how long should it take to clean my 4 bed edwardian semi?

(16 Posts)
mummysbigtummy Wed 09-Oct-13 19:27:16

right ladies i need some help here. sorry this is really mundane but it is driving me nuts!!!
2 years ago we moved from a 4 bed box into a 4 bed 3 storey edwardian semi. we had a cleaner in our box at the side of the road - and they'd clean for 3 hours - easily getting through it all.
when we moved we had an agency round (moved cities so couldn't continue with existing cleaner) - they suggested we needed 4 hours to clean top to bottom, so we agreed on a 5 hour clean every fortnight, allowing for an hour for ironing. job done - or so we thought.
the original cleaner stopped working and over the last 6 months we've been plodding on with a new one, not especially happy. we moved to a weekly clean with half the house (kitchen, lounge, dining room and hall) done one week, and the other (4 beds, bathroom, shower room, loo, and stairs and landing done the other). as we wanted more ironing doing we increased our clean to 3 hours a week, expecting the cleaning to be done in 2 hours and an hours ironing each week - but we've had less done. the cleaner seemed to hoover round stuff (and i don't mean sofas - i mean if id left a pair of boots on the floor!) and i was constantly finding things just not done. also the amount of ironing (compared to our last cleaner) was pitiful, despite the extra time.
last week i asked the agency to try someone else and today she came. this cleaner didn't even finish the kitchen, lounge, dining room and hall in the 3 hours.
I seriously can't see how it takes that long - and know that my next door neighbour (with extension) has a 3 hours clean every fortnight (no ironing just cleaning).
I seriously can't get my head round the fact that my house takes 6 hours to clean - but really don't want to set aside a day cleaning (when I've only got weekends and want to spend them with my kids) to prove it.
I am very close to sacking the whole thing and starting afresh - but could do with a little extra input... am i expecting too much?
so please help - any thoughts?

Vivacia Wed 09-Oct-13 19:55:25

I guess it takes longer to clean if it's untidy? Eg hoovering a floor with boots left out rather than put away (I know that's the only exam you mentio

Rattitude Wed 09-Oct-13 20:02:17

If I were you, I would ask my neighbour for their cleaner's contact details...

mummysbigtummy Wed 09-Oct-13 20:28:10

vivacia - yeah but why wouldn't you just shift them? i think the real issue is that i haven't become less tidy since the last cleaner, we're quite a normal family - some times there is something left out because the morning has gone mad and I've not had chance to tidy them away. that said, even without picking them them and shifting them, she's still doing considerably less than my previous cleaner. if there was more ironing done i'd have said - pick them up and iron one thing less, but everything is less.

i guess I'm answering my own question.... and rattitude i think you are probably right!

Rattitude Thu 10-Oct-13 00:30:22

Actually, OP, you will probably find that your neighbour's cleaner might be glad to get more local business too, so it is definitely worth approaching her/him.

Rattitude Thu 10-Oct-13 00:36:23

Actually, my theory is that agency cleaners are typically shit.

Any cleaner who initially works for an agency and is good will eventually set up on his/her own. Quite often the cleaning agency clients end up employing the good agency cleaners directly.

Vivacia Thu 10-Oct-13 06:26:37

Sorry for my garbled post last night, had a little help with and is given up not realising anything had been sent. Cleaning around stuff is easier when it's yours. For example she may not know that it's ok to move boots on the floor but not brushes on a dressing table. You can imagine her having come foul of that in the past or working to someone's rule to not move anything.

Anyway my question was, how long does it take you to clean the house?

Roshbegosh Thu 10-Oct-13 06:31:26

My cleaner takes 5 hrs for our large 4br Edwardian semi and she works hard to get through it. She is very thorough and does a great job and there is no mess for her to sort out as we are tidy. I couldn't imagine doing it in less time. Perhaps you are expecting too much.

Beccadugs Thu 10-Oct-13 06:51:14

I think this is agency practice! We had a fantastic cleaner, she then left. The new one was shocking we got rid, after several complaints (can't find a new one now...) my view is they put their best ones on the job for "the honeymoon period" and once you are sucked in, move the good one onto the newest customers.

Sonnet Thu 10-Oct-13 10:53:07

sorry but you need to clean it yourself to the standard you require and see how long it takes. Only then are you being realsitic in yiur expectaions.

It takes me 5 hours to clean my house to the standard I desire so that is what my cleaner does.
I reckon it would take me 4 hours to clean your whole house so yes 3 hours to clean dpwnstairs is way over.

ask your NDN for her cleaner details

FlatCapAndAWhippet Sat 12-Oct-13 08:32:03

I'm a brilliant agency cleaner grin. The agency I work for are really appreciative of good employees and have an excellent reputation in our area, not the norm I'm guessing.

I would say that it would take me around 4 hours to clean your home, as long as it is relatively tidy. I clean and tidy as if it were my home and am thorough. I'm a slow ironer though, tbh it depends on what ironing you have, if it were a basket full of work shirts, bedding etc it would take me forever!

If you're not happy with the agency, as others have already said, have a word with your neighbour, the agency fees are high, your neighbours cleaner may well be very glad of more work. Good luck.

FlatCapAndAWhippet Sat 12-Oct-13 08:36:02

That's 4 hours weekly btw, my theory is that once I get a house up to standard, it needs doing weekly to maintain that standard....unless you do the cleaning in between.

wonkylegs Sat 12-Oct-13 08:48:55

Have you thought of splitting the ironing from the cleaning. We used a cleaner and a separate ironing service as you knew both would get the job done when it was needed.
I'd also ask about next doors cleaner if they are happy.
Our old cleaner was agency and did a 2hr clean every week, which covered kitchen,dining, living, 2baths, 3 (out of 5) beds, 2sets of stairs, utility and wc in an edwardian house.

Chubfuddler Sat 12-Oct-13 08:51:21

A house needs to be tidy to be cleaned properly. I think you're being unrealistic in your expectations.

yeghoulsandlittledevils Sat 12-Oct-13 09:07:10

The latest cleaner could improve if given time. Perhaps she was just being extremely thorough and will pick up speed once she has got to know the house better. I do agree that it takes much longer to clean a house that was last cleaned 2 weeks ago compared to 1 week ago.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 12-Oct-13 09:18:57

We've got a 3-bed house, it will be a fair bit smaller than yours and a full clean takes 4 hours.

My cleaner does 4 hours one week and does everything, and then the following week she just does the kitchen and upstairs bathroom and a quick vacuum round the bedrooms in 2 hours.

She also does our ironing but she takes that away with her so ironing time and cleaning time don't get mixed.

It depends what you want doing. In that 4 hours all my skirtings are wiped, cobwebs cleaned, mirrors and picture frames polished, some windows cleaned as well as the basics like bleaching the bathroom, hoovering and dusting.

I make sure the place is immaculately tidy before she comes. If you clean yourself one week you will realise how much time having to 'just move a few things' out of the way actually adds to the job.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now