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Thread: Hiring a house cleaner

  1. #26
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    I've had a cleaning lady for years, some good and some bad. I like hiring who my neighbor has or a friends recommended. One time I went with a service, first time great, I liked the ladies, second time different ladies came, every week it was someone else. This bothered me because now several strangers have been in my house and know what I have in my house, TV's, computers, etc. I'd say I'm home 90 percent of the time when the cleaning lady comes. Also I have a copy of her driver's license, make, model and license plate of her car. That way if something happens and I ever need to file a police report I have information to track her down.

  2. #27
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    If you have trust issues, it is best to not hire someone to clean your home. I have cleaned homes when my children were young, put myself through school by cleaning other's homes and at times when I just needed to supplement my income. Most of my client's were appreciative of my hard work and compensated me well. However, a few just made me miserable. Not only did they not appreciated my service but were insulting and degrading. One lady actually asked where I was going with her throw rug, when I was shaking out the dust and dog hair outside. Of course the few who did not treat me properly I soon replaced with respectful clients. Yes, I did this work because I needed the money as most people need their paycheck. I also enjoyed it when working for honorable people. It is not fair to the cleaning person if you have an issue and they have to deal with your issue as well as clean your home.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  3. #28
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    I agree, if you have trust issues it is best not to hire anyone. It won't matter if it's a service, you will still be uncomfortable.
    I am a housekeeper. I have 2 clients; 1 for 9+ years the 2nd for just over a year. The 1st I have 'expanded' from just housekeeping to just about anything. Laundry, garden cleanup (2 acres of beds & paths), windows, just about anything she needs. If I can't, there is a handyman. I've also spent the night to take care of the dogs instead of a kennel. The 2nd lady is beginning to be the same. If either one didn't trust me to the point of installing a camera I would have a very hard time trusting them. Do you trust the people who recommended someone? If they are sure of their housekeeper, give it a try.
    Last edited by ctrysass2012; 11-22-2014 at 09:08 PM. Reason: additional thought

  4. #29
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    If you have two two friends referring, that is your best testimony. Why are you questioning it?
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  5. #30
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    I agree with you, Carmen. Stay away from cleaning services. I have tried 3 different services and either they didn't show up, or they did not do a good job. Turnover with services is frequent, and you often do not get the same people. The people I know who have cleaning done and are happy are those who use an individual that was referred to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by celwood View Post
    I have had the same cleaning lady for the last 16 years. She was recommended to me by someone that knew her. My grandson says that she has been around so much that she is part of the family. I think I would stay away from "Cleaning Services" and go with someone that has been recommended. While I was working she cleaned the house when noone was home and have never had any problems with her taking anything.

  6. #31
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    For several years I have had an older [60's] lady cleaning for me every other week. Recently I have hired a younger lady for the off week. It works wonderfully. The young one can climb step ladders and clean things that have been waiting for a while. She can get on her knees and clean under my sewing machines. She can clean deep cupboards, etc. I trust them both and enjoy their company. I am approaching 86 so they are a blessing. Luck me.

  7. #32
    Senior Member ligia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juneayerza View Post
    I would recommend a couple of referrals from people you know. My housekeeper works for two people I know and has for several years. I would consider hiring someone who has worked for at least two years for the same people who are recommending her.
    There are some things you need to consider:
    1. Accidents do happen - and you could have broken or torn it yourself.
    2. You need to let whoever you hire know how you want things done; they are not mind readers
    3. Also, you need to let them know what you want done and what you want them to leave alone.
    4. I know this is something you would automatically do; they need to be treated with respect.

    loving retirement

  8. #33
    Super Member nwm50's Avatar
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    Times has changed in recent years but my Aunt had a awesome cleaning lady that all us cousins would call her Aunt Corrine! Don't cros. Her cuz we would get reprimanded! But seriously if you have friends using one and recommended, then try one for couple weeks to see how it goes. But be sure to let her know what's off limit like moving machinery around or cleaning certain items.
    take plenty of pic of family & friends, keep tabs on loved ones but make time for yourself !

  9. #34
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    I have a cleaning lady that owns her own business, she came highly recommended and as it turned out I had worked with her mother. The lady has 4 kids and she needed to be able to control her own schedule. She comes every other week and the primary duty is cleaning the kitchen and both bathrooms. She also dusts and vacuums all the rooms but does not move items. I knew this when I hired her. So we do straighten up the place before she comes. But it is best for us to put things away than someone else.

    My mother didn't trust strangers to clean her house. So when she was unable to do it, I was the only one cleaning her bathroom when I came twice a year. My sisters didn't mind cleaning up the kitchen while staying with her, but I was the one that did the bathroom. I tried to vacuum one time and she got upset. But it needed to be done - I was surprised she didn't have mice.

    When I first hired my cleaning lady I was nervous and felt embarrassed - but if I liked cleaning and was good at it, why hire someone to do it? I love it now - I do other things while she is here.

  10. #35
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    I have cleaned for others for many years. many years from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. after that I had a courier job with a local bank. Did that every weekday for about 15 years. I had so many people wanting to hire me and some of my friends advised me to hire help and take more jobs. I was not comfortable doing this as I did not want to be responsible for others working for me. I would not have control over if they did a good job and/or if they broke or stole something. I now have 3 and sometimes 4 people I clean for. Most are every other week. Both myself and them are flexible due to scheduling our time. Works out well for everyone.
    I seldom take on anyone new nowdays but if I do I ask what they want done and give them a list of things I need for cleaning. they laugh when I need an old toothbrush. I do floors on my hands and knees and like to get into corners and in the bathroom around bottom of stools and around faucets. I ask them to let me know if they are unhappy and how I can fix the problem. If I can't please them I am open to quiting.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Rubesgirl's Avatar
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    When I was working, I had someone in to clean and never had any problems. She often did more than she was expected to do and the house always sparkled when she was done. Wish I could still justify having her come to clean, but since I'm home "retired" ( yeah, right) I don't feel like I could have her cleaner while I sew ... hmmmm ... or could I??? Lol. :-)
    Wendy in FL

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  12. #37
    Super Member juneayerza's Avatar
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    Rubesgirl, When I retired I kept my house keeper. After all, I retired because I'm getting older and I don't want to add cleaning house to everything else I do.
    June

  13. #38
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    I had a cleaning lady that liked to take all day.
    She wanted to do what she wanted and she'd be dammed if I asked her to do otherwisw.
    She didn't care what I liked or wanted. I got her from some single men I know who loved her.
    Of course they did, she wore hot pants, remember them and no bra. would like to wait til my dh got home b4 she left.
    You could never find anything coz she went in the drawers and closets.
    I did get a new one, chgs less and is done in 2 hrs.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  14. #39
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    I have never hired a house cleaner, but getting to the point that I need to. I am 82 and I have a very bad back, and can do very little housework. Can't stand up but a few minutes at a time. (I can handle sewing very well though), until the sciatic pain kicks in. What is considered a fair hourly wage for a cleaner? Or is it better to pay by the job, and not by the hour?

  15. #40
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    I got lucky - DH & I hired a woman based on a referral from our real estate agent when we bought the house. Turns out this cleaning lady is the agent's cousin. We ended up not trusting our agent at ALL, but the cleaning lady has been wonderful so I feel lucky. She's licensed and bonded and owns the business herself. She had a crew of 2-3 girls she used to bring with her but after the economy tanked she scaled down so now it's just her and her husband. It takes them a little longer but the price is the same and the work is just as good so I don't care.

    We have an electric combo lock on our front door so we just gave them the code to the door. DH works out of the house so sometimes he's home, sometimes not, sometimes for part of the time. They come and go as they need to.

    At first we were nervous about it but they've been great so we don't worry anymore. A couple minor things have been broken but they never hide anything and have always offered to replace or pay for things so we don't worry about it - mistakes happen. Nothing has ever gone missing, except for a vacuum attachment that I think must have gotten thrown away somehow, as they don't have it and we can't find it!

    We actually tried another (cheaper) cleaning lady for awhile but it was really bad. Another lady who owned her own business, but she was very very short and wouldn't use a stepladder or a long brush, so the upper parts of the shower started to mildew, upper cabinets never got wiped down, etc. Plus she'd leave grunge behind on the kitchen counter and when we asked her about it her answer was, "I don't scrub. I wipe, but not scrub." Um...but that's what we hired her to do! We went back to the original people (who don't mind scrubbing when necessary) and we don't try new people anymore, LOL.

  16. #41
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Be up front about your expectations. If she/he has 2 hours what do you expect them to finish? Do you want the oven and fridge done on a rotation basis? Do they even know how to clean. Hand them a furniture spray cleaner and a rag and ask them to do the coffee table. I saw one who sprayed her rag rather than the table, which put polish on the rug, which in turn traps dust and dirt until you have a dirty spot

    I've also had things stolen by a family member...
    and I misplace things all the time, today I've turned the kitchen upside down looking for my pink pyrex bowl. If I had a cleaner would I reach the conclusion they stole it or broke it and hid the evidence? Or have I broken or misplaced it and don't remember?

  17. #42
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    Hire a person that is bonded...

  18. #43
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    I have had housekeepers for years. I finally stopped hiring single cleaners and hire a small local service. I got tired of handling the paperwork and taxes (you do plan on paying taxes to an individual, don't you?), and most of the individuals eventually found something else they liked better. A small service is deterministic - they do the same thing every time. I had to get used to it, and now I like it. As for trusting someone in my home, I don't leave valuables out much anyway. I have a small safe that keeps the jewelry, cash, and controlled drugs (I have some painkiller I use infrequently that might be attractive to someone). The silver and guns stay in a gun safe, fully locked and bolt to the wall (as is the little safe). This kind of basic protection is good for the girl who feeds my cat when we're gone and the plumber who I call. Housekeepers are the same. It doesn't mean I don't trust, but it makes my house less attractive to burglars too.

    If if you have trust issues, you might have a better time with a single cleaner. Your friends like the one they recommend, so that's a good start. Some basic protection of valuables is just a good idea though, no matter whether you hire someone or not.

  19. #44
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    Do any of your friends have cleaning lady? I got mine from friend who had her for many years with no problems.

  20. #45
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    As for ( what do you pay a cleaning person)
    Some have set rates, some are open to negotiations, when interviewing that needs to be discussed. First ( maybe ask friends who have them what they pay)
    Decide what you are comfortable with, can afford. As with everything different areas have different rates ( some places people pay $2000 a month rent, some places $300 is a norm)
    So, location matters. We started paying ours $20 an hour - now we pay her $60 every 2 weeks, it doesn't matter if it takes her
    1 1/2 hours or 4 hours, she gets the $60. ( most of the time it takes her about 2 1/2 hours - but I don't feel bad if once in a while I ask her to do something extra, not a normal task & she doesn't mind doing the extra once in a while. It is important to have good open conversation with your help. Call a couple ( services) & ask what they charge to also get an idea but remember, they will be higher than private hiring, you are paying for the administration too- if they charge you $35 an hour the person they send may only be getting $18 an hour. I know one agency who charges $30 an hour and pays their help $8.25 ....
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  21. #46
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    I adore my cleaning lady so it so happened that I think my address book with my USPS stamps must have fallen into the desk trash can and she must have just dump it into the trash without looking. I relocated the trash can now so that nothing will fall into it again. I thought I had stored some watercolor paintings safely under the table but she hit one of them with the vacuum and it shattered the glass. I went to Hobby Lobby and got the glass replaced. STILL waiting for a friend to help me hand those pictures. Things will happen and I don't blame her at all. She does such a terrific job in doing the basic cleaning.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  22. #47
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    I got a referral from the real estate company that manages our rental properties. She has a small company and always comes with a crew of 2 or 3. When I interviewed her, I told her what I did not want done (no changing the beds, etc.) Once, the floor in the room where the cat box is was not as clean as I would have liked. I left it the way they had left it and gently showed it to her the next time and stressed the need to thoroughly clean that floor. It has always been spotless since.

    As to cost, I pay $75 per visit (every two weeks) for a thorough cleaning of the bathrooms, kitchen and all the floors. They dust every surface (including baseboards -- every time!) and straighten table tops messes. We live in a semi-rural area. A friend in D.C. said she could only pray to be able to pay twice that and get reliable help. That area is very expensive. A one-time cleaning in the D.C. suburbs can cost $300 and up. No idea what a regular semiweekly cleaning would cost. Costs vary widely depending on what area you are in.
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  23. #48
    Senior Member Barbshobbies's Avatar
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    I never thought of them steeling from me. I was a cleaning lady myself for a few years, then got job for a florist and later worked in a large store, and then a cheese factory. Loved working out, now I`m old and have a problem wondering if a cleaning lady would think I was a poor house keeper!

  24. #49
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    Tesspug, I love your Freudian slip: "she had to QUILT for health reasons"

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbshobbies View Post
    I never thought of them steeling from me. I was a cleaning lady myself for a few years, then got job for a florist and later worked in a large store, and then a cheese factory. Loved working out, now I`m old and have a problem wondering if a cleaning lady would think I was a poor house keeper!
    Barbshobbies - When my health forced me to hire some help, I worried about the same thing. Silly on both of us. If we could keep our homes the way we always have, we wouldn't need help. Everyone I have interviewed, (I have replaced a couple over the years, but only one was fired, laziness not theft) have always made some comment to the effect that "your house will be easy to keep up'. We don't hire help because we are lazy, we hire help because we need to. If we hired help because we were lazy, we would have less money for fabric, and I don't know about you, but I want all the fabric I can get....!
    Remember when you start looking, that you are looking for capability, sincerity, warmth, and the right feeling in your gut, not a new friend.
    Even though I am still friends with all the former helpers I have had, the one I had to fire was the first, and I hired her because she young and I wanted to help her. Stupid move that I had to fix, and I hate confrontation. Telling a young, single mother, that she no longer had a job, was purely awful! The point being, hire for the right reasons.

    The one I had to fire is still a dear friend, so I must have said it right....
    Last edited by madamekelly; 12-19-2014 at 12:49 AM.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

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