Getting Ready to Receive a House Cleaner

Hand CleaningWhen we say getting ready for a house cleaner, the more conscientious amongst us may actually think of cleaning before the service provider arrives. This is however not what we mean. Remember that you want the cleaner to take care of the household duties you lack the time, desire or equipment to undertake on your own. House cleaners are not like other guests you invite into your home and hope to impress. They come in for the express purpose of lightening your load in keeping your home clean and presentable. Because they do however offer a paid service, you want to get the best value for money in the shortest time possible. Here are a few suggestions from the  Domestic Cleaning Bournemouth blog, of things you should do to ensure this is what happens.

  1. Keep pets out – pets, especially dogs, can be a real hassle when a person is trying to clean up. The more rambunctious types will pull laundry out of baskets, make marks on a freshly vacuumed carpet, track dirt in and out, and more. Do not let them interfere with your cleaner’s ability to quickly and peacefully get the job done. If they have behavioral problems, like barking at people they are unfamiliar with, this will be even more important.
  2. Pick up clothes off the floor – even though most cleaners are happy to pick up after you, this is a basic task that you would not want them wasting time on. Be sure to also advise your kids to put away stray items like toys, books and so on. If you have a home office or desk, be sure to also keep it tidy. Loose papers and other documents may be put together incorrectly by your cleaner when trying to tidy up and make it a nightmare for you to try and find them later.
  3. Know what was damaged – many homes often have some level of damage that does not call for urgent attention. A torn curtain, cracked vase and more can be present in your home, so make a quick inspection and note how everything looks. This is particularly important when allowing new cleaners into the home that you do not yet trust completely. Making a false accusation for damage that may already have existed to a house cleaner can prove highly embarrassing and offend them.
  4. Hide small valuables – this is again very important if you are yet to establish trust with your cleaners. Make sure to keep easily stolen and expensive valuables, like jewelry, important documents and money, stashed away from where your cleaner may find it. This will help you feel more comfortable about letting them loose around your house.
  5. Know what you want done – when you have specific household tasks that you need done, it is a good idea to list them to your cleaner upon arrival so he or she will not skip. You cannot accuse them of failure to perform an unusual task like recycling the trash if it is not on the itinerary.

Vacuum before you dust or dust before you vacuum?

Vacuuming illustrationWhen I was a child my mother taught me always to dust before I vacuumed so that I’d vacuum up all of the dust after dusting it onto the floor.  This is a similar concept to cleaning up the spill on the counter before cleaning up the spill on the floor.  Working from the top down makes sense in almost all home cleaning procedures.  So you’ll imagine my surprise recently when I was at my friend’s house, who has worked as a maid for many Winnipeg cleaning services, and it came up that she always vacuums before she dusts.  The rationale is that vacuuming actually kicks up loose dust particles, and if you have a good duster, then almost all of the dust should stick to the duster, and very little should fall on the floor.  Obviously neither method is perfect, but if you weigh out the pros and cons one option should be superior to the other.  Obviously two factors that play into this are the types of floors being vacuumed (carpet, tile, wood etc.) and also the height of the lowest dust collecting surfaces in the room.  Other factors that would have an effect would be the type of vacuum being used and the quality of the duster being used, as well as how often each is cleaned.  With so many variables involved I decided to take a poll of the top home cleaning services in Winnipeg and see if one method was used more than the other.  Of the seven cleaning services called six of them dust first and vacuum second, and one vacuums first and dusts second.  I understand that this isn’t a large enough sample to be statistically valid, but since this is the way I’ve been doing it my entire life I have no plans on changing now.  If you have a very good duster, and your vacuum is not so good, you might want to consider doing this the other way around, or if you have very low flat surfaces that can collect dust.  Assuming however, that you are using a typical feather style duster, and a mid range vacuum, you’re probably better off to start with the dusting and then vacuum after.  Another good method that could solve this issue all together would be to dust and vacuum on opposite schedules.  This way you’re never directly undoing work that you’ve done, and every few days you get to enjoy a new clean aspect of your home.  You can check out some other people’s answer to this question on this yahoo answers question.  I’m very interested to hear thoughts from my readers, so if you have a strong opinion on this (not so strong opinions are okay too) then please leave a comment below.  If you like this style of post that involves me doing a little research and contacting local companies then please also let me know about that.  It was actually really fun calling all of the maid companies and asking to speak with the employees that actually do the house cleanings.  They were all really excited to talk to me, and gave me some other great tips for cleaning my house that I’ll be sure to put into action, and most likely blog about at a later date.