Options To Consider If You Can't Do It Alone

In today's busy world, all too often we leave some things undone as we try to keep up with work, kids, activities, friends and relatives, etc. One of these things is often house cleaning. If you are finding yourself too busy to keep up with your housework, there are several options you can exercise. You can farm out the chores to kids and spouse, or you can hire outside help to get it done. Or you can use a combination of both. If you've checked your budget and have decided on outside help, you're ready to look for house cleaning or maid services. This article will give you the help you need to hire a cleaning service, what you will have them do, some approximate costs, and other information to help you decide on the service that is right for you. And if you decide you'd rather hire an individual instead, there are some regulations you need to be aware of, which we'll present as well. Read on!

Start With a Plan

Once you have decided to hire a house cleaning service, you should sit down and plan things out. Probably one of the first things to do is get an idea of what cleaning services do and do not do, and their prices. Most cleaning services will have a predetermined list of cleaning tasks they provide, and some will include extras as well. If you have any special chores you'd like done, list those so that you can check to see if they can be included. It's difficult to get a price quote online without actually filling out the forms and submitting them, but from what I've learned, plan to spend at least $75 an hour if you go with a cleaning service. If you can find an individual who works alone, you may spend less money, although other hassles might not be worth the savings. More on that later. Cleaning services generally employ people who are bonded and whose backgrounds and references have been thoroughly checked. Their employees are well-trained and do a thorough and efficient job.

Check Out These Cleaning Services

There are three well-known national cleaning services that you can start with. We'll provide information on each one below.

  • The Cleaning Authority
    Fill out the form on their site for a free estimate. They will detail clean a different area of your home at each visit, so that eventually your whole house is sparkling. They come to your home on a pre-determined, set day. Their employees have undergone extensive cleaning, and full background checks have been run on each one. They will clean to your specifications, and if you aren't satisfied, will come the next day to correct the problems.

  • Molly Maids
    Molly Maid's professionals will perform specific cleaning jobs in your home. They have basic chores that they do, such as vacuuming and dusting, thorough cleaning and sanitizing of bathrooms, and kitchen cleaning as well. If there is anything specific you want done, let them know when you are in the consultation phase, and it will be included for you. Molly Maid professionals receive training and are also subject to backround checks.
  • Merry Maids
    Another national franchise, Merry Maids will clean to your specifics too. Their employees are bonded and insured, and they receive extensive cleaning training. Their rates are dependent on many factors, such as size of the home, clutter, if you have pets which shed a lot, etc.

What You Can Expect

All three of the above cleaning services guarantee their work, and their employees are well trained, bonded and insured. Their cleaners usually work in teams of at least two, so that your home is cleaned quickly and efficiently. All offer weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or occasional cleaning plans. All provide their own cleaning supplies. All taxes, insurance and other paperwork are handled by the cleaning service.

Our next paragraph deals with hiring individuals to do your cleaning, what is involved and why you might rather have a cleaning service do the work for you.

Would You Rather Hire Just One Person, Not a Cleaning Service?

If you would rather hire one house cleaner who works on her own, rather than through a house cleaning service, be aware there are some restrictions that may apply, and some hoops you will have to jump through if you want to be legal. According to the IRS, if you hire someone to do household work and you control what work is done as well as how it is done, you have become an employer. If you pay your household employee (aka cleaning lady) more than $1,400 a year, you are liable to withhold and pay the employer's portion of her Social Security and Medicare taxes, withhold and pay Federal and possibly State taxes, and get an employer identification number, among other regulations. This is the main reason why most people prefer to go with a cleaning service. While you might be able to save some money by hiring an individual, you'll need to decide if the savings is worth the hassle of all the Federal paperwork and tax collecting you'll have to do to be legal.

Final Words

There are more than likely some fine cleaning services in your local area that you can consider. Once you have made the decision to have outside help cleaning your house, check your local listings under cleaning service or maid service and get estimates and information from them. The listed services have offices in almost every location. Compare prices and the services provided before making your decision. And if you decide to hire an individual, consult IRS publication 926 to see what your legal obligations are.

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