“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!
I am disabled and need occasional help with my housework. I would prefer regular help, but cannot find anyone both affordable and reliable. One thing I have had a problem with, as far as finding people to help, was that after they had been coming for a while, and we were comfortable and friendly with one another, then they would try to negotiate a higher hourly rate and they’d start relaxing more and doing less work for the money as well. It would eventually get to the point where it was not worth it to use them. I still work for a living and am multilingual with an unusual skill set/specialty, and their hourly rate (as they tried to negotiate it “up” to) was more than mine was. I would really like to find someone to help me who is both reasonable and professional/detached (i.e., doesn’t do things like this). I am not stingy with the hourly at all (!)…I just want the rate to stick within affordable range and the person to do a consistently good job from week to week. They also would often cancel for improbable reasons and dump personal problems on me (often in a bid to up the hourly rate). I am ok with being friendly and listening, but eventually, like I said, the rate plus the “less and less amt of work over time” issue made it not worth it…for any of them.
I am so sorry that this has been your experience. It can sometimes be a trial and error method until you find the right fit! -Jordan, MSM Team
How often does your cleaning service come?
a cleaning service is amazing. my mother in law paid for a few months when I first had my first son and it was awsome just had to focus on my baby. I then realized it was worth the expense while my children were little and I needed to focus on being a mom to my babies.
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.
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!
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life says
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!
Crystal Paine says
Yay! Yay! Yay! This makes me SO happy for you!!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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 -https://www.thenodramamama.com/4-ways-instantly-make-house-feel-clean-15- 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!
Crystal Paine says
Thanks so much for sharing the link to your post!
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.
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.
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 …
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 !!!
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.
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.
Crystal Paine says
YAY! I’m SO glad!!!
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!!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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….
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!
Just get the clutter picked up. And have the cleaning supplies stocked. You will be so happy!
They’ve seen worse
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!
I have been having the same conversation with my husband lately! In the past we had a cleaning service in our smaller house, but since moving into a larger home I haven’t tried it. I write a blog for women with ADHD and I can say that some cleaning help is essential to getting it all done. (for me anyway)
Thank you for sharing your perspective.
It might be just the inspiration I need to make a phone call!
When I lived on my own with my 2 young boys I hired a weekly cleaner for a couple of hours on a Monday and Friday. It was pretty affordable and the lady was friendly. I may have only had a small flat, but being houseproud and on my own with youngsters I really did need a helping hand. I thought I wouldn’t need a cleaner once I moved in with my then partner and it really was a temporary help.
I wish I still had my cleaner now but she is too far away.
I think there is a cleaning service that can accommodate most budgets, especially of all you need a ‘top up’ style of cleaning of you’re already quite a tidy homemaker.
Ingrid Beukers says
Thanks for this post! Just the encouragement I needed. We have a lady who comes every week to clean in our home. Lately I’ve gone down from working 40 hours a week to 36 hours a week and started also at the same time with my own small company.
I was thinking that as I’m working now 4 hours less a week I could do the cleaning myself. But after reading this post I realize that I have to keep her and use the time wisely for my own work and my own business. At the end this will give me much more.
Again thanks for the post!
We run a small backpackers lodge here in South Africa. Last year we employed an extra cleaning lady (housekeeper) on a ‘casual’ basis – we would use her when we were busy enough to need her. December is our peak season and she worked full time, but then comes January and February – these are the months I let my staff go on leave as business is sooooo quiet. As I did not need my new ‘casual’ housekeeper here at the lodge these next few months, I asked her to come and clean my home twice a week instead – bonus for me and she still has some income.
Suddenly I find I have so much more time on my hands – I can easily keep the place tidy. But dusting, mopping, changing sheets, cleaning windows … Now I have time to bake goodies for / with my kids, sit down and spend more time with them or some extra quality time with hubby.
Being just a Mom, nothing else is a full time job and others often forget that. More often than not, Mom’s are not just Mom’s, they are wives, housekeepers, event organisers, leaders etc. and may even have a day job or their own business to run. I do not see the harm in creating some time for a Mom just to be herself.
Obviously, this is something many of us struggle with! Having a newborn right now myself, homeschooling my two older ones, working from home, and managing the house has my head spinning. The stress of trying to do it all is overwhelming. Someday, when we can afford it, I’ll happily join the bandwagon and hire a housekeeper…no shame…just relief! Congrats to everyone who can afford it now!
Thank you for this! I have thought about hiring a cleaner off and on for years but haven’t gotten up the nerve yet. This post might inspire me enough to try. I’m heavily loaded – I work a full time job and a 3/4 time job from home, plus homeschool my five kids ages 8 and under – so I don’t have time to do more than the basics throughout the day. My husband does most of the cleaning on the weekends, but his standards are far lower than mine, and it’s hard for him to keep up with everything around his own full time job. Deep cleaning doesn’t happen near as often as I’d like. But I’ve been hesitant to hire out because I’m very private and it would feel weird to have someone in the house. (How do you get over that?) Plus I bet I’d feel like the need to pre-clean so the cleaner didn’t think we were slobs, haha! Hubby doesn’t want to shell out money to have someone do what he is capable of doing, but I have long ago made peace with spending money on things that improve our overall lives in other ways. I think I could justify it if I could get over my hang-ups. It really would be wonderful to have things deep-cleaned without having to nag hubby or sacrifice my sleep to do it. Looking forward to seeing your follow-up post with ideas for how to find someone and what to pay.
My husband would never hired someone to do what he can do himself. He is a very handy man, does plumbing, electrical, paint, wood work, and so on… He doesn’t trust anyone coming into the house, it is like violating the privacy and afraid that they could come to the house and robe us when we are not there. He does all the work outside the yard even though he has a bad back and I do what I can inside. I would not mind a bit to pay for someone to help, but he would never approve it.
Time is money. You actually saved using the housecleaning svc.
Love this post! All the same reasons I have help in keeping my house clean. When our 3rd child came along 8 years ago and I began homeschooling at the same time, I knew I’d need help in order to keep my sanity. Everyone has different needs (or wants), and what we budget for may not fit another’s budget, but that’s ok! And I definitely don’t make it public knowledge that I have help, but when it becomes known to someone, I like to say that I have someone help me with the house cleaning (instead of saying I have a maid). Because that’s exactly what they’re doing! She’s not waiting on me hand and foot; she’s doing a great service for me and my family for which I am extremely grateful. I get to spend these years devoted to my family and I’m not stressed or distracted by having to clean every day.
Thank you for being brave and honest. Hiring a cleaning service isn’t something everyone can do. Someone who is in the position where they can hire one shouldn’t feel like they can’t because of social pressures.
I look forward to the day when I can hire someone to come clean my house once in a while. But first I have to get through the decluttering phase 🙂
I love to clean. Most of the time cleaning relaxes me. But, when we both worked I always had someone clean my house.
Why? Because you can’t do it all!
The first time I went to my pastor and asked if he could recommend a teenage girl who he felt could be trusted to do the job. He gave me 4 names. I hired one. My coworker hired another and then her neighbors hired the other two and they switched off who picked them up and drove them home… Then I was home for a number of years and didn’t need one. But when I went to work again, I hired a girl from our homeschool group.
Now I’m home, but starting a business. The tech side of blogging has been difficult for me. Researching topics for blogs take time. Then the time to write them. Cooking blogs… Pictures, videos, oy! I will be hiring someone as soon as the income of the to do it!
Don’t feel guilty. Even the Proverbs 31 woman had servants (plainly says that)! You didn’t think she did all that and took care of her house, too, did you?
The Proverbs 31 woman, that cracks me up! I never thought about it that way.
I have told women going back to the workforce to get a cleaner with their first paycheck. You can’t wait until later because you will get comfortable with the income. It can save a marriage, which is, of course, worth more than all the money in the world.
I love this! I’ve had help come in for the past few years, and though at times it feels like “I’m a failure cause I can’t keep up” it is amazing! 🙂 Doing photography, homeschooling 3 kids, and being pregnant with our #6th can only be possible if I let you go of something else. 🙂 Thanks for being willing to share that you too, are normal and need help! 😉
Crystal there is no shame in that. But I understand how you thought people might look at you but glad you do not worry about that anymore on that subject. I am so glad you wrote this because it is encouraging.
We are not in a place to afford a cleaner, nor am I at place in my career to need more margin in my life, but I have found that a huge sanity saver for me is buying my kids hot lunch at school. Not having to meal plan lunches, come up with new healthy ideas and then spend the time packing makes me happy dance every time I place the online order! (It helps that the school offers amazing, healthy options also!)
Thank you for this post. You met a need.
As a full-time blogger and full-time mama, you have no idea how much this post is a gift to me. I have been wrestling with the idea of bringing in a housecleaning crew for about 6 months now, but I keep telling myself that I can do it. The problem is that I don’t do it and our home is rarely ever deep cleaned. (Gross. I know.) I have so much on my to do list, that I just can’t! Also, I’ve held myself back until I could get the clutter under control. I’ve just decluttered my whole house this month. We have the money, but I’m just too darn frugal. But you’re the 3rd person I’ve heard in the last day to encourage hiring a cleaning service. I think that’s a God thing. I’m calling tomorrow!
I once heard a homeschool Dad say that his wife could either educate the kids or clean the house. She couldn’t do both. So, which should he hire? A tutor so his wife could be the housekeeper? Or a housekeeper so his wife could educate the children?
I thought he had his priorities straight!
GOOD.FOR.YOU! And I completely understand because when my husband and I were working full time, raising 2 kids and fostering others, it was a God send. As always, thank you for being so honest & candid.
You go girl! Do the things that work for YOU, your family, and season. Life is too short to second guess yourself.
I have a cleaner for the exact reasons you posted, Crystal. You are so right about the need to also weigh the benefits. I could never be as efficient in my own home and it leaves me time for my family/friends and exercise on top of my full time job. My personality is like yours, so I love to have things neat and clean. It’s all about balance in our different seasons of life.
(And our sweet cleaner never asked for a raise, so we’ve increased how much we pay her, because she is so valuable to us!)
I broke down and hired one 13 years ago. It has been a life saver! I’ll admit I have my days where I feel guilty, like I’m failing by not being able to do it all, but it was a great decision and I will stick by it! We appreciate the ladies who work so hard to make our home nice !! 🙂
I love cleaning my own home but if the need arose, new baby, event going on, etc., on hubby and I agree we totally would. We would just have to be comfortable with the person(s). We have a friend who used to do this but she’s elderly now and no longer does this. 🙁
I finally decided the same thing about a year ago. I was so ashamed when the first person we were thinking of hiring looked around bewildered and told me that she would not be able to help because it was just too disorganized. Ugh!
The next couple we spoke with, a husband and wife team who also bring along their adult children sometimes, didn’t bat an eyelash. I told them I wasn’t expecting miracles, I just wanted to know our floors were clean and the tables had been wiped down. After all, we DO have 5 kids (ages 11 and under), so it’s just going to be chaotic sometimes. We also homeschool, so we are LIVING in this space constantly. It needed some extra love!
Our folks come in every 2 weeks and it’s so freeing! I’m not screaming at the kids to do heavy cleaning and I don’t feel like the weight of it is all on my shoulders anymore.
I think this is a great way of looking at it and I’m sure there are readers who will benefit from this perspective! I have often thought that if I started working more (for sure if I worked full time but even much more than half-time, given all the factors in our family’s situation) that I would spring for a cleaning service at last 1-2x/month for sanity’s sake!
Oh Crystal, I bet those cleaners don’t mind coming to your house!! You have done a great job keeping it clutter free that it would be easy to clean. I’m glad you have done that for yourself and your family!
Emily Glass says
To me, this is the epitome of capitalism, something of which I’m a big fan. Do what you do best, let others do what they do best, and the best will always rise to the top. It took a lot of emotional convincing from my husband for me to do the same, even though I was on board logically. I felt like I failed as a wife, mother, woman. Now, though, I have time for the things I do best. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.
Crystal Paine says
You’re so welcome! Thank you for your encouragement!
Ignore the haters and any negative comments. Everyone’s situation is different and it is wonderful you can afford and have hired a cleaning service. If I could afford it, I would hire one as well. The stress it would save not having to worry about getting things done and the extra time it would create to spend with family is priceless!
I’m going through a divorce and have my 3 & 5 year old 98% of the time. He lives in a different country now. I’ve been struggling to do everything on my own; including working full time (and then some), raise my babies, give them all the love and keep house. My dad in the past two months offered to get me a cleaner who would come in twice a month. The relief this has given me is phenomenal; I no longer feel guilty when I put my kids first instead of feeling I should be cleaning and doing chores. And that is worth a huge amount to me…
Allison V. says
Single working mom here – There are several reasons I don’t want/need a housecleaner, but there are other things we can “splurge” on to make life easier. My current home does not have a built-in dishwasher. I got a portable dishwasher a few years ago (full sized washer, but it’s on wheels and hooks to the faucet) and it has been epic. I used to agonize over dishes, even tried using paper plates for a while, and decided to find a washer on Craigslist. Best thing ever, it sounds dramatic but it really has improved our quality of life immensely! You gotta find the right fit for your own family’s needs.
Melanie A says
Awesome post! I was able to hire a cleaning company (actually an old friend I’ve known since we were teens), and it has been such a blessing! I went back to work full time while my husband is in school full time, and with four kids 5 and under, I have very little time (or energy) to do any deep cleaning. I only have my friend come clean once a month, but it definitely keeps me motivated to keep everything picked up in between cleanings and clutter free! I have struggled with the guilt of the extravagance of paying someone to clean for me, but the difference in my stress level is so worth the money! It’s been great to reconnect with my friend too; we chat while she cleans, she carries my toddler around on her back as she vacuums, and sometimes if she can stay after, I make her lunch and we watch a movie together while my kids nap!
We hosted 18 people for a holiday when I was 9 months pregnant…we hired a cleaning person right beforehand and it was amazing.
Also, several self-employed cleaning people I know offer free cleanings for cancer patients, or others in difficult circumstances! It’s a good thing to keep in mind.
A cleaning service gift card would be a great gift for a new mom! I would have LOVED coming home from the hospital to a spotless house that needed nothing done.
Good for you, Crystal! I’m a full time WAHM and am realizing my sanity and time is pretty priceless.
Crystal Paine says
What a GREAT idea for a new mom!
I totally get it that there are seasons in life where investing in a cleaning service is a wise use of resources, remembering that time and money are both limited resources and we need to choose how to spend both of them. We hired a cleaner years ago when our eldest was 2 and our twins were 4 months old and I was literally passing out with exhaustion. Best decision ever – and actually the university student who we hired became a great friend of the family! We reduced the frequency of the cleaning as things got easier and then stopped. These days my kids are all teenagers and old enough to help with the cleaning, and to benefit from learning those valuable life skills, like mopping the floor and washing up! Even though we are usually pretty frugal, I would do it again if the time/money thing weighed in favour of the cleaner.
What a terrific post! I have cleaned houses in the past and I agree it is a great job for moms. I loved spending time with my longtime friend and cleaning partner. We talked, prayed and sang together, for hours. And got paid for it!
It is important to find someone trustworthy to clean your home. It is a very intimate relationship. We found a diamond ring in the couch, know where their safe is, and know the alarm code. The gal who hired us also blessed us with hand-me-downs when her children, who were older, outgrew their clothes and toys. I hope we blessed her with a clean, peaceful home.
Circumstances have changed and years have gone by. My husband and I now run a business from home. I hire my trusted friend to help me on an as-needed basis. She gives me a great rate, and we have lunch together when she comes over. Now my treat is a regular manicure. I build things for our business and my hands get very rough. Having a professional manicure is one little thing that I do for myself, guilt-free.
Thanks for the post, Crystal! May God bless you and your family!
For reference, we each charged $40/hour (so $80/hr for two). She lived in a high-rent neighborhood and we had a long commute. We received a nice tip at Christmas. This was the only client we for whom we changed sheets, cleaned windows, swept outside and cleaned the oven. Those are usually extra charges. When I hire someone now, I pay $25/hour for the basics. I live in a less expensive area, outside Seattle.
Crystal Paine says
Thank you so much for mentioning about finding someone who is trustworthy. This is really important to consider!
I am disabled, and I finally got over myself, and hired a cleaning lady to come and clean my house every other week. I still feel guilty that I can’t do it myself.
Hugs! I hope you come to more peace with the situation and enjoy the clean. Wish I could give you a hug and help you recognize all the ways you are contributing and being a blessing just by being yourself! Please know that you are seen and loved and enough right where you are!
I can’t wait until I’m in a position to hire someone occasionally to help out with some of the monthly and deep cleaning tasks!
But in the meantime, your reasons for doing this are the same reasons I order from Amazon Fresh (even though it’s a little higher than ALDI) and buying from Stitch Fix… because shopping depletes my energy terribly and makes me grumpy and exhausted. It’s far better for me to outsource shopping and instead use that energy and time for better purposes.
Crystal Paine says
I LOVE your reasons for ordering from Amazon Fresh and buying from Stitch Fix!
I am so thankful to my friend, who has allowed me to serve her family by cleaning and doing laundry one or two days a week for around 4 years. We have been so blessed by the steady income, and I hope that I bless her family by helping create a peaceful environment. The financial impact for us has been truly life changing, and during this season I have stayed home with my children and homeschooled. This family has given us flexible hours, and the ability to bring my children with me while I work. For those of you who may have the money to hire household help, don’t feel ashamed that you can’t do everything yourself. Be grateful that you can bless someone else financially while they bless your home in practical ways!
Crystal Paine says
I just love this! Thank you for sharing!!
Although we aren’t currently in a position a cleaning service, once we are that is what I’d love to do! I too work full-time and every night it seems that I have to run the kids from one sport to another. I’ve come to terms with living with a little dust and mess for now
Emily C says
I have followed the example of my mother and grandmother in choosing to help women who are in financial need by hiring them to help me clean my home.
By paying them and working alongside them I can use my money and my love to lift them up.
Crystal Paine says
I love this! Thanks for sharing!
In college, I attended a lecture given by an alum who had spent some time living in west Africa. The purpose of the talk was about overcoming biases and acknowledging different cultural perspectives, and one of her stories always stuck with me. When she first moved to Africa, she was living in a wealthy area where just about everyone employed someone to clean their homes. It wasn’t something she’d ever wanted or needed, and she felt like hiring someone would be elitist, so she continued cleaning her own home. After a few months, a friend she’d made approached her and gently asked her why she was being so greedy. She was shocked, so the friend explained that many people nearby were living in poverty and employing someone provided a way for them to make a living and care for their families. Immediately, of course, she got a referral and has been hiring someone to clean her home ever since.
My husband and I now have a wonderful single mom who cleans our home. She does a fantastic job and we pay her well and have sent her numerous referrals. It’s a wonderful symbiotic relationship- I’m thrilled every time I walk into the house when she’s been there, and she is able to earn a solid income working flexible hours to be available for her daughter.
Crystal Paine says
Thanks so much for sharing this perspective!!
Brenda Kimaro says
I live in Tanzania, East Africa, and have a full-time housekeeper. She’s here from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. There’s no way I could keep my house clean myself–with the dust the entire house must be mopped every day, all of our clothes are hand washed, and all of our food is cooked from scratch.
So I get the help I need and Glory makes the money she needs to educate her two children. We both benefit.
I just hired a lovely woman to come biweekly, and she started this past week for 3 hours on Thursday. I could have kissed the floors when she left, and while I expressed my gratitude to her, she turned around and thanked me for the work. It really opened my eyes to the mutual blessing of the situation. We can afford to eat a couple simpler meals or I can pick up an extra freelance job if it means more peace and more time as a family. I have 4 kids six and under and I work from home, and I was drowning. God bless Rosa.
(Paying $70 for 3 hours of cleaning, not including tip, in the Denver area, for reference.)
Crystal Paine says
I love this! Thank you for sharing this perspective!
“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.” Thank you for posting this – I needed to hear/read it!
Good for you. Love your honesty. You are in a good place these days. It’s great to see. Along ways from your first blog.
My husband has been asking me to do this for a while, but I never know how to go about hiring the right person.
I’ve tried a personal recommendation and posting to classifieds, but haven’t had great success.
Would you consider writing a follow up article about how you chose your company and some ideas on how to ensure you have a reliable service?
Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing! I appreciate your blog.
Crystal Paine says
Yes! Since so many people asked, I’m going to do a followup article on how to find a reliable company, questions to ask, what you should pay. Thanks for asking!
Anna Jacobs says
Thank you! I’m looking forward to it!
I’m so looking forward to this follow-up post, Crystal!
Joyce Glass says
Elizabeth, I have had good luck with asking others for recommendations. I prefer a person who works on their own. I love to support women who are running their own business. Services are fine, but my personal preference is a woman running her own business, since I am one too!
Melanie S says
I was in the same place as you! I wanted to be frugal but desperately needed some help. I ended up hiring a cleaning lady to do a one time deep clean to our house and I was instantly hooked! While I didn’t have the extra money in the budget to do this weekly or monthly, I found that if I saved a little every month then I could have her come every six months for a deep clean. It’s an option that worked for me if you can’t do it every month. Thank you Crystal for keeping your blog authentic and real, I love it!
That’s a great idea!
Crystal Paine says
What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing!
I like that idea too! Deep clean is what I really want help with. Thank you Crystal for this post because it helped me become receptive to hiring someone.
When I had a newborn and a newborn baby, a friend hired someone to come every other week to clean my house for a year. It was such a lifesaver at a time when I was very tired and overwhelmed. I loved it, and I regret that I can no longer afford it. My kids are older now, so they do some of the cleaning like vacuuming and bathrooms, but of course the level of cleanliness is nothing like a professional… I would love to have someone come again, but right now I am trying to teach my kids how to clean house, so one day when they have homes of their own, they know what to do. A season for everything. But I like the idea of having someone come for a day for spring cleaning or special jobs. It does not have to be an all-or-nothing scenario. I actually have not thought of that, thanks for the idea.
I’ve tried this a couple times and find myself stressed the day they come trying to clean everything up so they can get to all the surfaces. Maybe having them in every week instead of every other week would help us from making those piles. 🙂
Crystal Paine says
I think every other week would make it harder. Every time when we skip a week because we’re out of town or we have sickness, we always say something about how the every week thing works so well for our family right now.
How much does you Cleaning service cost? I feel like the prices are so variable.
Crystal Paine says
To have our whole house cleaned costs about $100 per week. That includes everything I listed above:
“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.”
Krystal Sadler says
I love this post!! When you said the value of more time with your family is more than the cost of the cleaning service? Wow!! I have never looked at it like that. I’m not in a place where I can do this weekly, but I’ve thought about doing this monthly and I’ve always held myself back. This post put it in a completely different perspective! Thank you thank you thank you!!
Crystal Paine says
You are SO welcome! That was my hope!
I think you’ll LOVE a once-a-month cleaning. I say go for it!
Joy in Alabama says
Well, I’m glad you did it because I clean houses and I need the money, as I’m sure your cleaners do. No one works just for fun! I really enjoy cleaning and it’s a job that’s easy for me, I’m my own boss, people are usually flexible and I am, too, with the schedule so I can still be a good mom, and I usually work in a house by myself, which is great for my introverted self! So no criticisms from ME!
Crystal Paine says
I love this! Thanks for sharing!
Yes! That;s what I was thinking, Joy. Not only is Crystal’s family better, but whoever she hired is better too. Win-win!
I have always been able to clean my own home as well as I felt it needed to be……until this past holiday season. I was preparing for Christmas & feeling very behind. We were hosting Christmas Eve. I had a friend who recently started cleaning homes on her own. I contacted her & it has been one of the best things I’ve done! I have continued to have her come every 2 weeks – I tried going 3 weeks & am noticing the difference!!!
Crystal Paine says
I love that you hired your friend! Thank you for sharing!
Please take this comment in the genuine question (not judgment) sense it was intended, because we too are considering a cleaning service: How do you talk about it with your children?
Our children are little, but we are training them to do chores and modeling doing chores ourselves– partly to instill a good work ethic in them and partly because they need to know these life skills. I have several adult friends who struggle in a particular life skill area (cooking, cleaning, etc.) and explain it as “My family ate fast food a lot, so I don’t know how to cook” or “My family had a cleaning service, so I have trouble keeping up with the house.”
Chances are, when my girls leave our home for one of their own, they won’t make enough money to afford to hire people to help them. Perhaps they will never be able to afford it. I completely respect your decision to spend your family’s money on a service that will add value to your family’s life (we all do that in different ways), but how do you avoid raising children who expect a certain standard of living?
I have a little boy and he is just about two years old but not quite. We have a cleaning service come in 2x a month. He brings his dirty dishes to the kitchen, sometimes puts them in the dishwasher. He feeds the dog when we tell him to, puts the dog out when she needs to pee (we have a lever door handle). He also helps me unload the dishwasher, he hands me each item to put away. I’m sure as he grows, there will be more chores he can do on a daily basis that a house cleaner doesn’t do for us like laundry, daily sweeping of the kitchen and loading/unloading the dishwasher. He will also be able to put his toys away and help with outside gardening. There are SO many chores for little kids to learn work ethic that a house cleaning service doesn’t cover. Washing windows and glass doors for instance. We had a bunch of french doors that regularly need wiping. The list is endless!
We’ve used a cleaning service for 11 years and I LOVE IT!!!! My husband teases me once in awhile as I do a light clean before they come. But if I can make our house a little clean, the service will make it cleaner. We homeschool two children so cleaning would be extremely difficult for me. I don’t care who knows we use a cleaning service or what think about our choice. It’s a great service and relieves a ton of stress for me. I’m dreading the day when we don’t need them any more.
Thank you for sharing this. I recently started a new job and it was immediately apparent I needed to hire someone to clean the house. When the house is messy and dirty I simply cannot relax but I don’t want to be spending most of my off hours cleaning. We decided to start with every other week and the women I hired are coming Monday. Woo-hoo!
Sarah | The Teacher's Wife says
I consider myself frugal, but would LOVE to eventually afford a cleaning service. If a person can afford to splurge, then they should feel no quilt whatsoever! I’m so glad you are a in position to do it and that you are seeing some great benefits!! 🙂
I am also very curious to know how you found the company that you chose and what kind of price break down for services? I would LOVE to hire someone but don’t really know where to start. Someone to mop my floors sounds heavenly!!!
I found our service through the Yellow Pages. But that was in the “old days” before there were sites like Yelp. If I were searching for a company now, I would start with Yelp, then move on to the Better Business Bureau, and I’d ask friends.
The first service will be the most costly, and then it will slowly reduce after a few services as the cleaners will know how long it will take them to clean your home.
We pay almost $200 for bi-weekly cleaning. It’s slightly high but our cleaning service is large and established. I usually have a team of 3 persons who show up and it takes them about 1 hour 15 minutes to clean. From time to time I will have 2 people and the cleaning time is about 1 hour 45 minutes. During busy times I’ll have a 4 person team show up and they are done in about 1 hour. The price is always the same whether I have 2 people or 4 people cleaning. I’d say half of the services in a year, I’ll have the same cleaning team.
I would not use an independent person, unless they can show you they are licensed and can stick to a quoted timeframe that they will show up. Ask them how many members on a cleaning team you can regularly expect.
Our cleaners call me the day before and give me a 30-minute window as to when they show up. 90% of the time they arrive within the window.
Every now and then there are minor issues. I have no problem cleaning something that was missed as it’s better than me cleaning an entire house.
I hope this information is helpful.
I grew up with a maid coming to the home once a week. But my mother’s family in pre-WWII Germany all had them. I wish I could afford it but I can’t. And you are helping some others who need the money to work and if you are generous with tips it can go a long way.
So no guilt and good for you!
Mary Beth Patnaude says
I totally agree with you! I used to feel guilty about not doing everything myself, but finally realized that I couldn’t do it all! I am a college professor, in school getting my doctorate and I have 5 kids! I had to choose to get help and I was never very good at cleaning, nor did I enjoy it!
I commend Crystal for sharing her story. I think she is a wise home manager to make the decision to hire house cleaners.
I’d like to add on small different perspective. ***Our value as women is not tied to the degree of perfection in cleanliness and order in our homes.***
I’m a homeschooling mom of three with lots of business and living going on in our home. My kids are old enough to be responsible for a good number of chores, which they faithfully execute, but my home is never 100 percent clean. I have made peace with that fact in my stage of life. It will not always be that way. My advice to others: Please do not feel that you are inadequate or a failure as a women if your home doesn’t look like the pictures in the post. (I don’t think Crystal is saying that, but we women fall into a terrible comparison trap.) People are more important than things. Don’t worry if your house isn’t magazine perfect. Enjoy and treasure your people while you have them.
Crystal Paine says
SUCH a good word! Thank you for sharing it!
***Our value as women is not tied to the degree of perfection in cleanliness and order in our homes.***
Jen from Cali says
I have been getting quotes for this and have been scared to get started, but with two toddlers, an incontinent dog, and working full time, I can barely keep my head above the water with doing dishes and picking up toys after I clean up the unexpected messes. I’m stressed and tired, and I stay up too late. I still have to wash bottles…! I can’t wait to get started, as I know it will be such a blessing.
Kathy L says
I LOVE having my cleaning guy, Peter. I, too, put it off for years. After my husband passed away, I realized that I wasn’t cleaning like I should and that I really missed having a clean house. I got a recommendation from a co-worker and love, love, love having a clean kitchen and clean bathrooms. The rest of the house gets cleaned too, but a clean kitchen and clean bathrooms are BIG for me. Like Crystal mentioned, I’m much better about keeping clutter at bay to make it easier for the surfaces to get dusted. Even after I retired two years ago, I decided to keep Peter. I felt guilty since I had a lot of free time (which I use for volunteering), but I didn’t want to spend my free time cleaning and it also would have meant that Peter would be out some income and he has a family to support. To me, it’s a win-win.
I cleaned houses to help pay my way through college, so agree with all of the comments about creating jobs! I’m now a mom of three little girls, including a 5-month-old, and I also work full time; a house cleaner has saved my life as well! It’s so very encouraging to hear you have done the same and to remind myself not to feel guilty for spending money on something that buys me peace of mind and quality time with my family.
Shana P. says
I don’t think there is anything to feel guilty about, Crystal. It’s not sinful, it’s not wasteful (I mean, the job is getting done and it means employment for others), and it’s not unnecessary. It enhances your life and your physical and emotional health and from that it enables you to focus on more important things. Frugality is cutting back on what is not important to you and spending it on what is, and that is different for every person and every family. Life is too short. Enjoy your clean home!
My husband and I are retired and have had a cleaning woman for more than 10 years. Yes, we could easily clean our own house but don’t want to and can afford to hire her. It really does force us to “clean up” the night before she comes every two weeks. The various piles of coupons, mail, donations, etc. magically get stored in the correct places before she comes. Without her we would still have a clean house since I would clean it, but the piles would still be there. I make sure that the floor and all surfaces are bare and empty so that she can scrub, vacuum and wipe to her heart’s content!!
Wonderful decision. 🙂 Also be encouraged that you are providing employment for someone who needs/wants your business. I always want to feel good about spending my money in a way that is a benefit in someone else’s life – even if it can look like an “extravagance.”
Thank you for posting this! Before I had children I told myself that once I had kids I would hire a cleaning service as I worked full time plus. My oldest is now twelve and I still haven’t but have been considering it. Your points are all very valid.
THANK YOU for posting this! I have never commented on anyone’s blog before but felt compelled to comment on this. We have had someone clean for us every other week for many years. We scrimp and save in many other areas & are diligent budgeters (Dave Ramsey followers) and having someone clean for us has been a lifesaver. My husband often travels for work and I always felt like the cleaning never got completely done (our kids have chores but I still felt like I was sinking). I finally broke down and tried it (got a referral from a friend). Needless to say I/we loved it and have found it so valuable! The amount of time and sanity it saves us far outweighs the cost. Our kids still have chores and there’s plenty of upkeep in-between her cleanings.
The lady who cleans for us cleans houses so she can be home for her kids after school. It helps her and it helps us-win-win! Also why anyone should feel guilty about paying for cleaning when we DON’T feel guilty for paying for other services (a house painter, snow removal, etc)? I’ll never understand why house-cleaning is viewed differently. Thanks again for posting this to show this viewpoint as well!
Crystal, you mentioned your services are about 1.5-2 hrs per week. 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. How did you find such a service and how much does it cost?
Crystal Paine says
It’s $100 per week. I’m going to do a followup post with more details since so many people have asked questions!
Emily F says
My mom had people clean for her at various stages until the brood of seven was responsible enough to keep up with everything. Even when she didn’t have someone coming to clean, I remember a number of mother’s helpers who helped with various things.
We can’t afford anything like that right now, but I think about it, often 🙂
Yes! And cleaning services don’t have to be super expensive. When we lived in Texas a lady offered to come to my house every other week for $45. We a new baby and so much family time that it was amazing! Glad you posted!
Good for you! If you calculated your time spent cleaning per what you make per hour invested in your business (not EVEN counting homeschooling hours) you have come way out ahead! When I worked my business full time, I hired a housekeeper before I hired an assistant. Best thing I ever did!
Elizabeth @ Wonder Woman I'm Not says
I had a cleaning service come in for many, many years and absolutely loved it. Everything you said is true, it allowed me more time to spend with my family and significantly lessened the stress.
We had some unexpected expenses last year and my cleaning ladies were one of the extras that I’ve cut out to help out our budget and I really miss them! One of these days I’ll get them back 🙂
If there’s room in the budget, I highly recommend it.
Good for you! Time is money 🙂 I was a stay at home mom for 10 years. I gradually went back to work a few hours a week and am now working about 24 hours a week. The first thing I did was hiring a cleaning service with my extra money. I used to be so proud after cleaning our bathrooms and then would come downstairs to be reminded of what was not clean. Now everything is clean at once. LOVE IT! Enjoy it and don’t worry about what others think. I know I struggle with that too.
Love the post, because of your honesty and transparency as always. Your advice is always welcome because it comes from a place of love, and with raw honesty, which brings us to you and your message.
I totally get it, there are times when my husband wants to do a home repair and we have to realize that the money it “saves” is not worth the hassle if things go wrong, or the extra money we have to spend if things go completely wrong! We will pay for the repair when necessary, and have a happier marriage because of it. Plumbing and electrical issues are the first two to come to mind. We aren’t in a time frame where we can pay for a cleaning service, but once we can I may be speaking with my husband about this. He loves a clean house, and after 9 years of marriage, I’m still learning how to get it under control. While I can’t afford it, I am using this time to teach my 7 year old (and show my 3 year old) how to clean and using this as bonding time too! I had a single mom who took everything on herself, so I never really had to clean, and was okay with that until I had my own place to keep up. Now, I want my kids to know how to clean in case they find themselves in a season where they can’t afford a cleaning service, but I also want them to know that it’s okay when they are. Every season has different needs, and different areas we can afford to change.
Your message is always comes with love for your audience, and that is what will always bring me back!
Liz M says
Thanks for posting this! I read this blog to get ideas on how to save money. But don’t forget that saving money in one area can allow you splurges in another area of your budget.
We just moved recently and I paid people to install shelving units in my laundry room and garage. Someone made a comment that I could have done the installation myself. It made me doubt myself if this was truly a necessity. However, I would rather spend the money and save myself the headache.
Ellen Russell says
Ah, I love this! Good for you 🙂
We aren’t in a place to hire a cleaning service (yet!), but it’s on my list of things I want when we have a little more wiggle room in the budget.
Erin Sinisgalli says
I 100% agree with your thought process and all your reasons for changing your mind. I resisted hiring cleaners for years but just recently we did and while I only have them come once a month, it’s soooo worth it. Enjoy!
I use a walker now, so I have someone clean bi-weekly. The cleaner does things so much easier than I could and the house stays much nicer! We first hired a housecleaner when we put our former house up for sale two years ago. Having a cleaning person kept the house so much better. A clean house helped the house to sell!
We’ve been in our current house for nearly a year and use many of the same services that the previous owner did: housecleaner, lawn, and handyman. (My husband had 2 strokes and can’t fix things anymore.) We are not wealthy by any means, but watch our expenses so that we can afford this necessary help. The help is wonderful!
Love it! Good for you!
I work full time and have a housekeeper that comes every other week… it saves my sanity and also gives me more precious time on the weekends with my kids! So worth it ?
Just think about how your housekeeping service now has an extra stream of income. Everyone wins. I work part time outside of the home and next fall I will be adding 5 more hours per week to my part time work week. I am thinking of trying to find someone to come in once a week just to do bathrooms and floors. Everything else I can keep up with but those 2 things get the best of me. Your post has inspired me to realize it may not be a frivolous decision. Thanks for sharing!
Interesting post! One definitely has to consider other aspects than just what the $$$$ is. My time and my sanity are just as important, if not more important!
Thank you for sharing your story. You’ve given me lots to think about. I, too, would like to hear more about the actual process… what exactly they do, what you have to do to prep for them, are you home when they clean, etc.
karen b says
I’m very glad you felt like you could share this. I actually clean houses for other people, since our children were born I have never cleaned more than 2 days a week so I could basically be a stay at home mom. My husband owns a dairy farm so was able to help w/ the kids when I was gone. We have always public schooled so after they went to school it did make it easier & I always tried to be back before they got off the bus or if I couldn’t he met the bus. As they got older we didn’t have to meet the secondary bus so that helped.We have only 1 child left in school & he is in 10th so those years are about over 🙂 It sure has made a difference for us finiancally over the years.
One thing you might want to make sure of is the service paying taxes on what they make. If anyone ever cleans or does yard work make sure that they are turning it in no matter how much or how little. Or actually any other “self-employment” thing.
Cleaning is not my thing & sometimes I wish I could have someone do mine 🙂 maybe someday the roles will be switched 🙂
I’m curious why you think Crystal needs to make sure they are paying taxes? Crystal isn’t accountable for their honesty, they are. Whether they pay taxes or not is on them.
I appreciate your post. I hired someone to come deep clean my house biweekly a few months ago and it has been a great decision. I found it is quite reasonably priced in my area compared to previous places I have lived. I had picked up extra work and had another baby, so this was my gift to myself to help keep my sanity. I work part time from home mostly, and have 3 kids age 5 and under at home. It will likely be a temporary arrangement for us until the kids are old enough to really help out, but it has been great for this season. I was able to employ one of my friends who cleans, so it benefited her as well.
I’m the daughter and sister in law to house cleaners so THANK YOU for being someone who hires them! My mom did it during school hours for teachers so she was always on our school schedule. My sister in law did it because she could take her kids with her. They could not do this unless someone hired them! You are blessing a family!
Mrs S says
Thank you for sharing! While this isn’t something that would work for my family, I choose to spend on other “luxuries” like a gym membership, because it’s motivating for us (and may save money on health expenses later!). Everyone has different needs, and I’m glad that you found what works for your family right now ?
Don’t understand why anyone would have something to say about how someone chooses to spend discretionary money. After basic needs are met, your money is your own to enjoy!! Whether that be getting a pet, vacationing, eating out, or all of the above… Plus, you are EMPLOYING people! My mother cleaned houses for many years and she was proud of how she was able to stretch that money to provide for us.
Frugal looks different for everyone because we are all working with different budgets, life stages, priorities, anxieties, & goals. And let’s face it, there are others where saving money is more an end rather than a means to an end (money collectors).
We all get to choose how to spend our money, and what is extravagant to one is a necessity to another. If you have more money than time, then definitely, hire out some chores, including cleaning, so you can get back some of that time. I hired a cleaner when I was working overtime and had a child at home. Besides, you are helping your house-cleaner put food on his/her table.
Completely agree – the fact that you have the extra income to hire someone and are able to give business to someone else, that should alleviate any guilt. It really is a win-win for multiple parties.
I love this! Do you mind letting me know which service you use? How do you find a good one? Are you home when they clean?
I have the same question… another post idea for Crystal!
Great post! Yes, how did you find someone?!
Crystal Paine says
I’m planning to do a followup post because so many people have asked questions!
Justi Thomas says
We have a biweekly cleaning service and I love it. One thing that helped me overcome the guilt is that our decision to do this provided a job for the two-three people that come to our home.
I clean houses for several different families and I LOVE it! With my two little kids in tow, it’s an easy way for me to still stay home full time with them, but make a little extra cash. I tell my husband all the time, ‘When we have more money, I’m hiring someone to cook for me!’ Cleaning I love, cooking not so much. Thanks for being so honest and transparent in your posts. LOVE Moneysavingmom.com. =)
When I worked, I used to pay someone to clean my house. However, when my home schooled son was around 15, I paid him $100 a month to do most of the laundry, ironing, dust and vacuum and clean the bathrooms. It was a win-win situation. He mowed lawns also and saved about 40% of his income and was able to purchase a truck a few years later.
Crystal Paine says
Such a GREAT idea!
Amanda B says
Yes to everything that you said! I finally hired a cleaning service about 6 months ago and it has made a world of difference. Worth every penny! As a full time working mom I was running myself ragged in the evenings and weekends trying to keep up with it all. Bonus, they will clean the areas that I absolutely loathe like shower doors and vacuuming stairs.
You are awesome! I love that you don’t pretend and let us in on your life as it changes for better or worse. Hiring a cleaning service is nothing to feel bad about. You sacrificed and were very diligent in meeting your goals and you have. When my husband and I were struggling financially in the first years of our marriage, if it weren’t for friends that let me clean their houses for extra income, it would have been tougher. God blessed me then and God has blessed us now. Your ability to afford a cleaning service, gives someone else the ability to work. God bless you Crystal!
Great way to look at it!
I read the book called ‘a house cleaner is cheaper than a divorce’ and that definitely convinced me too!
Funny, I always call our cleaning lady “the marriage counselor.” The only thing we used to fight about was cleaning. This solved that problem. A small price to pay with great benefits.
I’m so happy for you! I remember when we hit the income goal for our business that meant (to me and totally arbitrarily) that we could afford weekly cleaners. Such a good feeling take that off my plate!
Love it! I totally get this, as we pay landscapers to mow our lawn. My husband and I both work and homeschool and we have a 1/2 acre lot, so my husband was spending half the day Saturday (the only day we are both off) taking care of the lawn. Since we both work, we can afford it, and it adds significantly to our lives. To us, this cost is worth it.
I love that you published this article! I think it’s great that you’ve done this for your family! No one should judge someone else who chooses to spend their money differently than they do! I hope to one day be able to use a cleaning service….I hate deep cleaning 🙂
Abigail Hoyo says
As always I appreciate your transparency. As moms, wives, daughters we get caught up with life and forget about our home, it happens to me. I am so happy you were able to say YES…thank you for the encouragement.
Crystal Paine says
Thanks so much for your encouragement!!
Saves my sanity and marriage as a working parent!
There is another side to your story;, you have worked to be able to afford the service AND now you are giving someone else the opportunity to work hard and save–your cleaning sevice! I think the greatest form of charity is empowering others to empower themselves. It is ok to spread money around to those who really appreciate it.
I totally agree. Money is tight, but being under a lot of stress and a divorced mom, it’s worth it for me to have cleaning service come in. It also helps me to keep the house neater and the clutter. I felt guilty, and like a failure, cause I’m so lousy at keeping my house clean. But coming home to a clean house can be uplifting and make me feel good about being frugal in other areas of my life.