What makes for a fantastic house-cleaner? We thought of 11 characteristics. Not that every fantastic housecleaner needs all 11 of these to be fantastic. But likely, if they have all 11, you can’t miss. So what are they? Be careful, we fooled you. One of the 11 is a big fat lie. Can you spot it? Look closely. Even most of my staff got it wrong.

  1. The house-cleaner is formally trained by a competent company or organization.
  2. The house-cleaner is intuitive to cleaning and doesn’t need much by way of instruction from the homeowner or boss.
  3. The house-cleaner has a resume of quality work, regardless of skill and without unexplained gaps or lapses of work.
  4. The house-cleaner has at least 5 years of professional experience cleaning houses.
  5. The house-cleaner loves cleaning.
  6. The house-cleaner speaks your language fluently.
  7. The house-cleaner’s outward appearance matches your expectations.
  8. The house-cleaner cares about you.
  9. The house-cleaner’s current personal circumstances are stable.
  10. The House-cleaner has a pleasant personality.
  11. The house-cleaner respects personal and professional boundaries in your house.

Did you spot it? Was it easy? We asked our staff of professional house-cleaners. AND THEY GOT IT WRONG.

The answer is number 2. The housecleaner is intuitive and doesn’t need instruction. THIS IS A BIG FAT LIE. The best of the best we have ever seen assume less and ask more. If we could train all our customers to follow that one habit, they would see “AMAZING” more and we would see fewer headaches.

Just a few notes about some of the other qualities:

  1. While formal training is not imperative, it is close. House-cleaners who don’t know how to identify surfaces are going to hurt them eventually, slowly or quickly. If they don’t know a great organizational process for cleaning, they will be too slow or two fast, leaving you with an unnecessary bill or worse, things not done well.
  2. No resume for work translates to high risk for you. Everyone has to start somewhere, but if they are starting without support and models of excellence, likely they will fail until they get those two things.
  3. THIS IS THE ONE OUR STAFF GOT WRONG. Five years experience. Maybe that’s because many of our staff don’t have five years and still feel “amazing.” And some are, frankly. But every one of our staff that have five years with our company (7 in all,) are experts. And that’s amazing. By the way… 5 years of cleaning for our company translates to more than 10,000 hours. Following the “Galdwell Principle,” you want to be an expert? Work at it for 10,000 hours.
  4. If someone is doing something they love, it has the chance to be “amazing.” There is virtually zero chance for amazing when someone just tolerates what they do. 
  5. There is a reason we call it a language “barrier.”
  6. Maybe…. MAYBE… someone out there can convince me that they are amazing even though they don’t dress for it. But if someone that doesn’t meet my own subjective standards for appearance, (broad or narrow as they may be) for they are in my home, I will be they guy who checks and double-checks their work.
  7.  Big Big kudos to anyone who truly loves their client. Loving some are easy. Loving others are less than east, loving still others… Amazing.
  8. It won’t matter how “AMAZING” she is if she’s not around to do it.
  9. Disclaimer… We said pleasant personality, not a perfect one. Pleasant invites comradery and produces smiles.
  10. Bondaries, without you setting them, she will eventually misread courtesy and kindness from you as acceptance by you of her casual behavior. Ever hear of a company called casual cleaners? Here lieth the lesson.