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5 Things You Should Always Do Before Your House Cleaner Comes

According to cleaning companies, there are a few things you'll want to take care of in advance.

After a long workweek, it's fair to want your free time to be yours. Yet a survey commissioned by Arm & Hammer Clean and Simple found that the average American spends nearly six hours per week on cleaning or housework tasks. That's almost a full workday's worth of scrubbing and scouring! Hiring a professional house cleaner can definitely reduce those hours, but experts say you'll still need to prepare for their visit to make the operation run smoothly. Read on to learn the five things you should always do before your house cleaner comes so that both you and the company are happy with the results.

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Tidy up your home.

girl in playroom with toys, bad parenting

It may seem counterintuitive, but experts agree that it's important to tidy up your home before a house cleaner comes, completing any task that you would consider a daily chore.

Angela Brown, cleaning guru and host of the Ask a House Cleaner show and podcast, explains that these "daily chores" include picking up and putting away toys, clothes, towels, mail, and books. It's also important to rotate laundry, fold it, and put it away unless you've made special arrangements with the cleaning company.

This will leave the cleaner time to do their actual job—tackling what would otherwise be on your weekly and bi-weekly cleaning checklist, says Brown. Most house cleaning packages focus on deep-cleaning tasks such as scouring the sinks, tubs, and toilets; dusting; sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping; and wiping down surfaces in high-touch areas, she tells Best Life.

Secure your animals and clean up after them.

goldendoodle puppy on a front lawn
mestrada182 / Shutterstock

Delah Gomasi, CEO and director of MaidForYou, a large house cleaning company based in Sydney, Australia, says the next thing you'll need to do is secure your pets—especially large dogs—in the yard or another safe area. But that's not the only way you can be courteous to your house cleaner regarding your pets.

"As professional cleaners, we find that the areas that give us the most difficulties are bio and animal waste," Gomasi explains. "The cleaning of these things is not within our scope, as such clients are surprised when they come home to still find the animal waste in the same spot, uncleaned."

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Prepare your bed.

Messy bed. White pillow with blanket on bed unmade. Concept of relaxing after morning. With lighting window. Top view.

Most of the time, you should plan on making your bed before a house cleaner comes. However, if you've made arrangements for the house cleaning company to do laundry or linens and would like your bedding changed, Gomasi says you should leave folded, clean sheets on the bed before their arrival.

"That way we don't have to go searching in linen closets for clean sheets," she explains. "This will make it easier for your cleaner or housekeeper and will also mean that this item isn't missed."

Do your dishes.

Happy couple doing dishes together

When you imagine hiring a house cleaner you may envision freedom from the heaps of dishes in your sink. Brown says that this is of course an option with many companies, but it's not standard for most cleaning packages.

"For my house cleaning service, and most others in my market, cleaning dishes is an added extra," Brown tells Best Life. "Although we're happy to clean them, clients shouldn't expect us to clean mountains of dishes without an extra cost."

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Send a list ahead of time if you have specific needs.

Shot of an attractive young businesswoman sitting and working on her laptop in a coffee shop during the day

Perhaps the most important thing you should always do before your house cleaner comes is communicate ahead of time—both about which tasks you're looking to have completed and about what that will cost you. This will help everyone manage their expectations and ensure that both the client and the house cleaner are satisfied with the arrangement.

Brown suggests sharing a written checklist or extensive notations on your booking days in advance of the scheduled cleaning. "This makes it super easy for us to complete the work you're requesting and it means your expectations are met."

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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