Worksheet Overkill

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Are you guilty of worksheet overkill? "Your worksheet is your calling card. And your worksheet activates your satisfaction guarantee. Your worksheet is your invoice. And your worksheet is your receipt for payment. It's where house cleaners leave notes for their customers. And homeowners pass out worksheets recommending maids to their neighbors.

Worksheet Overkill – Are you guilty? Your worksheet is your calling card. And your worksheet activates your satisfaction guarantee. Your worksheet is your invoice. And your worksheet is your receipt for payment. It’s where house cleaners leave notes for their customers. Homeowners will also pass out worksheets recommending their maids to their neighbors.

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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. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

Is Your Worksheet Overkill?

Worksheet Overkill, Woman Working on a ChecklistA house cleaner asks if her worksheet is overkill. She took a checklist and added a lot of extra items so it looks like she offers more than the average service and then she has second thoughts.

There is an Easy Answer to Worksheet Overkill

If you add more to a basic checklist it is overkill.

Going paperless is great, but worksheets have their place, too. If you take a basic worksheet and start adding to it to make it look like you “do more” at a customers house – it’s overkill.

Electronic Worksheets Create More Work

Worksheet Overkill, Woman Working on ChecklistWhen you get home from your job today, you still have to sit down and send an invoice. You also have to email your client a worksheet. That’s a lot of work for you and the customer.

They have to print it out, put it on a clipboard and then go through the house inspecting your work.

Make it easy for both of you. Print it out and take it with you. Use it as you clean and inspect your work as you go.

Check off the items you’ve cleaned and leave the worksheet for your client.

The items you’ve checked activate your satisfaction guarantee.

Another Reason I Prefer the Paper Version of the Worksheet

Worksheet Overkill, Woman Reading LetterThe paper version serves as a receipt for your customer. They leave you a check and you leave them a receipt.

This also helps if the customer left no money. If you charge the client’s credit card you can note that on the worksheet.

You can say, for example, “You paid today $220 with the Visa ending in 4893.” Then, circle it and write, “Thank you for your business, paid in full.”

That is their receipt, that is their worksheet, that is their receipt. Boom, we’re done. We’re done with the transaction.

When you go home tonight, you have other stuff to do. Trying to remember exactly what you cleaned in a client’s house so you can check off an electronic worksheet is not one of them.

So check it off as you go. At the end of the transaction, you’re done.

One More Thing That Makes Paper Worksheets Great

Worksheet Overkill, Woman with Senior Woman on CouchWhen your worksheet is on Mrs. Jones’ countertop, she has to do something with it. She doesn’t have to open her email. Nobody forces her to do that. But if there’s nothing on the countertop except this, she has to do something with this.

These worksheets get picked up and shuffled and moved around the house.

They also get passed around to neighbors and friends, and that’s what you want. These go places that you will never go as a marketer, and this is your marketing.

So, if somebody in the neighborhood says, “Hey, I’m interested in (insert your name) cleaning. What does she do?” And your customer can tell her and show her what you do. That’s easy enough.

Worksheets Are Also Great Communication Tools

Worksheet Overkill, Man Reading LetterYour customer is also always aware of your rules and regulations because they are on the back page.

Keep this on every single printout just in case they forget. If you have to charge the customer for a late cancellation fee, this is not news. They are not hearing these things for the first time and there is no confusion.

Printed Worksheets Help in So Many Ways

These paper copies will also help your employees.

So, if there’s a new person and I send them into the house, send them with a checklist and a clipboard. They’re going to inspect their own work. If there are two people in the house, they can swap and they can inspect each other’s work.

So the secret is this does so many things, and it’s a good idea to keep it right in front of you.

You Could Go Paperless, But Don’t

Worksheet Overkill, Woman on PhoneCould you do it on an iPad? Yeah, you could. Could you go paperless? Yeah, you could. Paper is still the preference because it is a physical object that’s in your face. So, there’s no forgetting that the house cleaner came.

If it’s an invisible transaction, lots of people forget you were there. Then they may forget to pay you. So if it’s right there in front of them, they’re like, “Oh yeah, she did come, she did do all those things. That was dirty and it looks nicer now.”

Keep Your Worksheets Simple

So, you said you expanded yours a lot. Don’t expand it, okay? Keep it simple, and here’s the reason why. There are house cleaners that want to add all these extras on their worksheets. They want the customers to think that they’re getting more bang for their buck.

The reality is most people are price shopping. They want their house clean, and they don’t care about the extras. If they do care about the extras, they’re willing to pay more.

So, when you bring in this huge worksheet, you’re setting expectations you can’t meet. Find a simple one that works for you. There are a lot of online resources to help you.

Adding to A Worksheet Sets You Up for Failure

Worksheet Overkill, House Cleaning Woman SweepingLet’s suppose 35% of the stuff on your worksheet does not get checked off. You did not have time to clean it today. Or maybe it’s not a priority to your customers, so it looks like you didn’t do much while you were there.

The customer looks at it and they’re like, “Well, you hardly did anything while you’re here. What am I paying you all this money for?”

So, follow the basics. The basics are sweeping and mopping the floors, taking out the trash, dusting. Follow the basic worksheet. If you need one click here.

This is a proven worksheet that you are free to edit and make your own.

You Do Not Need to Customize Every Worksheet

On the initial walkthrough, if the worksheet has more rooms than the customer, you can cross out a room. You can say, “Okay, there’s no office in this house. ”  And if a bedroom is used as a music room you just write “Music room” in there. For this client this room will always be the music room.

NOTE: You’re not going home and tailoring the worksheet to every customer. When you get hundreds of customers and expand with lots of employees, this works for every house. Just make a note at each cleaning that you’ve cleaned the music room. And you will remember it’s a music room – because there are musical equipment or songbooks inside. You will remember.

Yes, some houses will have more rooms. Some houses will have fewer rooms, or if there is one less room. For example, this worksheet has four bedrooms on it, but they only have three bedrooms. You just cross through one of the bedrooms. Super easy.

Upsell Opportunity

Worksheet Overkill, Men Working on ChecklistNow, if they say, “These two guest rooms are off-limits,” cross those guest rooms off the list. Write in the bedroom slot “Guest room one, guest room two, off-limits.” And then ross them off at every cleaning because you agreed to that.

Later, when the customer says, “Oh hey, do you mind cleaning the guest room today?” You say; “Oh, let’s see,” and you look at your list. “I’ve got that crossed off, so we didn’t include that. Do you want to add that in as a special service?”

And now you have negotiation power because it’s right in front of you on your checklist. You’re reminding the customer that this is what they signed and agreed to.

Your Walkthrough Worksheet is Also Your Contract

Worksheet Overkill, Man Taking Picture of LetterThis can also be the contract. It is the initial worksheet you use in the first walkthrough. So, give one to the customer at the beginning of the walkthrough. Say something like:

“Hey, when I come to clean your house, this is what we normally do. Let’s walk through the house. If there’s anything here you don’t want to be done, let’s make a note of it now.

If there’s anything extra that you want to add, let’s also make a note of that now.”

Have one on your clipboard,  and go through the house. In the end, cross off,  make notes, and say,

Review with the Customer at the End of the Walkthrough

“Hey, let me just verify this with you. Did I get everything correct?” They look at the worksheet, and go “Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s exactly what we talked about.”

Then, say, “Great, if you’ll just initial right here, we have a working agreement. Let’s get started.” And they go “Okay, great,” and they initial it.

That’s the contract, that’s it right there. And you can take a picture of it, they can have a picture for their copy. You can give them a copy and take a copy of yours on your phone. It doesn’t matter who gets the final copy. Each of you should have a picture either on your phone or a hard copy, okay?

Your Worksheet Discourages Re-Writes

Worksheet Overkill, Man and Woman Reading LetterTake that contract to your cleanings for the rest of your life with that customer at the price you just quoted.

Then, if you get there and they have a new worksheet, you say, “Oh my goodness, wait a second. Did you want to use my worksheet today, or did you want to use your worksheet? Because I’ve priced your job based on my worksheet and what we agreed on. If you have a new worksheet with new things, we need to come up with a new price.”

So, right then you’re negotiating. They do not get to change the rules on you when you clean their house. Because the price was based on the cleaning and a certain set of things we discussed. The time allotment was for these things.

If you have extra things, you’ve got to call the office. It’s on the back page in the rules and regulations, right? It says you’ve got to call the office to add things in and change the price.

Your Contract Will Help You with New Business, Too

Worksheet Overkill, House Cleaning Woman on PhoneThat contract solves so many problems. That’s why it’s awesome to have it right there in front of the customer at every cleaning.

They pass this on to neighbors and friends, who say, “Wow, they do all this stuff for this price.” It gives them a ballpark.

When the customer calls and says, “Can you do at my house at this price?”

You say “Every house is a little bit different. Everybody has different numbers of people in their house, different animals, different cleaning styles. Some people are tidy, some people are messy. I would love to come and do a walkthrough, and find out exactly what we can do to best suit your needs.”

The Same Worksheet Works for New Customers

You’re going to use the same worksheet when you get to the customer’s house. You’re just going to adapt it a little bit. Don’t rewrite it, don’t add extra stuff, don’t make it overkill.

But, do print it out because this will go places you’ll never go. It solves so many problems to have a worksheet right there in front of them right now. “Oh yes, my house is clean, now I must pay.”

Use Your Worksheet as an Invoice

Worksheet Overkill, Man and Woman Reading Letter at HomeIf they did not pay for the cleaning service and you do not have a credit card on file, this becomes your invoice. And you can write a short note on the worksheet that says something like:

“Oh, my goodness, I missed the check today, you must have put it somewhere and somehow it’s gone missing. Before the day is over, I need the money, and I need it emailed to my PayPal account at this email address. Thank you so much, I appreciate your business.”

No further service happens until you get paid. If they don’t pay you, you don’t come back in two weeks because you didn’t get paid.

It’s right there on their page, so they know, right? They know they didn’t pay. That way you don’t have to keep chasing them down, you don’t have to keep billing them for extra money.

All right, so it’s great that you’re in business, and you’re using the worksheets. If you’re not using worksheets, you can use these.

Go to, and you drop in your email address and it will email it to you. You can open it up in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You can edit it and tweak it and make it your own, but please do not add overkill stuff to it. Don’t make it complicated, keep it simple.

All right, I hope this helps you a little bit. If it does, please pass this on to a friend, and if we’ve earned your subscription, please subscribe to our channel. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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