I'm taking on a cleaner... what's the etiquette?

(16 Posts)
lunavix Mon 16-Oct-06 19:57:59

After much consideration (and fights over cleaning) dh and I are taking on a cleaner short term. One came today, and I have a different company every monday for the next three weeks (thought I'd compare them and see)

However these are the only four companies that do my area, there's quite a bit difference in price and what you get. Todays was one lady, for 9.75/hr (she was here 2 hours so £19.50). Next Monday is two people, for £18/hr, minimum 2 hours. (so £36) then I have two people for £15 an hour each, they're staying the one hour (so £30) and then two people who will apaprently do the whole house for £37.

I only really want everything done bar bedrooms (which is what todays lady did in 2 hours) but she missed a few things which I mentioned to her boss who came to collect the cheque after (didn't hoover under sofa, clean microwave, there were others but I only mentioned those as she had done a fairly good job.)

What is the etiquette though? She is by far the cheapest (and we can only just afford a cleaner) but she didn't tidy anything, just cleaned around it (possibly under it but can't really tell.) Do cleaners tidy? I have a cluttered house so I suppose tidying is out of the question as there's nowhere for it to go. Should I expect total imaculateness? I'm not really comfortable saying 'you've missed this this and this' while she was here, and to be honest her grasp on english was a little shaky and she had problems understanding me.

Just wondering how you handle your cleaners workload. Do you leave everything tidy and they just clean? eg dh did the washing up before she came!

TheBlonde Mon 16-Oct-06 20:00:29

I tidy and wash up before my cleaner comes

We have piles of papers and mags in various locations - my cleaner is instructed not to touch/move these items

jajas Mon 16-Oct-06 20:08:28

I don't think that cleaners generally tidy up, usually just clean. I always write a list with specifics on such as cleaning the bathroom, unloading dishwasher, hoovering the drawing room or polishing the silver (hee, hee, just kidding). That way there is no ambiguity about what's to be done or not. If you have the same person you will gradually get to know how long it takes them to do certain tasks and they will start to know what you expect in return.

bctmum Mon 16-Oct-06 20:12:05

Write out a list for each room & go around explaining things & letting her note anything down if need be - in her own language.

Be available for questions & give feed back the next time.

lunavix Mon 16-Oct-06 20:17:35

Is writing a list deemed okay? It feels patronising to me, but I don't think I'll be happy with less. Is it okay to expect everything shining???

Yorkiegirl Mon 16-Oct-06 20:21:14

Message withdrawn

lunavix Tue 17-Oct-06 19:11:51

I don't have to use a company, but there are NO individuals locally! Someone I know (by distance) has offered, but I don't think it would be 'legit' so to speak and i'd like to put it through my books ideally.

NottsMum Tue 17-Oct-06 19:31:00

Ditto a list. When my cleaner first came I asked her the first week if she was happy for me to give her a list so she knew what I wanted her to do. She only needed to refer to it the first couple of weeks.

I tidy before she comes, that's all. I've told her not to do the washing up or emptying the dishwasher but she still does if she has time

ANAconda Tue 17-Oct-06 19:34:11

oo yorkiegirl can you post cleaner's details. i live in leeds and have had terrible trouble so am currently working full time and cleaning. exhausted!

merlotmama Tue 17-Oct-06 20:54:37

Bad idea to get them to tidy....you may never see things again. My cleaning lady has put library books (laid out to take back), back on the shelves etc, so is expressly forbidden to tidy. We always run round like daft things the night before she comes,tidying up. She comes for 3 1/2 hrs (victorian semi) per week and always does the same things: floors and surfaces in bathrooms, kitchen, utility, living room and 3 bedrooms, hall and stairs. I do other rooms and any further cleaning. Dh does virtually nil ("Why? We have a cleaning lady, don't we?".)She does have some discretion e.g. if she needs something else badly needing doing she will do it. Less boring for her, I suppose. Can't fault her: she only stops for a coffee and a fag (outside!). At least she didn't panic when she saw the state we live in, as previous people have.

Bucketsofbloodydinosaurs Tue 17-Oct-06 21:34:43

I would write a list but remember she has to spend a lot of time moving your clutter around to clean . Why not book the £36 couple every fortnight instead? They should get the whole place spotless first time and you'll only have to have a tidying blitz the day before they come. Plus they are the cheapest.

laundrylover Tue 17-Oct-06 22:21:46

When I was pregnant with DD2 we had cleaners every fortnight for 2 hours. We tidied up like mad for an hour the night before but I think that was a good thing.
I would like a cleaner again but I would rather have the same person each time and not like the company did which was send 2 or even 3 ladies for 40 minutes. This doesn't work as you have to dust before you do floors etc.
I paid £8 an hour BTW so def go with the cheapest - at £15 for an hour I would be expecting more than shine!
FWIW the reason we stopped having them was 'cos they didn't clean to my standards (when I eventually get round to it!!) i.e. taps not shiny, sink not done with cream cleaner....I used to clean for other people when I was a student and I was FAB.

ironlady Thu 19-Oct-06 21:07:32

I put an AD in the Library for a local lady based on what I could afford and didn't really know the going rate £6per hour 5 hours a week had loads of calls, this is first time I have had a cleaner.
Mops kitchen plus sink and surfaces
Cleans two bathrooms plus fresh towels out
Dusted and vac 4 bedrooms, nicely tidy kids toys (didn’t ask her to do this, just vac and dust one room)
Vac x2 stairs, utility, hall - dust
2x reception rooms plus windows in one room
Small basket of ironing.

haven't got a clue how long it would take, as I have never had the chance to do it in one go because of small children in the way, when I'm at home.

I have decided to make sure we de-clutter the night before - not always kids rooms so come home from work the place looks great. BTW I always leave a list - preference of jobs

Rookiemum Fri 20-Oct-06 17:12:54

We have a cleaner 2 hours a week and I don't really tidy before hand, she will put things in neat piles.
Our house is fairly big so I don't expect everything to be immaculate in that time. If there is anything special I need done then I would write it out, but maybe suggest something to drop, i.e. clean the conservatory but not the spare rooms.

If she doesn't speak or understand written english then that could be a problem as she may not understand any instructions that you leave her.

To get an idea of how much she should be able to do, try cleaning yourself for 2 hours ( or get DH to ha ha) and see what is reasonable. In our old flat we had a cleaner twice a week and it saved on many arguments, as soon as I go back to work I am upping her hours and getting her to do ironing as well.
Oh and if you can vaguely afford it, make it long term rather than short term, I find it really helps on household harmony.

beatka2014 Fri 29-Apr-16 19:04:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

everdene Fri 29-Apr-16 19:12:08

I had a cleaning job as a teenager doing A levels and they wrote out my tasks, which were:
All washing up done
Bring wheelie bin round/empty all bins
Dust throughout the house
Hoover every room and stairs
Clean the cat food mat/change cat bowls
Chuck out all newspapers
Iron five shirts
Mop the bathroom and kitchen floors

Then if there was anything else, eg Windows cleaning, they would leave a note. They also would buy me whatever cleaning stuff I asked for. It took me about three hours a week.

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