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How clean does your house have to be for cleaners?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am thinking of hiring a cleaning service a couple times a month. But i'm worried about how much prep work it will take the night before the cleaners come. Am I being ridiculous ? How clean/decluttered does your house have to be before housecleaners come to clean?
post #2 of 18

I just go through and make sure everything is picked up/put away.  I usually clear all my personal items off the counters/out of the shower/tubs. Dirty dishes out of the sink.   Toys picked up and put away so she can vacuum and mop.  Our office tends to be a little cluttered and messy and she just works around it (though I make sure that any sensitive papers are put away).  I find that it's actually helped a lot overall with my organization and clutter. 

post #3 of 18

Your surfaces need to be clutter free or they can't do their job as well. Take everything off the counters, end tables and other surfaces and leave only the necessities in place.

 

If they are using your cleaning products,, they should all be in one place and easy to find.

 

You should also pick up the floors some in case you ask them to mop.. they won't have to move all your shoes and such lying on the floor.

post #4 of 18

I agree with the others that everything needs to be clutter free first.

 

I used to get a cleaner, but I found that the major part of the work was moving everything, and then she came in and did the quick easy bit of wiping and mopping things over once everything was clear.  So I ended up deciding that it was cheaper (and less intrusive) to do it myself.

 

If you are concerned that you can't get everything clutter free, maybe try hiring them just to do the bathrooms and kitchen, which at least will cut down on your cleaning load.

post #5 of 18

pretty much the same as the others.  we de-clutter the evening before they come.  it helps.  if we didn't have them come, i don't want to know how cluttered and also un-clean the house would be.  i love that they vaccuum the floors, the sofas, dust everything, mop, clean the bathrooms, kitchen, and make all the beds with new linens.  LOVE IT.  sometimes i think about stopping it due to funds, but i am honest with myself and know that it would not be anywhere near as consistently clean as it is now, and keep them.

 

it is a pain sometimes to de-clutter, but it's nice to come home to a clean, fresh house.  And, it's not like they won't clean if you don't declutter, you just don't get as much out of it.  Sometimes i haven't been able to clean off the kitchen table completely.  *shrug* so it doesn't get wiped down where the stuff it.  Not a big deal to me.

 

 

*my left shift key is wonky and doesn't work well.  forgive.*

post #6 of 18

The only thing I do before the cleaners come is to lay out clean sheets on each bed, and pick up any *obvious* clutter (ie toys strewn on the floor, dishes in the sink/on counter, etc) but not day to day clutter (ie piles of mail in the mudroom, books on bedside tables,magazines in family room).

 

My cleaners clear off all surfaces and wipe down/dust so if there are things I don't want touched I don't leave them out or in the case of LEGO structures my son puts up "do not touch" signs.  They lift all the furniture to clean under, same with the rugs.  They even wipe down/clean the phones, the remotes, dust *every* photo (and we have TONS on display).  Weds is my favorite day of the week!

post #7 of 18

This is what I do to earn a living, so I can give it to you straight from the horse's mouth...

 

The less cluttered your home is, the cleaner the result will be and possibly it will even be less expensive.  I have one client that has TONS of decorative stuff that needs to be dusted.  Obviously this takes time.  More time costs more money.  If having lots of stuff out on display is important for you that's fine and it can be cleaned, but you will have to pay accordingly.  She enjoys her things and is willing to pay to have that maintained...I am willing to do that for a fair wage.  That's the balance that has to be struck.

 

It is very difficult to see great results in a home that looks like a tornado ripped through it because when I walk in the home I think to myself "Holy cow, where do I even start!"  You can't clean clutter, you can move it and clean under it, but again...more time and more money - and it's still going to look like a cluttery mess when the cleaner leaves, a clean cluttery mess, but still a mess.  If you don't think you can manage to have things relatively picked up right away, ask for just the bathrooms and kitchen to be done or whatever is most important to you.  Having a few really sparkling clean areas may spur you on to do what you need to do to get that for the remainder of your home.

post #8 of 18

I had a cleaner for a while, and I did run around the night before and straighten up. I am trying to decide if I want to have someone come in to clean again because it might be nice to have that motivation. But I also felt like the cleaning is the part I really don't mind doing, mopping, wiping down the kitchen, even cleaning the bathroom are no big deal to me. That's the part I like. It's the laundry (especially putting it away) and the dishes and the clutter that I can't stand. So I went with having an organizer come in a few times. I haven't had her since right before Christmas, but I would like to have her come again soon.

post #9 of 18
You might want to hire cleaners with the caveat that they do the dishes and fold the laundry. Our cleaners wash the pots, do the dishes, and fold clean laundry. They also change the sheets in addition to the mopping, vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms, etc. I love.gif them.

I declutter for them the night before.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

You might want to hire cleaners with the caveat that they do the dishes and fold the laundry. Our cleaners wash the pots, do the dishes, and fold clean laundry. They also change the sheets in addition to the mopping, vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms, etc. I love.gif them.

I declutter for them the night before.

same here, I try to pick up obvious messes, put clutter away, and wash/set out bedding so that the cleaners can make the beds. They will wash the dishes and straighten side tables and counters but leave the big messes (DH's office, my desk) untouched. I love having my house cleaned because not worrying over the bathrooms leaves me more time to declutter and organize. thumb.gif
post #11 of 18

I get a housekeeper a few times a year (and worked as one for a few years myself). I pick up EVERYTHING before they come. I go room by room and put away any little thing that is out of place. Its so much more rewarding that way. I want to pay them for dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the blinds and that type of thing not taking time to move my stuff around or wash my dishes. Plus the more stuff that is out of the way, the easier it is for them to do a really good job! I also find that putting everything away doesn't take me as long as I think it will, much less time than cleaning the house. For instance when I normally clean the bathroom I don't just move stuff off of the counter and make sure everything is picked up off of the floor. I also clean the toilet, do the floors, shower, mirrors. Its the CLEANING that usually takes me some time, not the picking up.

post #12 of 18

Our cleaning lady comes every Friday and on Thursday nights I make sure all the toys are picked up, dishes washed, and have everything pretty much in its place.  However, there are days that it doesn't always happen and she just makes little piles of things for us.  I have to say our cleaning lady is AWESOME!!!  She does charge extra for hand scrubbing our tiled hallway, cleaning the fridge, etc.  Heck, she even cooks for us sometimes (added cost, of course!), makes lunches for the kids, and helps to get them dressed (she knows when I'm super stressed and jumps in and takes over).   On those days where we just weren't able to declutter, she will walk around and help me pick up the toys.  I'm usually always here when she is here, so it's kind of a team effort.  She was only charging $40/week and for an extra $10 she helps fold laundry every Friday.  $200/month is WELL worth the service we get from her. She is really fun to chit chat with, so she has truly become a part of the family/friend.

 

I do admit, that when she comes in and our house is a wreck I feel awful, so 90% of the time I get it done.

post #13 of 18

From reading at all the posts it looks like there is wide range of expectations on both sides.  In my case I don't feel the need to "clean" for the cleaning crew.  I also don't feel the need to change how I live my life. The purpose of having a cleaning crew is save me time and stress so it defeats the purpose if I need to "clean up" first.

 

My house is neat and organized but not really clutter free.  We have photo's everywhere.  The occasional knick knack. My sons playroom has multiple bookshelves filled with books and lego displays and more framed photos. We are all big readers so we tend to have stacks of books on our bedside tables, on the coffee table and end tables.  I have lots of appliances that I use constantly that are out on the counter and on open shelves in the kitchen. And then there are cook books, the mudroom (while well organized) full of boots and coats, sports equipment, etc. I am not going to change that nor am I going to put it all away the day before she comes and then spend time putting it back out.

 

When I hired the woman we have (who brings her older daughters or sisters) I negotiated a flat flee and I made sure my house look like it would normally look when she came.  I wanted a real price and wanted her to see what she was really going to have to deal with.  So obvious clutter gets put away (no toys or clothes on the floor, dishwasher is emptied, laundry baskets emptied and put away, etc) but the rest in how we live.  I get the same results every week (sparkling clean!) for the same price so I don't worry about getting less because I don't "clean up".

post #14 of 18
nod.gif This is such wonderful advice. Don't let it stress you, or you'll never hire anyone. Let them come see things as they are and negotiate from there. Believe me, they've seen much worse. My cleaning lady has seen me and my home at its worst, and that's fine. We've been "together" every Friday for almost 4 years now. smile.gif It's nice to have someone who has my back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

In my case I don't feel the need to "clean" for the cleaning crew.  I also don't feel the need to change how I live my life.

When I hired the woman we have (who brings her older daughters or sisters) I negotiated a flat flee and I made sure my house look like it would normally look when she came.  I wanted a real price and wanted her to see what she was really going to have to deal with.  So obvious clutter gets put away (no toys or clothes on the floor, dishwasher is emptied, laundry baskets emptied and put away, etc) but the rest in how we live.  I get the same results every week (sparkling clean!) for the same price so I don't worry about getting less because I don't "clean up".

post #15 of 18

I have a relatively small house so my cleaning lady is able to do it in just 3 hrs.  I admit completely that a large chunk of what I pay her for is the incentive to get everything picked up!  Even if it's random stuff in a laundry basket under the table...it's still contained!

 

I am not neat by nature.  Now I'm pregnant in addition to my four year old.  So if I'm laid up for a couple of days...it's pretty awful--tornado boy has some skills!  I love that she comes by every couple of weeks and does the deep cleaning.  She would totally do the pick-up, but I would much rather pay her to do the deep-cleaning than the pick-up!  So it's a joint effort.  I'm really trying to get her to put me in for another slot or two a month, esp while I'm pregnant.  But so far it's not fitting.

 

My house wasn't perfect when I started with her...it's still not perfect.  But if you can get it to where you're ok with other people coming in, then you should be ok.  It gets better each time!  :)  When she used to come before I moved (pre-divorce) we had a couple of rooms that we just asked her to ignore.  She was completely fine with that.  As we took care of areas, she would add vacuuming and dusting to those rooms. 

 

You just need to find someone that works for you! 

 

As a WOHM single mom...cleaning lady is a high priority in my budget!  It's so worth it for my peace of mind! 

 

Typically, I try to have everything picked up and beds made when she comes over.  No dishes in the sink.  She works around stuff.  But it's a whole lot faster if the random stuff is at least collected into one spot! 

post #16 of 18

My house usually looks like a bomb went off by the time by cleaning lady is due to come. She only comes once a month so its always ready for a good cleaning. I find it a lot of work to get ready for her, but that is my fault for not picking up everynight. I do my best to make it tidy so she can do her job of cleaning. However if we have a month where it just isn't as tidy she doesn't sweat it at alll. She actually came the day after dd2 was born at home and just quietly made her way around. It definitely wasn't tidy that day. When she comes it is the best day of the month. It is the only day where everything is clean at the same time.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliesara63 View Post

My house usually looks like a bomb went off by the time by cleaning lady is due to come. She only comes once a month so its always ready for a good cleaning. I find it a lot of work to get ready for her, but that is my fault for not picking up everynight. I do my best to make it tidy so she can do her job of cleaning. However if we have a month where it just isn't as tidy she doesn't sweat it at alll. She actually came the day after dd2 was born at home and just quietly made her way around. It definitely wasn't tidy that day. When she comes it is the best day of the month. It is the only day where everything is clean at the same time.


I *heart* everything you just said.  That's exactly how I feel!  I've been using the same person off and on for a couple of years and the day we interviewed, I picked up but didn't kill myself and explained "this is what it looks like when I've put in a couple of hours of effort, are you up for it?"

 

I'm pregnant right now and increasing to weekly for the 3rd trimester.  So excited!!  She keeps thinking I'm going to be overwhelmed with cleaning!  LOL!  It just means I might actually catch up on something!!!  :)  Cleaning lady day is AWESOME!  :-D  Although my son seems to disagree...whenever I pick up in preparation, he comes downstairs and exclaims "Mom!  What did you DO!?!?" 
 

post #18 of 18

I just had someone come in this week (for the first time!) and felt a bit frantic beforehand making sure that everything was off the floors, nothing important or private was left out and woke my daughter with a warning that her room needed to be somewhat organized because the cleaning team was coming.  I have to say that it was the best feeling in the world coming in to a spotless house ... and one that I didn't have to clean smile.gif.  Next time I don't think that I am going to be so anal.  Yes I will tidy up the important things but realized that I stressed about nothing and they have seen much much worse than my house, lol.  I am a really neat person but it was nice to have all the detailed stuff done that only I notice.  I am hoping to have someone come in regularly and not just because Passover is coming.

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