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If you?re at your wit’s end with cleaning and its time to bring in some outside assistance, you won?t be short of options. Between businesses and individuals, you?ll be spoilt for choice by the sheer number of offers you receive if you advertise. Conversely, if you decide to find someone yourself, you?ll have plenty of websites and references to wade through.
Naturally, you?ll want someone reliable and trustworthy, and cheaper usually means better ? although you should be prepared to pay at least the going rate as the quality of the result also matters. Indeed, there are plenty of factors to consider before you make the final decision, and our tips have been put together to ensure you make the right choice first time.
Ask Around for References
Home cleaning services rarely survive with just one or two clients, and there is only a specific area size that they can cover. With that in mind, you may already know someone that uses a cleaner. Nothing beats word of mouth to enhance your confidence in your decision. It is worth keeping in mind that good cleaners are often in demand and have little trouble filling their diaries. That?s a good sign in most cases, and it may well be worth being patient with a recommendation if they are not available immediately.
Leverage Your Options
We have already mentioned that you?re in a position of power when it comes to your choice of home cleaning services as there are so many out there. Naturally, the cleaners and companies are aware of this too, so you should not be afraid to make specific requests. If you need a particular day or time then make this clear early on ? the service provider will know whether or not they can meet that requirement and will be well aware that you?re happy to go elsewhere if required.
Decide Between a Home Cleaning Services Business or Individual
This may be something that you wait until you?re mid-search for. However, at some point in your search for the perfect cleaner, you?ll need to decide whether you want to go with a company or a private individual.
The Pros of a Private Cleaner
- A private cleaner manages their own diary. If you value flexibility and personal service, then guaranteeing that you have the same cleaner every time can make this possible. Many cleaners that operate independently are not after a full-time wage, and many do it for an extra income. If they have this kind of flexibility, you can make the most of it to match up your schedules.
- You?ll get the same cleaner every time. If your personal requirements are very specific, you?d prefer not to have to go through them all every time the cleaner turns up to do the job. This is a possibility with a home cleaning services business, but no such issue with an individual.
- Private cleaners set their own rates. The flexibility of an individual cleaner extends from their timekeeping all the way into their pricing. They don?t have overheads and probably only have their personal tax to worry about instead of adding VAT and other costs. You can work with them to understand what tools and supplies they expect to use and decide who provides them, and it all adds up to a more personalised experience than what you might be accustomed to.
The Cons of a Private Cleaner
- When your cleaner takes a holiday, so does your cleaning. Any individual that performs home cleaning services rarely does so as an official employee. That means that if something comes up, such as a holiday or even their child being off school with an illness, the cleanliness of your house may well become a lower priority. Whether you take the reigns and get the job done or let it build up for an extra week is purely down to you, but you need to keep it in mind.
- Waiting lists. As noted, not all private cleaners work full-time. Whether they do or not, you may have to wait to slot into their diary. The longer it takes between the decision to hire a cleaner and the start of the job, the more chances there are that the homeowner will lose interest, change their mind or find someone else. As hinted at previously, it is usually a good sign if a cleaner is in demand, but you?ll need to be prepared to wait for them on occasion.
The Pros of Going with a Home Cleaning Services Business
- Availability is usually guaranteed. While there are individuals out there that set up as businesses for their own reasons, we?re considering companies that employ numerous cleaners and often extend further than just their local area. If one person is unavailable, another can be sent to take their place and maintain the timeslot. There tends to be no waiting list either, so if you call on a Monday for a cleaner on the following Wednesday, companies will generally be more than happy to accommodate you.
- There?s a higher chance of the availability of specialist tools and services. You may be a regular person that lives in a standard home ? but there?s every chance you?re not. You may have certain items in the home that require a delicate touch, or carpets that respond better to a regular wet clean than just a vacuum. Companies generally provide their own cleaning equipment and so, in this particular case, you can often enjoy sparkling surfaces without, in this specific case, shelling out for a spot cleaner or carpet washer.
The Cons of a Home Cleaning Services Business
- Costs tend to be higher. As mentioned, individual cleaners ? the kind that advertises on notice boards in shops and other local ways ? will often clean for something to do and a little extra cash rather than as a full-time job. They don?t have the overheads commonly associated with any business, nor do they have corporation tax or extensive admin to worry about. These are all justifiable business costs, and they need paying for. If you go with a company, the bulk of what you pay is for the clean specifically, but the associated costs will be passed on in part too.
- It is unlikely that you?ll build a personal relationship with the cleaner. The fact that a cleaner will visit your home without fail is a positive factor, but you?re never guaranteed to get the same cleaner twice. Any unique requirements or even friendly chats to which you?ve become accustomed will not always work out.
Be Realistic About How Much Cleaning You Need
The act of cleaning is hard to itemise, so most cleaners, whether private or professional, will charge based on time. You may need an hour a week, or prefer a couple of hours every few days. Obviously, the more of your cleaner?s time you take up, the higher the price you?ll need to pay. If money is no object, then that?s absolutely fine. However, if you?d prefer to keep your costs low, be optimistic about how many hours of cleaning you need.
Consider Costs Realistically
Whenever we talk about how much a service costs, we often mention a general rule of thumb that has served us well. Get three different quotes from whoever meets all the criteria you?ve already decided on and go with the middle one. This is in no way a hard and fast rule, but it often works out because you can expect better quality than the cheapest option and, naturally, a lower price than the most expensive.
Discuss Cleaning Contracts Before the Job Starts
Individuals often operate on a non-contract, cash in hand basis. Companies, however, usually prefer to tie their clients into long-term deals. It makes sense, and we do not hold it against them ? they tend to have several staff to manage, diaries to fill and bills to pay.
Just like a gym membership, phone contract or any other long-term arrangement, you?re legally required to meet any obligations you agree to by way of a contract. We?d advise that you think hard about any commitment you wish to make and ensure that it meets your cleaning needs and budget in the longer term, especially as businesses that carry out home cleaning services, like any others, are under no obligation to make any adjustments until the contract term ends.
Remember that Your Home Cleaner Isn’t There to Tidy
A cleaner will always live up to their name. While it can be tempting to hire a cleaner to reduce your own workload, you should carefully consider whether you have the time and willingness to maintain general tidiness. If something is in the way or on a surface, the chances are that the surface in question will not be cleaned. Home cleaning service companies tend to stick to this rigidly, but you might have some wiggle room with an individual.
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