For those of you who have a cleaner or are a cleaner can I ask a few questions ?

(68 Posts)
cleancut1 Wed 25-May-16 15:55:42

Hi I've just started up as a self employed cleaner . I have children and always have jobs where I'm juggling childcare and work it's very hard going at times.
I currently hate the job I am in which is retail and I work all weekend and can never do anything with the kids but took it due to redundancy.
I have been a cleaner in the past and a chamber maid. I've just set myself up its been three days and I already have five clients I was very shocked and pleased.
I'm charging 9-9.50 per hour depending on whether I'm using my own products.
I offered ironing separately but one customer has asked if I can do ironing within the two hour time slot.
Is this feasible , should I charge extra for ironing ? I've also been asked if I will change bedding within two hours not the same person is this something your cleaners do?
Should I charge extra for ironing/sheet changing ?
I'm in the West Midlands and my mom who works full time as a cleaner is also going to do work for me and we're going to work together once I have more clients. I only want to do part time hours four hours a day and will register as self employed by next month , I have take out insurance now too.

Can you enlighten me what does your cleaner do within two hours do they or you charge extra for extra jobs? I've already stated I will charge extra for ovens as doing my own takes me an hour unless they just wanted that done and a few small other jobs .

Can you help and are my prices reasonable ?
I am doing a one off blitz tomorrow and I'm charging £30 for a two bed house

Thankyou

Chasingsquirrels Wed 25-May-16 16:03:26

Don't have a cleaner at but used to nd need to sort again.
2 hours once a week.
Swept and washed floors in hall, downstairs loo, kitchen, utility & conservatory.
Vacuumed lounge, playroom, stairs, landing, 3 bedrooms, bathroom and small ensuite.
Cleaned kitchen & utility surface & sink etc.
Cleaned downstairs loo, main bathroom and ensuite sink & loo (but not shower or bath).
Duste / wiped windowsills, tables, drawers, sideboards etc.

Sometimes if they needed doing I'd ask her to do the dining room or spare bedroom, and to leave the boys bedrooms.

Jenijena Wed 25-May-16 16:04:54

I pay for two hours cleaning with a similar set up (business owner, school hours, her mum and various friends and famil with with her).

Live in small 3 bedroom with largish cinservAtory. In two hours they hoover and dust everywhere, clean kitchen and bathroom, steam clean kitchen bathroom and cinservAtory floors, and then do other ad hoc jobs - inside clean of Windows etc.

If you're being asked to do an hours ironing, you'll only be able to do an hours cleaning, which is not enough, imo.

lilacclery Wed 25-May-16 16:05:52

New cleaner hired a couple of weeks ago.
I set a timer & did what I could myself in two hours to see what was reasonable.
Hoover and mop downstairs floors, hoover upstairs and stairs weekly, mop bi-weekly. Clean sinks, bath & toilets and polish mirrors in bathrooms and hall.
Clean hob
Polish glass top on dining room table
I left a list of extras that can be done any week
Obviously she's much quicker than me so has said she will do a couple of windows every week & microwave/shelf in fridge/any other job that's pressing.

HelloTreacle9 Wed 25-May-16 16:21:11

I used to be a cleaner when I was a student so I'm pretty fussy and my cleaner knows this! This is what she does in 2.5 hours (I pay £10 an hour, and provide all cleaning materials because I'm fussy about those too!)

Clean 2 toilets and 1 bathroom, including floors.
Tidy 2 children's bedrooms, straighten all beds, dust and hoover 4 bedrooms and landing (she'll also make stripped beds if I ask)
Dust, polish and hoover dining room and sitting room, including tidying/straightening/stacking things up/bashing sofa cushions so everything looks lovely.
Clean kitchen thoroughly (hob but not inside oven) and mop kitchen and hall floor.

She's the best cleaner I've had and I think this is because I took time to take her round and brief her on exactly how I wanted her to spend her time. Some people like things to be tidied, others hate their beds being touched etc.

IMO I'm buying her expert cleaning and housekeeping time at a flat hourly rate, so as long as it's reasonable, tidying, windows, beds, ironing, more occasional jobs can be included as long as she's still got time to get the basics done within the time I've asked her to work for.

The main thing is that you have good communication with your clients so they don't let little things build up that they're not happy about, and you can tell them if something will take more time and so will cost more. If you have good communication you, and they, will also be more likely to be flexible. Just don't start making yourself toast on the job as one of my ex-cleaners did ;-)

Good luck with your new venture - sounds like you will be a real success - good cleaners are hard to find!

Cluesue Wed 25-May-16 16:26:27

I do two cleaning jobs both for £20 each a week
1.A one bed flat which is kept very tidy,so I clean all woodwork,inc.doors,door frames,skirting,windowsills,wardrobe desire table,computer desk,chest of drawers etc in each of the 3rooms including stairs and landing.
Clean kitchen incl.cupboards.clean bathroom,mop and Hoover through,on alternate weeks I either move sofas to clean under or wash inside Windows,front door glass etc.This usually takes me 1.5hrs.cleaned oven once,was offered more money for doing it which I declined because I'm never there 2 hours normally.

2.large,spacious 3 bed,not very tidy,clean kitchen,including doing dishes,saucepans that have been left,clean the kitchen cupboards every 2-3 weeks,clean downstairs w.c sweep mop and Hoover both rooms.
Tidy living room and dining room,utility room and hallway then dust mop and Hoover.
Hoover stairs,clean and mop bathroom,make bed and dust Hoover master bedroom and landing.
Empty bins.
Changed sheets once,This takes 2.15hrs on the go like headless chicken.
Extras get done when owner away,cleaning spare rooms,removing cobwebs,cleaning oven,high shelves with 1000 ornaments etc.
Much prefer house 1 grin

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Wed 25-May-16 16:29:36

I have worked as a cleaner and done ironing as part of that at no extra charge.
However, it's best to be clear with your customers that you can only do so much within your agreed time. I found it easiest when I was left a list of any tasks not in my general cleaning brief, e.g. stripping a bed, making up a spare room, ironing and an order of preference.
In my experience, I was left ironing and would tackle it if I had time after cleaning.

joeythenutter Wed 25-May-16 16:31:39

If someone is asking you to do ironing in a 2 hour slot then you will not be able to do much cleaning. I would suggest ironing maybe every other week to that client. Your prices are fine, yes I would charge extra for ovens, but not for any other jobs. All the little odd things that only need doing now and again can be done like one or two a week.

Me personally I will change bedding but this can take time depending on the number of beds. Just remember to make the client aware that all the little jobs add up regarding time, sometimes clients don't look at it this way.

Someone on here stated to me that not everyone that takes you on will end up as your client, ive learnt this. My advice is always keep on the lookout for new clients as sometimes people can drop you with very little reason no matter how hard you work.

KP86 Wed 25-May-16 16:42:36

If you are being paid by the hour, then I think (and expect from my own cleaner) to do whatever cleaning/household jobs I request during that time.

If I left a basket of ironing that took 1 hour, then I would completely understand that there was only 1 hour left for cleaning, which might mean the floors are vacuumed but not mopped, the kitchen wiped but not polished etc.

I certainly wouldn't expect you to do the ironing as well, if the cleaning already took two hours.

Our cleaner comes fortnightly, we are in a 2 double bed, <10yo modern flat. Open floor plan which I think makes cleaning easier and faster. We don't have much stuff and I also make sure everything is tidy before they arrive. They do:
~Wiping over/dusting furniture
~Cleaning glass dining table and coffee table
~Cleaning all kitchen surfaces, wiping over appliances, cleaning stove top, wiping big marks from cupboards, cleaning microwave
~cleaning two bathrooms
~vacuuming all floors, mopping hard floors
~remake my bed with clean sheets

We use the handy agency and pay £10/hr and have a different person each time. Some are fantastic and others just ok. The good ones take about 1:30 and do an excellent job including the finishing touches, the not-so-good take the whole time and might end in me having to re-do a couple of things or putting the cleaning products away instead of them being left nearly where they find them.

One day I did a good and thorough spring clean, including skirting boards, wiping over leather couches etc and it took me 1:40, working my butt off, so I think my general cleaning list above (without the spring cleaning extras) in two hours is appropriate.

Shapebandit Wed 25-May-16 16:53:26

My cleaner does ironing and changing bed sheets within the 2 hour slot (usually one or the other, not both)

cleancut1 Wed 25-May-16 17:41:49

Thanks for your feedback I want to be fair to customers and give them the most I can. All your feedback is helpful

cleancut1 Wed 25-May-16 17:43:54

A while ago I did cleaning for a young guy by me and he wanted two hours . Went in the kitchen and he had left the weeks worth of washing up in the sink taking about twenty glasses twenty mugs saucepans casserole dishes etc it took me an hour to do and I felt like I hadn't even started yet . Ended up going over two hours and never charged him

KP86 Wed 25-May-16 17:47:29

In that particular case, I would have finished the job this time but left a note to say that you had to do extra and if he wants the same service next time it will take 2.5 or 3 hours and will be charged accordingly. Otherwise please leave you a list of jobs in priority order and you can work through them.

As long as you are comfortable that you're not slacking off then I don't think there's an issue.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Wed 25-May-16 17:51:32

Yes I would advise meeting your new customers first and checking out their living conditions first where possible!
I have had some jobs where I have spent a lot of the time washing up, picking up and putting away before being able to hover or clean so that all needs to be taken into account before agreeing a cleaning agenda.

Good luck with your new venture. I wish you success.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Wed 25-May-16 17:52:23

*Hoover, not hover

vvviola Wed 25-May-16 17:55:11

OP, with the exception of the first cleaner I had (wonderful lady, took pity on me because I was living alone abroad and didn't speak the language well, so acted as a surrogate mother sometimes grin) none of my cleaners have ever done dishes. At most they were happy to put the mug from my morning coffee in the dishwasher, or wash a plate or two. I would never have expected to be able to leave a week's worth of washing up.

(In relation to the ironing, it has always been the agreement that I would leave the ironing basket out, and if they had time after they had done the various jobs, they would do some ironing. It worked pretty well for me, it was always a bonus when the ironing got done).

I miss my cleaners. DH doesn't like people in the house when we aren't there, so now that he isn't working from home, we don't have one.

WriteforFun1 Wed 25-May-16 17:58:31

Don't go over time and not charge
People have to be realistic, that's how long the pans take
I note you say £30 for a one off blitz of a two bed
I'm in London and have only done one off cleans but my friend I worked with said they were worse than doing a regular house
So I feel li,e that £30 is probably too low, how many hours are you thinking?
I might be skewed price wise because we only worked a posh bit of north London.

CakeAndChocolate Wed 25-May-16 18:08:11

My cleaner does ironing too, she charges at the same rate as the cleaning. If your client wants you to do ironing within the 2 hour time slot then you'll have to be realistic about what you will be able to clean in the remaining time.
My cleaner room about 3.5 hours to clean my house the first couple of weeks but once she got used to everything she can whizz round in 2.5 hours now. Sometimes I ask her to do "extras" but either pay her extra for them, or she won't do some other "usual" things so she can fit it all in.
You absolutely need to charge for the time you are working. If there is too much just say "do you want me to finish here, or would you like me to go over time and get everything done?"

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 25-May-16 18:11:48

I think you need to get your clients to prioritise what they want.

My cleaner does 5 hours a week (5 bed, 4 bath), she irons as much as she has time for at the end - ironing isn't my priority for her to do. Sometimes she clears the ironjng basket, sometimes she doesn't, not a big deal. But it might be different priorities for other people.

CrowyMcCrowFace Wed 25-May-16 18:20:14

I'm abroad & have a fab housekeeper.

I pay for 4-5 hours, twice a week - it's a big villa, I'm a single parent of 3 & we're slobs! (I pay about £16 a day - cost of living is much cheaper here so not comparable with UK rates).

She thoroughly cleans & tidies 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms,large open plan living/dining area, hall, kitchen. She straightens beds but only makes if I have already stripped them & left bedding out.

I leave her any washing up that the dishwasher won't tackle, such as pans that need scouring.

Additional jobs: her two days are only two days apart, so extras happen on the second day when the house hasn't had so long to get truly mingling. I ask her to clean the maid's room/bathroom every couple of weeks (no live in staff so it's just dusty). Or to blitz the fridge or oven.

She also works for two other expat families, both of whom have fewer kids, two parents Inc a SAHP, so not so much basic cleaning for them - so there she additionally fits in ironing, some childcare, or cooks an evening meal.

So I think the principle is clients are paying for your time - if you can whizz round a small, tidy property it's fair enough for the client to request ironing, bedmaking etc. If a big, messy house it would have to be negotiated as overtime.

Glittershoes22 Wed 25-May-16 18:21:50

You might want to think about charging £10? I pay my cleaner £11 (surrey) and it so annoying having to find that extra couple of quid and faff around with change! Not sure if that is reasonable for your local area, but I have found £10/11 to be average from the westcountry up to cambridgeshire where friends live.

Like others have said if you are paid by the hour its reasonable to do ironing/bed changing. My neighbours pay their cleaners to do that, i'm happy to do those bits myself.

Good luck!

littlemonkey5 Wed 25-May-16 18:31:43

I pay £10ph and have a cleaner come round for 4 hours a week. Always paid £10ph, 'i regard cleaning as an important job that needs to be done well so should be paid well too!

3 bed house.

My cleaner starts by putting a clothes wash cycle on and sorts out the dishwasher so it is all running and ready for when she leaves. Then she starts clearing up the floor (we do a quick tidy up before hand), then moves the sofa to hoover underneath. She wipes the surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom, then hoovers all over the house. She'll then mop the kitchen floor with the steam mop. On week 1, she will change the sheets (1 king, 3 singles and a cot), on week 2, she will clean the oven and fridge. On week 1, she will also wipe the window ledges and windows on the insides. To finish, she will empty the dishwasher and change the washing over - there's always washing, we're a larger family with messy kids!!

I make it a little easier, I vacuum every day anyway and try to keep things tidy. I have a spinal injury so my cleaner is technically a home help - plus, neither of us like cleaning.

OhShutUpThomas Wed 25-May-16 18:40:02

Watching this.

I have a cleaner starting next week. She's doing 2 hours once a week.
House is quite big but messy at the moment, 4 bed 2 bath. I'm trying to clean this week (yes, I'm cleaning for the cleaner).

I don't know what's reasonable for two hours. I was thinking clean kitchen fully including hob (and oven???), mop floor etc. Clean 2 bathrooms inc floor, clean laundry inc mop floor.
But then what else? I like hoovering but could they dust everywhere and do kitchen patio door window as it gets v sticky from hand prints?

OP your prices sound low. Especially £30 for a full blitz!

GeorgeTheThird Wed 25-May-16 18:47:27

If I were you I'd say I didn't do ovens. You'll never get them as clean as those guys that only do that. Everything else sounds fine. Ask questions after the first clean and then a month later about what each client would like you to do/ not do. And write down what they say!

Autumnchill Wed 25-May-16 18:58:47

I love my cleaner!

I pay £24 for 3 hours and she does a fantastic job. I've come home in the past on a half day holiday and found her wiping the skirting boards behind the sofa! I love coming home on a Friday and the cushions are plumped and everything just smells nice.

She does the family room, kitchen, stairs, cloakroom, shower room, master bedroom and ensuite. She doesn't do ironing but my old cleaner use to and we had an agreement that if I wanted it doing, I would leave it out with an hour extra pay.

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