If it’s been awhile since you were able to look around and see a totally clean house, or maybe you just aren’t a big fan of cleaning, it may be time to hire a housekeeper.
Changes in your life, such as a new job with different or longer hours, a new baby, or even just a more hectic schedule can all be reasons you may want to find and hire a housekeeper. Once you realize you have the need, finding and hiring a housekeeper can be a breeze.
In this three-part article, Part 1 discusses what do before you hire a housekeeper, Part 2 covers details and resources on how to find a housekeeper, and Part 3 shares information on how to hire a housekeeper once you have found one you like.
Part 1 of 3: What to do before you hire a housekeeper
Before jumping into the housekeeper finding and hiring process, it’s important to determine whether you truly need a housekeeper and what your level of need may be, as well as the budget you have to work with.
Some steps to take before hiring a housekeeper include:
Step 1: Decide if you need a housekeeper. First, you have to determine whether you could benefit from a housekeeper’s services. If you can’t remember the last time you scrubbed your tub, or perhaps could even see your floor, you could use a housekeeper’s help.
Times a housekeeper can be useful include:
- A temporary injury or illness
- A busy work schedule
- Older age, which may prevent you from cleaning as well as you used to, or disability
- During children’s sports seasons, when you are away often for practices or games
- A new addition to your family
- During big life events, such as planning a wedding or experiencing a death in the family
There are times when a cleaning service is needed more than a housekeeper service, such as after a disaster such as a flood or fire, or a deep house cleaning such as a “spring clean,” before or after a big party, or when moving out of a home.
Step 2: Determine your level of need. Before you proceed with the housekeeper hiring process, figure out what your cleaning needs are. Do you just require a light cleaning to maintain a level of order in your house? Do you simply need someone to come in for deep cleaning and scrub the tubs and floors? Some housekeepers even offer live-in or nanny services.
Your level of need will determine how often you will need a housekeeper to come to your home as well as who you should hire based on what cleaning services they offer. And remember, a housekeeper doesn’t have to be a long-term agreement. You may just need the services for a few weeks while or months to help get through a busier time period.
Step 3: Figure out a budget. Your budget will also determine the level of housekeeping services you can afford. If scrubbing your tub isn’t your favorite thing to do, but your budget can only cover a light monthly once over, you may be getting those hands dirty for a while still.
The more a housekeeper needs to do and longer it requires, the higher the cost will be. In addition, the higher rated and more qualified a housekeeper is, the more they will be able to charge for their services. Therefore, your budget will determine the level of housekeeping services you will be able to hire.
Part 2 of 3: How to find a housekeeper
Once you have determined that you do require a housekeeper and know what you are looking for them to handle, it’s time to locate some possible hires.
A few easy steps to follow to find a housekeeper include:
Step 1: Search online. There are several online services that can connect you with a housekeeper in your area that can do the level of cleaning that you require. Some options include:
Step 2: Ask around. In addition to online searches, ask around. A great resource is your friends, coworkers, and family members who may utilize a housekeeping service or specific housekeeper. They can tell you their honest opinions about the quality of a housekeeper’s work.
Step 3: Interview a few possible housekeepers. Once you have found a few housekeepers that you like, take the time to do an interview. In-person interviews are best, but even a phone call can give you a feel for whether you will be able to communicate well with your housekeeper. Clear communication between yourself and your housekeeper will ensure your cleaning needs are met.
Step 4: Check reviews and references. This is someone who will be in your home handling and cleaning your belongings, so be sure to do your homework and check their references and read any reviews left for them on any hiring sites. You want to feel safe with the person you hire, so be sure the company you hire them through background checks their employees. If you are hiring someone directly, without going through an agency or corporation, it is recommended to request their permission to perform a background check yourself.
Step 5: Try out your housekeeper. Before you sign a long-term contract with any housekeeper, see if you can try out their services for a trial period of time. You want to make sure that they fit your specific cleaning needs.
Part 3 of 3: How to hire a housekeeper
Once you find a housekeeper you like, hiring them should be fairly simple, but it’s important to pay attention to the details and ensure clear communication throughout the hiring process.
Step 1: Agree on their rates. Determine whether you prefer paying a housekeeper an hourly fee or a flat rate. Some housekeepers will only offer one option, so this may be a deciding factor on whether you can hire a specific housekeeper. In addition, it’s important to decide the frequency the housekeeper will be paid, such as after each visit, monthly, etc.
Step 2: Set a schedule. Take your housekeeping needs into consideration and determine how often you would like to have your housekeeper come by. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or more or less often, work with your housekeeper to fit your needs into both of your schedules. Some housekeepers offer evening and weekend hours to better fit your schedule.
Step 3: Sign an agreement. Be sure you have a signed agreement between yourself and your housekeeper that details the rates and frequency they will be paid, the schedule they will keep for upkeeping your home, and what they will be asked to accomplish during their time cleaning.
Step 4: Set rules and requirements. It’s important to set rules for your housekeeper and cleaning requirements. Be sure they know what they need to clean and how, and any house rules you have, such as removing footwear before entering or certain rooms or spaces they should not enter.
In addition, it’s important to address how to handle a situation if your house was not cleaned to your standards, from having the housekeeper return to finish a job, provide a discount, or be removed as your housekeeper.
Keeping your home clean not only lifts your spirits, but it protects your investment. A cluttered or dirty home may hide problems that need to be addressed and can even be a hazard to your health. While a housekeeper isn’t free, your own time is valuable and if you find yourself looking at clutter or a mess, it may be time to consider finding and hiring a housekeeper.