If you're like us, scrubbing and scouring and dusting and polishing tends to fall by the wayside when there's a lot going on. But what if you could run all your errands and still manage some downtime while someone else made your home sparkle? HomeAdvisor has the following tips.
Housekeeping and maid services may sound like a luxury, but you might be surprised by how reasonable these services can be. A cleaning session with a local professional service costs an average of $165, or about $25 to $45 per hour.
Whether you're setting up weekly appointments or scheduling a one-time deep clean, here are some ways to cut down on costs and guarantee the biggest bang for your buck!
Decide What You Need — And What You Don't
Begin by determining what exactly you want a cleaning service to tackle. First, decide whether you're in the market for a maid service, which involves your basic vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing, or a housekeeper, who will also pick up your clutter and do the dishes and laundry.
Then, make a list of the rooms you'd like to have cleaned (here's looking at you, gross bathroom!), along with any special tasks you'd like completed, such as washing windows or scrubbing the fridge. Go over the list with the cleaning service before they come to your home. Being choosy about what gets cleaned (and when) is key to racking up savings. While many cleaning services charge an hourly rate, some bill by square footage or number of rooms.
Find the Best Service for You
When you're ready to get started, use this cleaning service finder to get quotes from vetted and reviewed services near you. As with any service, be sure to ask around, get references, and check reviews to find the best company for your needs. The more you know, the more you can save.
If you're new to hiring cleaning help, hiring a professional service may be more involved than you'd think. Get smart about your spending with these tips.
Extra Tasks: Standard maid service includes vacuuming floors; dusting surfaces; and scrubbing floors, sinks and countertops. A variety of other chores may be included, but don't assume so. Some services will change bed linens or take out your trash, but speak with the service upfront about what is and isn't part of the deal. Extra tasks can often involve extra fees. Window cleaning, for example, can run an additional $20-$70, and oven cleaning can cost an additional $25-$30.
Frequency: Many providers offer lower rates if you set up regular cleanings, so booking multiple visits may actually net you some savings — about $5 to $10 per cleaning, or upwards of $200 a year. Weekly or bi-weekly visits are not only more cost-effective, but they are also healthier. Regular cleanings reduce allergens and bacteria, helping to keep your family happily sneeze- and sniffle-free.
Supplies: One important cost-saving tip is to buy your own supplies. You'll likely want them around the house anyway, so why pay for the service to bring its own? This way, you can get the products you like — environmentally friendly, lemon-scented, whatever your pleasure — and save a few bucks
Gratuity: Generally, if you hire a professional cleaning service for regular weekly, bi-weekly or monthly cleanings, you are not expected to tip each time. However, it never hurts to leave a little extra for a job well done, and it's customary to tip around the holidays. If you're bringing someone in for a one-time clean, it's a nice gesture to tip around 10-20 percent. Remember that the people cleaning your home are doing all the work you don't want to do yourself. If you're happy with their work, a small amount of cash is a great way to show it!
Prep Work: Even if you're making regular appointments, there are little things you can do around the house to cut down on cleaning time — and therefore cost. Take some time to clear away shoes, toys and knick-knacks to make surfaces more accessible. Cleaning for the cleaning service may sound ridiculous, but if you can keep up with the small stuff, they have more time to concentrate on the tasks you really don't want to tackle — like getting three weeks of crusted-on spaghetti sauce off of your stovetop.
Consider the Perks
Imagine this: Your house is spotless, but you're not sore, sweaty, tired or disgruntled. Sounds pretty good, right? Hiring a cleaning service can save you time, energy and headaches, especially around the holidays. If the professionals can get your home pristine while you're out being you, why not let them?