Get your home a clean start
When a quick sweep of a rag across the entertainment center serves as a good dusting, it may seem your home just isn’t getting the attention you want.
Between working, trips to the grocery store and baseball practice, it can feel impossible to fit in a deep cleaning on Saturday.
It may be time to consider bringing in a professional.
“A lot of our clients are overcome the first time they come home after we’ve come in and cleaned,” says Judy Wilkening, owner of Maid Brigade Naperville in Naperville, Ill.
“When they walk in and see how nice everything looks, they just cant believe it.”
But if you’re just not sure where to start with the chore of selecting a cleaning professional, here are some things you should know heading in to the hire.
Who supplies the cleaning products?
If hiring an individual, residents generally supply the products and cleaning equipment they prefer, easily addressing any allergy and ecological concerns. Agencies commonly provide their own supplies.
What is considered general cleaning?
Find out whether basic service includes such common tasks as dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing bathroom fixtures and washing floors. Also find out what services the cleaner will not do at all.
What about security?
“Some people are apprehensive about having someone in their home clean when they’re not there, … but many are comfortable once we show them how we protect them,” Wilkening says.
Clients who opt to give a key to the firm are protected by the removal of all identifying characteristics on the key. Numbered keys are kept in a lock box in the office. If giving a key to an individual, provide one that states it cannot be duplicated.
What are your accounting responsibilities?
The Internal Revenue Service’s Publication 926 (“Household Employer’s Tax Guide”), states that if you pay an individual more than $1,400 a year, you are responsible for such things as securing an employer ID number; employer Social Security and Medicare withholding; paying the employee’s withholding taxes; unemployment insurance; and obtaining tax forms for employee completion.
For independent, self-employed contractors, you are responsible for supplying a 1099 form.
Renee Tomell contributed to this story.