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Why I Changed My Mind About Hiring a Cleaning Service

“Honey, I really think we should consider hiring a cleaning service, “ Jesse gently suggested one day when I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with three kids, homeschooling, and running this blogging gig that had turned into an almost full-time thing.

It was about 6 years ago, we had paid cash for our first home, our businesses were doing well, we had no debt, we were in a great place financially, and we totally had the wiggle room in our budget to pay for a cleaning service.

But I was aghast!

“Pay for a cleaning service?!?!?” I quickly responded back. “Do you know how extravagant that would seem to everyone who knows me as Money-Saving Mom???”

I went on, “Absolutely not! I just couldn’t. I just don’t feel like I could spend money having someone clean my house! That just feels entitled and wasteful!”

So he let the matter rest. Because he’s a smart man like that. 😉

Every once in awhile — especially on days when I was bemoaning that I didn’t have time to mop the kitchen floor or deep clean the bathrooms yet again — he’d bring it up and remind me that we should just try it. That it wouldn’t hurt to try one time.

But I was adamant. It was NOT happening.

Then, one week, I found myself up-to-my eyeballs in to-do’s, because in addition to the normal work and life stuff, I was hosting a wedding shower for around 90 people at our house (Yes! 90 people!)

Jesse brought up the idea of just paying for a cleaning service to come in the day before the shower because I really didn’t have time to clean the house from top to bottom — unless I wanted to give up sleep the night before the shower.

I acquiesced… but “only this one time!” I said.

Um, well, that one time of paying for a cleaning service to come completely changed my life.

It was incredible! Amazing! Unbelievable!

Yes, I ate crow… and had to tell Jesse that he was right and I was sorry I had been stubborn for so long. Because having a a team come in and clean our house from top to bottom and save me hours of time was pretty much the best thing since, well, maybe blogging was invented! 🙂

From that day on, I’ve become a staunch believer in cleaning services and the value they provide — especially if you’re in a place where you have a good income and you don’t have a lot of extra margin time in your life.

To have people come into our home every week and sweep and mop all of our floors, deep clean our kitchen, deep clean our bathrooms, change all of our sheets, vacuum all of our furniture, clean all the mirrors and glass, clean our microwave, wipe down all the surfaces, and leave our home looking spotless and smelling so clean, is just downright priceless.

Here are four of the main reasons hiring a cleaning service has benefitted our life:

1. It Saves Me Time

I calculate that having a cleaning service come in every week for 1 1/2 to 2 hours saves me at least 5-6 hours per week of cleaning. My time is valuable these days — especially as a full-time working mom — so the cost versus the time it saves has been incredibly worth it for me in this season.

2. It Saves Me Stress

I know that I’m happier and calmer when my home is organized and clean. That’s my personality and I can’t change it! So not having to stress about when I’m going to find time to mop the floors or to deep clean the shower and tub is a big load off of my shoulders.

3. It Helps Us Maintain a Clutter-Free Environment

When you have cleaners come in, you are motivated to keep things much more straightened up and clutter-free so that it’s easier for them to clean and the final result looks much better (it’s hard for them to get a lot of cleaning done if there are piles everywhere!)

I’ve also found that even if our home gets a little messy throughout the week and we skip some of our daily quick whole house pick-ups because of a full schedule, we always make sure that it’s completely picked up on Thursdays when the cleaners come. This means that things never get out of control, overwhelming, or unmanageable.

4. It Gives Us More Time as a Family

Instead of having to spend an hour deep cleaning every day (like I used to), we can just make the beds, do the laundry, pick up the house, sweep the kitchen floor, empty the trashes, and clean the kitchen and the house stays really clean looking almost all the time. We divvy up these household chores every day, so none of us rarely spend more than 30 minutes to an hour on chores. Which means we have more time to spend together as a family — in a clean house!

I believe that wise management of money is not about being as frugal as you can possibly be. Rather, it’s about using your resources wisely in order to enhance your life and live out your family’s mission and purpose. 

For a long time, I fought against hiring a cleaning service because I felt like it was extravagant and costly. What I didn’t realize is that the benefits of more time with my family and less stress in my life would add much more richly to my life than the actual costs of the weekly service.

I’m trying to remember this — especially as someone who is usually so frugal — in all areas of my life. I want to count not just the costs but also the benefits when weighing any change in our budget. It’s so easy for those of us who like to save every penny we can to forget that it’s not worth it to save money if it means we’re losing our sanity in the process.

Now I admit, I’m a little scared of putting this post out on the internet. I know that it’s a bit of a controversial subject and that not everyone will probably love this post. Some of you might even be bothered enough that you feel like I’m not someone you want to follow any more.

I get that. And that’s why I thought long and hard before posting it.

I know many of you aren’t in a place to be able to afford a cleaning service and it could feel frustrating to you. Or, you can’t understand why someone would want to hire a cleaning service because you love cleaning.

But I am sharing it today because I have a feeling that there are some of you who might be inspired by my story to reconsider a purchase or another expenditure in your budget that maybe you’ve been resisting because it feels like it’s “not what a frugal person would do or buy or pay for.”

Can I just gently encourage you — like my husband did — that if you can afford something and if it will make a really positive impact in your life and is in line with your family’s goals and mission, that it’s okay to go for it — even if it feels downright extravagant?

Give yourself permission to try it. Who knows? It just might be the thing that makes a massive difference in your home and family!

I know this for sure, the next time my husband gently encourages me to consider an idea, I’m going to actually listen the first time around and try to at least consider it — instead of just instantly pushing back and saying, “That’s too extravagant!”

P.S. Can’t afford a cleaning service, but looking for some step-by-step help to get your house in order? Check out this amazing bundle of resources. I’ve been reading some of them over the past few days while running on the treadmill and they are packed with great ideas, inspiration, and loads of hands-on help!

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  • Lisa Manning says:

    I once posted a question on my Facebook page “What is the best thing you have ever done for your marriage?” I was surprised that one answer was “Hire a house cleaner.” She went on to say that it stopped almost all arguments in the marriage because no one felt taken advantage of or resentful/annoyed that the house wasn’t clean. She said it was worth every penny.

    Great decision…and as a working Mom, I get it!

  • Kyda says:

    I think I would like to hire a cleaner for an occasional deep clean, but I’m embarrassed about how it looks now. Has anyone else felt like this? like you have to clean before the cleaner shows up? I know it sounds silly….

    • Heidi says:

      It’s not silly. It’s natural to not want to be judged by the state of your home. Just consider that the cleaners are there to do their job. They get paid for providing an important service. It’s necessary to pick up excess clutter so they can move around to sweep and dust. However, you don’t need to actually clean. I would highly suggest the deep clean. The results are amazing!

    • EV says:

      They’ve seen worse

  • Aubrey says:

    I love that your husband was the one to keep gently reminding you to try a cleaning service. My husband has also been suggesting this for a year or so, and I keep thinking that it’s too extravagant. But, we’re both working full-time (and then some), and it just makes sense that we have a peaceful place to come home to in those few opportunities we have to be there together!

  • Cheryl says:

    I love this! I’m a stay at home mom but recently started an online business. While my major goal for my income is to pay off all our debt, I have a small side goal to help motivate me….hire a cleaner. By having a cleaning service that will free up more time for me to get some online work finished AND it makes me happy and less stressed! I also want to hire someone who works for themselves to help promote an entrepreneurship.

    And BTW I love this, it makes you real and not supermom. This is fabulous!

  • Connie says:

    I couldn’t agree more! We have had a cleaning lady for over 20 years – best money we ever spent! I am frugal by nature, but we started hiring one to cut down on our disagreements over cleaning. Now it’s such a blessing and I totally agree with your benefits list.

  • Jennifer says:

    I finally started doing this last year. They come quarterly and sometimes I have an extra cleaning for get togethers or holidays. Totally worth it. My husband and I work full time and have an 8 year old. This gives us more relaxing time together.

  • April says:

    Recently I was meeting with my unofficial blogging board of advisors. And they said, “Why don’t you do this or that like Money Saving Mom does?” I told them, “Look, she has a cleaning lady and a staff of people who help keep Money Saving Mom running. I’m just me, and I had to give up my cleaning lady this year to cover the 3rd boy’s private school tuition.” They were like Ohhhh. That helped me to lower their expectations a little. Haha! One of my “board members” is my best idea generator, and she sent me a message to tell me YOU had mystery fevers from being too busy. I had this exact same problem, which is one reason I had to give up home schooling. Anyway, now that I know this I want to do the 15 day healthier you thing, so I hope you will run it again!! I would love to be an affiliate for that!! Thanks for sharing all this! Women need to be encouraged to give themselves the grace of getting help!!

  • Sarah DeGroot says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, Crystal. After being on the edge for so long, your post convinced me to go for it. I don’t have to work, homeschool, have babies, and clean house all by my self. During this season of life a cleaner will definitely lower my stress. Thank you.

  • Heidi says:

    When I was working full time, a cleaning service was my saving grace! At first, it felt like a luxury. However, eventually I realized that it gave me more time with my children and less stress overall (when I already had a very stressful job). We all used to love cleaning day and coming home to a clean home. At least it looked wonderful for a day (sigh). I will say that I didn’t tell anyone that we had cleaners, because I didn’t want people to think I was better than them. Now I realize that it’s a quality of life issue and a personal choice. No one should be judged for how they spend their money.

  • Maria says:

    Hi Crystal, Thanks so much as always for sharing your personal experience. I am always inspired by you and your wonderful ideas that truly help me and my family live our best life ! I’ve followed you for a while and I feel like I need to impart some of my wisdom today-I’m 45 so I feel like I can-lol !!! Please DO NOT apologize for hiring a cleaning service, not homeschooling anymore, not being as frugal etc. At 40 I had a realization that it does NOT matter what people think !!!! As long as you feel in your heart that what you are doing is right, than it is 💕. You’re a wonderful person and your blog is GREAT so thank you and keep up the good work !!!

  • Courtney says:

    I wish I could afford this. I feel like I am sinking. I have two boys, 3 and 1, who have developmental delays, and trying to take care of them taxes me so much. My house looks far from what I want it to be, and it seems to scream at me, “Failure!” at times. I know it isn’t true, but we moms are harder on ourselves, I think, than anyone else.

    • Amy says:

      Maybe you could hire someone for the floors and complete cleaning of bathrooms?! Then you’d have more time for all the important to you things. Even if it’s not in the budget, maybe swap with a friend or something else creative like that? Good luck mama!

  • Erica says:

    I grew up with someone coming in to clean our house. Both of my parents worked and if we hadn’t had some weekly or every other week, it would have been a disaster.

    When my husband and I were first married, we had someone come clean the house. Then we had some leaner times and that became a luxury that I could no longer rationalize. I am really looking forward to the day when I can work that back into our budget. While I’ve tried a variety of systems, and at times been successful, I just don’t like cleaning and therefore am not good about making sure that it gets done.

  • Emily says:

    I love this post. While I’m not in a place financially to be able to do this, YET, it will be in the back of my mind for the future. Thanks for the post! I know it took courage. Good for you!

  • Debbie says:

    And you forgot to add to your reasons that it provides employment for other people 😊 You are recycling your dollars back into the economy. My friend is able to provide much needed extra cash for her family because someone, just like you, is sharing their blessings with her. My friend gets a job, and she also feels she is contributing something, both to the families that she cleans for (whose lives are just that little bit better for her being there 😊) and to her own family too. There shouldn’t be such a stigma and so much guilt surrounding hiring cleaners – they are providing an important professional service, no different to dry cleaning, plumbing or hairdressing – and I don’t know too many people who would be embarrassed to call an electrician or pay for their child’s sports coaching …

  • Julia says:

    This was perfect for me as I have been on the fence about hiring someone to clean. I was recently widowed and have been overwhelmed with raising 3 kids, working full time and trying to keep up with the laundry and cleaning. My husband had always done the cleaning so it was a big adjustment to add in those responsibilities. I was thinking that I could do it all but my house is a mess most days which leads to chaos trying to get out of the house in the morning. You helped me realize that money spent on a cleaning person gives me more quality time with my kids and lessens my stress levels.

    • JenM says:

      Julia I am “recently” widowed (almost 2 years) and a stay at home mom of 3 and I still have a hard time staying on top of things. My church family was very gracious to pay for a cleaning service for a period of time and it helped tremendously. I found it worthwhile to add this to my budget. I hope you’ll be able to do the same. One less thing on the to do list is one less thing. God bless you and your children.

  • Erin says:

    YES! I’m a frugal person, but if my blog every started turning a good profit I would consider hiring a house cleaner. I like a clean house but don’t like cleaning. I wrote this post - minutes-day/ for other moms like me.

    I think a house cleaner would be worth every penny. I’m so glad you had the courage to share it. Yes it’s a luxury, but the time saved is priceless. When you spend money you can make more. But when you spend time it’s gone forever. Time with my husband and kids is precious!

  • Crissy says:

    I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I have a question. My question is whether you are home when they clean? If you are, do you feel guilty for not helping them? If not, then do you worry about your valuables? I know that they are bonded, but I worry something will go missing and I won’t realize it for a while.

    • Pegf says:

      I am one of those house cleaners! It’s good if you can leave the house so the cleaners can get down to work. If you can’t then just be out of their way. It’s hard for the cleaners if people are hanging around.

  • Sondra says:

    Woo HOO! I love this. I am a house cleaner. I tell everyone not to feel embarrassed because they are providing a living for me. It’s a great way to help out small businesses and individuals who do this for a living. I love it and love my customers. NEVER feel embarrassed hiring a house cleaner! That is why I can make a living as a single mother, be home to take my children to school and be home with them after school. It’s been such a blessing to my life! So yes! Hire a house cleaner for all the reasons she listed above. Not only does it help your house be tider, you are healthier too and get sick less often when everything gets cleaned regularly! Love this post!!

  • Kathy says:

    My daughter is a hair dresser and one of her clients cleans houses. My daughter bartered services for her client to clean my house. My daughter knew I was over whelmed at the time with taking care of my very sick sister in law. This cleaning lady has been such a huge blessing to me. My husband has kept her paid in cash every two weeks without fail! Funny thing is I have never even met her! She comes and cleans my house like a magical cleaning fairy! I trust her as she is recommended by my very picky daughter. This old ,tired, kindergarten teacher is very happy to have someone else do the scrubbing for a change.

  • I have wanted to hire someone to clean our home for years, but my husband was never on board. It wasn’t really in the budget, and I think he just thought if I worked a little harder/ used my time a little better, then I could keep the house clean. But I am excited because he has FINALLY come around. Now we have four kids, I homeschool, and am putting more work into my blog, and there is just no way I can keep up. Plus, cleaning just isn’t my thing. And I am happy to delegate that task so that I can focus on my kids more and put more work into my blog (which will hopefully bring in more income too). I totally get what you mean about being happier and calmer when your house is organized too. I also get feelings of guilt about all the things I have not been able to do. I see dust on the ceiling fans, or something else that needs to be attended to, and feel like it’s my fault for not being able to do it all.
    I am so thankful for this post and for your video on Facebook, because even though I have been wanting this for a while, after getting the estimate last week, I was having second thoughts. But your post and video really helped me remember why it is a worthwhile investment!

  • Jamie says:

    Thanks for this! I am a homeschool mom and I work from home. I realized earlier this year that the “money to time” ratio was out of balance with my working and schooling. We have 8 people here. Something had to give.

    I decided to hire a cleaning service, and budget for weekly take out. It completely changed my work-at- home game!

    Also, coming home to a lovely clean house is so motivating! It encourages me to work hard so me and my family can reap those rewards!

  • Lauren Jones says:

    I am excited to be going back to work now that my children are all in school, but I want to make sure our house keeps the same clean atmosphere. It is good to know that hiring a cleaning service can be beneficial in helping your home to maintain a clutter free environment. I like what was said about how cleaners would ensure that things never get out of control, overwhelming, or unmanageable. I will have to seriously consider this option, thanks.

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