7 things to prepare for your housekeeper

7 Things to Do Before a House Cleaner Arrives

Cleaning rates will vary depending on the size of your home and the type of service you prefer.

Hiring a house cleaner is a great way to free yourself from regular cleaning chores.

Hiring a house cleaner is a great way to free yourself and your family from regular cleaning chores. But, it takes a small amount of preparation to get the most cost-effective cleaning experience.

Follow these preparation tips before your house cleaner arrives:

1. Pick up household items that may be lying about

Tidying and straightening up your home's rooms before a house cleaner arrives can help ensure they spend the majority of their time cleaning, not organizing your house. Picking up these items also means they're less likely to be misplaced during a cleaning.

2. Pick up any important documents, bills and other papers

To an unfamiliar eye, important documents such as insurance paperwork, bank statements or bills can be easily mistaken for trash. Protect your privacy and avoid the trouble of tracking down an important paper item by filing them, placing them in a secure spot or leaving a "do not disturb" note on them prior to a house cleaner's arrival.

3. Secure valuables such as jewelry, small electronics and loose cash

Most house cleaning companies put their employees through thorough vetting and background check procedures, but that doesn't mean a theft won't occur. If you haven't built up a high level of trust with your house cleaner, protect your peace of mind by placing valuables in a secure area such as a locked room, safe or inside your vehicle's trunk.

4. Put away the pets

This precaution depends on both your dog and cat's comfort level with strangers in the house, as well as your house cleaner's preferences. If your pets don't handle unfamiliar people well, it may be a good idea to secure them in a crate or locked room prior to the house cleaner's arrival.

5. Identify and repair any broken items around the home

Giving your home a quick inspection for any broken or damaged items can help spare you the embarrassment of accidentally blaming your house cleaner for damage he or she didn't do.

6. Identify problem areas that need special cleaning attention

Housecleaning services can't read minds. If you have an area that you'd like the cleaner to devote extra attention to, make sure you communicate that to them prior to or upon their arrival.

7. Make sure they can get in

If you plan to be away during your home's cleaning, or if you're setting up service for the first time, make sure the cleaning company has or has access to an entry key, as well as any special instructions for turning off a home security system.