Author Topic: House Cleaning  (Read 43499 times)

nawhite

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
  • Location: Golden, CO
    • The Reckless Choice
House Cleaning
« on: December 20, 2013, 01:00:06 PM »
There was a lot of discussion on the Overheard at work thread about whether paying a person to clean your house is a good idea or worthwhile. Please move that conversation to this thread. Thanks!

Frugal Friar

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 01:16:57 PM »
I posted the comment on the other thread, and decided to copy it here when I saw the thread was moved.

You guys complaining that you *need* a cleaning service do realize this is MMM, right?

I am new here, but it seems horribly against the idea of self-sufficiency and frugality to pay someone else to clean my house.  It also seems a little strange to try to justify it on a site dedicated to monetary badassity.  Just saying...

I am no where near a 50% savings rate yet, but even I don't have the luxury of being able to cut a cleaning service.  this seems like an amazing opportunity for you guys.  Cut the service, and simultaneously increase your savings and cut your expenses.  Your future, retired self will probably thank you.

the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1035
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 01:17:42 PM »
Makes perfect sense to me. I go to that thread to read funny stories about silly clown coworkers, especially since I no longer get to amuse myself with those experiences personally.

Mom to 5, no personal offense meant by my comment. I merely turned around your statement about society, because all of those problems are 100% under your control. If you're exercising that control that's great, but my point stands that those things aren't good excuses.

I can believe that a small handful of people out there are truly benefited from having a cleaning service, especially on a temporary basis, but not as many as the number who are posting to justify this. Based on the math, even if you aren't going to continue this after FI one would have to work an extra year or more to pay for this during the accumulation phase.

msilenus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 02:44:10 PM »
We also have cleaning.  The calculus there is sound, but weird: my wife is a neat freak, makes excellent money at work, and is a mom.  Those are a lot of demands on her time, and it sometimes gets overwhelming for her.  There's only so much I can do on cleaning because I'm completely oblivious to levels of disorder that intensely bother her.  Since we started getting a good cleaning once a month, those times where she feels completely swamped have become much fewer, and she's been noticeably happier and less stressed.

If she ever stops being happy because the demands on her time become complete intractable, work is what goes.  There's no question about that for either of us.  I ran the numbers.  Compensation from her job subtracts at least four years from our FIRE date.  The cleaners add about a month.  They're also cheaper than therapy to help her learn to cope with clutter.  (I kid. (Though they are.))

We should be skeptical of claims of time-arbitrage.  Usually it's just self-delusion.  Sometimes it really does make sense.

Zaga

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2769
  • Age: 41
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 02:51:28 PM »
We did have a once a month cleaning service, just 3 hours for $60, while I was working full time and in grad school.  It was a true sanity saver, but we cancelled after I graduated.  Cost was no longer worth the benefit.

Empire Business

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 03:13:53 PM »
My friend has a house cleaning hustle, so it's pretty sound from her point of view.

I have tried to hire her a few times for "special projects," but somehow she always ends up negotiating it down to something like I provide coffee and snacks, in return for her sitting and giving moral support while I clean out my own closet or whatever. 

She is a good friend.

annaraven

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 03:39:40 PM »
I highly recommend Flylady (Flylady.net) for folks getting overwhelmed by cleaning. Breaks everything down into small, doable steps (building habits, breaking the house into zones), that don't take a lot of time ("you can do anything for 15 minutes") and improves the home over time. And, it's free.

Kept me from having to hire a cleaning service or get overwhelmed by trying to keep up.


avonlea

  • Guest
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 05:33:14 PM »
I posted the comment on the other thread, and decided to copy it here when I saw the thread was moved.

You guys complaining that you *need* a cleaning service do realize this is MMM, right?

I am new here, but it seems horribly against the idea of self-sufficiency and frugality to pay someone else to clean my house.  It also seems a little strange to try to justify it on a site dedicated to monetary badassity.  Just saying...

I am no where near a 50% savings rate yet, but even I don't have the luxury of being able to cut a cleaning service.  this seems like an amazing opportunity for you guys.  Cut the service, and simultaneously increase your savings and cut your expenses.  Your future, retired self will probably thank you.

I don't think that anyone on the previous thread said they needed the cleaning service.  I was under the impression that they saw it as a valuable purchase, either during a certain phase of life or for the long haul.  They were willing to be financially smart in other ways and still meet their desired savings goals.  Sure, they could have saved more money and hit FIRE earlier by cutting this expense, but they didn't think it was worth it.  I see a difference between this scenario and one where a person is complaining that there is no way they can possibly save for retirement while they're also paying for a cleaning service.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 05:39:34 PM by avonlea »

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8829
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 06:56:09 PM »
I posted the comment on the other thread, and decided to copy it here when I saw the thread was moved.

You guys complaining that you *need* a cleaning service do realize this is MMM, right?

I am new here, but it seems horribly against the idea of self-sufficiency and frugality to pay someone else to clean my house.  It also seems a little strange to try to justify it on a site dedicated to monetary badassity.  Just saying...

I am no where near a 50% savings rate yet, but even I don't have the luxury of being able to cut a cleaning service.  this seems like an amazing opportunity for you guys.  Cut the service, and simultaneously increase your savings and cut your expenses.  Your future, retired self will probably thank you.

I don't think that anyone on the previous thread said they needed the cleaning service.  I was under the impression that they saw it as a valuable purchase, either during a certain phase of life or for the long haul.  They were willing to be financially smart in other ways and still meet their desired savings goals.  Sure, they could have saved more money and hit FIRE earlier by cutting this expense, but they didn't think it was worth it.  I see a difference between this scenario and one where a person is complaining that there is no way they can possibly save for retirement while they're also paying for a cleaning service.
Yes, and this is basically what I said on the other thread.  I can see a point in time, in a few  years, when we could easily quit (when our children are older).  But our toddler can literally messy things up faster than we can clean them up.  In fact, I think I hear him right now pulling all the books off one of our shelves...

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8829
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 08:10:38 PM »
Quote
I can believe that a small handful of people out there are truly benefited from having a cleaning service, especially on a temporary basis, but not as many as the number who are posting to justify this.

Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by small number.  I can see, easily, that anyone with infants and young toddlers (say, aged 0-4) can benefit from a cleaning service.  For those years, so are so "hands on" with your children, that cleaning generally falls by the wayside.  Especially if both parents are working because there's just not time the rest of the day.  As it is, the only time one of us is NOT interacting with the toddler is when he's asleep.   He did not nap today.  We also have an older child.  Their sleep schedules are aligned such that if I only sleep when both are asleep I will be lucky to get 8 hours of sleep.

After the age of four it gets better.  The kids are certainly able to help and can play independently enough that you can actually clean.

However, that's not the only reason - there are legitimately people who are paid by the hour.  My husband works from home a lot.  If he works for two hours after the kids are in bed, that pays for one cleaning session (after taxes). 

Plus, there's the general stress level that someone else mentioned.  I've found that as I've gotten older, my tolerance for mess and dirt has gone way down.  There are days when I am picking stuff up and putting it away and doing dishes and folding laundry and cooking and feeding nonstop...only to look around at 8 pm and realize that suddenly there is STILL crap all over the floor and the baby's asleep so it's too late to vacuum anyway.

But really, what it comes down to is - I can afford it.

Insanity

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1025
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 09:03:54 PM »
Before I saw this thread, I put this in the other thread:

Just wondering -- how many kids do you have?
What an interesting and relevant point you make.

Only if the assumption was I was going to argue the underlying point instead of criticize the delivery.  Given the tone of the response, I thought it actually was relevant.  One thing that has irked me a bit about MMM community is the harshness that is given to some.  We are talking about a woman who home school two kids, and has three other younger kids spending a little bit of money on a cleaning service.  With the amount of sleep she probably does get, or the free time -- oh wait, she probably doesn't have anyway.   

Quote
And that "bedpan" meme is horribly overplayed.
So is the "no you don't need a new car" meme and the "you can afford to put more of your paycheck away each month to save for retirement" meme. This is a frugality site, not a don't-change-anything-and-bitch-that-life-is-really-hard site.

I agree with what someone else said before -- its about making your life efficient with what you can afford.  If you can afford the cleaning service and it isn't hindering your FIRE, then who is anyone on here to judge whether it is good or not?  For me, I've cut back significantly in multiple areas (cable, cell phone, car payments, etc) that continuing the cleaning service wasn't needed to cut.

So yes, just blindly throwing out any one of those phrases without understanding context is what I would call overused.

---------

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3513
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 10:04:39 PM »
Plus, there's the general stress level that someone else mentioned.  I've found that as I've gotten older, my tolerance for mess and dirt has gone way down.  There are days when I am picking stuff up and putting it away and doing dishes and folding laundry and cooking and feeding nonstop...only to look around at 8 pm and realize that suddenly there is STILL crap all over the floor and the baby's asleep so it's too late to vacuum anyway.
We've never had a cleaning service, but keeping the house clean has been the #1 stressor in our marriage and our family -- and after 23 years, my husband still hasn't figured this out.  Now that our kids are older, the problem has resolved itself.

In retrospect, I think we'd have been happier in our earlier years if we'd splurged on a cleaning service.  Our focus at that point was maxing out our savings and paying off the house early -- both good goals, and we exceeded our goals wildly.  But looking back, I think we'd have been better off to have spent something on house cleaning, even if it meant we had a little less now. 

nottoolatetostart

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 04:44:30 AM »
We both work and have a 16 month old with another on the way. We don't have a cleaning service, although I do fantasize about it, but I could never justify the cost since our house would feel dirty again once the baby got into things again.

Our solution has been to simply own less stuff and very soon move to a smaller place. We have 2800 sq ft.

Less space = less to clean. Perfect! 

To keep clutter under control, I **try** (doesn't always happen) to do a little bit each day and only focus on the key areas where we actually spend our time (living/family room, kitchen, dining, bedrooms, bath).

Luckily, my husband does most of our wash and the dishes after dinner each night. If I had to do those as well, then I would go crazy.

I prefer to spend my time with my toddler instead of worrying about cleaning. But it has taken me time to get there.

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1543
  • Location: MA
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2013, 06:40:29 AM »
I do.  I have someone come in twice a month to clean my house and I love it.  I really value the work that my cleaners do.  I used to clean hotel rooms in summer breaks from college, and I have always cleaned my own apartments and homes until the last few years. 

I pay for cleaning because both me and my husband work a full time job, have two children, and he is in school part time getting his MBA.  It is worth it because something has to give or else I would not spend the time with my kids that I want to.  My mother worked a full time job growing up and then spent all day Saturday cleaning.  I saw how that drained her and I don't want that for myself.

When I was a SAHM I did the cleaning, and if I am able to cut back on my hours I will let the cleaners go.  So I see it as a temporary necessity.  Also, as my kids get older they will take over some of the cleaners jobs as well.

melalvai

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Columbia, MO
    • Bicycling and Walking Around
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2013, 06:51:04 AM »
One thing that has irked me a bit about MMM community is the harshness that is given to some.

Me too. Come over to the Journals, we're much nicer there.

melalvai

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Columbia, MO
    • Bicycling and Walking Around
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2013, 06:59:19 AM »
But our toddler can literally messy things up faster than we can clean them up.  In fact, I think I hear him right now pulling all the books off one of our shelves...

That was our daughter's favorite game! We packed all the books in the bottom 2 shelves so tight that we almost couldn't get them out. That didn't help. She dragged a box over, climbed on top of it, and started in on shelves 3 & 4. One of our most treasured photos is that little bald baby pulling books off the shelves.

I often dreamed of paying for a house cleaner, especially when she was small, but we never could afford it. My alternative solution was to lower my standard of cleanliness. That worked so well that when she went off to college, I was uncomfortable with the unaccustomed lack of mess & filth. Only for a little while. Sadly, I got used to it and I waste her precious visits home feeling annoyed that she leaves dirty dishes and socks lying around.

Once I had an estimate on cleaning when we were about to move. The cleaning company talked me out of it. They didn't want me to waste my money on a landlord I didn't like. They said to call them when they could do it to make ME happy, not my despised landlord.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2013, 07:03:05 AM »
What I don't understand is why this is put in this category (anti-mustachian) and seen as worthy of massive face punches, but other things (like say, travel) aren't, even in similar circumstances of being out of debt, building a stash. Why do people think that this is so heinous?  I include MMM in the question as well, because I think he has a bit of an attitude on "right" and "wrong" spending too.  Even though he admits to luxury spending, it seems as only certain luxury spending is ok.

In regards to the grandparents time debate, to me that's totally irrelevant. My grandmother didn't hold a full-time job. I do.  End stop. (I don't currently have a cleaner, but it is the number one source of chronic fights in our household, because I get frustrated at doing it all. Last night, DH even said he was afraid I'd leave him over it one day.  Divorce, let me tell you, is way more expensive than a cleaner.  I envy you folks that have partners that share equally in the work.)

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3513
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2013, 07:15:07 AM »
What I don't understand is why this is put in this category (anti-mustachian) and seen as worthy of massive face punches, but other things (like say, travel) aren't, even in similar circumstances of being out of debt, building a stash. Why do people think that this is so heinous?  I include MMM in the question as well, because I think he has a bit of an attitude on "right" and "wrong" spending too.  Even though he admits to luxury spending, it seems as only certain luxury spending is ok.

In regards to the grandparents time debate, to me that's totally irrelevant. My grandmother didn't hold a full-time job. I do.  End stop. (I don't currently have a cleaner, but it is the number one source of chronic fights in our household, because I get frustrated at doing it all. Last night, DH even said he was afraid I'd leave him over it one day.  Divorce, let me tell you, is way more expensive than a cleaner.  I envy you folks that have partners that share equally in the work.)
I completely understand your point of view -- it sounds like where we were when our kids were small. 

My husband is absolutely wonderful in so many ways, but he is worse than useless on this one subject.  Not only does he not help, he doesn't even see that there's a problem.  He will gladly step over piles of dirty clothes and is fine with dishes sitting by the sink. 

annann

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
  • Location: Central Florida
Cleaning baseboards
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2013, 07:42:02 AM »
Quote from: ace1224 on December 20, 2013, 06:33:38 am

    i pay someone to come deep clean once a quarter or so.  i super hate cleaning baseboards and will gladly outsource them.  even if i'm not doing anything productive with the time i save not doing them lol


I don't hate cleaning anything but I was always disappointed that no matter what I did the baseboards never looked really good.  Then by accident I sprayed wood floor cleaner on a bit of baseboard and it cleaned it really well with no extra effort.  Spray and wipe and it looked wonderful.  I have since found the wood floor cleaner superior for washable painted walls.  Sometimes it is just finding the right product to do the job.  HTH.

melalvai

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Columbia, MO
    • Bicycling and Walking Around
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2013, 07:46:01 AM »
What I don't understand is why this is put in this category (anti-mustachian) and seen as worthy of massive face punches, but other things (like say, travel) aren't,

Because you haven't started the thread on other things like travel! You start that thread, and there will be a lot of face punches, plus a lot of people just as defensive about their travel as you are about house cleaning.

Not to hijack the house cleaner thread, but we just moved from an isolated, rural town. It's categorized as 'micropolitan', if you're into traffic you know what that means. It means it's a small town but the next bigger town is 90 miles away in any direction. A friend of mine grew up in the area and she survives by going to Kansas City or Des Moines with her husband nearly every weekend to visit friends. They eat at restaurants and drink beer and wine. They shop. They go to games or shows. I think they each have a salary around $30K. They want to have kids some day. They have student debt. They totally can't afford these frequent trips!

In regards to the grandparents time debate...

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.

My husband is absolutely wonderful in so many ways, but he is worse than useless on this one subject.  Not only does he not help, he doesn't even see that there's a problem.  He will gladly step over piles of dirty clothes and is fine with dishes sitting by the sink.

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

I was laughing the other day because my extravert nature means I have all these filters, which get in the way because I'm so unobservant. He's an introvert and has no filters, so noise bothers him & he's easily distracted. Yet apparently he has plenty of filters in place when it comes to noticing that the toilet needs cleaned. And I have no filters on that score.

Lowering your standards of cleanliness can save money AND decrease marital strife. :)

Le0

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 216
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
    • My Path to Financial Independence in 2014
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2013, 07:46:26 AM »
Someone mentioned in another thread recently that its a little discouraging reading through the MMM Forums. As it seems a lot of people make more than $50,000 a year. When it comes to hiring a cleaner, I make less than $50,000 and cannot maintain the savings rate I want and pay a cleaner (Or something similar) that is why I see it as a face punch. However from this conversation I am realizing that there are a lot of people making much more they must be living within their 25% and therefore saving more than 50% a year.

IF you are living within 25% of your yearly income and saving 75% then hiring a cleaner is not a face punch. However if that is not the case then I would say stop paying some one to clean your house, do it yourself.


CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2013, 08:12:54 AM »
What I don't understand is why this is put in this category (anti-mustachian) and seen as worthy of massive face punches, but other things (like say, travel) aren't,

Because you haven't started the thread on other things like travel! You start that thread, and there will be a lot of face punches, plus a lot of people just as defensive about their travel as you are about house cleaning.

eh, I've read and participated on many (hence why I'm flagging it) and it doesn't have the same tone.  And I'm genuinely curious as to why.  I think it's because most mustachian share it as a "valued spending item" and they don't share hiring out cleaning, and thus don't understand why it might be a valued spending item.  I also think it might be a sense of superiority, that it's the "type" of thing that shouldn't be outsourced, because one ought to pick up after themselves.

Lowering your standards of cleanliness can save money AND decrease marital strife. :)

See, I think this is a case of ignorance of bliss.  Perhaps you don't realize when I say that my husband does NO CLEANING, I really mean NO CLEANING.  Example: I met my husband 5.5 years ago, when he had been in his current condo 5 years.  He had NEVER ONCE cleaned his shower in those five years.  There is lowering standards, and then there is living in filth.  I hope we all agree that while standards may vary, NO CLEANING is not appropriate either.  It has some pretty significant negative health repercussions, which is very un-mustachian with long-term consequences.

Someone mentioned in another thread recently that its a little discouraging reading through the MMM Forums. As it seems a lot of people make more than $50,000 a year. When it comes to hiring a cleaner, I make less than $50,000 and cannot maintain the savings rate I want and pay a cleaner (Or something similar) that is why I see it as a face punch. However from this conversation I am realizing that there are a lot of people making much more they must be living within their 25% and therefore saving more than 50% a year.

IF you are living within 25% of your yearly income and saving 75% then hiring a cleaner is not a face punch. However if that is not the case then I would say stop paying some one to clean your house, do it yourself.

Yes, I would never support cleaning where the person wasn't on track financially and out of consumer debt, absent severe circumstances.  I think that's part of the problem for me, that people facepunch without carefully describing where it's inappropriate and where could be just fine.

For example, in our case, our annual household income is $200k.  Our saving rates is a little unknown (just bought a house and don't know how much bills like heat/water will be for sure), but prior to Friday it was at least 65% (higher if you also count the 401k match for my husband and my govt pension, which I get back as a lump sum if I leave before I vest).

Cinder

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
  • Location: Central PA
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2013, 08:30:19 AM »
I highly recommend Flylady (Flylady.net) for folks getting overwhelmed by cleaning. Breaks everything down into small, doable steps (building habits, breaking the house into zones), that don't take a lot of time ("you can do anything for 15 minutes") and improves the home over time. And, it's free.

Kept me from having to hire a cleaning service or get overwhelmed by trying to keep up.

I was going to use flylady, but the 10+ emails a day overwhelmed me more then the cleaning did/would!  My brain immediately treated them as spam and I stopped looking at them as they flooded my inbox, I unsubscribed from the mailing list directly thereafter. 

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17680
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2013, 09:13:13 AM »
See, I think this is a case of ignorance of bliss.  Perhaps you don't realize when I say that my husband does NO CLEANING, I really mean NO CLEANING.  Example: I met my husband 5.5 years ago, when he had been in his current condo 5 years.  He had NEVER ONCE cleaned his shower in those five years.  There is lowering standards, and then there is living in filth.  I hope we all agree that while standards may vary, NO CLEANING is not appropriate either.  It has some pretty significant negative health repercussions, which is very un-mustachian with long-term consequences.

It kinda sounds like someone needs to pull your husband's head out of his ass and get him to help out, rather than hiring someone.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2013, 09:24:00 AM »
See, I think this is a case of ignorance of bliss.  Perhaps you don't realize when I say that my husband does NO CLEANING, I really mean NO CLEANING.  Example: I met my husband 5.5 years ago, when he had been in his current condo 5 years.  He had NEVER ONCE cleaned his shower in those five years.  There is lowering standards, and then there is living in filth.  I hope we all agree that while standards may vary, NO CLEANING is not appropriate either.  It has some pretty significant negative health repercussions, which is very un-mustachian with long-term consequences.

It kinda sounds like someone needs to pull your husband's head out of his ass and get him to help out, rather than hiring someone.

That would be awesome, but I personally haven't had much success making someone (adult) do what they don't want to do.  (You can only change yourself, you can't change other people...)

In any event, read above, I don't actually have a cleaning person.  I just do think there are circumstances where it is warranted and I'm befuddled how mustachian principles are that you should evaluate your expenses and only spend on those things truly worth it to you - except cleaning, that is.  It seems it is the one thing you should never ever pay someone else to do.  The hostility towards it is amazing.

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2013, 09:29:56 AM »
spending money on cleaning may seem like a waste to some people ( i don't do it), while spending money on pets may seem crazy to others, etc.

The good news is, when it comes to FIRE, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY ON!

I already explained it on my blog, so check it out if you are interested:  http://themoney-monk.blogspot.com/2013/12/it-doesnt-matter-what-you-spend-your.html

melalvai

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Columbia, MO
    • Bicycling and Walking Around
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2013, 09:31:51 AM »
What I don't understand is why this is put in this category (anti-mustachian) and seen as worthy of massive face punches, but other things (like say, travel) aren't,

Because you haven't started the thread on other things like travel! You start that thread, and there will be a lot of face punches, plus a lot of people just as defensive about their travel as you are about house cleaning.

eh, I've read and participated on many (hence why I'm flagging it) and it doesn't have the same tone.  And I'm genuinely curious as to why.  I think it's because most mustachian share it as a "valued spending item" and they don't share hiring out cleaning, and thus don't understand why it might be a valued spending item.  I also think it might be a sense of superiority, that it's the "type" of thing that shouldn't be outsourced, because one ought to pick up after themselves.

That is an interesting question. I wonder if it has something to do with the difference between doing for yourself and doing without. It's fun to save money by doing for yourself, it's a hardship to save money by doing without. But I don't know if that really gets at the judgmental attitudes toward hiring a house cleaner that aren't present toward traveling. And I have a hard time calling cleaning "fun".

Grandma bitterly complained about having someone clean her house. She hated the invasion of privacy. Mom & I just looked at each other and said, "I'd take it any day!" It's something we both sort of aspire to, that one day we'll get to have a weekly house cleaner.

See, I think this is a case of ignorance of bliss.  Perhaps you don't realize when I say that my husband does NO CLEANING, I really mean NO CLEANING.  Example: I met my husband 5.5 years ago, when he had been in his current condo 5 years.  He had NEVER ONCE cleaned his shower in those five years.  There is lowering standards, and then there is living in filth.  I hope we all agree that while standards may vary, NO CLEANING is not appropriate either.  It has some pretty significant negative health repercussions, which is very un-mustachian with long-term consequences.

Ew-- but, that's my cultural background speaking. Modern sewer systems have a much bigger health impact than anything else we've discovered or invented in our entire history. Until very recently, daily showering was just not done. I've encountered a few bathrooms that likely hadn't been cleaned in a long time, and the people who live in them are not suffering any adverse health effects. Their health problems related to sedentary living and a high-sugar/ HFCS diet, not a dirty shower. Not even dirty dishes.

I don't know if my husband has ever cleaned a shower in his life. We were young when we met, and I didn't try even asking him to help clean the bathroom more than once or twice. I assume your husband, like mine, has many other admirable qualities. One time, I caught him cleaning the toilet. He just wanted to do something nice for me. I took a picture.

annann

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
  • Location: Central Florida
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2013, 10:01:28 AM »
I highly recommend Flylady (Flylady.net) for folks getting overwhelmed by cleaning. Breaks everything down into small, doable steps (building habits, breaking the house into zones), that don't take a lot of time ("you can do anything for 15 minutes") and improves the home over time. And, it's free.

Kept me from having to hire a cleaning service or get overwhelmed by trying to keep up.

I was going to use flylady, but the 10+ emails a day overwhelmed me more then the cleaning did/would!  My brain immediately treated them as spam and I stopped looking at them as they flooded my inbox, I unsubscribed from the mailing list directly thereafter.

Flylady is full of useful information.  When I went there I did not sign up for anything.  I just went through the information in the order they suggested.  I believe the first cleaning task is really cleaning your kitchen sink.  I never had to deal with e-mails.  Just her idea of doing 15-60 minutes a day in decluttering and/or cleaning is so helpful.  Anyone really can do any cleaning or organizing task for 15 minutes.  Over time it adds up and get the job done relatively painlessly.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2013, 10:12:05 AM »
Grandma bitterly complained about having someone clean her house. She hated the invasion of privacy.

Ahh, Grandmas.  My grandma would clean before the cleaning person came (when she got to ill to take care of things herself a year before she died) because she didn't want to be "embarrassed" by her dirty home.  In fact, the person she ended up keeping on was the only person that cleaned well enough that she stopped this, and wouldn't also clean afterwards.

I loved her, but she never understood why I'd prefer to read a book than to help out cooking like my sister.  My grandfather did though.  No surprise that I became a lawyer like my grandfather.  :)

See, I think this is a case of ignorance of bliss.  Perhaps you don't realize when I say that my husband does NO CLEANING, I really mean NO CLEANING.  Example: I met my husband 5.5 years ago, when he had been in his current condo 5 years.  He had NEVER ONCE cleaned his shower in those five years.  There is lowering standards, and then there is living in filth.  I hope we all agree that while standards may vary, NO CLEANING is not appropriate either.  It has some pretty significant negative health repercussions, which is very un-mustachian with long-term consequences.

Ew-- but, that's my cultural background speaking. Modern sewer systems have a much bigger health impact than anything else we've discovered or invented in our entire history. Until very recently, daily showering was just not done. I've encountered a few bathrooms that likely hadn't been cleaned in a long time, and the people who live in them are not suffering any adverse health effects. Their health problems related to sedentary living and a high-sugar/ HFCS diet, not a dirty shower. Not even dirty dishes.

I read an article about tubs being worse than toilets, because people will clean toilets (thinking of them as "dirty" due to their function, but won't clean tubs as much and therefore, tubs are actually more a breeding ground for bad bacteria.  In any event, that was one example, I can spout off more - like how he used to leave the faucet running slightly for the cat and the sink was filled with cat hair.  Or that he ate takeout (very healthy habits!) every day rather than have to shop, cook or clean up.

I don't know if my husband has ever cleaned a shower in his life. We were young when we met, and I didn't try even asking him to help clean the bathroom more than once or twice. I assume your husband, like mine, has many other admirable qualities. One time, I caught him cleaning the toilet. He just wanted to do something nice for me. I took a picture.

He cleaned the tub once for me when I was having a very bad day, about a year or two ago.  I still remember it fondly.  :)

I met mine at age 33, a bit old for teaching new habits apparently.  His mom gets mad at him a little bit for this, because she was a single mom and she swears she didn't raise him this way.

He does indeed have many other great qualities, which is why I am with him.  But it does remain the main source of strife in our household.  And I remain puzzled why if I said I was going to therapy to resolve our marital issues, that would be accepted way faster on here than a cleaning service.  Apparently I should just let the problem fester and get worse, reaching emergency crisis point.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
    • Mommy Won't Work
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2013, 11:51:03 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 . . . .

msilenus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2013, 12:35:31 PM »
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.)

melalvai

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Columbia, MO
    • Bicycling and Walking Around
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2013, 01:34:05 PM »
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.)

Danger, Will Robinson!
You used that f-word. Let the flames begin!
I enjoyed the article. However, my daughter's dorm room-- the bathroom contains a set of cleaning tools & chemicals. A handy little disposable toilet brush thing (you snap a soap-filled pad onto the handle, then press a button when you're done and it pops off into the trash). A swiffer mop. Wipes with the soap already on them. And paper towels, though I don't know what those are for. It's all provided for her. She doesn't even have to buy it. (Considering what we pay for the dorm, it's a small thing.)

She has one roommate and one suitemate. None of them have cleaned the bathroom ever. I cleaned it once. After that, I used the bathroom downstairs in the lobby when we visit.

I mentioned this to some friends. One of them had some experience with a cleaning service. In her experience, college women clean less and are messier than college men! So, maybe times they are a'changin'?

And I remain puzzled why if I said I was going to therapy to resolve our marital issues, that would be accepted way faster on here than a cleaning service.  Apparently I should just let the problem fester and get worse, reaching emergency crisis point.

Well, there are some vocal stupid people on the internet, including this forum. I accept that there do seem to be a disproportionate number of people deluded about the evils of hiring a cleaning service, who are otherwise somewhat sensible. Here, this is MY stamp of approval for you spending money on a cleaning service when you can afford it.

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2013, 01:44:15 PM »
My spouse's idea of clean is not clean. He dusted, but I can see large areas he didn't touch with a dust cloth. I don't say anything, because something is better than nothing. He rarely cleans if I don't suggest it...

For better or worse, that is how it is. So, I do fantasize about a magical cleaning person who would come once per month to deep clean the bathrooms and fridge and also sweep/vacuum.

A lot of my friends have hired cleaning people just so they don't have to argue about the cleaning anymore.

That all said, I found UFYH (unfuck your habitat) via this board and have taken to their idea of 20-10s and 45-15s during which you clean for 20 or 45 min and then take a break for 10 or 15. You can get a lot done in these short bursts, and it beats doing nothing and then having hours of cleaning to do.


oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3171
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2013, 01:46:13 PM »
What I don't understand is why this is put in this category (anti-mustachian) and seen as worthy of massive face punches, but other things (like say, travel) aren't, even in similar circumstances of being out of debt, building a stash. Why do people think that this is so heinous?  I include MMM in the question as well, because I think he has a bit of an attitude on "right" and "wrong" spending too.  Even though he admits to luxury spending, it seems as only certain luxury spending is ok.

In regards to the grandparents time debate, to me that's totally irrelevant. My grandmother didn't hold a full-time job. I do.  End stop. (I don't currently have a cleaner, but it is the number one source of chronic fights in our household, because I get frustrated at doing it all. Last night, DH even said he was afraid I'd leave him over it one day.  Divorce, let me tell you, is way more expensive than a cleaner.  I envy you folks that have partners that share equally in the work.)

I am 100% with you on this. Get a cleaner if you want one. I mentioned in an earlier post that my friends got cleaners because they said it was cheaper than divorce. =-)


CNM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2013, 01:51:05 PM »
Plus, there's the general stress level that someone else mentioned.  I've found that as I've gotten older, my tolerance for mess and dirt has gone way down.  There are days when I am picking stuff up and putting it away and doing dishes and folding laundry and cooking and feeding nonstop...only to look around at 8 pm and realize that suddenly there is STILL crap all over the floor and the baby's asleep so it's too late to vacuum anyway.
We've never had a cleaning service, but keeping the house clean has been the #1 stressor in our marriage and our family -- and after 23 years, my husband still hasn't figured this out.  Now that our kids are older, the problem has resolved itself.

In retrospect, I think we'd have been happier in our earlier years if we'd splurged on a cleaning service.  Our focus at that point was maxing out our savings and paying off the house early -- both good goals, and we exceeded our goals wildly.  But looking back, I think we'd have been better off to have spent something on house cleaning, even if it meant we had a little less now.

This pretty much sums up why we have a house cleaner.  It is within our budget and, for us, worthwhile.  In the years before we had a housekeeper, keeping the house clean was the main source of marital strife.  My spouse is messy and doesn't care whether the house is clean; I am tidy and while my house doesn't need to be spotless at all times, a clean house is important to me.  So, housekeeper it is!

Bruised_Pepper

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 191
  • Age: 32
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2013, 01:52:38 PM »
What I don't understand is why this is put in this category (anti-mustachian) and seen as worthy of massive face punches, but other things (like say, travel) aren't, even in similar circumstances of being out of debt, building a stash. Why do people think that this is so heinous?  I include MMM in the question as well, because I think he has a bit of an attitude on "right" and "wrong" spending too.  Even though he admits to luxury spending, it seems as only certain luxury spending is ok.

Because it's very easy to hear "pays a housecleaner" and think "lazy SOB".  Not that this is accurate or my personal belief, but it's an easy assumption to make. 

Meanwhile, "jets off across the world" is seen as "enlighted and multicultural".  Again, not that this is necessarily accurate.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2013, 02:04:12 PM »
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 anothers’ needs as fairly as possible."

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

msilenus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2013, 02:11:57 PM »
Danger, Will Robinson!
You used that f-word. Let the flames begin!
I enjoyed the article. However, my daughter's dorm room-- the bathroom contains a set of cleaning tools & chemicals. A handy little disposable toilet brush thing (you snap a soap-filled pad onto the handle, then press a button when you're done and it pops off into the trash). A swiffer mop. Wipes with the soap already on them. And paper towels, though I don't know what those are for. It's all provided for her. She doesn't even have to buy it. (Considering what we pay for the dorm, it's a small thing.)

She has one roommate and one suitemate. None of them have cleaned the bathroom ever. I cleaned it once. After that, I used the bathroom downstairs in the lobby when we visit.

I mentioned this to some friends. One of them had some experience with a cleaning service. In her experience, college women clean less and are messier than college men! So, maybe times they are a'changin'?


My daughter is one year old.  The moment we put her slippers on, she snatches her shoes from us, toddles over to the hall tree, and puts them away.  So... maybe not.

Actually, I agree with you.  But I also think we're in an era of great cultural upheaval and transition.  Chait's experience --and mine-- are as valid as your daughter's.  Furthermore, I suspect your daughter's cohort are a diverse bunch in this way.  I'd even venture to guess that there are more regular dusters amongst the womenfolk of her agegroup than amongst the men, even if the typical level of cleanliness is as you say.  There's a tendency to become our co-gendered parents, so these wheels turn slowly.  There might be something like a half-life for these habits, measured in generations.

I believe it would please Chait that he and your daughter and much of her generation of women would look at a featherduster with the same sort of smirk.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 02:20:17 PM by msilenus »

Albert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1249
  • Location: Switzerland
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2013, 03:52:11 PM »
My husband is absolutely wonderful in so many ways, but he is worse than useless on this one subject.  Not only does he not help, he doesn't even see that there's a problem.  He will gladly step over piles of dirty clothes and is fine with dishes sitting by the sink.

You see there is male level of cleanliness and female level of cleanliness. :)

Nudelkopf

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 900
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Australia
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2013, 05:11:39 PM »
In my last share house, I shared with 3 other girls (all strangers to me when I moved in)(And I only ended up being friends with 1 of them). We had a cleaner to do the floors and the bathrooms each week. And thank goodness - we would have ended up fighting and bitching even more because the other 2 girls.. well.. they never washed their bedsheets in the 18months we lived together, let alone would know how to clean a bathroom.

bacchi

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5547
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2013, 05:38:43 PM »
Because it's very easy to hear "pays a housecleaner" and think "lazy SOB".  Not that this is accurate or my personal belief, but it's an easy assumption to make. 

Meanwhile, "jets off across the world" is seen as "enlighted and multicultural".  Again, not that this is necessarily accurate.

It's also very easy to clean. Let's face it - if you're able-bodied, 95% of us have the time to clean. It's not rocket surgery to vacuum or do dishes but it is pretty difficult to visit the Pyramid of Giza in an afternoon on a whim. In other words, this isn't really a good comparison. Maybe compare house cleaning to...car detailing? Getting a car detailed doesn't have the same negative connotations as getting a house cleaned.

My completely made-up theory is that, besides the obvious gender issues, there are some latent class issues involved with "servant" house-cleaning.

limeandpepper

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4568
  • Location: Australasia
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2013, 06:15:12 PM »
I think I have a more relaxed attitude in regards to saving/spending. I don't tend to judge someone for what they spend their money on. As long as they own their spending (i.e. don't whinge about not being able to save, when it's perfectly possible), spend within their means and save enough for their circumstances and don't adopt the attitude of relying on others (family, taxpayers or whoever) to bail them out, I'm cool with it. I've never hired a cleaner before, but I'm not against the idea of doing it someday, depending on the situation. I've been tossing up the idea of getting someone to do a big clean of my apartment before a major move interstate, for example. It would be lovely to not have to worry about cleaning when I'm preparing for everything else and all the stress that comes with it.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5747
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2013, 06:43:37 PM »
I think I have a more relaxed attitude in regards to saving/spending. I don't tend to judge someone for what they spend their money on. As long as they own their spending (i.e. don't whinge about not being able to save, when it's perfectly possible), spend within their means and save enough for their circumstances and don't adopt the attitude of relying on others (family, taxpayers or whoever) to bail them out, I'm cool with it.

Exactly!

I've never paid someone to clean (though... wifey might want to sometimes...)

I have an extremely relaxed MMM attitude.  If you're not in trouble and you know the consequences of how you spend your money I DO NOT CARE what you spend it on.  You can put a Ferrari engine in your Hummer and drive your casserole out to the outbuilding to put it in the extra Subzero refrigerator if you want to.  I will make fun of you, but I do not care.

Now... if you've dug yourself a hole and have a maid, a lawnboy and pay some guy $300 to put up your Christmas lights while worrying how you're going to pay for the credit cards this Christmas:  then I think you need a face punch.

jenstill

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Location: Vermont
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2013, 09:23:09 PM »
It's also very easy to clean. Let's face it - if you're able-bodied, 95% of us have the time to clean. It's not rocket surgery to vacuum or do dishes

It is easy, but it's a terribly time- and energy-consuming part of my life. I want to hire a cleaner for my own sanity and some peace between me & my kids, but haven't yet found one I trust/like who will do what I want done on the schedule I want.

Also, I want to learn rocket surgery.

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3008
  • Age: 38
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #44 on: December 24, 2013, 12:04:42 AM »
This thread makes me want to go hire a cleaner just to piss off the really sanctimonious people.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I'm probably too cheap and lazy to go through with it.

Bruised_Pepper

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 191
  • Age: 32
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2013, 12:10:14 AM »
This thread makes me want to go hire a cleaner just to piss off the really sanctimonious people.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I'm probably too cheap and lazy to go through with it.

"And why did you choose AAA Maid Service?"
"Spite."

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2013, 06:59:39 AM »
This thread makes me want to go hire a cleaner just to piss off the really sanctimonious people.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I'm probably too cheap and lazy to go through with it.

"And why did you choose AAA Maid Service?"
"Spite."

lol

melalvai

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Columbia, MO
    • Bicycling and Walking Around
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2013, 07:12:12 AM »
I noticed the anti-cleaners haven't chimed in here. But haven't hesitated to bash paid house cleaning on other threads.

Insanity

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1025
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2013, 07:57:38 AM »
It's also very easy to clean. Let's face it - if you're able-bodied, 95% of us have the time to clean. It's not rocket surgery to vacuum or do dishes

It is easy, but it's a terribly time- and energy-consuming part of my life. I want to hire a cleaner for my own sanity and some peace between me & my kids, but haven't yet found one I trust/like who will do what I want done on the schedule I want.

Also, I want to learn rocket surgery.

I wonder if the risk of mistakes is higher in rocket surgery than in the real medical profession…

Or if learning rocket surgery is harder than learning to be a rocket scientist??

on topic..

My wife and I are very similar.  We are not neat freaks, but when it gets excessively bad, we want to clean it.  The problem is, we have our own priorities with what needs to be clean and our own definition of what is bad.  I hate leaving dirty dishes in the sink, so I tend to do more in the kitchen with clean up than she does.  I also hate clutter, but my office is a disaster right now.. Yet she'll be the one who will clean the office (we told the cleaning service not to touch the office that's how bad it is - and the fact she comes during the working day and I work from home).  My wife does spot cleaning of the bathrooms more than I would, but I tend to clean up the clutter in the basement and kids play areas more frequently.

I do think that clean and well organized does lend itself to less stress.  I'm just trying to get there and with two kids (one toddler, one baby) and a dog, it isn't easy to do time wise.  It gets later and the energy to make the "right decision" as opposed to the "escape decision" is harder.


the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1035
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: House Cleaning
« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2013, 09:50:28 AM »
As an anti-cleaner I will represent.

I totally agree, though, on the use of a cleaning service due to interpersonal conflicts. If a spouse refuses to do any cleaning, that's an easy case: you have an unmustachian spouse and of course you can't expect to fix that, so the cleaning service just becomes a fixed cost of being married. You could mess with the variables a bit and still reach the same conclusion, like "spouse who tries to clean but really sucks at it, previous serious attempts to learn failed AND it's causing significant strife for some logical reason." I can also accept that for certain short-term periods in life it may be needed due to extreme busy-ness (two FT parents one of whom is a part-time student is pretty illustrative of that).

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)?

As for how this compares to travel, I think it's analogous at some basic financial level. I also do a fair amount of travel for outdoor hobbies, but I can answer all of the above questions about it. I'm semi-retired and do more part-time work specifically so I can afford exceptional destinations, so each work-vs-play tradeoff is implicitly considered by whether or not I take the work. I have been throttling back my outdoor stuff lately for various reasons and don't see it impacting my happiness, so I know that I can easily go without in the short term if I needed to.