A few weeks ago, I wrote about hiring professional movers and how, despite the stress that we encountered, we felt the service was totally worth it.
This week, I decided to focus on our experience of getting professional cleaners.
Ok, so I know what you’re thinking. These people are lazy, lazy as**s who waste their money hiring people for jobs that they could very well do themselves.
That is true. I won’t deny that.
BUT it actually worked in our favor to hire professionals.
To appreciate this a little better, I think I need to give a brief background on what we had to go through when we moved.
As shared in my old post, we needed to be out of Subic 2nd week of July..
The thing is, it was hard enough to look for a house in Manila given the short time frame. To make matters worse, we had a really small budget, but had pang- mayaman needs: We wanted to a house. Not a condo. Not a townhouse. A real, legit, suburban house. In Metro Manila. In a gated neighborhood. (See what I mean?) We also needed it to be relatively big since we will end up storing stuff from our real house when they start renovating. So yeah, we were THE couple that your real estate broker friends complain about.
BUT I am nothing if not tenacious. So after many insomniac nights scouring through ads, we found a place. Exactly within budget. And exactly in the neighborhood that we wanted. (Taking a moment to give myself a smug pat on the back).
There was a catch though. The house, to put it delicately, was a fixer upper. To put it non-delicately, I will quote my friend Boo: “Yuck Pi. It’s gross.”
I was ready to write this one off. As luck would have it, I was talking to the property manager about another house she was leasing out, and she informed me that they were actually about to renovate the icky house to make it more rentable. We didn’t have to spend a cent- we just had to wait til the 1st week of August to move in.
My husband and I discussed it, and we both agreed that this was the best we could do given our needs and our timeframe. So we decided to go for it.
In the meantime, our awesome friends (yey, Margaux and Dondon!) graciously offered to let us crash and mooch of them indefinitely.
The property manager also agreed to finish the major, dusty renovation work before the second week of July. That way, we could dump everything there and wait for the rest of the house to be finished.
Seemed like a plan right? Wrong. We’re the Villamors – nothing in our collective life has gone according to plan.
The manager was the nicest, sweetest old lady- but she was also a bit of a space cadet. So when I called her the last week of June to follow up on the house –she had totally forgotten that we were moving our things in 2 weeks (it was in the freakin’ contract for crying out loud)! They were not even close to finishing the target renovations.
To give ourselves credit, we had anticipated the delay. So we just simply called our movers and told them that although we were pushing through with transporting our things (it’s not as if we had a choice anyway), we would have to reschedule unpacking to a later date. Hopefully, this will prevent grubby renovation crap from getting on our stuff.
After another couple weeks of delay, the house was finally nearing completion and we were told that we could now move in.
But space cadet property manager, God bless her good intentioned soul, decided to get the cleaning out of the way BEFORE we were scheduled to unpack. So when we started unwrapping and unraveling our stuff, the dust sitting on the plastic wrappings and boxes went flying over the place, and the house was just a complete mess.
We patiently but firmly insisted that they had to redo general cleaning. And in all fairness to her, she did oblige.
When I told my friends Margaux and Boo about our latest setback however, they adamantly insisted that we hire professionals. They pointed out that aside from having all the dirt and grime from construction, we had no idea what mold, mildew and leftover previous- tenant -grossness was hiding in all those dark corners. WE NEEDED DEEP CLEANING.
It took me a while to heed their advice . I was already scandalized with the amount of money we’ve spent on the movers to begin with. I didn’t want to spend on professional cleaners on top of that.
BUT I visited the house one last time, and realized begrudgingly that no amount of amateur scrubbing and mopping will make the house liveable.
So (sigh) we decided, once again, to stretch our budgets and just get professionals.
ON GREEN GRACE SUCCESS INC.
Margaux recommended her go-to cleaners to help us out. I contacted Mike Gamez, the owner of the company directly. And he personally came to the house along with his chief cleaner before giving us a quote.
It was not cheap.
But I have to tell you something about Margaux – her kuripot tendencies put my daddy to shame. And if she was she was willing to splurge on their service, then they must be REALLY, REALLY GOOD.
Sure enough, these guys were worth it. They were fast and thorough. They cleaned every corner, shelf, drawer, railing and vent that they could find with very minimal mando-ing. Apart from that, they also cleaned all our aircon units and disinfected our pillows and mattresses.
Our agreement just covered everything inside the house– but I guess they were a bit horrified at the state of our veranda and dirty kitchen – so they offered to scrub those as well.
I loved that they had all these professional looking equipment – aside from using rags, mops and cleaning agents – they had this really wicked high-tech Grunheim super machine – it’s this vacuum, steamer and sterilizer in one! (Dude, the things that excite me now. It’s pitiful really.)
The machine was attached to a container which you’re supposed to fill up with water. While they were cleaning, we could see the water getting darker and darker as it sucked in all the grossness out of the house. Talk about instant gratification! ;p
I also love how professional their cleaners were. They were respectful, efficient and amiable. They even brought their own baon!! Of course, we ended up buying them lunch anyway – but all suppliers we’ve dealt with ever automatically assume that free meals were part of the deal – so to work with people who were actually willing to feed themselves is a BIG DEAL.
(It’s like when family and friends come to Subic. We’re gracious hosts, so we like treating them out – but at the same time, you kinda expect them to reach out for their wallets. That’s all I want metaphorically- a reach. I am more than happy to pay for your meal. But demur a little- it’s the polite thing to do. 😛 )
WHEN SHOULD YOU HIRE PROFESSIONAL CLEANERS
Anyway, I’ve disgressed enough. This is probably not what you have bargained for. So just to wrap things up:When should you hire professional cleaners?
After construction/renovation -Tidying up after renovations may be part of your contractor’s job; but, based on my personal experience and anecdotes from friends, they do not always do a thorough enough job. So I suggest for your peace of mind, hire someone to do a once over before you move in.
Before moving to an occupied rental/permanent house– You have no idea if previous tenants did nasty stuff in there. It doesn’t hurt to be a little extra hygienic. (Just watch an episode of hoarders and you’ll know what I’m talking about).
Every 6- months – I talked to Green Grace about this, and they recommended investing in thorough cleaning every 6 months. I was watching them work on our rental, and I realized that there is no way we can clean our place the way they do. We simply don’t have the time, nor the equipment. Ofcourse, we could invest in those high-tech machines and do it ourselves (they do sell them if anyone is interested) – but those things cost hundreds of thousands. So no.
I’ve spent my money on more ridiculous items – so why not invest in making sure that my house is clean, safe and germ-free?
Anyway, that is my take on hiring professionals in general: You can actually do it yourself, but probably not as thoroughly and efficiently as they can.
Is it a lazy ass move? Probably. But for me, making sure that these practical errands are taken cared of by trusted experts gives us more leeway to spend our time and energy doing other productive things. So in the end, it pays off.