House Cleaning and Common Sense – the Fifth Sense?
Here we are at the conclusion of our series of articles focused on using your senses to properly and efficiently clean a house. Our final article focuses on what some in the cleaning business may consider to be the fifth sense – our common sense!
Besides those senses of sight, touch, smell and hearing, we will trade out the sense of taste (for obvious reasons) and suggest the most important sense of all – and the hardest to teach: common sense.
If you enter the house during the seasonal change to winter weather and the house feels really cold and especially if it seems like the owners could be out of town (check for pet sitter notes, drawers out of place, vacuum patterns still looking like new from the last visit and other signs) do call the office. Check the thermostat setting (there may be more than one) – if it’s set for A/C, not heat and it’s due to freeze that night (or before your next visit) – call the office for instructions.
By the way, if you are the owner/technician “Call the office” when used in this series should be code for “Engage brain and take responsible action” – you probably are ‘the office’.
If the water is cut off to a toilet and you turn it back on to clean the toilet, be sure you cut it off again!! There’s a reason it was off and you don’t need to analyze why, just leave it as you found it. It would be nice for the client to alert you in advance but just following that common sense advice can keep you out of trouble.
Be clear about this rule (leaving things as found) with your technicians. This includes blinds and curtains, thermostats, lights on or off, etc.
Conversely, if you notice water around the toilet or it seems to be running on and on, you should cut off its water supply, call the office and leave a note for the client. Being proactive can avoid a large water bill and possibly prevent a water damage loss or even lawsuit.
If you clean a gas stove top, do be diligent about preventing moisture on or damaging the little ignition posts. Always, always, check all the stovetop knobs (gas or electric) for correct position and fix any errors, checking for odd noises or smells. Secure any doors you open and always re-lock them without fail – the same with windows. Many other examples come to mind – along with the conviction that there are thousands of potential slip-ups.
So, as my Mom used to say, ‘Use the brain the good Lord gave you.’ Common sense trumps rote, auto-pilot cleaning every time. Be a ‘dirt detective’ and engage all your problem-solving skills – and senses!
If you missed the other articles in the series, “House Cleaning Done Right”, visit our ISE Today blog to catch up!