A real domestic goddess would, of course, use her supernatural powers to do her domestic cleaning. In the absence of such powers, the cleaners do the dirty work. But domestic mortals do have a responsibility to prepare the home for the wonderful whirlwind that is the professional cleaner: namely, tidying.
When you have booked your home cleaning company’s visit or, if you have them in regularly, try to make time beforehand to ensure that they can work to the best of their abilities, and give you the result they would like. If you have a family, make them responsible for tidying their rooms either the night before or early in the morning, before school or work (the night before is usually the best option, because sleepyheads in the morning are not always the most efficient. And it’s easier to make the excuse of having to leave the house soon than it is of being tired the evening before!)
Now, as to the rest of the rooms, set aside enough time for yourself to get them spick and span in advance of the domestic cleaning professional’s arrival. If you haven’t enough storage space to tidy things away efficiently, it’s worth purchasing more, in the form of furniture (cupboards, drawers, etc. and racks, hooks, or hanging rails) or storage crates to take all those things that you cannot bear to throw away, but which would probably be best stored in the attic, shed, or garage.
Starting at the top of the house, work downwards, putting everything in each room away in that room first, and move everything that should be in other rooms close to the door. If there is a lot of extraneous matter, you can make different piles for each of the different rooms and take them down in one go. You will probably throw up a fair amount of dust while you are doing this, but this will be vacuumed up later, so don’t worry if the rooms look grubby once they are tidied. Your cleaner will almost certainly have seen other homes in the same state, or even worse!
Bathrooms are the worst rooms in most homes regarding the number of things that are left out. Put away as much as you can of shampoos, shower gels, and other lotions and potions. Put into cupboards or under cover your toothbrushes and any other items you want to keep free of cleaning sprays.
Finally, if you will be in the house while the cleaner is working, try to have work to do that does not involve spreading papers over the kitchen table, or otherwise getting in the way of the professional. Be prepared to move from one room to another at least once while they are at work, and, while it is friendly to have a little conversation with them, try not to disturb their concentration too much, or you’ll only have yourself to blame if the job is not done perfectly.