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story.lead_photo.caption A professional housecleaner brings experience and expertise on cleaning many surfaces in your home. (Dreamstime/TNS)

With the advent of spring after a long and difficult winter, it's time to think about a deep housecleaning.

One of your first decisions when hiring a cleaning pro is whether to go with a company or a solo cleaner. Each comes with their own pros and cons.

Cleaning companies tend to charge more for their services, but they also may provide more thorough customer support if something isn't done to your satisfaction.

Regardless of which way you go, you should read reviews and references before hiring the pro to make sure you trust them to take good care of your home and everything in it.

Regular cleaning doesn't cover everything, so it's important to know what's generally considered routine:

Thorough cleaning of kitchens and bathrooms

Vacuuming throughout the house

Mopping

Cleaning and dusting all surfaces

More detailed cleaning is an additional service because it often requires additional supplies and can take up to twice as long as standard cleaning. Many cleaning companies require new clients to commit to an initial deep cleaning with "maintenance" cleanings after that.

Depending on your needs and budget, you can arrange for a one-time clean or for cleaners to come weekly, biweekly, monthly or some other variation. Every other week is a common choice. If you're not sure about a long-term commitment, consider a trial run of two to four cleanings.

Prices will vary, depending on where you live, the size of your home, the scope of work and how often you schedule cleanings.

Important questions to ask:

Will the same person or team be sent each time?

How will you get into the home?

What are your COVID-19 safety procedures?

What's your policy if something is broken?

Do you conduct background checks on employees?

Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

What kind of contract do you require?

What are your policies if I have to cance?

Will you bring your own supplies and equipment? If not, what do you need me to provide?

How do you want me to prepare my home for your work?

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