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Hiring a cleaner? Tips please on what to get done, and can a friend do it without causing arguments?

27 replies

PavlovtheCat · 18/08/2008 21:33

I am contemplating getting a cleaner in for two hours a week, just to help DH and I keep on top of things.

We both work, and its a struggle. I am spending much of my time off in the week (1.5 days, work 32hrs over 3.5 days) cleaning, when I want to be doing stuff with DD.

So I am going to have someone come in for 2 hours on a wed morning when I am at work and DD is at nursery.

My questions are:

  1. A close friend of mine enjoys cleaning, could do with the additional cash, and when we have joked about me getting cleaner in the past, she has always said she would do it for me. How realistic is it to work out?
  2. What tasks should I ask for in the two hours? What is realistic for me to expect some-one to do for me? Seeing as he or she cant do it all.
  3. What things should I definitely not expect a cleaner to do for me, what would be rude/inappropriate to ask them to do? For example, is ok to get them to put clothes away in our bedroom or is that a no-go? What about putting the rubbish out/hanging washing up/doing washing?
  4. What is the going rate for a cleaner, in the southwest?

Thank you
OP posts:
squeaver · 18/08/2008 21:38

I'd have a think about what would be the most efficient use of 2 hours (cos really it's not that long a time) and what you least enjoy doing. If you hate ironing, get her to do the ironing.

fwiw, my cleaner does 5 hours a week (we have a victorian terraced house) and does 2 hrs ironing, then in 3 hours she hoovers or mops all the floors, dusts the whole house, does the bathrooms and kitchen. She empties bins as she goes along. She is a marvel!

I wouldn't get your friend to do it. Recipe for disaster.

norksinmywaistband · 18/08/2008 21:41

I clean for friends/ relatives.
I do not do personal stuff ie going into cupboards drawers etc so putting away clothes is not for me but in 2 hours I clean a 3 bed house/bungalow.
Dust and hoover
change bedlinen and put a wash on
clean bathroom
wash kitchen and bathroom floor
wipe down kitchen and cooker top.

For most jobs I go back on another day for an hour
Quickly do the bathroom,
wipe down kitchen
Do one of my monthly jobs( 4 jobs one each week of the month, take down and wash nets, clean oven, inside windows cleaned,clean fridge.

I am south east and get £10 an hour

norksinmywaistband · 18/08/2008 21:43

I have no problem with the friends thing( although I do have some friends I would make an excuse not to take the job)
You just need to be professional for those two hours( we only discuss the work bit during my working hours then we are frinds again iyswim)

PavlovtheCat · 18/08/2008 21:50

I know two hours is not that much, but realistically i only live in a two bed flat!!! It should not be that hard to clean myself, but DH is a messy so and so, and not too good at the ol cleaning stuff. He is good at other things, like dinner!!!

So I was thinking

dust and hoover (all on one floor) whole flat.
change bedlinen and put a wash on (a specific wash, say bed linen and towels, think I would prefer to wash my own pants!) How about hanging washing up?
wash kitchen floor
Wipe down kitchen and cooker top
empty/restack dishwasher.
stack toys away in living room.

Is that unrealistic in two hours?

To be honest, that would help so much. If I had that all done for me once a week, I could then give place a quick hoover as and when needed, do bathroom myself.

OP posts:
desperatehousewifetoo · 18/08/2008 21:52

I agree with squeaver, think what your priorities are.

I have had a cleaner for 2 hours/week for last 18months (4 bed house, but not big!). My priorities are clean bathrooms, hoovering and ironing my dh's and ds' shirts.

Cleaner rarely dusted or moved anything but would tidy and change beds if necesasry.

She ahs now left to have a baby and next time I employ someone I would be more specific about what I expect. i.e. hoovering under the furniture at least once in a while, dusting, cleaning windows, cleaning kitchen cupboard doors, skirting boards. Less ironing and more emphasis on cleaning!

Not sure about employing friend. Could end in tears! It's ahrd enough to tell a cleaner if you want them to change something they are doing without it being a friend.

You could always ask her to do some ironing. This would give her some money and she could do it in her own home.

PavlovtheCat · 18/08/2008 21:52

My friend, she is a close friend, and i would not have any concerns with her having a key, and coming in when we are at work, that way she can get on with things without us getting in the way!!!

How about if I gave her (or who else I employ) a list as above, and a trial of say two weeks, and see if it is realistic in two hours? If it is not possible, I can remove something from the list/increase hours, as we need to?

OP posts:
desperatehousewifetoo · 18/08/2008 21:55

Sorry took so long to post, missed all other messages.

Think that schedule seems very reasonable in 2 hours.

Could do trial and see how goes?

PavlovtheCat · 18/08/2008 22:02

Desperatehousewifetoo - love the name!!

The washing - I think, after considering this all evening, that is a priority. And I hate running out of towels which seems to happen a lot!!! One wash a week would sort that out, and leave me time to wash everything else.

The kitchen - I am forever cleaning it. It just gets on top of me. If the floor is clean, without bits on it, sock here, toy there, I would be happier. If everything was in its home, it would be tidier and I would be happier. If the sides were clean and the dishwasher empty/no washing up on the sides I would be happy!

Hoovering - essential. Dusting no so important, I dont mind that but guess its sort of hand in hand with hoovering. That should not take long - 1 front room, small room, double room, hallway. Stairs can be done every couple of weeks if time is pushed.

Toys away, I struggle to get on top of this, so if it only gets out of control by 7 days thats ok!!!

Thanks everyone, great, I am formulating a plan!

If I choose not to use my friend, where would I look for a cleaner?

OP posts:
PavlovtheCat · 18/08/2008 22:06

and then once a month I can have her for 1 hour extra to do some other bits, like, wash windows, clean oven, wash cupboard drawers/doors etc.

OP posts:
Pannacotta · 18/08/2008 22:09

Think your list sounds totally do-able in the time.
Do you know what you will pay her?

desperatehousewifetoo · 18/08/2008 22:48

Best recommendation for a cleaner, I think, is word of mouth. So ask around. Make sure you speak to any people acting as referrees (after all you will be giving them your house keys!).

Whenever I ask anyone if they have a cleaner, I ask how long they have employed them, if they are trustworthy (do they in fact hold keys), do they turn up when they say they will, do they phone if they can't make it, do they stay for whole time they are supposed to or leave early (mine left early!), do they use their innitiative?

My cleaner finished at beginning of august so now I am DESPERATE! Most local cleaners seem to be on holiday. Obviously, being paid too much if they can afford to go away and we can't!!

PavlovtheCat · 20/08/2008 10:14

Pannacotta - I am not sure on the price to offer.

I was thinking £6.50 or so ph? More if I want her to do something more horrid like clean the cooker? Is that too tight? For plymouth?
What is the going rate?

OP posts:
desperatehousewifetoo · 20/08/2008 13:30

Most people I know pay £8 - £10/hour. I'm in London.

Don't know anyone who pays £6.50 and lots of people outside London I know pay similar. Don't know anyone in Plymouth, though, sorry.

Pannacotta · 20/08/2008 17:33

I pay mine £6 an hour but she is not the best. Paid previous cleaners £7, £8 and £6 per hour. Am in Norfolk.
Think London rates are def higher than elsewhere.
Pavlov can you check other rates by asking friends or looking at ads in eg newsagents window?

PavlovtheCat · 20/08/2008 20:17

Pannacotta - thing is, no-one else has cleaners - they will all consider me to be fivolous/lazy/unable to cope/mad when they hear I am getting a cleaner!! Not that I care a jot.

I am absolutely resolved in my head to get one, today, I just seemed to clean and cook, and I just thought, if I had a cleaner, today would be the one day it would all be sparkly. Then I would have energy to keep it up at the weekend.

So, no, no-one to ask, but I might look in the ads, see what people are offering/asking for to get an idea, and ask around at work see if anyone there uses one.

The chances are she wont have to travel far, as area is quite small, so unlike Plymouth, there wont be commuting involved.

OP posts:
PavlovtheCat · 20/08/2008 20:17

I meant 'unlike London' not plymouth!

OP posts:
Pannacotta · 20/08/2008 21:39

Would maybe check rates offered but if you and your friend are happy with that rate I agree it sounds fine.
Hope it works out for you - I find it a huge help having some help with cleaning/laundry etc - my DH is very domestically challenged and my two DSs are very messy.

cmotdibbler · 21/08/2008 17:15

My cleaner charges 7.50 an hour (Worcestershire). She is fantastic, and I wish I had got a cleaner years before I did.

One really good clean a week means that the house stays pretty good all week with minimal effort on our part

I met my cleaner through Freecycle - ours has a cafe list that you can look for tradespeople on.

dorathesnorer · 22/08/2008 17:45

I clean I get my work through an agency for £7 hr and also clean for 2 friends who pay me £10 hr. A one bed bungalow I do living room polish and hoover,
bedroom polish,hoover and change bed,
bathroom clean (this takes a while as it's always v.dirty),
kitchen clean (ditto),
dining room polish and hoover,
that's in 2 hours and if any time left over (rare) I have cleaned behind cooker/ fridge, wiped inside fridge etc. We are south west. Round here £7 seems to be going rate for agency cleaners with extra £2.75 ph for the agency.

PavlovtheCat · 23/08/2008 19:27

Dora - wow you can do loads in 2 hours! You wanna come over to mine?
Thats good, we are in a flat, so prob about the same size/bit smaller than a bungalow, so I think what we are going to ask is very reasonable, and we will probably go for £7.00hr.

Some-one at work has a sister who does cleaning, she is going to pass my tel number and we are going to chat...also putting the feelers out at work etc...

OP posts:
Pannacotta · 23/08/2008 22:32

Pavlov cant you use your friend to clean?

beatka2014 · 29/04/2016 19:09

This reply has been deleted

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

Looly71 · 29/04/2016 19:15

I wouldn't get your friend to do it. What if you weren't happy with her standard of cleaning or she kept letting you down. How would you broach the subject? My friend clraned for me and that's exactly what happened. It was very tricky in the end

cozietoesie · 29/04/2016 19:58


I'm sorry but this is a zombie thread which has been resurrected - along with many others - by 'someone' whose post have been gawned by MNHQ.

Don't expect a response to your post.

cozietoesie · 29/04/2016 19:58


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