Cleaning in Minneapolis?
July 1, 2012 2:57 PM   Subscribe

I have a need for a one time deep-cleaning service in the Minneapolis area. Does anybody have any recommendations? Further, does anybody have tips for getting family members to try and be less cluttered?

The gist of it is that my father owns a 2000 foot house which he alone is occupying. Due to various reasons including depression, he has been thus far unable to keep it clean by himself to the point where it is affecting his ability to operate. Whenever I visit, I attempt to help out by cleaning up what I can, but my visits are too short to be able to really give it the cleanup that is required; what little I can accomplish is undone by the time I'm able to visit again in a time less than a year.

Part of it is that it's too much house for him, part of it is that he's dealing with many things right now. In any case, I think that getting this service at least once for him is something that I need to do in order to keep him going.

He has acquired some bad habits during this period of time like leaving food out [for some items, literally months], allowing clutter to spread, and generally not being able to deal with it as it grows. He doesn't know to ask for help, and I myself don't even know who or where to go for help. Previous askmefi questions say 'go for recommendations of others,' but he's too proud to do so and I'm simply lost as to how to do that in Minneapolis.

Please help me help him. I think he's been quietly suffering through this to try and make sure his kids don't suffer, but I simply can't allow him to live like this. If anybody's been through similar situations and have other tips past maid recommendations, I would love to hear them.
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Possibly something like this would be helpful. I haven't used this firm's professional services, but I know the owner personally and she's warm and trustworthy. I would imagine she could keep tabs on when your dad needs a cleaner to come in.

You've talked to your dad about getting him some help, I hope. People get sensitive about criticism of how they live.
posted by lakeroon at 3:11 PM on July 1, 2012

Further, does anybody have tips for getting family members to try and be less cluttered?

Do you think he might be open to offering a room in his home in exchange for a live-in housekeeper? Maybe an hour or two per day of cleaning in exchange for the room. I have an inkling that you would get dozens of potential takers for this, some very highly qualified.
posted by cairdeas at 3:24 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You should contact property managers in your area, and see who they use to deep clean apartments. After someone moves out, they often need a single-time deep-cleaning service to get the apartment ready to rent again. This is the kind of service you need. Most property managers will know someone local.
posted by Flood at 3:38 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Cleaning services and purging services are totally different. It sounds like you might want to use a purging service first. Here's my favorite one in the Twin Cities:

Good luck.
posted by ericc at 3:53 PM on July 1, 2012

Can you get him to sign up for flylady? The "us gals" tone of the emails might put him off but its really a good system. You can get him whatever supplies he need and stash them all over the house. When I take the time to do that it makes a huge difference.
posted by fshgrl at 2:19 AM on July 2, 2012

In your post you say he's not asking for help because he doesn't know to ask and that he's been quietly suffering so he won't cause problems for the kids. Is it possible he's not asking because he doesn't want people coming into his house to clean it?

There are issues people have with house cleanliness/clutter - people don't have to be hoarders and have extreme conditions to have these types of issues. I've had them in my family. My grandmother stopped cleaning her house at one point and I was the only person she would let come over and clean it. But I didn't live nearby. Her children tried to get her to have a cleaner, had an intervention, browbeat her into agreeing to it. She cancelled the appointments, wouldn't let them in her house, would not leave the house because she knew they would come when she wasn't there.

It's hard to understand because most people imagine themselves living somewhere like that and the first thing they would want is for someone to de-clutter and clean it, but some times there are deeper issues going on.

Or maybe he would welcome someone cleaning his house - I just wanted to point out that it doesn't always go that way.

Also if you do have a service come over, hide prescription drugs, especially pain killers.
posted by Melsky at 4:35 AM on July 2, 2012

I would have a chat with your Dad to determine if he would be open to having cleaners come. "Dad, I love you and I know that you've been having a hard time lately. I think that the house is getting a bit out of control and I want to help you get it back into shape. Would you be open to that?"

It's his house and he needs to give permission. I know that my parents have become a bit hoardery. They don't see it because their house is immaculate, but the fact that their garage is stacked to the rafters with the accumulation of a lifetime, not to mention the umpty-billion collections of "valuable" things all over the house, would have those of us who enjoy a minimalistic environment running for the hills.

In the end though, it's their house and there are no health code violations. My sister and I told my folks that we weren't interested in the collections and that they should find homes for the Hina Dolls, Kachinas, Indian baskets, Tonsu chests, etc. Thankfully, it's all arranged.

Other issues in the house might be maintenance. Are the gutters clean? Has the HVAC been serviced? Are there any leaks?

You don't mention your Dad's age, but it sounds like a trip to the doctor would be helpful. He may need medication for depression, or have other, undiagnosed health issues that need to be addressed.

It's hard to be an advocate for an aging parent. Once health is determined to be okay, it may be time to discuss downsizing into a more manageable house or apartment.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:07 AM on July 2, 2012

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