The first step in knowing what to expect from your maid service is knowing the difference between a housekeeper / maid and a home cleaner. Lets take a look at the differences:
A home cleaner is someone who is hired to do a one time deep clean of your entire home or areas of your home. A home cleaner does not come back to maintain the cleanliness of your home. Sometimes a home cleaner will do things other than just cleaning your home. Some home cleaners also specialize in organizing and decluttering.
A housekeeper is someone who maintains the cleanliness of your home. Most times a housekeeper will do an initial deep clean of your home and then will maintain this professional level of cleanliness through repeat visits, either on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. You should expect to pay more for the initial visit as it generally takes 3X the amount of time to do vs your regular visits. Most housekeepers offer a discounted rate for the reoccurring service. While we are on the subject of price, you should understand that the discounted price you pay for reoccurring service is for more than just the service. It is also for reserving a slot on your cleaners schedule. Maid service pros have a busy schedule and you are not their only customer. When you make changes to your schedule your maid service must make changes to not only yours but often times several other clients and employees. Do your best to keep your schedule. Another thing that is built into the price that a lot of potential customers do not consider is that things like chemicals, insurance, gas, licensing, advertising, etc are not free. Just because you are paying $40 per hour doesn’t mean thats how much your cleaner is making!
Now that we have identified the differences between a home cleaner and a housekeeper lets identify what your family’s needs are, and create a list of housekeeper duties you’d expect your housekeeper to manage. By this point, you’ve decided that a regular housekeeper is what you’re looking for, rather than a house cleaner to help with random projects. So now you need to ask yourself: what do we need from our housekeeper? Are their specific things that you don’t have the time to get to every week, or tasks that you need help with in order to simplify your life and manage your time and household better? This list will look very different for every family, and really comes down to what YOUR needs are. But as a general rule of thumb, these are some of the housekeeper duties a typical housekeeper may perform.
- Light straightening up of living areas and bedrooms. Some people will do some light straightening before their cleaner arrives (putting toys away, putting laundry in the hamper, straightening up the office, etc). This allows the maid to focus more on the cleaning of the room.
- Clean the floors. This will include vacuuming, sweeping and mopping, depending on the type of floor.
- Bathrooms cleaned. This includes tubs, showers, sinks, and toilets.
- Clean the kitchen, including wiping down counters and appliances, cleaning the sink, and wiping down cabinet doors.
- Dusting, which should include all rooms and surfaces.
- Change linens and makes beds in all rooms, as requested.
- Some housekeepers may take out the trash if requested, however don’t expect them to take the trash with them. You should have a designated area or trash can outside for them to dispose of your trash.
- Provide their own chemicals, supplies, and equipment. If you have a chemical or equipment you prefer, you need to make that known and keep it well stocked.
- Deep cleaning, such as cleaning an oven, refrigerator, shampooing carpets or upholstery. If you’d like these tasks completed at some point, discuss with your housekeeper what their fee would be to complete them. But they shouldn’t be included in their daily or weekly housekeeper duties.
- Your housekeeper should have a list of everything included in their standard cleaning. Here is a great example https://2girls1mop.com/services/
While the list of common housekeeper duties is long and comprehensive, there are some things you shouldn’t expect your housekeeper to complete. These are typically tasks that may put the housekeeper in danger, put an extra physical burden on them, or change the job description from housekeeper to nanny. If you need any of these duties completed, hiring someone who specializes in them is your best bet.
- Lift heavy objects or move furniture. As a general rule, most housekeepers won’t attempt to lift or move anything over 15 pounds. You want to make sure their safety and physical abilities are the priority, so don’t ask your housekeeper to rearrange your living room or move a safe into the attic.
- Wash outside windows, or climb anything taller than a step stool. If you have high windows or surfaces in your home that need attention, you’ll want to hire a service that has the right equipment and insurance to do that. Remember, you’re responsible for the safety of anyone who works in your home, and are liable for any injuries that occur while completing duties assigned to them. Limit your liability and ensure the safety of your domestic employees by hiring companies to handle the big stuff.
- Clean up human or animal waste or bodily fluids. There have been many instances of housekeepers who’ve gotten sick from mishandling waste, and that’s a danger you don’t want to expose anyone to. Again, hire a company that specializes in waste removal, if necessary.
- Childcare. If you’re looking for someone to complete all of these housekeeper duties AND watch your children, then you may want to consider hiring a live-in domestic employee or nanny.