Since then we went through three or four different services but one thing remained the same. We cleaned up for the cleaners. Well, to be exact, we tidied up. I felt foolish doing it, but that didn't stop me. Since then I have discovered that it is actually normal and a good idea. The less clutter the cleaners have to deal with the better, and quicker, they will clean. As time passed our preparation for the cleaners expanded.
At first we just cleared surfaces. Now we empty all the waste baskets and put the trash and recycle out. This is because we discovered that our cleaning service didn't bother to discriminate between trash and recycle.
Our current cleaning service has a large number of clients who have Airbnbs. As a result the cleaners are used to clearing all surfaces and emptying the dishwasher, they even wanted to wash our sheets and towels. We managed to convince them to leave that to us. Even still after a cleaning, we had to search for the remote controls and table mats which had been stuck away out of sight.
At first I stripped the beds on cleaning day, and left fresh sheets for them. But I am very fussy about how my bed is made and after a few occasions having to totally remake the bed I changed the sheets before they came and we left the bed made up. A number of times that didn't stop them from remaking the bed to suit themselves and I had to remake it yet again. So now, before they come, I make sure the bed is picture perfect and they leave it alone.
If this goes on much longer it will be easier to clean the house myself. Perhaps not, they do wash all the floors and dust and vacuum, plus most of all, clean the bathrooms. That alone is worth all the effort on our part. And it is only once a month.