The History of OnQ Housecleaning and Odd Jobs...

Every starving artist needs a day job. At least up until a certain point in their career. That's why I started OnQ Housecleaning and Odd Jobs. (pronounced: On Cue. Theater reference...)


It started out during my funemployment (that period in life where you've just finished college and are desperately looking for work while your loan repayment is still in its grace period)... I wasn't doing so well in the job search... and it's not like my standards were even that high. Long story short, I started doing odd jobs.


I was a personal secretary for a wonderful woman who had unfortuantely been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. I would type her blogs, respond to her e-mails, make her phone calls, send the checks off to pay the bills, as well as other random tasks--anything she could have me do to help with the activities she was no longer able to do.  The money there kept me financially afloat a while longer until I found other customers through craigslist.


Someone needed to move to a new apartment, had injured her back, and needed help packing.


Another needed their office re-organized.


Yet another needed an attic de-cluttered.


A basement cleaned.


Yardwork done.


A full-body massage. (Really.)


A Greeter.


An Event Host.


A Housesitter.


And on it went. Eventually, I was referred to more and more customers, with different needs and projects. But the most common request was basically:

"I need help cleaning and organizing my home!"


And there you have it--A stable client base. A foundation for a small business of sorts.

And this is it. OnQ Housecleaning and Odd Jobs.



Q1: So how exactly do I hire you?

A: Send me an e-mail at or use the contact form on the site to contact me. Explain your project, and I will get back to you as soon as I'm able. Phone calls work too, but as my schedule is very erratic, it's often difficult for me to call someone back... (If I'm not off work 'til, say, 11pm, I'm not going to call you back that night... but I would respond to your e-mail.)


Q2: How much do you charge?

A: I prefer to charge by the hour. Though it's a case by case basis, I would say my average rate is $14.50 / hr, with a minimum of a 3-hour shift. (Maximum of 6.)  But again, it's decided case-by-case, as there are many factors (location, pets, etc.)

Once a rate is decided, however, it will not increase for 12 months.

Should you choose to become a regular customer (i.e. I come once or twice a month, regularly), then payment is expected upon arrival, unless otherwise discussed.


Q3: What type of payment do you accept?

A: Cash or check. Unless you've got something awesome to barter.


Q4: What areas do you serve?

A: My transporation is limited to public transit and I'm only one guy, so right now, service is limited to Berkeley and surrounding areas (Oakland, Albany, etc.)


Q5: Do you have your own equipment?

A: No. Part of my spiel in a given consultation meeting (free of charge) is that I use the equipment that is provided for me. I use your rags, chemicals, paper towels, vacuums, mops, etc. Occasionally, I may bring something of mine--an extension cord, a handbroom, a lint brush, a dust mask, etc. once I get a feel for any other small thing I might need at your location... but really, I'm expecting to use your supplies.


Q6: Do you use green cleaning products?

A: If they are provided for me. See Q5 above.


Q7: Okay, I've come home... and I'm honestly not a big fan of your work... Can I get a refund or something?

A: A partial refund, yes. I'm sorry if you're unhappy with my work... but if I've already spent hours in my day at your home cleaning it then I will be keeping part of the payment. I will pay myself $9.00/hr and refund the rest. 


Q8: Are you animal friendly?

A: Animals rule. Well, snakes and spiders scare me a bit, to be honest... but if you're thinking along the lines of cat and/or dog, then yes. Totally fine.


Q9: I'm not ready for you to come today and I need to cancel. What's your policy?

A: There is no rigid policy per se. I mean... I'd appreciate it if you'd please please PLEASE try and give me at least 24 hours' notice. But I know that's not always possible. And I'm not opposed to surprise days-off. As long as you communicate with me as best as you can, there'll be no penalty. But if it happens really often or if I feel you're being inconsiderate of my time, then... well... there is no penalty. I just stop working for you.


Q10: Oh dear... You canceled. That's not cool.

A: You're right. It isn't. 99.9% of the time, I'll be aware of a conflict date far in advanceand will ask to re-schedule before then. But twice (in the last 3 years), I woke up feeling so sick that I had to cancel that same morning. In a case like that, I offer half off my next visit.


Q11: What's the best way to reach you?

A: For same-day matters, phone (voicemail and/or text) is best. For everything else, e-mail me at


Q12: Have you ever considered auditioning for American Idol or The X-Factor?

A: Why yes, actually. Thanks for asking. Since I often sing while I work, I've had plenty of time to practice improving my voice... But suppose I do make it to the next round of a given competition and had to go to Hollywood for a bit... At this point in life, I just can't do that.  I can't afford to leave all forms of my income-earning for even just a few weeks... But I love singing, will continue singing, and eventually, the stars will align for me.