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Choose the Perfect Housecleaning Company

Jennifer Eberhart
July 19, 2017

Experts reveal the 6 questions to ask when looking for a new housecleaning company.



Do you need a little help keeping your home clean? Are you thinking about hiring a housekeeper? You also may want to consider a housecleaning company. They can be a great solution for your situation. We spoke with Fayola Peters, writer for HouseCleaning-Tips.com, and Carolyn Stolov, Household Services Contributor at Care.com, for advice on how to choose the right company for your needs.

  1. What Do I Need?
    Your first questions should be directed toward you and your own family. It is important to know your needs and goals before even considering a cleaning company. Start by writing a list of things you need done around the house and how often. Then figure out what you can afford to pay.

    Peters suggests noting "which rooms you want cleaned, what items or furniture you want cleaned, like laundry, floors, carpets, ceilings and dishes. You can even decide on whether you want the housecleaning service you hire to make the beds." Once you're all set with that list, consider what you need from your housecleaning company.

  2. What Experience Does the Company Have?
    Where is the company based? Do they have experience in large houses or small apartment buildings? Are they adept at cleaning all aspects of a home, from the toilets to the kids' play room? If the company has been in business for many years, they most likely have the necessary experience, but may not be up-to-date in newer, green cleaning.

  3. What Customer Reviews Are Available?
    If the company is listed online, are there customer reviews? What is being said about the company? Be wary of reviews however -- a dissatisfied customer may print a scathing review over something as simple as a missing sock. On the other hand, some companies have been known to boost their ratings by including reviews from people directly associated with the company. Don't let reviews be your deciding factor, but rather, give them a quick glance to get the general idea of what the company is about.

    Stolov suggests calling references from local families and speaking with friends who may have had experience with the company you are pursuing. She also advises families to research their Better Business Bureau accreditation to be sure they are reliable and that there are no complaints. "If there are complaints, ask the company to explain them. Same with any negative reviews posted on Care.com or other review sites."

  4. Is the Company Affiliated with Any Professional Organizations?
    There are a few organizations that might indicate that the company takes its job seriously. "Belonging to a professional organization shows that the company is interested in improving its practices and that they want to be up-to-date on the best cleaning products and methods," says Stolov. ARCSI (the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International) is one of these organizations. And check to see that individual housekeepers are certified through a training institute.

  5. What Kind of Packages Does the Company Offer?
    Cost is a big issue for most families, and housecleaning companies often recognize that. Many companies offer special rates for various services. If you only need a few rooms cleaned, or only want cleaning done once a week, arrangements can often be made to reduce costs. And search online to see if they have any specials or discounts going on.

  6. What Other Questions Do I Need to Consider?
    Every cleaning company should have insurance, protecting you and them against damages or accidents. Ask to see the certificate of insurance before hiring a company. Other considerations you should examine include finding out what kind of background checks the company performs before hiring employees, and ensuring your keys will be kept in a safe place when not in use.

Once you've considered all of your options and weighed the pros and considerations of various companies, you can effectively choose a housecleaning company that you will be happy with.

Jennifer Eberhart is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found here.

April 15, 2016

When I hired my home cleaning company I was skeptical about the service. That was until I saw their recommendations and their experience. They had very good recommendations from friends, and over 10 years experience. That's when I realized that they would do more than just a good job. Thanks for the great tips and advice!

Sept. 6, 2014

A determination of what your family needs is as much a matter of taste as it is time management. The physical act of house cleaning is more about the latter, but let s be honest, most of us never liked to do the household chores, so tastes are a bigger element than we care to disclose. Even though a certain amount of personal satisfaction comes from doing-it-yourself, the realities of the facts related to housekeeping are that the majority of the time, we'd rather being doing something else. Looking for an online list of what house cleaners offer can be like search for a needle in a haystack at foundry. When located online, anything not on that list will likely cost you extra. Some innovative vendors like The Clean and Green Club offer subscription services that allow you to adapt your cleaning needs to the seasons. That s value. Many small companies do not know how to relate their valuation of the experience that they bring to your home or office, to you. This is often represented in their pricing and actualized the fact that they never send the same people back to repeat the work. Call a few companies and ask them to point to their list directly. Familiarize yourself with their concept of experienced green cleaning in terms of what is standard and what is optional at additional expense. Reputation companies like Angie s List play both sides of the fence to their advantage. For the consumer, they provide a bulletin board where only one side of the story can be presented. For the service vendors, these reporting companies present an opportunity to advertise with a catch. The catch is that the company won t allow the small business operator to address factors of libel and slander that often result from unscrupulous consumers attempting to take advantage of the service vendors. Most consumers are honest, but the ones that blast small businesses with unreasonable mischaracterizations of incidents gone bad are literally extortionist empowered by the reputation company. The simple test is to count the number of reviews and note the dates. If the positives add up to a greater sum than the negatives, and the vendor has cease posting any advertisements with the reputation company, in all likelihood, the reviews are reliable. The best sources for references from local family consumers are on social media. Most people are happy to anonymously post on Facebook, Yelp, or Google+. Use the company name as the key word search term. For example, to search on; The Clean and Green Club, type the name of the social media FACEBOOK Clean and Green Club with the single quotes (capitalization of the social media name is optional). Add AND Portland, OR without the double quotes, but capitalize the word and to localize your search. Substitute your hometown or neighborhood name to narrow the search to your community. Don t drop the State abbreviation; there are a lot of communities with the same name all over the nation. Normally, this will bring you a list of people who are familiar with the company in your community UNLESS you do not have a social media profile. Then you will receive the invitation from the social media company to join and create a profile instead of the results. The idea of the BBB has become a sort of oxymoronic albatross concept of fair play. For some industries, The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a perfect medium for determining the reputation of a merchant or vendor. Not so much for the domestic service industry. The reason why is simple. The BBB both advertises and reports reputations. In those industries where there is a lot of turnover, this offers the larger companies the opportunity to drown out the voices of startups, Moms & Pops, and non-cooperative organizations. Too bad so sad sums up to you get less because the best never get the chance mathematically. For the BBB, their integrity is in their consistency tied to a legacy system of reporting which doesn't present the new cleaning company with any opportunity to object to slander or libel. Large corporate competitors manipulate the BBB and reputation marketing schemes to dominate the industry while not adding significantly to improvements in the general industry-wide quality of service. Similarly, when you check national memberships of trade associations you will quickly find that many such organizations are dominated by corporations. You should keep one though in the back of your mind about the commoditization of service via corporate standards Where does innovation come from? Most innovation comes from small business, not corporations. The little guy that is determined to get the job done and isn't going to quit on you will devise a means to finish whatever you wish started. Special cleaning packages can offer a very attractive introduction cleaning offer that doesn't mention any continued commitment. Consider this additional fact, cleaning is a perpetual activity. It has to be done eventually and redone, perpetually. A lot of determining how often one needs to clean depends on the number of residents at a location and how active those householders are when they are home. The ages of those residents also plays a part in the wear and tear that will accompany occupancy of the structure. A packaging cleaning offer should offer more than just a special price. This industry is very competitive. You should not go on pricing as the primary criteria for determining the level service you seek. Cleaning is time sensitive. Professional Cleaners can clean about three times more area in an hour as the average housekeeper/home cleaner. That is a significant difference if you consider what you could do with that amount of time. Stated alternatively, if you spend four to six hours every weekend cleaning your home, that is sixteen (two workdays) to twenty-four hours (two whole real days) a month! Practical cleaning packages that serve your needs for partial cleaning can be negotiated with most service providers after they have conducted an initial whole house cleaning. Typically, you should develop a strategy that addresses this aspect of establishing a baseline that you can sustain on a budget. Do the trade-offs to your lifestyle. Which household activities will produce your greatest cleaning needs? When you wrap your budget and security concerns around those pertinent facts, you can determine how much support you can afford versus how much you prefer. In any case, all specials are principally come-ons that are intended to introduce the prospective customer to the company. In the domestic service industry, these offers are nearly all the same. How many $99.00 for any three rooms carpet cleaning advertisings have you seen in your mail? Special and coupons are used by every service vendor, but the vendors offerings are not quite commodities because, the individual delivering the work component of the task is also providing some intangibles that make parting with payment more pleasant and satisfying. Service without a smile is unsatisfactory, no matter how proficient or efficient. After the smile, you ll need something a bit more substantial. Bonding is a start. The reality of bonding is that the service vendor who is an owner / supplier will at some point need to hire people to support their growing business operations. Bonding serves your and the service vendors interests. In an age where so many schemes and deceptions abound online, it is very important that you time your requests for documentation in a manner that indicates you are seriously considering finalizing a transaction. No merchant or service vendor wants to provide the documentation to prospects who aren't ready to buy, but that is a very delicate issue given the fact that the merchant is exposed to the same SPAM and scamming that you are in your management of your privacy. The vendor s options are to make the information available to you directly or through an intermediary like the Clean and Green Club. Your options are far simpler, don t hire unbounded service vendors and you won't purchase problems. Optional isn't quite the term we would apply to the selection of house cleaning professionals. The more appropriate concept to consider is agenda. If you have an agenda that addresses the seasonal changes in additional to increases or decreases in those activities which contribute to disorganization, clutter and or unsanitary conditions in your household as well; you have a valuable plan for domestic tranquility. In this respect, the agenda approach is a unique turnkey methodology to optimize household maintenance that incorporates a logical application of common sense actions. This is a subscription. It can be as simple as a progression that provides a means of conducting a thorough and complete initial cleaning then switches to a more sophisticated support for a dedicated household employee who is charged with maintenance of the household from a budgeted agenda that affords the householder the flexibility to adjust domestic service acquisitions on the fly. This an idea that off-loads the household estate maintenance to a professional who is supported by a superior logistics and coordination. Contact the Clean and Green Club on Care.com for details.

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