Archive for the ‘cleaning’ Tag

Cleaning Service vs. Cleaning Lady   Leave a comment

Hiring anyone to work in your home is a very personal matter.  Here are some thoughts to consider when deciding whether to hire a cleaning service or an individual to perform the work.

An Individual:


– Often costs less than a service.

– Only one person entering your house (hopefully.)

– You can provide the products he/she uses so they are customized to your preferences.

– You can customize the service to include laundry, dishes, and possibly even errands.  (Discuss this in advance!)


– A trustworthy individual may be difficult to find.  If you don’t have someone who was referred by a close friend, you’re left interviewing strangers from the internet.

– If the individual gets sick/has an appt./goes on vacation, there is no replacement.  You will simply be without.  Likewise, if this person quits, you are stuck interviewing housekeepers again.

– You may have to train an individual.  They are often used to being told exactly what to do in each home.  If they aren’t doing a good job, you must address it directly and explain how to improve.

– You will probably have to purchase supplies and products and maintain equipment like a vacuum cleaner.

– An individual will take a much longer time to clean your house than a team of 3 or 4.  This isn’t a big deal if you’re routinely gone from 9 to 5, but if you work from home it can be annoying.

– Individual housekeepers may be inconsistent with scheduling.  Certainly, this varies from person to person, but one of the biggest complaints we get from people switching to our service is that their individual would often cancel or just not show up.  If they’re doing it for “extra” money, they may just not need the money that badly that week.  That’s a nightmare if you’re planning a birthday party at home or expecting guests.

– Individual Cleaning People are not usually bonded or insured.

– It is your responsibility to report payments to household employees to the IRS.

Cleaning Service:


– A cleaning service has a name and reputation to protect.  They are therefore more likely to be consistent and reliable.

– Services are usually bonded and insured.  They pay all employment taxes.

– A cleaning service has trained employees and systems in place.  You will not need to show them what to do, they know.

– If an employee calls in sick or quits, a service can still perform its duties.

– A cleaning service generally works in teams or crews.  They can get in and out FAST.

– A cleaning service usually provides its own equipment and supplies.  No hassles with restocking and maintenance.

– Complaints can be directed toward the office or customer service so that you don’t have to address it directly with the person responsible.

– A service is generally more thorough.  This is also highly variable.


– Anyone can start a “service” with a broom and a friend.  Check to make sure this company has some favorable reviews on angies’s list, yelp, google, etc…

– Will probably be more expensive than a “cleaning lady”.  Services have employment taxes, insurance, bonding, training expenses,  advertising, web site fees, equipment and products, etc…

– Because they are in and out so quickly, can not usually perform additional services such as laundry, especially at the last minute.


Do you have experience with either a service or individual cleaning lady?  Can you think of anything to add?  Post a comment!


Pretty, Dog Proof Kitty Litter Boxes   Leave a comment

Ten years ago we had a pug dog named Bosco.  He was a great family pet, save the shedding and his affinity for “kitty crunchies.”  Not the kind in the bowl, the OTHER kind of kitty crunchies.  As if the cats tracking kitty litter out of their box wasn’t enough, Bosco would sort of explode out of the kitty litter box making an even bigger mess.  Also, I no longer wanted to kiss him, and the bits of kitty litter in his face wrinkles were sort of repulsive.  My solution?  I bought a big rubbermaid tub, about 18 gallons and 24″ tall x 18″ wide.  I put about 5

Actual box, we just cut a hole in the lid.

inches of kitty litter in the bottom then put the lid on.  From the lid, I cut a hole about the size of a plastic flap kitty door (i.e., a little bigger than a cat’s head and shoulders.)  Voila!  A pug-proof cat box!  Not only could he not get in, but the cats didn’t kick as much out.  I patted myself on the back and went on.

Fast forward ten years: I’m looking at kitty perching shelves on, and I come across their April giveaway, a ModKat.  Yes, it’s much sexier than my rubbermaid tub.  It’s cube-ier, shinier, and the hole isn’t all jagged, but the design’s the same.  They did make one improvement, the lid has ventilation holes, presumably so that litter will fall off the cats’ feet and back into the box when they exit.  If a pretty kitty litter box is worth a hundred bucks to you, then just buy this one.  If you’re more thrifty, the Rubbermaid tub works just fine.  We’re actually still using ours, but it’s in the garage now.  The cats can access it through a kitty door.

ModKat comes in many colors.

The ModKat still isn’t your style?  Check out these retro kitty litter box hiders from Paul McCobb.

retro kitty litter hider

Paul Mccobb's Retro Kitty Litter Hider

This one will set you back almost $500, but that’s still a lot cheaper than remodeling your own bathroom!  (Still, much more expensive than rubbermaid tubs.)  It has simple clean lines with a grasscloth front and hinged side door for easy access.   It can be custmized with a variety of colors and finishes.  Get your own or explore more mid-century modern kitty box hiders at

Apparantly, moderncat readers are quite creative.  Check out the DIY plans for this kitty litter hider.

Also Pug Proof

The entrance hole is unseen on the left side of the cabinet, and kitties must walk across a carpeted shelf to get to the litter on the right side of the cabinet.  That means that the litter clinging to kitty feet will be trapped in the shelf carpet before exiting.  Love it!

The Refined Feline also carries litter box hiders as well as beautiful kitty towers and perches.  This one is only $199, but it may not be pug-proof.

Did I mention the Rubbermaid tub was in my utility room?  If it had been more exposed, it might have needed to look nicer.  Then again, if I had had a Modkat I probably wouldn’t have wanted to hide it in the utility room!

Posted June 27, 2011 by wellmaid in Uncategorized

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