Cleaners nowadays are willing to be flexible in the services they offer. In today's busy modern world, clients are finding more and more that the traditional cleaners' role does not quite cover everything they need help with. Fortunately, cleaning companies are moving with the time and it is now possible to find companies that can cover every little household task, from vacuuming carpets to steam-cleaning curtains, from dusting to loading the dishwasher and cleaning windows. Some can offer more specialised services such as ironing, storage reorganisation, cleaning antique furnishings and laundering clothing and bedding. If you have a house with large grounds and need someone to take charge of exterior repairs and outbuildings, complete-service cleaning companies may even be able to help with that.

Some cleaning companies set a minimum number of hours per week for each cleaning contract, but there is no reason to feel obligated to have your cleaner work on a daily basis. If you feel that you need no more than 4 cleaning hours per week, for example, then plenty of companies will be happy to help. At the other end of the spectrum, there are lots of large cleaning services companies around who will be able to supply several cleaning ladies per day, 5 days per week. Be realistic about your needs and about the length of time likely to be required for each task. Your cleaner may be more experienced and better trained than you at specific cleaning tasks, but he or she will be unable to perform miracles! Make sure, therefore, that you allocate enough time for your cleaning professional to perform the job properly.

It is crucial to carefully consider safety issues when employing cleaning ladies to carry out services in your household or business premises. It is essential to put safety first – think about whether or not electrical items need be tested and certified safe before you allow cleaning staff access to them, and remember that fire extinguishers and first aid kits, placed in sensible, easy-to-access locations, are worthy investments. Make sure that any staff entering your home are fully apprised of any possible hazards such as potentially dangerous equipment, pets or substances. You may think that certain rules or procedures go without saying, but it is much better to be safe than sorry, and there is no harm in discussing issues with your cleaner that you may think are stating the obvious.

Once you have found the ideal cleaners for you, it is essential to sign a contract to ensure that all aspects of the service are set out in writing before cleaning commences. Most larger cleaning companies will have a standard contract that they use for all clients – don't be scared to ask to have this adapted if you feel it's necessary. Make sure your contract covers the details of what is to be cleaned, and any exclusions, as well as the cleaners' schedule, remuneration and insurance (you don't want to be left will a huge bill for any repairs and replacements incurred as a result of cleaning accidents).