domingo, 22 de septiembre de 2013

How Much I Love My Maid Service

Let me count the ways! My ladies names are Sandra and Teresa, they work at Frisco Maids in case you are wondering and they are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I'm like a kid at Christmas when I know that I am going to come home to a clean house. Brian has been really happy with them too, he gets to have more me-time and I'm in a better mood. Soooo funny: he told me he really likes the way they "fold the toilet paper fancy like in a hotel." Loooooool! Men!

The girls do a full deep clean for me once a week and after the first couple weeks I had the office adjust my service so they could do a few loads of laundry too. (I pay a little extra)

It's been 3 months now and they are totally part of the family,  I even bought them Christmas presents, they are just so sweet! I think once I'm done with school next year I'll probably cut back to twice a month service but I can't promise you that, I am too spoiled! I'm addicted to that moment when I come home after a long day, I open the front door and BAM my house is sparkly and pretty, smells like sunshine!

I've got two of my girlfriends hooked now too, at first everyone was like "Lah di dah look at the society wife with her maids!" but then they tried it and it really isn't that expensive at all. I bet I have the cleanest grout in Frisco! Not to keep gushing but the other thing I really like is that I feel like everything is disinfected on a regular basis and that makes me happy for the baby. I mean, when I was doing all the cleaning I guess I didn't focus on that as much as I should have, probably just too exhausted!

So that is just to catch up on my journey so far on finding a maid service in Frisco (and falling in love!) I hope things stay this way forever because I am on cloud nine!

Housekeeper Semi Finals

So now I have pages and pages of "research" completed and Brian is like "Babe just please pick one for the love of God!"  but I'm torn between 3 companies that I liked over the phone so what I decide to do is to book all three! I booked a different cleaning service each week for three weeks. I figured that way I could see who I really liked and hire them. Plus, I love little experiments like that! I set the appointments up for a time where I cold be home even though I hoped in the future that I would be able to leave them a key.

So here are my reviews of each service, I'm not going to name names because well I don't know if I could get sued or something  so I'll just call them 1, 2 and 3!

Review of Maid Service #1: This is a big chain, they operate outside of Frisco and across the country too. I though their receptionist was a little crisp but she had all the right answers for me so I figured they are probably a good candidate. They sent three maids, I was only expecting two but supposedly the third one was in training so I was like score! Free maid! They were very serious ladies, not much chit chat but I figured that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. They didn't speak more than a few words of English which was surprising to me considering that this is a big national chain. Still, I was a first time cleaning service recipient so I just honestly wasn't sure what to expect.

The cleaning was.... beige. Lol I better explain! I could see they were working off of a list, they were showing the new maid how to be fast and follow the list. They were so fast that they actually finished my three hour service in two and a half hours. I honestly think they were going too fast. My mirrors had streaks and they didn't really scrub anything the way I would have if I was cleaning. Verdict: It felt like a surface cleaning and not the deep clean I was looking for.

Review of Maid Service #2: OMG this was a trainwreck. Only one housekeeper, it was an hourly service she shows up 20 minutes late and REEKS of cigarette smoke. I should have just sent her away but I just didn't have the heart, she was a sweet girl but really just a mess cleaning. For starters she didn't have a nice set of cleaning supplies like the first company had. Lots of dollar store stuff and she seemed to want to use bleach on EVERYTHING. I had to actually stop her from spraying Windex on my granite counter-tops (I almost fainted.)

I made her use my mop because hers was disgusting, I mean really scuzzy looking. Then when she was vacuuming it was like she was playing bumper cars with my furniture bam, bam, bam! She was just whacking everything. It was horrible. Verdict: hot mess, never again!

Review of Maid Service #3: Finally, I got lucky (third time's a charm!) This time two housekeepers and they were absolute angels (cleaning faeries?) They cleaned so deep that watching them I was actually realizing how dirty my house was (who knew?) They wiped my baseboards, they cleaned my ceiling fans, they polished the knobs on my sinks to an unearthly shine (going to tear up here.) I don't know what kind of products they used exactly but my house had that fresh, aired out smell. I tipped them handsomely and made them promise they'd come back. Verdict: I'm in love!

Big Checklist to Find My Maid Service in Frisco

**Ok, this was my cheat sheet for checking out potential cleaning companies, enjoy!**

Company Name:
Phone Number:

Step 1: Google " (company name) reviews" and see what comes up.
Step 2: Check for complaints on the Better Business Bureau website
Step 3: Visit the company's website to gather as much information as possible about their service, many times they will include a cleaning checklist that they use, information on rates and pricing and the FAQs can be helpful.
Step 4: Phone consultation, get a quote but don't commit yet, here was my script:

Me: Yes. I'd like to get a quote on my 3 bedroom, 2 and a half bath home in Frisco, it's about 3400 square feet.

Them: xxxx

Me: Is that amount based on an hourly rate or it is a flat service charge?
Them: xxx
Me: Great, can I ask you a few questions about the company?
Them: (they should be very happy to answer questions, if not move on!)
Me: What is included in the service and what isn't?
Me: What are your business hours? Do you have evening or weekend appointments available? Is there an extra charge for that?
Me: How long have you been in business in Frisco?
Me: Are you bonded and insured?
Me: Do you perform background checks on your employees?
Me: How many maids do you send?
Me: Do I get a discount if I set up regular service?
Me: Do I have to sign a contract to set up regular service and/or get the discount?
Me: Do you usually send the same maid or team every time?
Me: What's your cancellation policy?
Me: What happens if I'm not happy with the service?

I'd write down the answers to all of the questions and then I'd tell them I would be in touch, I had to discuss it with my husband. Then I'd hang up.

The answers were important of course but I also looked for professionalism and a cheerful attitude. I figre any company that has someone with poor customer service skills answering their phones isn't on top of their game, I will probably not be happy with their cleaning either.

sábado, 21 de septiembre de 2013

How NOT to Interview a Maid Service

Hello again!! Ok so when I started to search for my ideal housekeeper this is what I wanted:

  • Someone who could clean and make my house look like a model home
  • A maid that I could trust 
  • A maid that was friendly (yes it is important!)
And that basically was it. Easy right? But I hadn't thought about a lot of other factors that would later be added to my wish list like finding a cleaning service that did background checks, finding one that was bonded and insured (thanks dad!) Oh and finding one that wouldn't use heinous toxic chemicals all over the floors where my baby is crawling around. But more about that later, when I started out I was naive and hopelessly optimistic!

Fr those of you that aren't familiar with the area Frisco, Texas is a suburb of Dallas I don't know if I could cal it suburban but it's not really urban either... high traffic suburb maybe? Wikipedia says there are 134 thousand people here so that's quite the burb! Check out Frisco, Tx on Wikipedia for more fun stats!

 I love that water tower it makes Frisco look like the small town it used to be when I was growing up! Wow I really got sidetracked didn't I? :)

Anyways, I was floored at the number of maid services in Frisco, I mean the competition is FIERCE! So I start calling but quickly realize that I'm in over my head. How does one go about this kind of thing in an orderly fashion? It didn't help that I looked up maid service reviews and found some real horror stories, I mean stuff that would make your toes curl... felony level stuff. So now I'm nervous. How do I make the right call?

I thought this article was pretty helpful: but just too short, I needed more! So I decided to make a checklist for questions to ask a maid service and THAT is my next post here! Stay tuned! 

Why I need a maid and who the heck am I?

So weird to be blogging again but feels good! My name is Karen and I live in Frisco, Tx and this is my new blog. I used to keep a blog but then I had a baby so... you know how that goes! My little boy is 8 months old now and I just started back at work.

I work in a nursing home here and I love my job! I'm am going to nursing school part time so I am busy, busy, busy! Let's see what else? I got married last year to my highschool sweetheart, Brian. I'm sure you will be hearing a lot about him!

Ok but this blog (I have several) is about this affair I'm having... with my maid. Looooool! I never thought I'd have a maid, real it just seemed like something only rich people had. I figured I would be able to handle the baby, the job school and my wifely duties no problem. And then I woke up! It was soooo impossible, that first week back to work was a nightmare! I felt like I was always trying to do six things at once and that I wasn't doing anything really well. Here was my schedule back then:

6:00 am Wake up, get the baby ready for daycare, get myself ready for work
7:00 am Breakfast for the family then racing out the door to drop Brian Junior off by 7:30 so I could be at work by 8:00 am
12pm Lunch hour running errands: bank, grocery store etc
4pm Leave work, pick the baby off drop him off at my mom's house
5pm Nursing school!
7:30pm Pick baby up and go home to make dinner, clean up and do laundry. Do homework.
12pm Finally lay down.

So yes, exhausting! My husband and I had no time together any more and then my whole weekend seemed to be spent doing all the things I didn't get to during the week. Brian works and goes to school too (law school!) so he is just as busy. After about a month of this I knew something had to give. Here we had this family now but we spent zero time together. We sat down and wrote a list of everything we had to do each day and each week, assigning time allotments for everything and guess what we figured out? Not only did we not have any extra time, we didn't even have enough time to do everything we had on the list! We were in the hole!

Something had to give. We realized that housework was the only thing on the list that we could outsource so we decided to look into getting a cleaning service once a week. We did a Google search for "maid service in Frisco" and we got a ton of companies popping up. I spent my lunch hour the next day calling around, here is what I learned:

  • There are literally dozens of cleaning services in this "little" town.
  • Some are flat rate and some are hourly.
  • Maid service is more affordable than I had imagined (yay!)
  • You better know what you are looking to have done and ask tons of questions!
Next post I'll tell you about my hit and miss experience interviewing potential cleaning services. TTYS!