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Cleaning Up or Cleaning Out: Is it Worth Hiring a Housekeeper to Do Your Dirty Work?

Posted by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM
  • 29 Replies

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According to a recent survey, American adults spend an average of 13 hours a week doing household chores.

That’s not quite part-time job territory, but it’s pretty close! If you’re time-crunched and have always longed to ditch the duster to spend more time with your family or catch up on your favorite shows, it may be time to hire some help.

Before you decide to throw in the towel (literally), run through this quick checklist to help with the decision:

Count the cost.

House cleaners generally charge $15-$45/hour. Location, pets, lifestyle and extra services can significantly raise your rate, so ask for a detailed estimate!

If neither Fido, your kids (or your spouse) are housetrained, you’re going to be looking at the higher end of this range.

Calculate your worth.

We know your personality is priceless, but what’s an hour of your time really worth?

Use this handy calculator from our friends at LearnVest to find your personal hourly rate. Then, track the time you spend cleaning for one week and calculate the amount you should “pay” yourself.

Use this number to weigh the cost benefit of hiring a cleaner instead of biting the bullet and doing it yourself.

Ask your friends.

Hiring a house cleaner is a lot like hiring a contractor: personal recommendations are solid gold!

Ask around – chances are more of your friends, neighbors or coworkers have house cleaners than you realize. Get their opinions, ask about rates in your area and try to rustle up a phone number or two.

If your friend trusts the cleaner, you probably can, too!

Consider independent vs. corporate cleaners.

On average, large service companies charge over 50 percent more per hour than local, independent cleaners. But you’ll be covered if an iPad or your favorite necklace goes missing.

Corporate services are licensed, bonded and insured, plus they typically run background checks on their employees.

If you do opt for an independent cleaner, it’s best to hire one who has been in business for at least six months and can provide 3-5 references.

Separate your needs.

Make a short list of chores that you really need done. Most of your requests are probably standard when it comes to a company’s cleaning regimen, but a few tasks (dishes, ironing and making beds) can cost extra.

You may want to consider splitting the list: heavier cleaning for the cleaning service, and lighter, everyday upkeep for you and your partner.

BrightNest is a free site that provides tools and tips to homeowners to help them save money, get organized and keep their home in great shape.

by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM
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Replies (1-10):
momofsixangels
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:47 PM

I have never had anyone else clean my house.I would probably clean before they came lol

brownhoney21
by Ruby Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 3:28 PM

 

Quoting momofsixangels:

I have never had anyone else clean my house.I would probably clean before they came lol

 

bwsmommy
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 3:50 PM

I would love to hire a cleaner .. lol but we dont have that option .. not to mention i cant stand when dh tries to clean !

wandep
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I've had a house keeper once and she did a soso job. I could have done better. 

MamaMandee
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM
I have never had a housecleaner but I have been one lol
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nngmommy83
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:13 PM

I do it myself

Cassidysmom611
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I never had a house cleaner. I remember my old boss had one and she would always be like "The cleaning lady is coming tomorrow, I have to go home and clean". I never understood that lol.

KelliansMom
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM
My mil has a cleaner come every two weeks or so I maybe more. And really I could clean the same or better. They don't put stuff away for you or move things to dust. It just seems like a waste. But it would be nice to get the deep clean package every so often bc let's face it I just don't want to do it sometimes.
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kmrtigger
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM
I am debating an offer my neighbor made me. She is wanting a cleaning lady and is paying $10 and hour. I may just take her up on the offer. I enjoying cleaning other peoples places.
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chillemi78
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM
We have one come about 4 times a year to give the house a good scrub. I do clean before she comes. But its picking up, I don't dust and vacuum or wipe up the bathrooms. My husband usually arranges it and I have about 2 days notice, so I spend that time organizing and clearing clutter. I don't think I would want to pay for it every week or even every month, but having her do a good scrub every few months is absolutely worth it in my opinion.
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