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Almost None of my Friends Clean their own House

October 9th, 2014 at 09:12 am

Working from home today... no real reason except that my workload is light today, and it's going to be HEAVY next week, so I thought I'd give myself a kind of break.

I am going to make some tea, work in a less manic fashion, head out at noon to teach my spinning class. Oh - and I just cleaned the mirrors.

Cleaning the mirrors made me think: my house is never completely clean at once because I have a weekly cleaning schedule (one or two things done each day) which means everything is cleaned at least once a week, but not all at the same time. It's the only way I can keep the house clean without spending an entire day doing it.

That got me thinking: I am almost the only one of my friends (I can only think of one exception right now, but there might be one or two more) who doesn't have a house cleaner. That's amazing to me!

No one ever talks to me about it; I think they know me, and know it's not in our budget.

I can see how it would be a justifiable expense, though, especially if we had more money; time is worth so much! I am figuring when I'm older/retired that it would be nice not to have to clean the house myself.

Do you clean your house or have a cleaner come in?

22 Responses to “Almost None of my Friends Clean their own House”

  1. Bluebird Says:

    Hi! We have a cleaner. My DH and I both work full time and we have two young boys. After years of doing everything myself, while my boys were toddlers, and working full time, I realized that time with my boys was worth far more than the money to pay someone to clean. It was the best thing I ever did! Of course, I clean up daily and keep the house organized and picked up, but the cleaner does the major items. I would certainly do the cleaning myself, but I only have so much time after work and on weekends, and I prefer to spend it with my boys. I'm thankful we have the means to have the cleaner! Smile

  2. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    I would be divorced if I didn't have a cleaning lady. I think we should both be responsible for house cleaning but he's old school.

  3. snafu Says:

    I've never had a cleaner but we divy up chores. DKs 'helped' as toddlers when they could understand simple instruction. By the time they went to school they had daily tasks like dirty clothes in hamper, bed made, set table for meals and clear their dishes. By middle school they did daily tasks + one or two chosen chores for pay. An unanticipated benefit long term was their ability to manage their home share situation at college across the country.

    DH chose vacuum and wash bathroom floors early on. He worked with DSs to teach teamwork for the scores of jobs that are done seasonally or only occasionally as needed. We've always ETE [Eliminate the Evidence], just before bedtime we set a timer 15 minutes and dash around putting things away, fluffing pillows, folding throws, glasses/snack bowl to DW etc. Finally, items to go in AM to the door to avoid that AM flurry and fuss. We named our entry bench 'LaunchPad.'

    I've a rotation of daily chores so ingrained it feels weird if I miss a step. I'm not OCD but find myself automatically ETEing as each project completes. For example, I put away the makings before I eat a sandwich. For the past 8 years I've chosen contract work, mostly from home but I've also worked for politicians who nearly own you 24/7.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    No house cleaner here. We all chip in and don't spend a lot of time on it. I always say I am no neat freak and really don't spend much time doing chores. BUT I just got back from visiting my sister's home. Ugh. She just lives in filth. I guess it is all relative. I am more into the bare minimum/efficient cleaning. Moderation. But I think there is also the element of having way more help.

    We hire out yard work because my spouse and I can't stand it. Saves us from stress and arguing. I don't feel that strongly about anything inside the house. The yard work is the best money we ever spent. If it was house cleaning that we hated more than anything then it would be housecleaning.

  5. Buendia Says:

    I have a daily cleaning schedule, weekly things (about 15 mins each max), things that are only every so often.... D does the dishes about 4 nights a week and I do 3. He mops. He's supposed to do yard work, but hates it, so I like the idea of maybe hiring someone for that.

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    I forgot to add, the only reason we ever hired out yard work was because we found our HOA to be annoying. Inside, no one else complains if we don't feel like cleaning for a while. Big Grin I do think we had a lot of external motivation on that. BUT, I also feel like it's the best money we every spent. We did that when I Was pregnant with my second. I felt like it freed up a lot of time to spend with our children. I always figured when they were older they could help. But that does not account for my extreme fear of spiders and my grass allergies. We have since decided that we probably just aren't yard people and will move back to a condo eventually. But then it's, do we pay another HOA or own a small yard and just hire it out? It might be more frugal just to hire out the yard work. Will see.

  7. creditcardfree Says:

    No house cleaner, but if I worked full time, I would definitely consider it. I don't have true daily tasks, but I do have certain days to get the towels washed, and the bathroom cleaned. The other stuff we share and do when it seems to need it. What that really means is when we have visitors we clean! And someone is here once a month at least.

  8. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I have before. I haven't had one though since 2005 ... not because I didn't want one that's for sure!

  9. ceejay74 Says:

    We were pretty much the ONLY people I knew who had a housecleaner for a while. Now we've cut back virtually every luxury, but I'd do it again if I ever felt like it didn't hurt the budget.

    I always sensed some surprise and "Oh la la" from my friends if I mentioned the housekeeper, but I wasn't shy or secretive about it. If I did get any kind of reaction like that I'd remind them that we had no car, only spent about $15 per month per adult on phones, hardly ever ate out, barely ever got new clothes. To us it was one of the luxuries that seemed to add the most enjoyment to our lives, so we added it in and not others that many of our friends probably thought they couldn't live without.

    But, when we had to give it up to help afford moving early into our new home, it wasn't a big deal. I'd still get a housecleaner in the future, but it's not essential.

  10. NJDebbie Says:

    We've never had a cleaning person. We keep up with it ourselves; hubby dusts (once a week), vacuums (once a week) and cleans the bathrooms (usually three times a week) and on Saturdays I take a few hours to organize and scrub a few things.

  11. MonkeyMama Says:

    @ceejay - that's kind of my experience. Our culture overall has a viceral negative reaction to hiring help. That said, I know a lot of people who do hire out maids and yard work. BUT, I've also gotten about just as many "oh la la"type comments. It is definitely all about priorities. Most everyone know has a mortgage twice as big AND two endless car payments. It's kind of funny when someone gets all jealous of your $80/month splurge. I'd rather spend money on something that makes life easier.

  12. PNWMom Says:

    I've never had a cleaning person and I have worked full time and part time with two kids who did competitive/club sports. We are pretty much empty nesters now (dd2 was home for the summer) so our house really doesn't get that dirty/messy....mainly it's the kitchen and bathroom. Our girls always had chores of some kind, and in fact, when they come home to visit, they help out too.

  13. wisewoman Says:

    I am someone who spent years cleaning homes as a side income. I would love someone to clean my home. I would also like a chef to cook my meals for me Smile I dream big!!

  14. My English Castle Says:

    I've hesitated to chime in here because we hired a cleaner when I was in the UK to avoid heightened marital discord. I fully intended to stop it, but I didn't, and I feel guilty about it. But we both work full time, and honestly, as much as I love my DH, he is a slob. Except for travel, it's my one luxury. I love it; they come every two weeks, and it makes me very happy. I'm not sure why I feel guilty about it, but I do. So now go ahead, reassure me.

  15. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    MEC - I would hire one again in a heartbeat. And I only have myself to mess things up around here (and Kari of course ...) Housework is my LEAST favorite thing in the world to do. I may just hire one again ... if I can find a similar deal as to what I had back in 2005 Smile $40 for two hours once a month. (plus a $10 tip usually)

  16. My English Castle Says:

    Thanks, Laura. I hate to clean too. Plus, the pre-cleaning that gets done the night before the cleaners come is a real motivator for us.

  17. Bluebird Says:

    @MEC - Don't feel guilty! Everyone's situation is different, and we all do what works best for us and our households.

  18. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I have a cleaner. I got it when we had our first child 4 years ago and I started staying at home. No more fighting over cleaning schedules. We don't have the same level of tolerance. My DH grew up a slob. We're talking trash piling up until it falls out of trash can. Towels smell. Toilets are filthy. Sheets washed maybe once a year, yes this is how his parents live and how his brother lived. We fought about chores and finally after kids I gave up. I cleaned more because I care more. Now I clean up for the cleaners to do the mopping, toilets, dust, and vacuum. Surprisingly I still vacuum 2x/day with kids. But I don't do full on clean.

  19. disneysteve Says:

    We do not have a cleaner. Never have. Honestly, our house is not the cleanest on the block. It just isn't a high priority to us. It isn't icky or disgusting or anything. It is functionally clean but not spic and span. You may see a few spots on the mirror, some dust on the furniture, or some hair on the bathroom floor but so what?

    Honestly, I can't imagine having a stranger come in and clean my house. We hate when housekeeping comes into our hotel room on vacation (which is why we like renting vacation homes where that doesn't happen). Plus we always have so much stuff lying around, plus little items and collectibles throughout the house, that I'd be worried about stuff getting damaged or destroyed. Also, my wife has allergies so a lot of cleaning products really bother her so somebody coming in using who knows what would be an issue.

    And besides, I'm too cheap to pay someone to do it. Smile

  20. Buendia Says:

    Disneysteve, I feel the same way!

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  22. PatientSaver Says:

    I have never had a cleaner and have always worked full-time. I would love to have an immaculate house but realistically, with 2 cats that shed constantly, that's not in the cards. In any event, I have too many other competing demands for my money.

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