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Question
Hi,

I am writing to ask for some advice and input on a problem I currently have. My next-door neighbor has her own cleaning business and I have been using her services for the past few years. Before the economy crash she was able to employ other workers and the service was much better. For the past year or so, she is the only person who cleans.

I've noticed that the quality of cleaning has been declining over time and am pretty unsatisfied. However, I have never used anyone else and am not sure if my expectations are reasonable. That is why I am writing- to get some input from someone with more experience in this area.

She cleans my 2 bedroom, 2 bath home about 4 or 5 times a year. I *hate* cleaning and this is the one luxury I allow myself. Before she comes, I let her know what I would like her to do and we discuss a price. She cleaned my home on Friday and I asked that she clean all rooms and specifically requested dusting and cleaning the fridge (and offered more $ for the fridge). We agreed on $250.

When I came home, I wasn't looking for problems but quickly noticed that it seemed she didn't thoroughly clean- dusting around items on the coffee table, she didn't dust the wall shelves at all, the kitchen and bathroom floors had remaining stains. In addition, she always uses my cleaning supplies. I went to clean up some of the areas to find that she had used all of my clorox wipes and my broom is missing.

My questions are:

1. is it typical for professional cleaners to not bring their own supplies and instead use the supplies in the person's home?

2. am I being too picky or are these things reasonable complaints?

I don't want to make her feel bad and make a big deal out of something if I am the one who is wrong. I just don't know what the norm is... any advice or input you can give is soooo much appreciated!

Thank you so much!
Melissa

Answer
Hi Melissa,

This can be such a sticky situation. You are correct, you don't want to make her feel bad - but you want the service you paid for.

The answer about the supplies: there is usually a discount given if your supplies are used. The benefit to you is the supplies you prefer are the ones that get used. The down side is if things go missing or get broken like your vacuum.

Maybe you can go back to her and say something like: I can't find my broom do you think you may have accidentally packed it up with your supplies?  

You can mention the dust now or leave forget about it and then the next time you hire her have a printed checklist. That way you both have the same expectations.

It is true that different house cleaners have different checklists. Just like you added extra for the fridge sometimes baseboards or picture frames are extra.

I'd try to start with a nice comment, I really like working with you and I want to remain a loyal customer. But...and say what you want to tell her.

I hope this helps. Good luck finding your broom!

-Jamie

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Jamie Novak

Expertise

Disorganization at home, work or home based businesses and time managemetn. Area include but not limited to: paper bills mail toys closets kitchen garages spouses children to do lists laundry pantry chores errands drawers meal planning house cleaning and much more

Experience

Best selling author Jamie Novak, Organizing Specialist and Motivational Speaker has been seen on HGTV and QVC and most recently she served as a home blogger for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living and the resident organizer for NBC’s iVillage. Jamie’s tips have been seen in national magazines such as Woman’s World and Family Circle. Her approach is both easy and motivating. She is a natural and her passion for organizing shines through. Jamie promises not to try to reinvent you - instead she helps you find your style and work with it! Jamie's goal is to share real ideas the really work for real life! Visit her website for free resources - http://www.jamienovak.com

Education/Credentials
Best selling author Jamie Novak, Organizing Specialist and Motivational Speaker has been seen on HGTV and QVC and most recently she served as a home blogger for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living and the resident organizer for NBC’s iVillage. Jamie’s tips have been seen in national magazines such as Woman’s World and Family Circle. Her approach is both easy and motivating. She is a natural and her passion for organizing shines through. Jamie promises not to try to reinvent you - instead she helps you find your style and work with it! Jamie's goal is to share real ideas the really work for real life! Visit her website for free resources - http://www.jamienovak.com

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