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How to Hire and Keep a Housecleaner

1. Consider which parts of your house you wish to be cleaned. Write a list of the rooms, objects and any special parts that you want cleaned. Think about how many hours it takes you to clean these things and that'll give you a good idea of how many hours you will need to ask a cleaner to work for.
2. Think about the products that you want to be used by the cleaner in your home. Many people prefer environmentally-friendly, non-toxic products. If this is what you want, you need to be clear about this from the start.
3. Decide how you want to hire the cleaner. You can do it directly or through a cleaning service. Both ways have advantages and drawbacks.
  • Hiring your cleaner directly enables you to be in charge of the products they use, the hours they come and you will often develop a good working relationship with this person. On the downside, if they quit, you are left with a big job of finding someone again yourself. If you choose to hire a housecleaner directly, you are an employer and have tax and accounting responsibilities as such (see the Tips for more information). Also, if there are problems, it may be difficult confronting them yourself. And then there's the interview process, too; it can be hard to choose the right person unless you are smart about people.
  • If you use a cleaning service, it will probably cost more but you have the security of quick replacement in case of illnesses or resignation. You are also free of any employment, accounting and tax responsibilities. On the downside, besides cost, the agency might not let you use different products and the cleaner may complain that she or he is being paid very little and won't do any extras for you.
4. Be clear about your needs. Whether you interview directly or use an agency, make sure your needs are made clear from the beginning. Using your sheet of paper that you wrote out in step 1, make some dotpoints about each room/object and your expectations and give this to the new cleaner. For instance, "I want the stairs vacuumed every week," "I want the knick-knacks cupboard dusted every week," "I don't mind the blinds being dusted only once a month," etc. It is much easier to get what you want if you make it clear at the start.
5. Be aware that cleaners are people and treat them respectfully. They will respond in kind. However, also be aware that it is human nature to be nosy. If you leave piles of bills, papers, or other confidential material around, you give them a chance to peek. So put those papers away, under lock and key if necessary!
6. Develop a relationship of trust and security. Should you be home when the cleaner is there? It is up to you. Often it makes both you and the cleaner uncomfortable unless your home is so big that you don't cross paths. If you choose to be out, or you work during the cleaning time, be careful with security. Provide your cleaner with a key that states clearly it cannot be duplicated. If he or she must use a security keypad, give a number that is only used by the cleaner. That way, if anything does happen and that number is the cause, you know who keyed it in. Ask your cleaner not to divulge your personal information such as phone number or street address to anyone, not even family members. Some cleaners will gossip, especially if you live in a well-to-do neighborhood and drive a luxury car, but you can at least request this much from them.
7. Communicate with your cleaner. If you feel that he or she is not doing a good job, say something. Like any person, each cleaner has pride in his or her work and some honestly don't understand all that is expected of them. Explain how you would prefer things to be done and ask if this is manageable. Watch to see if the performance improves. If it doesn't, or if the cleaner doesn't agree with your request, then it might be time to part ways and find someone who fits in with your needs.
8. Realize that there are things that your cleaner will not do. Many cleaners have limitations on the type of cleaning work they will do. For instance, many do not clean windows. That is usually considered a special job for window-cleaning professionals. If you ask, they'll let you know. It is also sheer politeness to pay extra money for any additional tasks you ask your cleaner to do beyond normal duties. Don't ask your cleaner to babysit your kids or your pets - he or she has a job to do upon arrival, and this is both distracting and very unfair! Get the right person for the right job.
*Information above provided by

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