, let the cleaners know if and where your pets will be confined and if there are special instructions for interacting with them. Ideally, dogs should be securely crated or kept in a specific room so they don’t get in the way. If it’s okay with the cleaners, cats can be left to roam the house; otherwise, keep them in a separate room with their food and litter box.
Things to Remember If You’ll Be Home During the Cleaning
- Be friendly and show the cleaners around when they first arrive, but then let them get to work. They need to know which rooms to focus on and where the extra cleaning supplies are, but too much small chat will cut into their cleaning time.
- Stay out of their way, but make yourself available to answer questions. Try to spend most of the time in a room where they aren’t working or where only light cleaning is required.
- Keep an eye on your pets to ensure they don’t bother the cleaners, make a bigger mess, or get into the cleaning supplies.
Things to Remember If You Won’t Be Home When They Arrive
- Provide detailed instructions ahead of time (by email, phone, or text) as well as a written note taped to a visible surface.
- Ensure the cleaners have a key or know exactly where to find it when they arrive. You might want to leave it in the mailbox or with a trusted neighbor.
- Give the cleaners a number you can be reached at in case of emergency (like not being able to find the key to your home!) or if they have last minute questions.
What to Do After the First House Cleaning Session is Over
Now that the cleaners have come, done their job, and left your home sparkling, what’s next? After your first experience with a new house cleaning company, we recommend calling or sending an email to follow-up – especially if you plan to hire them again in the future.
Take this opportunity to ask if you can do anything differently next time to make their job easier. Communicate what they did well (everyone likes getting compliments!) and what they missed, if anything. You should also let the cleaners know if your priorities shift after the first session or two.
Below are the average costs of House & Apartment Cleaning services across different cities in Canada:
*Costs based on 6859 verified Canadian homeowner reviews as of March 2022
Following up and giving constructive feedback will help you build a happy, long-term relationship with a house cleaning company that understands your needs.
And of course, be sure to leave them a nice review on HomeStars!
Featured image courtesy of Absolutely Spotless