My professional work experience is in the hotel industry. As the manager of a few different small properties I hired and trained a great deal of housekeepers. Some people may think that being a hotel “maid” is a simple job that anyone can do. This simply isn’t true. Sure, almost anyone can TRY to clean a motel room but only the dedicated will succeed. From time to time I am given the opportunity to draw upon my past work knowledge to hire and train one of my husband’s new employees. This task was much easier when I was still working because I had so many useful resources, not to mention that I did it regularly so it was very natural. Now things are more difficult.
As I was trying to recall the room cleaning processes required by my employees of the past I began to realize how useful these techniques would be for cleaning a personal home. Hotel chains requires their rooms to be cleaned in about 45 minutes for a large room with many amenities (such as a Hampton Inn) and about 25 minutes for a small room with few amenities (such as a Motel 6). Motel housekeepers are typically required to clean 10-15 rooms per day. How do they manage it? To be successful they must have a system.
Here is the daily cleaning checklist I gave to the housekeepers at the motels I managed. I believe we will be more successful on cleaning day if we have a plan. I know I don’t have 15 bathrooms in my house but if a motel housekeeper can clean that many bathrooms in one day I should be able to clean my house from top to bottom in only a few hours.
1- 1- Clear out all trash and dirty linens (in a personal home changing linens on Laundry day makes for one less thing to do on cleaning day).
2- 2- Clean the bathroom:
a. Spray the shower walls and the bath tub with a mild disinfectant spray. Wipe with a clean DRY rag (never use water to clean a bathroom - except the INSIDE of the toilet- !).
b. Use a toilet bowl disinfectant to clean the inside of the toilet, especially underneath the rim. (I prefer to use a rag and scrub with my -gloved- hand, toilet brushes gross me out!)
c. Spray the entire exterior of the toilet with disinfectant, including the pedestal connecting to the floor. Wipe with a clean DRY rag.
d. Spray the counter top and sink with a disinfectant spray. Wipe with a clean DRY rag.
e. Clean mirrors, sink faucets and bathtub faucets with window cleaner.
f. Mop floor, being careful to remove all hair.
i. General instructions: use a clean rag for each section of the bathroom.
ii. Never use water except on the inside of the toilet.
iii. Keep all dirty rags wrapped tightly to prevent hair from falling out.
3- 3- Dust furniture
4- 4- Make Beds
5- 5- Vacuum yourself out of the room.
The key to cleaning your house as if it was a hotel is to have all the “stuff” put away. That means all toys, clothes, junk mail, shoes, and clutter. Hotel maids aren’t required to clean around stuff and neither should you. Our houses should be junk free for a few hours at least once a week.
I am also a large supporter of having someone help you with the dirty work, especially the floors and bathrooms. Many people assume it must cost a fortune to hire someone to come into your home to help, but if you keep your eyes peeled you can find someone to help you for 10-15 dollars per hour. Unless you have a monstrous house with 7 or 8 bathrooms you should need only 2-3 hours of help every other week. That is between $40 and $90 per month, a small expense when you take into consideration the increase to the value of your house. Bathroom fixtures will last a life time if they are cleaned regularly, however they may need to be replaced after only 5 – 10 years if they are not properly taken care of.
I realize for some people this may be an expense that simply does not fit into their budget. That’s okay! I suggest finding a friend who feels the same way you do who would be willing to swap a few hours of work each week. On the first and third week of the month spend 2 hours cleaning one house; on the second and fourth week of the month spend 2 hours cleaning the other house. Work is always more fun with a friend and you will get twice as much done. Just knowing you have a friend coming over to help will force you to de-clutter so the rooms and bathrooms can be cleaned like a hotel. Focus on cleaning the bathrooms, the floors, and doing a quick surface dust.
The average size of a house in the United States is 2330 square feet with 2 ½ bathrooms. The average hotel room is 450 square feet and most housekeepers are required to clean about 12 rooms per day. That means they are cleaning 5400 square feet of floor space, 12 bathrooms, and making 12-24 beds all in about 6 hours. This seems like an incredible work load but they manage it because of a few very important issues:
1- The bathrooms are cleaned REGULARLY (daily at a busy property) which means there is rarely any heavy build up on the plumbing fixtures.
2- They aren’t working around clutter, toys, trash, food, etc. There is nothing to ‘put away’, if there does happen to be some food or trash in the room they throw it out.
3- They have a system that includes a logical path of travel throughout the space and they do NOT clean with water.
A clean house is like an organized house; a CONSTANT work in progress. My house is nowhere near as clean as it could be (I once had a housekeeper tell me, “everywhere I look everything is just SO dirty!!”). But I do dedicate my Tuesdays to making it clean and I have a cleaning schedule (click HERE to see the schedule I have hanging on my broom closet door) that works well for me and my life. I figure one day the kids will be smart enough to use a door knob instead of the glass and their aim to the toilet will improve (or they will learn to sit down!). And perhaps they won’t continue to eat ketchup with every meal or wear their muddy boots in the house. Until then I will do my best to provide a comfortable place for my family to live. I challenge you to do the same! I firmly believe this is something we can all do to drastically increase our value of lives.
Check out my post on having a "Clean Kitchen"
Interested in purchasing the cleaning products I use, check out the SHOP page
Cleaning is nearly impossible if you are having a difficult time 'Managing Clutter' - start with first things first!
Laundry got you down? There is a correct way to do that too! How to Do Laundry