Hiring cleaning services when you are living abroad
If you have just moved abroad, there are still plenty of things you are probably unsure how to approach. The habits of the people and the expectations they have might not align with those you are used to. So, even hiring a cleaning service becomes a source of stress. We are here to help with our guide on hiring cleaning services when you are living abroad.
Do not go into the hiring process with the same expectations
There are sure to be some differences when hiring cleaning services abroad compared to when you did it at home. And we are not talking about just the process itself! Of course, they will be knowledgeable about the places you probably forget to clean in your house. It is their job to know such things. However, they are likely to have a somewhat different approach to doing their job. Are you expected to pay for a single cleaning job beforehand or after it’s done? What are the typical work hours of cleaning services? Answers to questions like that might vary from what you are used to.
Make sure to have a list of all your cleaning needs in advance
You need to know what you want to be cleaned before you contact a cleaning service. And that’s for several reasons! First, if there is a language barrier, you might need to look up some vocabulary to get your point across. Of course, ideally, there will not be. But you still need to know what you want so the cleaning company can check if they have the specialized equipment required to handle specific requests. Some cleaning jobs, particularly when it comes to equipment or appliances, demand specialized tools. And not every cleaning service has them.
Make sure there are no language barriers
You want to work with a cleaning service that has representatives conversant in your language. The experts from Best Movers NYC warn that commutation problems can cause serious issues. They should know since the city they cover sees many foreigners. Anything from rooms being left out of the cleaning deal to cleaners accidentally throwing away important documents left out as trash can happen in such a scenario.
Check out online reviews when possible
Now, it might be tricky to read through online reviews if you are hiring cleaning services when you are living abroad. They are likely to be in a foreign language, of course. Still, Google translate is your friend! You will not understand everything. But at least you will glean enough to know if previous clients complain about the cleaning services skipping the most challenging spots to clean around the house or something similar. Of course, make sure to be on the lookout for obviously fake reviews, just as you would back at home!
Look for services that often deal with foreigners
You’re likely to meet at least a few other people in a similar situation like you. And they might be able to advise you on the subject of hiring cleaning services when you are living abroad! Their experience will be invaluable because of the stories they can share and the list of companies they have contacted.
Of course, some cities or neighborhoods are more likely to have an abundance of such cleaning services than others. Since NYC is popular among young educated people, the best NYC neighborhoods for college grads are more likely to have services that excel at dealing with foreigners. Also, a lot of transfer students come to NYC to study abroad. It’s simply a question of finding such a neighborhood popular among foreigners in the city you are currently living in. Things will be much easier from there.
Ask for referrals
Once you’ve located a few cleaning services you know have worked with foreigners successfully in the past, you shouldn’t just rush to hire. Approach them and ask for referrals instead. You should, of course, ask to be connected to clients from the same country as you. This way, they will be able to advise you on their expectations when they entered the contract and whether they were met or entirely failed. This will better prepare you for your own negotiations with the cleaning service. And it will give you a good picture of the cleaning service’s abilities and customer satisfaction.
Always have several cleaning services in consideration
As we have mentioned, you should not rush into contracting a cleaning service. Make sure to have a few decent options in a shortlist. Get them to give you quotes on what they would charge you for cleaning your space. Compare the prices, the quality of services rendered, and even the equipment the different services have on hand. And then narrow down the shortlist further!
Schedule an online or in-person interview
The next step in your process of hiring cleaning services when you are living abroad is organizing an interview of sorts. It is always helpful to meet up with a representative of a cleaning service in person. This way, you can hash out an agreement. See to what extent they are willing to personalize their cleaning for your needs. Check whether they would be available when you predict you will typically need a cleaning service. And, of course, ask whether such allowance will impact the price to an unacceptable degree. Only once you’re sure that you’ve found the best option among the services you’ve considered is it time to hire.
Be there the first few times
Now, this isn’t important if you are hiring because you need to hire a cleaning service when you move out. All of your stuff will have been packed out, and you are likely not even living there anymore. Of course, we are not recommending you be there because of the risk of theft. There is that, of course. But you should also make sure the cleaning service is following the agreements made and your specifications on what you need. Once you’ve reassured yourself, then you can leave them to their job in the future. And, if you notice problems, you will want to quickly cancel your contract with them or not hire them again.
Some more advice
This marks the ending of our guide on hiring cleaning services when you are living abroad! Just remember: It is okay that things are different in your new home. It’s only natural, and even if it upsets you at first, you’ll get used to it. Do not let it get to you and ruin the wonder of getting to live in an entirely new culture!