House Cleaner Etiquette

By WPA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Now that we’ve talked about all the old fashioned kinds of servants and how to treat your fancy live-in servants, let’s get real and talk about the only kind of “help” we are ever likely to have (if we are lucky!).

  • Clean up your mess! There is much hardee-haring over the idea of cleaning up for your house cleaner, but seriously, man, that person is there to remove dirt, not organize your junk. Clear off surfaces, stash stuff, pull all your makeup and potions off your bathroom counters.
  • Especially don’t leave anything gross out. Dirty undies go in the hamper, not as a surprise under the bed.
  • Stay out of the way. If you can, it’s almost best not to be there at all so that it feels like some helpful brownies have come in and worked their magic, but if you must be home while the cleaner is there, move to the bedroom when they are in the living room and then switch.
  • Don’t hover. They are pros and know what they are doing. If you find fault with the cleaning, either explain before their next visit or find someone new who jives with your expectations.
  • Discuss what the cleaner will and will not do before they get there. Some will do laundry/dishes, others won’t. Keep in mind if you ask them to do anything extra, they will probably charge you extra.
  • You don’t need to tip, but if you use an individual person instead of a service, a “holiday bonus” of the cost of one visit is pretty common. Cleaning services usually don’t send the same person/people each time, so a one time bonus isn’t that useful.
  • It should go without being said that you shouldn’t be rude to, scream at, or otherwise demean your cleaner.
  • This is one service where I don’t think haggling is appropriate. They are a professional and probably have a set price for their service.

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