I recently had a friend move into a new rental apartment, and she complained about how much time she spent cleaning her old apartment. And when it came time for the inspection, her former landlord didn’t even do a thorough inspection. She was frustrated by the amount of time and energy she put into cleaning even though she was happy to get her security deposit back. My suggestion? Hire cleaners. Here’s how you do it:
Assess Your Home First
Before you call cleaning agencies for quotes, make sure you do a proper assessment of your home, including any trouble spots that might require extra elbow-grease. For instance, the area behind the fridge or the inside of the oven. Make a list of trouble spots, make sure you know the square footage and be aware of what your landlord will be looking for; my friend’s former landlord checked the inside of the fridge, the living room blinds and made sure the toilets were clean. If you have your rental agreement or lease, check to see if there are any specific stipulations to ensure you get your damage deposit back.
Do Your Research
Now that you know what needs to be cleaned do your research on cleaning companies which is similar to researching and hiring movers. I suggest checking the BBB as well as friends and family for suggestions. Make a list of at least five companies then call them for quotes.
Figure Out Your Moving Schedule
If you’re moving within the same city or your move won’t take you too far from your old place, it’s a good idea to arrange your move-out date so that you’ll have an extra day or two left on your old lease. It will allow you to move out of your old home before the cleaners arrive.
The cleaners can then have a vacant apartment to clean ensuring that no spots will be missed.
If you’re moving to a new home that’s far from your old home, you may need to hire cleaners before you’re able to move out. If this happens, try to place all packed boxes in the center of the room. Remove all contents of the fridge and freezer and ensure that the cleaners have access to any problem areas. Let the cleaning company know that your home is packed up before you hire so the staff know what to expect.
What to Ask Before You Hire Cleaners
First, tell each company what you need to be cleaned, the square footage and about any problem areas. Ask them how many cleaners they can send at one time, how long the cleaning job will take and what time of day the cleaners would arrive. Some companies will charge extra to have more than one cleaner at a time. Make sure you ask. Also, ask if you’ll be charged a flat rate or per hour. Most cleaning companies will charge per hour. If you’re concerned about any young children or pets in the household, it’s a good idea to find out what kind of cleaner the company uses. Some companies will specialize in green cleaning products that are safe for infants and pets, while others may use strong chemicals to make the job faster and easier for the workers.
Give Them a Tour Then Stay Out of the Way
When the cleaners arrive, give them a tour of your home and point out any trouble areas where they’ll need to scrub harder. If you have a list of cleaning jobs you need them to do, write them down so you can go over the areas afterward and the cleaners don’t need to remember what to do. Once you’ve given them the tour, get out of the way. Don’t make the cleaners clean around you.
Inspect the Job and Tip the Staff
When you return, make sure you inspect the cleaning job before you make your final payment. If you’re not satisfied, talk to the staff or call the company directly. If you’re satisfied, make sure you tip the cleaners. Cleaning is not an easy job. I suggest 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. We tip our waiters and waitresses, hairdressers and tip our movers, and cleaning staff deserves the same respect.