If you’ve never used a professional house cleaning service before, can be a little intimidating. Keeping that in mind, we asked some experts for their take on how the process can go smoothly for everyone.

Am I supposed to tip my cleaner and, if so, how much?

Thoughts on this subject can vary but, if you do decide to give your house cleaner a tip, the standard is in the rage of 10% to 20%. However, it’s always at your discretion.

Should I do any “pre-cleaning” before my cleaner gets here?

We’ve all heard the phrase “cleaning for the maid”… Depending on the type of cleaning you’ll need done, and how much time you’re paying for, it can be helpful to clear up clutter beforehand so a cleaning service can focus on a thorough cleaning. Leaving clutter for the house cleaner can end up making it take longer to finish the main job.

What are some things I should look for in a cleaning service?

Obviously, you are definitely going to want a trustworthy company with a proven history. And while online reviews really are a strong place to start if you’d like a feeling of the organization’s history, this is one sector where word of mouth is still the way to go. Ask your friends, colleagues or family members for referrals.

Should I be home when my cleaner is there? What about pets?

This will vary from service to service, so ask your house cleaner before you book. In regards to pets, make sure your house cleaner is aware that you have an animal (or animals) in the home.

Do I need to provide any supplies?

If you’re not overly fussy, simply check with the company in advance about what they do and do not provide–chances are, they will have everything they need to get the job done. Supplying a step stool is useful to cleaners to get to hard-to-reach locations. Also, give them a heads-up about fixtures and appliances that are in disrepair.

What are some typical misunderstandings people come across when they first hire a house cleaner?

As with most situations in life, the key is to handle expectations. Be clear about precisely just how large–and precisely how filthy–your home is, so you can reserve the appropriate kind of service and duration of time. Also, check your final agreement for the details, and additionally to understand precisely what is included in your rate.

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