First Experience with House Cleaning Service

Updated on February 02, 2016
S.C. asks from Oskaloosa, KS
15 answers

Hi mamas, have a less whiny question this time :)

I was super excited to be given a gift certificate for a house cleaning by some coworkers, for a baby shower gift. The lady that does it has her own business, actually used to work for me, so I know she will do a great job. I was able to speak with her yesterday and she will be coming next Saturday afternoon.

My question is, what do you all do to prepare for the "housekeeper" to come? We talked about some basic things, like she will clean our ceiling fans and mop the floors, dust, vacuum, etc.

I planned to leave the bathroom (especially the toilet and around it) clean, and of course the kitchen, all the dishes clean and put away, no messes on the counters or anything (mostly like I would any day). Also plan to have all our laundry clean and put away and general clutter taken care of. Am I missing anything?

I've never even considered having someone clean my house (except maybe in my wildest dreams lol) so this is totally out of my area of experience. Any suggestions? We already plan to leave the house for 4-5 hours to give her space to do her thing. Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

oh you guys are so helpful, thanks! I'm laughing about all the toilet comments - I guess since I'm not used to a stranger getting that up close and personal with our bathroom I just didn't feel comfortable. But yes, I am pregnant, and so yes, I will try to resist the urge lol. I am really excited to have it done. Thanks for your help!

Featured Answers


answers from Dallas on

I do not use a housekeeper regularly but when I do have someone here, I leave my place as clutter free and straightened up as possible so the job is easier for her.

I do not leave my house. I just go to my home office and work while she's here and keep my dog with me. My home office is off limits to cleaners.

It sounds like you have a pretty good plan in place. Congratulations!

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Please do not spend your time cleaning your bathroom for your cleaning person. Really - that is very silly :) She is not a guest and she's not going to judge you if you have a dirty toilet. She's going to clean it anyway, so it's a waste of your time to clean it before she cleans it.

There is a big difference between picking up clutter and cleaning. It is good effort spent to pick up clutter. She will clean your kitchen counters and sink - but she can't do that if they have dishes on them. She will clean end tables, etc, but she can't put away your mail because she doesn't know what you want to keep or where to put it. She will clean the floor, but the toys need to be picked up for her to get to the floor.

So, by all means, pick up clutter. But please please do NOT waste your precious energy cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere else.

ETA: You don't have to leave the house - she can work around you. But it is a glorious thing to leave a dirty house and come home a few hours later to a sparkling one. So, getting out is a good idea for YOU, if you can do it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If you have Any particular wants or needs let her know. Ie do you want certain products used in your tub, on your granite, on your stainless. Do you expect her to do the inside of the oven, the fridge? Do you want her to do the doorknobs and lightplates? Should she dust the curios or leave them be? Do you want the floor scrubbed or mopped? Is it important for everything to get a surface clean or for certain things to get a deep clean? Do you want her to strip/ dress the beds?

Maybe you can look up a merry maids checklist to see what is important to you.

F. B.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

You have it covered. You don't need to leave things clean -- after all, that's why she's coming to your house -- but it's good to make housecleaners' jobs easier by tackling clutter and anything that would be in the way before they get there. Some housecleaners will pick up things like toys left on the floor; others will just vacuum or mop around them.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I just tidy well and don't have them in my office where I would be. They have always brought their own supplies unless I have something I prefer. I don't ask for laundry or sheets done.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Clean the bathroom? Oh my - these are cleaning people, and they know you have toilets!

No, dear, don't clean for the cleaner! Pick up the clutter so the cleaner can vacuum and dust, but don't use a sponge or a dust cloth or a cleanser for anything. Just put stuff in closets or - if you have to - in a cardboard box to get it out of the way! If you have stacks of newspapers that need to go to the recycling bin in the garage, the cleaner MAY do that. Pick your bills and personal papers from the kitchen counter, toys and clothes from the floor, that's it. And put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher but don't clean the sink and counters.

Any cleaner who blabs about what your house looks like will lose customers very quickly! If you were the only one who wasn't neat, she'd have no business whatsoever! If you clean, she feels useless. Let her earn her keep so you can marvel at her handiwork and recommend her. Win-win for all!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I wouldn't clean. I would tidy up. My friend cleans homes. She says they have to clean it anyways - even if it looks spotless, so don't bother cleaning. They have to clean it and have it look clean - which she says means they scrub. So don't you bother (aren't you pregnant too? Skip it!).

One thing you might want to consider - some people leave out their own cloths/rags/sponges, etc. Some cleaning companies use the same sponges, etc. house to house. My friend does not - but a lot do.

Some places have animals etc. so if they use the same brooms etc. it could be bringing pet hair into your house. So you might want to specify they use your gear. That's what I'd be more inclined to do if it were me.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Think of it this way: if you were offering to clean your friend's house, because that friend was sick or just had a baby or was tending to a seriously ill family member, what would you do?

Would you expect that friend to clean her toilet before you arrived, or to have all the dishes washed? Or would you say "that's what I'm here for. Now you get back to the hospital, or take a long walk and a long shower or nap, or you go spend precious time with your grandmother. She needs you."

I do think that a hired cleaning service ordinarily does not do laundry, and I think it's common sense to not expect the cleaning service to have to deal with piles of bills on the kitchen counter, or clutter that a person might not know what to do with (is this pile on the floor a pile of dirty clothes, or clean clothes that haven't been folded yet, or clothes that are going in the trunk of my car to donate to Goodwill?). And you don't want to leave your tax documents that you've already sorted through just lying around, as a cleaning person might move them and ruin your organized stacks of documents. So just remove paperwork, and some basic clutter, and enjoy your day!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We've had a few different companies but the general rule of thumb for our standard cleaning is to not have the house look like a wreck. Meaning - my daughter's floor is clear (or if there's a teenager who doesn't clean up he/she is cleaning his/her own room later, vacuuming, etc.), there aren't toys all over the living room, etc. So basically we give our lady room to vacuum, and nothing disgusting. I don't pre-clean the bathroom unless there's been a spill or accident - she doesn't need to clean up after a potty training mishap. I don't clean my stove for her, but I DO make sure the dishes are done and out of the sink. We used to have a company that came while we worked, but now our cleaning lady comes on weekends and we just move out of her way.

Fanged Bunny has a good list. Our lady does change the sheets and make the beds, but doesn't do laundry or dishes. We provide all her cleaning products. Does your person plan to bring her own or use yours? Will she have a checklist? Ours doesn't, which is fine because I feel like she actually does all the things we want vs the company that came while we were out and didn't do some of the things they checked off.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Back in the good old days I had a housecleaner every other week. I mostly made sure the toys and clothes were off the floor and clutter off all the countertops. Less for them to have to move around and quicker and easier and therefore cleaner. Congrats!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Why would you clean your toilet before the cleaning person comes??

I have a cleaning lady who comes every Thursdays. Thursday is my favorite day!! I make sure all the clothes and stuff are off the floor. That helps with the vacuuming and mopping. Other than that, I don't do anything else. I'm paying them to clean. =)

We normally aren't home but sometimes we are. We just stay out of her way. She has been cleaning for us for 10 years. She's a keeper!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm giggling at you cleaning for the cleaner!
my little mumsie had a house-cleaning business for a while. she hated it when people got nervous about her coming and did it all, as she liked to see a clear contrast when she got done.
naturally if the place is gross that doesn't apply. but i'll bet that's not the case for you.
i've had my brand new house cleaner come twice now, and i'm over the moon. but our situation was a little different, as she came to give me an estimate, charged more for the first time service and now comes every other week for a slightly lower price. in your case since it's a one-time thing i'd just declutter and let her go at it. if she's a professional she'll gauge it accurately when she comes in and hit your most important areas (which you've already discussed with her) and the stuff at the bottom of the list may or may not get done.
why the bathrooms, especially the toilets, aren't near the top of your list i can't fathom.
i don't expect my lady to do any laundry at all. she insists on doing any dishes, bless her, but there are almost none in the mornings when she comes so i don't feel as if i'm abusing her there. i do clear the countertops and pick up any generalized piles of stuff.
but no, i don't clean the bathrooms for her.
:D khairete

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I guess I just don't get cleaning the bathroom to be ready for the cleaner. What's up with that? The whole reason for having someone clean your bathroom is so that you don't have to. It's like washing your hair before you go to the hairdresser.

I get it if the "service" doesn't do laundry or dishes, but you should just ASK if it has to be done.

You are pregnant. Why would you clean up the bathroom???? Don't do it!!!!!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Get rid of the clutter - that's it. Then let her got to work while you relax!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


uummm you crack me up...sorry...but I don't clean something that's going to be cleaned.

We have a cleaning service that comes weekly. They:
* vacuum and mop all the floors
* dust the rooms I requested to be dusted - desks, ceiling fans, blinds, dresser, etc.
* clean the bathrooms - toilet, sink and tub/shower
* pick up area rugs (3x5) and runners (2x8) and clean under them and vacuum them
* kitchen - counters cleaned, toaster cleaned, inside microwave clean. Stove top and counter tops wiped down (cleaned).

What do I do to prepare? I make sure clothes are put away. I don't clean for them. I do vacuum in between visits. I make sure the dishes are in the dishwasher. Many moons ago - I had a Russian husband and wife who came weekly and did a FANTASTIC job - moved things to get behind and did my laundry!! They were older and retired...each company/service does something different.


2 moms found this helpful
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