How to be a Recycling Superhero

How to be a Recycling Superhero

Cleaning Articles & Guides Cleaning tips

Are you the recycling Superhero your house? Do you ferret around in the bins tutting and separating paper and plastics that the rest of your family have thrown away without a thought?

Recycling rates have been increasing in the last few years but rates have dropped despite stringent EU targets to recycle 50% of all household waste by 2020. There are many thoughts on why this might be but a big factor seems to be confusion!

Most of us have to sort our rubbish into four or five different bins, but in Newcastle-under-Lyme  there are nine bins for every home – are they kidding!

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How Do I Choose the Right Cleaning Service?

How Do I Choose the Right Cleaning Service?

Cleaning Articles & Guides

I’ve been in the cleaning business for many years and I know people can be confused about the various options for finding a cleaner. So what are the pros and cons and how do you choose the cleaning service that is right for you and your home?

I’ve been in the cleaning business for many years and I know people can be confused about the various options for finding a cleaner. So what are the pros and cons and how do you choose the cleaning service that is right for you and your home?

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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?

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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

 

 

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

 

Ten Top Cleaning Tips & Life Hacks | Mrs Mopp UK

Ten Top Cleaning Tips & Life Hacks | Mrs Mopp UK

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

Love Cleaning Tips?

Here at Mrs Mopp, not only do we clean houses to the highest standards, we also like to try out and test cleaning tips and advice we find on blogs, to see what works. You can catch our regular cleaning tips by searching online for the hashtag #CleaningTips or you can check out our pages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram which have daily cleaning tips and other cleaning wonderful-ness.

Please see below for a collection of our latest cleaning tips, designed to help save you time and money in your home.

Do you have a great cleaning tips of your own that you want share with the world? Contact us here and we will give you full credit if we make it a picture tip. You can also tag MrsMoppUK in your cleaning tips on Instagram and Facebook. Help us to make the world a cleaner place.

 

We hope you have enjoyed the first instalment of Mrs Mopp Cleaning Tips. Please check back regularly for more cleaning tips or check us out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for daily #CleaningTips

Want to submit your own cleaning tip for all the world to see? Please contact Mrs Mopp here and leave your cleaning tips and full name/social media name, so that we may give you full credit if we turn it into a picture tip.

Thanks for reading,

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

 

 

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

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

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