What Makes Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours, The Best Cleaning Company In Central Michigan To Hire?

Since 1979, Pam Babcock, has been house cleaning homes in Lansing, East Lansing, Okemos, Haslett, DeWitt, Williamston, Grand Ledge, Mason, Dimondale, Delta Township, and Holt, as a company.

This company is my job, my career, my vocation, my trade, and my profession.
My passion is the continuing development of this company.  Since 1979 my customers and employees have gone through many changes, the result is the demand for a changing management, creative but compassionate innovation and diligent perception of the changes in order to provide what is required to be the best cleaning company in this area.  Customer needs and expectations change, evolving from the demands of the changing economy – along many times with the need for more assistance caring for their homes but less income to acquire the assistance.  Employee needs and expectations change (also as with customers, employees’ economic needs have changed), but probably the biggest change is managing the employee needs to motivate the integrity of their work.  With this Company’s prime assets, being customers and employees, and Pam Babcock having the passion in the company’s management and enjoying the passion’s highs and lows is why you should hire us to clean your house.

This Company is Pam Babcock’s livelihood.

Selecting people to hire to clean your home is not an easy job.  Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours listens, reviews and does back ground checks on every employee; the during this process the most important point I stress to potential employees is that understanding their job is to understand and care about each and every customer’s expectation of their work; they need to know working for Pam Babcock is not just knowing how to clean properly (adhering to our strict high standards of cleaning), but it is to know how to clean each customer’s home.

Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours utilizes employees not contractors or sub-contractors.  Below you will learn about our obligation in paying and withholding the Federal and State taxes and our obligation in providing insurances to benefit both customers and employees.

We are honest.  This Company offers all types of cleaning, but we will not perform “lick and promise” cleanings, and we make no promise to perform every cleaning chore possible to perform with each and every service.  Without the customer willing to pay for a “Spring Cleaning” it is simply impossible to spend the amount of time required to perform each and every cleaning chore with each service.  Please do not take this wrong, as a Company owner, I would love to be able to clean your entire home, every in-dept cleaning chore with each and every service.  My employees would love to have the allowed time to positively perform every possible cleaning chore in each of their assigned homes (although, they would not have as many homes scheduled to them).  And with currently having 400 customers, I would love a cottage on Mackinaw Island and a luxury car, say a Maserati Granturismo S 4.7L V8 to cruise in, off the island of course.

We are a very good cleaning company, we perform excellent work.  We use buckets and rags to clean with, not mops and feather dusters.  We perform more cleaning chores with each service than other local cleaning companies provide.  Our service is more thorough than other local cleaning companies.

It is natural for us to clean your windows, wash your dishes, make your beds, climb a ladder to take the ceiling light globes down and wash them and vacuum your dog beds; whereas a lot of other cleaning companies will not climb ladders, consider washing dishes not their job or charge extra for some of the typical cleaning chores we do perform.  Being honest, I, Pam Babcock, tell customers they pay for the time it takes to perform a cleaning chore.  I train our employees to perform cleaning chores properly and efficiently but there is a time difference in licks and promises and cleaning with integrity; such as, using a feather duster going over a dresser and the items or from removing the items from the dresser, dusting the top, sides, front
and back and dusting or cleaning each item as they are replaced on the dresser.

Our type of cleaning is not new.  Years of the past, house cleaning was a continuous chore, taking women all day long usually 6 days.  Now our customers do not have the availability of a person spending that time cleaning their house.  Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours’ s job for the customer is to provide that same type of cleaning, of washing not wiping, of moving not going around, of climbing  or reaching to instead of ignoring, and of scrubbing and not spraying floors, tubs, showers, sinks and many other objects making up a house.  The same type of cleaning performed years of the past.

This Company does price check other local cleaning companies, we  do not do so to offer service pennies lower than other companies; we do so to make sure Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours will give you the best cleaning service at a fair competitor cleaning rate; although as far as I know we have much lower hourly cleaning rate than local competing cleaning companies.

Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours is proud of our employees and their work and we believe we do have the best customers in the area.

Do You Require Contracts?

No.  Since we know we must earn your continued trust on each visit, we don’t require contracts.  We depend on the superb quality of our service, with open communication and your candid evaluation of our service.  If you are happy, tell a friend.

We appreciate when you let us know how we can serve you better.

Are Your House Cleaning Service Individuals And Teams Trained And Supervised?

Individual and team members are trained before they’re permitted to enter your home.  Training can take 6 weeks or more.

Training continues as we learn about new products/methods and to reinforce prior training.  Supervisors make periodic visits to homes to ensure we’re meeting cleaning service commitments.  Pam works in the field with employees most every day; the employees do not know when she will stop at which cleaning service since she does this randomly.

How Do I Know I Can Trust Your Staff?

I, Pam, believe hiring employees and the training period is the most difficult part of my job.  During interviews, and throughout employment, Pam maintains she must feel comfortable having each employee in her home while she, herself, is gone.  She accepted 30 years ago that if she or any supervisor gets a “funny” or “strange” feeling about any employee, then that employee needs to be released from her employment immediately with no questions asked.  Pam regularly plants coins and paper money in homes before an employee arrives at a customer’s home to clean.  Employees are instructed to place any found coins, paper money or other valuables, that appear to have been dropped, on the nearest clean surface for the customer to find.  

We pride ourselves on attracting the best talent available. Combining hourly wages and bonus programs we offer some of the best pay in the industry – Pam has always been the wage setter for housecleaners in the Lansing and surrounding areas.

It can not even be estimated how many applications have been turned down, even if they had current house cleaning experiences.  Applicants are thoroughly reference checked, employee background checked, trained and tested.  Pam sends dependable and trust worthy employees to clean your home.  If we would not trust someone in to clean our own home or office, we’re not going to send them to clean yours.

We screen our house cleaners carefully, we train meticulously, we inspect relentlessly and we insure adequately. We do all this so that you can have the highest confidence to trust us with the care of your home.  [See: How Do You Find And Keep Quality Service Providers? and How Are Your Employees Screened?]

How Do You Find And Keep Quality Service Providers?

When we hire, as many as 20 potential employees are set up to be interviewed in one day.  If we are lucky 4 out of the 20 will be qualified for reference and background checks, usually 1 or 2 of those 4 will be chosen to start training.  Much of the time, none of the probationary employees work out, and we need to start the hiring process again.  On an average, at least 50% of our employees work for us for 5-7 years, 20% for between 8-14 years, another 20% up to 25 years.  The remaining 10% are employees that tend to leave with 6 months from employment or that are let go with that “gut” feeling.   We want women that are looking to use this opportunity to support themselves during their education, want extra income for the family or have
chosen to make a career change. We take the time to do back-ground checks to ensure our client’s safety and my staff works side-by-side with them until we feel they are ready to work solo! We also pay well with bonuses to ensure we keep our quality people.

How Are Your Employees Screened?

Every way legally imaginable.  Over the last few years we have been hiring through the Michigan Works First Program and through direct reference from current employees and customers.  Then there is the first one on one interview.  Papers are filled out by the potential employee and if the paper work responses are acceptable the interview may take as long or longer than one hour for each potential employee.  The next step is checking out the references and past employments.  We do random drug and alcohol testing and request police reports.  Now days most past employers will give only minimum information.  If I get a “NO” answer for this questions: “I am an employer of house cleaners.  House cleaners, who work alone in customer’s homes.  Sometimes they have keys to customer’s homes.  Would you want this person to have a key to your home and cleaning your home alone?’, then the employment process stops; unless the answer would be that that employer would not mind at all.

Then another interview is performed and if more checking would seem appropriate then the employment process stops here before any hiring is done.  If all reports check out and the second interview synchronizes with the reports and Pam’s gut feelings then the employee is usually hired at that point.  But from my (Pam) experience this is not the “tell – tell” stage.  Once the stage of trying to impress and trying to gain trust has passed, our supervisors and myself have our antenna on alert.

I, Pam, care about the professional reputation of house cleaners.

Who Will Be Cleaning My Home?

A regularly assigned individual or team of house cleaners who have been professionally trained will clean your home.  An individual or team that will provide excellent service, that you will feel comfortable with, someone who will respect and care for your privacy and valuable possessions.

For any reason you are not 100% comfortable, even if you do not like the color of fingernail polish, with who gets assigned to clean your home just talk with Pam and she will assign someone different.

Do You Send An Individual Or A Team Of House Cleaners?

We have about 29 background checked employees. When we introduce a house cleaner to your home there will be a supervisor and “your” cleaning person.  Thereafter your house cleaner will work alone in your home.  Although often we do send a supervisor out to customer homes to evaluate the cleaning being performed and sometimes the supervisor may work with your house cleaner.

Will You Send The Same House Cleaner/s Each Time?

Of course.  We make every effort to schedule you with the same individual each service.   There is a advantage of having at least 2 employees knowing your home, if one is absent or takes a vacation the other can clean your home as you are accustomed to.

Are Pam Babcock’s Employees Insured?

Yes, Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours & Co. carries liability insurance, bond and workman’s comp, all through LIG Insurance and Financial Group, Justin Lowell of Grand Ledge MI.  Although we have a remarkably low occurrence of breakages or damage caused by an employee we do carry liability insurance and our agent is mentioned below since the same agent provides all of Pam Babcock’s insurances / both personal and business.

Am I Liable For Worker's Compensation?

Many homeowners are not aware of their personal liability regarding work related injury for independent home-service workers.  No need to worry, Pam takes care of all this for you.   As with our liability insurance, our worker’s compensation insurance is through LIG Insurance and Financial Group, Justin Lowell, of Grand Ledge, MI.

Am I Liable For Employment Taxes?

Home owners are liable for unemployment, social security and medicare taxes for independent home-service workers.   Pam never hires independent contractors and all of her workers are employed by her and the Company pays these taxes; not only to relieve the customer of this liability, but, this is an earned benefit for each of employees that give their time to work for us.

What If Something Is Damaged During The Cleaning?

We realize the nature of cleaning requires our staff to touch virtually all surface items within one’s home.  If you have any irreplaceable or high value items in your home, please notify the office and house cleaner so we do not risk damaging them.

We treat your home with complete care and respect.  However, should damage or breakage occur while we are cleaning, Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours & Co. will make every effort to repair or if necessary, replace the item.  When appropriate, insurance claims will be filed.

Are My Valuables Safe With You?

We do require you to inform us if you have any special valuables, heirlooms or irreplaceable items, please put them away or instruct us not to touch them. Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours & Co. carry all the necessary insurances in the event that any damage occurs.

Do You Have References?

Certainly.  Call (517) 374–0004, or send us an email at contact@mychoresareyours.com, and we’ll be glad to send you a copy right away.

What Kind Of Services Do You Offer?

1.  A regular or routine house cleaning is a thorough common or regular list of chores each services. We clean your home from top to bottom, including bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, main rooms.  Vacuum, clean, shine, dust, disinfect, and straighten the appearance in all rooms. There is an additional 19 rotational chores that are chores that need to be performed but not on every service, such as washing baseboards, windows and ceiling fixtures.  Most customers allow their house cleaner to develop their own method of performing these chores.  House cleaners are instructed to leave a Rotational Jobs Sheet to inform the customer just which rotational chore was done on the day of service.  We do have a 3 hour minimum.

2. “Spring” cleaning, move-in house cleaning, or a move-out house cleaning, cleaning service includes everything in the above routine house cleaning with the 19 rotational chores also performed at the same time, and many times even other chores are included.   Having everything sanitized, shining and sparking with a Spring cleaning is just what you want when you are moving into a new home, or when you want to have your home more saleable in today’s market, and even when one is trying to rent our their home…a Spring cleaning is just more appealing.    Including in our chores with this type of cleaning is cleaning the outside of the refrigerator, inside and outside of cupboards doors (drawers and cabinet fronts), windows and even the window tracks.  We spot clean the walls and light fixtures.  If the customer wants and allows the hourly cleaning fee to accumulate, walls and ceilings can be washed.  Many times we have washed the ceilings and or walls and the customer informed us that they were so well cleaned that the painter was canceled.  For move-in and move-out cleanings we even clean inside of closets, drawers and cupboards.

3.  Some customers are on a more restricted budget for house cleaning and want only some of the chores we offer done.

Our job to the help make your life easier, not be a burden.  This type of service changes with each customer.  It may be for us to come in and sweep, vacuum and or wash all floors; or for us to clean only the bathrooms and kitchen.  Customers pay for the time it takes to perform cleaning chores, we do not mind in helping.  We do have a 3 hour minimum in most areas, others the minimum may be longer.  This is our Priority Cleaning.  Do you want us to clean items that are difficult for you to clean, fold your laundry and even take out your dishes to clean those shelves – then replace the dishes?  We can and we have polished silver, brass and marble. With this type of cleaning the chores may change according to what the customer needs us to do on that cleaning day.

4.  House cleaning customized to your specifications.  Sometimes situations occur where a customer would not normally need house cleaning help but for some reason, surgery or injury as an example, now they need someone else to get on their hands and knees to wash the floors and baseboards, to clean the chair rungs and other objects where a certain body position can not be obtained by the customer.  Then maybe the customer finds he or she actually appreciates a house cleaner performing those chores and we stay servicing them.  There are many situations where only certain chores are performed in a customer’s home, this is customized.  Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours has quite a few customers in which the house cleaning lady is assigned for a certain number of hours just to be of any help the customer wants performed, as long as it pertains to the house and not activities like roofing, electrical or plumbing (handyman work) we are happy to be of assistance.  This type of service is also scheduled for many of our customers whom have regular full service every other week but then a customized, less number of hours, cleaning on the opposite every other week cleanings.

We are pretty flexible.  What ever the type of cleaning assistance  you feel you need – call Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours!  

Communicate what your needs are and what your budget is, talk with Pam and we are sure you can find an easy solution for your cleaning needs by adjusting the type of cleaning that will be designed just for you.

Any thing else?   Call or email Pam, and let us talk about what you want done.

What Is The Difference Between "Regular Cleaning" and "Spring Cleaning"?

“Spring Cleaning”, means everything from top-to-bottom is cleaned and nothing is left untouched.  Everything is scrubbed to remove stains or dirt.  Often Pam needs to schedule a crew to get the job done in one day.   Some other companies declare this type of cleaning only takes about twice as long as regular or a basic cleaning.   I do not understand this and I have not seen the scrub brushes, buckets and ladders used (in fact many cleaning companies do not allow their house cleaners on ladders) on these twice as long as basic cleanings that equal a detailed or Spring cleaning.  A detailed or Spring cleaning is expensive AND it is awesome!   “Basic Cleaning” is a maintenance cleaning; chores that make it a detailed cleaning get rotated in.

Can I Leave A Note For The house cleaner?

Sometimes notes are the only way a customer and house cleaner communicate.  Sometimes the customer needs to trade a regularly performed cleaning chore with a chore that is not usually not performed in their home (sometimes certain rooms are eliminated from our cleaning responsibilities to reduce a cleaning fee) because of special occasions or guests are visiting or even just because.

It is important, even more important that any tip, for a customer to let the house cleaner know they are appreciated.

Or, a customer wishes to communicate with the house cleaner, instead of calling the company office, about what they expect, lets say:  “Hi Patty, everything looks great.  I love coming home on the days your clean.  I have noticed that the dog leaves nose and paw prints on the patio door in the den.  I would like those prints removed from the patio door each service.  I know the drapes are usually closed and you do need to open them in order to notice the prints, if you just add this chore on your customer duty card it will be easier to remember.  Thanks for all of the hard work you do for me.  Sally.”

We strive to know each customer and their cleaning needs, being human sometimes we do need reinforcement from the customer.

Employees definitely like notes about their work and about what is expected of them, I do find that if a customer repeats expectations for the sake of “just having a reminder in the cleaners face” with notes that are possibly in a computer file and printed for each service, the employee is not as likely to take the time to re-read the “seen many times note”…and this is the time that the customer happens to remove, change or add something – failed communication.  Human nature.  So please make sure the notes left for the house cleaner is not just a generated note.  One possible method of correcting this problem is to put a sticky note on the duplicate generated note.  Just remember, if the note takes 20 minutes to read, 20 minutes are taken away from the cleaning.  And, I apologize for the couple of house cleaners that leave you long notes, too.

I tell the house cleaners, short, sweet and to the point.

Can I Get A Estimate Over The Phone?

Sure! We don’t want to waste your time if our prices do not coincide with your budget.  In the past 10 years, 15% of our cleaning jobs are results of phone estimates.  Our conversation will be a verbal walk through at your home so we can take into consideration things like size, number and types of flooring, amount of traffic in the home, the amount of furniture and furnishings and condition. This way you can point out things that are of particular importance to you and we will know just how you want things done.

Can I Get An Estimate Online?

Yes, Just click the web site the MORE button on the top of the page then the Online Estimate button and fill out the form, then click submit.  Do not forget to include your email address.

How Does The Estimate Proceed If I Am Now Using A Cleaning Service?

I find that most potential customers whom call me have been dissatisfied for a length of time before they start calling around.

I first ask if the concerns were addressed with their current cleaning service.  Then I ask if enough time was allowed for the house cleaner to perform the chores that are being neglected.  At this point the potential customer usually state that yes the concerns were addressed and there was discussion of paying for more time for the missed work to be done.  

A lot of cleaning companies ask for a fee that is based on the square footage of the home; I find the customers of these companies become dissatisfied early on.  Most companies build their profit by getting as many homes cleaned squeezed into a day; charging flat fees for this cleaning.  The more homes each team can clean in one day the more profit for the company.  A common practice is for the team to spend enough time to perform the desired chores for 2-4 services; then the team starts to spend less and less time in the new customer’s home – and another home is added to be cleaned on that same day.  The average customer gives the cleaning company the “benefit of good will or good faith” and maybe just leaves a note for another service or two before calling the company to express their concerns.  Usually the response is that their concerns will be discussed with the team leader.  Of course this puts the team leader and team on the spot because at this point the teams may be cleaning 3-6 homes on that day.  (3-4 if the team consists of 2 cleaners, and more if the number of the team cleaners is larger)  The team just can not give the needed time to care for the customer’s concerns and still complete their assigned homes to be cleaned.  What happens then is:  1.)  the teams do perform the chores of concern – for a couple of services [while shorting another home], then goes back shorting the customer but maybe with different cleaning chores; or, 2.)  the team does care for the concerns of the customer, but in dong so must neglect other chores [The company knows that the customer most likely will check on the work of the concerns to see that they were cared for but it will be a while before the customer notices other concerns.]; or,  3.)  the team leader expresses to the customer that they are doing the best they can and try to cover the concerned areas; but this is usually just words; or,  4.)  the customer starts talking with family, friends and co-workers about her cleaning concerns and finds that a lot of people have the same concerns but the consensus is that they need what work is done, done.  But at this point the company will much rather have the customer drop their service, or drop them in their own way [usually my missed cleaning appointments and reschedules until the customer drops their service with frustration]; there are enough “customers” in the Lansing and surrounding cities for them to behave this way.

I do give ideas and suggestions to the potential customer, I will even send out one of our “rotational jobs sheet” to help the customer to express their concerns to their current cleaning service.  I would much rather for one of my customers to know they are with the right cleaning company.  

Yes I would like new business; but, I am not about to steal customers.

Having been in the cleaning business for well over 40 years, I do know of some of the other company’s practices and behavior.  If it sounds as if the potential customer really does desire to keep service with their current company then I do suggest things they may do; but I do tell them if they do want to switch to give me another call.  I do not want new customers whom want us to come in for a couple of hours to perform chores other company’s cleaners miss.  This has happened, and my employees do find this degrading.

If the potential customer is not using a cleaning company but an individual cleaner then my procedure is a little different.  A lot of the times I talk with the potential customer about how to address the concerns he or she has.  Sometimes the problem is that their cleaning lady is finishing up her education, is getting older, has health issues, or, has added responsibilities in her personal life or is struggling with undesired situations.  I find that my employees do not mind coming in their home to clean missed chores if the current house cleaner is aging; this is usually scheduled for a different day from the individual’s cleaning day to try to “save” the aging faithful cleaner’s feelings.  But with other problems, I respect how my employees feel about
their own work.

If you do have concerns with your current customer, I, Pam, do not mind talking with you about them and suggesting possible solutions.  Just call me at (517) 374–0004.

Does The First Time House Cleaning Take Longer?

House cleaning is hard work. Sometimes when we start a new home we find that areas of cleaning have not been done; for whatever reason –not enough time, health issues, or simply these chores are not enjoyed.  We do appreciate any extra time allowed for our first cleaning of your home.

It takes longer to clean a tub or shower that has a lot of build up than a tub that’s been cleaned frequently; unless the customer is willing to pay for a “Spring” cleaning or even any amount of extra time, the home will be gradually caught up.

We certainly get new customers whose home is already is good shape and we just start our regular cleaning with adding 1 or 2 rotational jobs chores each service and the house is easily maintained.  In fact more than 75% of the new homes we get are in pretty good shape.

If the home is not in sparkling high standard we love to start out with a Spring cleaning and then follow through with a regular cleaning schedule.  

Budgets are realities for all levels of economical stages, if the home needs to be caught up, we do appreciate any extra hours a customer is willing to pay for on the first service.  

There is usually a couple of new customers each year in where I stress very strongly extra hours for us to get the home in good enough shape as to where the house cleaner will not dread going to work on that scheduled day of cleaning.

How Long Will The Cleaners Be In Our Home?

Only as long as it takes to do the job right. Our expenses are hourly just like yours so our goal is to get it done as fast and professionally as possible.

Before service is started you and the company agree on the minimum amount of time the company is willing to clean your home and maximum amount of time you are willing to pay for cleaning.  More chores do get performed with more time.

How Often Do You Come To My Home And Clean?

We try and set a schedule based on the needs of your home.  The idea is to do it often enough to keep it consistently clean and far enough in between services so that it is economical as possible.
Most of our customers are on an every-other week cleaning schedule.  

Another popular cleaning schedule is where we perform a regular whole  house clean every other week and come in for a couple or few hours on the off every other week.  Pam calls this a Full / Partial, Full / Partial Clean.  An example:  every other week 6 hours (whole house clean) and every other week 3 hours (bathrooms, kitchen, foyer, family room or what ever the customer wants – but not a whole house clean.  Some customers have us do only floors; sweep, vac, wash or whatever the floors need, we are flexible with doing what you want done.)

We certainly have our weekly cleaning customers; even a few twice or 3 times a week.  And we have every 4 weeks cleaning jobs.

Our job is to assist you in having the time to do other things instead of cleaning your home.

What If I Would Like Something Cleaned That Is Not Part Of Your House Cleaning Service?

Employees of Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours & Co. are insured to perform any job relating to house cleaning.  This does include cleaning the garage, even a shed if that is what you want cleaned.  But we are not insured to mow a lawn, take your car to get it washed or even washing your car or planting your tulip bulbs.  We could technically wash the siding on your house and wash your third story outside windows, but we will not.

But if you want your house cleaner to take everything out of your cupboards to clean and or put down cupboard paper –  she can do it.  Call me, Pam, if you do not know if we can do the chore you want us to do.

What Will Your House Cleaners Do In My Home?

Types of cleaning services we offer includes the Regular – Routine cleaning; the Spring cleaning; the Priority Cleaning and the Custom Cleaning.  Visit the Services Page of this web site for a more in-depth list of tasks. We can easily customize a cleaning program to fit your home’s unique needs.

What If There Is More Work Than Expected?

We can give you a call if we have time to do more for the same visit, and you can just pay an additional hourly. Or, we can schedule a return visit quickly.

Will Your Team Get On Step Ladders To Clean High Areas?

Yes our employees may get on ladders to clean ceiling fixtures, tops of your cabinets, inside windows [we do clean outside windows on ladders for the first floor – now many windows are tilt-ins and all the windows no matter on what floor can be cleaned] and mirrors.  Some employees are more comfortable that others on ladders or on various heights of the ladder so call me, Pam and if you need something cleaned that needs a ladder I will see if we will clean it.

We are insured to get on ladders if they are required to perform a cleaning job.  This is a chore that is NOT excludable in insurance coverage, as some companies claim.

How Do You Determine Rates?

Since this Company is Pam Babcock’s livelihood, she is very concerned that customers are retained under her care for as long as they need a house cleaning service.  The hourly rate is reviewed periodically with those of other cleaning company’s rates.

 You can be assured you are not paying above the local rates and with the type of cleaning provided you will get the most value for your dollar.

Our fees are based on the actual time it takes to clean your home and we charge by the quarter hour. We do have a minimum of 3 hours for one cleaner and a minimum of 1.5 hours for two house cleaners.  Lets say 2 house cleaners are assigned to your home for 3 hours each.  This would come to 6 hours of work and then your cleaning fee for that service would be 6 times the going rate.

The time needed to clean your home is based on what you as a customer expects and on what your home requires.  Some homes have all carpet, some all hard flooring, some mixed; some homes have fiberglass showers and others stone or ceramic shower walls; some homes have spacious living areas and some homes have more compacted living areas with more furniture.  Even though square footage is used,  more important factors are the house’s activity, family size, number of pets and types of surfaces.  Another couple important factors are the amount of cleaning the customer does between the company’s regular scheduled cleanings and the household’s habits of organization.

Estimates are estimates, if we ever need more time than given as an estimate, we need to get permission from the customer first.  Sometimes we do not need the time quoted in an estimate and from what the customer pays for; then we need to make restitution.  
Following is an insert of a response to a customer’s request for an online cleaning estimate or cleaning quote:

“Since our employees are paid by the quarter hour, I do keep a running account on customers too.  [for 30 years I billed customers and still record customers hours in the same program]  Depending on the home and house cleaner, house cleaners may create a more automatic system of cleaning the more they clean a home there will be times when she will not need the full amount of time your payment will reflect.  If a credit builds up in a customer’s account then I ask the customer if they want to use that credit to reduce their next cleaning price, to accumulate enough for a free cleaning, or as many customers have chosen to do – give a cleaning as a gift to a friend or relative.  We do have a 3 hour minimum.  

EXAMPLE (your needed hours may be different):  
Lets say we agree that 8 hours is fair for every other week cleanings and our hourly rate is $60.00 – ($480.00) and, the first cleaning takes 8 hours, this will come to $480.00 and second cleaning takes 7.5 hours; this will come to $450.00.  Then the third cleaning takes only 6.5 hours to clean; this will come to $390.00.  And then the fourth cleaning takes 8 hours to clean, this will come to $480.00.  Then maybe the fifth cleaning takes 7 hours; this will come to $420.00. At this point the customer would have a credit of $180.00.

We do not operate as some cleaning companies do; where a fee is given to the customer to pay, the customer leaves the payment and then “sometimes” the house cleaners do stay the time communicated as needed and “sometimes – often” those house cleaners try to hurry and leave is a much shorter time that communicated as needed in order to “take on” another house that day.  Often other cleaning companies pay their employees or contractors by the job.  

Our rates and our dedication to you remain the same whether you book us for a one-time cleaning or sign up for weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly [every 4th week] service.
House cleaning services have 2 primary ways of charging you, (and paying their employee) for the cleaning; either by the job (a few Spring Cleanings are by the job), or by the hour.  
The employees of Pam Babcock – My Chores Are Yours are paid well with bonuses and contests offering money gifts or appliance gifts.  They are paid by the hour, so there is no advantage of them rushing through any customer’s home.  Besides the basic employee raises we do often give merit raises for satisfied customers, good work habits and fine work ethics.

How Much Will It Cost To Clean My House?

Every house is unique, and every cleaning fee is individually based.   Things that will affect the amount of your house cleaning estimate include the size of your home, number of residents, number of pets, number of bathrooms, how often you want us to clean, etc. We have a standardized formula for calculating each individual cleaning estimate in a uniform way.  If you would like to see what kinds of information is gathered to estimate your house cleaning fees, simply select “Online Estimate” from the Menu above.  After talking with you about cleaning your house a more concise cleaning fee will be confirmed.

Will All House Cleaning Visits Cost The Same Amount?

The first house cleaning visit usually costs more than subsequent visits.  Generally, it takes additional cleaning tasks to get the home up to My Chores Are Yours’ standards. We will contact you for authorization for more time in the event your house cleaners considers it necessary.

Once your home is up to our standards, your home’s cleanliness can be easily maintained with our regular visit cleaning tasks.  

What Are Your Rates For Your House Cleaning Service?

Our hourly cleaning rate does change over a period of time.  In the last 30 years I have increased the hourly cleaning rate only 10 times.  Call, 374-0004 and Pam Babcock will walk you through our cleaning processes and provide you with a price for a service that has been created to fit your specific needs.   We provide free, no obligation estimates for cleaning service right over the phone!  Our Online Estimates are not as accurate as the phone estimate.  Not too far off, but the online estimate form is new and also a new concept for us.  After talking with you, the Online Estimate can change to more or less.

We have specials and coupons running many times each year.  If you come in as a new customer during one of the offered specials we honor that rate for a minimum of 1 year.

Can I Get A Gift Certificate?

Pam Babcock has a gift certificate program which allows you to give the gift of a clean fresh home to a friend or loved one.

Our gift certificates are great ideas for weddings, birthdays, new moms & dads or just a very original way to say “I’m thinking of you.”

A Gift Certificate may be mailed to you or you may receive a Gift Certificate as an attachment through email.

Can I Purchase Your Service For Someone Else?

Yes.  Often we provide cleaning service for a customer where the payment comes from another source.

How Do I Make My Payment?

Payments are either made with a check left at the home or services and gift certificates may be made online, click the payment methods button, enter payment amount include 5% for the convenience fee of online payments and follow instructions.  Your My Chores Are Yours account will be charged the convenience fee.

Payment is due at or before the time of service.

Most customers leave the payment on the kitchen counter, some on the refrigerator and others do mail the payment in advance of the cleaning service.

We accept cash or check.   If you do not intend to be at home at time of service you may choose to either leave cash or a check on the kitchen counter the morning of your house cleaning.  If it takes less time than we estimated, we will refund the difference or apply it to our next visit, as you prefer.

Returned checks are subject to a $40.00 processing fee.

What If Something Was Missed or I Am Unhappy With a Cleaning?

Since communication is very important in the Company’s training the house cleaner to clean your home if some chore has been neglected or not performed well, please notify the Company by calling (517) 374–0004, or sometimes leave note for the house cleaner the next service.  

We welcome all feedback that helps us improve our service to you.  Or, please visit the menu button labeled “Feedback” and fill out the form and submit.

Most of the time, your house cleaner will never know that you contacted the office.  This company has newsletters with pay checks, has employee meetings/dinners and Pam talks with every employee every day.  Pam also works in the field, popping in customer’s homes while the house cleaner is working and she works with them or does an evaluation.  Sometimes just a general mention in the newsletter corrects the problem; or during a meeting/dinner Pam reports “I am not saying who is neglecting cleaning patio doors on both sides, but lets talk about this expected chore to be performed.”  Of course dropping in and working with the house cleaner or doing an evaluation directly points the missed chore out to the house cleaner directly responsible.  Pam just finds that most customers do want to keep the same house cleaners but want the issue dealt with.

Who Provides The Cleaning Supplies And Equipment?

We ask that you supply the cleaning supplies you like used for all the different surfaces that make your home unique.  I find that not only is each home a little (sometimes a lot) different but customers do have likes and dislikes to certain odors and cleaning products.  For example: I have several customers whom  LOVE the smell of Pine Sol and express to us that they want the house to smell like Pine Sol when they come home.  I, myself, would not want to come home to the smell of Pine Sol, but it does clean well.   Some customers want Stanley Products used or some other specialized cleaning solution.  Plus, we are not using the same pails, brooms, mops, and vacuums in everyone’s homes.  One company expresses that they change the vacuum bag for every home they enter.  First, I have hired employees from that company and they just laugh and say that would be too expensive!  Second, the concern was contamination and transporting things like “fleas”; even if the bag is changed, the brush rollers and outside bag are not changed.

During my initial research with customers who have house cleaners – the providing supplies was not a main issue and from my experience my employees do appreciate not having to lug and haul vacuums, brooms, mops, buckets and rags from the car and into the house and back again to the car, repeat the process and then return the equipment and supplies to the office.

The big plus of not having the company provide the equipment and cleaning supplies is that the employees do not need to come to the office every morning and at the day’s end.  The employees certainly do take this as a benefit that most other cleaning companies do not offer.   

I, Pam, apologize to those of you where this factor is a determining factor in choosing a house cleaning company to service your needs.  I do wish you would try both, a company that does provide cleaning supplies and equipment and then us; and then you decide if the provision of cleaning supplies and equipment is such an important factor is getting your house cleaned properly.

If I Provide The Cleaning Supplies And Your House Cleaners Use Them How Will I Know When More Cleaning Products Are Needed?

Our house cleaners leave a list of needed cleaning supplies for the next service in your home.  Please pay attention to this list and purchase the requested products because if the cleaning products are not available for a cleaning service the cleaning of your home will not be up to the standards of your house cleaner.

What Should I Do With My Pets During The House Cleaning?

Besides continuingly loving and caring for them, please provide any information regarding your pets that would be helpful for us to know.

If any dog is crated, let us know if we can let the dog out while we clean.  We will need to know just how your dog will try to let us know he or she has to potty and how, such as does the dog need a leash or is the yard fenced.

Is your cat an escape artist?  This we would need to know so we can be on watch when we open a door to shake rugs, or sometimes even in entering the home.  

Also, most cats and dogs do have favorite areas to lay.  With cats, this means we need to pay more attention to certain furniture and drapes (cat hair) and with dogs most commonly the baseboards (oil residue) where the dog lays often needs more attention from our house cleaners.
We do not have employees who are afraid of pets.  Some employees are much more animal oriented than others and we want your pet comfortable with just who they accept into your home.  That is their job and this is important to the pets, you and us.

What Days Do You Work?

We are at your service Monday through Friday.  Occasionally we will work on a Saturday or Sunday and once in a while the need to work in the evening arises.  Usually non Monday through Friday cleanings are empty houses that need to be cleaned for a move-in or move-out service.

How Do I Schedule Services?

Easy… Simply fill out a quick online estimate on our website or call (517) 374-0004.

At What Time Will Your House Cleaners Be At My Home?

Our normal work days are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. While in most cases it is still possible to give a specific time to be at your home, we ask you to give us a 30-minute arrival window.

Sometimes road construction does cause a house cleaner to be a little off in her timing, or maybe the first home cleaned for the day took less or more time to clean.  We do our best ti stick to scheduled times.

If we are not instructed that a cleaning must start as close as possible to a certain time of day, occasionally, if you are scheduled after another home to be cleaned, if that first scheduled home cancels because of vacation or reschedules because of illness your home may even be cleaned first for the day.  So it is important to notify the office if the cleaning must be at a specific time.

How Long Does It Take To Schedule An Appointment To Come Clean My Home Once I Am A Customer?

Once you inform Pam you want to be a customer it does not take long at all to get a cleaning schedule.  Usually, the normal, if you are flexible with your desired cleaning day / time we can start cleaning your home within one or two weeks.

Depending on a specific day being wanted, you may have to either wait for an opening for that day or you can opt to be “covered” by supervisors on different days until an opening is available for your desired cleaning day.

There have been periods where we have had some long waiting periods, the longest was in 2008 when we had an eight week waiting period just to get scheduled on “any” opening.

How Far Advance Notice Does My Chores Are Yours Need To Get A Cleaning Service Started?

To be honest, that depends on whether or not we are getting an influx new customers at the time you want to set up service.

Many times in the past we have had up to an eight week wait.  The average wait is about two weeks.  Sometimes if a customer is flexible we can schedule the first cleaning in a couple of days and have a regular schedule set up following.

What If My Cleaning Falls On A Holiday?

If your scheduled cleaning falls on the observance of a major holiday, we will contact you to reschedule your service.

What If I Need To Change The Scheduled Cleaning?

Simply call our office prior to your cleaning day.  We do appreciate a minimum 48 hours notice to reschedule your house cleaning.  Unlike the airlines, we do not overbook our schedule.  So, if you need to reschedule a cleaning without proper notice, we will not have enough opportunity to fill the schedule with another customer.  This decreases the house cleaners’ pay.   Without consistent wages, we cannot retain the best talent to clean for you.   Thus, respecting our procedure for reschedules helps insure you will get the best house cleaning service possible.

Please try to give us notice 24 hours in advance.  Our policy is to try to accommodate your rescheduling needs, preferable with your regular house cleaner/s.  There may be a time when your house cleaner requests a reschedule because of illness, appointments or other reason so the house cleaner is expected to try to accommodate your needs too.  If your regular house cleaner is booked up, you may have a different house cleaner assigned to clean for the rescheduled date.

What If I Forget The House Cleaner Is Coming To Clean My House?

There is a $45.00 show up fee if the house cleaner arrives to clean your home and he or she cannot get into your home to clean.  This fee helps in the cost of the time taken by both the house cleaner and company.

We do appreciate a minimum 24 hour cancellation window.  Often the house cleaner needs to make child care arrangements and this needs to be paid whether used or not; so someone needs to pay the employee (and we do).

What Is The Cancellation Policy?

If it is necessary to cancel/skip your regular cleaning day, My Chores Are Yours merely requires a 48 hours notice.  If we receive less than 24 hours notice, or can’t access your home, it will be necessary for us to charge the $45.00 show up fee.

Future scheduled cleanings will remain unchanged.  Please be sure to call in any termination of regularly scheduled cleanings.

What If I Accidentally Lock The House Cleaner Out Of My Home On My Cleaning Day?

We depend on our customers to understand how important their business is to us.  We save your appointment space specifically for you and therefore turn other business away.  Our employees count on the scheduled cleanings for their income.  If you lock the house cleaner out of your home on cleaning day, you will likely be assessed a show up fee of $45.00.   We want to help you avoid incurring these additional fees, so please include your cleaning schedule in your calendar!

Most of our clients either provide us a key or hide one on the premises on cleaning day.

Must I Be At Home When You Clean My House?

It’s your choice.  Many women do not prefer to be home when our house cleaners work in the home because they feel they should be working on the cleaning too.  We find that most men do not care one way or another.  If you have small children it may not be possible to leave the home while we clean, we will do our best to stay out of your way.

How Do You Enter My Home On Cleaning Day?

Many customers of our house cleaning service prefer to give us a key, about 90% of the customers do.  Others leave us a key in a safe place each visit.  Alarm systems can either be left off or you can give us entry/exit codes.   By far, the most efficient and problem-free way for everyone is for you to give us a key and alarm codes.   Some customers stay home until we get to their home and let us in to clean.  Some customers decide to leave a door unlocked on service day – this of course we do not suggest, but it happens.

How Do You Protect My Keys?

When our office receives your house key a duplicate key is made and both keys are stamped “Do Not Duplicate”.  Then your keys are assigned a number and tagged with that number.  Your house cleaner will have one of those key and the other key is secured in a locked key storage device to which only Pam Babcock has access.  This extra key is used by supervisors and Pam for when we work in your home either with your house cleaner or if your home needs to be covered due to absenteeism.  We have had customers call, sometimes late into the evening, and request us to come out and open their door because they were locked out, lost their key or it was damaged.

How Do I Get Ready Or Prepare For The Cleaning?

Make sure that communication has been confirmed for any specific chores you expect.  We will need to know how to handle your pets, or not to handle your pets.  we have right now only 3 customers where we do nothing with their pets; since most customers do find a nice benefit of us letting dogs outside to go potty while we clean…but we need instructions on this procedure – such as does the dog need to be leashed or is the yard fenced or wired, how do we get the dog back in a crate if one is used and so on.   

We will need to know the entrance to you home, whether the door is left open for the house cleaner, a key is to be provided or hidden and or if we need a code to enter the home.  
In order to give you the greatest value, we ask you to take a few minutes the night before to pick up extraneous clothing, toys, and other household items.

Sometimes we find that a customer’s home requires a lot of “picking up”, such as with children’s toys, new paper, pop cans and so on.  If clutter was organized before the cleaner is to arrive, his or her job is easier to perform the actual cleaning chores expected.  Most customer are honest about just how much “clutter” there is to deal with, so time is allowed to care for this project and other customers just have the house cleaner not touch those areas.  

Remember, you are paying for the times the house cleaner is in your home.  It is up to the customer whether or not for the house cleaner to spend time picking up first and then get to the dirty work of cleaning.

Do I Need To Tip My House Cleaner?

As a company that cares that you are satisfied with excellent house cleaning, we recommend you tip for exceptional cleaning or if you are extremely satisfied with your cleaning.  I, Pam, believe regular tipping does not encourage the best possible cleaning from your house cleaner.  Some customers do tip regularly, and some customers never tip.  Our employees are paid well and we have bonuses and other incentives for good work performance so please do not feel you need to tip your house cleaner.

With the above said, there has been a lot of pressure that has been generated through social media, and has been addressed in the news lately about tipping.  Door Dash has been named and apparently within the app used by the drivers it can be noted whether such and such address is or is not a good tipper and the effect is the quickness of service is being affected, Door Dash and tipping has been talked between our employees.  General “tipping” is controversial.  And in my opinion it has become a contribution to a sense of entitlement and has nothing to do with providing “good service”.   Just saying that I believe service employees are changing.

How Do I Get Started?

To START:  Submit an Online Estimate or call My Chores Are Yours at (517) 374-0004.

How Do I Provide Feedback On My Cleanings?

Since cleaning is a very personalized and subjective service, each customer is given a Customer Notebook at the start of their service with My Chores Are Yours and there is a section that provides blank lined paper which the customer and the house cleaner can use to communication between themselves.

All compliments that are emailed or called into the company is celebrated with the house cleaner.  Some have been amazingly precise to the individual care given by the house cleaner and it expresses our motto (“a job well done – with integrity”) perfectly that they have been a great opening in our newsletters on each home is individualized.

You may also call us directly, or even visit this website, in the menu bar: Feedback, to let us know how your service was.

What Is Mildew And How Can I Get Rid Of It, Can Your Employees Use Chlorine Bleach While Cleaning My Home?

Mildew is a parasitic fungus.  It requires moisture, warmth and a food source to exist.  It reproduces itself by growing microscopic spores in enormous quantities.  These spores are always present in the air and spread via normal air currents.  A spore lies dormant until favorable moisture and temperature conditions occur for it to germinate.  Mildew thrives in warm moist areas that have poor air circulation.  In the average household, mildew is typically found in the bathrooms.  The corners, cracks and crevices of the tub, shower, sink and toilet are the most common areas infected.  It ranges in color from a pinkish-orange to black.

Your house cleaner will be able to impede the growth of mildew by removing the built up food sources that it lives on, such as soap, skin, hair and etc.  However, as long as moisture and warmth are present, the spores will immediately germinate and mildew will again be growing on the host area.

To stop the growth of mildew, the area must be kept dry or it must be chemically treated to make it an undesirable environment for the spore to germinate.  Chlorine bleach is a very good sanitizer to use on an infected area.

To reduce the pungent odor, the bleach can be diluted up to 50% with water.  The most practical application method would be to lightly spray the area, although it can be wiped or sponged on.  It is not necessary to saturate the area or to treat uninfected areas.  Leave the bleach in contact with the surface area for at least an hour.  Rinse any area that you will touch in later use.  Repeat the application on a bi-weekly basis or when mildew reappears.

My Chores Are Yours does not permit (see the below notice “*”) our employees to use chlorine bleach because of the damage it may cause to carpets and other surfaces if the chlorine bleach spills or drips.  As a customer, you may choose to use bleach independently to help control mildew growth.  If you choose to have one of our house cleaners us chlorine bleach (see the below “**”) please be aware that we declare not to be responsible to any damage it may cause.
We hope the above discussion explains why mildew is such an on-going maintenance challenge. Working together, however, it can be controlled.

*Because in some areas, usually a bathroom, Mildew is a problem chlorine bleach seems to be the only cleaning solution that will remove the surface Mildew, this includes any cleaning product containing any type of chlorine bleach, if you purchase and have any solution containing chlorine bleach with the cleaning supplies our house cleaners are to use in your home take notice that we do not accept responsibilities for any damage that may be cause by the cleaning solution containing chlorine bleach.

**We do list on our Needed Supplies List some products containing chlorine bleach because of Mold and Mildew in the home.  If you do not accept responsibility for any damage that may be caused by any cleaning solution containing chlorine bleach DO NOT HAVE THIS CHLORINE BLEACH SOLUTION NEAR THE PRODUCTS OUR HOUSE CLEANERS USE TO CLEAN YOUR HOME.