Re: RFI on janitorial contracts
From: Jim Snyder-Grant (
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 15:40:02 -0600 (MDT)
Ksenia Barton, of  Cranberry Commons Cohousing Community, asked about Common
House cleaning arrangments.  Here's the story for New View (Acton MA)

Since the expense of hiring for all the CH cleaning did not meet the
approval of the whole group, someone volunteered to work out this

1) Every household is polled about their choice on these questions:
a) Would you like to clean the CH yourselces, or pay for it
b) Would you like to take the CH garbage & recyclables to the town transfer
station, or pay someone to do it.

Then, a volunteer arranges the households on a calender, one household per
two-week rotation. The schedule is arranged so that we can hire someone to
clean for a bunch of months in a row and so that we can hire a pick-up
garbage & recyclables truck & crew for a bunch of months in a row. HH's get
billed different amounts depending on how much they have chosen to take on.
There is some additional trickiness because of some sub-options about the
recyclables, but that's the basics.

There isn't much to the 'contract' for the paid cleaning: it's done by one
person who happens to live here, who individually contracts with each
household to do their share of the cleaning for $60, plus more if arranging
the garbage & recyclables is included. There is a common house committee rep
that anyone (especially the contracted cleaner) can contact with questions
about what is to be cleaned, how to get supplies, etc.

The cleaners for each meal (and for each event) do the basics - the rotating
cleaning is for a deeper cleaning with some extra scrubbing & more surfaces

We considered hooking up with a cleaning company, the sort that  handles
individual houses, but we stopped when we heard that our neighbor was
interested in doing this,and suggested a price that was les then what we
would have paid.  We are all very happy with the quality of the work.

The contract for the garbage pickup is more formal, but just as
straightforward: someone calls them up when it's time to start in the year,
and cancels the service for a few months when we are working our way through
the 'do-it-yourself' households.

Jim Snyder-Grant
jimsg [at]
18 Half Moon Hill
Acton MA 01720
New View Cohousing

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