| Nov 26, 2014
You’ve spent weeks clearing out your closets and organizing your belongings. You’ve coordinated moving companies and moving schedules, helped your kids say goodbye, and maybe even started a new job. Now all there is that’s left to do is clean your entire house from top to bottom.
Sounds daunting, right? If you’re like most families, the thought of scrubbing floors and dusting empty shelves probably isn’t one you cherish—and with good reason. You’ve already done so much hard work that it makes sense to hand this task over to someone else.
Professional cleaning companies are ideal in a time like this. Get your apartment’s safety deposit back or make sure your house gleams for the next potential owners by hiring someone else to come in and finish the job. You can even hire a cleaning service to get your new home ready before you arrive. Here are some tips for finding the best one in your area.
> Ask for referrals. Your moving company, real estate agent, or property manager might have a good cleaning service they can recommend. (They might also be able to find you discounts if you use one of their referred providers.) Ask for referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations, as these tend to work out the best.
> Look for moving specialists. Some cleaning services specialize in empty properties, and they’re ideal for this kind of job. They have the tools and skills to get the cleaning done quickly, and can easily coordinate with your moving schedule.
> Hire big-name companies. Whenever you’re going to be leaving a property empty for any space of time, it’s best to stay away from want ads or online job listings. An empty house (or a house with wide open doors and your belongings coming and going) is more likely to attract thieves or squatters, so you want to make sure you’ve heard of the cleaning company and that they have a reputation for professional ethics.
> Make sure they have insurance. Just because you don’t live in the house anymore doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for any potential accidents that occur there. Until your name is officially off the deed, it’s important that any contract workers you hire are licensed and have insurance. This will protect all of you in the event of an accident.
> Ask about what services are provided. Most cleaning companies are used to coming in and cleaning around your personal belongings—a big, empty house is a different kind of task. If you’re looking for deep-cleaning services (such cleaning the stove, moving the refrigerator to clean underneath it, or top-to-bottom scrubbing), you may have to make special arrangements. Most cleaning services are prepared for lighter duties like mopping, vacuuming, and dusting.
You’ll also want to have a friend make one final stop after the job is done. Since you probably won’t be around to see how good of a job the cleaning service did, you may want to recruit a friend or family member who can check in afterwards. You’ll feel better knowing someone you trust was the last person in the house, and that everything is perfect and ready to go for the new tenants.