1. 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.
2. Just because someone looks polished on the outside doesn’t mean their home is spotless. 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.
3. Do you want to keep working after you get home? Neither do we. Some of us actually hire someone else to clean our homes.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Be wary if I give you my price over the phone. Reputable cleaners come to your home and give you a free estimate.
7. Letting us work “by the job” sometimes means you get less for your money. It can be more cost effective to pay an hourly rate, especially once your home is in a maintenance mode.
8. 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.
9. Think our insurance will cover you? 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.
10. 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.
11. Please don’t stand over my shoulder the whole time telling me how to do it. If you already know how to do it, why don’t you do it?
12. I know more than you think. 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.
13. I had one client who would clean his house before I would even show up! It just made my job harder, because I had to try to figure out what was clean and what was dirty.
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