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Old 09-20-07, 03:47 PM   #1
Jadzia
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Hiring a cleaning lady

Ok, after years of thinking about this, I finally decided to take the plunge and hire someone to come in help with the deep cleaning (the mopping and dusting that never seems to get done after I pick up everything.)

I really didn't want to go with a Molly Maid type service, since I would rather pay a woman a good wage to clean my house, rather than a big company that would take most of the money and pay their workers less. But I had no idea who to call as I don't know anyone in the area with a cleaning lady.

I saw a flyer at my local grocery store advertising a mature woman who does cleaning and organizing services. I called her up and she was very nice and professional and came over today to give me an estimate. She handed me a list of references and she is free to start tomorrow. I really liked her and I was all set to tell her to go ahead and come over tomorrow. But she insisted that I call and check her references first and wanted me to call her back tonight.

Ok, I thought. That is pretty professional of her. So I started calling. 2 of the numbers were disconnected. 2 of the other people had the same last name and I noticed one of them lived on the same street as her. When I spoke to the lady, I asked her if she lived with her and she she said "Yes". Then I asked her if they were related and she said "Yes, I am her mother." But she does cleaning work for her. Ok, so that other person with the same name must be some other relative (a sister?).

I did reach one other person on the list and he spoke highly of the woman, said she does a good job and is very thorough and reliable.

I do like the woman a lot, but does anyone else find it odd she would give me such references and then insist I call them? Should I hire her?

I work from home so I would always be here when she cleaned, so it is not like I would be giving her keys to my house or anything.

I just have never hired a cleaning lady before. Advice?
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Old 09-20-07, 03:50 PM   #2
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She may be starting out and doing "what she thinks" is the professional thing to do. I'd still give her a go.

Don't forget to withhold taxes, etc.
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Old 09-20-07, 03:57 PM   #3
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When this scrolled by, I read it as, ""Hiding a clean baby"

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Old 09-20-07, 03:58 PM   #4
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Hide all valued things.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvrdave
Don't forget to withhold taxes, etc.
She's and independent contractor
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Old 09-20-07, 04:11 PM   #6
wishbone
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If she does a good job and you keep her around she might add you to her reference list too; at least you would be a reference not related to her.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:12 PM   #7
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I hire a cleaning service to come in a few times a year to help out with the major cleaning projects. I can tell you this; you get what you pay for. Skip the paper, skip Craig's list and open up the yellow pages and find the company with a great big ad. Trust me on this one. I have hired from the newspaper and she sucked. I hired off of Craig's list several times and they sucked. You want someone licensed for sure, someone that does background checks on their people. Ex-hotel maids make the best cleaning ladies, just fyi. If you want to pick my brain further, PM or email me. Best of luck.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McHawkson
Hide all valued things.
The guy I work with just went back to a cleaning lady. He said they had a crew for 10 years or more, then they had a new person on the crew and she stole something.
So, now he has another one coming in, and he baits her by leaving money out, or on the floor. He came in one day, and said 'I though I had her today'. 'I put $10 down by my dresser and it was gone.' But, then he found out his daughter found it and took it.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:34 PM   #9
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have sex with her first
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Old 09-20-07, 04:39 PM   #10
neiname
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Do you not have friends in the neighborhood that use a cleaning person? I would check with them first.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neiname
Do you not have friends in the neighborhood that use a cleaning person? I would check with them first.
No, but one of my neighbor friends (another mom) offered to clean for me, but I felt weird about that. It would just seem weird having a friend be your cleaning lady.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDrinkMolson
The guy I work with just went back to a cleaning lady. He said they had a crew for 10 years or more, then they had a new person on the crew and she stole something.
One of the reasons I didnt want to go through a service was that I would feel weird having some large crew of people coming in to my house. I think that would make me feel uncomfortable, a bunch of strangers descending upon your house with buckets. I have heard the turn-over at those places is high, so you often have different people coming in.

I think I would rather just have one person coming in that I could get to know and trust.

Besides just regular cleaning, I would also like someone to help me with big projects, like organizing my basement or garage. I would love someone to sit down with me and force me to throw things away or help me get rid of things. I love getting rid of junk but I never know what to do with it or have time to go through it all.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:50 PM   #13
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Couldn't you just wait a couple years? By then, Junior will be big and strong. He will be happy to clean the house for you - as long as he receives payments (ice cream, snowballs, nickels). Over the years, you might have to move on to beer and quarters.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:53 PM   #14
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Sounds like she's just not all that bright. And think about it. Do you really want a smart person doing your mopping?
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Old 09-20-07, 04:59 PM   #15
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I'd give her a shot. Years ago my folks tried to get one, but all of the best ones were booked out, and they didn't want a chain. I'm not sure if they have one now, but everyone I've talked to says to go local and always check references.

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Old 09-20-07, 05:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDrinkMolson
The guy I work with just went back to a cleaning lady. He said they had a crew for 10 years or more, then they had a new person on the crew and she stole something.
So, now he has another one coming in, and he baits her by leaving money out, or on the floor. He came in one day, and said 'I though I had her today'. 'I put $10 down by my dresser and it was gone.' But, then he found out his daughter found it and took it.
I hope he fired her.
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Old 09-20-07, 05:05 PM   #17
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Oh by the way, I googled her references and it turns out that her father won $150,000 in the state lottery 7 years ago.

When I asked her how long she had been doing this, she had said 7 years, so maybe they started paying her with their lottery winnings?

She had mentioned someone she regularly cleans for in Ann Arbor, so I later asked if they were listed on her references and she was like "Oh I never asked them if I could list them, they are doctors. I should ask them if it would be ok for people to call them." So maybe she is just shy about asking people for references?
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Old 09-20-07, 05:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPA-ESQ.
She's and independent contractor
Then make sure she has a state business license and not just a city license.
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Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baronís cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C.S. Lewis
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Old 09-20-07, 05:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadzia
I really didn't want to go with a Molly Maid type service, since I would rather pay a woman a good wage to clean my house, rather than a big company that would take most of the money and pay their workers less.
Seriously, this is part of the rub. They pay them less because they aren't licensed with the state. So Molly Maid has to pay half of the person's SS, withhold taxes, pay B&O tax, L&I, and they probably carry liability insurance of some kind.

If you hire the gal off the street who isn't licensed with the state, you are essentially paying her under the table, and she isn't reporting income, isn't withholding taxes, and isn't paying her SS. If she were, she'd look like she was making a lot less as well.

Now, it really doesn't happen for individuals, but the danger is that she gets caught. In the state's eyes, she is your employee. She doesn't have a business license, you hired her, so someone should have been withholding, paying all the taxes, etc., but who? Her employer! Which is you. So they collect all the back taxes, etc. and levy fines, etc.

Not trying to freak you out, because I don't know of this ever happening to individuals, but it is all part of the reason that you are able to pay the individual a "living wage." A "living wage" is so much easier to come by when you don't pay any taxes.
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Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baronís cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C.S. Lewis
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Old 09-20-07, 07:05 PM   #20
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Find one without a bunch of ridiculous rules. My aunt hired a cleaning lady for my grandma a couple years ago (when she still lived alone) and the woman would hardly do anything. She didn't do laundry, windows, mirrors or dust around my grandma's many 'trinkets'. She was just supposed to come by once a week and take care of things Grandma couldn't do, but it didn't work out very well.
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Old 09-20-07, 07:21 PM   #21
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If it's worth $7 to you, you could sign up with AngiesList.com for a month. Assuming they service your area you can read reviews of local cleaning services posted by the people who've used them. I've gone to this site for a number of services for my house and haven't been disappointed yet.
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Old 09-20-07, 08:13 PM   #22
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Kittydreamer needs work



*runs from thread*
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Old 09-20-07, 08:20 PM   #23
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You could always join the FreeCycle group in your area and put in a Wanted: Cleaning Person and see who bites. I hired 2 females - 80 bucks for 3 bedroom's, 2 bathrooms, hallway, and garage (they didnt have time to do the kitchen) - to clean my apartment (from this group) when I moved and I had no charges when all said and done.
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Old 09-20-07, 08:51 PM   #24
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Old 09-21-07, 06:09 AM   #25
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If you are home all day, then I don't see the harm in giving her a chance.
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