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Do any of you pay for a house cleaner?

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  • Do any of you pay for a house cleaner?

    I guess this is kind of an odd question for a savings forum but my wife and I were talking about this last night. We are each good at a lot of things but cleaning the house is something we both just suck at. We're tossing around the idea of hiring someone. We wouldn't want it done weekly. We're thinking perhaps once a month if that's an option to minimize the cost and disruption.

    Doing this would also really help motivate us to continue our decluttering efforts. Part of the reason we don't clean well is all of the clutter. It's tough to dust the furniture, for example, when every flat surface has stuff all over it. It's hard to vacuum the carpet when a lot of floor space is covered with stuff.

    So since last night, we've stepped up our decluttering (see my other thread for updates). I am partly hoping that if we really get ahead of the clutter, cleaning will become less of a challenge and we'll be able to do it better on our own, but if we do end up hiring someone, I'm wondering what the going rate is, what to expect, what kinds of questions to ask, etc.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

  • #2
    DW & I did hire a house cleaner, starting last winter. With 2 very young boys & both of us working, we decided that having a house cleaner to do a monthly deep cleaning was worth it. We were also dealing with some medical issues for DW, and we needed to reduce stress levels for us both.

    We're in Alaska, and it seems that everything is at least 50% more expensive here... But FWIW, we pay $165 for a once monthly cleaning, and she normally spends 3-4 hours cleaning. She also offered twice monthly cleaning at $130 each time. She normally vacuums & mops the floors, cleans the bathrooms & kitchen surfaces, and as needed, cleans/dusts other furniture around the house.

    There questions we asked mostly were just us getting to know her, because we wanted to feel comfortable with her cleaning while we aren't home. Also asked her about her other customers, and how often she does house cleaning. In this case, she cleans professionally (this isn't a side gig for her, which we liked), and has a variety of clients doing a variety of levels of cleaning. She offered a few references for herself, and we were also able to look her up online, and found only happy customers. Otherwise, we just had her clean the house one day, and we were very happy with her work, and also her efficiency (in spite of us all being around at the time). She offered a few suggestions for what she could do for us, and we were overall impressed. We had previously done this sort of "try out" for two other ladies that for various reasons didn't work out as well & we were less comfortable with. So that was sort of our thought processes in hitting the lady that we did.

    The biggest recommendations I can give are:
    - Do a try-out where she just cleans the house with you there. Observe how she works, her attention to detail, efficiency, and what she focuses on. Just watching her work & interacting with her should give you a good indication of if she's a good fit.
    - Try to define exactly what you want her to do. Having never had a housecleaner before, this was difficult... So we basically explained the things that we struggle to keep up with, and she took it from there.
    - Have a clear plan for how often you want her to come, and how she will get into the house (give her a key, or garage code, or you'll always be there, or whatever. Also be sure to work out how she wants to be paid (cash, check, card, transfer, etc.)

    While from a financial standpoint it was hard to accept paying someone to clean up after me & my family, anytime she comes & the house is clearly much cleaner, we're very grateful to have her help. By only having her come once monthly for a deep cleaning while we handle things day to day, it was a decent balance for us.
    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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    • #3
      No house cleaner, but I can testify it is easier to clean without clutter, particularly dust and cleaning flat surfaces from floors to counters to bookshelves.

      I do think a house cleaner can be well worth the investment. And you are giving someone a job!
      My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

      Comment


      • #4
        I started hiring someone when I was a single mom and working full time and the kids were getting older and I was burning out. I found a wonderful woman who charged $15 an hour and cleaned my townhouse usually in 2 hrs every other week. Vacuum, mop, bathrooms, kitchen, strip the sheets, make the beds and dusting. She was flexible and I would trade off dusting upstairs to have the basement family room, music room and office done every once in a while (we rarely used those rooms). She did everything at twice the speed I could do it and she kept us one our toes with clutter. We pre-cleaned for the cleaning lady. She gave me back time and energy I wasted on thinking about cleaning, procrastinating about cleaning and actually cleaning to spend time with my kids. It cost way less than cable.

        She still works for us now that the kids are gone and I live with my ill parents and have become disabled. We still pay $15 an hour and she comes weekly(but she basically just charges us the same rate weekly regardless of how long she is here). It is not as smooth because my parents are horrible about clutter. For example, their room cannot be dusted. I can't stand this and try to keep the common areas clutter free mostly by dumping bags of their stuff back into their room. It makes no sense to hire a cleaning lady if she can't clean, IMHO.

        She hasn't raised our rate because I have referred her to at least ten families. We give her a birthday and Christmas bonus of a week's pay. She is an angel sent from above.

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        • #5
          Nope because I don't think there is anyone out there that could clean to my standards

          If I hired someone to clean I'd want them to deep clean which to me means SPRING CLEAN; wash my walls, baseboards, drapes, blinds.. things of that nature. Doing that kills me more than regular vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms. Plus I have 3 kids, everyone has a job, there are no free rides in this house, so it's not bad.

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          • #6
            cancel
            Last edited by snafu; 05-05-2018, 08:54 PM.

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            • #7
              I hired a service once, when my RA was really bad for a while. I used a groupon instead of hiring a person, and was not pleased with the outcome. I specifically asked to have certain things done that I could not do myself, like clean the grates to the air vents and dust the light fixtures. I paid extra for it, which I was fine with. They only did half of the things I asked and only wiped things instead of cleaned them. I specifically asked the owner if they were only going to wipe things or scrub them clean (like the floors), and of course she said scrub and they wiped. She offered to send them back to re-clean, but I don't see the point in wasting time to come back and do another sub-par job. And I let her know that while I am not fluent in Spanish, I know enough to know what they were saying about me. All this for the low, low discounted price of $325. Once people see our subdivision, the price always doubles.

              I thought it was wise to hire an actual company that was known and insured since I have antiques and other things in the house. My sister hires a mother and son team that are not insured and she loves them. They never stole or broke anything, and they clean well. I am thinking of hiring someone again and just locking the valuables in a spare room and tell them not to clean it. I'm overwhelmed with the dog's problems and now my daughter's mouth. Now the surgeon is saying that she has the wrong appliance in her mouth and the tooth will not come down correctly, and the orthodontist is saying she needs another surgery and the appliance is fine. She is scheduled for another surgery in a couple weeks. I am not pleased with anyone in my town at the moment.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post
                while I am not fluent in Spanish
                Having someone who speaks fluent English would be a non-negotiable condition if we hire someone. I don't care what race or ethnicity or nationality they are but they must speak English. I'm not inviting someone into our home who I can't communicate with.

                Thanks for the responses so far.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As with most things, you'd have to do some math to see if hiring someone would actually be worth the money. That being said, I know a few people who have hired maids and have been extremely happy with the outcome. If it is something you truly don't enjoy doing (or suck at, like you said), sometimes it is worth the money.

                  I, on the other hand, am just weird about people coming in and cleaning my house. Most people dream of not having to clean - I wouldn't dream of it haha, even if I had the spare cash.

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                  • #10
                    You already have a cleaning person...its your stay at home wife.

                    I fail to see how someone struggles to vacuum, wipe down floors/shower/mirrors/vanity and dust. That makes up 95% of cleaning a home.

                    The problem most people have when it comes to cleaning is they think they need to do it all at the same time. Instead of vacuuming one day, cleaning bathroom another day, etc etc...they think they need to cram it all in at once. Never ends well.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post
                      I, on the other hand, am just weird about people coming in and cleaning my house. Most people dream of not having to clean - I wouldn't dream of it haha, even if I had the spare cash.
                      This is exactly what my opinion is/had been every time my wife had asked about getting a housecleaner in the past. It was only when her medical issues became a factor that the (declining) state of the house was creating more stress than already existed that I caved & told her to go ahead with it. I'm still not 100% on board, but as I said, it is nice to magically have a clean house when I come home from work. However, the couple times that I've been home while someone was cleaning the house, I was stressing out like crazy & neurotically trying to clean up anything that I could... It works much better when I'm not there, and I can ignore the facts of how it got that clean. The decision of hiring a cleaner was 100% for my wife's benefit. I can only barely tolerate the idea of someone cleaning up after me...
                      "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Years ago, I finally hit a wall and realized with my RA getting worse there were things I just couldn't do anymore. One of the hardest was washing dishes. So, we investigated the few local services, and not a single one would agree to doing dishes, the one thing I really needed help with! We finally were supposed to have someone come and they didn't show up and eventually the boss of the company called and said she had hurt her back and wasn't going to be able to work for a while. Since we had a morning appointment I did wonder why I only heard that she wouldn't be coming during the time she was supposed to be there, since she apparently had already been checked over by the doctor. I think the price then was $25/hour with a minimum of 3 hours.

                        So, after remembering a book I had read once that had mentioned some tips on hiring cleaning help, so that when I took our car into the garage that was owned by some Mennonite men, I asked the receptionist if any of the women did cleaning. She said she would let me know. Her sister was willing and she with her mom came to talk with me about my requirements. Mom wasn't willing to let the daughter (18) work at a home that they didn't approve of, and we passed that test. I explained what I needed help with and why and that unless there was a big miracle, I would need help the rest of my life. Our family got 'adopted'. That young lady cleaned and then brought another woman on board to carry on when she couldn't do the cleaning anymore (she also taught in their school full time), she cleaned for about a year and you have never had a really cleaner until you hear a woman whistling songs of faith while scrubbing a bathroom floor on her hands and knees (I did not require hands and knees scrubbing!), then she brought in her sister who has now been cleaning for us for I think 4 years. She is the right age to be my daughter, she has 6 kids, and is faithful to come every two weeks for 2 hours for $40. Always does the dishes first. The first year I could barely get her to talk, and then as time went buy we always chit chat and she knows I need that as much as I need the cleaning since I am stuck in the house so much especially during winter. She knows that financially we don't have a lot, but I share any surplus with her. I get things from doing reviews that I end up not being able to use or I get too much of, and I pass on to her or to her community. Her family is not wealthy, and they grow most of their food, but during the summer months she ends up with excess eggs and brings us a dozen brown eggs about once a month. We have become friends, Other than her doing the dishes, she does the lick and a promise kind of cleaning in the other hour except with the bathrooms. I can only afford so much cleaning.

                        With a cleaning person, you must be willing to get the clutter out of the way for them since they aren't going to know where to put things. My lady said we needed cleaner and I got her two bottles, one for upstairs and one for downstairs and told her she could put them where she would know where they are. I trust her and all my treasures in the house, although she usually won't come if no one is at home. She also will not come if only my husband is at home. She has never stated those things, but I caught on quick. We have become friends and she was one of the first that I told that I was going to be a grandma! She was very happy for me.

                        Incidentally, in the book I read, they mentioned that some people to check for cleaning help are Jehovah's Witnesses. Because of their beliefs, apparently, they would rather poke their eye out than steal or gossip about what they see in your house. In my case I have found some wonderful worker's in the Mennonite ladies. Iíve only hired one of them, and they pass their care of me on to another when they can no longer do it. How many employees find their own replacements? And their church comes and sings Christmas Carols at our house each year which is special.

                        Don't forget I am in a LCOL area and my lady lives down the road from me. What normal cleaning ladies charge in this area is beyond me.
                        Gailete
                        http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                          This is exactly what my opinion is/had been every time my wife had asked about getting a housecleaner in the past. It was only when her medical issues became a factor that the (declining) state of the house was creating more stress than already existed that I caved & told her to go ahead with it. I'm still not 100% on board, but as I said, it is nice to magically have a clean house when I come home from work. However, the couple times that I've been home while someone was cleaning the house, I was stressing out like crazy & neurotically trying to clean up anything that I could... It works much better when I'm not there, and I can ignore the facts of how it got that clean. The decision of hiring a cleaner was 100% for my wife's benefit. I can only barely tolerate the idea of someone cleaning up after me...
                          Very much how I felt as well, but at times you have to face facts and our society no longer pitches in to help the people they know when someone is ill. It was killing me to try to keep up with the cleaning.
                          Gailete
                          http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

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                          • #14
                            Yes every other week since 2010. I just switched. i pay $120/cleaning and I'm considering every week but i'm lazy because I hate picking up every week. I stay at home so it's offensive to say it's a stay at home wife's job.

                            We started when we had our 1st. If i was home then when DH got home he needed to "help"me with the deep cleaning not just dishes, cooking, vaccuming, wiping, toilets, sheets. He didn't want to so we have a cleaner.

                            It's still the same. We both "work" and then cleaning comes after the kids go to bed. So it's not like I sit there and do no cleaning.

                            I clean more in general. I do pretty much 95% of the dishes. I do 100% of the vaccuming, all the laundry, and 75% of the picking up (he helps always the night before the cleaner comes). So because I stay at home I should do 100%? Sorry but cleaning is a household chore. You live in a house you have responsibilities. If you don't want it then hire someone.

                            It's not free pass just going to work. Doesn't work that way. Before we had kids and both worked we both had to clean. So it's no guff. The same division of labor. When we had dogs I also walked, feed, bathed, and groomed them. Pre and post kids.

                            So please don't say the cleaner is call the stay at home spouse. A stay at home spouse can and often does A LOT. I also pay all the bills, I literally fill gas in the car, I oversee all home, kid, etc stuff. I did this when the kids were small and I do it now as they are bigger and I work.

                            Most recently this tax season my DH said "I don't want you to work anymore. I don't like it. I'm tired, it's hard expecting me to do so much for the kids. You need to cut back. I can't do it." I admit he works hard and travels quite a bit now so I am cutting back to accomodate him. He only picked up and watched the kids when I worked. He certainly did not cook, he did not clean, he did not pick up.

                            So he doesn't expect it of me. A night working? I come back to the house a wreck, food out on the table, takeout, dishes, everything everywhere. I even often will buy or prep food, lay out clothes, do all dishes before leaving him to a dinner with the kids. I have a list of homework to accomplish. So I come home this season at 10 pm and still do dishes and pick up and I prep lunches for the kids and myself? Sorry no go.

                            If he can be super dad and pick up, clean, bath kids, brush teeth, read books, homework, toys, cook, etc then he can expect me to do everything. But it's not possible. Something's gotta give and for us it's always been housework.

                            DS here's a thing we also considered. We save a lot of money cooking and we like to cook at home. We pay for a house cleaner because we spend more time cooking meals than cleaning our house. I know many people who don't cook as much and instead clean. It's a trade off.
                            LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rennigade View Post
                              You already have a cleaning person...its your stay at home wife.

                              I fail to see how someone struggles to vacuum, wipe down floors/shower/mirrors/vanity and dust. That makes up 95% of cleaning a home.
                              how do you know what she does all day? and just because a spouse does not have an outside paying job, all chores should not just automatically be dumped on her/him. Marriage is a partnership

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