I had to have a come-to-Jesus talk with the manager of our cleaning service today because I haven’t been happy with their last few visits. If we’re paying1*$95 plus tips to the two maids. They come every other week. somebody to clean the house, I shouldn’t walk into the pantry and find that they didn’t bother to sweep behind the door, nor should I have to call them back to really clean the kitchen and bathroom surfaces. If there’s a toothpaste splatter on the mirror when they leave, they didn’t do their jobs.
Anyway—I was making up a list of the “must haves” for each visit so that I can get quotes from other services again. I Googled for other lists as memory-joggers, to see if I had any glaring omissions. According to a Good Housekeeping quiz at ivillage.com (I think that was the site), I’m a “take no prisoners” housekeeper.
curiousmay9 found a book she’s recommended to me several times, A Housekeeper Is Cheaper Than a Divorce: Why You Can Afford to Hire Help and How to Get It by Kathy Fitzgerald Sherman and brought it down for me, since it has many lists in it. Interesting read—I recommend it.
(I’m very annoyed that the publisher’s domain has been taken over by one of those crappy “search” page things, as I wanted to download some of the material the book says was on the site.)
Clean both bathrooms. Put out a fresh hand towel.
Clean all kitchen surfaces and inside the microwave, including the front of each appliance. Must MOVE everything from the counters to clean under those items, and wipe down the items if needed.
Clean the kitchen sink.
Put out a fresh kitchen towel & sponge.
Wipe down the outside of the washer and dryer and the exterior of the refrigerator (in the pantry). Don’t forget to wipe down the rubber seals on the fridge door.
Sweep or vacuum, then damp mop hard floors (kitchen, living room, entryway, pantry/laundry room, stairway). Pay attention to the baseboards.
Vacuum upholstered furniture and accompanying pillows.
Dust blinds, windowsills, woodwork, tops of pictures, furniture, ceiling fan blades, and light fixtures (accessible ones, not the ones way out of reach). If it isn’t alive, it should probably be dusted.
Spot-clean walls, light switches, doorknobs, mirrors, and living room area rug as needed.
Clean smudges off TV/monitor screens.
Spot and remove any cobwebs. Pay special attention to the foyer/stairway area.
Vacuum carpeted floors (upstairs, master bedroom downstairs) and vents/returns (just covers).
Make up any unmade beds.
Empty trash cans.
Clean fridge, including coils (brush hangs in the pantry on the rack with the broom and mop)
Move the appliances to clean under them!
Flip the area rug and vacuum the backing
Obviously, that doesn’t include every task that needs to be done to keep the house liveable, but it does cover the heavy cleaning basics. Those tasks aren’t done as often (weekly) as we did in the past, but I’m fairly sure that nobody but I (or my former MIL, but she’s another story) will ever notice the difference.
What did I miss? How would your list differ?