How to Hire a Maid – Top Tips for Homeowners

Hire a maid. The simple solution to house cleaning challenges right? Hire a maid. Bam!

Did you ever wonder how to hire a maid? Or how does a maid service work? Or how to find a maid? And should you tip your house cleaner? How much does a maid service cost?

If you tell your friends you want to outsource the time you spend cleaning house so you can spend more time with family. Or time growing your business, they might even give you recommendations for house cleaners.

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru answers these questions today on #AskaHouseCleaner

Hiring a maid more than just a simple solution, it’s a good idea.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: How Do I Hire a Maid?

Today’s question comes from a woman who wants to know “How does maid service work? I’m thinking about hiring a maid. I think it’s a pretty good idea but I don’t really even know how it works. Am I supposed to tip them? How much money does it cost? And what does it include?”

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Answer: Top Tips When You Hire a Maid

That’s a great question because a lot of people are new to hire a maid or a house cleaner. So, the very first thing I want to ask is why are you hiring a house cleaner or maid service?

There are lots of people that know how to clean their own houses but if you’re deciding that you want to hire a maid why is that?

And your why needs to be very clear. Because if you just think somebody’s going to come in and clean your house and boom! You’re not going to have to clean anything anymore, then we need to have a conversation. So here is that conversation.

When you hire a maid what you’re doing is you’re replacing your time.

You’re outsourcing some of your personal time that you would be cleaning your house to someone else.
So that it allows you to spend more time with your family, or more time on your business. Or more time on your hobbies, or doing things that you want to do.

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Know Your Why When You Hire a Maid

Hire a maid so a woman can do crafts with her daughterSo first of all, what is that thing you want to do that you’re going to do when the maid or the house cleaner comes? Because if you don’t have a very strong why, when the maid comes and gives you a price you’re going to freak out. And you’re going to go “Wow, that’s a whole lot of money. I’m not doing that.”

But if you decide this is a time for you to outsource something, why?
So, once you have your why in place it becomes very clear that this time trade off is more important than cleaning house.

So, once you have your why in place, then it’s time to start calling.

But where do you go to call for a maid? There are lots of different places but one of them is Facebook.

Lots of Social Media Platforms Can Help You Hire a Maid

My neighborhood has a Facebook group it’s only for the people in my neighborhood. Your neighborhood may have their own page as well. Places where you go to hire a maid

So, I can jump on there and say “Hey who knows someone in this neighborhood they could come clean my house?”

And you will get recommendations from your neighbors. They’ll give you a good feel for the house cleaner before you even make the initial call

Now, here’s the catch.

No Two House Cleaners Work Alike

There are a variety of different services they offer. And you’re hiring a human. 
So, you want to make sure the maid you’re hiring is a good fit for you.  But how do you know that? You won’t know that until you’ve clarified what you need.

It’s a good idea to sit down, with a paper and pen. Go through every room of your house and ask yourself:
“Is this important to me?” Is it important that I have this china cabinet dusted every other week?

If it’s not important, don’t pay a cleaning service to clean that every week. Note that it needs cleaning once a year during a deep clean.

Decide what chores you can put off to the back burner and only do once in a while because cleaning is expensive.

Do you want baseboards dusted? And how about window sills and blinds? If this is important to you in your weekly or bi-weekly cleaning then put it on a list.

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Here’s a Tip You’ll Need When You Hire a Maid

make a list of the services you will pay for when you hire a maidThe house cleaner or maid service will come give you a free estimate of how much the cleaning will cost.

They’re going to walk through your house and will give you ideas of the types of cleaning they provide.

Don’t give them your list, okay? Don’t tell them what’s important to you yet.

If they walk in and you have this list of 107 things that you want to be done in your house you’re going to freak them out. And they’re going to go running for the hills.

They’re going to say “Whoa, this woman has way too high of expectations.”

But as they go through your house they’re going to tell you all the things they do.

And you can just cross them off on your list as you go.

That way you go; “Oh yeah, she does do the baseboards. Yay! And she cleans blinds. Yay! And she does bathroom vanities. Yay! And she empties the trash. Yay! 
Now some house cleaners have their own worksheet.

Their worksheet breaks down all the things that they do during a routine cleaning. And they’ll give you a copy of that list.

If you go “Wow those are all the same things on my list”, then you’re a perfect fit for each other.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate When You Hire a Maid

And if there’s something on your list that the house cleaner doesn’t offer, just ask them.

“Hey, is this something that you clean? Do you clean the inside of medicine cabinets?”

And they might say “no, but I would do it for an extra $10,” or whatever their price is.

So, you can negotiate.  You can say “well, I would like the insides of my windows clean.”

And the house cleaner might say “I don’t do windows. But if I do, it would be an extra $10 per pane” or whatever it is. And then you can say “Whoa, that’s just too much money I’m not going to do that.”

That’s fine. You don’t have to agree to them cleaning your windows at that price. 

You can hire a window washing company that actually does that for a living. And they might give you a discounted price on all the windows in your house. Both sides of the windows, and the second floor as well.

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When You Hire a Maid – You Need To Know Your Budget For Cleaning Services

Create a budge of how much you will pay when you hire a maidOnce you determine what services are that are important to you, what do you pay them? It’s going to come down to your budget.
What are you willing to pay?

Because the average going rate across the country (United States,) is about 25 to $45 an hour. It’s as low as $25 and it is as high as $45.

Some house cleaners offer special projects and organizing. Specialty services and extras will go as high as $60 an hour.

So the average is about $25 to $45 somewhere in $30-$35 that’s a normal range that’s what you can expect to pay.

Having said that there are a lot of house cleaners that don’t work by the hour they work by the job. So, when they come in they’ll look at your house and give you a flat rate price based on their time and experience to clean. 

They’re going to bid your house by the job, not the hour. And so, they’ll say “hey, I can do your whole entire house for x amount of dollars.”

And then you have to break down in your head and decide if it is a fair price to you.

Hire a Maid Who Charges The Same Each Cleaning

Ask them if the price will be the same each cleaning, or if the price keeps changing. (It’s hard to budget when the price changes every cleaning.)

Let’s say your budget per cleaning is $300. Know this number before they come give you an estimate.

You are hiring a maid so you can do other things. Are those other things worth $300 to you?

Let’s say you’re starting an online business. And paying someone to clean your house means you have to take the time to create these products. It’s worth it.

You’re going to get your money back.

Can You Tax Deduct The Expenses If You Hire a Maid?

Because you started a small online business and you have this hobby, you can tax deduct your house cleaning because you work out of your house, right? Hire a maid, hand holding cell phone seeking tax deductions

So, there are benefits to hiring a cleaning lady if you work out of your house. But it’s going to determine what the special project is. Your reason why? What is the reason why? And is it worth the money you’re going to spend for cleaning?

A lot of house cleaners come away from a job estimate and they’re frustrated. They’re like “the person wants their house clean, but they’re not willing to pay the money.”

So you have to decide in your head “what is the figure that I’m willing to pay?” What is the amount I can afford to pay each cleaning?

You are the one who decides if the cleaning will be each week or every other week or once a month.

The secret is to know your budget. Then when you hire a maid if they say the price is $425 you can say: 

“I’m sorry I can’t do that my budget is only $300.”

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And Then You Can Negotiate

“I would love for you to have the business. You seem like a nice person. I would love for you to come clean my house. What can we knock off this regular list that you do to get it back down to $300? Because I cannot pay a penny more than $300.”

And you’ll find it a lot of house cleaners are willing to work with you.

Okay and then what do you tip them.
You do tip them. Yes. House cleaners and maids love tips. They are just like any other business owner that are working for money. And they love extra money when you’re able to give it to them.

So if your budget is $300 and they say we can do this for $235.

Now you have a little window where you can add in extra tips to boost their incentive for doing an excellent job.

T.I.P. = To Insure Promptness 

Budget money for tips when you hire a maid

And I’ll tell you a secret. If you’re going to hire a maid give them tips. They will jump through hoops to try to please you and provide you a lovely experience every single time. Because money motivates housekeepers.

And so, if you have an extra window you’re willing to go as high as $300, be generous. Don’t be skimpy, be generous. 
Make it worth the house cleaner’s time.

Don’t Micromanage Your Maid

And then the next thing that I might recommend when you hire a maid is to create a new “to do” list. This list includes your important tasks at a price you both agree to.

And then back off. You do not want to micromanage your housekeeper. Because like I said they are human. They work off inspiration. They work off the tips that you give them.

They’re going to jump through hoops to try to impress you. Show gratitude and appreciation. Be easy to work with. Don’t cancel your cleanings at the last minute. 

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Should You Hire a Maid?

If you are thinking about it, yes. Give it a try. This will free you to focus on your why.

You can always earn more money, but you’re never going to get that time back.

If that’s time that allows you to spend with your family, or time building a business, it’s worth it.

Alrighty, so that’s my tip for today. And until we meet again leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources From This Episode

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In – http://amzn.to/2shqFdR

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It – http://amzn.to/2sW5BLH

Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond – http://amzn.to/2tfO97C

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People – http://amzn.to/2rWBVwN

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – http://amzn.to/2thH6vx

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About @SavvyCleaner // Angela Brown

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru // Founder of SAVVY CLEANER // Author of the book: How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company