Tuesday, December 7, 2004

White Glove Test

When I was a kid, like most kids, I was given chores with specific instructions.  Certain tasks needed to be completed on a weekly basis.  To keep things fresh and fun (yeah right), the chores were mixed and matched.  Therefore, the list remained consistent, but the jobs were traded off each week.  My brother and I might have been responsible for five things on the list every week (one for each weekday).  Our parents divvied up the rest between themselves.

I've learned that when dealing with kids, the more detailed instruction given, the better chance of actually seeing that the job gets done.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Shake all curtains before cleaning
Dust all furniture
Dust all items on furniture (i.e., vases, picture frames, collectibles, candle votives, etc.)
Dust all tabletops and surfaces -- including coffee table
Dust all electronic equipment (i.e. TV, cable box, VCR, internet router, etc.)
Dust fireplace
Dust picture frames hanging on walls
Wash coffee table top
Clean closet mirror doors
Vacuum all rugs
Empty trash
Wash dog bowls -- refill white one with water from Sparkletts dispenser

Wash dishes
Put dishes and utensils away in organized, proper locations.
Clean all dirty dishes in the apartment.
Empty trash and replace trash can with new trash bag
Wash trash can cover
Thoroughly clean counters
Clean sink and faucet
Clean stovetop
Clean fridge -- inside and out
Clean microwave -- inside and out
Sweep floor
Wash floor (use light amount of dish soap or orange cleaning solution)

Clean Tub
Clean Shower walls
Clean faucets and shower doors
Sink and Countertops:
Thoroughly clean countertops -- remove items from countertops to clean counters
Clean sink and faucets
Clean mirrors
Clean toilet -- inside, outside and top
Sweep floor
Wash floor
Shake mats or rugs outside before replacing on clean floor.
Empty trash

Vacuum all rugs
Dust all surfaces (note: please do not rearrange papers on desktops)
Dust appliances and electronics (i.e. TV, DVD player, stereo, speakers.  Important note: DO NOT TOUCH computers)
Dust all shelves and shelving hardware.
Dust all items on shelves.
Wash bedding
Make beds
Remove all dirty dishes, mugs, etc and wash them.

Organize folded laundry in bags (socks, jeans, tank tops, t-shirts, long sleeves, etc. should all be separated.  Towels and bedding should be separately organized.)
Please use ONLY the detergent provided.  It is natural and hypoallergenic.  No dyes or fragrances.  Thank you.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Seems fail-proof yes?  Maybe if you're a kid.  (granted, a child would only be responsible for two or three items on this list)

This is the list I left for our house keepers yesterday.  Not kids.  Professional private house cleaners.  A referral from a neighbor.  They've been with us for six or eight weeks already.  This list was my last attempt at actually getting what I'm paying for.

It's only for 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room and small kitchen (very small).  We don't ask that they clean the stairs or the loft, the patio/balconies or anywhere outside.  We don't ask them to water plants or put our laundry away.  We don't ask that they replace bath towels.  And we sort our own dirty laundry and pack it up ready for their arrival.  Plus we have a dishwasher.  Oh, and as you notice, they don't clean our desks (hopefully).

How much of the list do you think they completed?  Nevermind, I'll answer -- ABOUT HALF

And which do you think they did not do?  I'll answer that one later.  I wanna give you a shot at having some fun here.  Well, fun for you.  Not-so-much for me (as I'm left with the rest of the list). 

But wait, there's more!  Now tell me ...

Those of you who clean houses:  What would you expect to get paid for this service every other week?

Those who hire house cleaners:  What would you expect to pay for this service every other week?

Those who clean your own homes:  How much do you think you're saving by not hiring this service?

And, those who already know what we've been paying for this service, hush now.  I get it!  I still believe it would be worth it, if the job got done, consistently.  But not to worry, changes are being made.


pollysci said...

I'm guessing they didn't clean the bathroom.

Hmm... I clean my own apartment, but I have no idea... I guess I'm saving $150-200/month?

My roomie and I will joke about calling the cabana boy or our butler to take out the trash.  But it can get frustrating living in a messy home and being too tired or lazy to do anythng about it.  My problem is clutter...I'd love to have a professional organizer come in, chuck everything and have a garage sale for me. That'd leave me to spend a day away only to come home to a spanking new space.  

A girl can dream... :D


mallory4284 said...

I'm guessing they either didn't clean the bathroom....or they dusted but just dusted around things and didn't do a thorough job....but my "money's on" the bathroom....

And we've never hired a cleaning service. Too expensive for us....not to mention my mom has the worst OCD ever when it comes to cleaning. Nothing would be good enough for her....

So I have no clue about expected pay or charge. I would gather at least $100 per week?? or is that a little steep?? Maybe if you're good enough, $100 per week...if not $100 every two weeks?? Cause I imagine they only come once a week. I could be way off though.....

-- Mallory

yakima127 said...

Can't wait to hear the answers...I worked for a service in AZ for three days; I could not believe what we DIDN'T do, and how much the agency charged...JAE

danielled1 said...

I have a similar problem...I keep looking to find the 'right fit' with a cleaning service. They all seem to do a great job in the very beginning, and then slack off more and more as time goes on.

One of my biggest gripes is that they don't dust everything -- they only come once every two weeks, which means each visit they need to dust the house TOP TO BOTTOM, and they so don't!!! So my guess is that they slacked on the dusting.

Maybe they didn't do the inside of fridge or microwave. And maybe they cleaned around things, instead of removing them.

My cleaning staff love to reorganize the papers on my desk so they look neat (which I don't mind) but then I'll find that my desk is still dirty and my photos are dusty!!

I am about at the end of my rope with this service, but alas, I don't think the next service will be any better. :(

I pay $90 per visit, once every two weeks.

How does this compare?


readmereadyou said...

I don't have a housekeeper come in but two of my friends do. They pay 50 dollars a visit. That visit is usually two hours. These people clean the bathroom from top to bottom, dust and vacuum and do the kitchen countertops, outside of appliances and wash the kitchen floor for that 50 dollars once a week. One of my friends only has a two room apartment and the other has a small three-bedroom house. Cost is the same for what I typed. Anything extra, costs more.

xzasporated1 said...

I'm anxious to hear what you are expected to pay.  I would pay no more than $65 for that list.  But, if I was cleaning someone else's I would charge $6500.  I don't even like to clean my own dirt, much less someone else's.

Well, they better have cleaned the water bowl.  AND replaced ONLY with sparklettes.  No tap for my pup either.

~~ jennifer

derossetfamily said...

How many people are there to get the list done? If it were just me on that list, it would take a full work day, and I'd probably want 150 bucks, since it wouldnt be a 5 day a week, 8 hour a day full-time job. We do all our own cleaning, I dont know if I could trust someone to come in my home while I'm not there, seeing all my personal things yadda yadda...but I definitely wouldnt mind help with the tub and toilet cleaning, the mopping and such. Hm. I'm totally rambling! Anyway, if you arent satisfied AND are paying too much, I'd show 'em the door and keep looking. Good luck!

ladydriversammie said...

Even though the list looks long with all of the extra instructions (which, btw, I wouldn't think you would have to address with "professional" house cleaners), it looks like mostly basic stuff to me.  I'd say all of that would be worth about $100, maximum.  I'm figuring that, with doing laundry for two people, including bedding, it might take several hours, depending on what laundry facilities are available for said laundry, and in that amount of time it shouldn't be too hard to finish the rest of the list.  So, say it took one person 6 hours to get everything done, that would be more than $16.50 an hour for house cleaning.  That sounds plenty fair to me, hell, I'd do it.

If they only did half of the list, it obviously wouldn't take anywhere near that long, and I'd say no more than $50 max for the day's work.

As for what they didn't do, I'm guessing they didn't clean all the surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen, and living room.  And they probably didn't dust properly.  Speaking of which, my brother and I had to split up chores every Saturday, similar to how you say you and your brother did, and we would NEVER have gotten away with a crappy job.  Mom checked to see that things were dusted under, not just around.  She also checked for dirty spots on floors that were supposed to be mopped, rugs that were supposed to be shaken, to make sure the carpet was vacuumed underneath the rugs and not just over the top of them, etc. etc.  

In any event, whatever the price is, I would think a "professional" service would have been willing to work with you as far as what they do and what the charges would be for said work.  They certainly shouldn't just keep doing less than what you want, regardless of how much you're willing to pay, and ignoring you on the issue.


coy1234787 said...

    Im just happy when the entire house gets mopped, and dusted and bathroom surfaces cleaned, kitchen surfaces wiped down including inside of microwave. Mandy's room gets left out most times if she does not have it picked up enough.
$60 once a month, We do the rest ourself.

                     *** Coy ***

ryanagi said...

To get your entire list done, I'd pay $200 a visit. But I have a bigger place and more laundry. LOL I've never heard of a cleaning service doing the laundry before. Or cleaning the inside of the fridge. Or microwave. I imagine they also skimp on the detailed dusting (drapes? who does drapes? LOL). Dust pictures on walls? bet they skipped that one too. Empty trash? My mom's cleaning woman doesn't do that. Wash dishes? Never seen a service do that. Never mind put them away. Wash the trash can cover? Nope. Remove items before cleaning or dusting, nope. Shake out mats or rugs outside? Nope. Make beds? Hmm. Ify. Fold/Organize laundry into bags? No way. You are probably lucky if they used your detergent.

LOL you are bringing back such memories from my childhood (and not good ones). I used to be my mother's "cleaning woman". She wanted me to do almost all the things on your list. I didn't move the knick-knacks to dust (or dust THEM). I never swept the floor before mopping. Oh how I hated cleaning. I think I went on permanent strike the moment I moved away from home. After so many years of being a live-in maid, I am a total slob now. I'd love to hire a service, but they wouldn't be able to clean with all the klutter in here. LMAO! Anyone got a dumpster I can borrow?

indigosunmoon said...

I've never had a cleaning lady.  I'm the cleaning lady!  LOL
I would probably want at least a hundred bucks to do all that.

krobbie67 said...

I would lay odds they didn't dust, or clean the fridge, or wipe out the inside of the microwave, essentially anything they thought wouldn't be obvious. It's a detailed list but it's not really much so I'd say they are being overpaid for sure except for the fact that laundry would take some time so maybe it's worth the cost for that fact. However, if they aren't doing it all then heck no! :-) ---Robbie

s0ngbird1962 said...

I'm kind of weird about my dishes, laundry/bedding and food/refrigerator.  Wouldn't want anyone I didn't know touching any of them....

That's quite a list....but if you are paying alot, then you deserve to get what you pay for.  

I would guess that they don't shake the curtains before cleaning, dust collectibles or picture frames on walls. Did they skip washing the dog bowls and then use the wrong water to refill?  

Probably don't put back the dishes in the the right location or wash the trash can cover.  Out of sight, out of mind might apply...so guessing the fridge and microwave are skipped.  

In the bathroom I guess they skip washing the shower walls and don't shake out the bath mats...

One question:  How are they supposed to dust all surfaces if there are papers on the desktops? Do they just dust around the paperwork? And hmmmm....people are supposed to dust shelving hardware? :::smile::::

I haven't a clue what one would charge or pay....but betting I'm saving a bundle by not having housekeepers.

andreakingme said...

Atta girl. Sock it to those dang, no-good slackers.

When I was a girl, I got $2 a week allowance for working like a dog on the weekends. (I really wasn't worked like a dog, but it sure felt like it.) I scrubbed two bathrooms -- two toilets, two sinks, two mirrors, one bathtub. And I also did one load of laundry and either vacuumed or dusted.

I'm gonna guess that she/they STILL didn't do that coffee table. ::snicker::

grassriver said...

I know what you mean - it's sooooo tough to find a housekeeper who actually cleans AND is also trustworthy. Good luck on the quest.
My guess is that he/she/they didn't do the laundry or clean the bedrooms. And I'm going to guess their excuse was that they didn't have enough time (or something like that) because they had to do everything else on the list.
The cost, hmmmmmm..... I'd have to say $75-100 a month.