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Thread: Hiring a house cleaner

  1. #1
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    Hiring a house cleaner

    Due to severe back issues, I need to have someone come and clean my house. I also have trust issues with people. Has anyone had problems with cleaning people? Like stealing or damage to things. I've talked to 2 friends and they have recommended someone and say they are great. But I just don't know what to do.

  2. #2
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    I had a wonderful cleaning lady for years. She had to quilt for health reasons and I was retiring so I didn't hire another. We never had any problems. She accidentally damaged a blanket once and immediately called to tell me and say she would replace it. I knew she had money problems so told her not to bother. She brought us dinner for the next five times she came. Fantastic homemade Mexican food. My mother had a cleaning lady who became a good friend and helped her quite a bit when Mom had to stop driving. If you have a good recommendation I say go for it.
    I promise not to buy any more fabric until I see something I really like. Or it's on sale. Or I think it might match something.

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    most good cleaning services Bond their people. of course you must prove they took something. anyway, search around and ask for references from friends, etc. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    I've had problems, to the point where I am considering hidden inside security cameras. I have a closet I usually lock, but the last time I had strangers in the house I didn't have time to lock it and several things went missing. I haven't had time to look really good but if one item in particular is still missing when I do, I will report it to the local police as the company advised me to do. It was a $500 item....just be really careful and very aware of who you are letting in your home...
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  5. #5
    Senior Member FabStripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesspug View Post
    She had to quilt for health reasons
    It just happens automatically sometimes doesn't it? (you typed quilt not quit). It made me smile.

  6. #6
    Super Member needles3thread's Avatar
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    I had a cleaning lady ruin
    a skillet because she accidentally turned the oven on with the skillet stored in it. Also had a different lady who
    was using illegal meds.

  7. #7
    Super Member juneayerza's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by juneayerza; 11-21-2014 at 09:42 PM.
    June

  8. #8
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    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.
    Carmen E.

  9. #9
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    Check with your local Senior Center or Senior Services place. I think the place that is government sponsored does background checks on their people who do housekeeping services. We hired one through the government senior service place for my mother and she absolutely loved the lady we got. She was so thoughtful and did a load of wash while she did other chores to reduce the cost for my mom. There are lovely people out there!

  10. #10
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    If you have "trust issues," you will just drive yourself nuts worrying. Don't do it.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    We have a wonderful girl who comes in twice a month, the first couple times I was home- in my sewing room staying out of the way. She does a great job & now we don't worry about leaving or not being home when she comes in. It is best to meet with the person you are considering, discuss what all you want done, how long you think it should take, what you will pay, any areas that are off limits.... If you are not totally comfortable with the person for whatever reason, don't hire them, look for someone else, if you find you really do like the person ( good vibes/ bad vibes)
    Give them a try. Be home the first couple times, but not in the way, don't*hover* watching every move- that will make both of you uncomfortable. Before they leave do a ( glance over- walk through) if anything is not done gently point it out, if everything is great let them know ( wow, great job, thank you, see you on....)
    Remember everyone finds their own methods to do things, don't expect a person to do everything exactly how you do them, do expect a good job, final outcome to measure up to your expectations.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  12. #12
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I have had good and bad experiences over the years--but to me paying for someone else to clean my house so I have that time to do what I want is so worth it!!! I recommend you go with someone with referrals from someone you know and trust vs an unknown cleaning service. If that doesn't work check out Angie's List ratings for some in your area. Have a 2 or 3 come to your house, do a walk through of what will be done and what won't and get bids first. Some will change bed linens, others will not. What about cleaning light fixtures? Discuss who supplies cleaning supplies and if you have any specific needs--for example I provide the cleaner for my hardwood floors because I do not want any other product used on them. I also hate the smell of Pine Sol! Keep in mind accidents do happen--if you have a lot of breakable treasures sitting out, think about handing the dusting of them yourself. I also have a window washer come quarterly and love to have sparkling windows.

  13. #13
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    We have had a couple of live in household help that have become family. We sponsored one for citizenship. She, and her husband (who she met here) just moved back to Columbia. We are saddened by this, and we miss her terribly. The other woman, goes back, and forth to Columbia, and stays with us when she is here as a guest. We would trade these women for anything. There was one that we caught stealing, and it was pretty funny. At the time she was here, we owned telephone booths all over NYC, and we had always had sacks of change that we had to wrap, and bring to the bank. We caught her when we found coin wrappers that were from a different bank in her room.. It's a little funny, as there was so many other things that she could've taken that were more valuable. We have a safe, but some things can't be put away..

  14. #14
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I have not had problems with my cleaning ladies. One quit and didn't tell me. (She didn't like my son being home when she was there.) With another cleaner, the only time I was disgruntled was when the pantry was rearranged and all my spice packets were thrown out because of the freshness date. Those things are good way beyond the date posted, and even if not, they were mine to throw. BUT I realized the lady was trying to help me, so I kept my mouth shut and didn't stash so many spice packets after that. She did break something once and told me right away. It wasn't something I could replace, but it was a thing. ​People are more important. She was a gem in all other ways. Wish I could have moved her with us!
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  15. #15
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I agree that if you have trust issues, you won't be happy until you address that. Out of all the people you might consider, some would have been great and some wouldn't. It's really a crap shoot (excuse the language). I've used a cleaning service on occasions after surgery, etc. No problems with them. My friend uses the same service every week and she has no problems with them stealing anything. So I wouldn't automatically eliminate a licensed, bonded, insured service. It also makes it easier on the paperwork because if you hire someone yourself you have to file their social security.
    Alyce

  16. #16
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    LOL I quilt for health reasons also....it keeps me from dying of boredom.

  17. #17
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Here most people request a Police Clearance and also if children are around the house, a Working With Children check/card. In house cameras are reasonably cheap/useful, also make sure your cleaner has insurance or your household insurance will cover any dramas.

  18. #18
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    I agree with many of the things already said. No one will clean the same way you do. If you can accept that, you're half way there. Get references from folks you know. Meet with the cleaner and spell out what you need/want done; type of cleaning products you prefer (or that manufacturer recommends for given flooring/appliances); what you are okay with them not doing. Another thing to remember, pick up 'droppings' yourself and put them away. My attitude always was 'I'm paying them to clean, not tidy up'. DH leaves stuff everywhere. He was always good about picking up for the cleaning folks - not so much for me, but that's a different issue. I'd rather put my things away where I'll know where to find them again instead of someone else putting them in a place I'll never think to look.

    I had several different cleaning people over the years while I was working. Never had a theft issue but did have some breakage. As others have pointed out, this can happen to you as well. If you want to be there, out of the way, a couple of times until you feel more comfortable there's nothing wrong with that.

    I wish I could justify having a cleaning person now! Kinda hard to justify when I'm not working though.

  19. #19
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Remember, they are there to clean, not pick up. If you leave things laying around, they will dust/vacuum around it, usually. My daughter got a cleaning service but she said she had to clean before they came and it just wasn't worth it. If she had to clean first, she might as well finish with a little dusting. Just a thought.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  20. #20
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I have never used a cleaning person before but many of my friends have. I would go with someone recommended before looking in the yellow pages. Also, I believe you will be in the house at the same time they are cleaning it, that would help with your trust issues. Lock up all valuables, I never leave anything out in the open due to a beautiful valued bracelet being stolen once by someone visiting my home. If you have very fragile items that need dusting, ask them to be very careful or do it yourself. Accidents happen, no-one is perfect. Good Luck.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ladydukes's Avatar
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    I have a good friend who has a cleaning lady once every two weeks. To tell you the truth, I really could not tell what she did! There were still spider webs and she must not even dust. I asked my friend what she expected of her cleaning lady and she said that she felt sorry for her because the woman recently lost her husband and son, and she knew that she didn't do that good of a job, and as long as she vacuumed and mopped she was happy... I told her if I lived close enough I'd be her cleaning lady! lol

  22. #22
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I have hired a few different people to help with housekeeping chores, and this is what I have learned. 1. Do not hire the person who seems to need the work, desperation is not a good thing in a housekeeper. 2. Do not hire the person who you have so much in common with, that you both just keep talking, that will be what happens when she should be working. 3. While interviewing, watch the other person for what attracts their attention, if they are interested in your art collection, keep doing interviews. Even if you never plan to be gone when they are at your home, ask how they feel about working when you are absent. Beware the housekeeper who says "I prefer to work with no one home". Why does she prefer that working environment? If you will be absent diring working hours, invest in a nanny cam of some kind, for yours as well as her protection. I have one that I set up even when I am home, just to keep tabs.

    After saying ing all of this, my current home helper is a gem. My last one was OK, but I never trusted her, and the first one was a knee jerk "help a young mom" impulse hire, big, big, mistake! She cost me several hundred dollars in broken tools and ruined items. ( I'm real glad she did not electrocute herself when she used my Bissel vacuum to clean up water she spilled in the kitchen, and no it was not a shop vac!)
    Your state or local "in home health care provider registry" might be a good place to start. Here in Oregon they are registered and certified by the state and they do the background checks for you. Never skip the background check!
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  23. #23
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    Also be careful if they always carry a big purse with "junk". Friend of mine lost a necklace of sentimental value at the first interview. The necklace belonged to her grandmother from a nickel and dime, but it was the last Christmas gift she got from her. If they are very interested in everything you have the "red flags" will rise even if you miss them.
    Quote Originally Posted by madamekelly View Post
    I have hired a few different people to help with housekeeping chores, and this is what I have learned. 1. Do not hire the person who seems to need the work, desperation is not a good thing in a housekeeper. 2. Do not hire the person who you have so much in common with, that you both just keep talking, that will be what happens when she should be working. 3. While interviewing, watch the other person for what attracts their attention, if they are interested in your art collection, keep doing interviews. Even if you never plan to be gone when they are at your home, ask how they feel about working when you are absent. Beware the housekeeper who says "I prefer to work with no one home". Why does she prefer that working environment? If you will be absent diring working hours, invest in a nanny cam of some kind, for yours as well as her protection. I have one that I set up even when I am home, just to keep tabs.

    After saying ing all of this, my current home helper is a gem. My last one was OK, but I never trusted her, and the first one was a knee jerk "help a young mom" impulse hire, big, big, mistake! She cost me several hundred dollars in broken tools and ruined items. ( I'm real glad she did not electrocute herself when she used my Bissel vacuum to clean up water she spilled in the kitchen, and no it was not a shop vac!)
    Your state or local "in home health care provider registry" might be a good place to start. Here in Oregon they are registered and certified by the state and they do the background checks for you. Never skip the background check!

  24. #24
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    Use a service that has a license and is bonded, most will background check their people. You could also check a site like Angie's list.

  25. #25
    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    I have had cleaning ladies from time to time. I was always there when she was cleaning, so never had any trust problems. As long as they come recommended by friends, ect, I would be surprised that there would be much of a chance of anything stolen ect.
    Wish I had one now, but my DH is so god to do the vacuuming,ect, that we can do it ourselves for no.
    Good luck! Mariah
    Have a wonderful Quilting Day, make it your way!
    Marta
    Martha Tompkins

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