Working at home is serious business, and it can be nerve-wracking to trust that area of your life to a third party. We’ve heard horror stories of intricate processes being disrupted because a cleaner “replaced” piles of books onto a shelf, or the shredding of a box of important papers that were mistaken for recycling.
Effective and safe cleaning of any part of your home—but especially one containing sensitive material—requires clear communication between client and cleaner. The following are tips we recommend you take to lessen your anxiety about letting your cleaner into your home office.
- Communicate via notes
Take the time the night before your cleaner is due to arrive to leave as many notes as necessary. Label piles “Do not remove” or “Do not disturb.” Provide instructions, like “Empty the shredder into the recycling bin, but do not take recycling to curb.” The more guidance you give us, the less likely we are to make a mistake.
- Establish and label zones
Labeling bins for recycling, shredding, and trash is a necessity, but consider also clearly labeling zones. Perhaps your work in progress looks like a mess to an eye that’s untrained in your personal process. Consider leaving those piles of paper, supplies, unfinished paintings, etc. in one spot, consistently. Then establish that zone as a “Do not touch” zone.
- Do some prep work
The night before your scheduled cleaning, make it a point to take care of your shredding, your sorting, and your processing of mail. “Cleaning before cleaning” isn’t always necessary, but in an office, it could mean the difference between “Wow, this place looks great!” and “Where’s that document I need?”
- Give us a list
Pay extra attention to your office when we do your initial consultation, and don’t be afraid to get detailed with your instructions. We’ll follow that list every time, until you tell us differently. If something changes at the last minute, just handle it using your brand-new note-leaving system (see item #1).
- Request the same cleaner for each visit
We assign each client one regular cleaner, but if he or she is sick or has an emergency, we might send another one of our cleaners instead. At the point at which we begin service, let us know if you’d rather us just skip the office cleaning until your regular cleaner is available. That way, you can be sure that you’ve got someone cleaning your office who knows exactly how you need it to be done.