Archive for the ‘housekeeper’ 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!