Best Housecleaning
The Original Dustbusters Cleaning Service

Barbara Lawrence has turned everyone’s least-favorite chore into an art form. “You have to be interested in and committed to cleaning,” says Lawrence, who started the Original Dustbusters in 1985 and plans to open a school to teach others her system. “I’ll never understand people whostart at the bottom and work up, so that dust keeps falling. Iwork from the top down.” She also scorns the easy route of cleaning around objects, vowing to pick up everything and clean underneath. Her staff organizes as they go, cleaning closet floors and lining up shoes and other errant objects. Rather than the usual hourly fee, they charge by the job, $65–$225 per apartment; they supply all cleaning products. For a serious spring cleaning, Madame Paulette (1255 Second Avenue, near 66th Street; 212-838-6827) will not only handle upholstery, balloon drapery, and carpets, but they’ll also bring along purifiers to clean the air you breathe. Prices range from $100 to $2,500.