Once you get over your feelings of guilt, there are a few simple ways you can ensure that you have a mutually beneficial relationship with your provider.
#1 Fair Pricing/Value for Money
The economics of the house cleaning industry, as with most service industries, are that each dollar spent purchases a block of time and it is important to have realistic expectations about what can be accomplished in that block of time.
Consider that your maid service will also have the cost of travel to your home as well as the purchase of cleaning supplies to cover.
2# Clear Clutter
This one is important as it relates to purchasing a block of time. While it is true that you have hired a maid service to tidy and clean your home, if they spend an hour picking up items such as clothes, toys, games there will be less time left over for them to spend really cleaning.
This is not to say that your provider will not be willing to pick up the slack occasionally when you have been overwhelmed by your busy schedule. If this happens each time they come to your home you may be dissatisfied with the quality of the cleaning ... or they may request to increase the charge so that they have the time to clean thoroughly. If you can get the stuff up off the floor and table tops you will get more out of your cleaning dollar.
Your service provider can be expected to be flexible when it comes to schedule and/or task changes. However, as we explained in a previous post on the pricing of maid service, it is not fair to them if you cancel so often that the frequency of your service no longer qualifies for the discounted price.
Life situations can change and keeping regular service appointments may become difficult for a time.
Here communication is important again - let them know that you cannot keep your schedule and give them the opportunity to work with you as it relates to fair pricing.
More often than not you will find that the service provider will want to keep the relationship with and will keep the pricing at the lower amount as long as they can trust that the change in frequency is not permanent.
Plan on being home for at least their first visit, so they can ask questions and you can give direction.
If you are not home for future visits leave a note if you want them to pay attention to a different cleaning task or do something differently! Communication is an important part of agreeing on realistic expectations.
For example, if they are asked to put clean things away (like dishes, if they unpack your dishwasher), you may have to accept that some things may not be in the right place.
If something they do, like lining up your pot plants annoys you then let them know. Giving the provider a chance to improve their service to you is one of the greatest contributions you can make towards their success or your own satisfaction.
Cancelling your service due to dissatisfaction having never communicated your feelings will not help the service provider get better and will cost you the time of looking for another service provider and going through the initial 'dating' phase all over again.
Routine and familiarity with your expectations and your home environment are also important factors in receiving the same level of quality during each visit from your service provider.
There will definitely be times when you will need to ask that something other than what was agreed upon be done during a visit. This is OK but again, it should be the exception not the rule. Although your provider should be professional and competent, they are still human and are may miss something if their routine becomes a juggling act.
You can even have a rotating task schedule as long as it is fairly routine but playing musical chairs with your service provider's tasks is a recipe for disappointment.
If you have changed the method of entry into your home from a key under the mat to leaving it with a neighbor, remember to communicate the change to the provider so they do not expend valuable time travelling to your home without being able to clean when they get there and you are not disappointed when you arrive home!
Remember that house cleaning providers are able to and most certainly want to do the best possible job. A happy customer is essential to the success of their business.