Right about now some of you may be saying, “Yeah, if I could even <em>afford</em> a cleaning service,” but that’s one of the first things you need to know when it comes to getting the most out of one – they’re getting more affordable by the day.</br></br>How affordable? Well, it probably depends on your location, but here in the Seattle area you can find daily deals for around $40 that can get you about 3 hours of cleaning. The thing is, though, that you can get a lot done with that kind of deal.</br></br><strong>Step #1: Choose Your Service</strong></br></br>The first thing you have to do is find the right company. That’s the company that A) offers the best service for B) the lowest amount of money that C) allows you to choose the cleaning focus areas.</br></br>Part C is very important and you’ll probably need to shop around. Groupon is a great place to start, but there are lots of deal sites on the Web. Actually, you may want to just try Googling “daily deal cleaning service” and see what comes up.</br></br>Keep in mind, however, that cleaning services may be provided by a wide variety of online companies. Home cleaning services like <a title="HomeJoy" href="https://www.homejoy.com/" target="_blank">HomeJoy</a> are on the rise, but so are task-based services like <a title="TaskRabbit" href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/" target="_blank">TaskRabbit</a>, <a title="AirTasker" href="https://www.airtasker.com/" target="_blank">AirTasker</a> and <a title="Zaarly" href="https://www.zaarly.com/" target="_blank">Zaarly</a> that match skilled workers with people who have specific jobs for them to do.</br></br><strong>Step #2: Schedule Your Service</strong></br></br>The key here is to choose a time when you’ll cross paths with the cleaning person. That way, you’ll be able to talk to them and give them fresh, detailed direction.</br></br>If you have taken proper care when scheduling, you’ll have left detailed notes about where the cleaner should focus (this is something most online services provide). But, it’s always good to communicate directly with the person who shows up, because there’s no way to tell if your notes were received or clearly understood.</br></br><strong>Step #3: Pinpoint Your Trouble Areas</strong></br></br>This is where you can get the most bang for your buck. Many services will allow you to pick specific tasks you want included beyond general cleaning, or allow you to “substitute” a certain task for time otherwise spent doing general cleaning.</br></br>Some examples: cleaning the inside of the <a title="Ovens & Ranges" href="http://www.atgstores.com/ovens-ranges_1690.html?linkloc=tn" target="_blank">oven</a>, cleaning the inside of kitchen cabinet shelving, cleaning the <a title="Refrigerators" href="http://www.atgstores.com/refrigerators_1429.html?linkloc=tn" target="_blank">fridge</a>, cleaning windows and scrubbing baseboards.</br></br>The takeaway here is that $40 may sound too high for folding the laundry, but it could be an absolute steal for having a task done that you hate. And, with so many task-based services, you may be able to do even better on the rate by narrowing jobs down to include only what you really don’t like.