Tips on hiring a cleaning service?
September 29, 2004 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Maid/Cleaning Services. [2 parter, more inside]

My s/o is a stay at home Mommy (works occasionally part-time but otherwise at home). I'm considering getting weekly or monthly cleaning service as a Christmas gift (part of the overall package, that's not all I'd get her, natch).

Is this a good gift for a stay at home Mom? I don't think she'd be insulted (pretty sure she wouldn't but is there something I'm missing?)

Any advice on choosing a service? Good experiences? Horror stories?
posted by kerouaciness to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I think this is a good gift for anyone. We found our housekeeper on craigslist. I tried using a corporate service once, but it was much more expensive, and the team of four people didn't do nearly as good a job as the wonderful woman we have now. She comes twice a month, which seems just about right.
posted by gokart4xmas at 9:21 AM on September 29, 2004

my mother and a friend who is also a stay at home mommy both refused the offer of a maid service gift, not because they were insulted, but because what they would have wanted a maid service to do (basically, sort, cull and put away the detritus of their families), maids do not generally do. they do not keep a house tidy; they clean it. there's a big difference. the only person i ever knew whose maid kept things tidy (you know, picked up after the family) was a live-in maid who knew what mail could be thrown away without being read, recognized whose shoes went where and those kinds of things.

that said, there've been a couple of threads on hiring a maid and having a good relationship with the one you've hired.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:35 AM on September 29, 2004

I searched for maid, I searched for cleaning service. I didn't find those threads. Google has failed me and I am ashamed.
posted by kerouaciness at 9:53 AM on September 29, 2004

when i lived in denver (if you do, my zip is an obvious joke) i found it interesting that people could basically earn as much as they wanted, just work as much as they wanted, the women mostly had the cars and me wearing make up made everyone ask if i was from LA-- early 90s'--
anyhoo, i found the best maids to be freelancers who occassionally where affiliated with an agency but mostly handled their own client list. have had friends who do that kind of work on and off forever but since i can't think of who is in your area now, no name or anything--
i forget the name of the free papers there, but often because it's so personal, it runs a lot of personal reccommendations. since it's just a few jobs for the month or season anyway, it would be a good time to try to get someone to schedule you in.
Many office cleaners will take on extra jobs, if you note anyone.
and ask people. people love sharing a great find. i'm not suggesting you go to muddy's and announce you want a stranger in your home, but those places on the mall, i'm betting if any of those card shops and such are still there, they have reccommendations. with the lovely intent, i bet you find a nice willing person or a link to the seas of odd jobbers, but remember to check them out first.
(if any of those microbrew restaurants or the type are still there, ask the service staff. people in service generally know people in service.)
posted by ethylene at 12:16 PM on September 29, 2004

typo: off reccomendations
posted by ethylene at 1:12 PM on September 29, 2004

Oh my good lord god yes. I love my cleaners, and they are worth the slight tightening of the budget, and I was delighted that my husband agreed to having them come in twice a month--just think, if I was a better housekeeper, I'd have to do it all myself.

If you can get a referral from someone you know, do that. I personally don't care for the corporate services like Merry Maids, I'd rather go local. Make sure they're bonded, of course.

I am in the Bay Area and I pay $55 every two weeks. They pretty much do my house top to bottom, including keeping the oven and fridge tidied on the inside, but not including windows (that's extra). A team of three guys takes one to two hours to whip through my place (1000 square feet, two beds one bath), which I leave tidied for them--no clothes or toys laying out, and the tables cleared and the dishes done and put away. You shouldn't expect to pay more than that, unless your house is huge and filthy.
posted by padraigin at 3:06 PM on September 29, 2004

a friend of mine in RI was going to have an office cleaner come in who worked with other people in the building. She only charged an first time cleaning fee of around $50 and then $15 or less for follow ups, since then they know what they have to do, usually just tidy instead of heavy duty cleaning.
if you don't mind supporting the underground and aren't planning to keep it up, there is lots of good help to be had, for all, since we're talking about the "holidays"
posted by ethylene at 3:29 PM on September 29, 2004

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