Ask a House Cleaner, Basic Clean, Savvy Cleaner

Basic Clean – Which House Cleaning Chores Should I Include?

Basic clean – what should I include and what am I expected to do? We Ask a House Cleaner about a basic clean vs. a deep clean. Does a basic clean include dishes, linen service, ceiling fans or are those an upsell?

It’s a great house cleaning question for a maid service. 

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says a savvy cleaner sets guideline with the client upfront. 

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#HouseCleaning360 is a referral database where you can find the best house cleaners and maids in town. 

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Listen: Basic Clean – Which House Cleaning Chores Should I Include?

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Watch: Basic Clean – Which House Cleaning Chores Should I Include?

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.Ask a House Cleaner DIY Question Spacer Savvy Cleaner

Question: Basic Clean – Which House Cleaning Chores Should I Include?

Today’s question is from Maria. She asks, “I would like to know what the basic cleaning involves.” 

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Answer: Basic Clean – Which House Cleaning Chores Should I Include?

Basic Clean bug troubleAll right. A basic clean is a little bit different for every single house that you go to.

A house in Florida is going to have humidity issues. Whereas a house in Phoenix, AZ, for example, is going to have dust issues. And if you’re up in the mountains, you’re going to have critter and bug issues. 

Basic Clean Depends on the House

Basic Clean 6000 sq ft house

A house that is 6000 square feet is going to have different needs than a 2200 square foot house.

So what you need to do is determine what services do you want to do every single time.

Basic Clean 2200 sq ft houseSome house cleaners include dishes and changing linens on every single clean. That is part of their regular, standard, routine cleaning. Other house cleaners charge extra for that service.

So it depends on what you’re going to be able to do, and the time that you have allotted to do each particular home.


Create and Use a Worksheet


I have a worksheet you can download that is free of charge. You can tweak it and edit it to make it your own.Basic Clean ceiling fan

It has things like emptying the trash, vacuuming, cleaning baseboards, dusting fans, etc. So that you know what you’re going to be doing on each individual clean.

If your ceiling fans, for example, are for a deep clean, then you don’t want to include that on your worksheet. But, whatever is on your worksheet are the things that you’re going to do every time you come. And you will check those off as you go.

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Edit Your Worksheet on the Initial Walkthrough 


When you do an initial walkthrough, the customer may not need all the things done that are on your worksheet. 

So you just draw a line through them, and then you replace it with whatever they would have you do instead.

That way, you are creating a custom sheet for that customer. Now, I  am not saying to go home and create a brand new worksheet. Use the same worksheet every time. Just cross through and write whatever it was they had you do instead.

Substitution Requests for a Basic Clean

Basic Clean Guest Room 2Now, there are customers that will try to change things up every time you go.

That’s fine, as long as they give you advance notice, and as long as it fits in with your regular cleaning.

For example, let’s say that they say, “Skip this room, but do this room today.”Basic Clean Guest Room 1 It may be that you do a rotating series of rooms because their house is too large to fit into one cleaning. So, it’s  going to depend on how you set it up with the customer.

Extra Requests

Basic Clean cleaning out ovenNow, if it’s going to be extra, that is an upsell fee that you have to charge for, and it’s going to take extra time. 

So let’s say they want you to clean the oven, or clean the refrigerator. Instead of substituting one job for another, they are adding something on to your list. That’s a separate charge.

It’s a separate project. You will need to add more time for this client to your schedule for this extra project.

The customer needs to know what projects can be swapped and which ones can’t on a regular cleaning. 

Basic Clean Routine

So, what does a basic clean include? Regular, basic stuff.Basic Clean cleaning toilet

Bathrooms: cleaning toilets,  bathtubs, sinks, and the vanities.

Kitchen: cleaning the sink, and wiping the countertops down. It’s going to be sweeping and mopping the floors and emptying the trash in all the rooms of the house.

If there are flat surfaces, let’s say in the bedrooms, it’s cleaning those surfaces down. If there is dusting, it’s going to be dusting everything down.

There are just basic things that every cleaning includes. 

Discrepancies in House Cleaning

Basic Clean cleaning servicesBut, like I said, every single house is different. And so it’s going to come down to, “What are your skills? And what are you offering?

This is one of the discrepancies in housecleaning.

Everybody offers different services. So when you come in, and someone says, “I paid my last house cleaner X amount of dollars.” So what?

So what, because we don’t know what the services are that they are offering. “These are the services I am offering, and this is the prices I am offering it at.”

They can say, “Oh yes, that’s an agreement.” Or, “Can we change one or two things?”

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Stay Consistent

The day that you do the walkthrough is the day they change one or two things. They don’t get to change it at every time that you come to clean their house.

Unless you have set that up, up front. And said, “We will rotate through your house, and you can pick on a week to week basis what it is you want to be done.”

My recommendation is, just don’t do that. Because it’s a lot of high maintenance. And then they’re going to ask to throw in extra things that are not part of your regular cleaning.

So, what’s included? It’s whatever you decide. This is your business, and you are the boss, and you are the one that gets to decide. Have fun with this. 

And that’s my two cents. 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 For This Episode

Worksheets You Can Download –

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing –

Clutter’s Last Stand: It’s Time to De-Junk Your Life!  –

Weekend Makeover –

For Packrats Only: How to Clean Up, Clear Out, and Debunk Your Life Forever –

Clutter-Free –

Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity –

Decide and Conquer: The Ultimate Guide for Improving Your Decision Making –

Basic and deep cleaning –

General Housekeeping vs. Deep Cleaning –

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