“But I just cleaned that!” If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. House cleaning when the clients are home is far from ideal.
Recleaning a room that the homeowners made a mess in may be the new norm as people continue working from home.
Before you surrender to cleaning a messy house twice, try out these suggestions.
Listen: But I Just Cleaned That
Watch: But I Just Cleaned That
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. You can find this, and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
But I Just Cleaned That
But I just cleaned that. Argh, and now it’s messy again. Who wins? This came into our YouTube show. “The checklist is a great idea because the house I clean gets dirty immediately while I’m there since the family is also home.
And then the wife says, ‘Well, there are still crumbs and stuff all over the kitchen floor.’ I have to tell her, ‘Well, that’s because you guys and the dog are dragging crumbs everywhere after I’ve already cleaned, and I can’t clean the same room twice in the same day.'”
A Lot of Families are Home in Quarantine
So lots of house cleaners are running into this right now because this is right after the stay-at-home from COVID-19. Lots of families are still at home, and they have not gone out or have nowhere to go.
So, the house cleaners are starting to come back, but the families are still there. So, now you clean a room, leave, and go to the next room.
The family goes into this room, and they untidy it. And then, what? Well, when you go to check off your checklist, the room is all dirty again. How do you guarantee it?
You Have to Do Room By Room Inspections
What it comes down to, is you have to do a room-by-room inspection. So, let’s say that you worked in the kitchen, and it looks amazing. You kept everybody out of the kitchen for a little bit. You went in and cleaned.
Now, you have to re-let them back in. Now, one of the funniest things, and we did this with a family that had four children, they were all home-schooled, and there was nowhere for them to go.
So, while we were cleaning, we would clean one room. Then, we would get the whole family together. “All right, everybody come on in.” We would give the checklist to one of the daughters. So, she was like the foreman of the job.
She would go around, and she would inspect the job after we did. Well, she loved checking stuff off. So, she’d check off stuff that we didn’t even do, but she checked off the whole entire page. Everything is done. It looks amazing. The family would make sandwiches, and they would make a mess.
You Can Make it a Reveal to the Family
In every room that we cleaned, the family would come in next. We’re like, “Okay, in two minutes, we’re going to have the grand reveal.” And then, all the kids would come running in, and the parents would come in and whatever, and the room would look nice.
The daughter would go around, and she would do the inspection. Sometimes, we would rotate between kids, and there would be a new inspector in this room than on the last one. It was fun, but we always passed the inspection.
The family always gave us their approval, and then they trashed the room. By the time we left, we were like, “What did we do here today?” But they needed the help. We were happy to help. We got paid for the job. But you have to make that situation work for your particular situation.
Take a Snapshot of the Clean Room
Now, there are a lot of homes where a parent is working, and there are teenagers there.
The teenagers will come in, and they’ll make sandwiches or drag stuff through the house, take off clothes, and leave stuff strewn about, after you’ve already cleaned it.
So, what you have to do, again, is the room by room inspection. So, when you’re done with a room, take a picture of the room. Now it’s clean because that’s what you’re going to turn in with your report to the family.
You Can Use Software to Show Clients Their Clean Rooms
Now, if you’re using a piece of janitorial software like many are, there are lots of great programs on the market. And a lot of them allow you to have the pictures attached to that.
So, as you send the invoice, they can look at all the rooms quickly, and they can see from the scan that you did, in fact, clean them.
Many Homeowners Have Security Cameras
Now beyond that, many homeowners have home security cameras. So, they can watch you while you clean. They can say, “Oh yes, I can see that my house cleaner is in the living room right now. Yes, she’s dusting. Yes, she’s sweeping. Okay, I’m good with that.”
They’re watching you on their home security cameras. So, for them to come in and nitpick, isn’t very encouraging. Especially right now when people are at their homes with their families, and they still need a house cleaner to come in.
If they do not let the house cleaner do their job, you will both be frustrated. Either you guys are going to get in a fight, or somebody is going not to honor their guarantee, or somebody is not going to get paid. So, you guys have to come to an agreement of how you’re going to deal with this situation. Especially since people are still at home while you’re cleaning.
A Lot of People Have Figured Out How to Work From Home
Now, one of the interesting things that we’re seeing right now is there are a lot of business people that have figured out how to work from their home, where they used to love going into the office and getting away from it all.
Now, they’re like, “Oh, why would I get out of bed in the morning and take a shower and put on a suit, when I can go in my den and wear a sweatshirt and some shorts, and I can get my work done. My family comes in and they feed me. I don’t have to go anywhere“. It saves on the wear and tears on the car. It saves on the commute. You can get so much more done.
I’m hearing crazy stories of people being 20, 40% more productive working out of their house, than they ever did in an office. No water bottle chat stuff happens. There’s no wasting time at the office. I mean, it’s raw productivity.
Many House Cleaners Will Have to Clean Around People Now
So, moving forward, house cleaners are going to have to come to these new agreements with the homeowners because there are going to be a lot of homeowners now that are working from home and have figured out now how to do it and be more productive.
Now, they do not want to leave. So, there’s going to be a lot of this moving forward. If you are a homeowner and you have a house cleaner come, you need to please figure this out with your house cleaner.
If you are the house cleaner, please figure this out with your homeowner because neither of you wants to be disillusioned or disappointed in the job that you are expecting and have it fall short.
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