Improving Your Relationship With Your House Cleaner

You tried a cleaner, but it is not working out?  Before you do anything, lets review some possible problems:

Have you communicated your needs and wants sufficiently?
Are your expectations are too high?
Have you given them enough time to adjust?
Do they have enough time and are they there often enough to keep up with your family?

Before you start defending yourself, relax this is normal.  Nobody can ever do something as well as us because nobody else lives in our heads. And they don’t live in our home.  Maybe when they leave you are happy? And then you start to make dinner and things are put away wrong, and there is still a drip on the front of the cupboard, and… by the end of the week you are tearing your hair out?

Keep in mind this is easy for you to see these things; you live here. Your cleaner spends 3-5 hours in your home per week or every two weeks; they only see what is in front of them, which is usually the middle of every room, and one big job each visit. You, however, spend at least 20-40 hours at home per week; you see everything. So do yourself a favor and just do it while you are there, if it is small and quick. I clean my toothbrush holder every week or two while I am in the bathroom because they never see it; why I don’t know; the yellow crust is pretty gross, but maybe they don’t brush their teeth at my house.

Nobody lives in your head but you, and all your cleaner knows are past clients. Let them get to know you. I’m not suggesting a dinner date, just tell them your preferences and your wishes so that they can make you happy.  Start a list, keep it handy and jot down the stuff that happens repeatedly, or the big jobs that need doing and let your cleaner know. Over time they will likely adjust to your preferences and see what you see, but it doesn’t happen right away.  Give it at least 3 visits, unless there is something seriously wrong.  Most cleaners love a long-term client, so they would rather make you happy than have to start over with someone new.  And you are probably learning that you would rather not start over either.

Make sure that they have enough time to do a good job.  I have had a number of cleaners in a number of homes and I can tell you, the amount of time it takes is fairly consistent across individuals, but not across homes or families. When we’ve switched cleaners the hours haven’t changed, but when we had a baby, add time; when we lost our pet, remove time. It is surprising how much this can vary. For example, if you keep your windows open all summer, you may need to factor in the extra dust that can create.  If you have a messy hobby (I swear my cleaners have vacuumed up their weight in beads over the years) than can be an issue.  Keep the lines of communication open and be open-minded about what it takes to keep your house clean.

So, be patient and communicate, but at the end of the day, if you are not happy get someone new. You will find your match and it will be worth it.

Use my House Cleaner Printable
Check out my last post in this series: Do Not Clean Your House – Starting Your Cleaner
Check out the rest of my House Cleaner series