Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group



Posted by Donna Coffin on 5/4/2018

If your budget allows for it, hiring a good housekeeper is well worth the money. If you're like most professional couples, you probably already feel "maxed out" after you've put in 40 to 60 hours at your jobs . When you add parenting responsibilities into the mix, there's not too much time and energy left for cleaning the house! While certain basic house cleaning tasks are unavoidable on a daily basis, it's a relief to know that a paid house cleaner will be coming in to do a thorough job soon.

Finding a reliable housekeeper with whom you feel comfortable can be a bit of a challenge, but if you can get referrals from family, friends, and others you know, then your search should put you on the right track.

The Selection Process

Since the main reason you're hiring a cleaning person is to make your life easier, the last thing you want to deal with is dependability problems or substandard work. That's why it's important to get referrals from people you know and trust. It often pays to interview more than one prospective cleaning person because you want to find someone who is the best match for your budget and needs. When you have two or three prospects to choose from, you'll be in a better position to choose the one with the best attitude, top references, and the most agreeable personality.

Unless a cleaning person was referred to you by someone you know well, it's a good idea to request references and contact a couple of them before making any final decisions. Calling at least two of their current customers (or past bosses) should give you some helpful insights into their work habits, punctuality, and willingness to follow directions.

Although most customers will probably try to be complimentary, if you ask the right questions and look for "red flags" in their answers, you'll be surprised at what you can learn. While it may be too blunt to ask if their cleaning person is honest, a lot can be inferred from their responses to other questions. For example, if a housekeeper has been working for the same customer for several years and cleans their house while the costumer is at their office or other place of employment, then there's a good chance the cleaner does excellent (or at least satisfactory) work and can be trusted. One direct question that generally needs to be asked when talking with references is "Would you personally recommend this person?" Asking how their housekeeper responds to special requests, suggestions, or constructive criticism may also provide revealing answers.

When getting a quote from a cleaning person or house cleaning service, it's useful to get an itemized list of what chores or services would be covered in the price. There are two advantages to this. First of all, you'll be able to compare "apples to apples". Secondly, you'll be able to gauge your expectations to what was initially promised and agreed to. While there may be other issues to consider, like possible background checks and insurance coverages they carry, once you've found a house cleaner you like and trust, you've cleared the biggest hurdle in your search!





Posted by Donna Coffin on 12/5/2014

Germs are everywhere. You may be surprised to know they are even lurking in your home. Where are the germiest places in the home? How can you protect your family from germs and bacteria? Here is a list of germ-laden places all around your home: Kitchen Sink Even the kitchen sink is germ laden. Think about all the food and dirt that goes down the drain. Believe it or not kitchen sinks are actually germier than toilet seats. The best way to keep your kitchen sink germ free is to use a bleach-based cleaner. You can also scrub your sink with a mild soap. White vinegar can be used to sanitize the sink and remove any stubborn stains or spots. Kitchen Sponge Not far from your kitchen sink is the kitchen sponge. Sponges are used to wipe up spills and messes and make a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Make sure to disinfect your sponge by tossing it in the dishwasher, or microwave a wet sponge for 1-2 minutes. Bed sheets This may give you the creepy crawlies but all the germs you come in contact with all day long end up in your bed. Your bed sheets are covered in sweat, skin, and bacteria from your body.  Wash your sheets about once a week in warm or hot water with a regular detergent. Wall-to-wall carpet Wall-to-wall carpet can be a trap for millions of germs and allergens.  Wall-to-wall carpets are full of pet dander, germs from dirty shoes, and mold.  The best way to clean Wall-to-wall carpeting is to use a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.