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Labor shortage affecting C.O. house cleaning services during holiday season

(Update: Adding video, comments from house cleaning business)

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Zachary Avis and his wife have a long list of houses to clean with their cleaning business, Sakred Space.

The only problem is: They’re lacking the help they need.

“Just really difficult getting people to come in, good reliable people to come in,” Avis said Thursdasy. 

Avis said they have two other employees and are looking for at least two more.

Their business is more than a year old, and has been constantly expanding by word of mouth and reputation.

But they've lost some employees in that time, and are struggling to find reliable replacements.

“Too much for her and I to handle alone,” Avis said. “We need more people, more help. In order for us to grow, we need more employees.”

The holiday season is typically a busier part of the year, with many people hosting parties or having family over.

Avis said their demand is higher than ever, so they are having to put some clients on wait lists or even turn them away.

Aavis says they’re booked until New Year's and can’t take on any more clients unless they find more employees.

He and his wife say another issue they’re noticing is a rise in independent cleaners, who have less professional experience, but offer lower prices.

Avis is aware his business is not the only one with a staffing issue.

“Not a lot of people want to go back to work at this point, still,” Avis said. “You know, it’s kind of challenging for everybody. You drive around Bend and you see 'Now Hiring' signs everywhere, so...”

But he’s confident they’ll find the right people eventually.

“You stick with something long enough, you’re bound to find people" Avis said. "But it doesn’t make it easy, to say the least for sure, getting there.” 

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.



  1. Oh poor,poor rich people and all there struggles. I feel so sorry for someone who can afford to buy a house and rent it out by the day and week and still have another house to live in and live very comfortable I might add maybe they should try cleaning it themselves instead of paying someone to do there dirty work. Maybe we should start a go fund me page for all these rich intitled people. “NOT”

      1. Good grief… ya think? Sounds a bit envious for sure! For the record…Some people work a lot of hours and need some help. Unless you are asked to pay for it on their behalf, what does it matter to anyone else? And no… not rich. Not a transplant with bags of cash. Just a hardworking family that has limited time and likes to help the local economy. There is nothing wrong with hiring people and paying them a fair wage to do something I don’t want or need to do.

        1. My wife and I worked long hours before we retired and still managed to clean our home and maintain the yard. So, that’s no excuse in my opinion. BTW, we still do and we’re what you’d probably consider old.

    1. Jman ~ it’s not just rich people that might prefer to utilize a cleaning service.

      What about the individual who works and would prefer to not clean on their downtime. How does that make them a bad person? Aside from the fact they are paying for a service. Both sides benefit. Clean house / employment for another. Or an older person who requires assistance.

      Example ~ I’m not wealthy/rich and I utilize such a service. I appreciate her work and she appreciates the opportunity.
      In fact I’d like to find a yard service that would do major cleaning (twice a year) and know for a fact it’s close to impossible.

    2. my spouse and i work about 70 hours a week. our kid is very busy too. we don’t have time to clean. AND we are helping the economy and another person by having a housekeeper. her story is gut wrenching but not mine to tell – she’s an amazing woman we have the utmost respect for. she’s a member of our family and we treat her as such. i clean when i can, but it’s just impossible to do everything.

  2. Sounds like the price of cleaning services has gone up, makes sense to me considering its a high skill industry- theres a reason some folks pay to get their toilets scrubbed instead of doing it themselves.

    1. inflation affects everyone! we just gave our housekeeper a hefty raise because everything is more expensive! there is actually a lot of skill in what they do too – not sure if your comment was sarchastic or not. she has unique ways of cleaning and techniques i never knew of – it’s actually quite a trade to have knowledge in!

    1. CO ~ silly comment (boohoo)…

      Maybe some folks would prefer to have a clean house and enjoy time doing something else. Not your business what others do with their $$. Stop with the assumptions.

      1. Maybe we don’t want to waste our hard earned money on things we can do for ourselves. We’ve done quite well with that. Both of us retired early and own 2 homes outright. Plus no other bills other than utilities and the BS taxes that are wasted on ridiculous crap.

    2. It’s not that people don’t want to qoek, it’s that they are tired of employers paying people next to nothing. Maybe pay your employees better and people will want to work for them.

  3. If they paid decent wages their employees would not leave. No one will scrub toilets for minimum wage while the business owner gets rich. And to be frank, it does not take much to start your own cleaning business, why would anyone work for someone else.

  4. i have my own person – i treat her as a member of my family, as she is, and take care of her as best we can financially. gave her a raise she didn’t ask for an a holiday bonus.
    be nice, take care of people, treat them with respect and you won’t have an issue keeping them!

  5. Keep on gentrifying the place and raising the cost of to live here and then wonder where all the workers went. Who wants to work in a place they cant afford to live?

    “You’re good enough to clean our toilets, but you’re good enough to live in our community.”

    Boohoo. Clean your own house.

  6. We should really be making a note that you need to be licensed in Oregon now to be a professional cleaner,Insured and legal just like a contractor. It’s called a BOLI license.

  7. Sure wish people would read what we type instead of reading into what they think we type. If your going to comment on someone’s comment make damn sure you understand what they are saying. Otherwise you are making yourself look really stupid.

  8. Oh PLEASE! Gentrification and the wealthy hiring the poor to work for them is as old as mankind itself. That’s the way the world works. Those who have a talent, higher intelligence, or who are born into wealth are always going to be the movers and shakers of society. They occupy perhaps 10 percent of the population. And guess what? The other 90 percent works for them. This is the way of the world, like it or not. I sold an agro-related business in another state a decade ago and was able to retire at 45 and can pretty much do whatever I want whenever I want. I have some nice things and have housecleaners and landscapers to do the stuff I don’t want to deal with. I do volunteer occasionally at Shepherd’s House just so I don’t forget those less fortunate than myself.

    1. Its a myth that “all men are created equal” and trying to make everyone equal is a fools errand. Sad, but true. If you are a lucky one, giving back is the best thing you can do.

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