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Come tell me about having a cleaner

(26 Posts)
littlepinkpear Sun 18-Mar-12 22:07:14

I am worn down to lowest I have ever been, trying to keep my house going with a toddler, a full on job and renovating our house. I am properly shattered.

If you have a cleaner - what do they do? Do they have set tasks? Does it change each week? How many hours do they do? Do they do ironing?

Any advice would be really appreciated, I need just a few hours back for relaxing as its all a bit much at the moment sad

faeriefruitcake Sun 18-Mar-12 22:57:48

My mum got me one as a birthday present, at first I was blush. Now every Tuesday I come home to a clean and lovely house. She does the jobs I loath, the bathroom & mopping.

Mine does two hours and I can ask her to do things.

CrystalMaize Mon 19-Mar-12 11:08:23

I have both perspectives on this as a run a cleaning business and used to have a cleaner myself. Sounds like having someone is the best possible thing you could do!

A good cleaner should be able to walk in and see immediately what needs doing, but equally you can set the tasks. It's important to be clear about what you would like done, for example bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and how often you would like them done.

The hours depend on the size of your house really. A 3or 4 bed house would take 2-3 hours as a rough guide. A good cleaner should be able to give you an estimate after seeing your house.

If you would like ironing done, simply ask. It comes under the remit of "housekeeping" as far as I'm concerned.

Ask around for someone as word of mouth is usually a good way to find someone trustworthy. Interview the person as you would for any job, see how you get on with each other.

It's a good idea to get things relatively tidy before your cleaner comes in - the less tidying she has to do, the more time available for cleaning. If, however, you need tidying up doing, just ask for it to be done as part of the job.

Don't clean for the cleaner! I've seen it done! (An absence of skanky underwear is always appreciated though).

Try to be out when the cleaner comes. It's difficult not to get involved otherwise. You'll end up with a more efficient job being done.

Be specific if you want them to use certain cleaning products and make sure you have a good supply. Some cleaners will use their own products and equipment.

Finally, pay good money. You are more likely to end up with a good, reliable and thorough cleaner if you are prepared to pay a bit more than normal. You know - monkeys, peanuts, etc...

Good luck!

Cremolafoam Mon 19-Mar-12 11:20:27

Yes I have a cleaner.
She does a couple of hours a week and it is the best £ I spend.
Originally I got a cleaner due to a skin allergy to not only cleaning products but also dust.
She prefers that I am out when se is here.
She dusts cleans cooker wipes surfaces cleans loo and bath makes beds cleans out fireplace plumps cushions and hoovers and mops. Complete weekly whirlwind . No ironing.
Absolute joy . I do three part time jobs and spend all extra time in garden growing veg.
I have one teenager doing GCSE and a husband who works 56 hour week.
For £ 20 it means I don't have to stress about the house being a constant dump.
Highly recommend grin

bessie26 Mon 19-Mar-12 16:32:10

<marks place> I'm going back to work after mat leave soon & am seriously considering getting one.

jammydodger1 Mon 19-Mar-12 17:58:20

I am envy at people with cleaners , mine moved to Australia and then money wouldn't allow a replacement she was brilliant, came home every Thursday to spick and span house, she even did abit of ironing if she had time, highly recommend one, you do need to let her know what you expect and agree a time scale and good pay,
ie vaccing, surfaces every time, windows every two weeks etc but a good one is worth their weight in gold grin

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Mon 19-Mar-12 18:04:06

Having a cleaner has saved my marriage! (ok a slight exaggeration there but to us, it's really really important)

She comes once a week and we pay her a set amount per week - some weeks there is slightly more to do so she stays a bit longer, other weeks are lighter so she gets all her jobs done and leaves a bit early. This arrangement makes sense for me because we don't get into all the debate about how long a given task should take and helps her manage her own time.

In addition to all the normal hoovering/dusting/bathrooms/ kitchen she changes the sheets, does all our ironing, takes out the rubbish and recycling, and generally saves my sanity!

EnsignRo Mon 19-Mar-12 18:12:06

Best thing I ever did! Ours comes once a fortnight and does a proper clean throughout, so I can keep on top of it easily in between. We pay a set amount. Not expensive and just a life saver!

EnsignRo Mon 19-Mar-12 18:15:30

Sorry, meant to say we don't give tasks it's a general clean. And no ironing

kalidasa Mon 19-Mar-12 18:17:00

Ours comes for two hours on a Thursday and we pay £10 / hour (we are in London). Occasionally she does three hours (e.g. the first time she came; if she's missed a week for some reason).

The first few times I was there when she arrived and told her what needed prioritising (kitchen and bathroom basically) and if there was anything that could definitely be skipped (e.g. dp's study which really doesn't need doing every week). Now I don't usually see her and she makes her own judgements.

I try to tidy in advance so that she doesn't spend time doing that, but she tidies as/if necessary (and does things we never do like arrange the cushions on the sofa!). She will also load/unload dishwasher; wash up/put away saucepans; unload and hang up washing; empty the bin etc as appropriate - basically anything that obviously needs doing.

She doesn't iron for us at the moment but I think she'd be quite keen to actually. Right now we really don't need it as dp sends his shirts out and we are ttc so no children yet. But I think we might ask her to iron in the future.

We sort of inherited her - she's a friend of the cleaner who works for the previous owners. The cleaner they had was obviously good and has worked for them for ages so we asked her originally, but she had no availability so passed us on to her friend.

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 19-Mar-12 18:25:14

Mine comes for 2.5 hours a week and it has made life a lot easier and has stopped arguments with my generally unhelpful husband.

She mops all of downstairs, cleans three toilets, a bath and shower and mops floors, polishes a couple of coffee tables, waters and arranges flowers/ orchid and any other bits and pieces I ask her too. I pay £20 a week .

Moobee Mon 19-Mar-12 19:51:26

I've just completed the paperwork for a cleaner through an agency. For those that have them, can I ask an insurance question? Whilst the company has public liability and cover in case they injure themselves, any accidental breakage should be covered by our own household insurance. Is that usual? Not so sure about that clause as it would affect no claims and there would be an excess.

BloooCowWonders Mon 19-Mar-12 20:18:36

we get ours through an agency so holidays are covered. (and the useless one doesn't return)

My favourite time was when I scheduled the cleaner to come when I took dc to toddler group. It wore them out, they fell asleep on the way home and I used to sit quietly in a clean tidy house til they woke up...
well, sometimes!
More often I would get the ironing finished (my choice of chore), in a clean house, and feel remarkably calm.

You get to choose what the cleaner does. My current one does kitchen, bathrooms, windows and any tidying that she sees - all my choice. I don't want her to hoover as I like doing it myself once she's cleared the floor.

Choose what you like doing and let the cleaner do the rest.

2 hours/ week is plenty for me.

Sittinginthesun Mon 19-Mar-12 20:22:50

I am just outside London, pay £10 per hour, 4 hours a weeks for a 4 bed house, and including ironing all the shirts and bed linen. Worth every penny, and has enabled me to reclaim my precious weekends.

littlepinkpear Mon 19-Mar-12 23:05:02

Wow - thank you all so much for the replies. I posted and ran, which about sums up life at the moment.

I think its time i started to get some agencies round to see what they will offer to do and for how much. We have a 3 bed bungalow and I do like to keep it really clean and tidy.

Main drawback is that its now 23.01 and this is the first time since I got up this morning I have sat down. I had to clean the oven after toddler when to bed, do the ironing and been preparing for tomorrow (packed lunches, outfits, bags...)

I really think someone taking some of the pressure off will help for any amount of cash! I have to now review 4 CVs for interviews tomorrow, get some sleep and be up at 6.30am.Just doing the simple jobs of washing floors, dusting and cleaning the bathrooms would let me do other things. I want more time for DD if I am honest and my weekends are spent being a slave to a washing machine.

PastGrace Mon 19-Mar-12 23:12:06

Do it OP. My DSis has one - it's just her and her DP so in theory they should be able to manage it, but they are out at work the whole time and it just made them miserable having to spend their weekends getting everything in order. DSis leaves a note and the money, and the cleaning gets done. The other week the cleaner was running late so was still there when DSis got in, and they had a glass of wine together and watched Gypsy Weddings!

My mum's cleaner does different things every week and they work together - quite often though my mum will save up the "tricky" ironing because the cleaner a) does it v well, and b) enjoys it, so she will just do a giant stack of ironing whilst my mum does the cleaning bit.

(Spot the odd one out - I can't afford a cleaner).

My DSis summed it up to me saying "cleaners are like some dirty secret. Everyone has one, but no-one likes to talk about it".

If you have the money even just for an hour a week, think of it as investing in your happiness.

BaDaBing Mon 19-Mar-12 23:15:21

3 hours a week for £25. She hoovers and mops all the floors including the stairs, dusts everywhere, cleans bathroom,changes beds and wipes around kitchen. Every few weeks she will rotate jobs like cleaning oven, inside of windows, wiping out fridge etc. I love her and having her means we get to spend weekends as a family rather than cleaning as its slo easy to keep on top of.

Gay40 Mon 19-Mar-12 23:18:10

Total lifesaver. Mine does about 3 hours a fortnight while we're at work and it's the best money I spend a month.

Ephiny Tue 20-Mar-12 11:24:10

Ours does 3 hours a week, I think it's £10/hour (would have to check with DP!). She hoovers and mops floors, cleans kitchen surfaces and bathroom, makes the beds (including dog beds smile), loads/unloads dishwasher, hangs up any damp washing from the machine and folds/puts away the dry stuff on the airer, empties bins, cleans the oven and fridge when needed. General dusting, tidying, arranging cushions to make the place look nice.

We do tidy up a bit for her so she doesn't waste time trying to work around clutter, also it's a good incentive for us to keep on top of the clutter!

Holidays are covered through the agency, so if she's away (or ill) one week, they'll send someone else.

I definitely recommend it if you can at all afford it, unless you actually like doing housework or have lots of spare time to fill, it's well worth it. Lovely to come home to a clean house!

heliumballoon Tue 20-Mar-12 11:38:28

I resisted getting one for ages because of the cost, plus also a privacy thing and just feeling weird about asking someone else to clean my bog. However with a dreadful pg and a squeaking toddler and a permanently-stuck-at-work DH, I succumbed.
Best decision I ever made. Serious impact on my positive mental health, to not always feel like I am failing to keep the house and surrounded by crap.

Sittinginthesun Tue 20-Mar-12 12:27:21

Op - ask around your friends etc. Always best to use word of mouth. Cleaners often work for networks of friends. my current cleaner was cleaner for a friend's neighbour - my friend employed her, gave me her details, and I have handed them onto another friend.

chickenfeet Tue 20-Mar-12 14:07:51

We had one for a while but I had to let her go in the end. With a toddler and a velcro baby, I found that we were up till midnight the night before, every single week, tidying up so she'd actually be able to clean. It was making me so stressed out. My husband and I decided we'd rather live in squalor for the foreseeable future until we can get some control back over our house blush.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 20-Mar-12 14:32:44

I have a cleaner, and I love her.

She comes for 4 hours every fortnight and does a really thorough clean. Insides of windows, skirtings, picture frames, pulls out the sofas etc, as well as general hoovering, dusting, kitchen, bathroom etc.
I also get her to do things like the inside of the microwave, fridge etc from time to time.

We are having a party here at the weekend, and it isn't her week to come this week - so she is doing some extra hours for me on Friday so that the house is spotless without me having to worry about trying to fit that in around all the cooking and other prep I've got to do.

It is the best money I spend all month, bar none.

Samvet Tue 20-Mar-12 14:36:07

Do it. Ours started when baby 7 weeks and we moved to a dirty house as a re port measure. That was 17m ago! Never regret this money.

Thetokengirl Tue 20-Mar-12 14:40:20

Don't think that I have anything to add apart from the fact that we have had cleaners since 2000. Some good, one brilliant, one so-so.
The times we have been briefly without one have been a pain and even a so-so cleaner is better than no-one.
They will do whatever you want them to do. We pay £25.50 per week for 3 hours.

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