House Cleaning and Sight
Clutter interferes with the cleaner’s vision – if we can’t see the corners or most of the walls or the majority of the surfaces in the room – not because of orderly and artistic arrangements but because of chaotic disorder. It prevents us from visualizing that goal of totally clean.
Of course, in an occupied home, there is always some compromise on that vision, but we want to avoid major interference such that a cleaning technician becomes so befuddled by the disorder that they just stick a vacuum in the cleared center for a minute and then move to clean other rooms because, in reality, they have no idea how to tackle the cleaning in that room. They thought they cleaned the room, and to the degree that they cleaned accessible surfaces, they did.
Our customers and we both need us to be able to see the dirt: cobwebs; the subtle dust that is camouflaged to look like a shadow on a shelf; the clouds of dog hair settled in the toe space under a bookcase and so on.
If the room is cluttered, all those things may be present, but when does clutter cross the line and make the room or floor become an ‘inaccessible’ surface? Another way to put it: Is the room prepared and ready for cleaning or not?
One cleaning consultant I know laid down her own rules, one of which was: no more than 6 items on a shelf or no cloth-dusting will be performed, rather just feather-dusting over the top. She has had clients observe her rule by reducing the shelf-count to just 6 items or by rotating items onto other shelves so that their certain, preferred shelves get wiped clean by her rule.
Another consultant suggests adjusting the cleaner’s ‘scope of work’ so, for example, if a room is not ready, then technicians are to skip that room. If too many or the most important rooms of the house or surfaces (baths, kitchens and floors) are not ready they leave a note, leave the house and charge a lock-out fee.
The two important caveats here are that
- The company has defined their rules and measures
- The customer is informed of and agrees to the rules and measures by
- accepting services while acknowledging the cleaning company’s policies
- verbal agreement
- more formally in a signed contract
If you missed the introductory article, House Cleaning Done Right: Preparing a House for Cleaning, click here. Next week we will examine cleaning by using the sense of smell.