13+ Things Your Housecleaner Won’t Tell You

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1. Don’t ask me to clean your five-bedroom house and then say you need it done in two hours.

1. Don’t ask me to clean your five-bedroom house and then say you need it done in two hours. iStock/James Brey
Make sure you give me enough time to clean everything properly.

2. Make sure you have all the cleaning products I will need.

2. Make sure you have all the cleaning products I will need. iStock/djedzura
Sometimes I show up and my clients have nothing for me to use. You know best what kind of cleaners you want used in your home; some people want only organic cleaners, some are picky about brands, and others have allergies.

3. Don’t forget that I need equipment!

3. Don’t forget that I need equipment! iStock/Jovanmandic
One of my bosses kept forgetting to get me a mop so I had to wash her floors on my hands and knees with a cloth. For weeks she did this. It’s really inconsiderate.

4. Please do not ask me to sew on buttons...

4. Please do not ask me to sew on buttons...iStock/esolla
clean the wheels of your bike, scrub out your mailbox, or pull out the refrigerator in order to clean behind it.

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5. It’s helpful if you soak dirty pans so that I can clean them more easily when I get there.

5. It’s helpful if you soak dirty pans so that I can clean them more easily when I get there. iStock/belchonock

6. If your house is a disorganized mess it makes it harder for me to clean.

6. If your house is a disorganized mess it makes it harder for me to clean. iStock/AG-ChapelHill
Please pick up toys, piles of papers, and clutter from surfaces so that I can actually get to them.

7. It makes me crazy when I’ve just cleaned a floor and my employer walks all over it in dirty shoes.

7. It makes me crazy when I’ve just cleaned a floor and my employer walks all over it in dirty shoes.iStock/rmarnold

8. I need reasonable notice if you are going to move or stop hiring me.

8. I need reasonable notice if you are going to move or stop hiring me. iStock/vtwinpixel
Too many clients don’t think to tell me until the week they’re moving. A month’s notice would be nice. You give your landlord a month’s notice. Please do me the same courtesy.

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9. I really love to look at the books people have and the food they keep in their refrigerators.

9. I really love to look at the books people have and the food they keep in their refrigerators. iStock/peshkov
Sometimes I can’t help reading something for 10 minutes. But I always make up the time by staying 10 minutes late or working faster.

10. Tiny kindnesses mean a lot.

10. Tiny kindnesses mean a lot. iStock/druvo
One time a client left me a gift from a trip abroad, which delighted me. Those small appreciations keep me honest.

11. It’s a huge relief when clients allow me to take my child with me to work.

11. It’s a huge relief when clients allow me to take my child with me to work. iStock/RyanJLane
Sometimes I just can’t find a sitter but I still need the money.

12.Please write a list of the things you would like me to do, as well as giving me verbal instructions, to ensure I don’t forget anything.

12.Please write a list of the things you would like me to do, as well as giving me verbal instructions, to ensure I don’t forget anything. iStock/megaflopp

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13. Be nice to me.

13. Be nice to me. iStock/SolStock
I do a better job when I am happy and feel appreciated.

14. It’s the little things that make people happy.

14. It’s the little things that make people happy.iStock/kenneth-cheung
That’s why we make the little triangle at the end of the toilet paper roll. You guys love that.

15. Just because someone looks polished on the outside doesn’t mean their home is spotless.

15. Just because someone looks polished on the outside doesn’t mean their home is spotless. iStock/Susan Chiang
One lady I cleaned for, a divorce attorney, always looked great, and she had a beautiful house in a gated community, but inside it was the filthiest, nastiest place in the world. It was like a hoarder hut, filled with junk.

16. Do you want to keep working after you get home?

16. Do you want to keep working after you get home? iStock/diego_cervo
Neither do we. Some of us actually hire someone else to clean our homes.

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17. Please, trust me.

17. Please, trust me. iStock/petek arici
You hire an AC guy and take his advice, you hire a plumber and do what he says, but I come in and you think you know more about how to clean than I do.

18. Please say thank you, even if it’s just on a Post-it.

18. Please say thank you, even if it’s just on a Post-it. iStock/imageegami
Or if you really like me, leave something small every once in a while, like a $5 gift card to McDonald’s. If I feel like someone appreciates me, I really go the extra mile.

19. Be wary if I give you my price over the phone.

19. Be wary if I give you my price over the phone. iStock/shapecharge
Reputable cleaners come to your home and give you a free estimate.

20. Letting us work “by the job” sometimes means you get less for your money.

20. Letting us work “by the job” sometimes means you get less for your money. iStock/Milak
It can be more cost effective to pay me an hourly rate, especially once your home is in a maintenance mode.

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21. Training?

21. Training? iStock/Casara
What training? In this economy, a lot of people are turning to housecleaning to pay the bills. I clean my own house so I think I know how to clean.

22. Think our insurance will cover you?

22. Think our insurance will cover you? iStock/Casarsa
Hmm, maybe not. Insurance companies expect us to be trained professionals, so if we use the wrong product on your expensive furnishings, the insurance company might deny the claim.

23. Come home unexpectedly every once in a while and see what we’re doing.

23. Come home unexpectedly every once in a while and see what we’re doing. iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
Good housecleaners won’t watch your TV, talk on the phone, or eat on your bed.

25. I know more than you think.

25. I know more than you think. iStock/Dean Mitchell
I see the piles of bills marked “past due” and know you’re having money problems. I find drugs and condom wrappers in kids’ bedrooms. And I can tell who’s unfaithful because the cheaters always start hiding laundry.

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26. I had one client who would clean his house before I would even show up!

26. I had one client who would clean his house before I would even show up!iStock/JaniceRichard
It just made my job harder, because I had to try to figure out what was clean and what was dirty. Sources: House cleaners in Louisiana, New York, Vermont, Washington, and London.

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