How To Hire A Home Cleaner

In our modern societies it seems like even though we are surrounded by more and more incredible technology we are actually working longer and harder than ever before.

It also doesn’t help that because real wages have not increased for most families in the last 30 or 40 years, that now more and more people are finding that to raise kids, pay the their mortgage and all the other bills and debts, that both are parents are now having to work full time as well.

So keeping the house clean, doing laundry and all those other never-ending household chores are just not getting done properly.

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For that reason, more and more families are opting to outsource these services, in the same way that a business may outsource certain parts of their business instead of performing them in-house. House cleaning is now the most common service that people are hiring companies to take care of for them.

However with so much choice, how do you decide who to choose? Also you are placing a lot of trust in this person as they will be in your home, very close to your most prized and potentially very valuable possessions. Also, often you’ll be giving them a key of their own, so that they can clean your home for you when you are at work and your children are at school. That can be a very daunting prospect for many people, and rightfully so.

There are no doubt many considerable benefits to hiring a cleaning company,. However there are some things you have to watch out for and of course you must perform your due diligence first. Hiring the cheapest or first cleaner you come across is an absolute recipe for disaster.

I’ve created a short but informative guide of the specific things you should be taking into account.

It will be helpful to keep this things in mind when looking for your cleaner.

cleaning mirrorsLook For Testimonials And Reviews

The power of the internet is that dodgy companies can’t hide in the shadows anymore. If a company does a poor job for a customer, that customer can go online and post a very public review. This can be very damaging but forces companies to be on top of their game, doing their very best to offer the best possible service at all times.

Of course sometimes things do go wrong, but as long as they try to make things better in any way they can, then that’s a great sign.

So always look for any reviews that you can but don’t just look at the positive ones, as some of them are more likely to be fake. The best is to look at the lower star reviews and also check out the companies response to these reviews too as that can be very telling.

Check Out How Many Years They’ve Been In Business

A company that has been around for many years should be a lot more trustworthy. If they were mistreating their customers then they would have gone bankrupt long ago. So more years in business means they are providing a great service with fantastic customer support.

Don’t Just Shop Based On Price

It can be very tempting to hire independent cleaners who are charging very little. But remember, in this life, you always get what you pay for. If someone is charging very little for their service or their time then it’s because people are unwilling to pay more. Also low priced operators will not be insured, so if they get injured you’ll be on the hook for at minimum of 5 figures in compensation.

If they damage or break an item of yours, they wont have any insurance to cover it and they certainly wont have the money themselves to fix or replace the item. They also won’t have a car meaning they’ll need to use your vacuum cleaner. Again if they cause damage to it they wont be able to replace it and they’ll also be filling up your vacuum bags without replacing them. They wont be able to accept card payments as they wont have that facility open to them.

They also will not have been background checked and so you’ve no clue who is really in your home. You won’t know where they live and you may not even know their real name. A very scary prospect indeed. Make sure you always go with a reputable company.

One other little cunning trick that bad companies will play on you is that they’ll offer you a low price to being with and then increase the price once they arrive at the cleaning. This bait and switch tactic is very dirty but many do it. Avoid companies like this at all costs.

Look For Actual Written Proof Of Extensive Background Checks

Many companies say that they background check their cleaners. However this often just involves calling a number of their past references and nothing more. The thing is, if you had performed poorly for a previous employer would you put their details in your resume? No you wouldn’t. However you will put the contact details of references who’ll say positive things about you. Hence they are essentially useless. What you need to look for is companies that do full drug and criminal background checks.

These are expensive and will end up meaning a more expensive service, but isn’t the peace of mind worth it? I think it is. Also you can even ask the company for proof of these tests being carried out, as official documents will be issued upon each background check.

Make sure they are members of the proper accredited organisations too. The best and main one is the ARCSI. it is not easy to get accepted by them but if you are it means you have passed a certain (high) level of quality and you are guaranteed to receive a fantastic service.

My personal recommendation for a fantastic house cleaning company is of course our very own Home Concierge – Dublin City. If you need someone to take cleaning off your hands then look no further than these guys.

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8 Things Professional Cleaners Do To Clean Faster

Today I wish to share with you eight of the most important things that I have learned over the years while working for a professional cleaning company. If you follow the tips and tricks that I’m about to lay out for you here today then I can guarantee that not only will you be able to clean at a much faster speed, but the quality of the cleaning that you do will also improve dramatically. Really its a win-win situation for you. So without further ado lets get into it.

You may believe yourself to be quite a good cleaner (and maybe you are!). cleaning productsHowever if you are like the countless other cleaning enthusiasts out there then you’ve most likely wondered how the professionals clean. What do they do differently to you? What can you learn from them?

It’s not just better equipment that they have though, a lot of it is also better techniques and lots of experience.

In total I’ve gathered eight different tips from the professionals. I promise no matter how experienced you are and for how long you’ve been cleaning, you’ll definitely come away today having learned at least one new thing (if not many new things).

The major secret is having a strategy. At the end of the day for a commercial enterprise to succeed, efficiency is key. The faster you can clean a home, but maintain quality of course, then the higher your profit margin will be.

Without a specific plan of attack and a checklist of what to do and how to clean each room, then chaos ensues.

1) I’ll start with an obvious tip, but something I still see people ignore. Make sure you have a wide range of different cleaning sprays and solutions available to you. Each room and each surface will require a slightly different combination of products. If you are only using all-purpose cleaners, then the finish you receive on most surfaces wont be perfect and you’ll end up cleaning at both a sub-optimal pace and quality. Make sure you tailor the specific tool and spray to the specific surface or material you are cleaning.

This is also important as the wrong product applied to the wrong surface can cause minor to major (and possibly irreparable) damage.

Safety Note: Be careful mixing and kind of chemicals as even every-day household cleaners can be very harmful if they are accidentally combined. A great example is bleach and ammonia. Both very common, but when mixed give off a very deadly gas.

Also bear in mind that some seemingly benign products like vinegar can be very damaging if applied on marble or some types of porous stone.

Only experience and research can really teach you the correct solution for the job, so that’s another good reason to clean more often. But it’s also wise to some initial research too.

2) Now we’ll really get into some specific strategies. The first is a simple but powerful one. Always make sure that you clean starting at the top of a room and work your way to the bottom. This rule is applicable to every room or hallway in a house. You should also start upstairs at the highest rooms and then you’ll eventually end up downstairs or even in the basement if your house happens to have one.

So here’s a quick idea of exactly what I’m talking about. In a bedroom you’d start by getting an extendable microfiber cloth pole and get rid of all of the dust and cobwebs that are prone to building up in the corners of any room. Then slowly begin to move down by getting any dust that has accumulated in your walls and other items such as doors and picture frame, light fixtures, shelves, architraves etc. Finally run the microfiber around the baseboards.

This method is very efficient and will ensure that you don’t end up cleaning the same area twice. That’s really a massive mistake when cleaning; going over the same area twice. It completely kills your speed and efficiency, so pay close attention to this. The biggest mistake I see when training new cleaners is that they end up having to re-clean certain areas because of not going through the steps in the correct order. The other major mistake is when they clean areas that are simply not dirty. A good example is cleaning am entire kitchen cupboard door when there’s only one small mark on the door. A second example would be cleaning every tile in a shower when in reality its only the tiles below the water line that are in need of cleaning. Above that line only needs to be cleaned periodically.

3) Following on from the step above, make sure that you start in the very back corner of the room and then move to the front of the room. This is where a tray or even better a good apron, makes your life much easier. By starting in the far corner you can ensure that you are not walking over areas that you’ve already cleaned and you will also be bringing your tools with you as you go too.

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4) We all love to multitask, but it’s a very bad habit. The absolute worst thing is that most of us believe we are actually getting things done faster when we multitask. But the complete opposite is true. Multitasking is not faster and ultimately will just hinder your progress and slow you down. So you must focus on just one room at a time. Maintaining your focus and getting into the zone or “flow”, is when you will really start to hit your stride. This is the state when you are cleaning with maximum efficiency.

Also there is a very strong psychological trick at play here too. When you have one room or area cleaned you’ll feel a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. This will then fuel you and give you the boost you need to continue on, when you inevitably begin to get tired.

5) Again following on from the points above, efficiency is key. So this next tip will help you with this. Only clean in one direction. Either go clockwise or anticlockwise when cleaning a room. Do NOT deviate from this under any circumstances.

This will also help with making sure you are not repeating yourself. Make sure you clean everything as you go, don’t skip anything. It also ensures that you never end up missing a spot.

6) Never leave any surfaces, that you clean, to air dry. This is very common and is usually borne out of laziness. There is also another practical reason to do this. In areas like bathrooms and kitchens, by leaving water sitting on your surfaces, you are helping bacteria to grow, which will cause bad odours to form.

The safety element is also very important, especially if you are cleaning while there are other people in the house It’s very easy to slip on a freshly mopped tile floor, even more so if you weren’t warned about the floor being wet in the first place!

7) Follow the checklist. Always! This will not only ensure that you are cleaning as fast as possible, but it also stops you from getting side-tracked. When you enter a dirty room you can become overwhelmed and also very quickly discouraged. By sticking rigidly to the plan at hand you can stay focused and stop this from happening. Losing your focus steals away a few minutes here and there and these minutes all add up. Before you know it, you are an hour behind schedule and starting to quickly lose motivation. Not a good situation at all.

You should also have all of your tools that you’ll need, sitting in your tray or hanging from your apron. That way you don’t need to go anywhere to get them. They’ll always be where you need them and expect them to be. And you know what this means? Yes, that’s right it means faster cleaning. Now you are finally starting to get it :).

8) When you are cleaning, you are cleaning. You are not doing the laundry, folding the kids clothes, cooking, talking or texting on your phone, ironing or do any other chore. You are strictly cleaning and that is it. Otherwise you’ll never get finished. Trust me, trying to do more than one thing at a time might feel “efficient” but it isn’t. It’s just incredibly distracting and ultimately it’s time wasting. Swallow your pride, accept that you can’t do two things at once and you’ll never look back.

This is exactly how we train all of our cleaners, at Home Concierge, from the very first day. This is also why we prefer to take on people who have very little and sometimes zero cleaning experience. Some of our clients are shocked to learn that the fantastic cleaner we have sent them, only has a few months experience on the job. They cant believe that someone could become so good so fast.

It’s basically down to our use of very specific checklists and these simple rules that we continuously drill into our cleaning techs. We actually find that the longer a person has been cleaning, the more bad habits they have picked up. They are typically very set in their ways and often will be 20-30% slower, even though they have sometimes many decades of experience.

It’s not nice to be told, after doing something for 30 years, that it’s in fact the wrong way to do it and that there’s a better, faster way. That can be very hard to swallow for some people.

This is why we typically look for a positive attitude and strong work ethic and ability to learn, above just straight experience.

All of these tips work very well, whether you are in a small studio or a mega six bedroom mansion.

Keep this list handy and refer back to it every so often, to keep everything fresh in your mind

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How Much Does A Good Cleaning Service Cost?

house cleanerSo you’ve got a strong desire to hire a cleaning service, but now you are wondering what the expected cost is going to be. Well I’m going to be honest with you. If you want to truly be taken care of and you want your cleaning to be a seamless part of your life, with no stress, worry or annoyance on your part. Then it’s going to cost you quite a lot.

You may have the impression that its only going to cost €10-€12 an hour., but you’d be completely wrong. Those cleaners who charge super low amounts are are doing so for a reason. I’ve outlined the reasons why you shouldn’t just hire the cheapest cleaner you can find, in other blog posts that I’ve written on this website. So I wont go over them again. However it should be blatantly obvious to you anyways, that when you spend more money you get a better quality product or service. This holds true in almost all circumstances, no matter what it us that you are trying to buy.

So please don’t be cheap when it comes to this decision. Of course having said that, there are still going to be solutions to fit most budgets.

The total cost will vary depending on many different factors. The obvious things which it will depend on are the size of your home, how often you need it cleaned and how deep a cleaning you desire. It will also depend on whether you want any extra services such as laundry, food preparation etc.

henry vacuumBut it will also depend on whether you live in a big city and other factors like how many people use cleaners in your city already. If you live in a wealthy city then the demand for the best cleaners will be high and thus they will be able to charge much more. If you are unwilling to spend a lot of money you should expect to get a second rate cleaner. They may be prone to breaking things, have poor attention to detail, have poor English and thus be unable to follow simple instructions or worse, they may just steal your stuff when you’re at work!

Unless you know of a friend who also uses a cleaner on a regular basis, then your best bet is to go to Google and search for what you are looking for. As always keep your wits about you and remember if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is!

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