Written by: Cally Worden
If you are earning a decent income in a busy job, then the last thing you feel like doing when you get home is cleaning. Hiring in someone to help out on the domestic front can be tempting, and provided you go about it in the right way it can bring freedom and relaxation back into your life. Here’s how to go about hiring a cleaner.
Daft as it sounds, you need to give this some thought. Your cleaner will only be as good as the instructions you give them, so think hard about which areas of your home you want cleaned and to what standard. Then work out how much time it would take you to do the job yourself and this will give you an idea of how many hours you will need to hire a cleaner for. It will also give you a heads-up on how much you will need to pay.
Select your Cleaning Products
All cleaners will have their preferred products to use, so you need to decide if you want to use theirs, or yours. Different items have different smells, some are more toxic than others and if eco-friendly products are important to you, this needs to be considered too. If the cleaner provides the items they use, then be prepared to pay for them, or ask if they are included in their rates.
How to Hire
You can advertise privately for a cleaner or use a cleaning agency or company. The “Direct Hire” scenario gives you greater flexibility in respect of agreeing hours, frequency of visits and cleaning products, but it also means you are reliant on one individual. There is no one to conduct security checks on your behalf, and if the person is ill or quits for any reason you can be left in the lurch.
A professional cleaning service may be more expensive, but it can offer greater security and leave you free of the hassle of paying someone direct, and any possible tax implications that arise from that. On the downside, a professional cleaner is less likely to go the extra mile for you and may be obliged to use cleaning products that aren’t of your choosing.
Be Clear About What You Want
Any employee needs direction if they are to perform to expectations, so make sure you give your cleaner a clear brief about what you want them to do. Be specific about when and where they should vacuum, and how often etc.
Remember that your cleaner is a person, with feelings, stresses and a life of their own. Show them respect and trust, and they will be more likely to behave respectfully in your home. However, remember too that cleaners are human, and will possess a natural curiosity about you and your property. Lock away any items or papers that are private and confidential, in order to remove the temptation to snoop.
It can be easier and more comfortable for your cleaner to do their work whilst you are not there, but this requires quite a high degree of trust on your part. Always take up references, and if you give your cleaner a key make sure it is clear that this is not to be duplicated. If possible make any security codes that are required unique to your cleaner. You can also request that your cleaner maintains confidentiality about your home and possessions and ask them to sign a contract to this effect if it makes you more comfortable.
Communication is Key
If you are not happy with your cleaner for any reason or, conversely, if they are doing a great job, tell them. Being honest and open is the only way to maintain a good working relationship. If the performance of your cleaner needs to improve, then say so diplomatically. If nothing changes, it may be the time to part company.
Be Careful About Extras
Asking your cleaner to undertake additional tasks is fine, but it is only right that you pay the going rate for them. Expecting additional services at cheap rates is not on – you are buying-in a service, and should be prepared to pay for it. Be aware too that there is a “cleaner’s etiquette” that stops some from treading on the toes of other professions. Many cleaners will not clean windows for example.