The decision to hire a housekeeping or maid service is a personal one that has its pros and cons.  For some, the idea of strangers entering your home and cleaning is an invasion of privacy.  While others would argue that the time, energy, and peace of mind saved by having a cleaning service is well worth the alternative.  Here are 5 tips to consider when hiring a housekeeping service to get you off the fence of decision making.

1.) Choose a service that has been referred: Choosing a cleaning service is like choosing a doctor.  If you are concerned about the safety of your home and belongings, find reputable housekeeping services that have references for you to contact.  Consider asking your neighbors, coworkers, or family members whom they would recommend.  Similarly to a doctor, keep researching until you are comfortable with the information you gather.

2.) Interview the service on the phone first: Most cleaning services will come out and walk through your home for a free consultation and estimate of services. Before they get to this step, ask questions over the phone that is important to you.  They should include: *What type of products do they use? Do they change cleaning cloths between homes? *Are they licensed and bonded in case of damage or theft to your home. *How long have they been in business? *What referrals do they have for you to call?

3.) Should you hire an individual or service? The pros for hiring an individual is the personalized attention to detail they will offer.  Individuals may offer more services such as folding clothes, and making up beds, beyond the usual cleaning.  The cons of hiring an individual include, if they become ill; there isn’t a back-up team to take their place.  Insurance and bonding amounts may not be as high for an individual.  Therefore if you had an incident in your home, they may not be covered.

The pros of hiring a service is they have a team of service people, so the likelihood of a cancellation is minimal.  A team of people working on your home at once may make them more thorough.  The cons could include, the personalized attention may be reduced, and the time period they spend at each individual home may be less.

4.) Walk through your home with the cleaning representative: Once you’ve decided to have the housekeeping service/or individual come to your home, remember these tips as you walk through your home: *Before they arrive, keep your home in the “usual” state it would be in before a cleaning job would have normally been done.  Many people make the mistake of cleaning up the home before the walk through.  This is defeating the purpose because the service will quote you a price based on the amount of work, square footage of home, and how long you need them to stay. The staff will be hired based off of this meeting, and the time estimate will be drastically different than what you really need.

5.) Decide if this is right for your family: Go with your instincts when hiring a housekeeping service. Ask questions that will settle your concerns and don’t be afraid to be honest and candid.  Your home, family and belongings should feel safe when in the hands of a housekeeping service.   If you later find yourself despising to clean, and spend more time cleaning than enjoying a quality lifestyle, then a housekeeping service may be for you.  While if you enjoy cleaning, and can’t stand the idea of people in your home as they clean – you probably want to keep your current cleaning regime as is.

Think about these tips if you are considering on hiring help to clean your home.  At the end of the day, you need to be happy and comfortable with your home.  Whether that means hiring a housekeeping service will depend on you and your family. Enjoy your time and home, that’s what life is all about!