Thinking about hiring someone to take charge of your household cleaning so you can focus your time elsewhere? It can seem like a daunting process if it’s your first time but well worth it if you have more pressing matters to attend to. Even more so if, in the past, you’ve handled all the vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, sanitising, wiping and general home cleaning duties yourself and are now struggling with the mindset shift to better managing your time and potential judgement on outsourcing some of these menial tasks.
Fortunately like many industries the internet has revolutionised the way many of us view traditional tasks. It's broadened our options and made access to services more convenient and acceptable. With pricing all transparently visible online, it’s much easier today for you to quickly assess if hiring a professional domestic cleaner fits your budget whilst allowing you a lot more freedom in other areas of your life.
But if it’s your first time hiring a cleaner you probably have a handful of other questions you need answered once value has been established. Herein are some of the most common questions we’ve heard and the answers.
How long does it take to clean my home?
This depends on three factors. How big is your home? How messy is it? How many cleaners are sent? Professional home cleaners value your time and their own so they will request enough information to gauge the size of your residence and the number of team members needed to efficiently and effectively clean. Typical homes around Sydney would require a team of two to three cleaners with one cleaner being enough for your smaller studio or one-bedroom apartment.
What about mess? Well if it’s been a few months then you’ll need extra time and a deeper clean to restore it to status quo so please factor that in. Also, if you’re moving in or out then more time and effort is needed to reach the nooks and crannies of your home and/or to satisfy the landlords in getting the property ready for the next tenant.
You’re probably itching for a rule of thumb now so here’s one: 1 hour for every one bedroom and one bathroom. Take this with a grain of salt as your kitchen or living rooms may need some extra work or could be in quite good condition.
Do I need to tidy up before the cleaners arrive?
Ah yes, cleaning to prepare for a cleaning. Sounds strange when you say it aloud. If you’re asking this then consider yourself quite thoughtful already. If you’re giggling then hold your horses, there’s some validity in this question. What this really means is should you clear any clutter to make cleaning your home more effective. For example, if you have pieces of clothing laying on the floor, picking these up will ensure the cleaners can properly vacuum the room and focus on cleaning. This also prevents cleaners from accidentally misplacing your items or throwing away things that you actually wanted to keep. This does not mean to have to move your bathroom accessories and give your bathroom vanity a wipe before the cleaners do; that will and should be covered.
Should I hide my valuables?
If you’ve hired a reputable cleaning service then no. Professional cleaning services background check and vet all their cleaners, and are insured for your piece of mind. They understand their performing their service in your personal space and respect that.
But use your personal judgement. If you really prize an item such as a family heirloom then take that extra step to secure it. In nearly all cases, any lost items are due to misplacement or accidental rubbish disposal which can be prevented with proper storage.
Is there anything that are off-limits for cleaning?
Yes, if they potentially harm your house cleaners. Examples include moving very heavy objects for access, reaching difficult to access areas with a high ladder and handling dangerous chemical or biological waste. Again, these are to ensure to safety of cleaners and are usually covered in the scope of other services such as removalists or pest control experts.
Of course, be sure to check that what you’ve scheduled meets what you’re expecting to clean. A general house cleaning would not normally include cleaning inside your oven unless you’ve asked your cleaners to include this.
Do I need to tip the house cleaners?
This question is one that’s passed on from our North American counterparts. Tipping is definitely not as obligated in Australia than it is in the USA. For house cleaning in Sydney, you should never feel pressured into giving a tip. Reputable house cleaners ensure their staff are properly remunerated so tipping is a bonus that will make people smile if you believe the service is worthy or you’re feeling generous.
Can you ask the cleaner to use specific cleaning products (such as your own)?
You certainly can. Cleaners live in the same society and are ever conscious of the growing need to use less harmful solutions where possible. Cleaners may make recommendations for certain areas for example bleach or a stronger gel may be needed for your toilet where your home brewed lavender oil mixed with vinegar may not be enough. Otherwise, you have the final say.
Just make sure to communicate your preference. Simply leaving the cleaning products out in one place doesn’t signal that you want it to be used, it could just mean “tidy this for me” or “this is where I prefer to keep my cleaning products”.
Wait, do I have to supply the cleaning equipment and supplies?
Not if you’ve hired a professional domestic cleaning service and not a fresh student. Expert cleaners will bring all the equipment and supplies needed to complete the job unless of course you’ve specified to use your own supplies as before.
Do I need to be home when a cleaner is working?
Not at all. All you need to do is provide access, instructions to leave and lock-up behind you and notice of anything particular to your home. The underlying question a lot of people have is, “Can I trust my cleaners when I’m not at home”? That’s a very valid thought and the solution is to find cleaners you can trust. We address in the following section. And this doesn’t mean you can’t be home when they’re cleaning if that’s what your circumstances require.
How do I find the right home cleaners?
Very good question. Good enough for us to prepare an Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right House Cleaner.