Category Archives: Hiring a cleaner for your home

How to Hire a House Cleaning Service (With Step-by-Step Checklist)

washing dishes as part of a winter deep cleanIf you’re ready to throw in the towel on your house cleaning, these tips for hiring the best house cleaner are for you. The good news is you can hire a home cleaner to help with as much or as little cleaning as need done.

There are two options for home cleaners: an individual home cleaner or a home cleaning service. There are advantages or disadvantages to both. Some homeowners like the comfort of having one cleaner come every time (which can be done with an individual cleaner or home cleaning service). Others choose to hire a home cleaning service because of the availability, training, and assurances (i.e. for complaints, insurance, etc.)

The main difference between the two is availability. Home cleaning services always have employees available to clean, both for random cleanings (“I really need my home cleaned up before my party!”) or for regular weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleanings. Individual home cleaners typically require a more flexible schedule with an occasional break. Some cleaners require a set number of hours from homeowners.

Unfortunately, hiring either type of home cleaner comes with a process (a short process!) that ensures that both parties are satisfied.

Hiring a House Cleaning Service Checklist

____ Make a list of home cleaning services.

  • Ask friends and family for recommendations.
  • Do an internet search for local house cleaning services (i.e. “cleaning services near me,” “house cleaning near me.”
  • Research reviews on local cleaning services (i.e. Yelp, Facebook, etc.)

____ Decide what cleaning tasks you need done.

  • Make a list of all the cleaning tasks you need done.
  • Contact cleaning services for a free quote.

____ Interview each service.

  • “How long have you been in business? Can you provide references from past clients?”
  • “Is your service insured? What process should I follow if anything in my home is damaged?”
  • “Do you perform background checks on all your home cleaners?”
  • “Does your service supply the cleaning supplies and equipment?”
  • “Who should I contact to schedule a home cleaning?”
  • “Do I need to be here when the home cleaner comes?”
  • “Should I secure my pet when the cleaner comes over?”
  • “Who should I contact if I have any complaints?”
  • “Do I need to sign a contract?”

____ Hire the house cleaning service.

  • Review all contracts and proof of insurance.
  • Reiterate your list of cleaning tasks and expectations.
  • Sign all necessary paperwork before the first cleaning.

____ Schedule a home cleaning and enjoy the perks of a shorter to-do list.

How can I find a home cleaner?

home bathroom ready for spring cleaningA home cleaner can be the answer to all those times when you needed help cleaning the house or don’t have time for a deep cleaning. (And that’s not even counting all those times when you need to get ready for party guests or the in-laws visit.) Knowing when you need a home cleaner is easy. Finding and hiring a home cleaner can be more difficult.

The path to a good home cleaner is actually a series of steps that can take a family from in serious need of a cleaning to “oh, I’m so glad we have a home cleaner.”

Decide between a service or individual

There are two main kinds of home cleaners: cleaning services and individuals. Both home cleaning options come with pros and cons.

Cleaning services are available to clean as often and when is needed, whereas individual cleaners can usually come on a schedule that works for them. Both options should come with insurance (be very careful about hiring cleaners that don’t) in case of damage to items or property. Another advantage of a cleaning service is that they usually employ many cleaners, meaning that a cleaner is available in case another cannot make it.

The difference in price between the two depends on the individual or the cleaning service. Before contacting a home cleaner, make a list of cleaning tasks that need to be done and decide on how often the tasks need to be done (i.e. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) Once the list is finalized, contact the cleaner for a free quote.

Ask for recommendations

One of the best and easiest ways to find a home cleaner is to ask friends and family for recommendations. Be leery of recommendations that aren’t based on personal experience. Often, people recommend their friend, family member, or a friend of a friend without knowing if they do a good job.

Research your options

Don’t be afraid to do as much research as possible about your potential home cleaners. Ask cleaning services and individuals for references. Check social media and review sites for positive and negative feedback.

Conduct a thorough interview

Before hiring a cleaner or scheduling a cleaning, always interview prospective cleaners. Ask these questions over the phone or in-person:

  • “How long have you been in business? Can you provide references from past clients?”
  • “Can you provide proof of insurance? What is the process for reporting if anything is damaged?”
  • “Do you do background checks on your cleaners?”
  • “Do I need to provide any cleaning supplies?”
  • “How do I contact you to schedule a home cleaning?”
  • “Do I need to be home? Is there a process for giving you access if I am not home?”
  • “Do I need to secure my pet while the home cleaner is here?”
  • “What is the cost of your cleaning services? Is it an hourly or set amount? Are there any additional fees?”
  • “Are there any cleaning services you cannot perform?”
  • “Who should I contact if there are any issues? How should I contact them?”
  • “Do you provide a contract with all the terms and conditions on paper?”

4 Things to Look for In Your Home Cleaner

happy family in clean house cleaned by home cleanerYou’re overwhelmed. Your schedule is too busy. You’re barely home. You want to spend quality time with your kids not cleaning. There are a million reasons to look for a home cleaner to help with cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms, or doing your laundry. Whatever home cleaning you need, don’t hire a home cleaner without using this list to hire the best home cleaner for your cleaning tasks.


Your home cleaner should be able to come on a schedule you specify to do the cleaning tasks you request.  If you have a limited availability, consider hiring a cleaning service which typically has more cleaners and, therefore, more availability to clean your home on your schedule.

Back-up cleaners

Consider those “just-in-case” scenarios when looking for a home cleaner. What happens when your home cleaner gets sick—or their kids get sick, or they are called away for an emergency? What do you do if your cleaner goes on vacation for two weeks during your kids’ birthday party? Ask your home cleaners about their contingency plan for those “just-in-case” scenarios.


To find out if home cleaning services is within your budget, contact the cleaners or cleaning service for a free quote.  If the quote comes back higher than anticipated, adjust your list of cleaning services to try to bring the price within your home budget.


Whether you use an individual or a cleaning service, ask for proof of insurance—and be prepared to turn away any home cleaner that cannot provide one.  Don’t take no for an answer; proof of insurance is important in case of accidental damage to your home or your possessions.  Every cleaning service you contact should be able to provide proof, as this is a routine part of business; follow their lead and use it as a key part of hiring a home cleaner.

5 New Year’s Resolutions That’ll Keep Your Home Cleaner

happy new year resolutions graphicThe New Year is the time to make promises that improve your life: to work out so you are healthier, to get your finance in order, to go into the year with a clean and organized home. If your resolution is the latter, remember that an ounce of prevention can go a long way when trying to win the war. Just a few minutes of cleaning every night (and resolutions to do them every day), can get your home in shape, and cut down on your hours of cleaning.

I will wipe down my counters every day.

Depending on your schedule, wipe down your bathroom countertop after you get ready in the morning and evening or do a general countertop cleaning before you go to bed. For your kitchen, make sure you wipe down your counters at the end of the day, or after every meal.

I will wash my dishes.

cleaning suppliesMake washing and drying your dishes, and wiping out your sinks a daily habit. Not only will you have cleaner dishes, you also won’t have to face the pile of dirty dishes every day and a dirty and stained sink. You also won’t have to—and we’re not saying you do—go into a panic about drop-in guests seeing your dirty dishes.

I will clear the clutter.

This resolution can apply to two different kinds of clutter: the pile of papers, toys, and miscellaneous items that litter your house or the “extra” items you don’t want to store or keep out any more. For the daily items, go through and sort your mail every day. Develop a filing system so your papers are organized and put away. And who could forget about the toys that get left out? If your kids are old enough, make picking up their toys a chore that needs to be done every night, or make a quick run through the house to gather up all the items you don’t want to step on that night.

If your resolution revolves more around de-cluttering extra items (i.e. décor, clothes, etc.), take a few minutes every night to go through a box, or a shelf of items that you want to sort. Put items you don’t want in a box to donate to a thrift store, and make regular runs to get the items out of your home. If you plan to rid your home of these items via a rummage sale, sort your items into organized boxes so you are prepared and ready in the spring.

I will put rugs by all my exterior doors.

What’s better than keeping up with your daily cleanings? Not having to clean at all. There are two benefits for putting down rugs by all your exterior doors: 1) the rugs can catch the water, gravel, and dirt that your family and guests track in so you don’t have to clean; 2) using rugs as a catch-all for debris protects your flooring from stains and scratches.

I will hire a cleaning service.

If you feel like you fit any more into your day, hiring a cleaning service. There’s no shame or blame in asking for help (and you don’t even have to tell people, we won’t) when your calendar is full. You can hire a cleaning service to do certain cleaning tasks around your home (i.e. laundry, bathrooms) or hire a cleaner to give your home a deep clean. To make sure that you are successfully fulfilling this New Year’s resolution, do your homework when choosing a cleaner (we’ve written about it here). Whatever decision you make, don’t let this New Year’s resolution become another resolution that you didn’t keep; contact a cleaner to get your home cleaner now and throughout the New Year.

How to Hire a Cleaner for Your Home

When you’ve decided you need help keeping up with house cleaning, have promised yourself that you’ve scrubbed your last toilet, or are ready to completely hand home cleaning over to the professionals, it’s time to start with the process of hiring a cleaner for your home (which is not as intimidating as it seems, we promise). You have two options: hire an individual or a cleaning service. Both have pros and cons:

Home cleaner (individual)

Pros: One contact for communication and feedback, familiarity, cost is usually less than cleaning service

Cons: no back-up if home cleaner is unavailable, extra verification needed for documentation (i.e. insurance, tax documentation if paid more than $1700/year), have to schedule cleanings around their availability, may have to increase home insurance if cleaner does not have insurance

Home cleaner (cleaning service)

Pros: Have back-up home cleaners if your preferred cleaner is unavailable, all home cleaners are trained to do professional home cleaning work, you can contact their company to deal with complaints, cleaning companies can often do cleaning beyond the “normal” cleaning tasks, most cleaning companies have insurance in case of damage

Cons: May not have the same cleaner for every cleaning, cost is usually more than an individual

Determine what you need

We had a friend who hired a home cleaner to clean her bathrooms. Another busy colleague hired a cleaning service to wash, fold and put away her laundry. What do you need help with? Make a list of cleaning tasks. One of the perks of hiring a cleaner for your home is the ability to decide what you need done.

Set a schedule

Cleaning services do the cleaning jobs that you request. Once you have your list of cleaning tasks you need done, determine the frequency you need cleaning at your home. Do you need a daily cleaning or weekly cleaning? You set the schedule. Also what is the optimal time for the cleaning service to begin and finish? Do you want the cleaning service to come in the evening? Early morning?

Request a Quote

Once you’ve got a final list of cleaning tasks that need to be completed, request quotes from local cleaning services. If you don’t know what cleaning services or home cleaners to contact, ask your friends for referrals. Because cleaning services do the cleaning you need done on a schedule you dictate, understand that the service is not going to be able to give you an immediate answer.

Be prepared to discuss the cleaning jobs you need completed with each company or individual, your preferred schedule and any other special request you may have. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from existing customers.

Enjoy the benefits

Once you’ve hired a home cleaner, enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, more organized home. Hiring a cleaning service gives you the freedom to spend your off-time off. If you travel for work, having outside cleaning help means a clean home, and someone to check in on your home (to make sure the pipes haven’t burst!), when you are away. The bonus: you don’t have to stress about entertaining—specifically about preparing for company. It’s a win-win situation for you, your home and your guests.

5 Reasons to Hire a Home Cleaning Service

Everyone’s reason to hire a home cleaning service is different. It may be your busy professional life, or your extensive traveling schedule that keeps you from maintaining your home. Or your reasons may be very small, and all under the age of 5. Your reason may be your entertaining schedule, or the constant inflow of guests you expect at the cabin this summer. Our former colleague’s reason was very big, and sometimes grew as tall as her: her laundry pile from her family of 5 that never shrunk because of her busy professional schedule. Whatever your personal reason, we’ve compiled 5 of the most common general reasons our clients hire a home cleaning service, and keep coming back:

  • An organized and clean house is a more efficient house to function in. Even if it’s just psychological, most families can function better in a clean house. Part of that is the fact that it’s easier to find what you need (such as that shirt for your kid’s concert) and stay organized when you don’t have to wade through the piles of dust and stuff.
  • Allows you the time to devote to your top priorities. Whether your priorities have names, or are hobbies, you don’t always want to spend all your spare time cleaning your home. Hiring a home cleaning service gives you the freedom to spend you off-time off. If you travel for work, having outside cleaning help means a clean home, and someone to check in on your home (to make sure the pipes haven’t burst!), when you are away.
  • A cleaning service gives you more time to work—and make money. This is your classic profit versus cost evaluation. Will you make money cleaning or working on your next project?
  • You don’t have to stress about entertaining—specifically about preparing for company. Entertaining should be a pleasant experience, not an “I-didn’t-clean-my-house-and-I’m-stressed-about-what-they’ll-think” kind of event where you are paranoid about every speck of dust that you didn’t have time to clean.
  • You’re not around that much. If you’re thinking of hiring a cleaning service for your up north cabin, your reason may be that you are half a state away. That’s when a cleaning service makes sense so your cabin is ready for your guests, or renters that come up to your cabin all summer.

One of the best reasons to hire a home cleaning service is that they only do what you want. A professional cleaner can fold your laundry, clean your floors, or take on the spring deep clean that didn’t happen. Contact a home cleaning service. Give your cleaner specific instructions on what you do or don’t want done in your home, and discuss a schedule for cleaning. You can hire a home cleaning service to come every week, every month or whenever you have company coming over or a renter coming to your cabin. Whatever the reason, the results are the same: a clean, organized home without sacrificing all your spare time.

House Decluttering & Organization Tips

You can tell it’s spring when the spring cleaning posts for your home, cabin and business show up on the blog. But spring cleaning isn’t really spring cleaning without a healthy dose of house decluttering and organization tips. You know what we’re talking about—decluttering and organizing that “stuff” that piled up over the winter, if not for years. So how do you tackle that pile that resembles the hoarding shows on TV (or at least are way too unorganized for your taste and lifestyle?). Start at the beginning:

  1. Turn your pile into piles. Go through the pile, and sort. For example, create a pile of “office supplies,” another pile of “outgrown clothes” and a third pile of “don’t need anymore.”
  2. Let go. Plan on donating some of that stuff, especially items that don’t fit, don’t get used or won’t get used any time soon—including furniture. This is the essence of decluttering—clean up the space! If you donate to a charitable organization, keep a record of the items you donate for a possible tax deduction next year.
  3. Invest in shelving and boxes (or use what you have). De-cluttering is clearing up space, now it’s time to move on to organization. The first step is to create an organization system that works for you—whether it’s a series of drawers or shelves or an armoire where you can keep things (cleanly, not in piles).
  4. Hire someone else to take on decluttering and organizing if you can’t. You don’t have time. You can’t because of medical reasons. We all have legitimate reasons for not being able to take on the decluttering and organization of our basement, spare room, or house in general. If you can’t, hire a cleaning service to take on the project so you’re clear of that stuff forever. Leave clear instructions on what you want done with the stuff, or how you want it organized.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

It’s clear to spring has come to Wisconsin. The temperatures are rising, snow is thawing and the spring mud is threatening our homes. That’s right: threatening. While Wisconsinites love spring, trying to keep your home clean and tackle spring cleaning among the mud is a challenge for even the most fastidious homeowner. What’s even more of a challenge is trying to stay organized in your spring cleaning efforts (and to keep your family on task).

Take a deep breath. Don’t worry. We’ve come up with a spring cleaning checklist suitable for most Wisconsin homeowners so you can check off your finished spring cleaning tasks:

  • Cleaning your appliances (including the dishwasher, fridge, washer or stove).
  • Removing spider webs.
  • Window cleaning.
  • Dusting ceiling fans and washing light fixture coverings.
  • Blind and curtain cleaning.
  • Clean the top of cabinets.
  • Grout cleaning.
  • Carpet and floor cleaning.
  • Power washing your house.
  • Vent cleaning.
  • Washing comforters and quilts.
  • Fireplace stone/tile and mantle clean up.
  • Cleaning sliding door tracks.
  • Scrub down showers.
  • Dust inside of cabinets.

If you are a fastidious homeowner who doesn’t have time to clean up that spring mud, and get all the other essential spring cleaning tasks done, contact a professional cleaner who can give your home a deep spring clean. Enjoy your finished checklist of spring cleaning tasks, and then head outside with your fellow Wisconsinites to enjoy the warm spring temperatures.

Having no luck hiring a quality home cleaner?

You shouldn’t need luck to hire the right home cleaner. We’ve all heard the horror stories about someone who hired a friend of a friend to clean their home, and the arrangement ended in disaster. The friend of a friend didn’t show up. The friend of a friend didn’t do their job. The friend of a friend broke in with other friends. So what should you look for when you hire a home cleaner? We’ll give you a hint: it’s not a lucky rabbit’s foot, it’s a home cleaner with the following qualities:

  • Dependable cleaner(s) that show up. One of the disadvantages of hiring an individual to clean your house is the “just-in-case” scenarios. What do you do just-in-case your cleaner gets sick? What do you do just-in-case your cleaner goes on vacation for two weeks when you have your kids’ birthday party schedule? A cleaning service has back-up cleaners available to come clean when those just-in-case scenarios kick in—back-up cleaners with the same attention to detail and cleanliness.
  • Flexible cleaners. We’re not talking about acrobats; we’re talking about cleaners who can do what you want when you want it. Hiring a cleaning service gives you the flexibility to bring in cleaners when you need to do the cleaning tasks you need.
  • Cleaners that fit your budget, and your schedule. Your home cleaner should be able to come when you need. If you want to minimize the cost of the home cleaner through a home cleaning service, shorten your list of cleaning tasks. A cleaning service can adjust the schedule and scope of work easily, so you can be easy on your budget and still have a clean house.

Hire a home cleaning service with home cleaners that have all these qualities and can provide quality service in your Dodge or Jefferson County home. ZBM Clean has professional home cleaners that can keep your home clean no matter how busy you get, whenever you need. All you have to do is contact them to set up a schedule today.

Get a Jump on Home Spring Cleaning

No matter what the ground hog predicted, spring fever is in the air.  Wisconsin residents are ready for the warm spring temperatures, even though winter is in full force. While we can’t bring you spring, we can bring you spring cleaning tasks you can tackle even in the middle of our cold Wisconsin winter—spring cleaning tasks that are sure to bring hope for spring:

  1. Winter is an ideal time to sort, organize and clear out unwanted clutter. A few minutes of organizing and cleaning a day, or a few hours on one day, can keep your home neat, tidy and free of clutter.
  2. Remove cob webs. It’s amazing how even if you don’t see a spider, webs seem to magically appear throughout your home. Take a good broom to those pesky cob webs, and a towel to clean the walls around the web if needed.
  3. Clean tile grout. For tile in your bathroom or kitchen, give your tile a good washing and your grout a good scrubbing. Tile can be wiped down with a soft, non-abrasive cloth; grout should be cleaned with a brush specially produced for the project. Use water for mild dirt, or a vinegar-water mixture to lift the stains.
  4. Wash the inside of your windows. No one wants to be outside in the biting winds getting frostbite from our cold Wisconsin winter. Go after the problem from the inside; use a soft non-abrasive cloth for wiping the glass. Use a second rag to wipe down the window frame (do this before cleaning the glass).
  5. Blind and curtain cleaning. As long as you’re cleaning the window, you might as well clean the blinds and curtains too, right? Use a long narrow duster for plastic blinds, or spray and wipe down with a cloth. Throw washable curtains in the wash machine to give them a much-needed clean.

If you don’t have time for spring cleaning now or even in the spring, hire a professional cleaner to give your home a deep clean. We can’t give you spring, but we can give you a spring cleaning that makes you feel like it’s spring—even with a foot of snow outside.