Hiring Someone to Clean Your Southern Maryland Home? Here’s How

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on November 6, 2017

Outsourcing. Big companies do it, so why can’t you? Delegating mundane, routine household chores to someone else may just be the key to a happy household!

Whether you’re looking for temporary help around the holidays or you want part- or full-time help around your Southern Maryland home, hiring a house cleaner requires a little preparation and a lot of interviewing.

Finding a House Cleaner

“House cleaner and housekeeper — they sound the same, but they actually involve two very different jobs and duties,” writes Jennifer Troyer, founder of Seattle Green Cleaner, LLC at Angie’s List.

“If you think in terms of light-duty work with some organizing thrown in, that’s for a housekeeper,” she explains. Think Alice from TV’s “The Brady Bunch,” for example.

“If you’re looking for a top-to-bottom cleaning of your home, that’s for a house cleaner,” Troyer concludes.

Ask friends, family, and co-workers for a referral to a Southern Maryland house cleaner, and check online at sites such as Craigslist, Angie’s List, Yelp, and Groupon. If all else fails, use Google to find local cleaners using the phrase “house cleaners in Southern Maryland.” 

Prepare for the Interviews

Before interviewing anyone, check for online reviews. You can do this at Yelp.com, AngiesList.com, or on Google by searching the company or person’s name with the word “reviews.”

Then, make a list of questions to ask those you will interview. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you’re hiring a company, ask if they perform background checks on their employees.
  • Is the cleaner or company licensed and bonded?
  • Is there room in his or her schedule to accommodate you?
  • Ask for references from current and former clients
  • What is the longest period of time the cleaner has held a client?
  • The money stuff – how much will each service cost, when and how will you be expected to pay? Will they bill you monthly? Are there extra fees required for certain tasks?
  • If it’s important to you to have the same cleaner every time, ask the representative if that is a possibility if you hire them.
  • Will the cleaner bring his or her own supplies or are you expected to supply them? Is there an extra charge if they bring their supplies? If the cleaner will use yours, ask for a list of what is commonly used so that you can shop for these items.

Next, make a detailed list of what you expect every time the cleaner visits and another for occasional tasks. For instance, “dust the furniture” is a task most homeowners want performed on every visit. But, “wipe down the top of the refrigerator” may be one that can be done once a month or so.

Finally, make a list of any special considerations, such as what to do about pets, surfaces that require special care, or areas that are off limits.

The Interviews

Always request an in-home interview. This allows you to conduct a thorough walk-through of your home so you can point out what you want done. The price quote will be more accurate than if it were given over the phone, and you’ll be able to judge the company of individual’s professionalism better in person.

After you’ve narrowed it down to one or two cleaners, you’ll need to do some research – especially if they don’t work for a company that conducts criminal and background checks. Check out ConsumerAffairs.com’s list of online background check companies with reviews from users.

Let the candidates know that you will be running a background check on them.

Red Flags

We all get gut feelings about someone when we first meet them, and we end up chiding ourselves for not paying attention to those feelings. Pay attention to what you’re feeling about a potential hire when you interview them.

Then, reconsider hiring any house cleaner who:

  • Can’t or won’t supply you with at least three references from current or past clients
  • Refuses a background check
  • Has no long-term (more than at least 6 months) clients

Finding the right employee for any job is challenging, but when that job is going to be performed in your home – while you may be away – it’s even more important to be extra cautious.

White Plains MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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