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  • Writer's pictureElegant Empire

"Mastering the Art of Collaborative Cleaning: A Guide for Clients and Housekeepers"

"Unlocking Efficiency, Trust, and Excellence in Home Cleaning"


Table of Contents:

12. F&Q


Intro: A Guide for Clients and Housekeepers

As a seasoned residential cleaning company expert since 2011, we've had the privilege of stepping into countless homes and immediately gauging the challenges ahead. When we cross that threshold, subtle signs become apparent: items out of place, a stray blanket or pillow, a misplaced water bottle or cup. These signals signify a lack of tidiness and hint at a more prominent issue within the household.

For those seeking to enlist the services of a house cleaning professional, it's essential to avoid falling into certain traps. Let me impart the wisdom accumulated through years of experience as we share what my colleagues and I genuinely wish every client would understand. We have this Guide for Clients and Housekeepers to improve working relationships.

1. Set Clear Expectations Early

Before engaging a cleaner or a cleaning company, engage in a direct conversation about rates and expectations. Cleaning companies differ in pricing models, hourly rates, per-bedroom, and bathroom charges. Whatever the approach, a ballpark estimate beforehand is invaluable. This information is crucial when comparing your former housekeepers' service rates to the one we propose. Before making a decision, ask yourself a few questions:

  • How many cleaners showed up each time to do the house cleaning service?

  • How long did they take to finish on average?

  • How detailed was their work compared to your set of expectations?

  • Did your former housekeeper ever provide a document to show proof of business insurance or guarantees in case of any damages occurring?

2. Define a list of Cleaning Tasks

Furthermore, explicitly define the tasks you anticipate the service handling. While some cleaners might tackle dishes or laundry, others consider these add-ons, while others will not do those tasks. If outdoor areas are in the mix, ensure you communicate this – patios and garages, while not part of standard cleaning, generate complaints if overlooked. And for specialized tasks, like closet organization or deep rug cleaning, it's best to seek technical help. Entire companies offer niche services such as window cleaning and will do a better job than a regular residential cleaning company.

3. Who will furnish the Tools & Supplies

Please also discuss cleaning supplies; some services bring their own, while others rely on yours. If you prefer the latter, ensure your supply claims are accurate. If you will furnish the tools and supplies, show the cleaners the location. Also, keep track of the inventory so that the cleaning staff has the necessary supplies to clean each visit properly.

4. De-clutter Before Cleaning

The concept may seem counterintuitive, but tidying before a professional cleaning makes our job significantly more efficient. Items like laundry, paperwork, or personal belongings left about only hinder cleaners and potentially lead to misunderstandings. I've witnessed cases where clients accused cleaners of misplacing items only to find them buried within their clutter days later. A de-cluttered bedroom counter is cleaned at a higher level than one with many things stacked on or around it.

5. Ensure the Safety of Pets and Kids

A cleaning professional is not a babysitter or pet handler. On at least a few occasions, I encountered situations where pets posed threats or children disrupted our work. In one case, a small miniature dog bit my ankle. Luckily, because of my thick socks, the bight was not strong enough to cause any damage. Although we try to cordon off recently mopped sections, it is easy for a child to inadvertently walk or run on a wet area and slip and fall. Such scenarios compromise everyone's safety. Keep children and animals away from the cleaning process. Providing unequivocal instructions and identifying the out-of-bounds areas for pets during cleaning is imperative.

6. Safeguard Precious Items

Though we're cautious, accidents can happen. To prevent mishaps, stow away valuable, antique, or sentimental items. If an irreplaceable heirloom is within reach, it's best to be cautious and not be within the cleaning area. Communication is critical – notify cleaners about delicate items and provide instructions on their care if necessary. Another reason to put away priceless and fragile items is that business insurance companies may have a clause that limits the payout in case of damage by the insured company. That limit may be well below the value of some items and out of reach of the cleaning company providing the service.

7. Highlight Quirks and Defects

Every home has peculiarities, and sharing these with your cleaners is crucial. Any potential safety risks, like unstable shower doors, must be communicated to avoid accidents during cleaning. If you require any alarm disarming upon entry or disarming upon exit, be sure to explain the proper protocol to staff. On at least a couple of occasions, we entered a house only to find out the client had changed the alarm code and had law enforcement show up to investigate the situation.

8. Avoid Unpleasant Surprises

It is important to note that cleaning professionals must receive adequate training or the necessary tools to handle pest infestations or biological waste. Inform cleaners of such situations to decide whether the job is feasible or requires a specialist's attention. From years and years of working with many others in the house cleaning industry, I can tell you firsthand that most cleaning companies and independent housekeepers will refuse to handle cleaning any pet fecal or urine.

9. Payment Terms

Although different house cleaning companies may offer a variety of payment terms, the vast majority expect payment on the day of service. Let me explain why. Money represents the transfer of a benefit of a service or product from a service provider or vendor to a consumer. Remember when you walked in and bought a $5 cup of coffee? You paid before stepping out of the shop and before the workers prepared your coffee. The shop transferred you the coffee benefit and paid for the product. Well, the housekeeper provides the benefit of the cleaning service upon completion of each visit and deserves payment that same day. The only exception to the same-day payment expectation is with commercial cleaning accounts, but that's for another discussion. If you are happy with the service and want to tip your cleaning service provider, we have this detailed article on tipping etiquette.

10. Respect Your Cleaners

A harmonious working environment fosters productivity. Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is crucial to ensure optimal cleaning results. Treating your cleaning team with kindness can build a positive rapport and foster a culture of mutual respect, leading to even better outcomes. Remember, kindness begets kindness, so make it a priority in your interactions with your team.

11. Conclusion

Drawing on years of expertise, we emphasize the importance of collaboration between clients and cleaning professionals. By adhering to these simple principles, you pave the way for a smoother, more effective cleaning process that benefits everyone involved.


"For in-depth information about our cleaning service, please get in touch with us to schedule a complimentary consultation. Remember that the cleaning industry is dynamic, with staffing fluctuations and varying workloads, so availability for your specific request might change over time. "

12. F&Q

Question 1: Why is it important to communicate expectations and rates with a house cleaning professional?

Answer: Clear communication about expectations and rates is vital to avoid misunderstandings and ensure transparency. Different cleaning companies have varying pricing models and services, so discussing these aspects upfront helps you make an informed decision and compare services effectively.

Question 2: How does decluttering before a professional cleaning improve results?

Answer: Decluttering before a cleaning service enhances efficiency. Items like laundry and personal belongings left around can hinder cleaners and lead to misunderstandings. A tidy environment allows cleaners to focus on deep cleaning tasks and achieve better outcomes.

Question 3: During a cleaning session, what safety measures are essential for pets and children?

Answer: Keep Pets and children safe from the cleaning process to ensure their safety and the cleaners'. Provide clear instructions and have secure protocols to keep pets in designated areas and to prevent children from running on wet surfaces to avoid accidents and disruptions.

Question 4: How can homeowners safeguard their valuable items during cleaning?

Answer: Storing away valuable or delicate items is recommended to prevent accidents. Communicate to cleaners about fragile items and provide instructions on their care. Additionally, be aware that insurance limitations might not cover the total value of certain things in case of damage.

Question 5: Why is it essential to inform cleaners about any unique characteristics or issues in the home?

Answer: Informing cleaners about peculiarities in the home, such as safety risks or alarm systems, helps prevent accidents and surprises. Communication enables the cleaning team to prepare better and ensure a smoother cleaning process.


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