Category Archives: hiring a cleaning service

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?”

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.

How to Clean Your Home Better & Faster

cleaning your home better and fasterWe’re all looking for ways to do things better; especially when you have 30 minutes until company is coming over and your home looks like a disaster area (you know what we’re talking about!). Why shouldn’t you want to clean your house better and faster? Life is busy enough as it is, without having to spend all your time cleaning. (And if you don’t want to spend any time cleaning, give us a call!) Here’s a few tips to get your home cleaner, faster:

Rid your house of the “stuff” collecting dust. Be strategic about what you need to dust, and the amount of things collecting dust. To be clear, you don’t have to get rid of all your valuables or your knickknacks; just make sure you’re only dusting what you want. Tour your home and rid your home of any items or furniture that has sat around for years without any use. You’ll have less to clean at the end of the day, giving you more time for fun. In the same way, purge your closets, garage and basement so you don’t have to worry about excess items to clean and store.

Keep up with the daily cleaning. No doubt about it. If you wipe down your counters after every meal, or clean the toothpaste after you brush your teeth, you’ll have less to do when it’s time for a deep clean. Your cleaning job is also easier; it’s a lot harder to clean that hardened food spill off the counters later, or to scrub that toothpaste out of the sink. Daily maintenance is the key; try to train yourself, and other members of your household to clean up as they go.

Carry your cleaning tools around for fewer interruptions. When you start cleaning your home, gather all your supplies before the cleaning begins. If you do so, you won’t have to stop your cleaning to go after another bottle of cleaner. You can just keep moving from room to room, cleaning as you go—and getting done sooner.

Recognize and stop those unnecessary cleaning tasks. Are you still rinsing your dishes? Are you pre-soaking every load of laundry? Unless you absolutely have to (like if you have a nasty stain), STOP. You’ll be a more efficient cleaner, and a quicker cleaner, by eliminating unnecessary cleaning.

Stop the dirt at the door. An ounce of prevention saves you time and effort. Place rugs by all the doors. Ask guests to take off their shoes at the door. Make sure your kids rinse off sand and mud before they come in. If possible, use a mudroom as a staging area for your kids, pets and visitors to shed the dirt and snow before they track it into your home.

Call a cleaning service. When you’re traveling for work, ferrying the kids to school and after school activities or working extra hours to keep up with a demanding job, something’s got to give. Usually the casualty of a busy life is our home—specifically, the cleanliness of our home. That’s when it makes sense to contact a cleaning service to clean your home, or parts of your home. We have a friend who hired a cleaning service to only clean her bathrooms, another who hired a cleaner just to fold laundry. Likewise, if you need a cleaning service only before you entertain, set it up. Or if you only want a certain room clean, give your cleaning service specific instruction. They work for you when you need it, and being home cleaning experts, can get your home cleaner faster.

5 Common Cleaning Mistakes You’re Making

Cleaning your house is as simple as…cleaning your house, right? Unfortunately, the answer is no. We’re all guilty of making small mistakes in our cleaning routine that don’t achieve the clean, sparkling goal we set out with. Or worse, we damage surfaces because we don’t know any better, and make these common cleaning mistakes:

  1. Washing windows on a sunny day. It’s so tempting to wash those windows when the shining sun reveals the dog noses, fingerprints and streaks that you don’t normally see. Unfortunately, the sun is also the enemy as you wash windows. The sun dries out your cleaner before you get the job done.
  2. Scrubbing carpet stains. Do you apply some serious elbow grease into scrubbing those pet stains, spilled juice or muddy footprints? You may be damaging your carpet fibers. Next time you need to clean up carpet stains, don’ scrub. Blot at your carpet with a moist cloth to remove the spill.
  3. Mopping your wood floor with water. Repeat after us: water and wood do not mix. Sitting water is the enemy for wood floors, causing water damage and warped floor boards. To clean your floors, use a cleaner and soft dust mop to clean up spills and give your floors a new shine.
  4. Being unintentionally abrasive. Is that sponge the right tool for your cleaning? What effect will that cleaner have on the surface you’re working on? Don’t go into a cleaning job without knowing if you are going to damage that flooring, counter top, table or other surface you’re cleaning.
  5. Stressing out because you can’t do it all. This is one of the worst cleaning mistakes: not taking time for yourself, or spending all your free time trying to keep up with the daily and monthly cleaning tasks around your house. Contact a cleaning service to arrange a schedule that works for you, giving you a clean house so you can keep up with your busy schedule and still have a clean house.

Remember, hiring a cleaning service does not have to mean that you give up cleaning your house. If you need a cleaning service only before you entertain guests, contact a local, reliable cleaning service. Another option is to give your cleaning service a specific task, such as laundry or bathrooms. It’s easy to do: just call the cleaning service and give instructions about what you want done. The cleaning service will send out a cleaner who won’t make common cleaning mistakes, and you can have a brand new home.

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.

What cleaning jobs can a cleaner do in your home?

The question “what cleaning jobs can a cleaner do in my home?” is a question we hear often from busy home owners who need help with cleaning their home, or vacation home up north. The short answer is: whatever you want. The long answer is a list of cleaning jobs that a cleaner can do around your home, and you can choose the cleaning jobs you need done in your home:

  • Folding laundry
  • Cleaning floors
  • Bathroom clean-up
  • Kitchen cleaning
  • Cleaning and waxing floors,
  • Carpet cleaning,
  • Window cleaning,
  • Pressuring washing your house,
  • Changing the beds,
  • Mopping the floor,
  • Deep spring cleaning jobs,
  • Anything you need done!

If you have another cleaning task that’s not on the list, ask us. Chances are, one of our professional cleaners can help you out with your cleaning task at a scheduled time or times you specify, so you have a clean home—and a shorter list of cleaning jobs to do.

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.