Should You Clean Up Before The Cleaner Comes?

Should You Clean Up Before The Cleaner Comes?

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

People think it’s hilarious when I say I have to clean up for the cleaners. So should you clean up for your cleaner? The answer to this has to be ‘No’! But if the question was “Should you tidy up for your cleaner,” then the answer is most definitely yes.

Essentially, I believe you pay a cleaner to clean and not to tidy up. You will get a lot more for your money if your cleaner can get in and actually clean, rather than putting toys away or picking up clothes from the floor.

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Is It Time To Hire A Cleaner?

Is It Time To Hire A Cleaner?

Cleaning Articles & Guides From the Author Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

1 in 3 homes hires a cleaner. Are you missing out on something?

Twice as many people under 35 now hire a cleaner. No longer is home-help just for the rich and wealthy.

According to the Daily Mail, 1 in 3 homes now hires a cleaner, or other home help like gardeners or window cleaners, on a regular basis, to help them maintain their home, their gardens, and sometimes even their lives!

Cleaning lady | Mrs Mopp UK blog post

According to the Daily Mail, 1 in 3 homes now hires a cleaner

Leading this trend of hiring a cleaner is the under 35’s who, according to 1 in 4 of them, see housework as “boring” and, quite frankly there are just more important things these millennials would like to be doing… y’know, like living life!

Why is the trend to hire a cleaner increasing?

People today are busy. Busy with careers, busy with children, busy with trying to see family and friends regularly, busy trying to fit in exercise, busy trying to fit in a hobby. Busy.

We live in a 24-hour-a-day society, who even has the time to clean the bath and remove the cobwebs anymore, nevermind the time consuming and laborious task of cleaning skirting boards and paintwork regularly, among many other regular home cleaning jobs to be done?

We are the time poor generation, with too much to do and not enough time to fit it all in. Millennials and people who value their time, would rather use their downtime time for their pleasure, rather than scrubbing, and they are willing to pay for someone to do it for them, as they see it as a good trade-off of money for time, it’s that simple.

Interestingly, one of the ways I have always motivated my staff, at Mrs Mopp, is by telling them that they are time fairies – and I fully believe it to be true!

I once had a conversation with a Moppette who said  that what she does for a living doesn’t really add anything to the world or make a difference! I had to stop her there… I believe cleaners make a difference!

I said to the cleaner that if it were not for her, the couple, whose house she cleaned on a weekly basis, who are both full-time professional people, would not have the precious time available at weekends to spend with their children, they could not enjoy their family days out, and they could not all spend quality time all together.

I explained, as their cleaner, she was a time fairy and with the swish of her duster she delivered time to that family to be together every week and what a wonderful gift that is to leave in the world…

Cleaners give the gift of time image - mrs mopp blog - hire a cleaner

Beyond the wonderful time-saving reason for getting a cleaner, another reason people hire a cleaner is because it is just not as expensive as you think it is!

** Now, before we go further, I am not talking about cheap, unregistered, uninsured, cash-in-hand cleaners here, I’m talking about tax-paying, fully insured, trained cleaning professionals who are HMRC known individuals, cleaning businesses, cleaning agencies or part of a cleaning franchise… Cheap, cash paid cleaners are a whole other blog post, that I will cover another time, but suffice to say that good labour isn’t cheap and cheap labour isn’t good! **

So, back to your money…

Would you be happy to sacrifice a takeaway meal a week or a chocolate and wine fix, to have your home cleaned from top to bottom once a week, so that when you get home all you had to do was relax?

How about instead of spending the average of £540 a year, that a family typically spends of cleaning products, you invest it into a cleaning business that will not only supply all cleaning products but, they do all the actual cleaning too? Sounds like a no-brainer right?

The cost of a weekly cleaner will cost from £20 – £30 per week depending on the type of service you choose to use, so ask yourself when you next tuck into a pizza if you would swap it to have your bathroom sparkling and your floors clear and clean and the whole of Saturday to yourself?

Order a takeaway or hire a cleaner? Mrs Mopp blog post - Hire A Cleaner

So if you’ve always wanted to learn guitar, or visit friends more often, or even if you just want to sit and do nothing but relax with your evenings and weekends, it might be time to hire a cleaner and free up some of your valuable time as life really is too short…

Take a look at our other posts on “What Type Of Cleaning Services Are Available” that will walk you through the differences between sole traders, cleaning businesses, cleaning agencies and cleaning franchises, and the pros and cons of them all.

If you are thinking about the move to hire a cleaner take a look at our post “What To Look For In A Cleaner” – this post will take you through where and how to find a cleaner, and things you should know about them before you hire them.

Next week we talk about What To Expect From Your Cleaner, so be back here next Wednesday, bookmark us/add to RSS or come follow us on Twitter or ‘Like” us on Facebook to never miss a post!

Want to get a quote for your home from Mrs Mopp? Use our contact form to send your information.

Until next week,

Happy cleaning!

What To Expect From A Cleaner

What To Expect From A Cleaner

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

 When hiring a domestic cleaner, what service levels should you expect in your home?

As we discussed last week, having a maid service is no longer just for the rich elite, it is now so common to hire a cleaning service that 1 in 3 homes in the UK now employs one!What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

As the more “ordinary” folk move to hiring help within their homes, some of them may have never had dealt with a cleaner before and perhaps come from a background that has never had cleaners or hired help in their homes – this post is to guide newbie homeowners employing a cleaner on a few things to expect.

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

A Cleaner Will Not Redecorate Your Home

Excuse the dramatics but we wanted to make a point. Some clients expect their house will be transformed almost instantly upon having a cleaner and while that is true to a point, (as yes your home should look, feel and smell cleaner when you come home after each and every clean) it may take several cleans to get your home to the desired and workable standard of the cleaner and of the cleaning service provider you have hired.

It may take a cleaner 2/3 cleans to “bed-in” to a new client’s home and to know the flow of the rooms and work out the most efficient way of achieving all tasks in the set time frame. It will take several cleans to get on top of all paintwork and internal windows, for example, especially if they have not been regularly maintained beforehand. It may take several treatments to cut through all limescale on a shower screen or on taps if the build up is heavy etc.

A cleaner is only human and can only achieve so much in a 2, 3, 4-hour time span. From experience, our domestic Moppettes are professionally trained in cleaning techniques for efficiency combined with high-standard cleaning, and yes they can clean better and faster than the average Jo, but there is a limit to how many bathrooms can be cleaned, how many bed changes can be done or how many flights of stairs vacuumed in a two hour time slot – this is true of all cleaners

How To Overcome This?

The very best thing you can do is be very clear of your cleaning wants and your cleaning needs when you have someone come to your home to quote. The cleaner and the cleaning company want to serve you well and would much rather deliver great cleaning work in 2 hours than provide lots of bits of shoddy, rushed work throughout the home. If you can only afford to budget for 2 hours a week of cleaning then be realistic on what the most important tasks are to you to be done.

If you can afford it, have a deep/spring clean before your regular cleaning service starts – some franchises will insist on this – A deep clean will clean all paint work, internal windows, and there will be a deep clean in the living areas, kitchen and bathrooms etc. The idea of having a deep clean prior to your regular service is that it will make the home easier to maintain moving forward.

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

A Cleaner Cleans But Does Not Tidy Up!

Okay, not strictly true because if we needed to vacuum a floor and it was littered with a weeks worth of clothes, we would, of course, pick up said clothes and fold them neatly… then we could get on with our job of cleaning.

Us picking up your clothes, picking up toys, putting away books and magazines etc is a waste of your actual cleaning time – If we only have 3 hours to do a top to bottom clean on a home and your cleaner spends 30 mins picking up and putting away items, something else may have to be missed, or it will be done in a rush (and probably poorly), as your cleaner will run out of time before they have to move to their next job.

You don’t want a half complete clean, the cleaning business owner does not want to give you an incomplete clean and the cleaner does not want to feel like they are failing as they become so overwhelmed with the tasks to be done Vs time allowed.

How To Overcome This?

The night before your scheduled clean please tidy-up for your cleaner – Get the whole  household involved and explain to one and all that floors should be clear and items that should be somewhere should be put there – Your cleaner will love you for it and you will get more bang for your buck in cleaning time. Hurrah all round!

What To Expect From A Cleaner | Mrs Mopp UK

Your Cleaner Won’t Last Forever

Nothing lasts forever we all know this but allow me to explain…

There are two types of cleaner. The first type of cleaner is the dream cleaner for you to hire in your home; they are the type of cleaner that instinctively knows what is to be cleaned, they love to clean and to get quality results, and they would never, ever dream of assigning their name to bad work. Career cleaners live to clean, it is their vocation. This type of cleaner does exist, I promise, but they are rare (in eight years of running Mrs Mopp I have employed several career cleaners and many are still with me, as a good cleaner is worth their weight in gold!)

The second type of cleaner is a person that sees cleaning hours as convenient for their own life and they see it as a job they can do until they find something else. (‘Something better’, is the phrase I will hear most often, frustratingly, cleaning is not a respected job role in this country, and this does not help with retention) These types of cleaners are the majority in the UK. Harsh but true. This is not to say ‘jobbing cleaners’ can’t be good cleaners, not at all, I’ve employed many an excellent cleaner that has gone on to do other things as their circumstances have changed, the point is that these cleaners are not career cleaners, they do not live for the finish and sparkle in the same way as cleaning type number one does and no matter what pay rates, incentive schemes, employee benefits etc that a cleaning business may offer, some people never intend on staying in a role with a long term view (please believe me I’ve tried to change this view and still try daily) and so it goes, your cleaner will not last forever.

Another reason cleaners don’t last forever is that the work is very physically demanding and some people join the profession thinking they can do it (how hard can cleaning be right?) and then they discover after a week or two that it’s really not for them and they can’t stay with the pace

Cleaning businesses HATE changing cleaning staff just as much as a client hates having to have a new cleaner, but please know that sometimes they can’t help it as it may beyond their control, BUT,  they will be doing everything they can behind the scenes to correct it, I guarantee it, no cleaning business owner likes disgruntled calls or emails. Not a single one.

How To Overcome This?

When looking for a cleaning business ask about how they do their recruitment, ask what capacity they employ their cleaners – some cleaning business are actually agencies and all their staff are self-employed and none of the cleaners are known to each other – ask how they keep and motivate their staff

Mrs Mopp UK Team

Ask yourself would you prefer a single cleaner or are you happy for a team of two to come to your home? Many companies use two cleaners for heath and safety reasons (moving furniture, falling etc) and this can help with service disruption as there is always one known cleaner.

If you really want one person and one person only, you either have to accept, there may be times that particular individual is sick or perhaps on holiday and you would have to go without a clean, or you will have a cover cleaner so as not to disrupt your cleaning service – or if you employ a sole trader cleaner, if they are sick or on holiday you will not have a clean (nor the option of cover).

There are Pros and cons to all cleaning services – take a look at our post here that describes the different type of cleaning services available to find the one that best suits you, your budget and your cleaning needs.

The main point to take away from the post is this: be realistic with timeframes available, and with your cleaning wants and your cleaning needs. Stay open in communication with the cleaner, supervisor and/or business owner/manager to work together to find your perfect cleaning service.

It can be done, you can have a harmonious relationship with your cleaning provider, with a perfectly running cleaning schedule, I promise. It just won’t happen all in one clean.

Do you have anything to add to this post? Please post in the comments and please share this post with anyone you think may find it useful

Happy Cleaning!

Mrs M x

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Read the previous post: Is It Time To Hire A Cleaner?

Looking for top Cleaning Tips, Cleaning Blogs and Cleaning Funnies? Come Pin with us 🙂 

Do you live in Telford, Shrewsbury or the surrounding areas, including Newport and Shifnal? Contact Mrs Mopp today for a no obligation quotation on your domestic cleaning needs 🙂

Looking for a commercial clean quotation? Please take a look at our sister company MMCS (UK) LTD

 

 

Maid Simple Cleaning Products | Tried & Tested

Maid Simple Cleaning Products | Tried & Tested

Cleaning Articles & Guides From the Author Mrs Mopp Blog Spot News

Mrs Mopp Product Testing – Maid Simple UK

Just before Christmas 2014, Santa Claus made an early visit to Mopp Towers, and dropped off a package of cleaning goodies ready to be tested by our Moppettes. The excitement was clear to see, as the Moppettes, clambered to see the pretty, brightly coloured bottles, popping out of the box of surprises…

Maid Simple Products

Maid Simple Products

The good people at Maid Simple, sent us their entire product range and so, it was only right to give each product a really good testing. We sent several of our Moppettes off, overall several weeks, to test the products in their own homes, and in the homes of willing clients, to see what they thought and how the products performed. After the first test, we all swapped products and repeated the cycle… here is our first instalment of feedback on the main sprays used daily:

The Kitchen Cleaner

Product via Maid Simple

Product via Maid Simple

 

 

The Maid Simple kitchen cleaner is a zingy  grapefruit scented cleaning product, designed specifically for the kitchen.

“The “Spick & Span” Kitchen cleaner is fresh scented, hard working and it cleaned my kitchen in no time” – CS

Just give your kitchen a quick spray with the Spick & Span kitchen cleaner and then wipe with a damp clean cloth – The Spick & Span kitchen cleaner will remove all grease and food splashes from your kitchen worktops, shelving, sinks, taps and cupboards. If you have high-shine cupboards or doors with a gloss texture, Mrs Mopp recommends, to proceed to buff after wiping off the product, to bring to a high shine.

Your kitchen will smell divine and be spick and span just as promised

 

 

Kitchen before & After | Maid Simple Products

Kitchen before & After | Maid Simple Products

 

The Bathroom Cleaner 

Bathroom Cleaner | Maid Simple

Bathroom Cleaner | Maid Simple

 The Bathroom cleaner form Maid Simple was one of our favourite products! The “Bye-Bye Limescale” bathroom product has a fresh lemony smell and cut through limescale and soap scum like it was going out of fashion!! This bathroom cleaner is great for tubs, tiles, sinks, shower trays and shower screens and will, most definitely become a firm favourite with our Moppettes. Bathrooms are very important to us when cleaning a clients home and this product delivered every time and all without the harsh and over-chemically smells or the usual and well known limescale treaters…

Bathroom Before | Maid Simple Bathroom Cleaner

Bathroom Before | Maid Simple Bathroom Cleaner

Bathroom After | Maid Simple Bathroom Product

Bathroom After | Maid Simple Bathroom Product

 

The Shower Cleaner

If you are busy person who does not have the time to clean on a regular basis, or if you are someone who likes their home to stay shiny and clean, this “Spray & Dash, Shower Cleaner”, is for you! Every day, after you finish your shower, lightly spray your walls, screen (curtain) and tray in a light mist of the Spray and Dash Shower Cleaner and then be on your way… Yup, that’s right, no need to wipe or rinse, just let the product do it’s thang! Your shower will stay clean and it will also make it easier to maintain in between cleans, hurrah!

shower cleaner . maid simple

These of the first three products we will reviewing, with the rest of the range reviews are coming soon to our site. Next time we review the “Done and Dusted” furniture polish, the “Lavish Lustre” granite and marble cleaner and the “Let It Shine” glass and mirror cleaner…. Can we get an Ooooooooo, can we get an Aaaahhhhhhhh

Be back here next Wednesday for the next review

Happy cleaning,

K 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

 

 

Should You Clean Up Before The Cleaner Comes?

Should You Clean Up Before The Cleaner Comes?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot
ecards

Images from bubbles.com

Should you clean up for your cleaner?  The answer to this, in a broad definition  would have to be no. Clean is the wrong word, a better word would be tidy. If the question was “should you tidy up for your cleaner” then the answer is most definitely yes.

You pay a cleaner to clean and not to tidy up. You will get a lot more for your money if your cleaner can get in and actually clean, rather than putting toys away or picking up clothes from the floor.

You should not have to clean up for your cleaner – the only exception to this rule is if you don’t clean at all in between cleaning visits. Whilst not cleaning your home in between weekly visits is fine, for fortnightly, monthly or longer gaps without cleaning, you should be keeping on top of certain areas or you should expect to have to pay for more time from your cleaner to get on top of 2,3,4, 6 weeks of dirt and grime.

Top 5 Things You Can Do To Help Get The Best From Your Cleaning Time

1. Put away toys in toy chests, pick up clothes from the floor, put DVDS back in the case and put back on the shelf etc. Make sure the clutter is cleared.

2. Make sure your dirty dishes are washed and put away – the great majority of cleaners do not wash dishes as standard, and from a cleaning point of view, dirty dishes can prevent a cleaner getting to the sink to clean and sanitize it and will ruin the look of a finished kitchen

3. If you are providing the cleaning materials always ensure there is enough cleaning solutions and the correct cloths. Always make sure you have a well working vacuum cleaner and that you regularly buy new mop heads and cleaning cloths.

4. Agree beforehand with the cleaner/business what tasks are to be done in the home. If the home is large, or all of the home is not used, draw up a cleaning schedule, (or a business will do that for you) and decide on what tasks will be done on what visit. Be specific in your needs and expectations

5. Know that there are certain things it is not okay to expect your cleaner to do – like take out the rubbish, sort out your recycling, put your clothes away, clean your outside windows etc. If you need help with extra tasks, by all means ask the cleaner/business if it something they would be willing to do or if they have a service they could recommend, but always be prepared to pay extra for the additional services that goes above and beyond the cleaners standard clean

If you have any thoughts or feelings on this post, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: How To Complain To Your Cleaner

Help! Turmeric Stain On My Jumper!

Ask Mrs Mopp... Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

We have been asked the following question on our Twitter account:

Question to Mrs Mopp

Okay, turmeric staining is a toughie, but fear not we have a few tricks that could help save your jumper!

For the benefit of those curry lovers out there, who may face turmeric staining in the future, and don’t fancy a bright yellow/orange stain on your clothing, follow this quick-clean guide.

  • Stop eating and take action!
  • Get the clothing/tablecloth to the sink and dab (DO NOT RUB) the stain with cold water and washing powder/liquid or cold water and washing up liquid will do the trick also
  • Leave for 30 mins in soak
  • Next dab the stain with distilled white vinegar (or neat lemon/lime juice as a substitute)
  • To finish, hang to dry, preferably in direct sunlight, to bleach the stain out naturally (Good luck with the sunshine in the UK! 😉 )

turmeric

 

For a stain that has dried into the fabric or is an older, lingering stain, we have these 5 top tricks for you to try:

* Disclaimer: Please, please, please always test the cleaning solution on a inconspicuous part of the garment first! *

1. If the stain is now a light orange/pink colour we can try the next steps, however, if your stain is still very yellow/orange – please repeat (or start) the steps above. For a pink stain you can use an oxygenated bleach product designed for clothing in a normal wash cycle – the product works by releasing bubbles of oxygen to penetrate the fibers of the garment. You could also try a  sodium hypochlorite bleach based product, if it is safe on the fabric of the garment. *ALWAYS READ THE LABEL FIRST*

2. Sunlight – If you can get a clear day, hang the garment outside. The sun will naturally bleach the stain.

3. Make a paste with baking powder and water (3:1) and massage the paste into the offending stain. Leave overnight and then wash as normal the next day

4. Soak the stain in soda water overnight – not tonic or anything containing sugar, as that will make it worse. Wash as normal the next day

5. For bleach sensitive garments you can use Glycerin. Soak the garment in a warm water/glycerin mix (8:1) for 30 minutes and then wash as normal OR make apply glycerin direct to the stain and massage into the area, rinse with cool water and then launder as normal.

We hope this helps!

Best of luck and let us know how you get on  🙂

Mrs Mopp x

 

 

 

Is guilt preventing you from hiring help in your home?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

You work full time, you are a parent full time, a spouse or partner full time and you are on the go full time. You  meet yourself coming backwards, run out of hours in the day and still you will not hire the help you know need. But why? What is stopping you?

It’s that nagging guilty feeling in the back of your head isn’t it… and I bet it says these things to you:

1. Only the rich and well off have cleaners, we don’t need one, we can’t afford one. People will think that I think I am Lady/Lord Muck?

2. I should clean my own house – my house, my mess, my responsibility right? How lazy would I be to hire someone else to do tasks I don’t want to do?

3. I feel like I would be exploiting someone. What if the cleaner thinks that I think I am better than them? How do I handle being a boss/client and telling the cleaner what I want to be done without coming across all superior and Lord-Like?

guilt

Can I read minds? No, sadly I cannot, but I have worked in this industry many years and have done hundreds of quotations in peoples homes. 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, have a harder time – they guilt trip themselves into thinking that they should be able to do and have it all; then they feel inadequate when they can’t keep a hundred and twenty-seven (often self-imposed) plates in the air at all times, it’s a vicious circle of guilt and pressure.

My advice? Let it go people! Take a deep breath and come join us in the 21st century and step out of the pre-programming of an old society and out dated gender roles: it is okay to ask  for (and hire) help! You are not a bad person for not cleaning your own toilet, you are not a bad person for sending your ironing out to be done and you are not a bad person for having a gardener cut your lawn – you are a busy person and a hard working person and you deserves to have some quality time to yourself and if you could give yourself some quality time, you would wouldn’t you, it’s a no brainer?

How to tell the guilt monsters to hush!

1. Only the rich and well off have cleaners

Maybe once upon time that was true but now, with busy lifestyles, a fast-living culture and individuals having more disposable income than before, it is no longer the case. Did you know that over 6 million people in the UK employ a regular cleaning service in their homes and this number grows year on year? Having a cleaning service is for people of all walks of life and I guarantee that there is a cleaning service out there that will suit your needs and your budget. See my earlier posts on What To Look For In A Cleaning Service and What Are the Different Types of Cleaning Service Available.

Even if you cannot afford a weekly service, you could think about having a clean every month, or maybe every 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 loves to avoid.

2. I should clean my own house

Firstly, says who? Where is that written other than in 1950’s Good Housewife Guides? Let me ask you – Did you build your own house? Do you grow all your own food? Do you sew all your own clothes? No, no you do not, (other than in imaginary Pintrest World 😉 ). You feel perfectly comfortable paying for those services to be done for you; why would paying someone else to clean your home be any different?

Secondly, unless you live alone, you will not be the only person responsible for making the mess. As was a great, and often repeated phrase of my mothers throughout my childhood: “I did not make the mess alone, so I am not cleaning it alone” – Now you can either 1. draw up a family/roommate cleaning rota (future post coming up about this) and live with the moans, groans and half jobs as your children/spouse/partner/roommate attempt to make you stop asking them for domestic help, 2. mutter sentences of resentment to yourself whilst you begrudgingly clean the kitchen floor because no one has mopped it in three weeks, or 3. You can hire a cleaning service to come in once a week/fortnight/month to help you keep on top of it all without all the drama and family rows. 

3. I feel like I would be exploiting someone

Now unless you are forcing someone into cleaning your bath tub I would imagine that there will be no exploiting going on. In the 1911 UK Census there were 1.3 million people employed as domestic servants, more than in any other industry; the hiring of help within the home is nothing new. Cleaners (some 800,000 thousand registered cleaners in the UK today) have voluntarily decided that cleaning is the job they want to do, just like you decided on your job or profession.

Some people see cleaning as lowly profession, even among the working classes, and that I take great insult at and is a myth I try to dispel within my own work force… cleaning is a very noble job; without cleaners, shops, schools, hospitals, doctors surgeries, dentists, heck even the roads and pathways would not be open or function the way they should. I tell my staff that cleaners are like the fourth emergency service; the silent, forever working presence to every backdrop in society. Do not feel sorry for someone being a cleaner, they are not wanting sympathy, most cleaners are happy and take great pride in their work and enjoy to clean, so you are not exploiting anybody, it is their job.

As long as you speak to your cleaner in the same manner you would speak to anyone else you interact with then there are no problems. If you are unhappy about an element of your clean or need to give a different set of instructions to your normal clean, just approach your cleaner as you would a colleague for example, in a friendly, polite and straight forward manner. Cleaners want to do a good job, they like to have happy clients and will not take offense at an area that was missed being pointed out or being given a list of different tasks.

As a final point, and just as a forewarning,  even when you hire a cleaning service you may still feel pangs of guilt and also resentment at some one else cleaning your home when you feel like you should be doing it. This is normal and is something I will cover that in next weeks post to help you overcome.

If you have any thoughts or feelings (or stories) about the topic of guilt when hiring a cleaning sevices, I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: Top 3 Cleaning Client Problems And How To deal With Them 

 

What Should I Look For In A Cleaner?

Cleaning Articles & Guides Mrs Mopp Blog Spot

help wanted

 

So, you have finally decided to get some help in your home. Yay! Brilliant news, just think of all that time you will have to play with, ah good times, lunch with friends, reading that long meant to be read book, taking a stroll… but before we rush ahead, we need to find the right person to clean our homes for us. But who? And how?

As, those regular readers will know, there are four types of cleaning service to choose from, so this post is written to encompass them all – some questions will apply to all business models some questions will not, use your ‘noggin on that.

Where to find a cleaner or cleaning service

  • By word of mouth – who does your friend use to clean their home? Who does your colleague use? Ask around, hear some reviews.
  • Local publications – Local sole traders and businesses tend to advertise in local press and magazines
  • The internet – Type in different search words like “cleaners in Telford” or “Domestic Cleaners in Telford” to find what you are looking for – please note that the top three results in the yellow area are paid for placings
  • By leaflet Drop – Leaflet dropping is very popular for cleaning businesses, even in this high tech age. When calling from a leaflet make sure it has actual details about the actual business and is in fact a real, registered business and not just somebody looking to make a quick buck.

Things you need to know about you cleaning Service

  • Are they insured? – What are they insured for, what does it cover? What is the value of their insurance? What is the excess on the insurance and who would be responsible for that in the event of a claim?
  • How do they vet their cleaners? – How are the employees or subcontractors referenced? Where did they recruit them? How much of the cleaners back ground do they check?
  • How do they train their cleaners? – Do they have a training process? Do they give any training?
  • How do they quality check the cleaning work? How do they ensure your cleaner is working the correct times and/or delivering the correct standard?
  • Who can I call if I have a problem or issue?
  • What do I do if I am not happy with my clean?

Things you need to know about your cleaner

  • How long have they worked for the business/franchise/agent/themselves?
  • How many other houses do they clean?
  • Do they have references and recommendations?
  • What training have they had?

Each area can go more in depth and I will be writing future blog posts on interview questions to ask a cleaner/business owner but for now you are armed and ready to find that domestic cleaning fairy to serve you and your home.

If you have any thoughts or questions I would love to hear them.

Thanks for reading – Mrs Mopp x

NEXT WEEK: The Guilt Of Employing A Cleaner In Your Home

 

 

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