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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. Now, the question today comes from a house cleaner who was doing a move out clean.
A move out clean is when somebody moves. They get all their stuff out and then they leave. And behind all of the furniture where the furniture was sitting, there’s probably stuff along the sides of the baseboards, there are crumbs, there is stuff from the movers, there might be boxes of stuff that got jumbled a little bit, and pieces of crap fell out and whatever. It’s whatever is left. So, they want you to come in and clean the entire house from top to bottom and make the thing look amazing so that the Realtors can come in and show the house to someone else in order to sell it. So, the house cleaners want to know “What am I supposed to do in the move out clean? Is there anything special that I should let the owners of the house know that are my requirements before I come in to do a moving clean?” Okay, so yes there are. My number one request is that the house have electricity. I can’t tell you how many house cleaners have gone until move out clean and they can’t vacuum the floors because the people have already cut off the electricity. You must have electricity, so before you even bid the job these are your requirements make sure there’s electricity in the house. The second thing you need to make sure of is that there’s running water. Have you ever tried to clean a house with no running water? It can be done, but I don’t recommend it. And why? So, don’t cut off the electricity, don’t cut off the water make sure that that stuff is still functional before you come in to do the clean. All right so then the next thing is to make sure that you understand what exactly the customers are expecting. Are they expecting that you’re going to move stuff out or is all the stuff going to be moved out? If all of the stuff is going to be moved out, then when you show up if they are still clothes and shoes and garbage and stuff they left behind, you’re not ready to clean. That’s not what you bargained for. That’s not what you bid. And I can’t tell you how many house cleaners don’t clarify that with the people that are moving out. But by the time the people move out, they’re just so exhausted and they’re so done with all this weird crap that’s left behind they just leave it. And then the house cleaners like “Wait a second, if I gotta bring in a construction crew to clean up all this crap it’s going to cost a whole lot more money and take a whole lot more time. ” And so you need to be really clear up front what is involved in that move out clean because you don’t want to get stuck with a whole bunch of extra stuff. Alright, next are they expecting you to wash the windows? And if you normally don’t wash windows. I recommend that you ask this question to the customer because here’s the secret. If you come into a house in the windows are really dirty but the rest of the house is clean the house is still going to look dirty. So even if you’re on the first floor and you can wash the inside than the outside of the window. That would be a time when I would say break your “no washing windows” rule because there’s not a lot of other stuff in the house you’re going to clean. But that in and of itself will make the house look amazing. So, if they’re not going to professionally have the windows washed on their way out the door, make sure that you catch the sliding glass doors in the kitchen. And that you catch the kitchen window. And if there are windows right there in the front room if you can get to them from the outside of the house, you certainly want to wash the inside and outside of those windows. So that the house looks amazing. So when you walk in and you can see all the way through the house, the house will sparkle. Because anywhere there’s a dirty window it’s going to make the house look dirty. And then another thing that I have to mention is when there’s no furniture, there are no distractions. And so when people walk in what they see as they see the marks on the baseboards, and they see the fingerprints on the door jambs. So you’re going to have to go to a little bit extra care to make sure that you clean all the things that now people are going to see because they’re not distracted by trinkets and bright colors, and ornaments, and furniture, and all the things that normally take up space in someone’s head when they walk into a house. So, your job is a little bit harder but as long as you clarify with the customer up front what the expectations are, then you’re good to go. Right? And last but not least you have to get paid. It’s a really easy on the way out the door if someone is moving to not pay you.
I can’t tell you how many times house cleaners have gone and they’ve done jobs but because the person moved they skip town and they never paid the house cleaner. So, if you are the housecleaner, I recommend that you get payment up front after you bid the job properly, and you are a hundred percent crystal clear on what is supposed to be done for that job. And if they don’t give you a credit card on file make sure there’s a check waiting for you when you arrive, because if you do not get paid for this job guess what? You should not do it. A lot of people take advantage of house cleaners. And a lot of house cleaners do sloppy jobs on move outs because they don’t expect they’re ever going to see the client again. Here’s a suggestion if you’re asked to do a move out clean in a particular neighborhood guess what? The buyer and the owner are going to have a conversation as they get to closing. And if the buyer comes in and says “oh my goodness, the house looks amazing. I saw the house before when we walked through it to buy the house, but the way that it was left for us was outstanding. By the way, who do you use as a house cleaner?” Okay, so in our company when we do move out clean we use a regular worksheet. If you don’t have a worksheet you can go over to https://savvycleaner. com/worksheets print you up a worksheet. Take it to your move out clean. It’s got a list of all the things that you normally do. Guess what? You’re not going to do most of those things because there are no garbage’s to empty. There are no not a lot of these things. There are going to be the blinds and the baseboards and all the things that you normally do but you check those off as you go. Then instead of leaving this worksheet for the homeowner that’s moving out, you leave this worksheet for the new people. And you fold over at the corner of your worksheet and you make a note. “Hey, welcome to your new home. I’m the cleaner that just cleaned this place to get it ready for your move. I’m so excited that you’re going to move in. The people that lived here prior to you are wonderful people. I know the house, and I would love to clean it for you. ” Hey, guess what? You already have auditioned for the job. You just left the house in tip-top shape. It looks amazing. The new people are going to come in they’re going to be so impressed they’ll want your address and your phone number. They want to know who cleans the house. And they can call the people they just bought the house from. They already know them. They already met them at closing, right? That’s your referral. “Oh yeah, she came every other week she was amazing. Here’s how much she charges. She does an excellent job. ” So that person, I mean it’s a warm market now. This is not you out randomly looking for business and advertising on Angie’s List or on homeadvisor. com which are our fine sites to advertise on. But you all have already cleaned this house, you know this house, right? So, let it work for you. Anyway, that’s my two cents on move out cleans. Just do the most amazing best job you can. Make sure your clarifications are clarified up front. And make sure that the money is in place when you get paid. And that’s my take on that for today. Until I meet you again leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. .