38 Things Your Housecleaner Secretly Wants You to Know

From their favorite types of clients to your most annoying habits, house cleaners confess what they're really thinking (but won't say to your face!)

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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.

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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.

5. It’s helpful if you soak dirty pans.

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

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.

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7. It makes me crazy when...

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

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.

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

21. Training?

21. Training? iStock/Casarsa
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.

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22. Think our insurance will cover you?

22. Think our insurance will cover you? iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
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/Dean Mitchell
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/JaniceRichard
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/limpido
It just made my job harder, because I had to try to figure out what was clean and what was dirty.

26. My best clients are people who work for their money, like teachers, bartenders, and cops.

26. My best clients are people who work for their money, like teachers, bartenders, and cops.iStock/Juanmonino
Rich people think they're doing you a favor by allowing you to scrub their toilets. Working people understand you are doing them a service by making their lives easier.

27. I wish you wouldn't insist on bleach and other harsh cleaners.

27. I wish you wouldn't insist on bleach and other harsh cleaners.iStock/YekoPhotoStudio
For almost every situation, there's an eco-friendly option that's just as effective.

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28. After I leave, check the base of the toilet and the top of the fridge.

28. After I leave, check the base of the toilet and the top of the fridge.iStock/Manuel Faba Ortega
If they're clean, you know I'm thorough.

29. Many cleaning companies do not run any sort of background check or even check references.

29. Many cleaning companies do not run any sort of background check or even check references.iStock/sturti
I answered an ad, I was on time and presentable, and I was willing to take the job. That is all most companies care about.

30. Even though I smile and act interested, don't use me as your therapist, gossip buddy, or friend.

30. Even though I smile and act interested, don't use me as your therapist, gossip buddy, or friend.iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
Frankly, most of us have a lot less than you, and we can't fathom why you're complaining. Plus, you slow me down.

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31. Want to save money on high-priced maid services?

31. Want to save money on high-priced maid services?
Instead of booking a regular appointment, ask to be on our on-call list to fill last-minute slots at a discount. Or see if you can be a "training home" for new cleaners.

32. If you use a service instead of an individual, ask for the same people every time.

32. If you use a service instead of an individual, ask for the same people every time.iStock/JackF
Your cleanings will be more consistent, with fewer strangers in your home.

33. When using a new maid service, leave a few dollars hanging out of a pants pocket or lying on the counter.

33. When using a new maid service, leave a few dollars hanging out of a pants pocket or lying on the counter.iStock/NRedmond
If we take a dollar or two, you'll know we're probably going to take other things.

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34. Make sure we're bonded and have liability insurance.

34. Make sure we're bonded and have liability insurance.iStock/djedzura
Otherwise, you're on the hook if we break something or get hurt on the job.

35. Pick your clothes up off the floor, get your dishes out of the sink, and clean up your kids' toys.

35. Pick your clothes up off the floor, get your dishes out of the sink, and clean up your kids' toys.iStock/Naphat_Jorjee
Your house will end up a lot cleaner.

36. If you leave your personal life out for us to see, we most definitely will talk about you.

36. If you leave your personal life out for us to see, we most definitely will talk about you.iStock
We may even send pictures to our friends and relatives.

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37. Recommend us to your friends.

37. Recommend us to your friends.iStock/PeopleImages
We may give you $25 to $50 off a cleaning for each referral—if you ask.

38. If you don't have a lot of cash, ask me to come for just one hour.

38. If you don't have a lot of cash, ask me to come for just one hour.iStock/djedzura
I can do just the bathrooms and the kitchen or only the areas guests will see. Sources: Torrey Shannon, former maid service owner in Westcliffe, Colorado; Lynette Haugen, owner of True Blue Maids of Pasadena; Tangela Ekhoff, a housecleaner in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Theresa Peterson, owner of Quality Cleaning "Maid to Order" in Fremont, California; Dee Strickland, owner of A Zing Zap Cleaning Service in Minneola, Florida, house cleaners in Louisiana, New York, Vermont, Washington, and London.

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341 thoughts on “38 Things Your Housecleaner Secretly Wants You to Know

  1. I’m a professional cleaner for Marks Gate Carpet Cleaners Ltd. and I can’t believe what I just read. These examples have nothing to do with the normal cleaners. I don’t know anyone who acts like this with their clients.

  2. This list is SO wrong! I was a house cleaner a few years ago and I did anything the client asked, I mean they are my CUSTOMER. If its reasonable request then do it and get paid. I really do not understand not having your on supplies. Some houses I go to the client would provide supplies, but I would never go to a job expecting them to provide it. I know have Lupus and it is very difficult for my to work and clean my home. So I now hire someone, I do pick up after my self but I do not completely have every surface cleaned off. This apparently makes me “lazy” and my cleaner thinks I’m inconsiderate?

    When did house cleaning become the kind of job people think are luxury? Breaks? Kids with you on the job? Gifts? Complaining about your employer? You are a house cleaner come on! You are not your own boss, so don’t act like it. Whichever house your cleaning the person who hired you is your boss. Nobody’s boss at any job tries to make the job easier for them. Get real! This article is disgusting.

  3. Am I wrong in thinking the house cleaner should have her own supplies? I get it if you specifically want to use a certain brand or whatever, but the other stuff?

  4. This is a job, I would not expect or want someone to bring their kids along when they are cleaning a house. Not anymore than I would expect a grocery clerk to have her kid hanging off her leg while she is trying to ring up my groceries. Get real, people.

  5. Oy. After reading this, I’ll just keep cleaning my own house, thank you very much.

  6. On #3
    Wow what would be inconsiderate is the fact that the housekeeper is thinking her client is incosiderate for not purchasing a mop. Seriously? But Ive understood that the cost for cleaning supplies/equipment falls under the amount of the entire services provided. Heres your invioce for my services and that can be taken care of by cash, check or charge, thank you!

  7. Ok commenting on #2 First a real professional cleaner would ask a prospect client or active client ect. If they have a preference of cleaning chemicals or I am able to provide cleaning slotions as well let client know what the pro cleaner uses and so on. And this conversation should take place before the initial cleaning of the clients home not once the professional arrives to clean. I myself would have let the housekeeper know that I appreciate them for making the trip to my home but im seeking something a bit different and I apologize but thank you anyway. For a professional to show up for cleaning unprepared is unprofessional. And professionalism is what clients expect.

  8. wow, cleaning ladies sure are demanding these days, isn’t it the client who should be pampered and not the service provider? no wonder there are so many unemployed people in society today, everybody seems to have an inflated opinion of themselves. I would never make demands of my employer and expect them to kiss my butt, quite the opposite, I believe I’m the one who should be bending over backwards for my employer, and if I were self employed like many cleaning people, I’d be going the extra mile all the time for my clients as a way of saying thanks for giving me your business. Unbelievable attitude from a cleaning person who clearly thinks someone should roll out the red carpet for them. Get over yourselves, none of us get appreciation in the workplace and if you think a home owner should organize the house or soak pots or pick up toys before you come to clean then you clearly have no idea what being a service provider is all about.

  9. “2. Make sure you have all the cleaning products I will need.” No, I pay you to clean my house. YOU bring the products.

    “9. I really love to look at the books people have and the food they keep in their refrigerators.” Sounds like I need a new housekeeper. Your job is to clean, not covet my belongings. Also, I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t beg me for my “old things”. Those go to the very poor who have NO JOB. You know what a job is, like house cleaning? Don’t like it? Go to school like I did, while holding down 3 jobs simultaneously so I could afford to pay my own tuition. If I start giving you my discards, you will look at every belonging I currently own now as “potential ups for grabs”.

    “5. It’s helpful if you soak dirty pans so that I can clean them more easily when I get there.” Great idea! Sounds like I won’t be needing you anymore, considering how easy this job is becoming.

    “7. It makes me crazy when I’ve just cleaned a floor and my employer walks all over it in dirty shoes.” It’s my house. I can walk on the wet floor if I want.

  10. I couldn’t disagree more with most of these “things” your house cleaner won’t tell you. You can tell whoever wrote this is probably an under the table type of house cleaner who works for themselves. Who muddles through their clients property to read an interesting book and then stay longer in their home than necessary and back it up with – I can work faster? If you can work faster, save your client time/money and move to the next client, why would you sit there reading their book??? Baffling article altogether, but a few points in case anyone’s interested…

    I applaud you greatly, because making a living for yourself, no matter how it’s done is hard work and a huge risk.

    Also, I run my own cleaning business (366 Cleaning Services, in Winchester, VA) and most of these things I would openly discuss with my clients or simply won’t allow (reading the client’s books on the job sounds completely insane to me). I ask my clients what they want, not what I think I want to do to their house. If they want me to scrub three day old plates and pick up the kid’s toys before I start cleaning then I do, and I inform them of the cost impact. If it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon type of thing, then the customer appreciates your understanding because they were probably too busy. If the habit continues and your cost aren’t covered, then be open with your client).

    I also don’t get why you ask the client to write down AND tell you the things they want done…why can’t you ask them once and write it down yourself so not to inconvenience your client? You could/should even provide a copy to the client so they know exactly what services to expect.

    BE NICE TO ME??? You even said it in your “article” I’m not the maid, I’m a cleaner. The client shouldn’t be impacted by your presence in their home to begin with, so asking them for gifts and a rosy attitude makes this writer/cleaner seem whiney and like they’re begging. I too want each of my employees to always have a cheerful, pleasant attitude with the client, regardless of the client’s attitude; but this doesn’t mean we require our client’s to give gifts and motivate my employees with a good attitude.

    I stopped reading because this comment post was going to take me too long and I was going to get too upset. Feel free to comment, but there’s a good chance I’ll never come back here to read it. If you want QUALITY cleaning and wish to respect the fact people should be paying taxes, then hire a good local company and not just an off-the-record or under the table laborer.

    Oh…and no jewelry while you clean – too much a risk for everyone – scratched surfaces, lost gems/stones, chemical damage, etc…

  11. Two criticisms of this article. About cleaners taking notice of personal items around the house, i.e., condoms, knowing when someone is cheating, this is not a cleaner’s business, to want to know another one’s personal business. So why Reader’s Disgest would want to publish that statement, only creates negative opinion against a cleaner, and who would want to hire one then? As a cleaner, I’m repulsed other cleaners would speak about that, or could that have been Reader’s Disgest added opinion? Trash is trash, stuff is stuff, and a good cleaner works hard to do a good job, yet at the same time, doesn’t want to spend all day in a client’s home noticing their stuff. I’m sorry folks, but your personal life isn’t all that interesting even if you are cheating or whatever. And it is none of our business on our client’s family and personal life. Also, as a cleaner, I use knee pads to clean most floors, because mops are dirty, mites enjoy living in them. With knee pads, I’m seeing the dirt to remove off the floor, I’m as closest to the dirt and cobwebs and fleas too, to clean a floor well, baseboards, etc. What a cleaner won’t tell you is if your home has fleas.

  12. What’s funny is that many people truly don’t recognize the difference between a “Maid” and a “House Cleaner”. Good thing,cause in August 2012, 4 weeks after a dental extraction under General & local anesthesia, well.. I had a stroke. Was 4 months after my Daughter was born. Sadly.. i haven’t been able to move around ,like I once had and doing so much better currently & using my left side again with speaking ect, yet I am tried. It’s over whelming for my Husband.
    And our children, which they are great helper’s…to a point..(Busy themselves with sports, after school stuff ect), yet I’m just not able to do things anymore and unable to be around certain chemicals either, which all of my homes have always sparkled & have been completely clean,organized and sanitized.

    This is good for me to know.. To be honest..Truly.. I didn’t understand the difference either, until recently actually..More so when we began looking into Cleaning Company’s to help during the day with cleaning/sanitizing ect.
    Cause it’s basically all the same to me… Just like many not knowing the difference between a Lawyer and Attorney..Lol. for me was solely the same..You’re Cleaning & Organizing around a person’s home.
    Year’s ago, I just would do both and be happy I was being paid. reasonably for helping others and myself financially.
    Are some limits though with some homes,I guess?! Some could over do it with taking advantage and equal exchange should apply then.

    Wow.. Stink’s…Guess I’ve been jipped out of extra money all those years?!..LOL.. I used to clean several days a week, in between a Serving/Bar job ,while I attend College and raised a Family ( 3 kids) with my 1st Husband, as I’m now 35 and happily Re-married with 4 munchkin’s. :)
    At that time I had more energy too.. would clean my parent’s house, as well as several friends and even our regular customer’s that came into work hired me.. Which was nice for extra money.
    Just think some of the comments from this article make me not wanna hire a House Cleaner, yet I hope we find a good one. Cause I need the help soon.
    Believe those little gifts are thoughtful & should be given for showing appreciation…when you have good Employer. Yet I don’t believe this should be expected.
    Common courteously for other’s,which many forget should always be given.

  13. What a bizarre list, no wonder I have replaced several “house cleaners”. I don’t expect gifts for doing my job and I don’t look at your bills. The only time I look in your refrigerator is when I am cleaning it and I don’t presume to guess if you are being unfaithful. I do a free initial consultation with you before beginning your house, tell you what I do and don’t do and after the first cleaning I do a walk through to see if that was what was anticipated.I quote a price before the job begins because I will know in the consultation how long it will take me based on what is being asked of me to do. I am professional and I expect my clients to be as well. We have a business partnership based on trust and mutual respect.I have a full list of happy clients and we work very well together.

  14. Not to mention, if you hand me an old tooth brush to “clean the grout around the toilet,” then I’m likely to shove it down your throat. I’m your cleaning lady not your servant, and my name isn’t Cinderella. If you want it that clean, then you can get on your hands and knees and do it yourself.

  15. Are you kidding me? If I wanted to do all of this, why would I need to hire house cleaners? Sheesh.

  16. These “What your X-er won’t tell you” articles always seem to amount to “If you hire me to X, don’t expect me to X and like it.”

  17. “One time a client left me a gift from a trip abroad, which delighted me. Those small appreciations keep me honest.”

    So you’re admitting you’re NOT honest to begin with. Too bad you don’t have a conscience.

  18. While some housecleaners prefer the client supply the cleaners and equipment, not all do. That is something that should be discussed between the individual cleaner and homeowner. I have used cleaners who preferred to bring their own cleaning products, either because of their own sensitivities to certain chemicals, or because they had certain products they knew worked well and preferred to use.

  19. I had a Mexican gal take care of my home for years when I lived in So Ca. She had a key to my house and I trusted her implicitly. I am very neat, made my own bed and changed linens; never left messes. She kept my house spotless and I was very good to her. I paid her well, and she was free to make herself lunch. She would leave a note if she was running out of supplies. When I decided to relocate to the east coast, I thought it very unreasonable that she wouldn’t leave her husband and family to be my housekeeper…. :~} :~} Wish I had her around now!

  20. I own a house cleaning company and I have heard every one of the comments and for the most part I agree with the house cleaner. However, you are in a service industry so if you want to make money it is necessary to give a client the service they desire. I charge by the hour so if they choose not to de-clutter then it just takes long and they have to pay for that. Simple.

  21. Never allow your housekeeper or other service provider to bring their child to work at your house. If the child is injured you’re likely to be liable.

  22. “Those small appreciations keep me honest.” Really? You need to be rewarded for your honesty?

  23. Number 9:

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

    um, looks like you’re in the wrong profession. I’ve left a few comments here complaining about the housekeepers here. FYI I myself did a gig of housekeeping my self for a month- and there are just things a housekeeper must NOT do: Help themselves to what’s in the fridge, nose around in someone else’ home, or take things from the candy jar. They are there to CLEAN- not read books or grab someone else food from fridge- I’m a WORKER not a guest. Maids/housekeepers should bring their OWN supplies, NOT help themselves to “extra” rolls of TP/paper towels (the homeowner is not your personal Sams Club) nor shall they covet items the homeowner is about to throw out or donate. Once you start handing down used items to your housekeepers, they start eyeing every item in your home hoping they’ll have it themselves someday. My mother “handed down” a very valuable item to her housekeeper while my mom was recovering from surgery (pain drugs muddled her mind) and the maid didn’t hesitate to snatch it out of mother’s hands. They also “lost” some items my sister was keeping in an old chest of drawers that cannot be replaced. We caught them helping themselves to more items in the home later.

  24. “make sure you have all the cleaning products I need” Excuse me?? Housekeepers should bring their OWN cleaning supplies, not use my own, nor “supplement” their family’s supply of paper towels/toilet paper rolls/Comet by purloining my “extra” supplies from my closet by them hiding these items in the outbound trash. I always wondered why they took the “garbage” out to the car, then noticed my supplies were running low and I wasn’t using them.

  25. I have a very large home and treat everyone who works here like gold. Most of the people have been with me for over 10 years. However, I have had some very unpleasant experiences. I thought one housekeeper was having some bathroom issues as she seemed to be in a bathroom every time I walked by. I later realized she was in there texting away. Now I ask that new housekeepers leave their phones in the kitchen and tell them they are free to give out home phone in the event of an emergency. Beware of agencies. I paid a $5700 fee for a one month guarantee. The woman was fabulous for the first month and then a week after that turned into a disaster. I had to let her go. I still wonder if she and the agency had some sort of “agreement”. I have found movie stubs in sweaters from movies I have never seen. I find that my friends who are tougher and asked to be called “Mrs” (I am 48) don’t seem to have the same issues with being taken advantage of, theft, etc. I would advise everyone to keep documents, valuables and medication locked up. And when someone shows up with a pocketbook that you could not carry on to a plane it is a pretty big red flag. Investing in a reputable PI to run a security check is worth it. There are some amazing people out there, but sadly, as nice as you are, there are some people who feel it is ok to help themselves because someone has more than they do.

  26. The attached list to this article should “put up some red flags” for anybody looking for someone to clean their home!!
    Just gives me more of a reason why I would never hire a maid, furthermore, when I clean house I want it all cleaned “not this pick nicking, half-azz bull chit besides, how do I know that they aren’t using filthy rags cleaning the toilet on my kitchen counters?
    No thank you, I’ll save myself the trouble, aggravation and worry about trusting any of these people in my home and this article has just confirmed it!!

  27. “I can tell who’s unfaithful because the cheaters always start hiding laundry” What??
    What the heck does this mean?

  28. It is my understanding that if I hire a house cleaner the IRS may consider them an employee and I have to pay employment taxes. If they are an independent contractor, then I do not. One of the ways of establishing independent contractor status is that the cleaner brings supplies and equipment. So when I have been able to have a cleaner that has been the arrangement. As for cleaning product preferences, most cleaners will accommodate reasonable requests and bring those products (green, unscented, etc.) Oh, I do so miss having someone to clean my house – even once in a while – what a treat. (Esp. when I was working 60 hour weeks).

  29. #6 of 25 Again, What???? U want to come to work, and get paid, but do nothing??? Fk U get to work!!

  30. What???? U want to come to work, and get paid, but do nothing??? Fk U get to work!!

  31. I get if the client wants to use specialized cleaners. But shouldn’t someone working as a housecleaner have their own mop?

    1. I would suggest you supply items….you never know about the house they cleaned before yours…fleas, bedbugs…..If you supply your own rags and mops (Bona is the best), you know you are in control of what is brought into your home.

  32. #11 is unacceptable. I have heard of more than one instance when a house cleaner brought a child to her employer’s home and then sued same when the child was hurt at the home. I used to have a house cleaner who also worked as a daycare provider. On occasion, she wanted to bring her charges to my home when she was cleaning, but I nixed that idea. I’ve never heard of other workers bringing their children to work.

  33. we used to do a depressed lady and her 3 xlarge dogs,well the dogs used to use her bed as a toilet and she would just throw a clean comforter on top of mess,please people dont let your house become like that and then expect everything to smell like roses when you return.once in a while messes happen, thats cool thats life, but dont be a complete slob.

  34. If your supply chemicals and equipment, you are considered an employer and must pay all taxes. If the cleaner supplies their own equipment, they are considered subcontractors and receive a flat rate and pay their own taxes to the government.

  35. “keep me honest”? whaaat kind of house cleaners are these? and a $5 gc to mc donalds?? Gross unhealthy junk food??…..real house cleaners did not write this.

  36. Um, first off, you should have a consultation with your clients before going to clean their house. That way you know what type of products they want used, you know how large the place is, and you can properly estimate how long it will take.

    I’m also unaware of any cleaning services that require the client to provide the cleaning supplies OR the equipment. When I was cleaning houses, we provided ALL of our own supplies and equipment.

    Washing a floor on your hands and knees? At least I know it’s getting a better job than you quick-mopping it, which mops are really nasty and dirty things anyway.

    Agree with number 4. I’m a house cleaner, not a service or repairman.

    Actually, dishes is one thing we didn’t do where I worked. If we did, we would have had to charge an extra hour at the least for some of the houses we cleaned.

    I agree with number 6. Yes, I am here to clean your house, but I’m not here to pick up after your entire family. Cleaning the house means, and not in this exact order, making sure beds are made, bathrooms are spotless and shiny, vacuum has been run on all carpet, hardwoods have been properly taken care of, everything has been dusted, pet hair has been as removed as possible.

    Number 7? Get over it. You’ll be back next week or the week after, or possibly next month to take care of it again. It IS their house, if they want to make it dirty, let them. It just means that you stay employed.

    Notice is not required, but is a nicety. 2 weeks, just like a regular employee would give their employer.

    Checking out a title or two while dusting the bookshelf, not a problem. Actually reading one of the books? Problem. Doesn’t matter if you make up the time or not. Your time should already be taken up by the next appointment, or getting your cleaning supplies, or cleaning your cleaning gear.

    If the person whose house you are cleaning keeps you honest by buying you small things from their trips, maybe you shouldn’t be given access to their houses while they aren’t there.

    Completely agree with number 12, but then again, that should be discussed in the original customer consultation.

    Number 13 goes into EVERY profession, or at least it should.

  37. I always chuckle to myself at able bodied people who refuse to clean their own homes. They say it’s “too much.” Come on. Most people I hear saying they are unable to clean their own house are stay at home mothers that miraculously find time to talk on the phone, go jogging with friends, watch their favorite shows, drink, etc.

    1. If you can afford it, why not spend the time doing more useful things. I pay a college student to clean for me, as I am always cleaning for others. I pay someone to mow my lawn, that isn’t unheard of. No one gets odd comments because they hire someone to mow.

  38. This whole article could have been boiled down to one simple tip: “Do half the work before I get there.”

    1. I didn’t see that. I just saw to not have clutter all over the things that need to be cleaned and to not expect moving a refridgerator or cleaning inside of a mailbox.

  39. Come on. I have hired cleaning ladies and they were happy to pick up stuffs and organize things. That’s why I need house cleaners regularly. If you had clients who cleans before you come, you were extremely lucky! I can’t believe some of cleaners expect that. Of course I pay per hour.

  40. No, we do not like the toilet paper triangles. That is a silly waste of time. Spend the time cleaning instead.

  41. learn to clean it yourselves, you lazy, classist, ‘superior’, cracker bastards.

    1. So I guess paying someone $20-$25 an hour who is looking for work is classist? Shame on us for employing them, and shame on them for trying to earn a living. You are the “classist”, as you attach a stigma to certain ways to earn a living.

  42. You make up the ten minutes by working faster? Sheesh! Your work ethic doesn’t require you to work to y our capacity all the time? This “house cleaner” makes it all about her! It’s a JOB for which I am paying you! Time for another housecleaner who ISN’T this gal!

      1. I never took breaks, except to commute from one house to the next.

        1. It’s up to you. See, you have the choice of taking breaks or not. I used to clean 2 or 3 small houses per day. It left no time for breaks except maybe a glass of water in the middle. Now I clean one large home per day and some homes twice a week, as I have been with the families for years. All day long at a house and you will take breaks.

  43. I saw an ad for a housekeeper on tv. The first thing she did was clean the toilet, and then she went in the kitchen to handle dishes, and then she went to the bedroom to put clean sheets on the bed. Do you really want somebody handling your dishes and putting clean sheets on your bed, after cleaning a toilet? I would never let anybody handle my dishes, and make my bed, but me. I have an older sister that this would not bother, as long as she didn’t have to do it, but it would bother me. Cleaning a toilet should be the last thing you do, not the first.

  44. Have had my cleaning ladies many years and most of their clients come from my referrals but their work is getting worse and worse. They have replaced mop buckets with spray bottles and suggested I pay extra to get bathroom floors clean, will not empty clean dishwasher and always leave a few dirty glasses in my sink, dusty mantle, etc. I’ve reminded them time and again to wipe greasy prints off cabinet doors (not all cabinets, just when needed.), dust blinds and fan blades. They rush through the job and never bother to comment on the double pay at Xmas. I always spend hours picking up before they come. no clothes, toys to pick up. I pay $80 for 11/2 bedrooms, two women, two hours. Cleaners, tips on how to find someone who will do the job?

    1. There is no excuse for a dusty mantle, fingerprints on cupboards or non-clean bathroom floors. Some cleaners don’t deal with dishes, washing or putting away, though I do. Some new floor cleaners work better and are a squirt bottle and a mop, usually microfiber. Ceiling fans and blinds are part of a spring cleaning, if you want them done every time, it will be extra, as well as baseboards that aren’t in the kitchen or bathroom. $80 is pretty low, on average. A corporation like Merry Maids would charge 3x more. When you call, make sure you state what you need done and what bothers you.

    2. I’m sorry to hear that their service has been slacking. The best thing to do is write down a list of what you expect a cleaning person to do. The next step is to take that list to the various cleaning companies in your area and speak with them about your needs and what it would cost/how much time it would take and how often. Then choose the one that you think will do the best job. If you’re completely concerned, you could have one company clean this week and then have another company come for your next appointment.

      To me the pre-cleaning consultation is the most important point here. It lets the cleaning company know what you expect up front, and it lets you know what they will and won’t do as well as how much it costs. You could even get to meet some of the employees possibly and have an even better idea of whether or not you want to follow up with that company.

    3. Sorry, meant to add this in my other post. I much prefer to use a squirt bottle and rag and get on my hands and knees to clean a floor than use a bacteria-absorbing mop. Instead I get a bunch of cloth diapers and go to town. When one gets too dirty, throw it in the dirty pile and grab a clean one. Yeah, it means I have to do an extra load or two of laundry each week, but I know that your floor is much cleaner than it would be if I used a mop or a swiffer.

      Also, we never did dishes. As people have stated, that is a lot of time that can be used to make the house itself, and not just the kitchen, clean. But then again, I can’t remember any clients asking us to do the dishes.

  45. what a crock. if i pay you to clean my house, be grateful. PERIOD. nothing else, get it?

    1. I would leave it where it was and not say anything, It is none of my business. I have found clients growing a small pot farm in a walk in closet. I just didn;t go in again after the first time I opened the door.

  46. I believe these are the facts: If you hire a house cleaner and they bring their own supplies and equipment, and they have their own agenda of work that they do, in other words, not directed by you, you do not have to pay employment taxes for them, social security, etc. However, if someone comes to your house to work, uses your equipment, your cleaning supplies, and you tell them what work you want done, they are your domestic employee and you must pay soc. sec., fed. taxes, etc., if they work a minimum number of hours per quarter, and it is a low number. I read many of these posts and I didn’t read any that mention this very important fact. Unless the laws have changed in the last year or so, this is probably correct.

    1. No, it doesn’t matter who provides the supplies in regard to taxes. ‘it is always better to provide the supplies, it keeps my prices low.

  47. OK, I am a housekeeper and have been for 18 years. While I do check out a book on occasion, I also try to do my job the best I can. It is how I pay my bills, not how I earn extra money. I really does help when folks have the toys, etc. picked up. The more time we are moving clutter, the less time we have for real cleaning. I have been asked to sew on buttons and take pets for their walk. I don’t mind, however when I am doing other chores, other things are not getting done. It is always really nice when my clients offer a glass of wine, or other form of a “thank-you”. it is not ever expected but always appreciated. We are people too.

    1. I’m not offering anybody any alcoholic beverages. I always let them know they can certainly have something cool to drink if they need it. Almost everyone I’ve ever hired who stayed several hours or through a meal time brought their own drink and even brought their own lunch, if they wanted to eat. I didn’t tell them to, it was just how they liked to do it. It was a good plan, because I couldn’t be responsible for being sure there were drinks and food in the house for the house cleaner. Anyway, they were hired to take care of us, not vice versa. When you go to work in an office, the boss usually doesn’t provide a glass of wine or coke and a meal. You are to get that on your own time and dime. And would you go into your boss’s office and plunder through his drawers and shelves? I’m guessing no.

      I thought the nice fat paycheck was your thank you. Seems that’s not enough?

      1. I think you are totally correct here… Some of these folks think they are entitled to something more than an honest day’s pay for good work. I made a comment on this article a while ago where I said I don’t expect my boss to have a hot cup of coffee or the morning paper sitting at my desk before I get into the office each day… Funny how you made a similar reference above! We’re not the ones with the warped expectations here, that is for sure.

        1. No coffee either? Clients often offer me coffee if I arrive early in the morning or tell me where the coffee is and say to make some if I would like. You haven’t had many cleaners or you have and they don’t like you.

    2. I don’t know what world you live in (and no, I don’t have professional cleaners), but if I hired you and you took or borrowed something of mine without asking me you would be terminated immediately. I don’t even think my best friend would do that… Maybe a jerk relative or son or daughter who is too young to know any better, but certainly not someone who I have hired. Who do you think you are to just help yourself to things other people have earned? Unreal…
      And wine? Just how personal do you think this employee-employer relationship is supposed to get?
      I have been in plenty of situations where I have provided a service to someone in their home and I would never have thought to do anything that could possibly harm the trust and responsibility they have entrusted me with by letting me into their home in the first place…

      1. She said ‘check out’ a book as in look at it, not check it out like from a library. Clients usually have bottled water and soda in the fridge for me and on occasion tell me to help myself to a sandwich. It’s common. I wouldn’t eat someone’s food without asking though.

  48. 6 and 9==creepy. My housekeepers used to say I was the best housekeeper they ever had. They always lived in during the week and went back to their homes over the weekends. I always bought them gifts when traveling and on holidays, gave them personal time off with pay, stocked their favorite food and drinks and gave bonuses. On the other hand, I was often out of the country, their primary role was to watch my children and feed them–cleaning an already clean home is not difficult. When I left to move to Europe, my housekeeper cried and wanted me to let her come too… I consoled her with a shopping spree, a new microwave and fridge and washing machine and dryer and 90 days pay. Elena was my favorite. I only employed older moms with no children under the age of 18 (due to her having to live in with us) I was a widow, who worked full time but had 3 small children.

  49. Um, no. I don’t get to take my child to work – why should you? Weird.

    1. There are a lot of things some people get to do on their jobs that you may not also get to do…she gets to have her kids on the job because maybe she has a different employer than you. I got to stay in 4 star hotels, all my lunches and dinners were company paid, my company flew me first class or business and my credit card was limitless. I also could go into work at any time and take off from work as needed. As a consequence of such perks, I normally worked 12-14 hour days, 6 to 7 days a week and seldom vacationed. But I also often did not start my day until around 9:30 or 10 and when I felt like it, my kids stayed in my office and lots of colleagues came in to chat or play with them and give them treats, The main reason some get perks like this and you don’t is because they are not you and their employers let them. Don’t be so quick to want for others the same circumstances that you experience. Instead of pursuing a career based on what you like and feel like doing, pursue a profession which allows you to live the way you wish to. Work to live–don’t live to work.

    2. Because it is my own business and I am going to a home setting. I have only brought my child a few times over the years, but no one minded.

  50. Sorry if we make your job harder by cleaning before you get here. We don’t mean to, we just don’t want you to see our house in such a state! I’ve actually seen people busily washing the cups in the sink just before the cleaning lady arrives.

    1. I think that was an extreme case. There are very, very neat clients- so I focus on the kitchen and bathroom, dusting, floors. Even if a floor looks clean I am going to clean it. I would think it was very, very rare to have no idea of what to clean.

  51. My Aunt is a house cleaner. She loves most of her clients & says everyone is pretty nice. Yes, they like to see her little girl come to work w/ her (she is good, quiet, & not a distraction). My Aunt & daughter often get gifts from clients. She brings her own equipment & cleaning products cause she knows what works & would hate if something happened to a clients vacume. She spends 1-2 hours per house so she takes her break in between jobs (duah!) And her biggest complaint is having to clean people collections of breakables every week, it is time consuming & some of them are quite fragile.

    1. And there you go… Your Aunt doesn’t sound like she thinks she’s entitled to anything besides payment for a job a well done, and because of that ethos, she is awarded so many benefits by her clients who appreciate that. Maybe she should make her own list of 13 things for these other cleaners to follow.

    2. I always tell clients that I am not comfortable, say, dusting their 200 Hummels or Precious Moments. I tell them if one breaks, and one will if you are touching so many of them over and over- that I can’t be responsible. It is up to them, then if they still want me to dust them. I also like it pointed out if the statue on the nightstand is a collector’s edition worth a thousand dollars. I probably would tell them I am not going to handle it then.

  52. These are ridiculous. I own my own small cleaning company and my clients are loyal and appreciate us because we go the extra mile. If their kids room or office is a mess every once and a whole, I’m going to pick everything up for them and clean after. We do out quotes on the phone as well. I am good at my quotes based on the questions I ask on the phone, why waste my time or theirs by going to the home to quote you the same thing that I can over the phone. As for requesting that your clients leave small gifts for you in order to feel appreciated… You have to be kidding me! When you go and get services done, like going to the dentist or getting your hair cut, do you bring them gifts every once and a while? No. Because its their job and you are paying them for the service already! You will get loyal and appreciative clients that will get you the odd Christmas gift or even birthday present and that’s great, but why would you ever expect it? Also, if you are going to be working for yourself by cleaning people’s homes, have the equipment, or at least the products needed for the job! It boggles my mind that this person even has clients to clean for any more, with this attitude.

    1. Ahem.. I actually DO take gifts to my dental hygienists, the techs and the accountant. They are all women, so I take them gifts for baby showers and jewelry and purses for themselves. I do the same for my beautician, and my handymen. Anyone who develops an ongoing relationship with me winds up with gifts. I love to give gifts—especially unexpected ones.

      1. That’s all wonderful and all, and it’s certainly nice of you to do those things, but I think he or she was trying to say that those gifts shouldn’t be “expected” as if they are a part of compensation for services…

  53. 10. Tiny kindnesses mean a lot.

    One time a client left me a gift from a trip abroad, which delighted me. Those small appreciations keep me honest.I certainly have issues with this!!!   You mean paying you is not enough to keep you honest in my home?   You would steal from me and take my pay?   If I did not also give you gifts????   Wow.

     

    1. Im not sure i even believe that anyone actually said that in there real world its my opinion they made that one up to spice up the article!!

      Who in this world would think or say that they need gifts from clients or they will be stealing??  Doesnt ring true its there for the drama!!

  54. After reading some of the comments here, I find it obvious that many people are in the dark about what a house cleaner does. “House Cleaners” (also known as cleaning technicians) are NOT the same as a “housekeeper”.

    If you need someone to come in and pick up clothing and toys, do laundry and wash dishes….you need a “housekeeper”. If you want someone to come in and professionally clean your home, you need a “house cleaner”. You wouldn’t ask your local car wash to pick up weeks of trash from your car prior to washing and vacuuming it…you pick that stuff up before you take it to the car wash. Same thing here.

    1. Interesting point… I didn’t know they were categorized differently but that makes a lot of sense.

  55. “Come home unexpected and see what we’re doing. A respectable cleaner won’t be watching your tv, blah, blah, blah”. But according to a previous slide, it’s OK if they read your books and browse through your fridge (and whatever other personal belongings)…
    Have any of these people ever had a real job? They want a “Thank you” note, and maybe even some gifts or cash? For doing their job? Gimme a break.
    With all the stuff they want and preparing for them to come, it would take less time to do it yourself… But here’s the thing, obviously, people who hire professional cleaners don’t have time for all the prep work and buying all the right cleaning products and tools. That’s why they hired YOU, and pay YOU to do it. DUH. Yeah, it would be super sweet if, before I got to my desk at work, my BOSS, had already stopped by, maybe dusted my desk, watered my plant, scotch guarded my seat, and had even had a nice hot cup of coffee, a newspaper, and a fresh Danish waiting for me, but… That’s not quite how it works in the real world, so get a grip.

  56. Most of these are common sense.  Treat others as you would like to be treated. They are performing a service, but it’s not charity, they owe the owner respect. Some of them, like picking up the toys, should be no big deal, but it may be different with different housekeepers/housecleaners.  As long as the expectations are worked out, if it’s hourly pay, it’s hourly pay. It could be more difficult-or impossible-for your hired help to figure out what to do with other clutter, especially paperwork! 
         I do take exception with one maid comment: … a gift from abroad would keep them honest?  I’d hope that it would be a bonus that might make that person be nicer to work for, but that they’d be honest all the time.

  57. I am finding most of this nonesense! I am a relatively wealthy person from a professional background, i have several properties and other personal wealth but i also have a small cleaning business as i love a clean home and love to provide such for others. We have the most amazing feedback from every client and our clients stay with us for many years, because we provide ‘wow factor’ cleaning we never need advertise and have a waiting list of people hoping for a place with us!  Clients must agree to our rules and policies before we will take them on, one such being that they must vacate the premises to be serviced to ensure a quality service as it is not possible to provise a quality clean in rooms that are in use and that is not rocket science!  We charge ‘per service’ as i always feel hourly rates have no bearing on quality results, we always overdeliver what we promise and extras are also available from a price list! We would not take kindly to a list of jobs a client wanted to include because the implication would be that a deeper clean was being requested for free when in fact it is chargeable but we welcome extras from our list being requested i cannot imagine any of our clients being so impudent as to ask for upgraded cleaning for free and our standard service is always very thorough anyway! We bring all products and materials as clients could not be expected to know what is required plus we use some home remedies and treatments for optimum results! We need to bring clean cloths to ensure they are strerile and a quality vacuum as clients’ ones never suffice. Some of our clients have become lovely friends of ours and we would never disclose their private affairs – how very unprofessional!  As for the suggestion that cleaning staff ‘need a gift’ to stay honest i have never heard of such ridiculous people and if they do exist god help us all!!

    1. Did you know you can end a sentence in something other than an “!”? Or is everything you say that exciting to you? Maybe you should try more of these………..

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  60.  10. Tiny kindnesses mean a lot.

    One time a client left me a gift from a trip abroad, which delighted me. Those small appreciations keep me honest.

    what-the?  No,  that IS NOT what keeps me honest. My integrity keeps me honest! I don’t need gifts in order to keep me from stealing from you or to make me do an amazing job each and every time. How utterly ridiculous. If a ‘real’ housecleaner said that, they should be fired immediately because they’re are making the rest of us ‘genuine’ housecleaners out to be dishonest thieves.. when the reality is we would never,ever need to be bribed to remain honest!

  61. What a bunch of spoiled whiners!  Why not ask your clients to pay you, thank you 1,000 times, give you little gifts, and clean the house for you?

  62. “Come home unexpectedly every once in a while and see what we’re doing.  Good housecleaners won’t watch your TV, talk on the phone, or eat on your bed.”
     
    But you admitted that you read my books and look at what food I have in the fridge.

    1. Right? That’s what I was thinking too! These testimonies are ridiculous.

  63. “Training? 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.”

    Then how come you got so upset when I told you how to clean? You were so uptight about that I figured you were some kind of expert. It’s not like I haven’t cleaned my own house too.

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

    I’ll tell you what, I’ll leave you with a $5 gift card if you leave me with a happy ending. Sheesh.
     

    1. I hardly think you’ll get a quality “Happy Ending” for only 5$… You’d be lucky to get an exposed boob for that.

  65. “Please, trust me. 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.”

    Oh yeah, that degree in cleaning must be awesome. I KNOW that I know more than my cleaning lady about cleaning.  She does know more than my wife does though.

  66. “It’s the little things that make people happy. That’s why we make the little triangle at the end of the toilet paper roll. You guys love that.”

    “You Guys.”  ???   You know what, go back to Mexico.
     

  67. “Be nice to me. I do a better job when I am happy and feel appreciated.”

    Man, these cleaning people sure are sensitive.

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

    That’s nice, you’re fired!

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  70. Gifts from trips abroad keep you honest?  So if they don’t give you those (which are not required for your professional relationship), you will steal from their home?  Sounds like you’re a dishonest person to begin with.

  71. Provide all the cleaning products and equipment? Seriously? Would you provide all of the equipment for the fire fighters who show up to put your house out? What about the carpenter that’s coming to build you some new cabinets? Cleaners should provide their own tools like any other profession.

    Soak the pans for you? Not ask you to clean other things or pull out the fridge so you can clean behind it? Seriously?

    You’re a professional. Why don’t YOU write down what I ask you to clean instead of asking me to write it down. What am I paying you for?

    I’ll tell ya what. Why don’t I just do the cleaning for you and let you stay home. I’m not Obama. I’m cannot afford to pay you to do nothing. You’re fired, you lazy creature.

  72. what if you ground your grandmother up in barley flour so the buzzards would not eat it 

  73. Giving you gifts “keeps you honest?” How about just being honest because you’re being paid to do a job? I don’t steal from my employers because I don’t get gifts. That’s just an entitled, crappy attitude. 

  74. Is the person that wrote this entirely fucking stupid or just and 8 year old girl?

    1. LOL, I am so with you. How can a legitimate house cleaner or just plain adult in a working force write such a ridiculous post!  

    2. LOL, I am so with you. How can a legitimate house cleaner or just plain adult in a working force write such a ridiculous post!  

    3. more than one person is replying to this survey–we are reading the comments of many cleaners.

  75. Tip #10 – ” One time a client left me a gift from a trip abroad, which delighted me. Those small appreciations keep me honest.”

    Seriously?  You need gifts to keep you honest?  If you don’t get surprises then what do you do…rob them blind?  Take items from jewelry boxes to make up for the fact you don’t get gifts?  WOW.

  76. Referring to #10. “Tiny kindnesses mean a lot. One time a client left me a gift from a trip abroad, which delighted me. Those small appreciations keep me honest.” ‘Keep’ you honest? Every individual has the power to ‘keep’ themselves honest without needing an occasional gift to do it; it’s called integrity. You can’t blame a lack of integrity on not getting enough gifts from your employer.

  77. The one thing I noticed missing in all the comments was a little something about the supplies. If you have certain items requiring certain care in order to stay under warranty (like hardwood floors or a special counter-top are two I can think of off the top of my head) you can not use “any ol cleaner” on them. In those cases you should have you own supply & let that & the recommended method be known to the housekeeper.
    Secondly, the thought of a housekeeper bringing a mop, broom or vacuum that she/he just used in “who knows what they have in their house” into mine..eww. I will have my own for them to use..same with rags. I would rather be sure they are using clean supplies. In hotel/motels for instance I have seen the same rags used to clean every room. These things are unsanitary, spreads germs, hairs, bugs etc & not recommended.
    Cleaners in general especially when laundry is included, if you have certain allergies or favor green supplies..maybe the housekeeper has you covered but it is best to & you probably have your own anyway..why not just let her use what you have & prefer?
    I do feel that you should have your home picked up & ready to be cleaned unless you plan on paying more for those services in addition to the actual cleaning. I have been a housekeeper to make ends meet & used a housekeeper as well. I had a couple of good clients but a lot of them were affluent but wanted cheap extensive labor, period. Many were stay at home Moms that just didn’t want to clean & were always home when I was there.
    The absolute worst- A retired guy who had a large indoor bird with ear drum killing screeches, a dog who ate tobacco & was he was a slob to the max, so much so he had rodents & bugs. He wanted me to come every day, had enough work to last 5 hrs plus & include laundry & cooking yet only pay $50/week.
    The 2nd worst- Stay at home Mom who just didn’t want to clean. She allowed the kids & pets to come in to the kitchen, on repeat, usually while the counter & floor were still damp from me cleaning (before I dried it) & walk on the counter (yep animals too), if one took a shower or made a mess where I had already cleaned then I would have to clean it again & again…and check it again before I left & she wasn’t paying extra for any of the extra repeat work! 
    The best- Her husband was a Dr & she stayed at home, 2 kids & a greenhouse. I liked the greenhouse, she gave me a tour & some veggies once in awhile. I did laundry plus for them & she had extensive strict rules about everything but by golly she taught their children. I was to never pick up after them nor take orders from them. She stated they needed to learn to pick up after themselves & if they tried to make my job difficult or order me, I was to report it to her. I enjoyed taking care of that household even with all the rules that made most gasp & probably a few before me lose their jobs or quit.
    Something to remember that I was taught that might serve well here also is you can only pick 2 of the following- cheap, fast or good. You can get it cheap & fast but it isn’t gonna be good. You can get it good & fast but it isn’t gonna be cheap or you can get it cheap & good but it isn’t gonna be fast.

  78. The one thing I noticed missing in all the comments was a little something about the supplies. If you have certain items requiring certain care in order to stay under warranty (like hardwood floors or a special counter-top are two I can think of off the top of my head) you can not use “any ol cleaner” on them. In those cases you should have you own supply & let that & the recommended method be known to the housekeeper.
    Secondly, the thought of a housekeeper bringing a mop, broom or vacuum that she/he just used in “who knows what they have in their house” into mine..eww. I will have my own for them to use..same with rags. I would rather be sure they are using clean supplies. In hotel/motels for instance I have seen the same rags used to clean every room. These things are unsanitary, spreads germs, hairs, bugs etc & not recommended.
    Cleaners in general especially when laundry is included, if you have certain allergies or favor green supplies..maybe the housekeeper has you covered but it is best to & you probably have your own anyway..why not just let her use what you have & prefer?
    I do feel that you should have your home picked up & ready to be cleaned unless you plan on paying more for those services in addition to the actual cleaning. I have been a housekeeper to make ends meet & used a housekeeper as well. I had a couple of good clients but a lot of them were affluent but wanted cheap extensive labor, period. Many were stay at home Moms that just didn’t want to clean & were always home when I was there.
    The absolute worst- A retired guy who had a large indoor bird with ear drum killing screeches, a dog who ate tobacco & was he was a slob to the max, so much so he had rodents & bugs. He wanted me to come every day, had enough work to last 5 hrs plus & include laundry & cooking yet only pay $50/week.
    The 2nd worst- Stay at home Mom who just didn’t want to clean. She allowed the kids & pets to come in to the kitchen, on repeat, usually while the counter & floor were still damp from me cleaning (before I dried it) & walk on the counter (yep animals too), if one took a shower or made a mess where I had already cleaned then I would have to clean it again & again…and check it again before I left & she wasn’t paying extra for any of the extra repeat work! 
    The best- Her husband was a Dr & she stayed at home, 2 kids & a greenhouse. I liked the greenhouse, she gave me a tour & some veggies once in awhile. I did laundry plus for them & she had extensive strict rules about everything but by golly she taught their children. I was to never pick up after them nor take orders from them. She stated they needed to learn to pick up after themselves & if they tried to make my job difficult or order me, I was to report it to her. I enjoyed taking care of that household even with all the rules that made most gasp & probably a few before me lose their jobs or quit.
    Something to remember that I was taught that might serve well here also is you can only pick 2 of the following- cheap, fast or good. You can get it cheap & fast but it isn’t gonna be good. You can get it good & fast but it isn’t gonna be cheap or you can get it cheap & good but it isn’t gonna be fast.

  79. The one thing I noticed missing in all the comments was a little something about the supplies. If you have certain items requiring certain care in order to stay under warranty (like hardwood floors or a special counter-top are two I can think of off the top of my head) you can not use “any ol cleaner” on them. In those cases you should have you own supply & let that & the recommended method be known to the housekeeper.
    Secondly, the thought of a housekeeper bringing a mop, broom or vacuum that she/he just used in “who knows what they have in their house” into mine..eww. I will have my own for them to use..same with rags. I would rather be sure they are using clean supplies. In hotel/motels for instance I have seen the same rags used to clean every room. These things are unsanitary, spreads germs, hairs, bugs etc & not recommended.
    Cleaners in general especially when laundry is included, if you have certain allergies or favor green supplies..maybe the housekeeper has you covered but it is best to & you probably have your own anyway..why not just let her use what you have & prefer?
    I do feel that you should have your home picked up & ready to be cleaned unless you plan on paying more for those services in addition to the actual cleaning. I have been a housekeeper to make ends meet & used a housekeeper as well. I had a couple of good clients but a lot of them were affluent but wanted cheap extensive labor, period. Many were stay at home Moms that just didn’t want to clean & were always home when I was there.
    The absolute worst- A retired guy who had a large indoor bird with ear drum killing screeches, a dog who ate tobacco & was he was a slob to the max, so much so he had rodents & bugs. He wanted me to come every day, had enough work to last 5 hrs plus & include laundry & cooking yet only pay $50/week.
    The 2nd worst- Stay at home Mom who just didn’t want to clean. She allowed the kids & pets to come in to the kitchen, on repeat, usually while the counter & floor were still damp from me cleaning (before I dried it) & walk on the counter (yep animals too), if one took a shower or made a mess where I had already cleaned then I would have to clean it again & again…and check it again before I left & she wasn’t paying extra for any of the extra repeat work! 
    The best- Her husband was a Dr & she stayed at home, 2 kids & a greenhouse. I liked the greenhouse, she gave me a tour & some veggies once in awhile. I did laundry plus for them & she had extensive strict rules about everything but by golly she taught their children. I was to never pick up after them nor take orders from them. She stated they needed to learn to pick up after themselves & if they tried to make my job difficult or order me, I was to report it to her. I enjoyed taking care of that household even with all the rules that made most gasp & probably a few before me lose their jobs or quit.
    Something to remember that I was taught that might serve well here also is you can only pick 2 of the following- cheap, fast or good. You can get it cheap & fast but it isn’t gonna be good. You can get it good & fast but it isn’t gonna be cheap or you can get it cheap & good but it isn’t gonna be fast.

  80. How about the cleaner that likes to “accidentally” break my wine bottles and then hide them? Grrrr!

  81. Whoa, wait a sec…you need to be given gifts in order to “keep you honest”? Are you kidding me? How about being honest because you are being paid to do a job. Are you saying if you don’t get gifts, you will steal something from the house you are cleaning? That’s a great work ethic. Oh wait; you must not know what that term means. No wonder I will never hire any outside firm to clean my home.

  82. It makes you upset when I walk over MY own floor that I just payed YOU to clean?! I’ll walk on it as much as i want, HOWEVER, i wouldn’t expect you to re-clean something that you just mopped just cuz I had to get to the next room.

  83. This is the most retarded #13 things I’ve read yet. It sounds more like a bunch of people whining about their crappy job as opposed to giving us interesting facts like the others do.

  84. Most maids are not stupid, and either a list or verbal instruction is enough. 

  85. No; one is either honest, or not.  Little gifts are nice, but they are given at the discretion of the house owner.

  86. I have to give you gift in order to keep someone honest? Are you kidding me? This is a job someone is being paid for, I should trust that that person would be honest regardless of me providing tokens of appreciation.

  87. their mom & duagthers’ teams out their that charge alot .BUT can’t clean for beans! i’m talki about the ones in fairfied county,ct…..they go to old peoples houses’ & charge them.(get over),an arm & a leg.just to get over.

  88. Where housecleaners come to complain- this is a funny article.
    After having read this, I will not change any of my habits. If it is too big a deal, I will hire someone else who’ll shut up and clean and for heaven’s sake, force a smile!

  89. Well what happened to me is I was dating a guy for almost two years. Then I found out his ex girlfriend moved back to our town and started talking to him. She was a really bad influence on him and was ruining such a good relationship that we had. I didn’t know what to do and I had tried a few spells in the past from psychics, but none worked to bring him back. When I finally tried from  the MESSIAH the other girl got out of the picture and he came back to me within a week. There are definitely some powerful forces out there that can be a true blessing! The email is freemercytemple@yahoo.com contact him and your relationship shall flourish

  90. I would like to know about house cleaning, are fridges included also ceiling fans and how many hours does it take to clean a 4 bedroom home with 2 bathrooms 1 office

  91. Re number 3: The only way to clean that floor thoroughly is to get on your hands and knees. Mops do a pretty poor job.  My number 1 requirement when I hired was that the cleaner scrubbed by hand. Paid more because of the time. But worth every penny.

  92. Please don’t wait until I am almost finished and then ask me to clean the fridge.For things like that, let me know today and I will gladly do it next time. Also, a small tip for those extra jobs is most appreciated.

  93. Funny I wrote in to Readers Digest  over a year ago to give them this idea without a call back for my input! lol! :-D I clean homes and most of these are so accurate and set the record straight! Thanks RD!

  94. I am a housecleaner & I feel that sometimes I am taken for granted. At one job, all the washing up was left for so long that there was mould growing at the bottom of a glass! At another job, there are 2 teenage girls that have absolutely no idea how to pick up after themselves. At still another job, a toilet had not been flushed with a large number 2 sitting at the bottom. I was  expected to clean up the mess left by a very messy & untidy teenage girl that doesn’t like me. Next time she does that I’m not going to Why are teens so untidy & messy? Poor parenting & couldn’t be bothered to teach their kids how to be responsible for their belongings.

    I really enjoy what I do, but I have learnt that housecleaners can be taken for granted. I will only do jobs where I feel there is a genuine need for my services, for example: a working couple who work long hours or pensioners who aren’t able to clean for themselves due to illness. If I can sense that I am being taken for granted, then I will not even bother going back. Simple!

    I had a male client that wanted his oven cleaned. I asked him to spray the oven the night before I came around to clean it the next day for the followng week. When I went around, nobody was home so I left a note explaining that we had agreed to clean the oven that day. I also sent him an SMS. The next week, I was sick. I had to postpone that job for yet another week.
    By this time I had had just about enough. I sent him an SMS asking him if he had sprayed the oven. The reply was “No, I forgot”. He offered to spray it that morning so that I could clean it later that afternoon. I replied by saying “I’m sorry but I much prefer the oven to be sprayed & left overnight to give the oven cleaner a chance to work”. He replied “Just have to see if I’m working next week or not”. I replied “You may have to get someone else to do it”. I didn’t receive a reply after that so I would say that he doesn’t need me anymore. By this time I think he was getting the message that I was not very impressed with the situation.
    I hate being put in situations where clients want something special done at a minutes’ notice. It is not fair on me as I ususally have another job to go to & I do not have time to do extras!  

    1. Go back over your own post. The man forgot to spray the night before BUT you also ‘did not get around to it for weeks–BOTH at fault. I no longer hire housekeepers, I have way too many valuables and think the job is often too cursory. They should be renamed house straighteners–because they rarely do more than straighten up areas not clean them.

  95. I am a housecleaner & I feel that sometimes I am taken for granted. At one job, all the washing up was left for so long that there was mould growing at the bottom of a glass! At another job, there are 2 teenage girls that have absolutely no idea how to pick up after themselves. At still another job, a toilet had not been flushed with a large number 2 sitting at the bottom. I was  expected to clean up the mess left by a very messy & untidy teenage girl that doesn’t like me. Next time she does that I’m not going to Why are teens so untidy & messy? Poor parenting & couldn’t be bothered to teach their kids how to be responsible for their belongings.

    I really enjoy what I do, but I have learnt that housecleaners can be taken for granted. I will only do jobs where I feel there is a genuine need for my services, for example: a working couple who work long hours or pensioners who aren’t able to clean for themselves due to illness. If I can sense that I am being taken for granted, then I will not even bother going back. Simple!

    I had a male client that wanted his oven cleaned. I asked him to spray the oven the night before I came around to clean it the next day for the followng week. When I went around, nobody was home so I left a note explaining that we had agreed to clean the oven that day. I also sent him an SMS. The next week, I was sick. I had to postpone that job for yet another week.
    By this time I had had just about enough. I sent him an SMS asking him if he had sprayed the oven. The reply was “No, I forgot”. He offered to spray it that morning so that I could clean it later that afternoon. I replied by saying “I’m sorry but I much prefer the oven to be sprayed & left overnight to give the oven cleaner a chance to work”. He replied “Just have to see if I’m working next week or not”. I replied “You may have to get someone else to do it”. I didn’t receive a reply after that so I would say that he doesn’t need me anymore. By this time I think he was getting the message that I was not very impressed with the situation.
    I hate being put in situations where clients want something special done at a minutes’ notice. It is not fair on me as I ususally have another job to go to & I do not have time to do extras!  

  96. I can tell by several posts I have read rhar before people hie a house keeper they clean their home spic and span top to bottom making sure nothing is left to do. why not just mail them the check and save them the trouble of coming over.  My house keeper does do windows. does pickup dirty clothers, does make bed, wash dishes, makes meals, does waashing, supplies all supplies including mops and vacuums.  If she didn’t she’d be fired.  I can tell a lot of you have been fired many times and are currently unemployed but you be sure to stick to your guns.  People may just start sending you money because there is no reason for you to go in.

  97. My house keeper always supplies her own cleaning supplies. If she didn’t, I’d fire her,  If she didn’t clean up, pich up clothes, shoes dirt and vaccuum and mop floors, I’d fire her. Mine fixes meals answers the door from time to time and does what I ask. If she didn’t I would fire her.  From what I gather from other maids responding on this site – you’ve been fired many time and probably are currently not employed.

    1. Please learn the difference between a housekeeper and house *cleaner*.

  98. My MIL gave us 4 hours of a “house cleaning” service while I was pregnant with my 8 yo.  This is the one and only time I’ve ever had a service in my house, and I didn’t really want it then but my husband talked me into accepting the gift.  We are not slobs and I had everything picked up.  I was doing well with day-to-day maintenance, but figured at least she could take care of some of the other tasks that get done less often.  Nope.  She said, “we don’t wash windows.”  (inside, not out)  “We don’t dust the tops of high shelves.”  “We don’t wipe down cabinet doors/walls/outside of refrigerators.”  Seriously?  You ONLY do day-to-day maintenance?  She also told me she didn’t know of any service company that allowed their employees to do any of those things that I needed help with.  I couldn’t believe it!  I wasn’t asking her to do ANYTHING that under normal circumstance I wasn’t able and willing to do myself…I don’t even remember now what she did, but she basically got paid for nothing because the things she DID do were just going back over what I had already done that day.

  99.  if u cleaning houses and the client dont want you that week should they pay.or if they go on vacation,,its like a reg job and i need the money too

  100. I had a client that dropped her cigarette ashes on the floor right after I finished cleaning it. She was a slob
     

  101. I am currently cleaning a home with 5 large dogs kept inside and 4 indoor cats.  To say the least, this home is smelly, dirty and dusty with tons of dog hair everywhere.  They do not make their bed, pickup their clothes, garbage, papers, dishes, etc.  The sink is always full of dirty dishes and I do not know where everything goes.  It is at the point where I no longer want to clean this home.  It is always 5 hours every week and it doesn’t look any better than when I started as far as I am concerned.  How do I give my notice without being rude and leaving with hard feelings?  I can pick up 2 cleaner homes to replace this messy one.  I feel two weeks notice is sufficient.

  102. what a crock…most housekeepers bring their own cleaning supplies/tools…also give me presents so I’ll stay honest?!  and write out and verbally tell me my instructions so I won’t forget…I didn’t realize you were supposed to BABYSIT your housekeeper

  103. If a house keeper needs to receive gifts to keep her HONEST then she has a big problem.  If she is not an honest person without gifts she will Not be honest because you give her a gift.  A person is either honest because they have integrity, OR they or dishonest and they have not integrity.  There is No two ways about it!!!  I can’t believe that house keepers appreciated this TIP!

  104. you won’t be honest if I don’t bring you gifts? Gifts are nice but You are paid to do a job and honesty is expected.

  105. One Woman, Ink. here. Sorry for all of the typos in my post; I was proof-reading it until the mailman delivered to my door. Apologies to all who might still be reading these comments. Have a great afternoon.

  106. What is so hysterical about this list are the comments to it. For god’s sake, it is a little satirical [or is it, ironic] dip into the mindsets of thousands of maids, housecleaners, housekeepers, or cleaning people.

    It is touching on raw nerves because it is, simply and directly, providing a societal commentary. The list is “calling out” those of privilege, specifically though, it speaks to those who look down on the people who help them maintain their very postured and ungrateful facade.  [None of this paragraph applies to “Beverly92223,” who commented here, as well.]

    I don’t know why, out of the gazillion responses I sat here and read through, nobody really got the purpose of the piece. The pictures alone are a good clue that this is satire; the maid has her wedding on the outside of her gloves, people!

    I grew up taking care of the cleaning of my parent’s home. I was the type of person who took a toothbrush to my base moldings every week. It turned me into an absolutely ugly OCD wife and mother. Soon after my daughter graduated college in 2002, I became 100% disabled. Still, being so nutso over a clean house [ask anyone who knew me between 1967 and 2005, and they would cite my clean house as first among my “positive” traits].  

    In 2005, I had to stop my deep love of perfect cleanliness. And today, without the help of thoughtful neighbors, I walk on carpeting thickly covered by two-inchess of matted made of Service Dog and senior cat hair.

    If I drop something, which I do fifty times a day, there is no five-second rule, or even a one second rule. If it’s food, or ice cubes, or one of my medications…it will be cleaned off. I am just digusted by my apartment.  I live here alone because I can’t let anyone in to see the filth I live with. Further, even if I suddenly became less overweight from a decade of inactivity, or twitched and tremored less because my neurological problems were gone, I would still be hiding from the real world due to the dirt.

    However, if I add up all of my problems and issues together, the dirt, the disability, and the daily-disturbing-closeness-to-bankruptcy from healthcare costs and heathcare insurance costs averaging 63% of my tiny disability income…all together, even I could see the humor in this list.

    Finally, nothing I said about the type of person

  107. That’s how you’re supposed to wash floors!  If you use a mop you soon get those half circles in the corners. Yuck!!!

  108. Miss Mouthy, you and Monica also sound like people who doesn’t need a housekeeper.  You see, the one thing they didn’t mention is that your housekeeper knows more about you than your spouse, your kids, your momma and your dog.  They see your entire life, every time they clean your house, and their discretion is not something you buy with money, you buy it with kindness.  It’s not the honesty factor of stealing time or things from you that you have to worry about, an honest reputation is solid gold in the business….it’s that they know what you’re doing.  And they know all about the day man, believe me, or whatever else you think you’re hiding.  Treat them kind, and no one else will know.  Treat them like a flunky, take them for granted and you won’t believe who knows your business.

    1. If I hired a house cleaner and they snooped so much that they know more about me than my husband does, then either I’m a very dodgy person with no discretion whatsoever, or they are definitely getting fired!  They’re there to clean, not go through my emails etc.  My mother was a house cleaner, and I can promise you she knew their names, their kid’s names, their address and where to find the vacuum and ironing board!  She did not know anything about them she could use to bribe them.  It doesn’t matter what she would do with that information {she wouldn’t use anything against them anyway} because she just didn’t pry into their personal life.  That was years and years ago and we recently bumped into one of the clients last January.  They talked like old friendly colleagues because that’s what they were. 

      And for the record, she was my favourite of my mother’s clients because she would always buy my sister and me a chocolate Easter Bunny!

  109. Miss Mouthy, if you’re willing to pay for a lot more hours, of course I will pick up after you and your kids.  However, the more of that I do when you’re keeping me on a tight schedule, the less clean you get.  Period.  There are only so many hours in a day, and when you leave the place cluttered, you choose between picking up after your lazy self and getting some DEEP cleaning done by someone else, or just having someone do your busy work.  Don’t complain to anyone if you can’t get a good cleaner.  I won’t TOUCH a cluttered house for a flat fee. And I have a waiting list of potential customers.

  110. I read through most of the comments because I myself hire someone to clean my house and wanted to know how I can make things better for them.  When I read comments that the homeowner is too lazy to clean her own house, I felt compelled to make my own comments.  I have been married over 55 years, raised three children who all live too far away to be of practical help to me and my 82 year old husband.  After 55 years, I am tired of cooking and I am tired of cleaning.  My husband is of NO help in either department.  If I can afford to pay you and if you are trying to help your family make ends meet in this economy,  I think you are self-centered and unappreciative for what you can earn.  When I was your age, I couldn’t afford help myself and had to do work similar to what I ask my helper to do now.  If you see me as lazy, how did I get a ‘disabled person’ license plate besides?

  111. My wife cleans houses.  She has clients she has worked for many years, and has more referrals than she can accept.

    She charges by the job, not by the hour.
    She does not open cabinets or drawers & would never take anything out of a book shelf!
    She does not even go into a closet unless requested to vacuum the floor.
    She provides all her own equipment and supplies; but will use something specific if requested.
    If the kids room has the floor covered with toys and clothes, the floor does not get cleaned.  Clients respect and accept this rule. 
    As for the house cleaner’s 13 points:  Some make sense; but we don’t think, overall, that we would hire her or recommend her.

    1. Your wife STRAIGHTENS HOUSES,,,she does not CLEAN them. People have forgotten what cleaning really is. If a cleaner does not clean windows, shampoo rugs, clean fridges AND behind them, clean ovens, clean heat registers, wipe down walls, baseboards and shoemouldings, wipe ceiling fan blades, clean drawers and wash everything that can be washed in them, clean the inside of the washer and dryer, clean the dishwasher, etc then they are not cleaners and floors must be scrubbed and polished by hand—mops cannot clean corners…

  112. First off, when I hire someone, I expect them to bring what they need to do the job (mops? cleaning supplies?). When I hire a painter, I don’t provide the paint, paintbrushes, drop cloths, etc. If I had special needs like organic or allergies, that may be a different story. All the other comments make sense. Straighten your house. I hire someone to clean (dust, mop, vacuum, etc.) not pick up after us. I suppose if I had a live-in maid that would be expected but not someone that come once every week or two weeks.

    1. When I hire a painter… I DO provide ALL supplies except their personal ladders. Personal tools should be home dedicated otherwise if a cleaner has a sick client with something contagious–then all their clients become exposed. Common sense

  113. Who the heck wrote this????  I have a small cleaning business and my clients appreciate me because I work hard, have supplies and equipment of my own and they know that I wouldn’t be in business without them.  I wouldn’t care if they walked all over THEIR floors after they’ve been cleaned….it’s THEIR home and they are paying ME.  This article gives housecleaners a bad name in my opinion!  Most of us are GRATEFUL for the customers we have and strive to accomodate their needs.

    Rhonda

  114. I could have written this article. It is time someone did.  I am not a house cleaner but it really is a wonderful thing to advise people to be thoghtful.

  115. i work alongside the young woman who helps me with my house..and if i ask her to do something extra i always pay her extra..by 10 or 15 dollars..i dont want to take advantage and at this stage i really need help w things..such as taking stuff to attic..also..i ask if she minds helping me with these things and if she hesitates i say please..dont worryabt it..i can do it or my husband will help me..she is a wonderful person and a big help to me..id as soon not go to the hairdresser as not have her help…ill put my hair in a topknot..

    1. You expect your cleaning lady to carry heavy boxes up to your attic for ten lousy bucks?

  116. Yes this is so true and then they get upset if you don’t use what they want .

  117. If one is being paid for it, what is wrong with picking up toys?  I suppose you’d rather clean the commodes.

  118. If one is being paid for it, what is wrong with picking up toys?  I suppose you’d rather clean the commodes.

  119. All I can say is it is a good thing I do my own cleaning and if getting on the floor is the only way to get it clean (and it is) then no one would want to work for me.  Also I’ll lend you the book; read it on your own time.

  120. I would NEVER expect a cleaner to take on any job I would not be willing to do myself, but then I clean my own house…….all 3,000 sq ft of it and have always cleaned my own property even when raising my 4 children.

  121. I have employed the same cleaning lady weekly for 11 years.  Although we have mostly a professional relationship, we are friendly and respect each other.  She is dependable, honest and hard-working and I fully appreciate her.  It only makes sense that I supply the cleaning materials as I am specific about how each surface should be treated.  Before she comes each week, I prepare by making sure everything is in its place, dishes are done, bed sheets changed, laundry done, etc.  She wasn’t hired to take care of my day-to-day responsibilities, but to CLEAN THE HOUSE.  As far as gifts are concerned–a holiday bonus makes sense.  After all, she doesn’t get vacation or sick pay–it’s THE LEAST I CAN DO.  Birthdays are also remembered.  If I need something special done outside her regular routine, I pay for the extra time.  Think about how you wish to be treated and then do the same for those who work for you.  Regarding bringing children along–absolutely not!  Besides the potential for personal injury of the children and damage to property, there is a liability factor.  Also, I trust my cleaning lady.  If I had cause not to, our relationship wouldn’t exist.  And finally, I choose to follow the example of my aunt, who had the same cleaning lady/friend for more than 50 years.  When, at the age of 90 (!) it was time for said cleaning lady to retire, my aunt continued to pay her a small retirement income until her death.  Hope I’m lucky enough to do the same.  Viva my cleaning lady!

    1. I am not a house cleaner, but have one, and I know she would love to work for you. You are truly a compassionate employer!

    2. What do you consider as ‘cleaning the house?” if she does not make beds. or wash dishes, do laundry, etc–what exactly does your cleaning lady do?

      1. She cleans your house. Cleans, not picks up after you. If you need someone to follow you around picking up after you and yours, you need a housekeeper/maid, not a cleaning lady. Hope you can afford it :D

    3. You are awesome! I did cleaning for 25 years & had wonderful clients such as yourself. I appreciated them greatly. My business spread by word of mouth and at one point I had 18 clients. My work ethic was excellent & my clients were exceptional. I agree NO kids, that is not professional. Also, I agree with how you were respectful of the fact that we are there to clean the home, i.e. vacuuming, mopping, bathrooms, dusting, cleaning the kitchen. I was down on hands and knees on the kitchen & bathroom floors making sure all nooks were cared for. THAT is what we’re doing for those of you wondering why we’re not keeping your lives organized, that is NOT why I’m there. My name is not Alice, I’m not your maid. I don’t know how some of these people live in these places daily till someone can get there to pick up after them, disgusting. I hope your current cleaning lady can continue for as long as she can. I had great clients who adored me as well. Respect both ways goes a long way. Thanks!

  122. I agree with most, but I had a problem with #10.  Tiny kindnesses mean a lot, yes I agree but I don’t agree with the caption “those small appreciations keep me honest”.  Honest, what is that suppose to mean? You have a job to do, you chose it!  That means you were hired to do a job,  maintain honesty, integrity and dedication to your chosen profession.  

  123. Monica,  house keepers are NOT nannies! Pick up the toys or I clean around them!!!

  124. I’m a housekeeper and #10 left me cold.The” keep me honest” phrase really bothered me. To not be honest would be financial suicide. You get a reputation for dishonesty and who is going to hire you? I work hard for my clients and we have a good working relationship. Any gift they might give me is appreciated, but not expected.

  125. I am not a housekeeper but a moving packer and a lot of the rules are the same.  Once a fairly well to do lady told me I could have anything in her refrigerater to drink but after opening it, I refused.  A lot of the food in the fridge was moving under their own volition.

  126. I love my job. It allows me to be a stay at home mom. I am not however a maid. I an a cleaning lady. I do not do laundry or wash dishes. I clean and I clean very well. The first time I clean a home is always the longest. Especially because until I begin cleaning a home is not maintained. The more frequently I clean the less time it takes this is because I figure our a system and gasp, a homes cleanliness is being maintained. I do rotate through cleaning every room every time but giving one or two rooms an exceptional cleaning each time creating an exceptionally clean rotation.

    One thing I would like to say is you tip your paper boy who is at your home ten seconds a day, likewise your trash men, and postal worker. These people never enter your home. I scrub your toilets and care for you expensive knick knacks a Christmas bonus would be nice.

    1. But you don’t directly pay your paperboy, trash men nor postal worker. They are paid by their respective employers. I would think that the rates the housecleaner has agreed on is something she is happy with year-round. Yes, an appreciative house-owner should give a tip or bonus or gift out of courtesy, but that should be their prerogative, not taken for granted. What? “Thank you so much for not stealing anything from our house and cleaning the house the way you promised to do it when you offered your services. Here’s a Christmas present.” ?

      1. Actually, it is customary to give a bonus at the holidays. Usually the amount paid normally.

        1. It is etiquette yes, but should not be expected to the point where you would steal just to make a point that you didn’t get a bonus.  If you give a dinner party it is etiquette for your guests to bring along a host gift like a bottle of wine or something, but you wouldn’t slam the door on them if they don’t bring a gift along, and you certainly wouldn’t steal their handbag and then slam the door.  It is customary, I’m not disagreeing, but I think you’ve missed the point of what Rezza was trying to say.

  127. I love my job. It allows me to be a stay at home mom. I am not however a maid. I an a cleaning lady. I do not do laundry or wash dishes. I clean and I clean very well. The first time I clean a home is always the longest. Especially because until I begin cleaning a home is not maintained. The more frequently I clean the less time it takes this is because I figure our a system and gasp, a homes cleanliness is being maintained. I do rotate through cleaning every room every time but giving one or two rooms an exceptional cleaning each time creating an exceptionally clean rotation.

    One thing I would like to say is you tip your paper boy who is at your home ten seconds a day, likewise your trash men, and postal worker. These people never enter your home. I scrub your toilets and care for you expensive knick knacks a Christmas bonus would be nice.

  128. I agree with all of it except buying gifts to keep one honest.  If you aren’t honest you don’t get to keep your job.  Gifts should be for appreciation, not a bribe. 

  129. This has to be one of the stupidest articles, I have ever read. 5 of them were to make the housekeeper’s job easier and two of them were things the housekeeper won’t do. I have had the same housekeeper for 5 years, I give her money to purchase cleaning supplies and things that she uses best to clean my house and there is a closet where are the cleaning supplies are kept. She has always comeback with receipts. She frequently brings her 3 children and I have no problem if she want to fix them a sandwich, snack or even a meal. I do not want them cleaning, however. She has a set work schedule and weekends off. If she is done cleaning the main house, there are always other things that need to be taken care of.  

  130. I understand SOME of the items as courtesy like being nice, straightening up a little, but…c’mon…allow your house cleaner to take 10 and read a book or look through your refrigerator? Or leave a small gift to “keep them honest”. Would YOUR employer be that understanding? 

  131. If I could afford a housekeeper, I would be nice to her every single day! LOL

  132. Strangely  seems  like  a  housecleaner  to  the  rich   but   I   am  Not  sure   how  many  wealthy  people  actually  read  this  thing  !
    I’m  guessing   None   .   .   .

  133. As a person who has owned her own cleaning business for 10 years until recently when life circumstances made me change to a different job, I find many of the comments offensive.  We are not all of the “limited job opportunity” group, nor do we act like royalty (her majesty~really?).  What we do expect is RESPECT!  I am doing a job that either you don’t want to do or choose not to do, either way a fair pay is expected.  I always charged by the size of the home not by the hour.  I cleaned for many weathly people in the area and these people became my friends.  They shared their happy times and sad times with me.  They remembered me at holidays and were devastated when I chose to leave.  I never once had to advertise my services,every client I ever had came by word-of-mouth.  Shame on those who made such derogitory comments.  You are probably the same people who can’t understand why they can’t find and/or keep a reliable cleaning person.  Keep in mind that cleaning people are there to clean your house, not be a maid or “the help.”  Besides, do you not care how others see you?  If you are cluttered and sloppy, believe me, we do talk to one another and you will pay more for me having to clean up after laziness.  Not to mention, what a great thing to teach your kids – no responsibility!

    1. “If you are cluttered and sloppy, believe me, we do talk to one another
      and you will pay more for me having to clean up after laziness.”

      And if we ARE ready to pay more ?? Where’s the problem ? Don’t you need the money ? Then it’s a win-win right ?

      If I’m hiring a cleaner it’s because I need the help, and I’m more than ready to pay for it. If I didn’t want to pay then I’d do it MYSELF ! I don’t understand what the problem is here…

      1. Cleaners should not gossip about what goes on in the employer’s home. It’s a huge breach of trust and should get them fired if they do it. Allowing and trusting someone to come into your home, often when we are not even home, is a huge thing. And most people feel some financial pinch from what they do pay, and it seems from these posts that nobody appreciates their job or their pay.

    2. I agree rycomom, I left a secretarial job (with a secret DOD clearance) at Boeing to clean houses for two reasons. One being to work closer to home than an hour away, another so I could be home with my small child before and after school. I was/am not of the “limited job opportunity group”. Also, like you, my clients were devastated when I chose to leave and go back to the “white collar” world after my child graduated high school.

  134. I have a cleaning business and some of this can be avoided by having a contract with the client and being clear of the expectations on both sides.  I would never bring my child to a clients house that is not professional, also reading clients books and looking in their refrigerator are you kidding me? I want to clean and go home, I’m not trying to spend extra time at a clients house. Plus” little gifts keep you honest”, that is scary if you don’t have integrity then don’t clean houses because a client is not going to keep you happy, in fact charge enough to clean the house so you will make a profit or don’t be in the business. Where did you get this information from ? The author needs to talk to professional cleaning people.

  135. I’ve had several house cleaners over the years and always tried to be the best employer I could.  Most of the cleaners were great.  In fact, a couple of them were friends who did that work for a living.  I had to really trust  each person, because they were working in all areas of my home while alone in my house.  One cleaner repaid my trust by not doing her job and “borrowing” my clothes, then lying about it, but I’m thankful she was the exception.

  136. Bring your kid? Who will babysit? You? Your supposed to be cleaning.
    Work faster to make up for reading? Slip shod cleaning is not what I’m paying for.
    A Gift will keep you honest? If you’re not honest keep out of my house

  137. I’ve had my housekeeper for almost 10 years.   She’s the best.   Never a problem when she brought her wonderful children.   I always pick up mess in house day before she arrives.   At Christmas time I make sure she nd children are remembered – monetary and goodies.  She’s become my dear friend.

  138. When I lived in Massachusetts, I had a house cleaner.  She brought all of the cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, vacuum and whatever with her.  Items 2 & 3 make no sense to me.

  139. I was cleaning my cousin’s house (without compensation) when she was pregnant and believe me! I didn’t get the privileges that the house cleaner above claims

  140. Every time I change the slide it makes me scroll down again so I often quit in frustration.

  141. The tips are good – and could apply to any employer-employee relationship.
    Kate

  142. Due to health issues we have had housecleaners for many years.  We have dealt with companies and individuals.  The large companies we had trouble with; things got broken and damaged, animals that got locked away from food and litter box, etc. We have always paid by the size of the house, not hourly.   That is the most fair to everyone.  If I have a special request, something they don’t do all the time, I will always pay a little extra and ask them ahead of time to allow enough time for it.  We now feel lucky to have one individual that comes every other week.  She does a great job and is careful with our belongings.  I don’t expect her to pick up for us.  I try to have that done before she comes.  If I don’t I tell her to skip that area.  It’s not her job to put things away.  I respect her and the work she does for me. 

    1. Same here.  We can no longer do the heavy cleaning, vacuuming, baseboards, window blinds, etc.  I do pick up and put away before she comes.  She’s always friendly and takes a few minutes to ask how we’ve been and to play with our 2 small dogs, then gets right to work.  She brings her own supplies and is paid a set amount.  I consider her a friend and feel very fortunate to have found her.  I’ve also recommended her to friends.  THANKS Monica!

  143. I expect a house cleaner to bring all the stuff they need to do the job.  I don’t expect a plumber  to use my tools to do a job  so why is it necessary to supply a house cleaner.  If the house is picked up and clean why would I need a house cleaner

    1. I think the point was that many clients have preferences about what cleaning supplies are used. In my experience it can go either way, the client or the housekeeper can provide the tools& supplies. It just needs to be discussed and decided at the start. Also, there is a difference between a house being picked up and being clean. Put your things away so the housekeeper can do the cleaning and everybody is happy!

    2. I think the point was that many clients have preferences about what cleaning supplies are used. In my experience it can go either way, the client or the housekeeper can provide the tools& supplies. It just needs to be discussed and decided at the start. Also, there is a difference between a house being picked up and being clean. Put your things away so the housekeeper can do the cleaning and everybody is happy!

    3. Generally speaking plumbers get paid a lot more than housekeepers do.  No one said they were expecting you to clean your house first.  They’re asking you to have it somewhat picked up or be prepared to pay extra because it takes more time to pick up AND clean.  So tired of being asked or expected to do 6 hours worth of work in 2. Unrealistic expectations.  Also, if they have to put it away…you get to figure out where it’s been put.   :)

    4. I cleaned apartments for many years  and was never asked to bring supplies, most of the clients would tell me in advance that they already had everything I needed, some even asked what products I preferred, especially my regular customers.  

  144. “Those small appreications keep me honest”  REALLY? That’s great, but if you aren’t honest being in my home without them, I don’t want you here!

    1.  My clients show me that they appreciate me….they pay me double at Christmas, plus gifts, plus lunch, and most of all..they don’t introduce me as their “housekeeper”, but. as “this is my friend”…..most have been to my home over the years….and I have cleaned houses for many years, and have used my hard earned money to live in a beautiful 2100 sq ft home, which I clean myself, at 58 years old……..we are not “low life’s”…my average pay per home is $35.00 per hour……so I am proud of what I do, and my work is my honesty…I do my best and they treat me with the utmost respect!

  145. This is truly one of the most ridiculous articles I have ever read! Geez – if I came to work with a list like that for my boss she would freak out! A little demanding I think! If I am a maid (which I have been) and I don’t like it. time to go back to school!

    1. I myself hate lists, as well! Its so condesending! If I know upfront what you need done, and what your pet-peeves are, i will do them each week with no problems!! If you are not happy with something, by all means let me know!!

  146. This is truly one of the most ridiculous articles I have ever read! Geez – if I came to work with a list like that for my boss she would freak out! A little demanding I think! If I am a maid (which I have been) and I don’t like it. time to go back to school!

  147. yes, take your child, provided you control him/her. I hate going into my closet to find your child went through my belongings…….

  148. If a house is kind of grungy then no matter what there is an improvement and usually the client is happy.
    If the house is so clean in the first place that you can eat of the floor. Nothing you do will ever be good enough.

    1. So true!  I cleaned for a retired couple who kept their house so clean that I wondered why they wanted me there in the first place.  They ended up “finding someone else” because they weren’t satisfied with my work.  No complaints from my long-time clients who don’t clean before I do!

    2. So true!  I cleaned for a retired couple who kept their house so clean that I wondered why they wanted me there in the first place.  They ended up “finding someone else” because they weren’t satisfied with my work.  No complaints from my long-time clients who don’t clean before I do!

  149. I hired one housekeeper in my life.  The first time she came it took 4 hours, so we settled on 4 hours pay to clean the same things every week plus 1 larger item.  By the 4th week, she had the same job done in 2 hours and still wanted 4 hours pay.  Talk about a scam.  Since then, I clean my own house.  Her excuse was that she got “more efficient”.  Somewhat shorter time for efficiency, I would not have minded.  Cut the time in half?  No way.

    1. The pay goes by the size of the house…NOT by the hours you spend there……..So if she started out getting it done in 4 hours, and another week it took her 3, what about the days when the house is a freaking mess and it takes her 5…….will you be willing to pay her for the extra hour?..I doubt it…….besides, the payment for the job, if done weekly, monthly or bi-monthly would have to be figured each time afterward, and most people are gone to work while the “house cleaner”   such as myself are there……and want payment to be left there that day.  I have always charged by the size of the home and I have great people who consider me a friend….not their “maid”.  It is one of the hardest jobs on a body after years……those of you who think it is “nothing”……clean your own house!

      1. That is not a scam.  So you want to pay her less money for the same amount of effort?  Now THAT is a scam.  I started charging per house, too, because of this.

        1. Depends on whether or not she was still doing the same quality work.

        2. That is the only way to do it. Also, if you pay by hour the cleaner could take their mighty time which doesn’t mean work more, just to make more money. I charge by frequency, house size, number of occupants, pets. That is fair to me.

      2. Amen, Carolesqu!! This is the exact reason why i don’t charge by the hour. It’s easier for us to clean your house in an effecient organized manner each week..!!

      3. I otally agree with you. I guess some people who never cleaned their own place have no clue what hard job it is. I have learned that here in the US, people often have that ” slave attitude” when it come to people doing dirty work for them. I always tell my clients that our relationship is equal. I give them my labour and time and they give me money. It is a trade. And just because I clean someones toilets does not make me less of a human being.

        1. Why do you feel the need to tell your employer that you are equals, and they aren’t better than you. Wow. I’d never let you back in the house, just because that’s such a weird, uncomfortable, rotten attitude. Why don’t you, instead, prove your worth by your work, because that is how the world will judge you. They’re not going to take your word for it that nobody’s better than you. What about humility? You sound like you have a huge chip on your shoulder.

          1. Well, that’s a silly response. How is it a ‘rotten attitude’ to expect to be considered equal to another person, especially when your line of work brings you to so many people who believe the contrary? That is not a product of arrogance or some shortage in humility. Anyone who comes against an attitude such as yours for a long enough length of time is going to have a chip on his shoulder.
            I’m a housekeeper putting myself through college. Many of these comments are downright hostile. You’d think it would be easier to put things into perspective.

          2. I can’t believe how many people troll the Reader’s Digest website, LOL. Get back under the bridge, angry little trolls.

      4. You charge by the size of the house.  I suppose your clients know that.  MANY charge by the hour.  Efficiency is always expected, but the first time someone is on a particular job, it will take longer, of course (or less will get done if there’s a time limit).  Some set a certain number of hours they will spend in a home each time.  Some will work till expected job is finished.  Some will do a combination.  I suppose it also varies by region and neighborhood.  It will also vary if someone’s hired through a private arrangement or through a company.
             At one point, my mom used to work side by side with a friend she ‘hired’, as their little ones played side by side.  Win-win situation, I’d say.

    2. I hear you on this – the problem with mine is that I do all the prework, things are put away, we don’t have lots of knicknacks, etc. but she wants to get the heck out on Friday afternoon so she and her partner rush through and don’t pay attention to details (corners, setting pictures straight, dusting high-up where I can see dust/cobwebs).  They vacuum so “efficiently” that all my furniture has scuffs on it from the rubber vacuum bumper.  Granted, I wouldn’t want their job for any amount of pay, but this is their job so they should strive to do it well.  I don’t consider myself picky – I just care about my home.

      She used to do it by herself, but got pregnant and needed help (totally understandable).  She took a couple of months off before/after birth and her helper cleaned for us while she was out.  Logically, once the baby came she wanted to ease back into it.  One thing lead to another, the kid’s now two years old and she still has the partner helping.  The partner is more “efficient” and doesn’t care as much about my house.  The icing on the cake is that together they finish sooner, and half the time my towels aren’t dry so I have to take them out and hang them myself.  How many times should I have to remind them (nicely) without wondering if they’re looking to get fired?  Nevermind all the chit-chat while they’re doing their work – I think this adds to the lack of detail and frustrates me because I wonder if they’re talking about me/my house.

      1. Thank you for expressing my thoughts so eloquently. Most of us have limited amounts of time, a limited amount of money, but an unlimited amount of love for our home.

        It’s heartbreaking to see so many house cleaners representing their profession by showing such disregard for their employers wishes and homes.

        But it’s puzzling to see that they still expect to get paid.

    3.  have been cleaning houses for 27 yrs never did i cut a 4 hr job into 2 if so what r u doin? 1/2 the work ?

    4. I had a situation like this as well. I did the math and she ended up making $100 an hour. As you can imagine, she doesn’t work for me anymore. I appreciate a good cleaning lady, as I am getting on in years and would rather not have the exertion, but I prefer to pay by the hour. I don’t have a problem with them estimating that the size of my house should take four hours, and I’ll pay extra if I ask for something extra, but don’t charge me a deep-cleaning price for a  light cleaning. Perhaps rotating and doing a deep-cleaning one week and a light cleaning the next would be good. Also, I’m with everybody else about the gift keeping you honest. Are you like the man at the office who feels underpaid and takes it out in free office supplies for home? A gift helps you feel appreciated but should not be expected. And yes, most cleaning ladies bring their own supplies, unless asked otherwise. And it is only common courtesy to pick up beforehand so your cleaning lady can get to the surfaces you are paying her to clean. I think it is okay for her to take a short break. I wouldn’t mind if she picked up a book. Businesses usually offer a fifteen minute break every four hours. And speaking of businesses, would they allow you to bring your children? Children are the anti-cleaners. You will be less efficient if you have to watch your child, and if you are not watching your child, also not good.

      1. I think the main thing is that employer and employer settle these things before any work is done and/or when the issue arises.

        That way, an employer knows to seek a house cleaner who is willing and able to do everything that needs to be done, and an employee knows to refuse the job or to put in their notice if they feel the employer asks too much and/or pays too little.

        There’s no need for so much bitterness from all these house cleaners, and it makes them look bad.

  150. I have never hired a housekeeper, being organized and clean by nature.  However, if it ever gets to a point where I couldn’t physically continue, I would never expect someone to wade through toys, clutter, and trash in order to clean because I’m a slob. Get your stuff out of the way so she can do her job well.  It’s hard work, physical labor, usually done by people whose job opportunities are limited. You hire them because you can’t, or don’t want to do it, yet call them lazy?  Have some respect for these women.  Consider whether YOU would do such dirty work for the dollars you pay them, while tolerating being called Her Majesty.  

  151. they deserve respect, too. after all in the eyes of God we are all equal.

  152. I am also a house cleaner and it is so much easier to clean what i am suppose to clean if i can actually get to them. The Key work is HOUSE CLEANER not MAID!!!!

  153. I clean houses & Let me tell you….the more you let the home owner “get you” to do, the more they want done in the same amt of time. Most have no clue how long it actually takes to do a really good job cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, garages, etc!! Because it’s “only” cleaning, a large number of people think it’s easy & not worth them paying very much for!!

    1. It’s hard to find a really good cleaning lady. Once you do find one you definitely have to pay her well in order to keep her.

      1. Exactly. Because so many here want to dictate not only their hours and duties, but also expect to take breaks whenever they feel like it and then receive tokens of appreciation for all their hard work.

        I would gladly pay someone a good wage to do what I need them to do, not what they feel like doing.

        1. I cleaned houses for 11 years while my daughter was in school so that I could be home for her in the morning and afternoon. I was with some of my clients the whole 11 years. I cleaned a house completely to the customers expectation sometimes going over my estimated time, with no extra cost to the client. I took breaks, it’s hard work. Once a year I would do one extra thing for them, like clean the oven or fridge, no extra charge. Most gave me nice Christmas gifts and an extra week’s pay if they went on vacation and didn’t need me the next week. A few gave me keys to their homes, most of them had key entry codes and gave me the code. They trusted me implicitly and I never gave anyone a reason not to. I always took a bag with my own supplies, rags, mop, broom, etc. so I didn’t have to go searching for theirs. I would never “snoop”, once I moved books on a bookshelf to clean it and there was a stack of cash behind a book; I acted like I didn’t even see it and put the book back. If I found a quarter on the floor I would put it on the counter. I would often do dishes left in a sink, change sheets if clean folded sheets were left on a bed, or fold laundry if it was sitting in a basket. I think I went above the call of duty. There were a few women I only cleaned for once or twice because they were just too difficult to deal with, and wanted to treat me like a slave or had mental issues and wanted me to clean something without moving their knick knacks a millimeter this way or that. Sorry for the long post. Happy cleaning!

      2. I am a house cleaner for 17 years and yes, I am a guy. I do love my job, but could certainly write a book about my clients. LOL Some people are truly impossible to work for and others become almost like good friend. Also had several house cleaners myself because the last thing I feel like doing is clean my own house after cleaning houses all week. And many of them I found truly not good when I compared them what I do with as a house cleaner. So, I can see both sides. All I can ad is, yes you guys do hire me to clean your dirty toilets and often unorganized homes, but remember you have a total stranger in your house, often alone, he doesn’t only clean, you can also trust them with your belongings, personal info, pets and so on. So, yes we do a service just like a waiter or valet or any other service and it is nice to get a tip on occasions or/and the customary extra pay for Christmas. It does help to be appreciated, but definitely does not mean that it makes me more or less honest. That is a giving. I need my clients trust in order to work and yes, they CAN trust me.

  154. wow you peopel are so rude. First off a house heeper does the stuff that you dont wanna do like clean off your counter, sweep, mop, dust your cealing fan, vaccume, they dont organize your house your freaking lazy people. They dont go into your kids room and clean up all the toys or organize your countertops from food garbage, papers or what ever else. Thats what you do b4 the house keeper gets there FREAKING LAZY and yea Bailey that girl is wearing her wedding ring on the outside of her gloves lol

    1. Odyssey, I agree with you! You get what you pay for, which means that you need to work out a contract from the get-go. If you’re looking for a housekeeper that literally runs your household for you, you’ll be looking for a very long time, because -NEWSFLASH- your housekeeper has her own household to run, too! Hiring someone to clean should be for busy parents who literally don’t have the time in the day to actually clean, not for lazy parents who won’t make the time to run an organized household.

    2. Perhaps some of the things you don’t want to do is that grungy or tiresome stuff.  As long as the hired help (whatever they call themselves) knows what the job expectation is, and as long as the hours are what was pre-arranged, or the hourly pay is paid for the full time there, it shouldn’t matter what it is.  Frankly, there are some people who honestly don’t have time or physical capabilities of cleaning their own house, but isn’t ‘laziness’/convenience the root of not cleaning your own home in most cases anyway??

  155. Wow. That was disturbing. Little gifts keep you honest? You’ll read a book for 10 minutes then “work faster?” If I’m paying by the hour, I would hope you’re working at full speed from the start. This article has turned me off from hiring a housekeeper.

    1. Treat people with kindness, and you will be treated with respect. At your place of work don’t you take breaks!? No housekeeper would work for you for very long, so it’s a good thing that you won’t employ one!

      1. Marie, at most places of blue-collar work you have to work at least 5 hours before you are allowed to take any (short) break. Unless you are your own employer, you generally don’t get to pick and choose when you take your breaks unless you have a white-collar job which you’ve obtained a degree to place. When somebody else is paying you to get work done, you work. It’s called a job, not play-time.

      2. Employers schedule those breaks. If you want to schedule breaks with your employers, do so. But don’t sneak in breaks, then say you’ll make it up by working faster or longer.

        Why do so many of you have bad attitudes?

        1. For crying out loud, a PAID ten minute break is provided by law in most states to most people working at least four hours. And employers do not always rigidly schedule breaks, especially when the person is working on their own and directing their own day as far as the schedule goes. Pipe down, a ten-minute break isn’t illegal or immoral. The cleaning person is a human being, not a slave.

          1. You are correct, they are a human being and not a slave being. However, if they can’t schedule their breaks to be between houses, then there might be a problem. Most regular cleanings are 2 hours max. I smoke a pack a day, and I can make it that long without a break.

          2. Most regular cleanings are NOT 2 hours max. You are labouring under a false illusion here. Or, you have a dirty house.

          3. 2 hours MAX? Where are you from? LOL If it only takes 2 hours for a house to get cleaned, then someone isn’t cleaning properly. Either that or you have a studio which is very small…

          4. If you want to play by the book and law and get your scheduled breaks and everything else that goes along with a job then you need to also pay taxes like the people who take breaks, and you need to be managed like the people who go to work every day.

      3. I DO indeed take breaks at my place of work. I also got breaks when I was cleaning houses, it was called the commute from one home to the next. Most places that I had to clean were either 1 or 2 hour places however, so I haven’t had to deal with the 4-6 hour cleans. Well, did do one deep cleaning for a couple that was moving, they were there and didn’t have a problem with me taking 5 to step out and smoke.

    2. I agree ENTIRELY!  I don’t care how nice you are, you were paid/hired to do a SERVICE, NOT to read!!!
      If you notice a book, I’d gladly let someone I know borrow it but eesh

    3. as a house cleaner, i found the little gifts keep me honest thing ridiculous. You either are honest or you aren’t. If a client gives me a small gift, I say thank you, but it doesn’t mean that I steal from the ones who don’t do that! Also, a decent house cleaner NEVER snoops! I am no wiser on what’s in people’s drawers today than I was five years ago! I’m there to clean, not take inventory! I personally would give a warning to anyone caught reading my books or looking in my fridge, and, if it happened again, I would fire them!

      1.  Kleenfiend, I think you should have written the tips instead, you sound like a level-headed person!

      2.  Kleenfiend, I think you should have written the tips instead, you sound like a level-headed person!

    4. Exactly what I was thinking. I would not hire someone who wants extra gifts in addition to their pay, just to keep them from stealing.

      This article and the responses from these “professional” house cleaners have convinced me to clean my own house!

      1. Or look for the local mom and pop cleaners that are normally quite a bit better about who they hire as well as what needs to be done at each clients house.

    5.  I agree MissMouthy–that phrase took be by surprise as well –little gifts keep housecleaners honest?  What’s that supposed to mean — if you don’t give a gift, they will steal from you? I’m surprised that this statement has not been removed from this “tip”.

    6.  I agree MissMouthy–that phrase took be by surprise as well –little gifts keep housecleaners honest?  What’s that supposed to mean — if you don’t give a gift, they will steal from you? I’m surprised that this statement has not been removed from this “tip”.

    7. Finish your job, then you know how much time you have left to read books…yours or your employers.  I know of housekeepers/cleaners/maids for a day do their jobs, then stay and chat.  Not everyone is on the tight 4 jobs a day schedule.  They have become friends of the families in many cases.  (or perhaps were friends to begin with)

    8. Little gifts??? A souvenir from a trip??? You’re reading my stuff??? I didn’t hire you to peruse my books. I hired you to clean. The gardener doesn’t expect treats to provide the service for which he or she is being paid. Nor would the paper carrier stop and read my paper before delivering. I suppose I should also find it acceptable when the clerk at my grocery store reads my magazine before putting it in the bag. Is this list for real? Clearly, the housekeepers interviewed aren’t very professional. I guess I better go buy mine a treat in order to keep her honest or make her work harder. Seriously, this list is insulting to both housekeepers and employers.

    9. seriously! You know what little thing keeps me honest? A conscience! Incredible, no? It means I’m honest to not only people that give me gifts, but also to people that don’t give me gifts.

    10. I so agree. How disturbing that paying a housekeeper their wage is not enough to keep them honest – I would think honesty is a given and understood in any job….if their plan is to screw you over if they don’t get something “extra” that’s a clear indication you should never have this person in your home, how scary.

  156. The suggestion to pick up toys from the floor before Her Majesty starts cleaning the surfaces is bullshit.

    1. Dear Pampered Princess, If you don’t pick up things than things don’t get cleaned!! These are wonderful employees not slaves, and like any other job they have alloted times for each client not all day! Your vulgar language shows that you lack respect for others, even yourself! To you, “Your Highness” please get off of your high horse and get a life!!

      1. I agree, I am there to clean not pick up after you. I am a housekeeper not the maid. I used to do 4 larges homes a day and did not have time to pick up your stiff. You are old enough to pick it up yourself and put it away. Did your mother not teach you anything.

        1. So apparently, although you are being paid to clean the house, you want your employers to clean up before you get there, or you think they’re being rude? Why would anyone want to hire you with such a bad attitude?

          1. There is a difference between a housekeeper, and a house cleaner.  Which do you intend to hire?  This article is about house cleaners.  We don’t pick up people’s messes.  We clean bathrooms, dust, vacuum, and wash floors.  We may do other jobs that you’ve requested.  But picking up your dirty laundry off the floor or organizing your kid’s room so that it can be cleaned– I just don’t have the time for it unless you want me to leave you an additional bill.  I need to get home in time to get my own child off the bus.

          2. with such a dearth of jobs availible, I am always and have always been happy to do anything asked as long as it is not dangerous or toxic or against the law. I have loyal customers for years. There is no reason to be so arch about what you will and wont do if you are cleaning others’ houses. Your attitude of resentment kbeckwith and kmangels2u and Marie. Especially Marie. Keeping a clear and clear mind, sweetened with decent thoughts about other humans and you will go far. Dont, and you will be miserable about many things in life Marie. Dont like the work? Let someone else do it then. They would be glad to have the income. And you can go your own way to something that doesnt irk you so hard emotionally.

          3. i do agree! it has been a point of stress for me, preparing for my cleaning lady.
            by the time i am done, she sweeps mops and wipes everything down.
            the problem is…… those are all things i do every day, several times a day. what is most upseting is that, there are still deep cleaning things that she dose not do or she charges extra..

          4. So true. Not hard to figure out why so many people are unemployed today. People’s expectations are just completely ridiculous. If I went to work everyday with that attitude I wouldn’t have a job very long. Like it or not we are all slaves to our employers…

        2. you’re a housekeeper and NOT the maid? I’m sorry your highness, those terms are synonymous…

          1. They’re not, really. And Kmangels2u is erroneously calling herself a housekeeper. She isn’t. She’s a house cleaner. A housekeeper, does pick up and does laundry as well as dust, sweep, vacuum and such. They also can be tasked with shopping for groceries and cleaning supplies. Housekeepers literally keep house. Maids work under housekeepers and do the picking up and cleaning, but never laundry or shopping for anything.

        3. Sorry but you cannot clean 4 houses a day..not even the small ones. I know what I am saying. You probably left a lot to be done. And yes it is a nightmare having to prepare to wait for the house cleaner. That is way I let mine go.

          1. You are wrong.Im a house cleaner and I clean five houses a day.I work hard and come home tired,but thats ok,and my clients dont have to wait for me.I either have a key , the key under mat,or door left open.Ive been with my clients 10 .years. You hired the wrong people.If you all are complaining about the house cleaners then “DO IT YOURSELF”

      2. Marie,
        shut… up! and start cleaning now.. and who said you can wear shoes and use a computer!!!

        1. Ummm….anyone can wear shoes, and anyone can use a computer. How about you get out of your bigoted 1950’s thinking and come into the real world.

          She has a very valid point. Especially if it is not something that the cleaner has already discussed with the home owner. Yeah, I’ll pick up your dear, loving, kind childrens’ toys since you obviously haven’t taught them anything about responsibility, but it’s going to cost you an extra hour or two.

      3. Marie,
        shut… up! and start cleaning now.. and who said you can wear shoes and use a computer!!!

      1. I would be happy to pick up after you first, Sandrine. It’s your buck. As long as you don’t complain about the extra time it will take and the extra money it will cost you.

        1. That is exactly right. I’ll take that extra hour (at twenty five bucks an hour) to pick up your kid’s toys and your slobby husband’s laundry that didn’t make it into the dirty clothes bin. Fine by me…

      2. I’ve been in the housekeeping business many years and I’m good at what I do.  Straightening up, to a degree, is to be expected.  When it’s more than that it’s a different job entirely.  The more time I spend picking up and trying to figure out where the clients stuff goes the less time I have to actually clean.  If you want both jobs done be prepared for it to take more time.  The more hours it takes to do the more it will cost.  Too many people expect miracles in record time and for not much money.  I call these Pile it On clients.  I have clients who can’t keep a housekeeper to save their lives.  Do they EVER think it has something to do with them?  No.  

        1. I’ve let go a couple housekeepers for being dishonest, not doing the job, showing up chronically late, and especially making our home toxic with their judgemental complaints about their own lives and everyone else’s. It’s a professional job. Act it. dont like the work. Get out of the business. 

      3. I am both a cleaner and have hired cleaners.  And yes, you don’t leave the house a pigsty with clutter.  Otherwise the cleaner cannot CLEAN.  Are you looking for a housekeeper instead?  They will do your laundry, put away your dirty dishes and pick up your messes.  Be clear about what your needs are and make sure you are hiring the correct type of help.  I always specify that I do bathrooms, dusting top to bottom, vacuum and wash floors.  I go over expectations with clients beforehand.  And I’ve never had an unhappy client.  :-)

      4. Why do so many people here not understand what cleaning is? I can’t start cleaning my own house until I pick up any junk cluttering the surfaces that need to be cleaned. Why would I expect a house cleaner to be able to do what I cannot? Don’t confuse organizing your stuff with removing grime from floors, bathrooms, and kitchens.

      5. Really? Do we call people “the help” these days? You have problems, milady.

    2. I think the point with this is that they don’t want to invade your privacy by moving your things around.  My mother in law, bless her, does that everytime she “helps” me, then I can never find my important documents {which I have in certain piles but she moves to God knows where} or things in my kitchen like my vegetable peeler etc she’s gotten out of the dishwasher and put wherever she wants.  They don’t know where your papers go or what you want left alone so work around your mess. 

    3. I have 4 year-old triplets and a 15-month old, all boys, and we use a cleaning service every other week. In my view, they are here to sanitize my house and do the stuff that I don’t have time to do regularly, like dust my ceiling fans, wipe down the baseboards, etc.  I have a small 3-bedroom house with 2 bathrooms and they clean from top to bottom within 2 hours. If I pick up the toys and have the counters and desk clear, they spend their “extra” time cleaning the shelves in my fridge or doing something else that helps me out in a big way. I have days where I don’t get the toys picked up, but then they spend their time helping me get the toys away instead of cleaning something. How do you want them to spend their time? My choice is to have them clean and disinfect, not put the toys away. My kids can do that!

    4. I suppose this would depend on the schedule of the employee.  If it’s a once or twice a week gig, then you’re just a slob.

    5. We would most likely charge you more for having to do this each time. Whose the “Majesty” here?? lol.

    6. I will pick up your toys/dirty clothes/beer cans if you like. I will just skip the baseboards or blinds that day. I usually clean 2 houses each day and allot a certain amount of time for each. Also, I am your housekeeper, not your mommy.

      1. then you should be paid accordingly, if you’re doing half the job you should get paid for half the job.

    7.  No, it isn’t. Maids are paid to clean, not raise your children properly. Children should be trained to pick up their own toys.

    8.  That ‘tidbit’ is true.. and here’s why… I’m only at your house for certain amount of time. You pay me for a “4” hour job….So to come into a house in TOTAL (some ‘organizing is to be expected) disarray eats into the time I could be cleaning your kitchen, washing your picture windows, waxing your hardwood floors. The same way you don’t want me wasting the time I am at you house texting, you shouldn’t want me picking up the 4 puzzles and deck of cards dumped on the floor in the playroom,putting the board game and pieces up that are on the dining room table, picking up 7 pairs of shoes and a few socks off  the living room floor, taking dishes out of all bathrooms and putting all the spices and condiments back up in the kitchen instead  of cleaning… Unless…this has been a ‘per-arranged’ part of the ‘clean-up’ contract… you’re making unrealistic demands on a person who is doing a service for you…

      If you’re forcing your housecleaner to spend an extra hours ‘picking up’ your entire house.. one of two things are going to have to happen..

      1. your house doesn’t get cleaned as well as it should have been because hours were used ‘organizing’ instead of cleaning.. thus making you resent your cleaner for not doing their job and them resenting you for taking advantage of them

      2. your cleaner works that extra time without pay..

      and really, 3. you set the rest of their day up to fail.. making you a pretty selfish employer since now the 3 other ‘jobs’ your cleaner does that day will have to be on your schedule instead of the schedule they made with the cleaner..

    9.  That ‘tidbit’ is true.. and here’s why… I’m only at your house for certain amount of time. You pay me for a “4” hour job….So to come into a house in TOTAL (some ‘organizing is to be expected) disarray eats into the time I could be cleaning your kitchen, washing your picture windows, waxing your hardwood floors. The same way you don’t want me wasting the time I am at you house texting, you shouldn’t want me picking up the 4 puzzles and deck of cards dumped on the floor in the playroom,putting the board game and pieces up that are on the dining room table, picking up 7 pairs of shoes and a few socks off  the living room floor, taking dishes out of all bathrooms and putting all the spices and condiments back up in the kitchen instead  of cleaning… Unless…this has been a ‘per-arranged’ part of the ‘clean-up’ contract… you’re making unrealistic demands on a person who is doing a service for you…

      If you’re forcing your housecleaner to spend an extra hours ‘picking up’ your entire house.. one of two things are going to have to happen..

      1. your house doesn’t get cleaned as well as it should have been because hours were used ‘organizing’ instead of cleaning.. thus making you resent your cleaner for not doing their job and them resenting you for taking advantage of them

      2. your cleaner works that extra time without pay..

      and really, 3. you set the rest of their day up to fail.. making you a pretty selfish employer since now the 3 other ‘jobs’ your cleaner does that day will have to be on your schedule instead of the schedule they made with the cleaner..

    10. It’s common sense that you can’t clean a surface that is covered with something else. You know where the toys go, but your housekeeper does not. You certainly seem common enough, so I’m surprised you can’t figure this out.

    11. Shows you don’t have clue. I pick up after rich kids who have never learned to put away their stuff. Takes me two hours just to clean one big bedroom, and I’m supposed to be done with whole mansion in 5 hours.

    12. No, actually it is considerate to pick up the clutter so the house cleaner can clean. Also, it saves the client money, because if the house cleaner has to take the time to pick up all the clutter; it only costs the client more money in the long run. So its a win win situation if the client picks up before.

    13. I agree with you Monica. If you’re paying someone to clean your home then they should do exactly that, you should not have to do half their job for them.

  157. Is that lady wearing her wedding band on the outside of her latex glove?

    1. I think she is wearing rings on both hands.  I guess she wants her rings to get sparkly clean without drying her hands. :)

  158. These are more things you would like than things that won’t be told!

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