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Keeping the house clean can be quite a chore, even when someone lives alone. When roommates, children, spouses, and pets are added to the equation, the task can seem like it never ends. That’s why many people turn to housekeepers to get the job done. While housecleaning help isn’t free, most customers find the extra time bought by hiring outside help to be worth the investment. Like other services, though, there are points to consider and questions to ask before bringing strangers into the home. Housekeepers are in a trusted position, just like a contractor, babysitter, or senior caregiver. While hiring help can bring a much-needed feeling of relief, it only happens if families do their research. In this guide, customers can learn what they need to know before looking for a housekeeper online.

Determine if It’s Really Necessary to Hire Help

Before looking online for housecleaning help, customers should think of what they need in terms of assistance. Some families’ battles aren’t with cleanliness, but with clutter. In these cases, a customer’s needs may be better met by an organization expert. If the home is typically clean, but a customer needs help with one-off projects such as seasonal cleaning, that may be all that’s needed. However, if keeping a clean house is an ongoing battle and the customer needs to reduce the amount of time they spend fighting it, hiring a housekeeper through us may be the way to go.

Learn About the Benefits and Drawbacks of Companies vs. Independent Contractors

Most housecleaning companies handle issues such as taxes, references, background checks, and insurance, and they can send teams of workers to get the job done quickly. However, not all cleaning companies are created equal, and a disreputable company may skimp on reference checking, payroll, and other important areas. While hiring an independent provider may mean more paperwork for a customer, most people like the idea of developing a trustworthy relationship with an individual. Because the cleaners found on our site work for themselves, they’re less likely to leave customers abruptly.

Learn About State and Federal Employment Laws

Employment law is complex, and it can seem like an intimidating thing for customers to worry about. Housekeeping franchises typically take care of such issues, but those hiring independent workers must handle them alone. When hiring a housekeeper online, it’s important to ensure that the person is legally eligible to work in the US. Customers must also learn about paying the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes.

Decide on Flat vs. Hourly Fees

When thinking of hiring a housekeeper through our site, customers must decide whether they’ll pay an hourly rate or a per-job fee. When housekeepers accept hourly pay, many customers believe they’ll intentionally make the job take longer. Paying flat rates can worry others, making them believe that the housekeeper will hurry through his or her work. Most people prefer to pay by the hour; it’s easier to determine a fair rate, and an honest worker won’t risk a long-term job for short-term gains. However, it’s important for customers to remember that some flat-rate workers can do a great job as well.

Ask for Referrals

Like other professional services, the best place to start the search for a housekeeper is by asking friends, neighbors, and family members for recommendations. Ask if they know anyone who cleans houses, or if they’ve hired anyone in the past. One of the greatest things about looking for a housekeeper online is that it’s possible to find multiple providers who can meet the family’s needs. Our website gathers results from reputable sites like Sitter City and Care.com and passes them on to customers, allowing them to find the perfect provider for their home and their requirements.

Interview the Best Candidates

During the interview process, it’s important to ask the right questions and to be thorough. Ask the potential housekeeper what they like most about their work, and try to learn how they work with others. Ask them why they chose this particular type of work, and be sure to verify their references, criminal background, and work history. While companies do these things ahead of time, when hiring a housekeeper online, doing these checks is the customer’s responsibility.

Set up a Trial Phase

When a customer has interviewed a few candidates and found someone with whom they can work, it’s time to move onto the next phase. It’s good to start any housekeeping plan with a short trial period. This gives the worker time to get used to the customer’s expectations, and it gives the customer the chance to settle into the arrangement as well. Two to four weeks is ideal; a shorter time may not provide a reliable assessment of the housekeeper’s capabilities. If the customer isn’t satisfied after a few visits and the setting of firm expectations, they should move on to the next candidate on the list.

Set Clear Boundaries and Firm Expectations

Before work begins, it’s important for customers to have a good idea of what the housekeeper will (and will not) be doing inside the home. It’s a good idea to sit down with the worker and create a list of chores to be done, along with specific instructions if needed. Customers may want to negotiate a way to ask for and pay for services outside the normal routine. Now’s the time to set boundaries about what’s not allowed; for instance, if the customer doesn’t want the housekeeper to use the computer, stereo, television, phone, or kitchen, it’s important to say it in the beginning.

It’s the Customer’s Choice

After all of these tips have been followed, finding a quality housekeeper depends on the amount of effort and time a customer is willing to put into the search and verification processes. If a customer likes to take the hands-on approach, they’ll likely do most of the checking themselves. However, if someone doesn’t have much time to devote to the process, our site can help. No matter which strategy the customer chooses, these tips can help them hire a housecleaner that will help them keep things on track.