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Choosing The Right Housekeeper

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Today's professionals rarely have time to clean penciled into their super busy schedules. Avoid having your home fall into the dirt trap by having a cleaning pro do the work for you. Whether choosing a company or an individual, trust is obviously a big concern, as the housekeeper may be working when no one is at home. Follow these tips to hire the right housekeeper and avoid hassles later.

Bonded and Insured

Always hire a housekeeper who is bonded and insured. Make sure the cleaner or company is bonded to cover your losses in case of a theft and not just to cover themselves. Insurance by the company/individual is mandatory and should cover employee and accident insurance to include your home in case a cleaner has an accident while there.


If choosing between companies, ask if references, criminal misconduct and resident status is checked and documented. Find out what training is provided to ensure housekeeping consistency between different employees or if you can get the same person(s) each time. Additionally, ask about costs per hour or fraction depending on number of cleaners at your home, how costs are billed and payment options. A detailed billing description should be available, either in print or online.

Services and Supplies

Inquire as to what services and supplies are covered by the price? A sole individual may do laundry, while most companies do not provide this service. Who provides the mop, broom, vacuum and other essential tools of the trade, along with the cleaning supplies? If company supplied, just how well does this equipment work and is the vacuum properly cleaned and filtered? Will the company cater to your allergy needs by using specified cleaners or are only harsh chemicals used? Even so-called green products are not that healthy, so get a list of what is used to determine for yourself. These are important questions that need to be answered before hiring anyone.

Get Legal

If hiring an individual, you may be required to report their wages and pay taxes on them, as they are working for you. Keep yourself out of trouble by making sure all employee residency paperwork is completed according to federal law and work with your accountant to be sure you are in compliance with the all laws around money paid for housekeeping services. When hiring a cleaning service, the company pays the taxes on their employees.

Remember, only hire someone that you feel comfortable with in your home, even after the interview and other checks have come out positive. Use your best judgment, and you will soon have a cleaner and more enjoyable living space without sacrificing time.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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