Busy lifestyles, stressful schedules and the lack of leisure time can steer a person to consider hiring a maid service to manage essential house housecleaning tasks. But prior to booking a consultation, it is crucial to know who you are allowing into your house. Here are some things to consider before hiring your first maid service.
Ensure that the housemaid servicing is bonded for its house cleaning customers. You should be safeguarded in case a theft happens. Very few organizations, if they are bonded at all, defend themselves as well as you.
Ensure that the house cleaning company is 100% insured. If a maiden slips and falls while cleaning the bathroom, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not include the event. The maid service should come with liability and employee accident coverage that should include your house, the cleaner, and the cleaning company.
Ensure that the service providing the maid is trustworthy. Inquire about the number of years they have been in business. If necessary, ask for work history and references. Gather the information related to the service. Inquire how long references have been using the service. Try to know if they had to face any issues with the service and how it was handled and whether they would recommend the service provider.
Certain private housekeepers, as well as a few of the services, require you to provide all cleaning products. If products are supplied by the house cleaning firm, ascertain what type of products will be utilized and if they contain harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. Ensure the products are safe for pets and kids. Thankfully, Companion Maids provides all cleaning products and equipment needed for the job.
If the maid service boasts utilizing “green” products or eco-friendly products for house cleaning, comprehend what they are using. Several products, although certified “green” actually include traditional chemicals at a lower proportion, literally diluting a chemical until it passes the criteria. This may be at the cost of the efficiency of the product. Various other ecologically safe products consist of bio-based components that incorporate natural bacteria and enzymes. They replicate the way nature naturally cleanses itself.
Hardware or Equipment
Examine what is provided for your house cleaning. Several independent housekeepers, as well as few services, require you to issue all cleaning equipment. If the housemaid service is providing the equipment, verify the effectiveness of the vacuum and the filtering system.
Figure out the service’s quality assurance procedures. How is the grade of service assessed and validated to assure the quality of service is properly maintained? A maid service should have quality assertion techniques in place to ensure their house cleaning matches quality standards. Inquire if the maid service has supervisors who examine each time to ensure the quality of service.
People are busy and houses need to be cleaned. But what do you do if you’ve never used a maid service or you’re not happy with the one you’re using? Well we understand (part of the reason we started this service!)
With that thought, here are some reasons hiring a maid service, in general, is stressful, and what you can do about it.
1. Language Barrier
Sometimes the best maids out there are hard to communicate within English. This is unfortunate because it can be difficult to work out details and explain specifics to someone if there is a communication gap. In this case, the solution is simple but not always obvious — go with a Maid Service. A good maid service will almost always have someone that manages talent and is always searching for the best cleaners out there. A maid service will vet cleaners so that you don’t have to.
Your home is your palace, your sanctuary, your haven, your…you get the point. Naturally, you don’t want to just let anyone into your home. A pretty good thing to make sure of is whether the service or maid service you are looking into is bonded. Bonding insurance covers theft, so if anything disappears from your place, the service can not only compensate you for it — they are insured to do so. It’s a good idea to also figure out how much the bonding insurance is for before you make the plunge.
On top of that, make sure that the service or maid is background checked and/or has references. 99% of good cleaners out there are honest, reliable and trustworthy, but it’s always good to be safe.
Your clean and your maids’ sense of clean might be completely different. However, in most cases, there a few minute details that spell the difference between a mediocre clean and a great one. Do you prefer a regular clean or a deep clean? Do you want your interior windows cleaned? Are you incredibly low maintenance? Whatever your expectations are, it’s a good idea to get a sense of what is included in your service. Some services will give you a checklist of what is included in their different cleaning packages.
If that isn’t available, inquire about your what’s included. Of course, if a service does more than you expect, great, but never find yourself on the wrong side of the deal!
4. Appropriate Cleaning Products
You may have young children or housemates of the four-legged variety. If this is the case, and even if it is not, you might be better served by requesting eco-friendly products for your home. Most services tout ‘green products,’ but what they’re really doing is using just as damaging products with a higher level of dilution, which means — same nasty ingredients, much less clean.
With that said, make sure your maid service uses green products. That chemical smell you may be used to, frankly, is bad for you, and there are some great alternatives out there. We are a green company as well.
5. Convenience Factor
Probably the biggest thing that separates old versus new cleaning services is the convenience factor of booking. A lot of the older services are focused more on things like surveying your place before giving you a quote or booking you for hourly rates. If you don’t have a lot of experience with different maid services, it can be especially difficult to predict how long it will take to clean your home, and a maid may clean differently if they are given time constraints.
Newer services tend to focus on a flat-rate price for convenience. A more modern service will also accept credit cards as payment, with the ability to book online. Typically, more convenient service will be more expensive, but also deliver more value as the maids are being compensated more to clean your home. But if you are looking for a deal, there are plenty of services out there that offer some big discounts.
Being a maid — particularly a housemaid can be a very difficult task. As a maid service business, we encounter an entire spectrum of different expectations and needs from our clients. Recently, I had a conversation with a close friend of mine, who isn’t in the business and has never hired a maid before, about how much maids make on an hourly basis. His thoughts were that experienced maids typically earn an unreasonably high rate per hour ($35-45) where I, as a company owner that pays well above the standard rate, have more realistic numbers.
So we decided to look this up. The results surprised even me. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a bit less than 1 million full-time employed maids last year, with an average, or ‘mean’ wage of $10.49 an hour. Now in Chicago, the pay was $11.39 an hour, which is not much different, and frankly, a low wage.
In Chicago, the pay was $11.39 an hour
This is a problem. The maid service industry is an old-school industry that hasn’t seen much change until recently, with the explosion of Web 2.0 websites that make booking an appointment a little easier (the premise of our site) with investors pouring money into financing them. Services such as ours charge a bit more for the convenience factor, and we tend to pay our maids a LOT better. This helps Web 2.0 companies two-fold:
Higher pay means attracting higher quality cleaners
Higher pay means cleaners perform higher-quality cleaning jobs
Of course, customers generally like knowing that their cleaners are getting a fair wage, and are working harder to make their home clean as a result.
So the question is, how much do Web 2.0 companies pay their maids?
We can’t speak for other companies, and because we pay by the job, a more efficient maid team will earn a higher effective hourly rate. However, our average maid team will make just over $20 an hour. As a result, Companion Maids has been able to hire some amazing maid teams, and our customers are pretty happy.
But that’s beside the point. The point is that your typical full-time maid cannot make enough money to pay their bills. And this is a problem. We need to focus on providing a means for making maid services valuable again so that when people pay to get their house cleaned, it’s a win/win situation for all.
It pains us to say this, but a clean home doesn’t always *gasps* require booking a housecleaning service! Everyone likes a clean home, but some of the little things get ignored, and a bunch of little things can add up.
With that said, Companion Maids feels it can help out with tips to help you keep your home clean. In our first installment, we show you how to green clean your home.
Check out this infographic:
This infographic is like a snapshot reference to this post where we talk more in-depth about how to keep your home green in-between cleanings. Hope you enjoy!
If you’re like most people, the majority of your home cleaning appointments are between you and yourself. While many effective cleaning products are available for every manner of cleaning your home, most of them are incredibly toxic. If you are interested in making your home a bit more safe on cleaning days and beyond, follow these simple steps by Companion Maids.
1. Throw Out All Harmful Products
If you look under your sink, you will most likely find an array of skull labels with the word ‘fatal’ included in the wording. Your bug killers, oven cleaners, floor wax — all of these products tend to be toxic. With every spray, harmful chemicals become airborne, ready to be inhaled by yourself, your children and even your four-legged best friends. Do yourself a favor and prepare for a cleaner, safer home by eliminating harmful products that you ingest on a daily basis.
The keyword here is toxic. When shopping, be sure to check the labels of each product you are considering. If you see something like, ‘harmful or fatal if swallowed,’ ‘caution’ or anything with the word ‘poison,’ it’s best to avoid that product. Also, take note that many products can be highly corrosive and damage various surfaces in your home. Corrosive products can also damage your skin. With that said, focus on finding non-toxic, biodegradable products.
3. The Proper Green Clean
There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with green cleaning products. The first is to pay attention to what type of water is flowing through your faucet. Is it hard or soft? If your water is hard, you will likely need to clean with a detergent instead of soap to eliminate soap scum.
Speaking of water, try to use as little of it as you can. One of the main ways in which you can produce a smaller footprint on the world’s resources is to conserve water.
Finally, there are many ways you can keep your air safer to breathe, but one fun way, in particular, is plants! Plants tend to absorb harmful toxins, making the air in your home a little cleaner.
No one likes a dirty home. Imagine when you enter your home after work only finds your house is a mess. Chances are, it will make you more tired! People like their minds to be refreshed when they return home, but messiness adds to the burden. To keep your home look clean and tidy, there are small things you need to do consistently. One time jobs will not keep your home sustain-ably clean.
Also, if your home is clean, it will be beneficial for your family’s health. In contrast, a dirty home will become a nest of germs, so when you leave your home dirty, it means that you put your family’s health in danger. The best defense against threats to the health of your family is by maintaining the cleanliness of your home. Having a clean and tidy home is important, not only will it gives you a comfortable feeling, but it also can ensure the health of your family. To get a perfect result, you may need to hire a cleaning company regularly. Of course, we can take care of that. But once again, this is not a one-time job, so if you want your home clean and tidy at all times, there are some jobs you have to do between their visits. And here are some simple jobs that you can do to keep your home clean and tidy.
Take your time to sort the unused items and discard them. This way, you will keep your home from clutter. But, sometimes clutter cannot be avoided, especially if you have children. For that, you need to teach your children about cleanliness and prepare a trash can in your room. Teach your child to throw garbage into the trash can. Tidy up toys, books, magazines in a big plastic container, this will save you space, and also makes it neat and clean. Get rid of items that are no longer needed, there will be no point to store unused items, it will only make your room dirty. Clearing clutter every day will make your task easier.
By ensuring that you have a place for each of your goods, then your room will look neat. In addition, your family members will know where they should put something, instead of putting stuff anywhere.
Get The Right Equipment
You will need different equipment to clean each room. There are many rooms in your home, and sometimes, you also need to use different techniques to clean each room. The right equipment will make your job easier.
Clean Spills and Stains ASAP
You definitely do not want to see any stains on your furniture, especially on the delicate fabric of the furniture. It will make your furniture, ugly and dirty. Some other furniture like cabinets are also susceptible to stains, so you should take appropriate steps to remove these stains. Clean the stain as soon as possible. If you let the stain dries, it will make your job in cleaning the stains on your furniture is more difficult. So clean the stains when they are still wet. It also applies in your kitchen. You can wash the dirty dishes immediately, do not let it pile up. And don’t forget to clean sinks, ovens, and table counters as well.
You need to teach your family members to clean up the home. Cleaning the home is not solely your task. You can teach your family members to sweep and mop the floor, or just cleaning the windows. In addition to lighten your load, it also can be a fun activity.
Companion Maids will be participating in a silent auction for an upcoming charity event benefiting research for bone marrow transplant. Dr John Galvin, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Researcher at the Feinberg School of Medicine is leading a study on bone marrow transplant. The charity event, called Summer Lovin’ is hosted by the Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The Auxiliary Board consists of young professionals with a focus on connecting professionally and benefiting others by continuing to support doctors and patients of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Since first becoming affiliated with Northwestern in 1987, the Auxiliary Board has contributed more than 1 million dollars to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Companion Maids is proud to be a Chicago cleaning service that can give back. As a small, growing company, we are just starting to explore ways to benefit the great Chicago community that has entrusted us with her business. To that end, we have donated over $450 worth of services to be auctioned off at the upcoming Summer Lovin event, with the winning wager going directly to Dr Galvin’s research.
Read more about the work of Dr Galvin and to make a donation to help support bone marrow transplant research, click here.
The residential cleaning industry has experienced drastic changes over the last several years. As I referenced in my blog post at BuiltinChicago, many new cleaning companies have started in the last few years, each company with a common goal of making a footprint in a fast-changing landscape. All kinds of cleaning services have sprung, from the premium, uber-expensive services, to the Homejoy types, or what I like to call,” the new McDonald’s” of the cleaning industry.
With that said, behind all the numbers, marketing, and promises of a spotless home, there remains a most important common denominator in regards to this industry, and that is the treatment of the maids themselves. Cleaning homes is a HARD job. I’ve done a few cleanings myself on behalf of Companion Maids, and the work is physically demanding, the time management aspect can be stressful, and satisfying client and employer can be nerve-racking. This is why, as a company, we started and/or adopted a few very important ‘maxims’ when it comes to our cleaners.
Our cleaners must be paid a fair, sustainable wage. Minimum wage doesn’t cut it in this country, and it doesn’t cut it with us either.
We will only work with clients that want to pay a fair amount for an exceptional job. We love to offer the occasional deal, but we will not undercut just to snag a client.
Our cleaners are an integral part of Companion Maids. Even in the event of a conflict, they will be treated with respect and decisions will be fair to the client, company, and cleaner.
We need to take a bit of a stand. Most of the time we hold interviews for new cleaners, we inevitably run into cleaners that are being paid far less than minimum wage for their work. If a company is charging an absurdly low price for a sizable job, understand that the cleaner is making an absurdly low amount of money for their hard work. In fact, some maid TEAMS make as little as 20% of what the company has charged you. 20%. If you’re OK with that, more power to you, but we simply would not like to have you as a client. If you’re not OK with that, then try not to patronize that company.
*Cleaners (teams) should generally be making 30%+ of what you pay, PLUS their company should be reimbursed for supplies/gas/other related expenses.
*Cleaning teams should generally be making 50%+ of what you pay IF the company does not reimburse them for expenses.
There are many standalone services where the worker is independent and will charge a small amount of money to do the job. This is more acceptable because any amount of money can be of help for some people, and the typical independent cleaner doesn’t have any overhead to deal with. Of course, they also keep 100% of what you pay them. However, we would strongly caution against working with an independent that doesn’t at least have general liability insurance. It protects the client, the cleaner, and it’s the law.
The sad truth is that most cleaning companies aren’t great to their workers. Fortunately however, most of those companies don’t stay in business past 5 years. At Companion Maids, to date, we haven’t had ONE team quit our company to work with another cleaning service. There’s a reason for that. Of course, we have had to part ways with a few teams over time. But the maxims stand.
If you work with a good company that charges a fair rate, you can generally be more confident that the cleaners that come to make your home look good are happier, and are rewarded for their work.
Chicago also is known as ‘The Windy City’ is one of the cities in America where sports is loved and taken very seriously. The Chicago home teams are sure of one thing, the love of the Chicago fans never dies even when they fail to win.
If you are in Chicago and you are looking for some action then go check out any game played by any of the renowned Chicago sports teams. The Chicago sports teams have had a history of success in major tournaments and even when they disappoint the fans never turn their backs on them. The fans in Chicago are some of the most loyal fans who never lose faith in their teams no matter what! Even if you are not an avid sports fan the experience of catching any of the teams in action is captivating. There are a variety of sports in Chicago and most of them are very popular including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, athletics and horseracing. There is a season for every sport each year and the drama is breathtaking.
Football is the biggest sport in Chicago and you cannot miss the Chicago Bears football team in action at the recently refurbished Soldier Field. Thousands of loyal fans brave some of the worst weather to support their team. Being one of the biggest attractions in the city of Chicago the Chicago Bears team draws huge crowds. Another huge sport in Chicago is hockey and you can catch the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team in action at the largest arena in the USA the United Center. Another famous Chicago sports team is the Chicago Bulls, basketball team.
When it comes to baseball now that is like a religion in Chicago. The two famous baseball teams in Chicago the south side Chicago White Sox and the north side Chicago Cubs have a religious following from their fans. Catch the Cubs in action at the historic Wrigley Field and the White Sox at the state of the art US Cellular Field. Soccer fans can go down to the Soldier Field to join electric soccer fans cheer the Chicago Fire soccer team.
Life in Chicago would not complete without sports and highly passionate fans. The Chicago sports teams are some of the toughest in the country if you look at the history of the Bears and the Bulls. We cannot forget the minor league teams such as the Wolves hockey team, Schaumburg Flyers baseball team and others who provide excellent entertainment for families in Chicago.
The most popular Chicago sports teams still remain the Bears, Hawks, Bulls, White Sox and Cubs. The Bears despite having an awful season are still the top team in Chicago and we at Companion Maids will always remain die-hard fans! If you want to host a party for the upcoming world series make sure to check out the house cleaning services we provide so you can focus on the game!
Carpets have a temptingly nice soft and warm feeling on bare feet and look great. This is the reason you will find certain rooms in homes furnished with them. A good quality carpet is a pricey investment and should be well maintained to maintain its quality look and feel. However, most people find cleaning carpets a long and tedious job. Nonetheless, cleaning your carpet has numerous advantages and should be part of your cleaning routine.
A carpet that is well cared for will be more durable and hygienic for the home. We have outlined a few tips on how to care for your carpet:
Good carpet care demands regular vacuuming. To eliminate dry particles of dust, soil and animal fur dry vacuuming is recommended. Consequently, vacuuming contributes significantly to preserving the carpet’s quality. Depending on the level of foot traffic on the carpet it is important to vacuum at least once a day especially where traffic is high. Carpets mainly get dirty from being walked on, therefore, you should find ways to reduce dirt, for instance, using door mats.
Cleaning Spillage and Spots
Immediately clean any spillage or spots to keep them from drying and sticking to the carpet making it difficult to clean later. Soiling can also damage the look and quality of the carpet if left for too long. Here are a few tips for cleaning spillage and spots:
Promptly clean any spillage to avoid staining.
To make an effective cleaning formula add at least 4 teaspoons of white vinegar and a teaspoon of carpet shampoo to one liter of lukewarm water.
Act on spills from the outside going in.
Avoid making the carpet too wet.
Do regular restorative carpet cleaning
Professional Carpet Cleaning
The best most homeowners do to maintain carpets is periodic vacuuming and cleaning of soils and spills. This is important however to preserve the carpets quality and condition you must do more than that. Vacuuming and cleaning spillage will get rid of most the dirt and boost its look, but certain sticky particles and dust may lie unaffected by this basic care.
The cleaning experts recommend intensive carpet cleaning at least once a year with proper daily maintenance between the rigorous cleaning. Restorative carpet cleaning from a professional cleaning company is recommended every once in a while to keep the carpet hygienic and durable.
If you include the carpet maintenance tips into your daily housekeeping routine your carpet will always be attractive, clean and fresh. Expert restorative cleaning will take care of any dirt that the daily maintenance could not handle using special tools and techniques such as dry extraction cleaning which can repeatedly be used without damaging the carpet with no drying time. Another effective technique is steam cleaning or hot water extraction which loosens spillage using fluid and extracts it through suction eliminating soils and dry spills completely.
Unfortunately professional carpet cleaning can be very expensive, but the need for this can be substantially reduced by having our cleaning service come in on a regular basis and take care of vacuuming your carpets.