As you may have been able to tell from my 10 Tips For Hiring a House Cleaning Service post, Hubby and I have employeed a house cleaning service or two over the years. This is our house cleaning service experience:
When Hubby and I bought our house, we were not yet married. I was living in Buffalo close to Sonny-boy’s high school. He was in his senior year, and while we could have moved out here it would have meant a 30-35 minute commute for him in the morning, versus a five minute walk. It really didn’t make much sense for Sonny-boy and I to move out to the sticks. However, Hubby made the move from his NYC digs, and set up housekeeping here a good seven months before Sonny-boy and I joined him.
During that time, I can safely say that Hubby never: dusted, mopped, cleaned a bathroom, washed a floor and if memory serves, did a dish. This is the same guy who used to tell me stories about how clean he and his college roomie were. After seeing Hubby’s lack of cleaning skills, I think they were just that: stories.
Our only arguments came from Hubby not cleaning up after himself. Eight years later, I can tell you those are the only arguments that really continue. I always say Hubby is like a cat, he doesn’t mind his own dirt but hates anyone else’s! Well, I am not too thrilled with his dirt either.
Hubby suggested I hire a cleaning service. Now while I wasn’t too keen on being the one to hire a service to clean up after messes from Hubby, I also recognized that a cleaning service is cheaper than marriage counseling, Hubby was not going to change, and I wasn’t too opposed to never cleaning the toilet again myself. So, after a few weeks delay while I reconciled myself to hiring someone, I hired a team.
Our first team of cleaners lasted a few years. They were very nice ladies, and one always did an excellent job. When the second lady couldn’t clean for a few weeks, and a substitute stepped in for her, I realized just how poor a job the second lady was doing (the substitute did a fabulous job), we had to part ways. It was very amicable.
I spent a month or two cleaning myself before I got around to hiring someone else. Since it was one person, she came twice a week. Our house is far too large to have one person clean all day. This worked great for a long time. The lady was very young, not much older than Sonny-boy and is probably the second best cleaner I have ever known (the first was my grandmother). Unfortunately she kept getting more and more expensive, and when Sonny-boy left for college and she went down to one day a week (she had been warned it was coming for months), she raised her price to the ridiculous range, and I had to let her go.
Hubby still laments from time to time that he wants to call her and see if she is still in business and pay her that ridiculous rate. She really was that good. I stop him because the rate truly was going to be crazy, and I just can’t see it. I’d rather hire someone else to come two days a week for the same money.
So, after that experience we went a year before I hired an agency. There are many pros and cons to an agency, especially for us! If I have to cancel a week, it isn’t an issue. I never feel like someone will have to juggle their family budget because they missed a week cleaning our house. And yeah, I did feel like that with independents. I recognize that even though I would hire guaranteeing only 40 work weeks, it was still a financial blow to them when we went away and their services were unnecessary that week (they only get paid when they work).
Hubby has decided he doesn’t like the agency we had been using for the last two years, so I am now on the hunt for a new service. Because we bought a condo, I expect that we will need a service even less than before. I’m not worried about a service for the condo – I will just call the service that cleaned the beach house where we vacationed. Not only were they good, they were cheap! I swear if they lived up here, Hubby would hire them to come in daily – and I might not object!
Many people are ashamed to admit they have a cleaning service because they are afraid people will judge them to be lazy or snooty. Nonsense! There are many reasons to hire a service: as we age, it is more difficult to do hands and knees cleaning! Some people work 60 hours a week, and the last thing they want to do with a Sunday off is clean. Much easier to just hire someone to do it during the week. The benefit of having the entire house clean at the same time cannot be understated! I may do the downstairs during a clean, or two rooms, or just the upstairs, but seldom do I clean the entire house in one day. It is really nice to have the entire house clean and not worry about it for days on end.
I even know people that coupon so they can have the money to do things they want more – like hire someone to clean their house! I can’t tell you how many “frugal bloggers” hire services. Let me put it to you this way – if they have been blogging for more than three years and have a decent readership and blog income, chances are better than good they have a cleaning service in weekly.
There are many people from all age and socioeconomic groups that hire a cleaning service. If you have never done so, you may want to give it a go on a one-off before a big party at your house. You never know, you just may find that it is something you really enjoy. I know I do, and I can’t tell you how shocking it is for me to say that!
Do you employee a cleaning service? Have you ever? Will you ever? What pros and cons have you found to hiring someone to clean your home?