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private cleaner or large company

(22 Posts)
supernan1 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:04:35

Good morning everyone. Just realising that with us both struggling with ill health that housework becoming harder to do. Anyone advise on whether to employ a private cleaner or go to the big companies. Or is it just pot luck.

kittylester Sat 20-Jul-19 09:10:45

I think its pot luck but my best cleaners have always been ones we have employed independently.

When I have employed agencies I have felt they are charging round going things by rote before they dash to the next job. Private ones seem to care more and you can build a relationship.

Of course, with a big company there should not be gaps for holidays and sickness but there is no guarantee that it will always be the same person.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:14:29

I use a small family run company, I get the same ladies every time, apart from when one is on holiday.

I supply my own cleaning products as I am fussy, they are very effective and have their own routines.

Auntieflo Sat 20-Jul-19 09:16:50

We have a lovely young neighbour who does cleaning. Not so long ago I jokingly said “ oh, I could do with you”, and she laughed and said “ if I could fit you in”
Now, I may very well need her in the near future, so hope she really could ‘fit me in’.

Sara65 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:18:21

Oh my god, it’s a minefield!

When we moved here about fifteen years ago, I approached s local agency, got on really well with the people who ran it, and had every confidence it would work out ! I had about half a dozen girls, one brought her child, others were hopeless, I started leaving little traps for them to see if they were moving things, they weren’t! Eventually I said, I could do what they were doing in half an hour, so I’d leave it Thankyou, the owner then said they’d just taken someone new on, would we give her a try? Well we struck gold, she was great, she took over so many things, she was a bit more like a housekeeper, the agency closed, and I employed her privately, then a couple of years ago she moved away to be closer to her family.

Since then, I’ve tried every local agency, rang people who advertise in shop windows, but nothing, I’ve given up at the moment, but if I found someone reliable I’d bite their hand off

Good luck with your search

Maybelle Sat 20-Jul-19 09:22:14

I have employed both in the past, both have advantages.
But with a large company, if your regular cleaner is on holiday or ill, they send a cover cleaner. Also you can request a team of two or more of you want a particular heavy or deep clean to be done. The teams are usually CRB checked and insured.

With a private cleaner there is no automatic cover for illness or holiday. Plus no extra pair of hands for the bigger cleans.

What I would advise against from my own experience, is employing some you know. I did this once when a friend was trying to set up a cleaning service. I found it quite difficult to keep it professional . To ask for certain areas to be tackled in depth, she thought I was criticising her work.
Plus she want long tea break chats.
At that time I worked from home and was so busy. That was why I needed a cleaner.

Charleygirl5 Sat 20-Jul-19 09:23:21

I agree with kitty. When I used an agency I discovered that the agency sent new girls to my house for me to train them!

I have always supplied my own cleaning products and I also have two hoovers, one upstairs and one down because one girl dropped my best hoover from the top of the stairs.

Somebody working independently is more likely to do something extra for you. Mine is a whizz with phones and got my smartphone up and running within seconds! She also changes my bedding.

Her only fault is because I am 75 she has not quite grasped that the brain is still working.

annsixty Sat 20-Jul-19 09:24:55

I use a lady recommended by a neighbour who had used her for a few years through an agency and when she decided to go private kept her on.
We have an excellent relationship and can ask to swap and change without a problem.
When my H was still at home she was very good with him and on occasion even “cleaned him up” when she could see I was at the end of my tether.
She had worked as a Carer for SS part time while doing her cleaning.
She is a gem.
I hope you are lucky in your choice supernan.

kittylester Sat 20-Jul-19 09:44:35

Do you have a Spotted for your area on fb.

Lots of recommendations on there if you take them with a pinch of salt.

TerriBull Sat 20-Jul-19 09:56:39

I would definitely go for a private cleaner, we have a wonderful Polish lady who comes to us every week, very conscientious and trustworthy, is always finding money that has escaped out of my husband's trouser pockets, usually pound coins, occasionally down the side of the sofa and leaving it on the table. Also if my husband doesn't have the right money in cash he will round it up in notes to the nearest £5 and tell her not to worry about the change, but she always makes sure that the difference is returned to us. Makes us Polish cakes at Christmas smile We used a large company a little while ago, this related to my son and girlfriend's flat when they vacated it, they did a really slapdash job not at all good. Have heard similar comments about this firm from others.

Anyway that's my experience.

Gonegirl Sat 20-Jul-19 10:07:37

Oh, get a Roomba and a robot floor washer. All that's left is flicking round with a feather duster. Who needs strangers doing your housework in this day and age?

EllanVannin Sat 20-Jul-19 10:37:45

I'd be mortified if I had a cleaner because of my many nik-naks. At least I'd be able to train --shout at--GGD in the art of avoiding breakages.

TerriBull Sat 20-Jul-19 10:56:10

I didn't want a cleaner, my husband hired her, he tended to do the heavy duty cleaning of showers etc in our house and got fed up with it.

TerriBull Sat 20-Jul-19 11:03:51

My parents had cleaners in their later years, father had multiple health problems, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, mum had osteoporosis, their mobility was increasingly hampered by such disabilities. As the OP has stated sometimes ill health makes such a decision necessary, or sometimes even without such conditions heavy duty cleaning, which not everyone is bothered about it, but if you are, it can become increasingly onerous as we age.

janeainsworth Sat 20-Jul-19 11:28:28

Oh, get a Roomba and a robot floor washer. All that's left is flicking round with a feather duster. Who needs strangers doing your housework in this day and age?

Well I hope this doesn’t sound too Hyacinth Bucket but I feel that by employing a cleaner, apart from having a nice clean house, I’m contributing to the local economy. Like shopping at small, local shops.
I’ve always felt more comfortable with an agency and have been with the same one, with the same cleaner most of the time, for over ten years.
What I like about it is that if my cleaner’s on holiday, the agency will send someone else if I want them to.
Conversely if we are away, I know the agency will find other work for her.
I know the agency is paying VAT and employer’s NI contributions so my cleaner will get a full state pension when the time comes.
It costs more but it’s worth it to me.

TerriBull Sat 20-Jul-19 11:53:17

I really like a fantastically clean house, it doesn't always stay that way, certainly not this week-end we have two of the grandchildren here, or perhaps I should say tidy house. I do love that fresh feel the house has when our cleaner has just gone. Yes I did feel like Hyacinth Bucket when my husband, apropos of multiple fliers coming through the door, followed one up and hired our lovely cleaner, she's just off loaded "the middleman" woman who was taking a cut, and not without difficulty so we are happier she gets the full hourly rate now. It's not something I grew up with even though my mother worked throughout our older childhood and could she could have done with one, my father wasn't a lot of help at times. My husband grew up with having a cleaner, they had plenty of money, big house and his mother couldn't be arsed with cleaning, so his attitude to having a cleaner was probably different to mine. Having said that once my parents got into their 70s and with their health declined, they found a cleaner necessary, I did shove the hoover round on my visits, but they were 70 miles away and it was good to know that my input wasn't necessary when the cleaner who was there for half a day once a week had done a thorough clean. When my father died my mum carried on having the cleaner who had become like a second daughter to her and for the final half hour of her visits mum would always make her sit down so they could have a cup of tea together she felt she didn't have enough time between appointments to get her breath back. She came to my mother's funeral with her husband and told me how much she would miss my mother.

supernan1 Sat 20-Jul-19 12:40:35

Thank you all for your replies and it us good to have so much help and advice. Maybe will start looking locally and ask around. Have a lovely day everyone

Gonegirl Sat 20-Jul-19 12:45:44

Yes, you are right about contributing to the local economy ja.

Vintagegal13 Sat 20-Jul-19 13:00:38

18 Months ago, I was a cleaner and had three private jobs - I loved them all, and was just left in peace to get on with it. I did go the extra mile, such as supplying liquid soaps etc., for bathrooms when they were getting low. I was ill after I lost my husband, and sadly could not continue at that time. However, I would love to go back to these jobs now, but unfortunately most people where I live employ agencies, so all I have done is register my willingness to return to work for my old employers, but am not holding out much hope.

Destin Sat 20-Jul-19 13:10:14

Never used an agency - always had a private cleaner. My current Philippino lady runs her own little cleaning business but doesn’t employ anyone. When I was working full time and our children were teenagers she’s came twice weekly, once to clean and once to do the laundry and the ironing. Now - many years later - we are both retired so she come once every two weeks. My parents had a weekly cleaner when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s because both of them were working, so I am very grateful to have found (and retained) a wonderful lady who we value and appreciate very much.

jusnoneed Sat 20-Jul-19 14:09:31

I do private cleaning, started when my youngest son was at school. Had a break from it when I worked elsewhere for a few years but went back to cleaning about ten years ago. At one time I did 5 mornings a week at various places, all long term. Got to know the customers and their families. Had some lovely people to work for. One lady insisted on me saying I was a carer as I did other odd jobs for her, sewing buttons etc.
I now only have two ladies I go to, others have sadly passed away over the years. One is in her 50's, we chat as I go but she is usually in her study when I'm working. And the other in her 90's, she likes to have a chat when I get there and I find it hard to get started! I then have coffee and we chat some more - usually end up staying much longer than I need to lol.

crazyH Sat 20-Jul-19 14:17:01

Check out the local newsagents' windows. I found mine through putting an ad there. I only have her for 2 hours every fortnight