Why does my house cleaner fluff the pillows but always miss the spider webs?

Islington property

Does your house cleaner do a great job on some things and then completely miss others?

We assume that cleaning is common sense, which in many ways it is, but what is a top priority for one person may not be the top priority for another. Our homes are uniquely ours and what we want from cleaning can vary quite a bit. Giving a clear, easy to follow brief is easier said than done but here are some tips to make it easier!

Take the time to think about what is important to you

What are the things that if they don’t get done will drive you crazy and what, if a cleaner runs out of time, is less important to you. Make a prioritised list of the most important tasks – is it a spotless bathroom? a well-made bed and fluffed pillows, impeccable ironing?

Set out your expectations

The more clear and direct you can be with your cleaner the better. If you want them to do things in a certain way, tell them. You may ask that they always vacuum so the carpet pile is in the same direction. Perhaps you want the items on your display shelf put back in exactly the same way. For some people this isn’t important, but for those who care it is incredibly irritating when things aren’t done the way we like. Cleaners want to know they way you like things done so they can be sure to do their work successfully.

Tell them what products to use

Preferences vary widely for cleaning products. And in some homes with delicate surfaces it is very important to use only manufacturer-approved products. Tell your cleaner which products you want used where. They are happy to follow instructions.

Give negative feedback straight away

Negative feedback can be difficult and awkward to give but if we don’t give it the thing we don’t like won’t be fixed. Just as you would with a colleague at work, be direct with your negative feedback and try to provide an example so the cleaner understands where they went wrong. Giving feedback immediately after a mis-step is the best time. It is fresh in everyone’s mind and does not leave time for frustration to fester. Like anyone at work they want to do a good job. Knowing what they do well and what they need to work on helps them improve.

Leave a note when you want special tasks done

If your cleaner has been with you for a while they can get into a routine of doing the basics and only focusing on those tasks, while areas that aren’t part of their regular routine might get neglected. If there are periodic tasks that you’d like them to tackle – leave a note or send a text on the morning of the clean. From wiping out the fridge to doing a good scrub of the tiles to getting to the dust behind that sofa – these are periodic tasks that your cleaner can incorporate into their schedule every few months to ensure that your home is more than just surface clean.