Hiring House keeper, Maid
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive April 2006:
Hiring House keeper, Maid
I need some help around the house and we're seriously considering hiring a housekeeper/cleaner/maid. It seems as if around here they charge by the hour & not by the job, so I'm wondering how do you know they aren't 'going slow' just to get more pay? I'm a little worried about this as when we 1st moved in I was 8 months pregnant & the house was horribly dirty from the previous owners - I hired a company and was charged twice the estimate with only 1/2 the work done.
Also I know we can't afford to have the whole house cleaned so what do you think I should have done - most bang for the buck so to speak? Kitchen seems like a waste since I clean that every day. Almost all our rooms are tiled floors - quite the job to clean them but that seems like a lot of time to pay for just for one job done - my husband cleans them but not often enough imho.
I would really like the boy's bathroom cleaned, the walls everywhere except bedrooms cleaned of whatever junk/icky marks my kids seems to get on them, baseboards & window sills cleaned (not just dusted but wiped clean) and general dusting of living room & sun room. Wouldn't mind having the dining table chairs & highchair cleaned too (not dusted, cleaned- again those messy kids). Those are the jobs that I have a hard time with (neck & shoulder injury making scrubbing painful), but is it too much to ask of a housekeeper?
First, you're paying her, so not too many things are "too much to ask". You should negotiate all this up front, of course. You want references - preferably from people she is presently working for. I would add to the general dusting of living room and sun room polishing of any furniture that needs polishing, and vacuuming any upholstery.
As for whether the housekeeper is stretching out the work to add time, you simply have to watch a couple of times. I don't mean standing there watching her every minute, but seeing when she starts a task, when she finishes it, and how thoroughly it is done. If you aren't happy, tell her, and if you aren't happy after a couple of weeks, find someone else.
And, I hate to say it, but if you are having a stranger in your house, you need to think of how to protect your valuables. I know that when we had nursing aides in taking care of my dad, some of his coin collection went missing, and some other things that we didn't check frequently. Problem was, it was different aides so frequently we had no idea who or when.
Thanks Ginny, I hadn't even considered our valuables (not that there's many to consider, lol) and I'll keep that in mind.
It's a little intimidating to be the 'boss' of someone so it's good to be reminded that I'm the one paying.
Does anyone think it will be okay to "I will pay you up to so much $, after that you must stop." ? I've cleaned my home enough to know how long things should take.
If you are paying hourly, you can "cap" the amount of hours, and leave a list of things to be done each time, that way shell/they'll do what they can in that amount of time. If they want the job, they won't go long and not get your requests done, of course make it a reasonable list.
Before they start walk through and point out things in EACH room you want to have cleaned, my last gal was doing bathrooms, but didnt' wipe door jams, plate switches or the front of the tub it would make me nuts! So since you are the "Boss" you need to start off on a good solid footing, let her/them know your needs and desires and expectations.
Thanks Kim - it'd drive me nuts too if they didn't clean switches, etc. I wouldn't want to finish a job myself. One lady has an ad that says "detailed" and I think I'll call and interview her first.
I am getting ready to look for another housekeeper too. I usually have someone come every other week and while the house doesn't stay clean the whole time it is a little easier to "keep up." My last ladies stopped coming to clean because the lady who owned the company stopped doing private homes and went solely to new construction. I have always paid a flat fee and they worked until they were done. I have never had a stealing problem but it is always helpful to know if they are bonded or if they come highly reccomended from someone you know. Good luck!