Author Topic: Life's too short to clean your own home.  (Read 21789 times)

skunkfunk

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2015, 09:02:32 AM »
Are you pro-hire-a-housecleaner people still going on?  Listen, I get it--you don't want to clean your house and don't like doing it one bit.  Fine, whatever--it's nobody else's business.  But don't tell fibs to yourself justifying and promoting it as somehow Mustachian and in-line with the ideas commonly shared on this blog.  It's not.  Any more than hiring a chauffeur or getting a personal shave by a barber every morning like the old time gangsters did. 

"Domestic Outsourcing: Practical or Wussypants?"
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/13/domestic-outsourcing-practical-or-wussypants/

Answer:  Wussypants.

Where's the "Like" button?

If the chainsaw slips, I might lose a limb or die. 

This just happened to my FIL 3 months ago. He managed to push the chainsaw away but he landed pretty hard. Broke his neck. Luckily they managed to piece it together with some kind of high-tech glue or something.

Many people here do have anti-mustachian tendencies, and it is this cult's readership's responsibility to deliver some facepunches in the hopes of helping each other become more fanatical improve ourselves.

seanc0x0

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2015, 09:11:50 AM »

If the chainsaw slips, I might lose a limb or die. 

This just happened to my FIL 3 months ago. He managed to push the chainsaw away but he landed pretty hard. Broke his neck. Luckily they managed to piece it together with some kind of high-tech glue or something.


I paid $1500 to have 2 trees removed last summer. After watching the guys climb a spruce tree in the 35C heat and bring it down bit by bit without hitting my house, I gladly signed the cheque. There is no way I'd ever want to do that!

I'd never get a maid service, though. Cleaning, while not particularly enjoyable, is incredibly in-sourcable. Doesn't even take that long, really.

Kaspian

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2015, 09:38:17 AM »

I will be honest that we outsource a considerable amount of home improvement that MMM would scoff at....

...But YMMV. I tend to agree with you that no one really cares if people hire people to clean their dust balls. But don't describe it as Mustachian.

Exactly!!  I waste ridiculous amounts of money on personal travel.  More than facepunch-worthy, actually.  I'd say, facepunch-with-brass-knuckles worthy.  But I'm not going to come here and tell you folks some total bullshit like, "Well, my travel to Europe is Mustachian and in line with FIRE because it allows me to relax, open my mind, and learn which lets me be more productive in my job."  ...Because that's bullshit.  People come here to learn things and I'd be doing a disservice by promoting and justifying my wasteful habits as part of the main message and its principles.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 09:39:59 AM by Kaspian »

RexualChocolate

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2015, 11:08:35 AM »


Exactly!!  I waste ridiculous amounts of money on personal travel.  More than facepunch-worthy, actually.  I'd say, facepunch-with-brass-knuckles worthy.  But I'm not going to come here and tell you folks some total bullshit like, "Well, my travel to Europe is Mustachian and in line with FIRE because it allows me to relax, open my mind, and learn which lets me be more productive in my job."  ...Because that's bullshit.  People come here to learn things and I'd be doing a disservice by promoting and justifying my wasteful habits as part of the main message and its principles.

I think spending that much time commuting is a massive waste of time. I'd rather just live somewhere I actually enjoy and spend <3000 a year on travel.

However, I accept that you're maximizing your personal utility. This is what you spend money on.

This is the point we're trying to make. I don't know why maid time = bad but personal travel = good in your mind. Why do you get to decide which are viable luxury expenses?

It boils down to: Choose your savings rate of your gross. Subtract taxes. Spend the rest. That's what everyone's doing unless you have no hobbies and try not to move very much when you get home so you can limit how many calories you have to pay for. I choose 40%. Some people here choose 20, some 70. ERE chooses 90+ and would call all of us wusses.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2015, 11:13:24 AM »
I paid $1500 to have 2 trees removed last summer. After watching the guys climb a spruce tree in the 35C heat and bring it down bit by bit without hitting my house, I gladly signed the cheque. There is no way I'd ever want to do that!


Removing a tree is not something I'd do myself.

I was lucky that when we had a dead tree that had to come down I found an acquaintance who was willing to do it for a barter.  I gave him a collection of childhood magazines for his granddaughter.  I'm sometimes a little sad I don't have them anymore- but really, they were clutter. 

We did have to deal with cutting up the tree and putting it out for waste collecting, but we did that alternating between a jigsaw and just breaking branches.

We didn't grind the stump, but then we moved, so that's their problem now.  The roots weren't getting into anything though- it was more of an issue of tall dead tree that could have fallen.

seanc0x0

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2015, 11:18:21 AM »
I paid $1500 to have 2 trees removed last summer. After watching the guys climb a spruce tree in the 35C heat and bring it down bit by bit without hitting my house, I gladly signed the cheque. There is no way I'd ever want to do that!


Removing a tree is not something I'd do myself.

I was lucky that when we had a dead tree that had to come down I found an acquaintance who was willing to do it for a barter.  I gave him a collection of childhood magazines for his granddaughter.  I'm sometimes a little sad I don't have them anymore- but really, they were clutter. 

We did have to deal with cutting up the tree and putting it out for waste collecting, but we did that alternating between a jigsaw and just breaking branches.

We didn't grind the stump, but then we moved, so that's their problem now.  The roots weren't getting into anything though- it was more of an issue of tall dead tree that could have fallen.

I've removed plenty of trees myself, but they were all pretty small by comparison. However, if I can't take it apart bit-by-bit with one of those pruning saws on a pole before chainsawing the trunk, I'm calling someone.

The ones I had removed this summer were 55 ft spruce trees, one of which was about 5 feet from the house, 3 feet from a fence, and 15 ft from the neighbour's house. It was an ugly, needle spewing mess that was in the worst possible place. Just watching the guy climb up and cut it got me slightly week-kneed, but then heights and I don't really get along!

Kaspian

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2015, 11:24:20 AM »
This is the point we're trying to make. I don't know why maid time = bad but personal travel = good in your mind. Why do you get to decide which are viable luxury expenses?

It doesn't make any difference--that's the point I'm trying to make.  The OP put a thing here about the folly of the maid service brochure, and it is!  Folly about travel is equally fair game.  The point I'm trying to make is that I don't come here and justify travel as Mustachian or in-line with FIRE and argue it with other members.  It's wasteful spending.  As is maid service.  I don't "get to decide" what's what, it's all superfluous spending.  But this is a blog about early retirement, conservation, and DIY topics.  If I start going on vehemently about how good Greece is, telling people how it's so worth every cent, how it keeps me sane, blah, blah, blah, I'm undermining the main message presented here.  That does a huge disservice to people trying to learn about FI or who come here for savings tips.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2015, 01:03:35 PM »
I see your point now, it makes a lot more sense. I agree. No financial independence comes quickly outside of startups and the lottery, so I guess i see MMM as more of a jog/marathon. For people who want to sprint, I think ERE makes sense.

justajane

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2015, 01:26:27 PM »
I see your point now, it makes a lot more sense. I agree. No financial independence comes quickly outside of startups and the lottery, so I guess i see MMM as more of a jog/marathon. For people who want to sprint, I think ERE makes sense.

???? MMM and his wife retired in their early thirties. I would describe that as a sprint. That's not to say that everyone on here is following the same path, but that's the perspective of the blog.

kib

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2015, 05:08:55 PM »
The argument that doesn't work for me usually goes something like, "well I make $70 per hour at my job, so it makes fiscal sense for me to hire a housekeeper at $20 per hour rather than waste my own $70 per hour time doing it."  My argument is that it's only $70 per hour time if you would actually have spent it at work.  Your time isn't more fiscally valuable than the cleaning person's, if you're sitting on the couch.

kathrynd

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2015, 09:22:54 PM »
Are you pro-hire-a-housecleaner people still going on?  Listen, I get it--you don't want to clean your house and don't like doing it one bit.  Fine, whatever--it's nobody else's business.  But don't tell fibs to yourself justifying and promoting it as somehow Mustachian and in-line with the ideas commonly shared on this blog.  It's not.  Any more than hiring a chauffeur or getting a personal shave by a barber every morning like the old time gangsters did. 

"Domestic Outsourcing: Practical or Wussypants?"
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/13/domestic-outsourcing-practical-or-wussypants/

Answer:  Wussypants.

Again, MMM blows 200+ a month, 2400 a year, on a CrossFit membership for his wife. Isn't that the definition of outsourcing? I find this an utterly ridiculous expense personally, but understand how it fits within the tenets of his philosophy and respect the choice.

You miss the greater, massively liberating point of this website if you really think you have to follow his articles to the letter. The theme of maximizing utility matters, not exactly what he does versus what you do. That's the most mustachian thing of all- maximizing what you get out of life. If saving 80 a month does that for you, great. For me I'd rather have the 4 hours a month. Calling one mustachian and one not is antithetical to the website.

Look, I don't follow MMM all that closely.
But when your goal is FIRE, most need to watch their expenses.

When you are already FIRE, then hire a housekeeper or whatever.

Dimitri

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2015, 10:30:44 PM »
Years ago when I was single I found a nice Asian girl for a roommate.  I figured she would be neat, orderly, and keep the common areas clean.  Was I ever mistaken.  She was a bigger slob than I was.  The apartment was a terrible mess.  We vacuumed once before a Christmas party and never again.  I think I may have cleaned my bathroom that time too.  The kitchen was an absolute disaster.  Finally, after nearly three years we decided that we had to do something.  It was just too terrible.

So we moved. 

Thinking back that was a great move.  We saved lots of time by not cleaning.  And we saved money by not hiring a maid.  Ultimately we had to pay a couple of guys with a truck to move us but that was a minor expense and inconvenience.

Tabaxus

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2015, 05:11:27 PM »
The argument that doesn't work for me usually goes something like, "well I make $70 per hour at my job, so it makes fiscal sense for me to hire a housekeeper at $20 per hour rather than waste my own $70 per hour time doing it."  My argument is that it's only $70 per hour time if you would actually have spent it at work.  Your time isn't more fiscally valuable than the cleaning person's, if you're sitting on the couch.

I do think you can hit a point where you value your leisure time over doing housework etc.

I can't really quantify my per-hour, but it is the case that I can get paid for literally every hour of my time, if I want to (year end bonuses are based on billable hours, and there's always more work if I want it, like pro bono).  The hourly rate on the year-end bonus really isn't that great, especially once taxes are accounted for, so most people don't shoot for 3k+ years for the bonus cash (those folks are normally trying for the partnership), but it's more than nominal, and probably more than a cleaning service.

Do I work every hour?  No.  Obviously not; I am, after all, posting on a blog, and I spend time playing video games and doing other frivolous things.  But I value that leisure time at some unquantifiable amount $X.  It really is a decision on whether $X>whatever it costs me to outsource something.

ETA:  At current I do not value $X more than it would cost to hire a cleaner, so I don't outsource it except for once or twice a year when I'm getting the place cleaned up after spouse has had a stint overseas, because spouse had a stint overseas in the third world, I want the place to be spotless precisely when spouse gets home (i.e., I want the cleaning done the day before), and there's always a risk that I will have to travel for work or otherwise be unable to swing several hours of cleaning at any point in the week before the spouse gets home.  I also do not value $X over cooking rather than ordering out, at least not anymore, but that's more because of my waistline than the money involved.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 05:23:05 PM by Tabaxus »

ysette9

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2015, 01:19:43 PM »
I can only speak for myself, but I am not claiming that hiring cleaning ladies is mustachian or anything like that. I am saying that for my situation, it is absolutely money worth spending and something I am not likely to change anytime soon. We all make choices to put money where are values are; in my case I value a clean house and a happy marriage enough to pay someone else to clean twice a month. Others make other choices and that is fine. Thankfully I will reach FIRE on my own timeline just fine and don't have to report back to the larger community for a grade on my mustachianism (or lack thereof). :)

Cpa Cat

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2015, 01:29:07 PM »
Assuming availability of work to do, I can choose to do the following with my hour:
1. Work for one hour as a CPA, earn between $100-$150 per hour.
2. Do nothing. Leisure time. If I make this choice, I have already decided that my leisure time is worth $100-$150 per hour (since I've chosen to forsake my hourly rate).
3. Clean my house. If I can pay someone to clean my house for less than my hourly rate, then why would I choose to waste my time doing it myself?

Now, if I can't find a client who will pay me for my hour, then in reality, the value of my time plummets to $0. At that point, I may choose to clean my own toilet.

EdwardMonroe

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #65 on: March 02, 2015, 08:36:40 PM »
We have a household staff in the past, but they didn't last because my kids learned to clean up their own mess and can fully function well accordingly to their age.  Also, we have a minimalist style of living. I guess if it's a 1 year unpaid wage, I have to be very cautious, too. Why would they require it uncompensated?

kib

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #66 on: March 02, 2015, 08:46:44 PM »

Now, if I can't find a client who will pay me for my hour, then in reality, the value of my time plummets to $0. At that point, I may choose to clean my own toilet.
  yes, that's about what I was getting at.  Obviously someone can choose to enjoy an hour off rather than spend it cleaning house and view that as a better use of their time, that's what the freedom of FI is all about, choices.  And obviously if you suck at housekeeping, it may be worth it to pay someone else because your own result won't please you.  But to justify it from a financial standpoint only cuts mustard if the more lucrative opportunity actually exists.

skunkfunk

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #67 on: March 03, 2015, 01:28:29 PM »
Years ago when I was single I found a nice Asian girl for a roommate.  I figured she would be neat, orderly, and keep the common areas clean.  Was I ever mistaken.  She was a bigger slob than I was.  The apartment was a terrible mess.  We vacuumed once before a Christmas party and never again.  I think I may have cleaned my bathroom that time too.  The kitchen was an absolute disaster.  Finally, after nearly three years we decided that we had to do something.  It was just too terrible.

So we moved. 

Thinking back that was a great move.  We saved lots of time by not cleaning.  And we saved money by not hiring a maid.  Ultimately we had to pay a couple of guys with a truck to move us but that was a minor expense and inconvenience.

Haha. My college roommate never did anything. One day I decided I wasn't doing the damn dishes this time. They sat for 6 months before getting thrown out.

He also fell asleep on the couch and woke up with a very large dead mouse under him (luckily that fixed the problem where everything in the cabinets [food, paper plates, etc.] got mouse poop all over it) and never did laundry - he'd pick something up out of the pile on the floor and febreeze it.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #68 on: March 03, 2015, 04:49:23 PM »


He also fell asleep on the couch and woke up with a very large dead mouse under him (luckily that fixed the problem where everything in the cabinets [food, paper plates, etc.] got mouse poop all over it) and never did laundry - he'd pick something up out of the pile on the floor and febreeze it.

So you're saying you stole your username from him?

Sibley

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #69 on: March 05, 2015, 02:04:30 PM »


He also fell asleep on the couch and woke up with a very large dead mouse under him (luckily that fixed the problem where everything in the cabinets [food, paper plates, etc.] got mouse poop all over it) and never did laundry - he'd pick something up out of the pile on the floor and febreeze it.

So you're saying you stole your username from him?

LOL

Sibley

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #70 on: March 05, 2015, 02:09:30 PM »
To me, there's one group of people who can hire a cleaning service without ridicule: those who are physically unable to do it, due to illness, injury, or other disability. If you're eligible for disability, then you may be on this list (but not necessarily!).

Everyone else has decided, for whatever reason, that they don't want to do it. Fine, your choice. But I'll ridicule you. (Hopefully in my mind and not out loud.)

Kaspian

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #71 on: March 05, 2015, 02:53:54 PM »
And obviously if you suck at housekeeping, it may be worth it to pay someone else because your own result won't please you.

Holy crap!  I never want to know a person who's that much of a tight-ass.  "I don't live up to my own standards, dammit!!"

Though this attitude sort of makes sense with things like drywalling, dentistry, and car construction, I'm just imagining somebody going "Fuckin' hell, my back and belly are just not clean enough!!  Not up to snuff at all.  I need to hire somebody to soap me up properly."    :)

kib

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #72 on: March 06, 2015, 08:52:58 AM »
And obviously if you suck at housekeeping, it may be worth it to pay someone else because your own result won't please you.

Holy crap!  I never want to know a person who's that much of a tight-ass.  "I don't live up to my own standards, dammit!!"

Though this attitude sort of makes sense with things like drywalling, dentistry, and car construction, I'm just imagining somebody going "Fuckin' hell, my back and belly are just not clean enough!!  Not up to snuff at all.  I need to hire somebody to soap me up properly."    :)
  No offense, but you sound like someone who doesn't have to clean their own house.  It's not always as easy as it sounds.

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #73 on: March 06, 2015, 09:11:46 AM »
Haha. My college roommate never did anything. One day I decided I wasn't doing the damn dishes this time. They sat for 6 months before getting thrown out.


We had a repair guy come in college to install something new in each of our bathrooms. My roommate was so excited because the guy cleaned her toilet and asked me if he did mine (he hadn't).

Basically- her toilet was SO disgusting (it really really was)- that the repair guy thought it needed to be cleaned right then. 

I have never seen a toilet so gross.  I'm so glad we did not have to share a bathroom. 

(Mold often grew on pots on the stove... she'd leave the water that kielbasa had been in for weeks.  If it wasn't mine, I didn't clean it.  I'm not really a neat freak, so usually the mess didn't bother me, but I never let stuff start growing!)

Sibley

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #74 on: March 06, 2015, 09:18:39 AM »
Unfortunately for me, I have a slightly lower tolerance for dirt than my roommate. I also have two cats, so they speed up the getting-dirty process. Snow/ice/salt this winter have not helped. I'm starting to get the spring cleaning itch.

justajane

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #75 on: March 06, 2015, 10:15:11 AM »
A long time ago, I had three roommates in a four bedroom two bath apartment. One roommate paid extra so she should have the en suite bathroom to herself. When we moved in, she claimed the bathroom was so gross from the previous tenants that she preferred to use our bathroom until she got around to cleaning it. Two months later, lazy person that she was was still using our bathroom. I moved out shortly thereafter. I knew it was entitled back then, but of course it seems even more so now twenty years later.

Kaspian

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #76 on: March 06, 2015, 10:21:31 AM »
No offense, but you sound like someone who doesn't have to clean their own house.  It's not always as easy as it sounds.

I have no idea how that could be construed as offensive by any stretch of the imagination, but of course I clean my own place!!  I vaccuum, dust, get down on my hands and knees to wash the floors once a week, Windex the windows, scrub the bathtub, do the dishes, wash the walls and cupboards every two years...  I even make my own bed every day!  According to my net salary my time is worth $29/hour.  But that has nothing to do with cleaning my house.

skunkfunk

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #77 on: March 06, 2015, 01:38:05 PM »
We had one bathroom and when I moved in the floor of the shower was disgusting orange stuff with two foot-sized spots that didn't have the orange mold growing. I tried to clean it up several times but never used anything caustic enough to get it up.

MishMash

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #78 on: March 09, 2015, 11:38:33 AM »
Hey, house cleaning is probably cheaper than marriage counseling and certainly cheaper than divorce ;).

+1, my husband is gone 6 plus months a year and we both work insane hours, which literally leaves EVERYTHING from cleaning, bills, family care, cooking, laundry, yardwork, repairs...to me and me alone.  I started getting super resentful at spending my minimal free time cleaning the house (and we have 4 very sheddy pets and even when home he was too tired to help).  We hired a bi weekly cleaning person and the disagreements instantly ended. 

LouLou

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #79 on: March 22, 2015, 02:05:52 PM »
Years ago when I was single I found a nice Asian girl for a roommate.  I figured she would be neat, orderly, and keep the common areas clean.  Was I ever mistaken.  She was a bigger slob than I was.

WHAT?! She was an individual human being instead of a walking, talking ethnic stereotype? It's almost like you can't treat people like interchangeable members of broadly defined groups or something. Jeez.

Sibley

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #80 on: March 22, 2015, 02:59:16 PM »
Though on days like today, when I'm tired and lazy, I could happily have someone clean my house.

Cat! Go roll around on things and dust them.

DMoney

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #81 on: March 22, 2015, 03:00:24 PM »
We have our house cleaned every 2 weeks.  Not Mustachian.  I'd say it's a sad symptom of our other not-mustachian life choices: long commute for work, both parents working, more than one child (kind of joking on this one, not trying to start a fight), and a too-big house. 

I love reading blogs by families who sold everything and move into a trailer or an RV.  One of the really cool things they all comment about at some point or another is how "cleaning the house" takes about 5 minutes every day.  My kudos to them.


trailperson

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Re: Life's too short to clean your own home.
« Reply #82 on: March 22, 2015, 03:36:20 PM »
Try reading "Nickel and Dimed" and you'll see that cleaning services are a massive ripoff.  They don't do what is necessary to really truly sanitize houses.  They just make things look good on the surface.


Isn't that what everyone expects?
Homeowners don't sanitize either...not that I want to live in a germ free house.

They don't even clean moderately well, at the direction of the company. For example, their cleaning method is to wipe everything with either a damp cloth or a dry cloth. They use the same 2 cloths on everything, instead of getting a clean cloth after wiping something dirty.

They clean the floor with a half-bucket of water, and they don't change the water. So the last part of the floor is getting scrubbed with dirty water.

This is all described in Nickel and Dimed. Barbara Ehrenreich worked for one of these services herself. The goal is not to clean the house, but to create the appearance that it has been cleaned. This is the company policy, not just laziness on the workers' part.

I'm no great housekeeper, but I darn well don't wipe the dining-room table with the same cloth I used to wipe the bathroom walls. And after I clean the floor, a paper towel used to mop up spilled water will not come up brown.
I spent a summer cleaning houses. The woman I worked for took pride in her work and I did a good job as well. We would never have used the same cleaning materials in the bathroom as in the dining room, we definitely did not use the same 2 cloths on everything and neither did anyone else who worked for her. I actually started using some of the products and methods I used with her on my own house. Cleaning services are like any other, they aren't all the same; there are good and bad ones.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2015, 03:38:23 PM by trailperson »