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Should I Re-Clean After Teenager or Move On?

…A teenager came in and opened the fridge, pulled a bunch of stuff out, strewn it all over the kitchen – Do I re-clean or move on?

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

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Today’s Question: Should I Re-Clean After Teenager or Move On?

Now, today’s question comes from a girl who cleans houses, and she wants to know “I cleaned the house, everything looked amazing, the kitchen was shiny and polished and smelled good. Then before the owner came home, a teenager came in and opened the fridge, pulled a bunch of stuff out, strewn it all over the kitchen. Made a sandwich, left crumbs, dishes in the sink, spilled some milk on the counter, just left an absolute mess. 

Do I stop what I’m doing and re-clean that kitchen, so that it’s clean when the owner gets home? Or since I’ve already cleaned it, do I just leave?”

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Answer: You’re On a Fixed Time Schedule

Well, that is a fair question because that has happened to every house cleaner I know at least once. That’s going to happen. Okay, so here’s how you do that. You clean the house as you normally would. And because you’re a house cleaner, you’re on a fixed schedule. You have so many hours to do this house.

So, once you’ve tidied the house, and you’ve cleaned that kitchen, you can’t go back and clean it again.

 Teenager Messes Up Kitchen – Not New Teenager with Sandwich

There’s no time, you have other customers. You have to go on to the next house. So, if you’re working from a worksheet, and you’ve gone back and inspected your work and your work meets your level of expectations, and you’ve checked it off on your worksheet that you’re leaving with your customer, then your job is done.

Now, it is going to come as no surprise to the homeowner that they have a teenager that leaves stuff strewn all about when they make sandwiches.

This is not the first time this has ever happened.

So, when they come in the house is amazing, and immaculate and then there’s stuff spilled on the kitchen cupboard, and there are dishes in the sink, and there are crumbs, they’re going to go “ah, my teenager came in and made a sandwich.” So, this is no surprise for them. They’ve seen this before.

In A Perfect World… Perfect World

And I would love it if the client could walk in and everything is just amazing. Okay? That is what we are paid to do. But, having said that, it is not in your power to go and clean up after people repeatedly, who are home while you are cleaning.

So, if people are going to be home while you’re cleaning, and it’s going to happen. This happens again to every house cleaner, housekeeper, and maid. People are expected to be gone, but sometimes they are there. Once you’ve cleaned, you can’t go back and re-clean after those people.

So, just recognize the fact that this is not about you. This is not about the quality of work that you do. This is not about affecting a satisfaction guarantee. Because the customer came home and realizes that their teenager came in and made a sandwich.

I Want That Moment For You  Teenager Mom Excited Kitchen is Clean

I want that moment for you, where the client comes in and is like “ahh, awesome, this is what I paid this house cleaner for.” But that’s just a far cry from reality. If they have a sloppy teenager, they have a sloppy teenager. And until they can train their sloppy teenager to clean up after themselves, this kind of stuff is going to happen.

So, do your job, do it to the very best of your ability. Cross off what you’ve done on your checklist because that’s what you’re guaranteeing with your satisfaction guarantee. And if you know the teenager is at home, you may want to snap a picture of the tidy kitchen before the teenager cooks a meal. You can do that if you want. And then on your way out the door, may want to text the customer and just say “Hey, I’m leaving. Your teenager is in the kitchen, I hope it looks as amazing when you get home as it does right now.”  

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Work Smart Not Hard

Okay, so that’s it for today, if you like this tip, please pass it along. Share it, tweet it, pin it, post it, whatever you guys do.

And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. 

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