Training the Maid

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 11:38 am

If you’re new – I wrote the How to Hire A Maid like a book. Click Table of Contents for future articles and links to old blogs in a more comprehensible order – or just click here & go to the bottom to read it straight through by scrolling up to each article.

The new maid has finally arrived. Your first task is to convince her that you don’t want her to clean the house.  (If at all financially feasible, keep your old maid coming on a different day for about a month.)

Explain that you just want her to deep clean the kitchen for this visit. The way to do this should not be left to your new maid’s imagination.  Emphasize that you don’t even need the kitchen completed in one visit (this is obviously a function of the length of her visit and the size of the kitchen.)

Then give her a copy of the following checklist (modified for your home):

Kitchen Checklist

Be sure to add items specific to your kitchen:

Coffee pots should have a pot of vinegar water & then a pot of fresh water run through them.

Ask for detailed cleaning of things like juicers and bread machines that one’s family feels aren’t really dirty if they can’t see the places where strange organisms are growing.

The dog bowl if everyone feels a quick rinse is sufficient for Fido. if you & your family are meticulous about cleaning the pet bowls, explicitly ask the maid not to touch the pet’s things. You probably do a better job rinsing chemicals off than your maid might.

How you want her to clean the oven exhaust fan and filter.

Specify where you want problem things to go. (I used the dining room table for this.) Nothing wastes more time than looking for something when the maid guessed where to put it away.  Emptying the dishwasher can be fraught with peril. When you finally do find the item, the logic she used may be obvious. Or not.  Worse, it’s really disappointing when she tosses the rare blue cheese imported at enormous cost from Timbuktu.  Asking your maid to make judgment calls can be really unfair. Make it easy for her.

Write down the exact cleaning supplies you want her to use on each item. I have really old wood cabinets (worn out old, not antiques) and messy children. Cleaning the gunk (a technical term for those things you don’t want to know about) takes a cleaner like Fantastic (TM) and a wood polish cleaner makes me think that it looks like it’s been cleaned. This regimen would destroy good wood cabinets.

Once your maid has completed the room go over the checklist together. If she couldn’t figure out how to get the ceiling light off, now’s the time to show her.

You’ll then give her the list to the next room (don’t worry, I’ll put up the lists) & do this for every room in your house. Twice. Assuming that neither of you has had a nervous breakdown, you’ll move to phase 2.

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