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It seems everyone is so busy these days that there’s barely time to relax, and when you own a home or apartment, there always seems to be something that needs to be cleaned.

That has given rise to several cleaning-serviceoptions and many people are choosing to hire a housecleaner on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to save themselves some frustration and time—and keep their home looking spiffy.

If you’re looking to hire a service, there are plenty of online reviews and testimonials that you can look at to see what sort of job they do. Or you can ask your neighbors about who they may use and find someone they are happy with. If you happen to go with someone you know little about, always ask for references first.

When first meeting with a housecleaner, be sure to go over exactly what you want done so there are no misunderstandings. Everyone knows the expression that “I don’t do windows” but some cleaners might not do dishes, clean the microwave, dust bookshelves or do a cleaning job that you feel is necessary. Going over a list together is a way to make sure what you want gets done.

Some housecleaners may even do more than expected, such as washing sheets, folding clothes or tidying up the basement, and if they go out of their way to do more, thank them and let them know they are appreciated.

Often, housecleaners clean when you’re at work or not at home, and you must trust them with a key, garage code or other entry into the house. Even if you are at home, they will be cleaning in rooms by themselves, so you should always protect your valuables. It’s probably rare that someone takes something, but better not to tempt anyone with a loose $20 bill on the dresser or a shiny ring left in the bathroom. There needs to be some level of trust built up but putting away a jewelry box is not the worst idea.

Sometimes, a dish or vase may break while they are cleaning in the kitchen or dusting, and while it’s sure to make you a little angry, don’t fly off the handle and immediately feel you have to fire them. If this is something that happens frequently, obviously something needs to be done, but don’t fret over one little thing. Talk with them and let them know they need to be more careful in the future.

Remember to tip them come holiday time and also reward them once in a while with a little extra money, especially if they do a great job. When friends come over and comment about how nice and clean your house looks, it will all be worth it.

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