Make Mother's Day Sparkle by Hiring Cleaning Services as a Gift
Give the Gift of Cleaning Services For Mom....Birthday's Too!
By The Grand Rapids Press
May 10, 2009, 5:45AM
It's the dream of every mother.
Jewelry? Guess again.
Flowers? Ha! They'll die.
Breakfast in bed? Yeah, and cleaning up the mess could be the frosting on the cake.
No, folks, those things are not paradise for mom. But getting her a maid for a day -- or longer -- that will put a smile on her face.
Just ask Maria Allen. During a typical day, she spends much of her time picking up after kids.
Sue Allen, left, bought her daughter-in-law, Maria Allen, right, maid service from Cascade Fresh Cleaning.
"When the kids are home, it's a constant battle. I am following my 5-year-old room-to-room," she said.
After her third child, she felt overwhelmed. Her mother-in-law, Sue Allen, took notice, called Cascade Fresh Cleaning, 1120 Monroe Ave. NW, and bought Maria a gift certificate for a one-time cleaning.
"I realize how busy she is," Sue Allen said. "And it's not easy to keep a home cleaned."
Maria Allen loved the gift so much when she got it five years ago, Sue Allen started giving her home cleanings as gifts for any holiday they celebrated. It works out to about one cleaning a month, Sue Allen said.
"It's so nice to go out for a few hours and come home, and the house is clean. It's such a relief," Maria Allen said.
Chris McKinney, president of Cascade Fresh Cleaning, said he gets a lot of people calling about gift certificates.
"If you can help somebody, you are really giving them the gift of time. You are giving them time to do something else," McKinney said.
HOW TO HIRE A MAID
When you hire a cleaning service or individual, the microwave shouldn't have evidence of last week's lasagna after the cleaning session. Here are more pointers:
- Decide whether you want to hire an individual or a service, and get referrals from friends and neighbors. A cleaning service typically handles all the taxes and employment paperwork. Plus, they should be bonded and insured and perform background checks.
- Ask how long the cleaner or service has been in business and how problems are handled.
- Be specific about what you want cleaned and how long it will take. Negotiate or take a few sessions to figure out what's reasonable.
- If you're hiring a service, consider asking if you can try out different individuals or teams, so you can pick the one you prefer.
- Figure out whose cleaning supplies will be used. Some will supply their own.
- Offer supervision and feedback.
- Don't hesitate to fire someone who isn't working out. Are you giving clear instructions? Are your expectations reasonable? If you're not satisfied, find a new cleaner.
SOURCES: MSN Money, Reality Times
For $140, you can have two people cleaning for two hours, McKinney said. How much area can be covered depends on the size of the home and the mess level.
Most jobs include cleaning floors, baseboards, blinds and windows, vacuuming, dusting, sanitizing bathrooms, general picking up, making beds and changing linens.
When a new client calls to cash in a gift certificate, McKinney says his company tries to get a feel for what areas need cleaned the most.
"We ask, 'What's your least favorite area to clean?' and let us clean that," he said. "It's usually the bathrooms."
Maria Allen is grateful for her mother-in-law's cleaning gifts, and Sue Allen realizes a lot of women would love the same gift.
"I've had people say, 'Would you adopt me?'" she joked.
"It's just such a good feeling to have your house cleaned well."