Author Topic: House Cleaning  (Read 43356 times)

mm1970

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #50 on: December 24, 2013, 10:18:45 AM »
Quote
My only point has been that long-term reliance on a cleaning service is really expensive at the numbers given, and not everyone is presenting this decision in terms of long-term financial planning: mainly, have you computed how much longer will you have to work before you can retire? Do you plan to continue having this service after retiring, or are you willing to go without it? How much stress would it cause you in the short term if you had to suddenly cancel the service (which would suggest that you would have a harder time making a rational decision about it if circumstances change)?
I can understand your point here. As long as I'm working and have two children, I will have the service.  If circumstances change - that would only mean that one of us is unemployed.  In that case, well, we'd cancel.  Because one of us would be at home.

It is not interfering with my ability to "retire", because I could do so right now.

Eric

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #51 on: December 24, 2013, 10:43:22 AM »
It's kind of amazing to me how many people prioritize cleanliness so much that they're willing to delay their retirement by potentially years.  That shit is expensive, so it must be really really important.  I'm not saying it's wrong or making a value judgment, it's just amazing to me. 

I think I never inherited the cleanliness gene, and I'm so happy that my wife shares my views.  In fact, I would say that one of the reasons we get along so well is that we both have the same tolerance for mess/dirt.  I would probably be miserable married to a clean freak.  Or broke.

Insanity

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #52 on: December 24, 2013, 11:10:53 AM »
It's kind of amazing to me how many people prioritize cleanliness so much that they're willing to delay their retirement by potentially years.  That shit is expensive, so it must be really really important.  I'm not saying it's wrong or making a value judgment, it's just amazing to me. 

I think I never inherited the cleanliness gene, and I'm so happy that my wife shares my views.  In fact, I would say that one of the reasons we get along so well is that we both have the same tolerance for mess/dirt.  I would probably be miserable married to a clean freak.  Or broke.

I grew up with a grandmother who would wear a white glove in my dorm room at school..  (okay that is a bit of exaggeration -- she didn't really expect it to be that clean, but she would spend at least 30 min every night cleaning up something and then spend a few hours on the weekend cleaning -- but she would also spend hours cooking).   My mom was the same way.   DW's family.. not so much.  They cook a ton, but they don't do as much cleaning and also have more clutter (old magazines, books, toys from when my wife and her brother were kids and now they use that for the grand kids).  She has the mentality of better to save it than to buy it again.

Cinder

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #53 on: December 24, 2013, 03:12:56 PM »
It's kind of amazing to me how many people prioritize cleanliness so much that they're willing to delay their retirement by potentially years.  That shit is expensive, so it must be really really important.  I'm not saying it's wrong or making a value judgment, it's just amazing to me. 

I think I never inherited the cleanliness gene, and I'm so happy that my wife shares my views.  In fact, I would say that one of the reasons we get along so well is that we both have the same tolerance for mess/dirt.  I would probably be miserable married to a clean freak.  Or broke.

I grew up with a grandmother who would wear a white glove in my dorm room at school..  (okay that is a bit of exaggeration -- she didn't really expect it to be that clean, but she would spend at least 30 min every night cleaning up something and then spend a few hours on the weekend cleaning -- but she would also spend hours cooking).   My mom was the same way.   DW's family.. not so much.  They cook a ton, but they don't do as much cleaning and also have more clutter (old magazines, books, toys from when my wife and her brother were kids and now they use that for the grand kids).  She has the mentality of better to save it than to buy it again.
+1

mm1970

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2013, 10:03:31 PM »
It's kind of amazing to me how many people prioritize cleanliness so much that they're willing to delay their retirement by potentially years.  That shit is expensive, so it must be really really important.  I'm not saying it's wrong or making a value judgment, it's just amazing to me. 

I think I never inherited the cleanliness gene, and I'm so happy that my wife shares my views.  In fact, I would say that one of the reasons we get along so well is that we both have the same tolerance for mess/dirt.  I would probably be miserable married to a clean freak.  Or broke.
No one has ever accused me of being a clean freak.  One year of cleaning is equivalent to one month of child care, so in the grand scheme of things, it's not that much money (for me).

Abe

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2013, 10:58:14 PM »
I've calculated that I would have to work an extra 3 months to pay for 25 years of cleaning service every other week. Totally worth it!

nikki

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2013, 11:14:50 PM »
I think I have a very different perspective on this issue for a few reasons. 1) I live in a one-room apartment. 2) My only roommate is a cat--no messy husband or kids. 3) I am very much a clean freak.

Cleaning is one of my favorite things to do to unwind. My routines are pretty set, so it doesn't take much thought on my part to maintain near perfection. And it really does have to be near perfection for me or I start to feel anxious!

I posted somewhere else on the forums, but cleaning my entire apartment thoroughly and then just sitting back and looking around at the orderliness is hands down one of the most relaxing things I do. I get a huge surge of pride and sense that I have control of my happiness.

I couldn't even imagine outsourcing this work!

the fixer

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #57 on: December 25, 2013, 03:37:12 PM »
We pay approximately $300/month for a helper who comes in for 3 hours/day M-F and 1) Cleans the house and 2) Makes dinner.
That's interesting enough to make me break out the calculator!

Suppose you value the cleaning at zero. You could then compare the cost of this to the cost of eating out every night. This is more of a damning of people who eat out a ton than anything else, because of course nobody should actually be doing this...

Assume that, if you ate out every weeknight, you'd save $50/person/month on the groceries that go toward making everyone dinner (ballpark estimate). Now suppose that average cost per person per day of a dinner out is only $10, the equivalent of getting Chinese or most similar takeout. $10 x 5 days/wk x ~4.2 weeks/mo = $210. Net increased cost is $160/person/month.

...so your situation is barely cheaper than a couple that never makes dinner for themselves during the week! A family like yours with multiple kids would be spending even more, and of course you get a lot more than just dinner for that money. It's amazing how you can hire a private cook for less than it costs to eat out at restaurants.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #58 on: December 26, 2013, 06:49:03 AM »
After 22 years cleaning is the one thing that my spouse and I still fight about.  We downsized to a tiny house, so it seems like a silly waste of money to pay someone else to clean it, but sometimes I fantasize that we could buy a side-by-side duplex and we could each live on different sides so I wouldn't have to clean up after her!  When she is gone for a week for a conference our 8-year-old and I manage to keep the house clean, but the minute she's back, her stuff just takes over.  Maybe it would be worth it to pay someone to clean just for the sake of domestic harmony.  Hmmmm . . . .

This whole argument is steeped in feminism and the broader "gender wars" which might not be of use to you, but there's a core which might serve as thought food.
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/03/really-easy-answer-to-the-housework-problem.html
The sequel: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/12/stephen-marche-is-making-my-argument-look-bad.html

(Moreover, I've been wanting to post it on this thread for a while.)

I fully agree with the sentiment in the second article: "The basic principle of an egalitarian marriage, I think, ought to be that both partners try to accommodate one anothersí needs as fairly as possible."

And Trina, my husband and I have joked about duplexes too.

Thanks for the links, msilenus!

I've adopted a few successful coping strategies:

1.  I do find Flylady helpful, but I don't sign up for the emails (waaay too many).  I just check out the website once a week to get the daily assignments, and I like the "no martyr" philosophy.  I figure if I like it cleaner, then cleaning is a gift I'm giving myself.  Also, I'm giving my daughter the gift of learning to pick up after herself, and the gift of cleaning without perfectionism.

2.  A Roomba.  We have a dog and a cat, so lots of fur and dirt.  So last year I bought myself a $300 Roomba for my birthday.  It comes on automatically and vacuums for you.  Cheaper than a cleaning service or a divorce.  If you're going to schedule it to come on during the day while you're gone, just make sure your dog or cat is not prone to "accidents," because the Roomba will spread it everywhere and you will have to rent a carpet cleaner and spend hours cleaning it up.  Don't ask me how I know!!

3.  Hoarders.  Watch an episode of Hoarders on Netflix and my house is magically cleaner!!

mustachejd

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #59 on: December 26, 2013, 08:16:42 AM »
3.  Hoarders.  Watch an episode of Hoarders on Netflix and my house is magically cleaner!!

This.

I showed an episode to my cleanliness obsessed fiance and HE FREAKED.  He made us deep clean our home for the rest of the evening.

I am actually not averse to hiring people to do various odd jobs for me - as long as I think they can perform better than I can, or at least, at the same level.  That's actually the main reason why my partner and I do not hire cleaning services.  We do a way more thorough job than any relatively affordable cleaning service I've seen. 

the fixer

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #60 on: December 26, 2013, 09:06:51 AM »
We pay approximately $300/month for a helper who comes in for 3 hours/day M-F and 1) Cleans the house and 2) Makes dinner.
Hey lhamo, I did another quick calculation: $300 / (3 hours/day x 5 days/wk x 4.3 weeks/mo) = $4.65/hour. If the numbers you provided are accurate, you're paying substantially less than minimum wage. If you were paying the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour, this service would be costing you about $470/month. You might be required to pay more depending on what state you're in.

MrsPete

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #61 on: December 26, 2013, 03:15:09 PM »
Less space = less to clean. Perfect! 
I halfway agree. 

Too little space = boxes stacked in corners, no space to do anything, always having to move something to get to what you want, no space to store bulk-purchased items, constant aggravation. 
Too much space = a "need" to fill the space with stuff, which must then be cleaned and maintained. 

We're designing a house for our retirement years, which we plan to build once our youngest (a high school junior) is out of school and we can leave this area.  We're aiming for "right sized" and loads of out-of-the-way storage. 

I read somewhere that the time-saving gadgets like dishwashers and washing machines and vacuum cleaners just resulted in a higher standard of cleanliness. They didn't free up women (in the 1950's) for living a life of luxury . . .

I know, doesn't that make you jealous? How much easier my life would be if I simply didn't see the dirty clothes & if the dirty dishes didn't bother me! lol
Yes, you're totally right about the advent of household appliances.  Similarly, most of us don't put in hours each week baking bread, cheese and butter, preserving and canning foods for the winter, and tending livestock.  Instead we spend our time working in a job so we can purchase these things.  Have we advanced?  Depends upon how you look at it. 

Jealous?  No, that's not quite the right word, but I've given up being angry with him (most of the time anyway) about his total and complete lack of help around the house.  As I said, he is beyond wonderful in so many ways, and I love being married to him.  Somewhere around 10 years of marriage I realized that I am utterly powerless to make him recognize that he doesn't just have low standards when it comes to cleanliness, he has NO standards.  I realized I could either accept him as he is and do it all myself . . . or I could continue to fight about it, live with the conflict, and STILL end up doing it all myself.  I can't change him, but I can change my own attitude.  The key is acknowledging all the things he does so very, very well and letting this one go.  Ideal?  Fair?  No, but better than living without him. 

totoro

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #62 on: December 26, 2013, 06:54:17 PM »
I just spent part of the day doing up a revised task chart. 

Everyone in the house has an am and pm schedule to follow.  It is not difficult or really time-consuming (30 min a day each not including cooking time for meals), but it does spread out the work and make it so that we have a reasonably clean place.  Having it written down takes the conflict out of it too. When we don't do this I end up doing way more than anyone else.

I have had cleaners in the past and loved it.  It was worth the price when life was busier and the kids were younger. Our place is small and the kids are older.  We haven't had any help with cleaning for three years now.

oldtoyota

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #63 on: December 26, 2013, 07:17:05 PM »
This is going to be very case specific.

I have a relative that was amazed that I would expect my then seven year old to unload the dishes. She said that she would much rather her kids develop their skills on more productive things (such as doing more math pages in a day). I felt that I was helping my future daughter in law to not resent me. ;)

In Montessori, that is called Practical Life and shows care for the environment. You are doing the right thing, IMO.

http://www.ourmontessorihome.com/2010/12/practical-life-care-of-the-environment/




thepokercab

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #64 on: December 26, 2013, 08:11:40 PM »
Quote
In Montessori, that is called Practical Life and shows care for the environment. You are doing the right thing, IMO.

+1 

My wife is Montessori trained and we've been doing similar activities with our 4 yr old.  We've stressed from the beginning, for instance, that she always needs to clean up after her self once she's done with the toys, books, etc. that she is using.  Its all about teaching her those life skills that are important.

We don't have a housekeeper, but from a Mustachian perspective, if folks want to hire a housekeeper and pursue FI, more power to them. I've only been married 7 years but cleaning can sometimes can be a tense subject in our marriage- so if certain people are REALLY adverse to it, or if certain people are REALLY obsessed with the cleanliness of their personal space, than I can see how this can become an issue large enough where you need to hire some help.   

I think most folks would agree that these types of expenditures though should be put on the backburner if you are in a debt emergency.  But if there is no debt emergency, then whatever.  Personally, folks seem to spend money on all kinds of things that I don't really understand.  I don't understand having pets and the money that people spend on them.  I don't understand spending money on things like Wine or Alcohol, but I know people like them.  Me?  I love baseball, so I shell out my 70 bucks a year to watch as many games as I want.  But if I was in a debt emergency, it would be the first thing to go. 

CommonCents

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #65 on: December 26, 2013, 08:55:34 PM »
I felt that I was helping my future daughter in law to not resent me. ;)

As a current daughter-in-law, I thank you on behalf of your future daughter-in-law.  My MIL insists that she taught my DH to clean, it just didn't stick (but she also would do things like make 3 different meals for the 3 kids...)

Cinder

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #66 on: December 26, 2013, 10:03:35 PM »
Somewhere around 10 years of marriage I realized that I am utterly powerless to make him recognize that he doesn't just have low standards when it comes to cleanliness, he has NO standards. I realized I could either accept him as he is and do it all myself . . . or I could continue to fight about it, live with the conflict, and STILL end up doing it all myself.  I can't change him, but I can change my own attitude.  The key is acknowledging all the things he does so very, very well and letting this one go.  Ideal?  Fair?  No, but better than living without him.

Very good use of Stoicism there, MrsPete!

ichangedmyname

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #67 on: December 26, 2013, 10:40:53 PM »

Jealous?  No, that's not quite the right word, but I've given up being angry with him (most of the time anyway) about his total and complete lack of help around the house.  As I said, he is beyond wonderful in so many ways, and I love being married to him.  Somewhere around 10 years of marriage I realized that I am utterly powerless to make him recognize that he doesn't just have low standards when it comes to cleanliness, he has NO standards.  I realized I could either accept him as he is and do it all myself . . . or I could continue to fight about it, live with the conflict, and STILL end up doing it all myself.  I can't change him, but I can change my own attitude.  The key is acknowledging all the things he does so very, very well and letting this one go.  Ideal?  Fair?  No, but better than living without him.

I should read this every day. Thanks MrsPete!

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #68 on: December 27, 2013, 06:12:04 AM »
I enjoyed the book Spousonomics.  It looks at all sorts of relationship issues from an economics angle.  In the housework chapter, IIRC, it uses the concept of comparative advantage.  Here's the wikipedia definition, since I can't explain it  :-)

In economics, comparative advantage refers to the ability of a party to produce a particular good or service at a lower marginal and opportunity cost over another. Even if one country is more efficient in the production of all goods (absolute advantage in all goods) than the other, both countries will still gain by trading with each other, as long as they have different relative efficiencies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage

amused_bouche

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #69 on: December 27, 2013, 10:12:39 AM »
Shopping for food, cooking, doing dishes (I only recently moved into a place with a dishwasher), and cleaning all qualify as "things I should do to be self-sufficient in life." And being self-sufficient makes me happy, so I have no problem taking time out of my week/month to clean up after myself.

However, I completely understand that paying for house cleaning is a valuable outsourcing strategy for some. TETO.

And for full disclosure, fiance and I currently live in a moderate-sized apartment with no pets or kids. I'll report back in ten years and maybe my mindset will be different!


CommonCents

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #70 on: December 27, 2013, 10:22:46 AM »
I enjoyed the book Spousonomics.  It looks at all sorts of relationship issues from an economics angle.  In the housework chapter, IIRC, it uses the concept of comparative advantage.  Here's the wikipedia definition, since I can't explain it  :-)

In economics, comparative advantage refers to the ability of a party to produce a particular good or service at a lower marginal and opportunity cost over another. Even if one country is more efficient in the production of all goods (absolute advantage in all goods) than the other, both countries will still gain by trading with each other, as long as they have different relative efficiencies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage

Interesting.

The part where if one country (person) is more efficient in production of all goods being still able to trade doesn't make sense to me.  If I am more efficient at all household chores, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning and shopping (and we live in a condo with no snow shoveling or lawn mowing required), what is there to trade then?  Perhaps I am missing something.

It also - perhaps deliberately - leaves a lot of emotions at the door.  Perhaps I am better at ironing, but absolutely and positively loath doing it.  That negative mental energy isn't included in the summary calculus.  (That is how my dad ended up ironing all of his uniforms rather than my SAHM.)

It also leaves out learning curves - the fact that one may be better NOW, but the other could learn to be better if given a good opportunity. 

I do like that it implicitly assumes the starting place is 50/50 and you "trade" to get more of what you do best though.  Ahh, to be in a wonderful mythical world only doing 50% of the admin and household chores...

Insanity

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #71 on: December 27, 2013, 10:34:08 AM »

Interesting.

The part where if one country (person) is more efficient in production of all goods being still able to trade doesn't make sense to me.  If I am more efficient at all household chores, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning and shopping (and we live in a condo with no snow shoveling or lawn mowing required), what is there to trade then?  Perhaps I am missing something.

It also - perhaps deliberately - leaves a lot of emotions at the door.  Perhaps I am better at ironing, but absolutely and positively loath doing it.  That negative mental energy isn't included in the summary calculus.  (That is how my dad ended up ironing all of his uniforms rather than my SAHM.)

It also leaves out learning curves - the fact that one may be better NOW, but the other could learn to be better if given a good opportunity. 

I do like that it implicitly assumes the starting place is 50/50 and you "trade" to get more of what you do best though.  Ahh, to be in a wonderful mythical world only doing 50% of the admin and household chores...

I was thinking similar thoughts.. But with regards to skill set -  the trade could be managing finances (including any negotiating rates or insurance policies or retirement funds), handling the kids (if there are) more, or doing more handyman work (this is basically how my parents worked - my dad managed the finances, lawn, cars, handyman stuff, my mom did the cooking, cleaning and dealing with us -- unless we needed to be disciplined further than she would than dad stepped in).  Obviously, if you live in a condo you have to figure out what that trade is (maybe the spouse gives more massages ;-) ) since some things are no longer the responsibility of the owner.





CommonCents

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #72 on: December 27, 2013, 10:43:42 AM »

Interesting.

The part where if one country (person) is more efficient in production of all goods being still able to trade doesn't make sense to me.  If I am more efficient at all household chores, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning and shopping (and we live in a condo with no snow shoveling or lawn mowing required), what is there to trade then?  Perhaps I am missing something.

It also - perhaps deliberately - leaves a lot of emotions at the door.  Perhaps I am better at ironing, but absolutely and positively loath doing it.  That negative mental energy isn't included in the summary calculus.  (That is how my dad ended up ironing all of his uniforms rather than my SAHM.)

It also leaves out learning curves - the fact that one may be better NOW, but the other could learn to be better if given a good opportunity. 

I do like that it implicitly assumes the starting place is 50/50 and you "trade" to get more of what you do best though.  Ahh, to be in a wonderful mythical world only doing 50% of the admin and household chores...

I was thinking similar thoughts.. But with regards to skill set -  the trade could be managing finances (including any negotiating rates or insurance policies or retirement funds), handling the kids (if there are) more, or doing more handyman work (this is basically how my parents worked - my dad managed the finances, lawn, cars, handyman stuff, my mom did the cooking, cleaning and dealing with us -- unless we needed to be disciplined further than she would than dad stepped in).  Obviously, if you live in a condo you have to figure out what that trade is (maybe the spouse gives more massages ;-) ) since some things are no longer the responsibility of the owner.

Well, I was more trying to understand and apply this line: "Even if one country is more efficient in the production of all goods (absolute advantage in all goods) than the other, both countries will still gain by trading with each other, as long as they have different relative efficiencies." Basically it seemed to me it was saying even if one person is better in ALL THINGS you can still trade for efficiencies, which made no sense.  Maybe it means that the person still has finite time and can trade the things they are only a smidge better at for the things they are much much better at.

(In my world, we have no kids and we keep somewhat separate finances.  I do rate negotation for cable, calling insurance company, finding vacation deals, taking the car in, etc.  Although DH does 80% of it, there is very little handyman work involved.  I also did things like 100% managing the kitchen reno, because our general contractor wasn't keeping on it.  The only thing he does most of is the driving - and that evolved so because he was the one with the car, which was stick and I couldn't drive for years, and he enjoys it.)

msilenus

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2013, 11:51:17 AM »
If we're going to use employ comparative advantages, it should be noted that economics is all about maximizing and matching aggregate supply and demand.  Mustachian principles suggest that we should be extending them in a way that means doing more with less.  In the case of cleaning, I believe that would mean looking for tasks with a low comparative advantage, and doing them far less often, freeing up a lot of time for spending time with the family and pursing the goals that really make us happy.


CWAL

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #74 on: December 27, 2013, 12:21:14 PM »
......
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage

Interesting.

The part where if one country (person) is more efficient in production of all goods being still able to trade doesn't make sense to me.  If I am more efficient at all household chores, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning and shopping (and we live in a condo with no snow shoveling or lawn mowing required), what is there to trade then?  Perhaps I am missing something.

Imagine you can cook meals for the entire week in 3 hours, and clean a house in 2 hours.  Your neighbor take 4 hours to cook meals, and a ridiculously long 5 hours to clean the same space.

You are objectively more efficient at each task.

For sake of argument, you have both decided to cook a weeks worth of meals and clean your house each week.  Also, for sake of argument, you each have similar tastes in food and cleanliness levels (ie. your services are objectively nearly the same quality, the only difference is the time it takes for each of you to complete the tasks.

If you each do everything for yourself, you will spend 5 hours a week, and your neighbor will spend 9.

If you do all the cleaning and let your neighbor do all the cooking, you spend 4 hours a week and your neighbor spends 8.  Everyone just got an extra hour to do something else.

CommonCents

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #75 on: December 27, 2013, 12:40:12 PM »
Maybe it means that the person still has finite time and can trade the things they are only a smidge better at for the things they are much much better at.

CWAL, yep, that's the conclusion I came to (see above).  Thanks for the confirmation.

the fixer

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #76 on: December 27, 2013, 01:25:08 PM »
Don't forget that the economists are ignoring various things that complicate the benefits of trade. Taxes are the biggest one, and then there's transportation costs.

MicroRN

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #77 on: December 27, 2013, 01:31:26 PM »
I can see why some people might choose to pay for housekeeping, and while I wouldn't, everyone has to pick the things that are worth it for them.  After my 2nd baby, my mom offered to pay for 2 months of weekly housekeeping for us, which was lovely.  I picked up, but she vacuumed, cleaned the bathrooms, wiped down the appliances, and steam-mopped the hard floors.  Nice as it was, I still didn't continue the cleanings because I felt there were too many other places I'd rather put that money.  If cleaning issues are causing marital problems, but everything otherwise is fantastic I'd consider it money well spent.  As it is, I do at least 90% of the cleaning.  DH would actually be fine with us hiring a cleaning service, but I just can't justify it.  He's gone for several months at a time, and when he's home he usually spends 50-60 hours a week at work.  I work 24 hours a week, so have plenty of time in the house.         

Something that dramatically decreases the need to clean is embracing minimalism.  Cut everything down (especially toys!), and suddenly there's far less mess.  It wasn't a problem for me until I suddenly had a toddler and an infant together, and I was cleaning constantly.  Now, I clean for about an hour a day.  Do the dishes, wipe down the kitchen counters, vacuum and mop the kitchen, put away all the toys, run a load of laundry, clean the litterbox, and clean one other area of the house.  All food is consumed sitting at the table, so we don't end up with crumbs everywhere.  At 2.5, my toddler will go get a cloth to wipe up liquid spills, and will put in a good attempt at sweeping up crumbs with a whiskbroom.  He'll also do a little bit with the vacuum and swiffer.  It seems counterintuitive, but fewer clothes and dishes help a lot.  We no longer have marathon clothes-washing sessions, where the clothes then end up sitting in baskets for weeks.  Neither of us has to maintain a professional-style wardrobe since he wears uniforms and I wear scrubs.  Similarly, with fewer pots and pans, I have to wash as I go.             

I'm also a big fan of Unfuck Your Habitat, and use it when I need some motivation.  I tried Flylady for a bit, but got sick of the cutesy poems and sayings. UfYH is similar - set up a plan, work in bursts.  I clean a little bit every day rather than try to do too much at once.       

rocksinmyhead

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2013, 07:27:24 AM »
There's only so much I can do on cleaning because I'm completely oblivious to levels of disorder that intensely bother her.

Hahaha, you sound exactly like my boyfriend.


Imagine you can cook meals for the entire week in 3 hours, and clean a house in 2 hours.  Your neighbor take 4 hours to cook meals, and a ridiculously long 5 hours to clean the same space.

You are objectively more efficient at each task.

For sake of argument, you have both decided to cook a weeks worth of meals and clean your house each week.  Also, for sake of argument, you each have similar tastes in food and cleanliness levels (ie. your services are objectively nearly the same quality, the only difference is the time it takes for each of you to complete the tasks.

If you each do everything for yourself, you will spend 5 hours a week, and your neighbor will spend 9.

If you do all the cleaning and let your neighbor do all the cooking, you spend 4 hours a week and your neighbor spends 8.  Everyone just got an extra hour to do something else.

wow, that was like magic!

garg33

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2013, 07:07:30 PM »
Don't forget that the economists are ignoring various things that complicate the benefits of trade. Taxes are the biggest one, and then there's transportation costs.
Lol, economists don't ignore taxes and transportation costs. Of course they don't address them in the "Econ 101" introductory explanation of why trade is good, though.

msilenus

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #80 on: December 30, 2013, 11:50:06 PM »
There's only so much I can do on cleaning because I'm completely oblivious to levels of disorder that intensely bother her.

Hahaha, you sound exactly like my boyfriend.

Your boyfriend sounds like a man of erudition, strength, character, and the very deepest humility.  Congratulations.

Le0

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #81 on: December 31, 2013, 08:57:09 AM »
I Hit the Random Button today on MMM Blog.

This is the post I found http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/09/you-cant-cure-obesity-with-bigger-pants/

Check out the first paragraph about house cleaning.

CommonCents

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #82 on: December 31, 2013, 09:56:47 AM »
I Hit the Random Button today on MMM Blog.

This is the post I found http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/09/you-cant-cure-obesity-with-bigger-pants/

Check out the first paragraph about house cleaning.

He makes some good points, such as that we often identify and solve the wrong problem, and keeping the problems visible means we'll focus on them.

But I do have a few problems with his post.
1.  He suggests the problem with needing a cleaner is overcommitment, which he implies we can choose to give up.  While it's true for some (although I could argue it can be ok - perhaps I prefer to donate my free time to my non-profit and pay for a cleaner, rather than donate the money instead), this is not the case for all families.  Just think about the family with a disabled child requiring a lot of time, or many children.  You don't really choose to give up your family so you can have more time to clean...  Sometimes, no matter what, you can't actually give up your other activities.
2. He lives in a world where all parties are bothered by the non-cleaning.  As discussed at length above, this is not my world. 

Hunny156

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #83 on: January 03, 2014, 12:42:41 PM »
We currently utilize the services of both a housekeeper AND a lawn care service!  We've had the housekeeper for far longer, but we live in a 3,600 sq ft house w/5 kitties, and the housekeeper charges $55 every other week.

We hired the housekeeper literally weeks before hubby lost his very high-paying job, and I still kept her on.  Hubby consumed his days looking for work, and he's one of those men w/many wonderful qualities, but cleaning is just not on his radar.  When we dated, his Mom would leave his clean folded clothes on the bed for him to put away, and he'd knock them on the floor b/c he was too tired to put them away.  It would get to the point that you would not see carpet anymore, and then I'd waste a weekend w/him to clean it all up.  I got him some tools to keep him organized, which certainly helped, but overall, it's not his thing.  He would completely agree w/me when I would point out that spending 5 minutes here and there would be better than wasting an entire weekend, but I still can't get him to make that connection now, almost 20 years later!

Another great example of this is when we relocated and lived apart for 6 months during the transition.  I lived in our old house, which I converted into a model home.  I cleaned up after myself a few minutes here and there, and the place was in perfect condition the whole time.  I shipped him our vacuum cleaner to at least vacuum the carpet every now and again.  When I visited him three months later, it was still in it's unopened box.  When I completed the relocation three months after that, I ripped out all the carpet and went w/hard surface flooring.  The carpeting on the stairs was completed trashed, and I found kitty puke and even GUM in the carpet in some places!  Gross!

Financially speaking, we can easily afford both services.  He got the lawn care when he landed his most recent job, and he simply hates mowing the lawn in the 100+ Texas summer heat.  Fair enough.  He also refuses to sell his lawnmower, b/c he intends to do his own lawn care once we get to FIRE.  We'll see if that happens or not.

The majority of the remaining housework, like cooking and laundry, falls on me.  I have the lovely "we don't know what's wrong w/you" disease classified as fibromyalgia, and this is really limiting me physically.  So, having a housekeeper is super important to me for that reason alone.

We are taking steps to quicken our path to FIRE, and part of that is selling this ridiculously huge house, and downsizing into one that's half it's size and no mortgage payment.  My hope is that the smaller size and less stuff will mean I can do more, and if I can make do w/o a housekeeper after I retire, then that's just more $$ to save or spend on stuff we enjoy doing together.

Oh, and when we hit a rough patch in our marriage a few years back, our counselor strongly supported the continued use of a housekeeper, b/c it was a huge source of marital strife for us.  Definitely cheaper than a divorce!

oldtoyota

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2014, 02:33:38 PM »
I Hit the Random Button today on MMM Blog.

This is the post I found http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/09/you-cant-cure-obesity-with-bigger-pants/

Check out the first paragraph about house cleaning.

He makes some good points, such as that we often identify and solve the wrong problem, and keeping the problems visible means we'll focus on them.

But I do have a few problems with his post.
1.  He suggests the problem with needing a cleaner is overcommitment, which he implies we can choose to give up.  While it's true for some (although I could argue it can be ok - perhaps I prefer to donate my free time to my non-profit and pay for a cleaner, rather than donate the money instead), this is not the case for all families.  Just think about the family with a disabled child requiring a lot of time, or many children.  You don't really choose to give up your family so you can have more time to clean...  Sometimes, no matter what, you can't actually give up your other activities.
2. He lives in a world where all parties are bothered by the non-cleaning.  As discussed at length above, this is not my world.

I think the point of posting the blog post was b/c MMM was saying recently their house doesn't need to be cleaned that much. A few people in another thread said they figure he just doesn't realize how much work goes into cleaning or maybe Mrs MM does a lot of it. However, in this blog post, he's talking about how messy the house is...


dragoncar

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2014, 04:50:17 PM »
I just learned to live in filth.  Really the cheapest way.

HappierAtHome

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2014, 06:43:44 PM »
Quote
I think the point of posting the blog post was b/c MMM was saying recently their house doesn't need to be cleaned that much. A few people in another thread said they figure he just doesn't realize how much work goes into cleaning or maybe Mrs MM does a lot of it. However, in this blog post, he's talking about how messy the house is...

Yeah, I think people are generalising that he doesn't see the mess because he's a man, and she does more housework because she's a woman. Personally my BF is much better at day to day tidying/chores than I am and probably does more housework than I do in an average week, so I didn't assume that at all.

Cinder

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #87 on: January 10, 2014, 06:05:36 AM »
Quote
I think the point of posting the blog post was b/c MMM was saying recently their house doesn't need to be cleaned that much. A few people in another thread said they figure he just doesn't realize how much work goes into cleaning or maybe Mrs MM does a lot of it. However, in this blog post, he's talking about how messy the house is...

Yeah, I think people are generalising that he doesn't see the mess because he's a man, and she does more housework because she's a woman. Personally my BF is much better at day to day tidying/chores than I am and probably does more housework than I do in an average week, so I didn't assume that at all.

Ditto in our household.  I do a large number of things around the house when it comes to cleaning, taking out the trash, doing the kitty litter, doing the things she can't physically do (heavy things, things up high, etc..) Vacuuming (that kindof falls under 'heavy things').  As well as 'disgusting things' and 'bug things' .  We both tidy up the kitchen (though usually I clean up after she makes the meals and I put the food away) and we both usually clean/store the dishes. 

She does the majority of the meal planning and shopping (and tad bit of couponing).   

While to most people, our house would be considered both 'dirty' and 'messy', It is actually my trigger that gets tripped before hers!  I don't really see it as a problem either way. 

Right now the house is a total mess from the earlier clog to our septic, we still haven't put the toilet on because we're going to check out the local habitat restore for a new one on Saturday.  Something is wrong with the drain for our kitchen sink.. I'm not sure if it froze or if it's a clog or what.  I have been manually draining the water from the trap and dumping it down the open flange from the kitchen sink.  mostly when I wash dishes or when running the dishwasher. 


Simple Abundant Living

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #88 on: January 10, 2014, 07:03:07 AM »
There's a now-locked thread about "the help" when you make a high income.  I thought I'd just share my thoughts about it. 

Everyone has their own idea about "mustachianism".  For some, it is a philosophy based on a desire to retire early.  Others like working, but love the idea of being financially independent.  Some like the lowered impact on the environment.  Some are deep in debt and are looking for help.  Some follow MMM down the line- bike everywhere, do my home repairs, clean very little.  Some take the ideas that work for them and leave others.  That being said...

If you are happy working, saving plenty, reducing your carbon impact, etc.  I have no problem with hiring help for things you just don't value spending your time doing.  I am a SAHM with a part-time job.  We do our own cleaning, snow removal, lawn mowing, appliance repair, minor home repairs, etc.  Soon I will be starting a full-time graduate program and then entering my career (which I plan to keep doing beyond our FI date).  My time with my kids and husband will be limited and I won't want to be doing heavy cleaning.  Since my DH makes a great salary and we meet our saving and investing goals, I have no problem providing employment to others by hiring a cleaner.  We probably won't eat out much more than we do, because my husband is the main cook.  Am I not mustachian because of that?  Maybe.  But is it a cult or a philosophy?  If someone is becoming more mindful of their financial choices and priorities, but doesn't enjoy living on $15K, I don't think we should feed them to the wolves.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #89 on: January 10, 2014, 08:35:31 AM »
A couple of comments:

I agree that discussions of housework tend to have an undercurrent of gender expectations.  Having said that, when I say that I think Mrs MM does more work around the house than MMM is aware of, it's not because of their genders.  My spouse and I are both female, and I can tell you that there is a HUGE difference between us in terms of housework.  The housework that goes on around my spouse is completely invisible to her, so it's not just a male thing.

On a completely different topic, in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith, which are set in Botswana, the main character, Precious Ramotswe, thinks it is her duty to hire household help since she has the means to do so.  She's not rich, but she is middle class, and she believes that providing employment is her patriotic duty if she can afford it.  This really struck me when I was reading the book, since this seems so different from any kind of American attitude I've ever experienced (I'm from Ohio and live in Pittsburgh). 

When we owned a house that was about 3 times bigger than our current house, we hired someone to come in to clean twice a month because it was waaay too big for us and we couldn't keep it clean.  We did hire a local individual rather than a company like Merry Maids because we wanted our cleaner to get all of the money, so there was an ethical component for us, but we never felt that we were obligated to provide employment for someone.

Are there people from other cultures/countries or even other parts of the US where you feel it is your duty to help someone earn a living?

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #90 on: January 10, 2014, 09:35:09 AM »

On a completely different topic, in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith, which are set in Botswana, the main character, Precious Ramotswe, thinks it is her duty to hire household help since she has the means to do so.  She's not rich, but she is middle class, and she believes that providing employment is her patriotic duty if she can afford it.  This really struck me when I was reading the book, since this seems so different from any kind of American attitude I've ever experienced (I'm from Ohio and live in Pittsburgh). 

When we owned a house that was about 3 times bigger than our current house, we hired someone to come in to clean twice a month because it was waaay too big for us and we couldn't keep it clean.  We did hire a local individual rather than a company like Merry Maids because we wanted our cleaner to get all of the money, so there was an ethical component for us, but we never felt that we were obligated to provide employment for someone.

Are there people from other cultures/countries or even other parts of the US where you feel it is your duty to help someone earn a living?

I loved those books! I agree with her, if it's a task you get no joy from.  After all, what's the point of FIRE if you are stuck doing tasks you detest?

Gray Matter

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #91 on: January 12, 2014, 07:02:28 AM »
On a completely different topic, in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith, which are set in Botswana, the main character, Precious Ramotswe, thinks it is her duty to hire household help since she has the means to do so.  She's not rich, but she is middle class, and she believes that providing employment is her patriotic duty if she can afford it.  This really struck me when I was reading the book, since this seems so different from any kind of American attitude I've ever experienced (I'm from Ohio and live in Pittsburgh). 

Are there people from other cultures/countries or even other parts of the US where you feel it is your duty to help someone earn a living?

When I was a teenager, my family lived in Africa and that absolutely was the mentality (and I agree with it).  It's a strange form of wealth redistribution (though I'm not suggesting it's completely or even remotely altruistic).  We had a full-time gardener and a full-time housekeeper and I can tell you, being very middle class American, it made us uncomfortable, but when unemployment is as high as 50% in some areas, and you have a job and can afford it, you really felt like you had to.

Also, after we moved in and until we had hired the gardener and housekeeper, there were many people knocking on our door asking for employment.

And in 2008 when the markets crashed and unemployment was high in the US, my husband and I were able to keep our high-paying jobs.  At that point, I hired a part-time cleaning person, a part-time gardener, and an after-school nanny (20 hours a week).  I joked that it was only to provide employment for these people, but there was an element of truth to it.  I was (mostly) trying to reduce my own workload/burden, but I did like the fact that I was providing employment (one was a student who couldn't find a job related to his studies, one was a semi-disabled man living on the fringes and barely scraping by, and one was a woman who was recently laid off).

Still, I always feel somewhat apologetic or embarrassed when people are doing things for me that I feel like I ought to be doing for myself.  I remind myself that they are small business owners, providing a service that I'm willing to pay for, and that helps.

And lest you jump on me for my anti-Mustachian ways, I am no longer spending all that money.  After two years, the nanny found a job in his field, the gardener moved away, and I've reduced the housecleaner's hours by half (and will cancel when my husband returns from Australia).  So there.

Meechy

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #92 on: January 12, 2014, 09:40:48 PM »
I enjoyed this thread.  I was curious how the community would look upon the use of a contractor for home cleaning. I have 3 young children and currently work from home, 30-40 hours a week, often after the kids are in bed.  One child is in elementary school; the other 2 are home with me, except for a couple mornings a week when they attend preschool.

I would rather outsource cleaning my toilet than caring for my kids.  I am very fortunate to be able to keep them home with me and work from home on a very flexible schedule...but I have found that I cannot work fulltime, care for my kids at home fulltime, and keep the house as clean as we want it to be.  Something had to give!  Since I have chosen to not outsource the care of my kids, I outsourced the care of my toilets instead.  I still sometimes fall prey to the "supermom" mindset and feel that I should be able to handle it all.  I then remind myself that there is no prize for doing it all.  Happiness is our only prize, and I can honestly say that outsourcing my weekly housecleaning truly brings me happiness. 

Le0

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #93 on: January 13, 2014, 07:48:05 AM »
I enjoyed this thread.  I was curious how the community would look upon the use of a contractor for home cleaning. I have 3 young children and currently work from home, 30-40 hours a week, often after the kids are in bed.  One child is in elementary school; the other 2 are home with me, except for a couple mornings a week when they attend preschool.

I would rather outsource cleaning my toilet than caring for my kids.  I am very fortunate to be able to keep them home with me and work from home on a very flexible schedule...but I have found that I cannot work fulltime, care for my kids at home fulltime, and keep the house as clean as we want it to be.  Something had to give!  Since I have chosen to not outsource the care of my kids, I outsourced the care of my toilets instead.  I still sometimes fall prey to the "supermom" mindset and feel that I should be able to handle it all.  I then remind myself that there is no prize for doing it all.  Happiness is our only prize, and I can honestly say that outsourcing my weekly housecleaning truly brings me happiness.

What about super dad?

ace1224

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #94 on: January 13, 2014, 08:58:27 AM »
i don't care about RE so factoring in how many months a cleaning service tacks on doesn't even make sense to me.  what i do hate is deep cleaning.  every 4 months or so i hire a lady for 60 bucks and she spends about 6ish hours cleaning the list of things i leave for her.  like baseboards.  i keep a relatively tidy house on the regular so she just does the stuff i don't want to do.  worth it! could i do it, sure.  i'm not even going to justify it by saying i'm soooooo super busy and my time is worth xyz dollars.  plus it keeps me from being pissed off on a saturday that i have to spend all day cleaning effing baseboards bc for some reason the sight of them has sent me into a senseless rage and i must "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!!!"

oldtoyota

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #95 on: January 13, 2014, 09:46:56 AM »
Quote
I think the point of posting the blog post was b/c MMM was saying recently their house doesn't need to be cleaned that much. A few people in another thread said they figure he just doesn't realize how much work goes into cleaning or maybe Mrs MM does a lot of it. However, in this blog post, he's talking about how messy the house is...

Yeah, I think people are generalising that he doesn't see the mess because he's a man, and she does more housework because she's a woman. Personally my BF is much better at day to day tidying/chores than I am and probably does more housework than I do in an average week, so I didn't assume that at all.

I didn't think of it either.

What I notice is that DH is likely to clean big time once a week or a month--and only on weekends. I clean a little every day because I don't like to leave it until it's a huge mess to clean, and I do not want to do a big cleaning on the weekend. We work in different ways. Maybe MMM and Mrs MMM do too.


Taylorj

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #96 on: January 14, 2014, 08:42:01 AM »
I have a thing about strangers touching my stuff - I would never want to get someone in to clean any of my things/rooms etc. I would rather do it all myself, how I like it. But I do understand people who maybe work full-time, have children, have other commitments and just do not have the time to clean their house.

LibrarIan

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #97 on: January 14, 2014, 08:59:49 AM »
I would never be able to have a house cleaning service because my wife is such a germaphobe. It has done to be cleaned just so, or else it's not *really* clean. A service would never measure up. Hell, my cleaning barely measures up to her standards.

Cinder

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #98 on: January 18, 2014, 05:29:26 AM »
Just stumbled on to this awesome tumblr post from ufyh

http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/post/20534295854/how-do-i-keep-the-place-clean-when-no-one-will-help

I added underlines to point out two very critical portions.

Quote
"How do I keep the place clean when no one will help me?"
This is, by far (besides cat pee), the most frequent theme of my asks. The asker is the one whoís invested in the unfucking process, and the people who they share space with are not on board. It could be roommates/flatmates, spouses, children, parents, significant others, whoever. The point is that youíre cleaning up and they arenít. I love bullet points, so Iím going to bullet point the important stuff in this situation.
  • You cannot change anyoneís behavior but your own. You can ask for help, you can beg for buy-in, you can threaten, cajole, plead, or yell, but in the end, you can really only control what you do.
  • This is your priority, not theirs. This one might sting a bit, but itís true. Youíre on board, youíre energized, youíre motivated. Something spoke to you to get you going with this. They are not there. They have different priorities, other things occupying their time.
  • With very few exceptions, they are not actively sabotaging your efforts. Iím just going to come out with it, because this can be a hard one to hear, but: chances are, they either donít notice, or they donít care. Before you make any progress with how you look at this situation, itís really important to fully understand this. Youíre seeing ill intent where thereís likely just apathy and/or laziness.
  • Sometimes itís better to be happy than be right.This oneís going to ruffle some feathers. Iím not saying be a maid for the people who live with you. Iím not saying to clean up after them. I do advocate putting all their shit somewhere (after telling them youíre going to do it) so that itís not in your way, but if all youíre getting is upset and annoyed, you have to weigh whether itís more important for you to have buy-in or to have a clean space. Again, you donít have to be their maid, but cleaning your half of the stuff is still a 50% improvement from total disaster.
  • Passive-aggressive behavior never works. It doesnít. It backfires. Constantly. Post-it notes, snide comments, throwing stuff (well, thatís more aggressive-aggressive) does not accomplish anything besides allowing your resentment to breed and making the other person think youíre unreasonable and immature.
  • Use your words. Explain to the people you live with why youíre doing what youíre doing. ASK them to help you out. Ask for help with very specific things, with specific timeframes. Let them know youíre going to keep doing it, and you may need to move their stuff (hell, toss it in a big box, I donít care) in order to do so. Have the conversation as often as you feel is necessary, but have it without resentment, anger, or sarcasm.
  • Give them time. Like I said, right now, youíre gung-ho about this. They arenít. But the more your behavior is consistently being modeled for them, the more likely they are to adopt it.
  • Keep on keeping on. Donít let someone else deter you from doing something you want or need to do. It sucks if youíre doing it alone, but this is about you, not them.
ďBut, but, this is how my specific situation doesnít fit what youíve said.Ē I will get approximately ten billion asks and reblogs with some variation on that statement. And I will likely call 99.9% of them excuses. Life isnít fair, kiddos. Itís how you deal with that fact that makes you who you are.

Insanity

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Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #99 on: January 18, 2014, 06:20:25 PM »
Just stumbled on to this awesome tumblr post from ufyh

http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/post/20534295854/how-do-i-keep-the-place-clean-when-no-one-will-help

I added underlines to point out two very critical portions.

Quote
"How do I keep the place clean when no one will help me?"
This is, by far (besides cat pee), the most frequent theme of my asks. The asker is the one whoís invested in the unfucking process, and the people who they share space with are not on board. It could be roommates/flatmates, spouses, children, parents, significant others, whoever. The point is that youíre cleaning up and they arenít. I love bullet points, so Iím going to bullet point the important stuff in this situation.
  • You cannot change anyoneís behavior but your own. You can ask for help, you can beg for buy-in, you can threaten, cajole, plead, or yell, but in the end, you can really only control what you do.
  • This is your priority, not theirs. This one might sting a bit, but itís true. Youíre on board, youíre energized, youíre motivated. Something spoke to you to get you going with this. They are not there. They have different priorities, other things occupying their time.
  • With very few exceptions, they are not actively sabotaging your efforts. Iím just going to come out with it, because this can be a hard one to hear, but: chances are, they either donít notice, or they donít care. Before you make any progress with how you look at this situation, itís really important to fully understand this. Youíre seeing ill intent where thereís likely just apathy and/or laziness.
  • Sometimes itís better to be happy than be right.This oneís going to ruffle some feathers. Iím not saying be a maid for the people who live with you. Iím not saying to clean up after them. I do advocate putting all their shit somewhere (after telling them youíre going to do it) so that itís not in your way, but if all youíre getting is upset and annoyed, you have to weigh whether itís more important for you to have buy-in or to have a clean space. Again, you donít have to be their maid, but cleaning your half of the stuff is still a 50% improvement from total disaster.
  • Passive-aggressive behavior never works. It doesnít. It backfires. Constantly. Post-it notes, snide comments, throwing stuff (well, thatís more aggressive-aggressive) does not accomplish anything besides allowing your resentment to breed and making the other person think youíre unreasonable and immature.
  • Use your words. Explain to the people you live with why youíre doing what youíre doing. ASK them to help you out. Ask for help with very specific things, with specific timeframes. Let them know youíre going to keep doing it, and you may need to move their stuff (hell, toss it in a big box, I donít care) in order to do so. Have the conversation as often as you feel is necessary, but have it without resentment, anger, or sarcasm.
  • Give them time. Like I said, right now, youíre gung-ho about this. They arenít. But the more your behavior is consistently being modeled for them, the more likely they are to adopt it.
  • Keep on keeping on. Donít let someone else deter you from doing something you want or need to do. It sucks if youíre doing it alone, but this is about you, not them.
ďBut, but, this is how my specific situation doesnít fit what youíve said.Ē I will get approximately ten billion asks and reblogs with some variation on that statement. And I will likely call 99.9% of them excuses. Life isnít fair, kiddos. Itís how you deal with that fact that makes you who you are.

The sad thing is, I know some people who would think that being right is more important than being healthy and not listening/helping/ignoring is intentionally sabotaging efforts :(