We've never quite figured out how people juggle moving and cleaning. Just how do they move everything, get things set up in the new place, and clean the old place, all at once? It's a puzzle. We decided long ago that it's worth it to pay professionals to clean while we deal with the moving of pets and boxes. One of the firms we wholeheartedly recommend is Emma's Eco-Clean. Not only do they do a great job, they use non-toxic cleaners, they're very friendly, and their wages go directly to the members of the worker-owned cooperative. Emma's Eco-Clean is based in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, traveling as far north as South San Francisco, south to Sunnyvale, east to Fremont, and west to Portola Valley. They charge $25 per hour, per person, and work in teams of two so they can work faster and more efficiently.
Emma's Eco-Clean opened its doors on Earth Day 1999. They started with five founding members who participated in a yearlong business training program through WAGES (Women's Action to Gain Economic Security), a non-profit organization in Oakland that helps empower low-income women to start their own business cooperatives. Other WAGES cooperatives include Eco-Care Professional Housecleaning in the South Bay and Natural Home Cleaning Professionals in the East Bay.
(And of course they can clean more often than just upon move-out.)
(Edited from this post originally published 05.03.06)