If at one time housekeepers were associated with a certain rich lifestyle, that is no longer the case. From a weekly service to a major spring cleaning, everyone can now hire a housekeeping team in just a few clicks thanks to today’s cell phone apps. But how to choose?
Whether you are seeking regular help or only want to tidy up your home from time to time, we have advice for finding that diamond in the rough.
1. Assess your needs
The cleaning time required depends on the size of your home, the number of people living there, whether or not you have pets and your lifestyle. For example, a minimalist interior housing a single person with no pets takes less time to clean than a well-equipped, single-family home or a condo shared by several roommates. Based on your situation, you can determine whether you need a weekly or semimonthly service.
2. Crunch some numbers
Determine how much you can spend on housekeeping and fit it into your budget. Self-employed housekeepers often charge less than a company, but a team of two gets the job done faster, which may ultimately cost less.
3. Keep your ear to the ground
Ask your neighbours whether they can provide any good referrals. Your circle of friends is also a reliable source of reference. Search Facebook and read reviews on the pages of housekeeping services offered to individuals.
4. Ask for a quote
Shop around! Big companies often have online forms that will provide you with an estimate. However, the best way is still to meet candidates in person at your home. This allows them to see your home and to provide you with a personalized quote. You can also discuss the specific features of your home, such as the alarm system or a finicky bathroom door.
5. Assess chemistry
If you plan on being home while your housekeeper is there, it is important that you feel you can trust them. Make sure you can communicate properly and are comfortable with the person you hire, and that they respect your pets. Listen to what they have to say about this new work relationship. Mutual respect is essential.
6. Establish some rules
Have a good conversation about house rules with the person you plan on hiring. For example, explain where they can place their belongings, whether they can store their lunch in the fridge or serve themselves a drink, or whether any rooms are off limits. Also decide the best way to reschedule or to communicate a cancellation.
7. Discuss cleaning products
Will the person you wish to hire bring their own cleaning products? If so, do their products correspond to your needs and values, in terms of ecology and lifestyle? Are you allergic to certain products? This discussion should take place before a service agreement is signed.
8. Talk about insurance
Who is responsible if a vase falls and breaks due to a distracted feather duster? And who is responsible if a member of the housekeeping team slips on the floor and is injured? Discuss the responsibilities of each person in the case of an accident or damage and include them in the service agreement. If necessary, consult your insurance provider for information about your own responsibilities and coverage.
9. Discuss extras
Find out what services are offered by the person you wish to hire. Basic and à la carte services are usually offered. This may include washing windows or the fridge, or even organizing your closet using the KonMari Method!
10. Talk payment and cancellation
It is usually possible to reschedule a visit, but housekeepers are not so keen about cancellations. Discuss this with the person you wish to hire and also find out whether payments are to be made each visit or on a specific periodic basis, e.g. monthly or quarterly. Finally, determine whether payments are to be made in cash, by cheque or bank transfer. Make sure the housekeeper provides receipts.
Content creator for her blog Tellement Swell and her YouTube channel, Eve Martel has a boundless passion for interior décor and organization. The daughter of an architect, she grew up surrounded by her father’s Danish design magazines and blueprints. Just like that friend who always has the best tips, she shares ideas for turning your home into a stunning, peaceful haven.