Is Guilt Stopping you from Hiring a Cleaner?

Is Guilt Stopping you from Hiring a Cleaner?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips From the Author

You work hard and you are probably looking after your kids/partner/parent as well. Let’s face it you are on the go all the time, there are not enough hours in the day and still you are having doubts about hiring some help! Why? What is stopping you?

Let me guess, it’s that guilty voice that says: ‘I should clean my own house…., ‘Only rich people have cleaners’…., Or even ‘Would I be comfortable telling someone how to clean my house?’

STOP! You don’t have to act like Lord or Lady Muck to have some help in your home, you don’t have to be all superior and you are not lazy – you are just busy!

Can I read minds? No, sadly not, but I have worked in this industry for many years and have done hundreds of cleaning quotes for lots of ordinary people.

What I have found is this: Women fight with the decision to hire a cleaner far more than men do. Men see it as a practical necessity; who has time for cleaning bathrooms? Women, however seem to guilt trip themselves into thinking they should be able to do everything. It can become a vicious circle of guilt and pressure.

My advice? Let it go! Take a deep breath and join us in the 21st Century – it is okay to ask for (and hire) help! You are not a bad person for not cleaning your own toilet, sending the ironing out or having a gardener. You are a busy, hard working person and deserve to have some quality time for you and your family.

Overcoming the Guilt Monsters!

  1. Only the well-off have cleaners

Maybe once upon time that was true, but not now. With busy lifestyle and more disposable income than ever before, having a cleaning service is for people of all walks of life.

I guarantee there is a cleaning service out there to suit your needs and budget. Even if you cannot afford a weekly service, you could think about having a clean every month or quarter. At the very least I would recommend a deep clean/spring clean at least once a year to tackle all the jobs that everybody tries avoid. Mrs Mopp offers all these options.

  1. I should clean my own house

Firstly, says who? You feel perfectly comfortable paying for all sorts of services to be done for you; why would paying someone else to clean your home be any different?

Secondly, unless you live alone, you are not be the only person responsible for making the mess! But let’s face it, it’s not easy to get your partner/children/roommate to take the share of the work and you just end up nagging and getting stressed. So, unless you want to live with a kitchen floor that no one has mopped in three weeks, now is the time to hire a cleaning service to help you keep things spick and span without all the drama and family rows.

  1. I feel like I would be exploiting someone

Now unless you are forcing someone to clean your house I would imagine that there will be no exploiting going on. There are some 800,000 thousand registered cleaners in the UK today who have voluntarily decided that cleaning is the job they want to do.

Some people see cleaning as lowly profession, but to me this is a myth and a bit of an insult. I feel cleaning is a very noble job, in fact, I tell my staff that cleaners are like the fourth emergency service; the silent, probably unseen presence, keeping everything working. Please do not feel sorry for a cleaner, most cleaners are happy with the flexibility of their jobs and take great pride in their work, so you are not exploiting anybody, it is their job.

As a final point, even when you hire a cleaning service you may still feel pangs of guilt when telling people that you have a cleaner. This is normal, but there is nothing like coming home to a clean and tidy house after a hard day’s work and knowing you won’t have to nag anyone (including yourself) to clean the house.

If you have any thoughts or stories about the topic of guilt when hiring a cleaning services, I would love to hear them!

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

 

5 Tips To Help De-Clutter Your Home in 2015

5 Tips To Help De-Clutter Your Home in 2015

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides From the Author Inspiration Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

De-clutter Your Home In 2015

It’s the beginning of a brand new year and everyone is full of resolutions and hope for the upcoming 12 months. As well as promising to lose weight or join a gym, I’d like you to promise one thing to your home for the next year…To de-clutter it. All of it.

We all lead crazy busy lives and lives that are filled with convenience and “stuff”. Lots of  stuff. We are a nation of work hard, spend hard people and our houses are full to busting point of things we do not wear or use.

Couple of interesting facts for y’all – Did you know that the average UK  adult has over £1,000 worth of stuff/clutter that they could sell or donate just lying around their home? Also, did you know that many psychologists believe having an overcrowded and cluttered house can lead to depression, anxiety and even weight gain? Things that make you go hmm right?

Now I understand that you may not want to throw away that stripy bat-winged jumper that you looked good in when you were 17, just in case, one day,  it should make a miraculous return to the catwalks of the world. However, sometimes we just have to face facts and be hard on ourselves and admit that we would never (ever) wear that jumper again anyway, even if the great Anna Wintour herself declared it chic. The thing is, the memories you have of being a footloose and fancy free bat-winged-jumper-wearing-individual are not trapped in a jumper and they won’t erase if we got rid of the jumper.

This is were de-cluttering becomes hard, we have to separate the emotions from all the stuff…

5 Tips To Make de-Cluttering Easier

1. Make a plan. Tackle your house room by room.

Don’t try and do your house in a day or in one weekend as, unless you live in a tiny house, you won’t manage it and that will  just make you feel fed up and discouraged to carry on. Instead of throwing yourself aimlessly at your home, be strategic and make a plan of what you will do and on what days. You have a year to get everything straight so don’t panic. Just think about it for a second – it took yeeeeaaaaars to collect all the stuff you have right? It will take a while to sort out and get rid of. Rome was not built in a day…

Plan pic

2. Start with the “lived in” areas first

Start in your lounge, for example, and then work through your home from the most used rooms to the least. As you start to de-clutter the most used spaces of your home you should start to begin to feel and see the benefits of less clutter almost immediately. Your room will look bigger and brighter AND it will now take less time to tidy and keep clean, hurrah!

3. Get a 3 box system going in your home

Have 3 boxes or large bags with you when you de-clutter each room to keep you focused and working to a system. The boxes are i) Skip/Recycle ii) Keep/Relocate iii) Charity/Sell. As you go around the room place objects into one of the three boxes. Once done, the room will be ready to be cleaned and the ‘kept’ items put back. If you have the space in a utility or garage, try to keep a regular 2 box system for skip/recycle items and for charity items and make sure everyone in your home knows about and uses them.

5 De-Cluttering Tips from Mrs Mopp

4. Find a charity close to your heart

To give is always better than to receive and if it is possible for you to do so, please think about having a regular charity box in your home. A charity that means something to you will give you motivation to keep the de-cluttering effort going. If you have good quality items or clothing, find a a charity that moves you and one you that you would love to help and be involved in. Not everyone has time to volunteer or has the money to set up a charity monthly direct debit, so donating your un-wanted items is the next best thing and very much appreciated by the charities. Donating to your chosen charity is a win-win for everyone involved – Your home gets de-cluttered, the charity makes money for their cause and someone goes home happy with a new stripy bat-winged jumper. Yay!

The Mrs Mopp charity of choice for 2015 for clothes, household items and furniture is the Shropshire Community Project – If you live in the local area, please click the link after you’ve finished reading this post (Obvs), to learn more about them and the very wonderful work they do in our County. Thank you.

5. Hold a Clothes Swapping Party

Get all your chums to sort out their wardrobes, shoes and accessories, that they no longer wear and arrange a get together to swap with each other whilst holding your own private fashion show. A good giggle, you get to see your friends in one space and everyone goes home with something new and exciting to wear without even spending a penny!

5 De-cluttering tips from Mrs Mopp

Do you have any tips for de-cluttering and learning how to let go of things you no longer need or use? Please share them below if you do, we would love to hear them.

Until the next time, happy Cleaning!

K x

 

Cleaning Tips – Top 5 Weekly Round Up | Mrs Mopp

Cleaning Tips – Top 5 Weekly Round Up | Mrs Mopp

Ask Mrs Mopp... Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Cleaning Tips w/c 10.11.14

Hello lovely people of the Internet, did you see our visual cleaning tips last week on Facebook? You didn’t? Oh no…

Well the Mama Mopp thought it would be a good idea that we should put them on our website too, just to show visitors, a bit of what your missing out on over on Facebook, you know, er… should you.. err… wanna come over there and like us? 😉

We get that not everyone in the world has a Facebook (really?) so, if you prefer to see written tips, in 140 characters or less, we can do that for you too, over on Twitter at 11am, Monday through Friday. (GMT) If you fancy just a smattering of tips and would rather know what goes on behind the scenes of Mopp Towers, you can add us on Instagram for that.

Social bunch, us Moppettes you know.

Take a look at the weeks round up of the top 5 cleaning tips and let us know your favourite. If you have a cleaning tip that you would like to share with us, please contact us and make sure to include your name so we may give you full credit.

We hope you enjoyed the round up of last weeks top 5 cleaning tips and that some, if not all of them, will be useful to you at some point. Don’t forget if you have a top cleaning tip of your own, you can share it with us and we’ll share it with the world – just don’t forget to give us your name!

Thank you for stopping 🙂

Happy cleaning folks,

Mrs Mopp x

 

5 Signs You Need To Hire A Cleaner

5 Signs You Need To Hire A Cleaner

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Okay, so you have just found that T-shirt you have been looking for all summer; as the last leaves start falling from the trees. The t-shirt was found under that big pile of laundry, you have been meaning to sort through, that was at the side of the pile of paperwork and bills that you are going to organise when you get a minute, next to the plastic tub full of bits of toys, old jigsaw pieces and random socks. Sound familiar? Maybe you need a little help.

See our top 5 signs that you may need to think about hiring a cleaner

1.  You spend your weekend/only available down-time cleaning house. Are you sure there is not something else, other than scrubbing your bathroom, you would rather be doing?

Image Via Someecards.com

Image Via Someecards.com

2. You are very good at making piles and stacking things.. in a neat way of course. You are not entirely sure what is in each pile and, if you are honest, you don’t want to disturb them to find out. 

3. You are simply overwhelmed and feel disorganised by the sheer amount of things you have to do in your  day-to-day life and just never ever seem to find the time for any of it. You feel like you are constantly putting out fires and chasing your proverbial tail.

4. Your cobwebs have a dark colour to them, there are dust bugs on your windowsills and shelves (really) or tumble weeds blowing down your hallway (not really.. well possible, tiny ones)

5. Doing a “quick tidy up” for house guests takes you waaaaaaay longer than an hour; in fact a quick tidy up for guests means putting all the clutter in the nearest room or cupboard and jamming the door shut!

Any of the above sound familiar to you? Maybe it is time to think about hiring a cleaner to help out for a few hours a week. See our guide on finding a cleaning service to suit you and what to look for in a cleaner, to help. If you are living in Telford or Shrewsbury, then please take a look at our services and drop us a line.

As always we would love to have you feedback or comments and please do come and say hello to us on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest or Google+

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner

3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

Still uming and aring about hiring a cleaner to clean your home or office, but can’t decide?

Here, we give you 3 things to consider before you hire a cleaner

3 Things To Consider Before You Hire A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

1. Define The Job Role And Tasks

Think about what tasks it is that you need help with in your home or office. Think about what rooms you would like to be cleaned and what rooms you would prefer to be left alone, or only cleaned once a month for example. Think about the tasks within the rooms you want to have done. Think about your requirements; do you need someone to just blitz your bathrooms and kitchens once a week? Do you need someone to vacuum and polish all the offices and communal areas? Do you need someone who will do laundry and iron your shirts?

You need to know what you want in order to find the right cleaning service for you, your needs and your budget.

The standard cleaning chores you should expect, from a paid service, are high and low level dusting, polishing, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms and toilets, kitchen cleaning and wiping of worktops and sides. Some cleaning companies will clean skirting boards as standard, some won’t. Some cleaning companies will wash up dirty dishes, or clean your windows and some won’t. It is best to know what you want in your home or office to able to ask the question on the telephone or by looking at the businesses website, to determine the best cleaning service for you.

2. Be Prepared To Pay For The Service You Want

It would be divine to have a housekeeper or a cleaning maid that came to your home every day and made the whole place sparkle from top to bottom wouldn’t it? Now unless you are Rockefeller, this is probably not an option for a lot of people. You need to think about your cleaning service in the same way as you would about any outgoing liability for your house or office and think about what you can afford to pay for cleaning services every month and make it part of your household budget.

Your budget may effect the cleaning company you choose or the hours you are able to have somebody in but it will give you a starting point on which is the best type of cleaning service to approach. If price is your only driver for a cleaning service, you may end with what you pay for, cheaper is not always better, especially when it comes to your home or office.

Make sure you have a payment agreement in place with your cleaner/cleaning business and ensure you abide by their invoicing terms and conditions.

3. Expectations and Boundaries

Okay, so to put it out there, hiring a cleaner does not mean you have hired your very own Cinderella, there are limits. Along with the job role being defined and all the tasks that are to be done, it is also important to talk to your cleaning service provider about expectations and standards.

For example, your cleaner should do a quicker and better job than you can, if they have been trained correctly, however, your cleaner does not posses super powers and cannot clean your five bed-roomed, 3 bath-roomed executive home, top-to-bottom in 2 hours. In this case, you may need to think about singling out the most important tasks for 2 hours or change your expectation of cost and time of a through job. The point is to be realistic in your expectation of time needed for the job.

A cleaner is not there to look after your children whilst you pop out, walk your dog, put your supermarket shopping away or answer the telephone whilst the receptionist goes downstairs; they are there as cleaners and there to clean.

If you do need to change the clean  the maid will be doing or add something extra to the clean , before you write a note on the day of your clean, please call the office of the cleaner a day or two before to see if the cleaner has the time available for the extra tasks firstly, and if not to book the extra time the week later. If you do leave notes for your cleaner, then please arrange for the extras to be done on the following clean when the cleaner has arranged their time or other clients, has all the right equipment needed etc. It is not good etiquette to just expect your cleaner to undertake extra time at the blink of an eye, as they may have other clients, children or an appointment to get to.

Make sure the boundaries for your home are clear regarding wearing shoes, having a mobile telephone with them, where their coat and bags are to be kept whilst cleaning etc. As always the communication is the key.

As always, I would love to hear any thoughts or comments you may have, done below. Please drop by and say Hello on Facebook or Twitter 🙂

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

Top 3 Cleaning Client Problems and How To Deal WIth Them

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

So you have gotten over your guilt; you have reasoned with yourself about the pros and cons and you have hired some home-help to clean for you. Good for you. This is great right? You have a cleaner and that is one more worry you can cross of your list, or is it? Here we will look at the top 3 cleaning client problems and how you can overcome them, leaving a happier you (and a happy cleaner and cleaning business 🙂 )

1. You feel guilty, agitated, angry and maybe even a teeny-weeny resentful towards your cleaner.

Believe it or not this is quite normal and something I have seen a lot, especially in homes that have never used a cleaning service before and more so from the lady of the house. If you have always cleaned your own home, even begrudgingly so, it is normal to still feel a pang of guilt that you are not doing it and someone else is. For the first few weekends, of not having to clean your bathroom on a Saturday, you may feel a bit lost with your time and feel guilty that you have that time available now.

You may feel irritated that your cleaner does not put all your cushions back on your sofa the way that you do, or you may feel annoyed that your cleaner always moves the position of your bread bin in the kitchen. You may not like it that your house is complemented on and you feel “bested” by another, when no one ever complimented your home before. Sounds crazy but believe me, over weeks that slight little irritation, of an ornament the wrong way, can turn into a huge resentment and problem.

Solve: Please just talk to your cleaner or, if you don’t like the confrontation, please talk to their supervisor. The cleaner will not mind that you prefer you shampoo bottles ordered from left to right, or that you like your pillows at right angles on your sofa.. truly, just tell us that is what you want. If a cleaner does not clean in the way you would like, then you have to ask yourself two things 1. Is the job done to a good standard even if not to my method? 2. Can I live with the cleaning not being done to my method?

If the problem is you don’t like someone doing an equal or better job than you would do, the way I see it, you can either stop the cleaning service and become a martyr to yourself and go back to cleaning at the weekends or you could be positive about it and write an email to the cleaning business telling them what a great job their cleaner has done; this will make you feel good that you are praising and

Top 3 Client Problems

lifting someone else and it will make your cleaner feel really good and that they are appreciated. Cleaners love client feedback, so if they do a good job, tell them so.

2. You don’t trust your cleaner

There is nothing worse, from a cleaners point of view, than a client setting “traps” around their home for them. If the cleaning service is not providing a good enough job or to the standards you would like or expect, then please talk to the cleaner/supervisor about your issues so that they may get sorted out – it may be a case of your cleaner needs more training, or your cleaner may need to be changed, or your cleaner may not have enough physical time available to do all the tasks and didn’t want to bring it up. Whatever the issue, it can be sorted out with communication, not with tricks and trying to catch people out, that is not nice and I am sure you wouldn’t like it if someone tried to deliberately trip you up on your work.

If you are setting traps or having people watch your house for times etc., then you obviously do not trust your cleaning provider and you need to ask yourself why, as it was you that hired them? Is it that you are new to having a cleaner and feel uncomfortable about having a “stranger” in your home? Is it that you feel your cleaner is scamming you on time or is sitting and watching TV instead of cleaning? Again, please talk to the cleaner/supervisor about your concerns. A good cleaning company should have several vetting and reference checks for cleaners and have policies for key handling etc. and should be able to set your mind at ease by explaining their business and how it works to you. If you are still not happy, start looking for a new cleaning provider who you do feel comfortable talking to.

3. You don’t value your cleaner as a priority service

By not valuing I generally mean in regards to payment habits from clients.

When you engage a cleaner, in whatever capacity you do, please ensure that there is an agreed payment policy in place and that it is adhered to. If you have agreed to pay cash at the end of every clean, please ensure you have the right amount. If you are invoiced on a monthly basis, please set up a standing order or arrange the online payment to reach the cleaners bank by the due by date and, if you still live in the dark ages, and use cheques, then please get them into the business prior to the invoice deadline so that they may clear in time.

Your cleaning service works hard for their money and should be paid on time and the correct amount, just as you would pay any other supplier. Over the years I have had some clients take offense if I send them an “overdue” letter and I even had a phone call once asking “who did I think I was” telling them their bill was late! I have also had other clients who will receive a bill for £65 and will pay only £60, consistently, and then argue if I send them overdue invoices for the outstanding amounts… you would not do this with your credit card bill or with mortgage or in a supermarket, so please don’t do it to your cleaning service. If you have an issue with your invoice, call the cleaner/offices and discuss it, ask to see timesheet records or cleaning records to verify times. If you were unhappy with the clean, did you bring it up with the cleaner/supervisor on the day? Deciding to not pay full amounts, without any prior discussion with the cleaner is not fair or right.

If you do not like having to pay cash weekly or you don’t want pay monthly, or you would pay on x day of the month as that is when you get paid, then talk to your cleaner/supervisor and see if there is alternative way to make payment. Treat your cleaner as you would any other business.

Communication in any problem is always key.

I would love to hear your thoughts or feelings on any of the above points.

Thank you for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: Should You Clean Up Before Your Cleaner Comes?

 

What Different Types Of Cleaning Service Are There?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

In our busy and eventful lives, it is not uncommon to hear about people having a cleaner, window cleaner or gardener to help them in their homes. These are not people who have gazillions in the bank; these are every day working people who value their free time in their schedules. People just like you and I.

But with so many cleaning options and services available what is the best one for you, your home and your budget?

The Four Ways to Hire A Cleaner And The Pros and Cons of Each

pros-cons

1. The Sole Trader

By the very nature of the name, this is an individual that works by themselves for themselves. A sole trader cleans to make a living for themselves. Sole traders charge from £7 – £11 per hour. Personally I would suggest paying a private cleaner around £7 – £8.50 per hour (area dependant) as paying the higher rates of £9 + per hour does not seem justified to the value add a sole trader can bring compared to a business or franchise.

Pros

  • One dedicated cleaner for your home
  • A flexible arrangement about what work will be undertaken
  • A cheaper rate, so would suit those with a smaller budget

Cons

  • If your cleaner is sick, goes on holiday or breaks a leg what will you do? There is no back up with a sole trader.
  • You are responsible for ensuring the cleaner has insurance and references. Who is responsible if an item is damaged?
  • The cleaner doesn’t always turn up, or do the agreed hours – familiarity can breed contempt.

2. The Cleaning Business

This is a business that employs 1 or more people to clean. A cleaning business, for the sake of this article, is privately owned and run. A cleaning business provides employment and aims to make a profit on the services provided. A cleaning business will charge between £8.00 – £15.00 per hour depending on its size and services offered.  I would suggest looking at the rate in comparison to what that business gives you in return. If the cleaning business does not provide quality checks or have a customer care procedure, why would you pay more for it, than say if you had a sole trader giving you the exact same service at a discount?

Pros

  • A dedicated cleaner and a back up if your cleaner is not available
  • A cleaning schedule of what will be done in your home and procedures for the work
  • A back office function for any queries, complaints or questions.

Cons

  • Cleaning businesses can have a high staff turn over due to the nature of work, this is throughout the cleaning industry. You may always have a cleaner, it just may not always be the same one.
  • A cleaning business should have a contract and this may impose terms on you for a notice period, lock out charges and cancellation charges etc.
  • A cleaning business can seem less personal than a sole trader due to the fact there may be a chain of command or there are multiple sites.

3. The Cleaning Franchise

These are businesses that have been bought, by an individual, for the brand and the proven profitable business structures a franchisor has developed. When you deal with a franchise you will be dealing with a person who has invested money in a company to learn their techniques and their processes. The franchisee will follow set procedures for quoting and executing the work they do. The cost of a franchise to clean to clean per hour is a bit of a black art to master, as they do not tend to quote by the hour, they tend to quote by the clean. I have quoted against many franchisees over several years and still it intrigues me when I am given their price as to how they reach it. For a three bed, two bath standard home you should expect to pay £40 – 58 per clean – the clean make take 3 hours, 2 hours or 1 hour depending on the number in the team and the equipment used.

Pros

  • The business model is tried and tested, as opposed to a living-it-learning-it cleaning business
  • The customer experience, branding and marketing should be second to none
  • The equipment and materials used will always be  good quality

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than all three of the alternatives
  • A badly run franchise is the same as any badly run business regardless of the fancy systems the individual invested in
  • Contractual obligation – some franchise businesses can have contracts that lock you in for 3, 6 or 9 months – not good if you don’t like their service or have a personality clash with your cleaner or the franchisee

4. The Cleaning Agency

A cleaning agency is a little bit like a recruitment agency, they are the middle men. A cleaning agency tends to be a office based business that will leaflet drop an area advertising for it’s cleaning services and, at the same time ,recruit in the local job centres and local publications for self employed cleaners to fulfill the work. With a cleaning agency you will pay between £9.50 – £13.00 per hour depending on the area and the company you deal with.

Pros

  • A cleaning agency is a nice blend of sole trader and cleaning business – if your cleaner leaves their job, you can call for another one
  • The price range falls in between the business and sole trader
  • As with a sole trader the work is agreed between client and cleaner giving greater flexibility

Cons

  • As a client you have to make two payments – one in cash to your cleaner, on the day, and one of an administration fee, paid in advance, by direct debit to the agent
  • Agencies tend to have an extremely high turn over of staff due to the fact that cleaners cannot get enough and/or consistent hours – do you want you keys swapping hands with people not connected to one and other bar the agency they are registered to?
  • This business model, in my opinion, does nothing for its fee and does not give any value add other than finding a cleaner for you. The agency does not take responsibility of your cleaner is sick or on holiday for example, that is for you, the client, to arrange with your cleaner – you could just as well deal with a sole trader direct for the same service without the payment hassles?

I hope you have found the information useful and if you have any comments or thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

 NEXT WEEK: What To Look For In A Cleaner