If you don't have time to clean like you used to, or if you just hate cleaning, you're not alone. More and more, today's busy families need help with their housework.
And more and more families are actually getting the help they need.
Eighty percent of dual-income households will use a residential cleaning service this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates. With the demand growing, residential housecleaning has become one of the fastest growing industries in the country.
In the Rim country, Cabin Keepers is one of those businesses offering to dust your digs.
Jill Petrie started Cabin Keepers 12 months ago. She had been the full-time housekeeper for a Valley family. So when she moved north in July 2001, she was out of a job. Hoping to alter that situation, she attended a mixer sponsored by the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and met Cabin Keepers' very first client, Kathy Sceli, even before the business was formed.
"Kathy asked me what I did, and I told her I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but that I had been a housekeeper." Petrie recalled. "Well, she called me the next day and said, 'I need a housekeeper.' Then she hooked me up with six of her friends, who hooked me up with their friends. It's been growing like crazy ever since."
Petrie now charges $30 per hour, which may seem steep until you realize that you also get the services of her housecleaning assistant, Tiffany Villanueva. Together, this Cabin Keepers team, along with a few other part-time members, will clean ... well, anything. Including windows.
"That's what makes my business different," Petrie said. "For the same price per hour, I'll clean your house, your garage, your basement. I'll organize shelves. Whatever you need or want. Everything is per the customer's request."
No matter what, you can trust that very special attention will be paid to your floors.
"I'm really big on floor care," Petrie said. "If the floor looks beautiful when you walk in, everything looks better. And it stays cleaner, because the dust and dirt doesn't get airborne and all over everything else. Even when floors look clean, the dust still settles there in the corners, against the walls. So I do corner-to-corner floor care. I wash and damp-mop it all, always."
As to how many hours, exactly, it may take to clean a particular home, Petrie cannot say.
"I never give a bid, and I never tell you how long it's going to take, because you just don't know. On a weekly, regular basis, though, a small, two-bedroom home here in Payson would probably be a two-hour job."
Another very general rule, she said, is that older homes take longer to clean than newer ones because "if it's an older home, you've got dirty baseboards, and you've got area's that aren't just dirty, but where the dirt is almost baked on."
No matter the age or size of the home, though, all that matters are results. And perhaps the best person to size those up is that first Cabin Keepers client, Kathy Sceli, who remains a customer to this day.
"Jill is excellent," Sceli said. "She works really fast, she's very fair. I've got a big house about 4,200 square feet and she does a great job. And you know what? We've become friends, too."
"I think that Jill is real efficient and very organized," said four-month Cabin Keepers customer Carol von Barandy of Payson. "She keeps my home looking terrific."
"She does a great job," said Maryanne Chernek, a Valley resident with a second home in Payson. "She does a lot of detail work. Some people just do a basic cleaning, but she'll get into all the places that the others won't."
For more information about Cabin Keepers, call (928) 595-1233.