House cleaning captains

A Brigham Young University-Idaho student who helped his mother with her own house cleaning business started his own such business that keeps him cleaning homes throughout the region each week.

Ezekiel Hafen, 22, started his business, House Cleaning Captains, in January and since that time has cleaned up to 30 homes a week from Rexburg to Blackfoot. He oversees a crew of two teams made up of four people each.

Hafen’s company cleans kitchens and bathrooms and also vacuums, mops floors and dusts.

“Our dusting includes washing walls, baseboards, knickknacks and cleaning mirrors,” he said.

The crews clean residential homes and occasionally do cleanouts for BYU-Idaho students leaving school.

Hafen said starting his own cleaning business wasn’t costly.

“It was one businesses I could get into without having high start-up costs,” he said. “I needed a vacuum and cleaning supplies. I didn’t need to pay rent anywhere. I just started it from my car.”

Hafen also learned about starting his own cleaning company by reading books by Angela Brown. One of her books is titled “How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company: Go from start-up to payday in one week.”

“She was a huge inspiration,” he said.

When Hafen started his business, one of his first jobs was cleaning out a student’s apartment.

“I started at 8 a.m. and finished at 10 p.m..” he said. “It was quite the job for one person. I thought, ‘I should probably get some help.’”

And he did get help in the form of fellow BYU-Idaho students. It normally takes the teams about an hour to clean a four-bedroom home, but if the home is cleaned every other week, it takes about an hour and a half.

“If the house has never been cleaned and needs a deep cleaning, it could take up to four hours,” he said.

The price charged to clean each home depends on the home, but next year, Hafen is offering clients a reduced price.

“We are giving a discount of 20 percent off for the entire year of 2020,” he said.

Hafen’s crews especially enjoy removing pet hair from homes and rely on Dyson pet hair removal vacuums to do so.

“Cleaning up after pets — it’s not easy to do,” he said. “It adds an extra depth to (customers’) needs, but we really love cleaning up after pets. We’re really good at it,.”

To Hafen, cleaning isn’t a chore, but is instead a satisfying way to pay his way through college.

“It’s really therapeutic,” he said. “It feels good to go into a home and say, ‘This is a mess,’ and to see it change and to see the cleanliness and order that wasn’t there before.”

Cleaning helps clear Hafen’s mind as well.

“The process of cleaning gets your mind off of things and gets you in an upbeat working mood,” he said. “You focus on the results of cleaning.”

Hafen enjoys the physical work housecleaning provides. He also likes to feed his mind while cleaning by listening to audiobooks that helps him learn as he earns, he said.

“I feel that’s where I’m best at physical work,” he said. “Audiobooks allow me to learn while I’m doing something.”

w“I wanted to save money for my mission,” he said. “I loved working with other people and setting goals as a group. I liked making changes to meet those goals. My mission got me excited about working with people in general and in business. I decided if I wanted to be happy, I’d have to start my own business, and, as a group, make people happy.”

Apparently, people have been happy with Hafen’s service as news of his business has spread via word-of-mouth throughout the region, giving him and his crews lots of business.

Hafen says there are lots of reasons why people hire House Cleaning Captains.

“People have an illness in the family — that’s a big thing — or they just can’t handle the chores anymore,” he said. “An elderly person needs some help in the house. There are big families with lots of small kids or families with working parents — that’s a common one.”

Hafen credits his mother for helping develop his entrepreneurial spirit.

“She was a great example,” he said. “She was brave and made her own house cleaning business. I admired her. She was so strong and made stuff happen out of nothing.”

Hafen is majoring in business management with an entrepreneurial emphasis. He plans to graduate in the next three or four years. In the meantime, he will continue with his cleaning business.

Hafen says he’s thankful to the region’s residents for giving him and his employees jobs.

“They have been really awesome to help us, to provide business for us to pay our bills and to meet our needs as well,” he said. “We are grateful. Thank you.”

For more information on House Cleaning Captains, call 651-447-9057 or visit