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tips for good start with new cleaner please

(11 Posts)
ErnestTheBavarian Mon 20-Jul-09 12:13:14

At dh insistance, am getting a cleaner.

Last 2 attempts were crap, so how do I get off to a good start?

What do people find works best -
a list of jobs in order of priority, or doing the same things every week, giving her more of a free reign. I have read people saying how great theirs are and if they've done everything,t hey'll also do x, y & z without being asked...

Recommendations for getting off to a good start pls

eg do I give her suggestions for how long she should spend on a particular job, how prescriptive should I be? I am nervous blush

ErnestTheBavarian Mon 20-Jul-09 16:31:44

bumpy bump

come on, someone must have tips for dealing with a cleaner. last one went pete tong - dunno if cos of her or me. want to get it right, it's taken along time for dh to get his way

dreamteamgirl Tue 21-Jul-09 15:07:25


I would make a list of what you like done, and include priorities. Floors are a big priority for me cos I loathe doing them.

Has she been to see house and given you a price yet? Have you discussed what she will do?

My cleaner does 1 and quarter hours (was 2 but she had to take on another job and so droped my hours) and does what she can in that time, with the agreement that all floors are always done.

I definately wouldnt say how long they should spend on something- I dont like anyone telling me how to do my job :-0

inscotland Tue 21-Jul-09 18:09:06

I agree. Make a list of everything you want done. I remember my first cleaner when I said I want you to clean the bathroom but she only cleaned the 3 piece quite and missed off the blind, shelves, taps and floor so be really specific.

Prioritise those jobs that you really expect to be done every week like floors, bathrooms etc. Then have a smaller list with those jobs that are not as important.

Have your ground rules set before she even starts.

ErnestTheBavarian Wed 22-Jul-09 08:10:44

thanks for the tips. I know what you mean DTG "I definately wouldnt say how long they should spend on something- I dont like anyone telling me how to do my job :-0", it's just that my last (failed) attempt at a cleaner, I asked her to do xy&z, she was here for 4 hours and only got z and half of y done, didn't even look at x, i really coulendn't understand what she did that could possibly take so long. Really to this day I'm sure she must've locked herself in the bathroom with a good book.

My next Q then - she was due to start today. Don't forget, it's taken me a whole year to give in and accept the help. It's been difficult for me. So I finally organise someone - she sends me an sms last night at 9pm to say her kids have become ill so she can't come. On her 1st day. And she didn't ring last night or this morning. Only the sms. I understand kids get ill. I understand maybe she has no choice and it could just be really unlucky. So do I give her another chance, or does the fact she didn't ring even at least scream totally unreliable and look for someone else. This is seriously making me reconsider. I find 'being the boss', even delegating a couple of chores to my dh and kids really stressful

dreamteamgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 11:33:52

Give her another chance. She probably feels really bad about it, but if kids are poorly is too stressed to know what to do, and at least she DID text you.

Have you texted back yet? I would drop her a text and say does she want to reschedule to come in today or tomorrow or are kids still poorly?

Or wait till Monday and text and confirm that she is still coming on Wednesday (next week.) and ask after the kids

Danger otherwise is she feels so rubbish about letting you down on first day that she just disapears.

pasturesnew Thu 23-Jul-09 11:38:43

Make sure you've stated your priorities, as above, and also where you like to put things away or e.g. you might spend half an hour looking for the cheese grater! Also make sure the cleaner knows where all your products are, where all your bins are and how to work your hoover and so on. I had one cleaner who sometimes didn't clear bins under desks or who kept thinking she had broken the hoover, that was annoying. Only time I sacked one though was because she consistently did not work the hours we were paying for, leaving 1/2 hr early each time.

ErnestTheBavarian Thu 23-Jul-09 12:25:35

ok, she didn't call at all yesterday, so I guess that's that. I think I am never destined to have any help cleaning. Why is it so stressful? OK, the kids were ill, I can understand that, but to send me 1 text late at night then not bother to call the next day to apologise & rearrange.....

In theory back to the drawing board, but tbh it's put me right off again.

GothMummy Thu 23-Jul-09 14:34:46

Hey there
I briefly did cleaning as a student and I would say the best way to get the most cleaning out of your cleaner is to have the house picked up so your cleaner can get round. I used to worry that I spent so much time moving junk off the floor in one house to hoover etc, couldnt clean the bathroom properly for shampoo bottles etc. Its the cleaners job to clean, not tidy ;)

I think she would probably appreciate a list of "This is what I really want you to do" then another list of "And if you have time left please do these things".

Have you tried an reputable cleaning agency?

norksinmywaistband Thu 23-Jul-09 14:45:00

I clean for other people.

In the houses I clean, we have a agreement that washing up is not part of my role and nor is tidying and putting away.

In 2 hours I
1 - wipe down kitchen sides, clean sink, wipe cupboard front and clean floor
2 - Bathroom, clean 3 piece, floor, dust, clean mirrors
3 - main living areas and bedrooms - Dust, hoover, wipe over windows
4 - Hallway/landing - Dust and hoover
That TBH is all I can fit in and if there was tidying to be done would not be effective in that.

I would give her a call - If you have not replied to her text she may feel she has lost the job anyway and therefore has not contacted you

snigger Thu 23-Jul-09 14:48:59

I'd give a specific list, right down to "Wash skirtings, hoover rugs in X room, sweep & mop (including under furniture) in Y room" etc - and before she comes, have a trial run doing it yourself, so you know reasonably how long it can be expected to take.

When I worked full time, my cleaner was paid a flat rate (The time it took me to do the jobs, rounded up to the nearest hour, multiplied by an hourly rate) regardless of how long it took, but I had set things that had to be done - if she cut corners I was able to bring it up as I knew from experience, even with interruptions, the maximum time it took.

Worked quite well, asked her if she felt this was a fair way to do it, and she liked it as if she was busy she could go hell for leather and get through it faster, provided everything necessary was done.

Primary advice - be specific, don't be a martyr, like any job, knowing what's expected of you is half the battle.

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