I guess as the owner of a cleaning service I suppose I’m in a unique position. I’ve seen things from both sides of the fence, both as a homeowner using a service or an individual, and as a business owner. I’ve experienced some behavior, both from homeowners and cleaners, that make me scratch my head and wonder what they’re thinking, or even if they’re thinking at all.
No one is immune from making mistakes. When all is said and done, the Golden Rule applies. If we all just treat everyone the way we would like to be treated, what a wonderful world this would be! (Now I can’t get that tune out of my head).
If you clean houses, take note. Here follows some of the pet peeves homeowners have about cleaners, and rightfully so.
The Ten Commandments For Housecleaners
- Thou shalt let the homeowner know if damage occurs.
- Thou shalt not talk on the phone whilst cleaning, or worse, talk on the phone and not clean.
- Thou shalt not use the homeowners microwave to heat up your lunch. You may disagree, but the smell of arroz con pollo is not enticing. And that three day old burrito? Don’t get me started.
- Thou shalt not move items and place them in a random place. No one likes to find their sneakers in the refrigerator.
- Thou shalt not unplug homeowners electronic devices.
- Thou shalt not use green abrasive sponges on delicate surfaces such as stainless or marble.
- Thou shalt not pretend you understand what homeowner is saying. ‘OK’ is not an acceptable answer to every question or comment.
- Thou shalt show up on the day you’re scheduled. If you’re not able to, thou shalt call.
- Thou shalt maintain a pleasant, professional attitude. Keep your personal life personal.
- Thou shalt not throw out anything that is not in the garbage pail. Thou shalt remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
In the interest of fairness, here we go…
The Ten Commandments For Homeowners
- Thou shalt not cancel frequently, especially at the last minute. Thou shalt understand that the cleaners rely on the scheduled houses for their income. Whether you use a service or an individual, your spot is reserved for you and consequently other business may be turned away. A cancellation results in lost income that can never be recovered.
- Thou shalt treat cleaners with respect. Cleaning is hard work. Thou shalt be grateful there are individuals willing to clean our toilets. And while we’re on the subject, thou shalt remember to flush the toilet before the cleaner arrives.
- Thou shalt understand damage is not always the cleaners fault. Thou shalt not rush to judgment if you find something damaged. You have 6 kids under the age of 8, a Mastiff, a Great Dane and an armadillo. Maybe one of them scratched your wood floor? Just a thought.
- Thou shalt not constantly micromanage and follow the cleaners throughout the house. If you’re going to do that, perhaps you should save yourself some money and clean yourself. Clearly, you have the time.
- Thou shalt remember the cleaners for the holidays. A small gesture of appreciation goes a long way.
- Thou shalt remember cleaners are human and will make mistakes. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll live longer and be infinitely happier. I promise.
- Thou shalt remember while it may take 10 minutes to put items back where they belong and yes, it’s annoying (see #4 above), it’s far better than taking 4 hours to clean yourself.
- Thou shalt be flexible with scheduling. Thou shalt understand factors occur that can influence arrival time, such as traffic, changes in the schedule due to a holiday week, customer cancellation (see #1) or employee absence.
- Thou shalt communicate any concerns or issues so they can be rectified. Cleaners and business owners are not mind readers, and a little communication goes a very long way and is very much appreciated.
- Thou shalt not add to the scope of work after agreeing on a price without understanding a price increase may be in order. Not cool.
- I’m breaking the rules and adding this one because, yeah, it’s important…Thou shalt not be nekkid and wait for the cleaners to enter your bedroom. That’s perverted and no one wants to see your shriveled hot dog. Unless of course you’re George Clooney, in which case I’m grabbing my wooly and I’ll be right over.
These ‘Commandments’ are in no way all inclusive, and I’m sure you can add a few to the lists (and please feel free to let us know your pet peeves) but they’re some of the issues I’ve experienced and have heard along the way that annoy others so I thought I’d share.
Life on Lakeshore Drive