August 8, 2015
So you’ve decided to simplify your chaotic life and hire someone to help you clean your home. While reasons for making this decision vary from person to person, it is imperative that everyone considers the following seven factors before signing on any dotted lines.
Company vs. Individual
With companies, it is more likely that you’d have a team of people, which can be nice if you need the cleaning done quickly. Companies will also often take care of issues like insurance, references, and taxes for you so no need to worry about the IRS.
An independent cleaner may mean a little more paperwork for you, but some people love the idea of developing a good working and personal relationship with an individual.
Insurance and Employment Laws
If you’re using an agency or company, they typically take care of these issues for you, but to protect yourself, you’ll need to verify that you are not responsible for any additional paperwork.
If you’re hiring an independent housekeeper, you’ll need to make sure that the person is legally able to work in the United States and that they are properly insured. You’ll also need to learn how to pay the employer’s part of the social security tax to avoid getting in trouble with the IRS.
Take note of how dirty your home gets over time. If you have pets and children it may be beneficial to have someone come in to clean once a week. On average, we suggest hiring someone to come and clean once every two weeks. Make sure you set up this arrangement before you hire anyone and ask about their flexibility.
What do you want to be done?
Don’t be afraid to give the individual or service you hire written instructions. While this may seem awkward at first, they cannot read your mind. The maids will need you to guide them on the areas that you feel are most important in your home. You should also conduct a walk-through of your home and point out the specific areas you have on your list and what you want to be done to them.
Do you want to pay an hourly fee or a flat fee? With a per-hour charge, you run the risk of the maids moving slower in order to collect a larger paycheck. But with a flat fee you may be faced with sloppy maids who simply want to complete as many jobs in a day as possible. Be fair when paying your maid or cleaning service, sometimes cheaper does not equal a good deal.
References and experience
Ask your nearby friends, family and neighbors what companies or individuals they are using to clean their homes and if they’re satisfied with their work. You can also look online for reviews or ask the company/individual for their references. Follow-up and continue to research. This person/people will be in your house and around your loved ones; you need to be able to trust them.
Ask what kinds of chemicals are used during the cleaning process. If you have children, pets, or allergies, knowing what’s in the cleaners is incredibly important. If you have very specific cleaner requests you may need to provide the maid or company with the specific products you want and if the company refuses to tell you or if it uses cleaning agents with toxic ingredients, choose another service for your needs.
You are hiring someone to make your life easier, not more stressful. So do your homework to avoid additional problems or miscommunications down the road so you can enjoy your worry-free, clean home!
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