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Housecleaning Etiquette for Homeowners: How to Establish a Positive Business Relationship with Your Housecleaner

Written by Nicky Tomboulides .

If you're a homeowner who's hiring a professional to clean your home, there are a few rules you should follow in order to maintain a professional, positive business relationship:

1. Let your integrity be your best quality. Demand the same from your housecleaner.  Hire someone you can trust and like, yet maintain a professional relationship at all times.

2. You need to have open communication with your housecleaner. But do not leave pages and pages of notes. Be brief and always end with a thank you.

3. Pay by the job, not by the hour.  Over time, if your housecleaner becomes more efficient, he or she needs to be rewarded for that increased efficiency. Always pay your house cleaner on time.

4. For the protection of you and your housecleaner, install hidden cameras.
Do shut the audio, because often the topic of any conversation will be you! 5. Put away or lock all your private documents and valuables, grown-up toys, checks, financial documents, your Hope diamond...

6.Your home belongs to your housecleaner for the duration of the cleaning. If at home confine yourself to one area, the same applies for your children and pets. Do not follow the housecleaner around the house. If you have concerns you can address them at the walk-through after he or she is finished cleaning.

7.  Before your housecleaner arrives you need to put your house in order. A shocked husband once asked me, “Do you expect us to clean our home before you come?” My answer was, “No, but you need to organize it.” Remember you are hiring a cleaning person, not an organizer!  The duties of the housecleaner should be discussed at first meeting and made clear - will the cleaner be responsible for picking up toys that need to put away, washing the dishes, picking up clothes off the floor.  Also, if you have your housecleaner do these tasks, realize that this will take more time and allot for that time.

8. Projects such as construction clean-up, move-in clean-up, moving-out clean-up, polishing silver, etc...require more skill and time and a separate higher pay. In closing, be generous with the person that you entrust with your home.


Housecleaning is a difficult and physical job that requires skill, experience and talent. Many feel it’s a job anyone can do. I disagree. If you are good at cleaning your home it doesn’t mean you can do it professionally. Why not? When you clean your own home you do so at your own pace and standards. Professionally in house cleaning, just like a restaurant, you need to deliver with steady pace efficiency and superior work every single time. No exceptions!

At Penguin’s Best, our insignia is a Red Bow, this is not by accident.  Presentation is everything. Before we address how to clean your home Step-by-Step, let's talk about how to make your home pretty in 20 minutes.  If we skip this step it will be like you wearing a beautiful dress or a smart suit ...wrinkled!

Also we have put together an article on housecleaner's rules and etiquette.  You can provide this list to your housecleaner to make the initial conversation easier.

Keep it Clean! :)

Nicky Tomboulides
Nicky Tomboulides

Nicky P.E. Tomboulides, MBA has run and managed Penguin's Best Housekeeping Service, LLCsince 1994. Nicky's entrepreneurial experience and spirit is behind the birth of her business. Penguin's Best, an upscale residential cleaning service, has evolved from teaching and training its own crew to running outside classes and workshops for various organ.. Read more

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