March 5, 2009

Party Cleaning Tips

How to save time and money cleaning up before or after a party.

Hiring a professional cleaning service can provide much-needed help before house guests arrive or after a big party — and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Cleaners typically charge by the hour, so you can save time and money with these tips.

1. Reduce the number of rooms to be cleaned. Prioritize the most used spaces and skip home offices or basements.

2. Skip scrubbing and request only vacuuming for tiled or hardwood floors in certain rooms. Dining rooms or living spaces may not need the same thorough washing as the entryway, kitchen or bathrooms.

3. Look for promotional offers and ask about first-time discounts. “Seniors should also inquire about special savings,” says Rita Woodman, owner of Vancouver’s Rita Mita Maid.

4. Ask about a referral program. Existing clients may be able to receive an hour or two of free services if they refer new customers.

5. Register for regular service. Weekly cleanings, rather than monthly, will actually save you money because there is less accumulation of dirt and dust to tackle between visits, making them shorter and less costly. A company may offer a 10 to 15 per cent reduced hourly rate for regular clients.

6. Be specific about what you need before the actual visit. “Cleaners appreciate lists,” says Nick Kaczun, founder and CEO of Toronto-based Lustre Luxury Cleaning & Services. “You’ll avoid having to explain everything when they arrive.” Clarifying your expectations in advance and prioritizing items and areas can lessen the overall time billed. And organized companies will keep this information on file.

7. Give cleaners space. “Keeping kids and pets out of the way allows cleaners to work effectively and efficiently,” says Kaczun. Removing distractions and the need to re-clean an area will minimize overall costs.