Published on July 15th, 2019
Life is busy. On the ever-growing to-do list of life, cleaning the house can feel like a never-ending chore and a waste of the weekend’s precious hours.
Household chores take up a lot of our time. In fact, the 2016 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey found that on average, women spend around 20.4 hours a week on housework. That’s almost a full day of cooking and cleaning!
Lately I’ve been wondering if maybe Homer Simpson was onto something. When it comes to chores, can’t someone else can do it?
There are a few things you need to consider before hiring a cleaner. Here’s the five questions you should ask before taking the plunge.
How much am I willing to pay?
Set yourself a budget and be upfront with the company you choose. Make sure all facets of the pricing are worked out before the cleaner begins. Note that some companies charge by the hour, others by the job. Like with most things, you get what you pay for, so be realistic with your expectations.
You may be charged extra if you need a specific job done around the home that isn’t on the company’s standard clean list.
Am I comfortable with someone cleaning my home?
It is worth remembering that you will have a stranger in your home, cleaning around your belongings. Two of the main areas that will be cleaned are your kitchen and bathroom: take a moment to visualise what you or the kids might have left behind in those rooms when you rushed out of the house this morning and you’ll get what I’m saying.
Most people I know who have hired a cleaner give their places a quick once over to remove any incriminating objects before the cleaner shows up. Try not to be like my sister though, who spends hours cleaning her home … the day before the cleaner arrives.
We recommend being there for the first clean to meet the cleaner and get an idea of their processes. Don’t feel guilty for staying at home while the clean is happening – this is your home!
* As a side note, pets should also be kept outside where possible.
Is it a reputable cleaner?
The company you choose is important. Research the company’s website to make sure they are well established. They should be registered and covered by Public Liability Insurance and the company should have done background check on their cleaners.
Any company worth its salt will have all this information readily available on the ‘FAQs’ or ‘About Us’ section on their website. Make sure it is clear what happens in the event of something being damaged during the clean.
Word of mouth is really important to domestic cleaners, so it may be worthwhile asking your friends or family if they use a cleaner and would recommend them.
What do I need cleaned?
Most companies will provide a list on their website of the standard jobs included in their regular clean. These lists are thorough enough to give your home a good general clean.
Most cleaning websites we researched included the bathroom, kitchen and an all-house dust, vacuum and floor clean in its regular service.
You can pay a little extra if you want the interiors of appliances (like the fridge or oven) cleaned, windows washed or general housekeeping duties like folding washing or dishes done. Some companies also specialise in bond cleaning.
Are products provided?
Advise the cleaner if you have specific cleaning products for your furniture items or areas (like hardwood floors, for example) around the home.
An experienced cleaner will usually know which product to use for which job and may make use of a cleaning product you haven’t touched in years. A friend of mine had a tub of Gumption in her cleaning cupboard that she had forgotten about – the cleaner used half the tub on the bathroom and did a phenomenal job!
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