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What does it take to clean apartments/houses?

I would like to go around cleaning other peoples homes in our apartment complex. Im 20yrs old and i'll be taking my 8month-old with me. I will type out a check list and they can check off what they'd like done and leave comments on what they'd like me to do differently next time. Depending on what they want done i'll ether charge more or less (on the "less" side since i'll have my baby with me). I'll be taking my own supplies (paper towels, disinfectant, dish soap, trash bags, etc.).

Do i need a license or certification? What do i need to know before i begin?
Are there any other mommys on here who do this type of work?

Thank you all!


Asked by SpiritedTigress at 5:26 PM on Mar. 11, 2009 in Money & Work

Level 6 (150 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • I've done this in the past. I didn't have to have a special license, but you should keep good records of earnings and expenses so you report your earnings correctly to the government.
    My concern for you, after having cleaned for many years as a job, is that you would use cleaning materials that are safe and non-caustic since you are going to be around them so much of the time. You are young, and you want to have a great life, so this is really important. Please email me for more information and I will do my best to help you protect yourself and your customers as you work. They will thank you for years to come, and you'll be there to hear their thanks - or drop me a note on my page. Good luck and have fun. It's a great workout!

    Answer by TeaAnderson at 3:00 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • it's been awhile since I've done this, but no you don't need any kind of license. It sounds to me like you have a pretty good plan in place.

    Answer by avpriddis at 5:30 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • My mom has a cleaning lady she pays $10 and hour and they use her cleaning supplies. She has her for 4 hrs. and they have standard stuff every week llike bathrooms and kitchen, then alternate weeks on things like cleaning the sun porch or they may throw in oil the cabinets or something every once in a while.

    Answer by ria7 at 5:30 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • I have worked for othe small business owners helping clean, since I did not own the businesses I did not have to worry about the paperwork, but I will share my secret for making ahomeowner feel like the house has become VERY clean...

    mix a good smelling lysol with water in a spray bottle... use it on all counter surfaces and window ledges... it leaves the house smelling extremely clean and also leaves the surfaces shiny... I do this in my own home before having company and they always comment on how nice my house smells and looks...

    also, vaccuum over your footprints...their feet should be the first to leave a mark after you clean

    Answer by LuckyClown at 6:32 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • I did this... You don't need a license or anything. It's a lot harder with a baby though then it sounds eapecially when the baby wants to get into things and your constantly running after them saying 'no' but if you decide to do it my advice would be: Do not use your own supplies. Let them provide the cleaning supplies. Why? BC some ppl have allergies to certain scents and some like their houses cleaned with certain products and also it cuts down on what your actually getting paid. The checklist is a good idea though. GL

    Answer by theheartbaby at 7:14 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • Just have a clean background,gain good references,be honest,organized,and professional.

    Answer by sweetest-sin7 at 2:49 AM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • I do this now, however, I'm an independant contractor for a company. (Not sure about your states laws...) You may need to be insured and bonded. Also, are you going to charge tax? You need to be as legal as possible when doing this type of work. It will cover you and your customers. I highly reccommend you do not take your baby with you. There are too many "what ifs" that could happen. Not to mention, people who can afford/ want this type of service, want to know that you are going to be doing a thorough job. Not saying you won't be, but they may not look at it that way. As for using your own supplies, find out first if they have allergies/preferances. If you use your own, you can use all of your supplies as a right off come tax time. In fact, there are a lot of right offs you can have. The most important thing you need, is to be insured and bonded. You never know what could happen.

    Answer by jcsg at 6:19 AM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • I did this for years. You need a lot of energy. You decide what you do and don't do and anything else they want done is extra. You never provide any supplies. Don't charge by the hour no matter what the client wants. After you get into a routine you get a lot faster, but you're still doing the same amount of work. You shouldn't have to take a cut in pay for doing the same amount of work. I had clients who thought they could insist they pay by the hour. I always told them paying by the job protects us both. I could have an off day and it would cost them a lot more or I could rush through it, doing the same amount of work and get cheated. If they absolutely insist, tell them to find someone else, they'll change their tune. You own your business, they are your clients, you call the shots.

    Answer by LoriW at 5:18 PM on Mar. 14, 2009