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Your Home Environment Resource - University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

Household Hints & HELP!

Hiring a Professional House Cleaner

submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appears in the August 21, 2005 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.

Are you stressed out trying to get all the work done around the home and still have time to do the fun things you want to do? Many families are now turning to hiring a professional house cleaner.

Why hire a professional?

  • Free your time for activities which are more important to you.
  • Do tasks you can't keep up with or do safely.
  • Reduce your contact with cleaning chemicals.
  • Reduce stress or conflict about getting cleaning done.

Decide what regular cleaning tasks you have and how frequently they need to be done. Prioritize which tasks you would like to have done for you.

As you prioritize, consider:

  • What tasks do you avoid because you dislike them?
  • What tasks are physically difficult for you?
  • What tasks require equipment or supplies you don't have or prefer not to work with?
  • What tasks do you prefer to do yourself?
  • What items or areas are of special importance — for example, valuables or antiques which must be cleaned with special procedures?

Also, when selecting a house cleaning service consider seasonal cleaning tasks, if you want regular or seasonal help, the amount you are willing to spend and if you want to be home when the cleaning is being done.

The next step is selecting individuals or services to interview. Consider personal compatibility, similar standards, bonding for liability, provision of a written list of services and price structure, who takes care of social security withholdings, workmen's compensation and similar requirements and who provides training.

Interview the candidates — ask a variety of questions including those relating to training, fee, knowledgeable of proper cleaning agents, contracts, cleaning times and days, how holidays and illness might be handled, etc.

After you have hired someone to clean, communicating your standards to the cleaner(s) is very important, as well as coming to an agreement about how the standards will be met. Ask yourself if you expect a higher standard from the cleaning service than from yourself?

Hiring a house cleaner not only saves you time it can also reduce your stress level.

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